January 26th, 2011
What to bring to Costa Rica on your next surf trip
July 17, 2017
15 years ago, this list may have included items like a medical kit, snake-bite anti venom, or water purifying tablets. But the times have changed in Costa Rica and travelers no longer need to pack such serious provisions. When traveling to Witch’s Rock Surf Camp,we will take care of all the tough logistics like airport transfer, transportation to the best surf spots, early morning breakfasts, photos & videos, board rental, etc
However, there are a few last minute items that you may want to throw in your bags before leaving. Check out the list below for some insider tips on what to bring on your next surf trip to Costa Rica.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months to travel internationally to Costa Rica. Americans and Canadians do not need travel visas. We suggest that you make a copy of your passport and also take a photo of your passport with your phone and email it to yourself. Doing this will save a lot of headache in the rare case that you lose your passport while traveling internationally.
Costa Rica uses Colones and US dollars. You can bring US dollars with you, although you should avoid denominations over $20 if possible. Keep in mind that credit card companies assess significant fees for international debit card transactions. There are multiple ATMs in Tamarindo. You can exchange your US dollars for Costa Rican Colones at one of the local banks, doing this will give you generally better exchange rates when making local purchases.
Although credit card companies typically have good exchange rates, the foreign transaction fees can be up to 3% on all transactions. Make sure to check if your credit card company charges this foreign transaction fee, as there are plenty of credit card that do not (Chase Bank offers multiple options). Be sure to call your credit card company before you travel, let them know that you will be travelling to Costa Rica and give them your arrival and departure dates. Having a travel alert on your card will insure that your credit card company doesn’t deny any charges because they deemed them as suspicious.
Since you’ll be in the water every day, make sure to bring multiple pairs of boardshorts, swimsuits, surf bikinis, or whatever else you plan to wear while surfing. You can always find a large selection of these items in our surf shop.
We are located in the topics and get a LOT of sun. Rashguards are highly suggested for sun protection. If you don’t own one, Witch’s Rock offers short sleeve, long sleeve, sleeveless and tank top rashguards in our surf shop.
SURFBOARDS / SURF GEAR
A traveling surfer usually needs to haul surfboards stuffed in boardbags, extra leashes, extra fins, surf wax, a ding repair kit, etc. This is not the case at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. All of our surf packages include unlimited use of our rental surfboards (view our rental surfboards here). We provide absolutely everything you need to surf. You can of course bring your own surfboards if you prefer.
Costa Rica is close to the equator and the sun is very intense here. You need to wear plenty of sunscreen! Large containers of sunscreen packed in your carry-on bag will get confiscated by TSA airport security. Our surf shop offers many brands including our favorites: NO-AD SPF 50 and Headhunter War Paint. No matter what brand you choose, make sure it has a high SPF rating and reapply throughout the day.
The ocean water in Tamarindo is quite warm, hovering between 77-86F (25-30C) year-round. We do experience occasional strong offshore winds during the December-March months. A surf jacket can be useful during these times. We carry a limited supply of surf jackets and vests in our shop.
HAT and SUNGLASSES
It’s that darn sun again. And yes, we carry plenty of hats and killer sunglasses (Von Zipper, OTIS) in the surf shop.
It gets really dark when the sun goes down, and we can experience the occasional power outage. Don’t forget batteries.
Although bugs/mosquitoes aren’t a big issue in Tamarindo, some people are more sensitive than others. We have complimentary repellent available to our restaurant’s patrons, and you can purchase repellent from the surf shop.
A light rain jacket is an essential item if you’re visiting in the rainy season (generally from May to November).
Toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, contact solution and case, razor, and deodorant.
APPS TO DOWNLOAD
WhatsApp: A cross-platform instant messaging application that allows iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia smartphone users to exchange text, image, video and audio messages for free.
Nearby contact: Tamarindo business contact information for both residents and visitors.
Facebook Messenger: An instant messaging service and software application linked to your Facebook contacts. Messenger acts as a simple way to contact your friends while connected to Wifi.
Costa Rica uses the same outlets as US and Canada.
Its nice to have an extra beach towel when you’re living on the beach for a week! We don’t proivide them in out hotels, so you should either bring one or buy one in our shop
If you have a GoPro bring it! About 50% of our rental boards have GoPro mounts already installed. If you don’t have one yet or need any spare parts, we carry GoPro cameras and accessories in our WRSC surf shop.
Although the majority speaks English here in Costa Rica, a spanish dictionary could come in handy when exploring Tamarindo.
PURA VIDA ATTITUDE
Most importantly, leave your worries and stress at home! Pura Vida is how Costa Ricans live and it is a relaxed, simple way of looking at life.