Carrillo Beach surf school

Costa Rica Beach. Playa Carrillo Surfing

Surfing a Costa Rica beach –  Carrillo Beach, (Playa Carrillo)

By Photographer, Dominic Urbano

If you’re looking for an experienced surfer review of the Carrillo beach (Playa Carrillo), this isn’t it. Surfing at Carrillo was my first time ever… and it was great. The pacific coast Costa Rica beaches are beautiful and I felt it was high time I gave surfing a try.

Various guide books describing Costa Rica beaches point to Playa Carrillo as a nice gentile sand and surf beach that is great for a beginner. I can now vouch for that.

About mid-way along the road that fronts the beach is a small palm thatched hut (they were in the middle of expanding when we were there) with a stack of surf boards and a couple smiling guys waiting to help you hang ten. A painted surf board serves as a sign and announces that you have arrived at the “Chillasana Yoga & Surf School”.

Chillasana Yoga and Surf
The Chillasana Yoga & Surf School at Playa Carrillo.

John, the surf stand owner, set me up with Elder as my instructor. Both men were great. Good humored… good English language skills… and just all-round nice.

I won’t bore you with the details of my surf lesson other than it was reasonably priced and I had a great time. I even had a seven year old future pro to ‘compete’ with. (He is being trained by the guys at the surf school… he didn’t speak a word of English but he was obviously having a great time showing me how it was done.)

Carrillo Beach surf school
The Chillasana surf school group at Playa Carrillo. John, the owner is on the left with the cap. My instructor, Elder, just off my shoulder in the back. On the day I was there they were expanding the hut. Note the new post in the foreground.

The real positive out of doing business with John and the “Chillasana Yoga & Surf School” was that I got to meet a few local folks. They obviously cared a great deal about the beach and their community.

Chillasana Yoga at Sunset
The sunset yoga class on the beach at Playa Carrillo.

As for the ‘Yoga’ part of the surf school? It turns out that John’s wife is a yoga instructor – originally from Canada – who teaches yoga classes on the beach at sunset. After getting pretty thrashed by the not so massive waves while surfing, I probably could have benefited from some yoga.  I opted to lay flat in bed instead.


2 responses to “Costa Rica Beach. Playa Carrillo Surfing”

  1. Playa Carrillo is an exquisite beach, wrapped with palms. I walk the dog there every morning. Sure beats the grey Pacific Northwest although I know Leavenworth has sunshine.

    1. Leavenworth WA does have sunshine… I really do like having distinct seasons. At the moment I have 40 inches of snow and it is still coming down! I lived in western Washington for many years and yes, the grey can get pretty depressing.

      Playa Carrillo is certainly beautiful. We certainly enjoyed ‘your’ beach. In general I would say that the beaches in Costa Rica are some of the most beautiful in the world.

      Thanks for taking a moment to comment.

      Dominic Urbano
      Leavenworth WA Photographer