Inside Peak – Soccer Madness!


Soccer Madness Captures Nosara!

The 20th edition of the World Cup of soccer kicked off on June 12 in host country Brazil.
Not being a big team sports fan, I was converted on last Friday when Costa Rica won their game 1-0 against highly favored Italy. This happened as I was driving to the beach. As I passed by the Rancho Tico restaurant I was amazed to see cars parked everywhere up and down both sides of the street as far as I could see. I decided to stop and take a look, and what I encountered was actually shocking – 300 revved up fans celebrating and partying like there was no tomorrow. The win puts Costa Rica in the top 16. It has been 24 years since Costa Rica advanced this far, and Costa Ricans everywhere are on fire. Today Costa Rica faces England but this time “Los Ticos” are favored to win. I am told that soccer has become very popular in the states now. The game last night between the U.S. and Portugal was a heartbreaker for the American team ending in Portugal’s last second tying goal. The following gallery of photos tells the tale of spirit, loyalty, and national confidence.


‘Los Ticos’ team and Fans celebrate after Friday’s victory over Italy
Carnival Atmosphere prevails in Nosara!
Camilla and Sebastian  in team colors waiting for start of game
Tailgate Party at Safari House!
Brazil’s Stadiums are Out of this World

Inside Peak – Meet The Marsh Family (The Kids!)


We are stoked to have the Tim Marsh Family here for their annual summer vacation!
Tim, Marsi, and Tyler Marsh own and operate Safari Surf. Tim and Marsi live in Southern California and operate the corporate offices, and Tyler lives in Nosara and oversees the surf school operation. I have grown very close to them and especially love the kids. This week I will introduce the kiddos to you and next week’s blog will feature interviews with Tim and Marsi. The Marshes are a very tight-knit unit. They always seem to be together and one easily gets the sense that they adore each other. They love people, animals, and the ocean. I marveled at the five of them in the pool together tossing a football and having so much fun. Camille, at 15 doesn’t strike me as being the stereotypical moody angst-ridden teenager. She is quiet, sensitive, and intelligent, and she sings in a voice as smooth as honey. Zane and Liana are 10 year old twins. They are smart, clever, and fun loving grommets and they are an ambitious lot, always scheming up some new creative endeavor. The Marshes have traveled together as a family since the kids were toddlers and they all have that beautiful bushy-bushy blonde hair for life!

The Twins

Zane and Liana Marsh were born within one minute of each other, Zane 1st, and then Liana. There has been a lot written about twins; they are unique and special.I have had the pleasure of knowing these two for four years or so and it is so great to see them every summer. I love to hang out with them individually or together, we always have a blast. I know without a doubt that these kids are going somewhere. They may figure largely into future incarnations of Safari Surf, or maybe not. But they will always be an integral part of Safari’s soul and spirit. I thought it would be fun to ask them some questions and see what’s on their agendas.


PL:                   Hey Welcome back Zane-Brain, howz it going?
Zane:              Solo Bueno, that means really good right?
PL:                   Yes and it shows because you always have a huge smile on your face.
Zane:              (Smiling) Yeah I like it here.
PL:                  Cool beans. You get to come every year and see your cousins, go surfing, dig for clams, play at the waterfall, and visit the monkeys. How long have you been coming down to Nosara?
Zane:             I think for like 7 years, since we were babies.
PL:                  When did you 1st go surfing?
Zane:             I was three and my dad took me out on a soft board.
PL:                  You got pretty good! Do you like big waves?
Zane:             Yeah I do, but not too big. The biggest I surfed was three feet over my head.
PL:                  Dude, I’ve seen some pictures of you on some mackers!



Zane – Starting Early                                                                            Tough questions for Zane-o
PL:                  What’s your favorite subject in school?
Zane:             Math
PL:                  What do you want to be when you grow up?
Zane:             I want to be a soccer star/surfer/artist combination.
PL:                  Wow now that’s original! I can see why you like it here!
Zane:             Here everyone loves soccer.
PL:                  Favorite food?
Zane:             In the US its ravioli, here its ceviche.
PL:                  Music?
Zane:             Classic Rock. My favorite group is Queen.
PL:                  OK now I see where the artist comes from!


