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  • Writer's pictureKatrina Julia

Costa Rica Adventure: Surfing in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

I imagined visiting and surfing in Costa Rica years ago. In 2016, the vision of visiting Costa Rica turned into a reality when I hosted our Costa Rica Retreat. Before coming to Costa Rica, I read about the incredible surfing. I thought Costa Rica would be THE perfect place to have my surfing lesson.

In the middle of 2016, I ended up gong to California for a Herbalife Global Nutrition Event: Extravaganza and a fitness photo shoot. While in California, I decided to take a surfing lesson. I ended up getting up on the board, and catching my first wave. The experience ended with my board crashing into shore, me flying backwards, and landing on my left foot - breaking my tibula.

The experience taught me to be more grounded and grateful. I did end up going to Costa Rica in 2016 for our retreat. I did not end up surfing at the time. I arrived in Costa Rica with my boot and brace with my leg still healing. I did end up experiencing Costa Rica adventures like ocean view zip- lining, snorkeling, and to an animal rescue center.

I promised myself, I would return to Costa Rica and surf. My prayer became reality in February 2021.

Charlie's Surfing Experience in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Espadilla Beach via Airbnb Experiences.

Surfing in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Surfing in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Photo Credit: IG @Ivanbaticastillo

Surfing in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

So, how did my surfing lesson and experience go in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica? Initially, I asked my Airbnb host, looked at Trip Advisor, and researched options via Airbnb Experiences. I found Charlie's Surfing Experience via Airbnb Experiences and Trip Advisor. All of the reviews raved about him and the experience, so I decided to book with him.

From the moment I reached out, Carlos (Charlie) responded with professionalism and ease. We booked for Friday, February 19th for the morning at Espadilla Beach next to Manuel Antonio National Park. Depending on the conditions of the ocean, I would either surf in the morning or come back after a visit to Manuel Antonio National park, and surf in the afternoon.

Initially, Carlos explained some things about the area and the beach. We talked about intentions for the lesson. Mine to have fun, be safe, and be open to the experience and possibilities. His - none!

I felt like I was meeting with friends from the start.

The conditions ended up being great in the morning so my lesson started on the sand at 7:30 a.m.

I set up my phone on time lapse for the behind the scenes on the sand capturing the lesson in the sand in less than a minute recording time. So cool, right?!

Credit: IG: Ivanbaticastillo


We met at Espadilla Beach in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

Depending on if you are staying in Manuel Antonio, it may be anywhere from 5 minutes to 2o minutes walking, by bus or by car. Everything within Quepos and Manuel Antonio is relatively close. Walking may be challenging with little to no sidewalks in between along with elevation.

You can see where we were at Playa Espadilla, just outside the Manuel Antonio National Park.

Since I am staying closer to Playa Matapalo with my Mountain Paradise Airbnb by Rio Portalon, the drive to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is about 20-30 minutes. My Airbnb owners, managers and hosts are incredible.

Diann is in Ft Lauderdale, FL now and is super sweet. Jorge is nearby the property, and offered to bring me into town to enjoy Manuel Antonio and get groceries. We arrived in Quepos and I took a bus for about a $1 to Manuel Antonio and Espadilla Beach.

My first experience on a Costa Rican bus done! Everyone wore masks and socially distanced.

Surfing Lesson Fee and Hours

I love Airbnb Experiences for numerous adventures I have experienced around the world like Rio Celeste Waterfall. I am grateful I found Charlie's Surfing Experience via Airbnb Experiences.

The current charge for the surfing lesson is $41. There are morning, afternoon, and evening options depending on the day.

In addition, you may message Carlos (Charlie) for additional options on hours and groups.

What to Wear to Surfing Lesson

Your bathing suit! At the same time, ladies you may want to consider a stable one piece and/or a top like the pink one I put over my bathing suit.

This way, you are covered - literally!

Surfing Lesson

We started the surfing lesson on the board. We covered the aspects of the board, safety considerations, and practicing skills.

We went through body positions during different times on the board like laying on the board vs. standing. Depending on which way I wanted the board to go, Carlos showed me ways to paddle. Carlos demonstrated three ways of popping up on the board.

I put into action the demonstrations with Carlos (Charlie) coaching me all along the way.

The second part of the lesson included putting everything I learned on the board on the sand to practice in the water. To say the least, an entirely different experience. At the same time, practicing on the board on the sand is priceless. It is amazing what our minds do with practice and corresponding muscle memory.

Surfing in Manuel Antonio - Credit @ivanbaticastillo

I prayed again to stay focused on peace, joy, and fun while staying safe. I listened to Carlos's guidance and applied it. At the same time, Bati shot pictures and filmed the experience capturing priceless moments.

With every moment in the ocean, I learned as well. Whether it was things about the board, going through waves, popping up, using my hands more, adjusting my feet, and/or facing forward, I constantly learned every miracle moment.

I felt present, patient, and priceless with my own progress. Carlos (Charlie) is encouraging, motivating, and praising progress all through the surfing lesson experience.

I ended up getting up on five solid waves exceeding anything I imagined for the experience!

Surfing in Manuel Antonio Credit: @ivanbaticastillo

I cannot recommend this experience enough! If I could I would give it 10 stars!

Surfing in Manuel Antonio Credit: IG @ivanbaticastillo

Surfing in Manuel Antonio Credit: IG @ivanbaticastillo

Surfing at Playa Espadilla with Charlie's Surfing Experience Credit IG @ivanbaticastillo

Charlie with Carlo's Surfing Experience

Charlie's Surfing Experience in Manuel Antonio. Costa Rica

Surfing in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Sea, Sand, and Surf leads to an incredible Costa Rica Adventure.

Have you surfed before? Is it on your list for sure now?

Surfing demands presence and progress in every way.

The ocean keeps us humble with every ocean wave.

Pura Vida!

Are you curious about Costa Rica and the Pura Vida?

I've got One Day and Top 10 Things to Do in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica coming up!

Not to mention our Inspiring Travel Now & in the Future Project &

Costa Rica Retreat coming in August 2021!


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Think Amazon Meets Airbnb for Transformation with

Influencer Marketing (Revolve / Like it to Knowit) and Fundraising Twist.



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