Johnny Surveys the Conditions
Many visitors to SurfingPlayaGrande.com know Johnny Vigil from his days in Playa Grande running the website and managing properties. Johnny left in late 2010 to run Una Ola Surf Camp with good friend Colin Briers in Pavones, Costa Rica.
I recently had a chance to visit the two in their new location. Una Ola is now located on the southern end of Pavones. The coastal highway is in great shape, so roads were not an issue until I took the turn off close to Golfito. 4 wheel drive was not needed, but the 4Runner’s ground clearance was handy as there were some washed out sections on the way into Pavones.
I was greeted by Brody, the mascot of the surf camp. The property is gorgeous with a pool surrounded by tropical gardens, a barbecue, and a great hammock for reading. The two apartments face the pool with the storage and working part of the camp in the back.
Una Ola Surf Camp (Greeted by Brody)
On day 1, we surfed the main Pavones break early in the morning. The waves were shoulder to overhead and there was a decent turn out. Some sections were closing out, so it was not possible to ride the wave all the way around the point. Still an awesome spot with extremely consistent waves. We caught it again at sunset and there were only 4 people on the main peak.
Day 2 was off to a secret spot. Great waves there as well.
Day 3 was back at the main break with less people for the morning session. Another great session with overhead sets. I definitely improved my backside riding on this trip.
A Visitor to the Camp
When not surfing, we grilled out a couple times and made some great fajitas. We also took a side trip to nearby Punta Banco, a sleepy village south of Pavones, and Vista del Mar, an even sleepier community in the hills behind Punta Banco. We also caught happy hour at Manta Bar, a local hangout. 1000 colon margaritas were surprisingly good.
I found to Pavones to be a chilled out place to hang out, but surprisingly convenient with good internet, a supermarket, and some good restaurants.
Johnny is doing well these days. The surf camp looks great and has many bookings, and he is already managing some properties and learning the real estate market.
I would definitely recommend planning a visit in the near future.