Liana with cousin Maddox

PL:                  Nickernutt! It’s so great to see you! Watcha been doing?
Liana:            I have been over at Uncle Tyler’s playing with my cousins.
PL:                  That’s so cool, they just love you!
Liana:            I know, I’m hoping to be their babysitter.
PL:                  So last year you told me you were going to be a surgeon one day.
Liana:            Well I changed my mind! I now want to be a forensic scientist or personal chef.
PL:                  Wow! You still love writing I hope.
Liana:            Oh Yeah, still do. I love writing stories and making up characters.
PL:                  Still surfing?
Liana:            Always! I love the warm water here.
PL:                  What are your favorite foods?
Liana:            Back home: artichoke. Here: mangoes
PL:                  Favorite Music and Band?
Liana:            Alternative; One Republic. I love to sing too. I even recorded a song!
PL:                  Interesting. Hey do you know  Zane’s favorite group?
Liana:            Queen, he’s a Queen freak!
PL:                  Hey let’s write a story together for the blog

Liana:            OK Cool
Tandem with Helberth


              Liana making a record!


I am getting to know Camille better and had the distinct pleasure of hearing her perform during the brunch at Harbor Reef Lodge. Her singing is amazing, “a sound blend of Jewel and Natalie Merchant” I said – but I don’t think she know their music. No matter – at 15 this kid is poised for greatness. She is focused and disciplined and has a beautiful lilting voice.


     Camille – Oozing with Style!                             Smooth   Surfin’                        Performing in Nosara
PL:                  (During Break) Wow Camille, that was amazing!
Camille:         Thanks for coming!
PL:                  When did you discover you were “musical?”
Camille:         I sang in my 3rd grade talent show and liked it.
PL:                  What instruments do you play?
Camille:         Guitar, piano, trumpet, ukulele, drums. I’m learning the banjo now.
PL:                  Do you write your own songs?
Camille:         I have written 5 so far. I know more will come.
PL:                  What about school?
Camille:         I like school and want to go to college.
PL:                  Where have you performed?
Camille:         I play at the wineries around here (Temecula, CA) and go to open-mic nights              where I can find them.
PL:                  So what’s ahead for you?
Camille:         I want to be a singer or a teacher.

PL:                  Keep singing Camille, the world will be better for it!
Karaoke duet with Sister Liana
Nosara summer vacation – the early years
Summer 2014 at Safari House (with Zane hamming!)

Next week I’ll be interviewing Señor y Señorita Marsh!
Pura vida!

Inside Peak – Safari Surf Culinary Tour



is a much ballyhooed mantra heard around Nosara. Surfing is great exercise that sets all of your senses pulsating. There is something about the salt water that brings on hunger! Fortunately Nosara has excellent restaurants featuring a variety of fresh and delicious cuisine. I thought it would be helpful to describe Safari Surfs food programs. When planning your Safari vacation you have an assortment of meal plans. Most folks seem to select the (prepaid) breakfast and dinner plan. Others choose the daily breakfast and keep the dinners open to explore individually. And still others leave their eating options totally open and make it up as they go along. Regardless of which food plan you select, you can always join the Safari group for breakfast and dinner and just pay as you go!


   Fresh Pacific Lobster!                                     Tyler Marsh’s “everything” pizza!


Carina and Alicia | Hungry Surfers! | Jeffrey super-stoked!
Prior to the morning surf lesson we set out trays of fresh tropical fruits; something light before surfing.
After the lesson a ‘proper’ breakfast is served in the Safari House. Breakfast choices are Banana pancakes, Tico breakfast (scrambled eggs, sausage, rice & beans), huevos rancheros, French toast, granola & yogurt with fresh fruit, eggs any style, and Costa Rican coffee and juices.
Safari Dinner guests gather at the Safari House on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for our legendary hosted dinners. Your ‘host’ for the evening festivities could be Tyler and/or Jeffrey, or one of Safari’s affable instructors. Menus vary with the season and include fresh fish, shrimp, or lobster, Tyler’s “free-range” organic chicken, Lomito (filet mignon), pasta, pizza fresh from our oven, salads, veggies, and Safari’s famous Carrot Cake. Dinners include two beers or one wine, and mixed drinks can be purchased ala cart.
Staff: We are fortunate to have two of Nosara’s best ‘foodies’ on staff to serve you: Maritza is our very talented chef, and Alicia, the worlds’ best server. We can accommodate vegetarian or specialty diets. On occasion we have guests who rent a private house and our culinary duo cooks and serves specialty dinners on site. One night per week we feature ‘Ems Yums’ amazing carrot or mocha chocolate chip cake for dessert.

Martiza and Alicia
Martiza and Alicia (The A Team!)
Din Din with host Tyler
Din Din with host Tyler
Dessert Night- Carrot Cake!
Dessert Night: Carrot Cake!

