Matapalo, Costa Rica is a Slice of Surf Paradise

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Greetings from paradise,

I’m writing this from a house outside Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica. Yesterday we had the distinct pleasure of piling into a cab and by that I mean 4×4 off road vehicle and taking the not so leisurely ride to Matapalo. Matapalo is one of the few untouched / pristine surf spots left in Costa Rica according to some. I’m not a surfer but I can tell you this, the road to the point was the worst road I’ve seen in my 3+ years of travel. Parts of it looked like it was just a river with no water and can’t imagine what it’s like when it actually rains… Matapalo is the tip of the Osa peninsula in south-west Costa Rica, fyi.

Matapalo is about 20km from Puerto Jimenez and the road is sketchy at best from the start. It’s like a logging road the whole way and you’ll pass by some beyond chilled out grazing grounds for cows. It was so relaxing at one point felt like telling the driver to just pull over and leave me there. Matapalo is the name of this vine that kills trees, it really wraps itself around and kinda uses the tree as a host. It makes for some pretty surreal scenery but somehow don’t have a photo, check it here. So you cruise on this highway and feel like you’re in a movie of sorts before the road gets loco.

At this point you’re approaching the goods and not surprisingly, a slew of hotels, guest houses and private homes start to appear alongside this road that feels more like a drainage ditch. First up is Pan Dulce which is a pretty chilled out beach and we saw several ladies surfing it. Was like these women just came out of the woods in bikinis with a surfboard and dogs following along, one of them rode this wave for what seemed forever. Backwash was the next beach and it’s considerably bigger looking but also dangerous. Lots of rock all around and we did see some random surfers camping out, they were playing chess at the time though.

While on Backwash we saw something I’ll never forget, 30-40-50 Macaws just doing their thing… It was like fireworks for a moment as this flock chilling on a tree decided to leave at once. Besides just gliding off many of them were shooting up to the sky it was intense. Next up it was to the point itself aka Matapalo where the waves can supposedly get up to 12-16 feet! The beach itself is super laid back and we basically had the place to ourselves besides these surfers staring out at the burly break.

It was a cloudy day so the pictures aren’t popping like I am sure they could. Matapalo Costa Rica aka the southern tip of the Osa peninsula is one of those places where you really feel at one with nature and realize how far you are from a hospital should something go terribly awry. We also saw some monkeys, eagles, all sorts of birds and even a whale, yes a whale. It was like our taxi driver was a safari enthusiast and I was down with that. It cost us $60 round trip and we could have stayed as long as we wished but didn’t as well it was cloudy and started raining as we left.

You’ll have difficulty finding a more biological diverse area and makes a great day trip from Puerto Jimenez.

Tips hat,

P.S: Must be really photogenic on a brighter day, we opted for yesterday as my friend left today.

Author: Sportestery

4 thoughts on “Matapalo, Costa Rica is a Slice of Surf Paradise

  1. Hey Rob. Nice post. Do you ever use any apps for post production processing? I just grabbed a couple of your images and threw them into Camera+. I gave them the “Beach” process and it gave the shots a bit of that punch you were looking for. I use that app and others on my phone and iPad to give my shots some “help” when needed. Just a thought.

    1. I use them on Instagram and know Larissa is a pro with them. For some reason take most pics with the standard camera app with HDR on so i get a lighter image as well.

      I should really look into doing more, thanks for the reminder. :]

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