Is Top World Travel Destination for Great Surf

The waves were big, and so were the national surfers who came to Playa Guiones at Nosara, Costa Rica last weekend for the third competition in the 2014 Olympus National Surfing Circuit.

Costa Rican pros like Gilberth Brown, Jair Perez, Jason Torres, Carlos Munoz, Lisbeth Vindas and Nataly Bernold descended on the top Costa Rica surfing beach for the tournament, held Feb. 8-9. Munoz was just returning from Oahu, Hawaii, where he made it to the fourth round of the Volcom Pipe Pro 2014 international competition the week before. Jair Perez is the reigning Costa Rican national men’s surf champion. But it was Playa Hermosa resident and Latin American Champion, Jason Torres, who took home the Men’s Open Division trophy. The 2012 National Champion Nataly Bernold won first place in the Women’s Open Division – her second competition win in a row – upsetting the lead that 2013 National Champion Lisbeth Vindas started out with in this year’s circuit. See all the competition results here.

Conditions at the Playa Guiones tournament were reported as big, showing the biggest swell of the year with double and triple overhead waves. Surfing was difficult on the competition’s first day in choppy water, but Sunday brought back normal beautiful Guiones glassy surf for the semi-finals and finals. The next 2014 Olympus National Surfing Circuit competition will be held at the south Pacific beach of Dominical from March 15 to 16.

On the north Pacific Coast of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, the breezy Blue-Flag-awarded beach of Guiones is reputed to have the most consistent surf on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. With its beautiful long beach and long left and right breaks, Playa Guiones is one of Costa Rica’s most favored surfing beaches. The sandy bottom beach delivers waves for every skill level – from beginner to expert, long boarder to short boarder.

Nosara, Costa Rica – encompassing the beaches of Guiones, Pelada and Nosara – has recently caught the world’s attention for its natural beauty. The eco-friendly community was selected for National Geographic’s Best Winter Trips of 2014 and was ranked one of the 11 Places to Go Worldwide in 2014 by CNN.

The area’s remote location and long dirt road to get to the community are part of the reason Nosara has remained relatively undeveloped and uncrowded. Each beach has its own characteristics. Eco-conscious Guiones is an expat community and center for yoga and surfing. The small bay of Pelada is more tree-lined and rockier and a favorite with local fishermen. Black-sand Nosara is isolated on the other side of the Nosara River and mangrove estuary.

Where to Stay: One of the finest luxury hotels in Guanacaste Costa Rica is L’acqua Viva Resort & Spa at Playa Guiones. The Bali-style Costa Rica resort is located just off the beautiful beach of Guiones – all hotels and businesses in the area are set back from the beach to preserve the coastline. Accommodations range from Deluxe Rooms to Suites and Villas.

Getting to Nosara: Nosara is a five-hour drive from San Jose’s international airport, and a 2.5-hour drive from the Liberia International Airport. Short-hop domestic flights arrive in Nosara from both the San Jose and Liberia airports; from there it is a 10-minute drive to Playa Guiones and Playa Pelada. You can also use the private driver services of to get to and from all of the beaches in Guanacaste.