A favorite time-honored tradition at Safari Surf is loading up the van and visiting Nosara’s finest local restaurants. Currently our out to dinner nights fall on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. We have chosen to dine at our four favorite restaurants – Harbor Reef, Kaya Sol, Rancho Tico, and IL Basillica.
Pre-paid dinner guests can order anything they desire off the menu and two beers or one glass of wine is included. We always welcome non-meal-plan guests to join us on a pay as you go basis. Meet at Safari House at 6:30 pm or we will pick you up at your hotel!
The Harbor Reef Surf Lodge and Restaurant are well established mainstays in Nosara. Taco Tuesdays there have become so popular that reservations are required. The tacos are made fresh and tasty and they just keep coming! This is also a great people watching night. You will encounter folks you met on the zipline or our surfing, and the atmosphere is upbeat and happy happy!
Jeffrey’s Favorite: Tacos and more Tacos
Tyler’s Favorite: Tacos and Beer


                       Harbor Reef Restaurant                                     All you can eat Tacos!
Kaya Sol Surf Hotel and Restaurant are a weekly stop on Safari’s restaurant tour. Chef Jorge Diaz is well known around Nosara. Jorge spent many years at Harbor Reef Restaurant (as did our chef Maritza), and is well known for his creativity and generous portions. Kaya Sol’s diverse menu features market fresh meats and seafood as well as pastas and local ‘tipico’ dishes.
Jeffrey’s favorite: chicken nachos supremo
Tyler’s favorite: steak with portabello mushrooms


*Kaya Sol Menu Download:
Rancho Tico is a true local Tico spot that’s a bit off the beaten path in the Pueblo. Specializing in Casados (meaning married), this dish combines meat, chicken, or fresh fish with rice, black beans, salad, plantains, and veggies. There are many other items on the menu that are terrific, such as typical Costa Rican Sopa de Mariscos, Ceviche and Camarones a la Milenesa. Famous for huge portions, great prices and a fun, friendly traditional Tico atmosphere, Rancho Tico remains a weekly Safari favorite.
Jeffreys favorite: lomito jalapeno
Tylers favorite: fish casado
Rancho Tico – made from scratch tipico cuisine under the huge open air rancho


IL Basillica
The hands down favorite for pizza and Italian specialties in Nosara, IL Basillico is the creation of local a local surfer known as Chandy. Chandy spent years learning the art of Italian cooking in various local establishments, and was the kitchen manager for 6 years at Pomodoro, a very popular Italian restaurant in San Jose. One of the most popular selections at Il Basilico is the Pizza Il Basilico; a house specialty featuring ham, pepperoni, salami, mushrooms, chili, onion, garlic & olives. The authentic menu also features a full range of traditional pastas, as well as seafood & meat specials.
Jeffrey’s favorite: pesto pizza
Tyler’s favorite: seafood pasta

IL Basillica-1
IL Basillica-2
IL Basillica-3

Chandy´s IL Basillico: Out of this world pizza, and Italian delights
Safari Kids Camps
Snacks and lunch at the Safari House are included in our half and full day kids camps!
**Special Requests**
Safari will gladly help plan and arrange birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasion. Please let us know!
How about a sunset horseback ride on the beach and dinner at La Luna – we can do that!
La Luna Restaurant
Hope to see you grubbing down here soon!
Pura vida,

The Inside Peak – A Look into Safari’s new HQ: Olas Verdes

Part 1 – “Sultan of Sustainability”

We are stoked to have Carl Kish with us this week! Carl is Safari Surf’s Director of Sustainability. Carl exudes a laid back confident stoke that is catching.  We are hearing more and more these days about this word “sustainability”.  I was finally able to learn from the man himself about this intriguing new direction Safari Surf School and surf tourism is headed. Originally from San Francisco, Carl graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Management. As an intern for the Center for Surf Research at SDSU, Carl helped the Center’s director Dr. Jess Ponting develop the Sustainable Surf Tourism Certification Program and acted as a sustainability consultant for Tavarua Island Resort and the Hotel Casa Tucan (Safari’s former home). As Sustainability Director, Carl is developing Safari Surf’s Sustainability Management System which encompasses all aspects of our business: environmental impact mitigation, interpretation, wildlife conservation, cultural preservation, supply chain management, and community development. Carl is also the Affiliate Program Manager, contacting surf schools all over the world to form new partnerships and establish various opportunities for more people to discover the paradise that is Nosara. Costa Rica has long embodied a healthy attitude towards all things environmental. With over one quarter of its land mass preserved in wildlife refuges, reserves, and parks, the country is poised to embrace this new wave of sustainable tourism concepts. Carl serves as an ambassador and liaison in advancing this new culture with innovative practices.

