Cat Oyler – Boston, MA

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I booked this vacation and left just a few days later after a really stressful few months at work. Very spur of the moment. I’d never surfed. Never been to Costa Rica. Don’t speak Spanish. And was traveling alone. When I got on the plane to head there, I suddenly wasn’t quite sure what I’d gotten myself into. When I got on the plane to head home, I couldn’t believe what a wonderful time I’d had and how hard it was to leave.

All the people who work with Safari Surf are amazing. The surf instructors are patient and talented: pushing you when you need it; helping you through nerves when you think you’ll never get past the waves breaking; and teaching you everything you need to stand on your first day and catch the green waves before you leave. Surfing isn’t easy. I work out A LOT and still found the paddling to be very challenging. I have a whole new level of respect for the fitness level of these guys. But when you stand up, it makes all of it seem worthwhile. (And don’t be intimidated, the guys will help you when you need it!)

All the guys were great, but Nico and Pio taught me the most times and both were fantastic. Prado taught me the first day and got me up on the board right away, so he certainly deserves props too. I know I’m leaving a lot of people out… all the guys (Owen, Enrique, Helberth, Alonso) were phenomenal!

I also did the zip line, horseback riding, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, yoga and massages. I’d recommend all of it! It was so wonderful to be physically exhausted at the end of each day rather than mentally or emotionally drained. The food is yummy and healthy. The drinks Lucy makes are amazing (I did my best to work my way through the menu and loved the rum punch). Peter and Jeffrey are incredibly helpful getting everything organized once you’re there; Tim is great as you’re getting it all booked.

I stayed at Casa Tucan, which is a pretty basic hotel. If you want luxury, it isn’t for you (try the Harmony Hotel then). But it has everything you need and trust me, at the end of each day,a clean room, hot water and a bed are all you require. If you’re traveling alone, this is a great trip and Casa Tucan is where you should stay. Everyone who was there was nice, low key, had their heads screwed on straight. Safari Surf attracts a very specific type of person so if it appeals to you, the people there (guests, instructors, hotel employees) will be your “type” of people too. I hope I’ve made lifelong friends!

And finally, no review would be complete without mentioning the dogs. I loved having Maui and Lucy around; made me miss my own pups less. I hope they both stay healthy and safe; can’t wait to see them when I go back down there someday (hopefully soon). If you’re lucky enough to have Lucy the dog adopt you, you’ll find yourself missing her when you get home. I loved having her follow me around!

I hope to head back soon, so while I want everyone to know how wonderful it was, I also want there to be space for me!!! Thanks, everyone, for such a great trip!

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