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   Hotel directory for any budget and taste: Surfing Playa Pavones

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Playa Pavones is located about 40km south of Golfito, at the southern zone o Costa Rica, near the border with Panama. It is a legendary remote surf spot which offers one of the longest left side waves in the world, and defiantly the longest in Costa Rica. It takes around 1.8m (6 ft.) of swell to get this wave cranking, but when the surf's up, you're in for a long, long ride - so long, in fact, that it's much easier to walk back up the beach to where the wave is breaking than to paddle back. When the swell is big, a full ride can reach 800 meters!

The swells are most consistent during the rainy season, especially from April to July, but you're likely to find surfers here year-round.  Locals tend to be pretty possessive around here (both the wave and local properties have engendered bitter disputes), so it's recommended not to try to catch a wave when other surfers are already on it.

Other than surfing, nothing much goes on in Pavones. The beach is rocky and not ideal for swimming. You can hike into the rainforests that back up this beach town, or stroll south on the beaches that stretch toward Punta Banco and beyond, all the way to the Panamanian border. Various lodges are starting to sprout up, but so far most accommodations are very basic - Pavones is a tiny village with few amenities.

Pavones is so overwhelmingly a surf destination that other tour options are just starting to be offered. Still, this area is surrounded by vast stands of virgin rainforest and has miles of deserted beaches stretching all the way down to Panama. You can hike the forests or the beaches, visit a jungle waterfall, or go for a horseback ride.


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Playa Pavones Hotels

Casa Siempre Domingo

Prices: $50 for double room including breakfast

Description: This small hillside inn offers up the nicest accommodations right in Pavones. The rooms all feature high ceilings, tile floors, and two double beds (1 room has 2 doubles and a twin). The high beds are custom-made constructions, and they're uncommonly high off the ground. The owner says the design helps capture every bit of breeze from the picture windows. Meals are served on picnic tables in the large interior common space, and there is also a separate sitting room with satellite TV. The nicest feature is the huge deck, with its ocean view. Casa Siempre Domingo is located several hundred meters south and then several hundred more uphill from downtown Pavones.

No Telephone. Reservation through

Cabinas Esquina del Mar  This is a true surfer hangout with a popular cantina. The bar is open irregularly, and is always blaring music in the daytime. Nightlife in this town is lacking, as tourists wake up early to surf straight through the day. Rooms here have dying mattresses and boxy but clean communal bathrooms. Bring a mosquito net, as there are no screens on windows. Ask laid-back surfer owner Billy for room #1, the most popular suite.

Tel: 383 6737.

Prices: ¢2000-3000 per person, negotiable for students and longer stays.)

Hotel Maureen has high, varnished-wood ceilings, fans, and spacious floors. Communal baths are in mediocre condition, but are not unpleasant.

Prices: Singles ¢2000, negotiable for longer stays.

Willy Willis  is one of the cleanest, most newly-renovated hostels in town. Each room has a private bath and has two wooden beds.

Prices: $20 per room.

surfing Pavones

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