Explore On Your Own
Our surf camp beginners, intermediate surfers and yoga retreat attendees are usually adventure-seeking, nature-loving people who thrive on exploring the world around them. There are so many affordable adventures in and around Dominical that you will have to extend your stay to do them all. Here are a few of our favorite things to do when you aren’t getting barreled in Dominical Costa Rica.
- Ecotourism Waterfall Hike $8 – Dominical Waverider surf vacations include waterfalls trips and adventurous activities, but if you want to get out on your own schedule you can opt to hike to the Nauyaca Waterfalls.
- Go on the EcoTram – If you love the zip-lining tour we’ve included in our Ultimate Ride surf package, then consider going on the EcoTram. You won’t be moving at warp speed but at the slow pace you’ll get to see some smaller and less common rain-forest species.
- If you need to cool off, have a bite to eat, grab an iced coffee and do something out of the sun, Play pool at Patron’s.
- Visit the Butterfly & Orchid Gardens: The $8 self-guided tours at Hacienda Baru are very popular and you can take as little or as much time enjoying the gardens as you like.
- Group Surf Lesson – If you brought friends or family to Dominical, let’s get them in the water for a Group Lesson. Once they’ve tried surfing you can both return for our surf camp together!
- Take a SUP lesson at river: Stand-Up Paddleboarding is the perfect way to get outdoors, breathe in the fresh salty air and check out the wildlife down at the river.
- Check out Live music at Mono Congo – You’ll likely frequent this morning hotspot for organic local coffees on your surf trip to Dominical. They also have plenty to offer in the evenings and host some great laid-back performances and acoustic bands.
- Seek Shade at the Beach: A little rest is in order when you are surfing under the Costa Rican sun. While you are with us, we bring all the beach and surf supplies you could need (plus fruit, water and snacks) but if you head to the beach solo, you can rent chairs and an umbrella or snooze under the almond trees for natural FREE shade.
- Head to Hacienda Baru for Birdwatching $8 – It’s just $8 to enter the National Wildlife Refuge where the species list is long. Use this handy Dominical area bird-watching checklist.
- Yoga on the Beach – head to the beach for some yoga at sunrise. There’s nothing like sun salutations on an empty beach in the fresh morning air. Waves lapping the shore, palms swaying overhead. Ommmmmm
- See Some Snakes at Reptilandia – You may have hoped to avoid snakes on your trip to the tropics, but if not, this $12 tour runs 365 days a year and is only 15 minutes from Dominical.
- Regroup from your snake visit by seeing some warm blooded creatures at the Animal Sanctuary at Villa Alturas. We warn you that the baby sloths are incredibly cute and the minimal fee you pay to see them is a well-spent contribution to preserving local wildlife.
- Book an Advanced Surf Tour – After a week of surfing with professional and certified instructors you should step it up and book an advanced lesson. You’ll get to practice advanced skills and check out some lesser known breaks in the area.
Hit the Boardwalk
Even though you’ve escaped the tall buildings and malls, there’s still plenty of shopping opportunities on the boardwalk in Dominical. Many of the items are slightly ‘touristy’ but here are a few gems you can buy once you’ve accumulated enough souvenir shot-glasses to last a lifetime.
- Local & Handmade Woodwork is a great purchase here. Not only are you supporting local artisans, the woodwork and variety of trees in our area is beautiful. You’ll have a piece of paradise that’s a unique and one-of-a-kind souvenir – for pretty cheap too.
- If you aren’t into woodwork, but you do love trees and want a piece of paradise… Sponsor a Tree right here in the Dominical area. Maybe you can visit it on your surf vacation to Costa Rica next year!
- Buy a Hammock – on this surf trip you should buy something practical that you can take home and use to remember Costa Rica – we suggest a hammock!
The Local Cuisine
In Costa Rica a ‘soda’ is not a coke! It’s actually a small local restaurant that serves up the traditional ‘tico’ favorites. Either way, skip the soft-drinks and enjoy a refreshing coconut, or “pipa fria.” Your body will thank you when you are surfing in Dominical.
- Drink a Pipa Fria Daily – This is an absolute must. In many parts of the world, people pay $5 for this super healthy cold coconut water drink. Here they go for $1 a pipa and the vendor will have it ready, ice-cold and shaved down so all you need to do is drink up.
- Enjoy a local beer at ‘Tortillas‘ – The #1 ranked restaurant bar in town is always serving up cold Costa Rican beers. While not as healthy as coconut water, many vacationers have heard the call of an ice cold brew at sunset at Tortilla Flats Restaurant.
- Get a slice of pizza – An affordable and easy option in town is grabbing a slice from the wood-burning stove at Pizza La Casita.
- Buy Locally Made Chocolates – In Costa Rica there are tons of cacao trees which means awesome chocolate and coffee produced locally. Check out the various options in the markets of Dominical.
- Try some unique tropical fruits at the Friday Feria Market. You’ll find this busy little farmer’s market every Friday morning near the entrance of Playa Dominical. If you don’t know what fruits to try, ask for a mango and a mangosteen – they are completely different but both delicious.