Kevin and I took two last minute trips last week to visit with clients. Our first adventure was with Real Surf Trips. Bob, our host, and his friend who was visiting gave us a few days of pure Pura Vida. It was a low key experience at Bob’s luxury home only a few steps away from Playa Negra.
Real Surf Trips provides its clients with just that – a real surf experience with over 17 breaks (some that not even the locals know about) in just 7 km. On our first morning at 5 a.m., Bob was knocking on our bedroom doors waking us up for “dawn patrol”. He had made us coffee and provided us with a few pieces of fruit to get us started. We then quickly geared up and headed down to Marbella, a surf break about 45 minutes south of Negra that is more often surfed by experienced surfers. The sun was just rising over the nearby hills when the three guys got in the water. They were the only ones there when we arrived but within an hour, another 15 guys and girls showed up to surf these beautiful, crystal clear waves.
Eventually, the low tide took over and the surf died down so we had breakfast at Tiki, a local restaurant, to wait it out and see if the waves would pick back up. When they didn’t, we returned home but not before checking out several of the surf breaks heading north. The palm tree lined beaches were empty and with the warm tropical sun overhead, it felt like we were on our very own deserted island.
The second morning, we were up early again to surf Playa Negra. Another beautiful morning with massive flocks of pelicans flying over the breaking waves. After a quick breakfast of macadamia nut pancakes (YUM!), we headed back to Tamarindo where we were picked up by the owners of Panacea, a local retreat center located on a mountaintop just outside of town.
You could say it was a bit of a night and day experience although both places are special in their own way. We went from Bob’s air conditioned beach home to a cabina located on a mountain with virtually a 180 degree view of the ocean below us. All the food at Panacea was delicious, fresh and vegetarian. We relaxed in the hammock and enjoyed the sounds of nature that were all around. I chose to do a walking meditation through the labyrinth and in the morning, Kevin participated in a yoga class.
The owners of Panacea work tremendously hard to provide their guests with a restful and rejuvenating experience. There is no wifi or computer access on the property and in talking with guests, it’s what they prefer. They come to Panacea to leave the busy rat race behind and to enjoy a few days of peace and quiet. And while we were there only a short time, we both left with a sense of tranquility and renewal (and a few new mosquito bites!).
Enjoy the slideshow…lots of fun photos in this one!
Note: While I am now paid and/or receive comped services at many of the places I visit, I will always offer my unbiased opinion to you, my readers. Fortunately, I almost always have experiences that exceed my expectations.