Sunday, July 17, 2011
Tucked away on the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica is the sleepy little surf town of Playa Avellanas. The Guanacaste province, nick-named the Golden Coast, is renowned for its beaches and Playa Avellanas is one of the most gorgeous beaches, not just in the region, but in all of Costa Rica.
Miles of coastal wildnerness meet the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, soothing it's residents and beckoning visitors here each year. The town is made up of a mix of young and old, long time locals as well as ex-pats from all around the world. Some live here year round, some for only part of the year and then there are those who came just to visit and never went home. Every day just before sunset, you will find surfers, local families and tourists, hanging out in the hammocks under the trees in front of Lola's Restaurant, relaxing with a cerveza and watching the children play in the waves alongside Lollita, the 400 pound mascot of Avellanas.
The roads leading to Avellanas are all unpaved and during the rainy season, a 4x4 vehicle is required to get here. Avellanas has no bank, no grocery store and no shops, but we don't mind - for most of us who live here, the main attraction lies just off shore.
Playa Avellanas is a surfers dream; offering point breaks, beach breaks and reef breaks. You can find both experienced and beginner surfers in these waters just about every hour of the day. Our beaches are full of life, but are never crowded.
A night stroll on the shore near Lagartillo will give you a breath taking view of the stars and you may even stumble upon one of the Eastern Pacific Green Turtles flipping up sand building a nest on the shore (totally amazing). You can read about local efforts to save these endangered giants here.
Little Hawaii, Avellenas' famous break (located just south of the river mouth) packs extraordinary offshore waves that can reach up to eighteen feet, making it not only a local favorite but a coveted destination for experienced surfers from around the world.
Playa Negra, Witch's Rock and Ollie's Point - which were made famous in the movie Endless Summer II - are all within 30 minutes of Playa Avellanas, giving endless options for those searching for that perfect ride.
For those of us who call Playa Avellanas home, pura vida is all about enjoying nature, family and friendship, majestic beaches and epic surf.