On various dates throughout the year a Surf Your Mind program will be run at Shaka in Costa Rica. Shaka is situated at Playa Hermosa on the south western coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, on the Pacific side of the country. It's a quiet and beautiful part of a peaceful country. Perfect for taking time out from the pace of life in a busy city.
While Shaka is not a resort, you will find all the comforts of one, without the crowds. You'll enjoy hot water, air-conditioned bedrooms, internet, and delicious food plus the intimacy of a small setting amongst people who live a life of simplicity and a life of surf.
Staying at Shaka you'll also experience all the benefits of being near the beach – jungle views, all-year-round warm weather, beach walks, and daily contact with local wildlife (we're talking monkeys and lizards here). Take in a yoga class at Shaka's private yoga studio while listening to the tranquil sounds of both the waves and the jungle around you. Learn to surf in tropical warm water. Walk on the white sands of the beach while the sun rises over the mountains.
At Shaka you'll get the genuine surf experience.
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Be aware that there is no cell phone reception at Shaka. While there's wifi throughout the property and villas you'll find yourself with a better connection if you shut down your devices and breathe into the nature and experiences around you.
What to pack
Playa Hermosa is a laid-back beach community with a simple surf lifestyle and this is reflected in the attire, both in and out of the water. During the day guys wear board shorts and a t-shirt or tank top and girls wear bikinis and a simple dress, sarong, or beach cover up. While it gets cooler in the evenings you're still not likely to need anything more than a t-shirt. You should also bring some clothes for yoga classes and some simple evening wear. If you're prone to mosquito bites pack some longer loose-fitting clothes. For the water you'll need nothing more than surf bikini or board shorts and a lycra rash guard. Don't forget your sunscreen and flip flops!
What we eat
The food at Shaka is exceptional, prepared by their private chef, José. The cuisine is largely traditional Costa Rican dishes using fresh local fruits and vegetables, fish, and chicken. José serves dishes which include breakfast burritos, pancakes, rice and beans, fried plantains (a type of banana), guacamole, gallo pinto, and quesadillas. During the week a 3-meal program is served, designed specifically for a surfing and yoga schedule. It starts with a light early breakfast of granola, yogurt, and fruit before surfing, then a fully-cooked brunch around 9.30am after surf classes, and a nightly dinner at 6.30pm. Costa Rican coffee is served with the snack and brunch. During the Surf Your Mind retreat, we'll sample one of the local restaurants for dinner on the Friday night.
Where we surf & the weather
The local beach, Playa Hermosa, offers some of the most consistent surf conditions for beginners in the world. With its rolling white water waves, sandy beach bottom, and lack of crowds or other hazards, Playa Hermosa provides perfect conditions to teach you to surf at any time of the year. For intermediate surfers, or those newer to surfing 'green' waves, the dry season (referred to as the 'summer') offers conditions which are typically smaller. For more experienced surfers, the wet season or 'winter' swells can produce larger conditions more suited for people seeking to advance their skills performing manoeuvres such as cutbacks, snaps, and top and bottom turns. For beginners, either season will offer you perfect conditions to start your surfing career.
In Costa Rica the dry season months are from December through April, and the wet season months are from May to November. the months of May, June, July, and August all typically see afternoon showers, and during these months overnight thunderstorms become more frequent. The rain has the effect of washing away the dust that has accumulated on the trees and shrubs during the dry season, returning the jungle to its rich, vibrant, and lush appearance. During these months, trees which lost their leaves during the dry season regrow their foliage and many flowering plants come into bloom again. Costa Rica is at its most beautiful during the wet season!
During the wet season the swell is very consistent - typically with sunny mornings and glassy surf sessions followed by just an hour or two of rain in the early afternoon. When it does rain during the day this can have the effect of cooling the land, which reduces the midday winds – resulting in an afternoon 'glass off' (meaning ideal clean and smooth surf conditions).
The busiest months at Shaka are from December through April.