Costa Rica’s Vast Natural Ecosystems and Biodiversity are World Renown

Q & A:
PL: Welcome back Carl! I remember when you first came on the scene here a couple of years ago, working with Dr. Jess Ponting on benchmarking the Casa Tucan Hotel for sustainability. Tell us how it all started.
Carl: I began my college education at San Diego State University in 2008. I was interested in working in surf tourism in some capacity. I enrolled in the school’s hotel management program, figuring this was the logical starting point. At the end of my freshman year I caught wind of a new major being offered in Sustainable Tourism and Recreation. This caught my interest so I investigated.
PL: Is this where you met Dr. Ponting?
Carl: Yes. Dr. Jess (Ponting)is from Australia and is now an Associate Professor (recent promotion) at SDSU! His vast travels in surf tourism zones around the world have revealed that without proper planning and management, severe environmental damage in the form of erosion, deforestation, and pollution were inevitable. Not to mention exploitation of the local communities which inhabit these surfing areas. Jess felt certain that carefully planned and managed sustainable surf tourism could be the driver to bring conservation and community development to thousands of coastal communities in the less developed world.
surf pollution

[Damage to Coral Reefs | Pollution in the lineup]

PL: And thus the Center for Surf Research was born?
Carl: Correct! Dr. Ponting went on to earn the world’s 1st PhD in sustainable tourism management and in 2010 began the Center for Surf Research, a nonprofit educational facility housed in the school of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University.
PL: Wow, so this was exactly what you were looking for!
Carl: Yeah it all kind of fell into place. I changed majors end of Freshman year and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors in Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Management.
PL: What does the CSR do?
Carl: Many things! We offer field-based courses in sustainable tourism management and provide opportunities for internships, study abroad, volunteering, and research. We foster partnerships with governments, the surf industry, and tourism developers and the development of an accurate and viable sustainability reporting process.


Education & Outreach!


Study Abroad Trips!

PL: This is all so fascinating and cutting edge. Great work Carl and press on!
Carl: See you back in Nosara soon!


¨Carlito¨You’ll never meet a more positive human!


Part 2: An inside look at Olas Verdes Surf Resort!


Starting on the 2nd Level of the Clubhouse!

The highly anticipated Olas Verdes Surf Resort is expected to open in April 2015. The facility will feature 17 upscale rooms with a large clubhouse and pool. The clubhouse will accommodate the hotel reception office and Safari Surf Schools office/operations center. The most impressive aspect of this project is the dedication to sustainability in all areas of the operation. “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Under the direction of Olas Verdes’ Project Manager, Carl Kish, the project endeavors to become the first LEED Platinum Certified Hotel in Costa Rica. In the United States and several other countries around the world, LEED certification is the recognized standard for sustainable design and construction. The LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) green building rating system is developed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of the building process. LEED standards measure all aspects of sustainable building sites: water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, landscaping, and indoor environmental quality. Carl took me on a tour of the Olas Verdes construction site and pointed out several of the sustainable innovations required for LEED certification.

Carl (middle) with LEED consultants Fabricio and Federico from SPHERA.
Carl (middle) with LEED consultants Fabricio and Federico from SPHERA.

Olas Verdes Sustainability Initiatives

The Olas Verdes Surf Resort is being constructed by Guanacaste Builders of Nosara. This will be their first LEED certified project to date, and serve as a model of sustainable building practices throughout Costa Rica. The building will be earthquake proof and will include two 7,000 liter rainwater collection tanks recycling water from natural precipitation and air conditioning units. There are three waste water treatment tanks that will convert black water to treated greywater for reuse through the resorts irrigation system and toilets. Only native vegetation will be planted, and interpretive signs will identify all plant and tree species in the landscapes. The resort will maintain an organic garden and compost all biodegradable matter. There will be solar water heaters and solar panels throughout the resort, which will result in 20% of the resorts total energy being supplied by solar. All construction waste is identified, sorted, and disposed of in LEEDS approved recycling facilities. There are many more sustainability initiatives in all facets of the construction, resulting in a state-of-the art surf resort.

Carl explaining the new pool design that will blow your mind, but you'll just have to wait!
Carl explaining the new pool design that will blow your mind, but you’ll just have to wait!
Guanacaste Builder's worker stoked on the on-site recycling center.
Guanacaste Builder’s worker stoked on the on-site recycling center.
Rocks at both entrances catch any mud or pollutants on the truck's tires before entering public roads.
Rocks at both entrances catch any mud or pollutants on the truck’s tires before entering public roads.
Sedimentation barrier to protect the stream from runoff on the construction site.
Sedimentation barrier to protect the stream from runoff on the construction site.