Costa Rica in the Summer — Photos by Tom Dugan

October 5, 2017 • Photos

It’s been years since I’ve gone to Costa Rica in the summer. Summer is the rainy season — and do I mean rainy. It poured every day when I was there, but it was an eye-opener for me seeing how it gives life to everything around you. There’s mud, the water’s a bit brown from the runoff, the animals are in hiding trying not to get to wet, and the roads are slippery. And even though it rained most of the day and night, the early mornings saw sun and good winds, making for some great surf. The usual crowds of traveling surfers were not really there, so the locals had it pretty much to themselves.

This time of year is the bigger wave season and the short time I was there it was running a good 4- to 6-foot daily. The tides were high in the mornings, making for good peaks and big barrels. I was just outside of Jaco at Playa Hermosa, which is a powerful beachbreak not for beginners. The waves close out a lot but can have peaks at times, making it more manageable and fun. The week I was there was the latter: peaky, glassy, and some tubes thrown in… perfect for a mid-summer getaway from mostly flat East Coast. My friend Jimmy Hogan had two brothers from Virginia Beach down for training, so our coast was represented in the lineup.

Kai and Blayr Barton got into town the second day I was there and started off the first morning looking for fins. It seems that their boards were packed by their dad to make sure they would be safe but he forgot to pack any fins. A few boards with no fins would be good for a few laughs, but time was a wasting getting their first surf on, so Jimmy went through his stash of 50 or 60 garage boards, found some fins, and we were off. The brothers were treated to good waves and friendly locals — the reason why most surfers like to travel. Getting a few photos to boot never hurt either.

This was one of the better tubes of the day. Germaine Medrano, high and tight. Photo: Dugan

A visiting pro from Venezuela. Missed his name but he ripped. Photo: Dugan

There were six toucans in this tree. Most I’ve ever seen in the wild together, but as much as I tried, I only captured these four. Photo: Dugan

Blayr Barton came down from Virginia Beach and had a week of waves he soon will not forget. This is day two of his trip. Photo: Dugan

A couple of the locals checking out a clean empty one in Hermosa Beach. Photo: Dugan

Home sweet home… Costa style. Photo: Dugan

Floridian turned full-time Costa Rican guide, Carlos “Salty” Guzman offers concierge services, jungle tours, and bachelor parties. Sounds like a fun guy. If you’re looking for some help when you’re in Costa, check him out on Facebook and get your party  on. Really, he’s got the country wired and can help you out with everything Costa. Photo: Dugan

Rainy season froggy. Photo: Dugan

Alberto Munoz lets one get by. Photo: Dugan

Fun thing to do in Costa Rica. Photo: Dugan

There were a few hollow ones out there for sure. Photo: Dugan

Our breakfast view. Photo: Dugan

Gilbert Brown… twelve o’clock. Photo: Dugan

Local surfing chica. Photo: Dugan

You’ve been warned. Photo: Dugan

Oceanfront living in Hermosa Beach, Costa Rica. Photo: Dugan

Alberto Munoz was out for hours every day just killing it. His brother Carlos Munoz is off chasing contest points around the globe so it’s up to Alberto to keep their name and good vibes alive back home in Costa. These brothers both rip! Photo: Dugan

Blayr Barton gets some help with his fins from Jimmy Hogan while big brother Kai watches. It sure helped that Jimmy had extra fins around because the brothers forgot to pack any — and that makes riding surfboards a bit hard. Photo: Dugan

Local Francesco D’Agapitti taking the top off a nice one. Photo: Dugan

This guy was outside my window every day — not sure who was watching who. Photo: Dugan

Unknown local tucking into a clean peeler in Hermosa. Photo: Dugan

When Hermosa gets a bit too big and closed out, head north. Go over the bridge and look to your left for this long left — Boca. Photo: Dugan

With peaks running up and down the beach there’s always a few sections to rip apart. Francesco D’Agapitti again getting his hit. Photo: Dugan

Jimmy Hogan… Shark bite. Photo: Dugan

Let’s see, small Virginia Beach or perfect Costa? Blayr Barton chose the latter. Photo: Dugan

Backside attack, Alberto Muñoz. Photo: Dugan

The Bartons checking out an oceanfront swimming hole. Photo: Dugan

Low tide rock dance. Kai and Blayr Barton. Photo: Dugan

Kai Barton in the slot on a little glassy day on the third day into his Costa trip. Photo: Dugan

What to do with all the broken boards from the pounding surf of Playa Hermosa? Make art. Photo: Dugan

A bit of longboarding on the smaller days is always fun. Photo: Dugan

He may not have a longboard, but a little improvisation can never hurt. Alberto Muñoz. Photo: Dugan

The reason why summer in Costa Rica is worth the trip. Photo: Dugan