Any Costa Rica advise?

I’m a long time NOVICE paddler of 15 - 17 years.

I will be in Costa Rica February 2007 on the Pacific coast. Quepos to Dominical stretch.

Does anyone have any experience in this region in regards to day trip outfitters or day rentals?

I’m looking for suggestions for areas to fairly calm ocean kayak or mangrove or slow to moderate speed river paddle.

I might be willing to pick the pace up a little bit but most of the group has had just a short time on the water.

Has anyone been to the area? Can you offer any tips kayaking wise (or cultural advise if warranted)?

Thanks in advance.

Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge …
just south of Dominical on the Osa. Google them. while you are at it, Google Crystal Seas kayaking, too. North and west of Quepos you will find outfitters around Cabo Blanco. This time of year is their winter and is very stormy. Wait til December. January to April is primetime.


zancudo beach club
naturally enough on zancudo beach…it’s across from the osa. they have a contact with a lady that rents s.o.t’s - she’ll take you a ways up the little river there in the power boat giving you a little natural history tour and then drop you off. she meanders back and you paddle back. in all it was cool enough - took a few hours and the water was completely, absolutely, positively placid.

no swimming though - cayman…they’re small, but still - it’s a small alligator so personally, i passed on the swimming unless it wass in the ocean.

and a shout out to the zancudo beach club - my wife and i stayed for a week - embraced siesta, drank and ate for a week or so and it was like $800 usd. inexpensive and very relaxing - hard to to wrong.

The crocs down there are all over the…
place. Seen em in the ocean going from one river to the next.


Head South
to Pavones…One seriously long left! Dominical was the worst surf spot on our trip…steep dumpy surf. North to Tevives (sp) also rocks. Good food.

Doing a Pavones trip maybe next year
or across the gulf at Matapalo, not sure. But there will be a good week of surfing. Agreed, Dominical is a beachwide closeout on the sand.


Not my own personal experience
but I have a friend who camps at a place called Cahuita and goes back every couple of years - she loves it. She’s not a paddler though so I don’t know how water fits into that equation.

Costa Rica
I’ve been in Puntarenas (a small commercial coastal city and port), and down in Quepos (a pretty little city) and beautiful nearby Manuel Antonio, but I was sailing and SCUBA-ing, not kayaking. The short stretch of coast from Quepos to Manuel Antonio is very pretty and the I’m sure the beauty extends quite a distance in both direction. If you want big waves, ask where the surfers go. If you don’t want big waves, avoid those places. The Pacific swells can get quite large.

It’s a friendly, laid-back country, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy your trip.

Take the river crocodiles seriously - they are NOT tame!


These folks have operated in Costa Rica for years. Bruce Smith, the owner is a really good guy and can probably give you some tips.