Continent
Central America
Country
Costa Rica
Next Big City
San Jose, Liberia
Next Town
La Cruz
 
Type:
Ocean
Rider Ability:
Beginner, Intermediate, Expert
Features:
Rooms, School, Shop, Repair, Rental, Food, Parking

Water

Type:
Shallow, Flat, Chop
Hazards:
Animals
Quality:
Clean
Best Tide:
Tide independent

Bahia Salinas. Very protected and safe, no current, warm, clean water. Small swells in the middle, small chop closer to shore, flat water behind reefs. The water is choppy with more then 22 knots. Watch out for stingrays near the shore (shuffle your feet on the sand to scare them away). Booties recommended to people with sensitive feet since some parts of the beach can be rocky. While there can a large tide swing around the full moon, it does not affect the riding at all.

Beach

Type:
Sand, Stones
Size:
No information
Hazards:
None
Beach Users:
No information

The beach is about 1.5 km long. It is enough space to launch and land the kites. No people except a few kitesurfers uses the beach. It is sandy but there are sharp stones and shells, so water shoes are suggested. The stones can be very slippery. The beach is pretty narrow at high tide.

Wind

Best Months:
January, February, March, April, May, July, August, November, December
Wind Type:
Thermal, Trade
Best Direction:
NNE, NE
Main Direction:
NNE, NE

Constant winds in this spot comes in from Nicaragua. May and June are the only months were the wind is somewhat weaker. From the beginning of November to the end of May and July you can kitesurf almost 90% of the days! In the other 4 months of the year you can kitesurf 50% of the days. The windiest months are January and February with an average of 23 knots! These are the other recent monthly averages: November 17 knots, December 22 knots, March 19 knots, April 17 knots, May 16 knots, June 12 knots, July 18 knots. Playa Copal has usually sideonshore winds. It is a combination of trade winds and a mountain venturi effect which creates a monster wind machine. Don't bother bringing anything bigger than a 13m kite. Try to get your hands on a 6m or 7m kite, you will use it a lot. Having an extra bar with short lines will also help. The wind is gusty but not the punchy type of gusty that you might be used to. Instead the wind sweeps over and comes in "sets" as if it were a set of waves. You need to rig for the gusts, so in-between the sets you might spend some of your time underpowered needing to work your kite. Locals get used to watching the water for where the windy sets are. Seeing where the wind is or isn't, makes all the difference.



How to get there

Transport
Car, Bus
Access
Short walk

From each airports (SJO and LIB) take the Panamerican highway to the North until the town of La Cruz, very close to the Nicaraguan border. Once there, take the only street to Bahia Salinas and after 7 miles you'll arrive to Playa Copal via a dirt road. About 1 hour from the airport of Liberia. Fly into Liberia instead of San Jose. You will waste a full day of traveling each way if you fly into SJO. If on a budget and arrive into La Cruz by bus or other means, take the local bus down the hill to the kite schools. The bus is caught near the internet cafe in town. From the town center, where the taxi's are all parked, ask the taxi drivers where the internet cafe is. The people in the cafe speak some English and can point exactly to where the bus is. Don't bother asking the taxi drivers because they will tell you the bus isn't running, but it definitely runs everyday. The bus costs 650colones (about $1.25) versus a taxi which is $12. The bus goes down at 8:30, 11:15, 2:00 & 4:15.

Extra information

Rules
None

Think of bringing extra gear such as lines or bladders if your gear is not in great shape since not many spares are available at either of the 2 schools.

Nightlife

Quiet, except for the small group of kitesurfers that hangs there. Local restaurant. La Cruz town has some parties on the weekends and there are local festival during the year.