surf by Scott Aichner

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Getting here:

Flying to Golfito: SANSA leaves from a separate terminal at the international airport in San Jose. The flight takes about 50 minutes and costs about $130 one way. SANSA does not transport surfboards that are longer than 6'10”. You can also transport your surfboard to Golfito by bus. Take it to the Tracopa bus station in south-eastern San Jose and it should get to Golfito within less than 24 hours. (Tracopa is pretty reliable.)

From Golfito, take a taxi to Pavones (about $80 for the 1 ½ to 2 hour ride).

A bus to Pavones leaves Golfito between 10 and 10:30 am and between 3 and 3:30 pm. If you get on at the first stop across the street from the Golfito hospital you have a good chance to get a seat. The bus costs about $4/Person plus a fee for the surfboard. When the road is in poor condition the 10 am bus may not be running or only run part of the way.

Getting to Mira Olas from the bus stop: If you take the 10 am bus, ride it to the last stop at the Pavones supermarkets. Walk south on the main road for 200 yards and you'll see the driveway for Mira Olas on your left. There is a sign. If you arrive on the evening bus, get off at the main Pavones bus stop, 200 meters past the supermarkets. Tell the driver to let you off at the Restaurante Evenezer. Our driveway is diagonally across and to the left. From there it's a 150 yard walk. The afternoon/evening bus usually gets here after sunset, around 6 pm. You might want ot have a flash light ready.

If you go by bus from San Jose and would like to get a reserved seat, try to get your ticket a day ahead at the Tracopa bus terminal on the south-east side of town. If that's not possible, try to be at the bus stop 45 to 60 minutes early to get your ticket. Buses tend to leave on time, luggage is loaded 15 to 20 minutes before departure. The ticket costs between $15 to $20 depending whether you take an express bus or not. There is a morning bus to Golfito leaving at 7 am. I personally prefer taking the 7:30 am express bus (directo) to Paso Canoas (it continues to David, Panama). It only takes as many people as there are seats and it does not stop along the way except for a lunch break. This bus is popular and sometimes you can't get on if you did not purchase a ticket ahead of time. Another bus leaves for Paso Canoas at 5 am. It is not an express bus and usually has seats left. The bus ride usually takes 6.5 to 7.5 hours. From Paso Canoas a cab costs around $60. If you plan to continue by bus, it's easier from Golfito.

If you take a bus that leaves San Jose later than 7:30 am you cannot make it to Pavones by public transportation on the same day.

If you are driving from San Jose: The coastal route via Jaco, Quepos, Dominical is faster than the Interamerican Hwy. via San Isidro if you are starting at the international airport. Going south along the coast, you meet up with the Interamerican Highway in Palmar Norte. Continue south on the Interamericana until you get to Rio Claro where you turn right in the direction of Golfito. After approximately 10 kilometers, at the bar El Rodeo turn left. There is a sign but sometimes it's too dirty to be legible.

The paved road ends at a long metal bridge (formerly ferry crossing) across the Rio Coto. Go across the bridge and stay on the main road. There is a stretch of paved road before you get to a small village called Comte (you'll see the highschool on your right before getting to Comte). Turn right at the Comte general store (there's a bar on the other side of the road). After about 2 km turn left and go up the hill. After another 18 km you will get to Pavones. Stay on the main road and keep going in the same general direction past the three supermarkets at the entrance of town. After going south for another 200 yards you'll get to our driveway which is on the left side of the road. There's a sign. If you get to the church or bridge, you've gone too far. It takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to get to Pavones from the Interamericana. We recommend not to drive at night.

If you need directions from Panama or Paso Canoas, let us know when you make your reservation.

Some advice: There are no banks or automatic tellers in Pavones or nearby. Most businesses do not accept credit cards. Therefore bring cash to Pavones. Apart from colones, US dollars are generally accepted but you get a better exchange rate at the bank.


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