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Reviewed 11 May 2017

My wife and I researched several Surf & Yoga packages offered in Costa Rica. Some were focused too heavily on the yoga, some too heavy on surfing. We selected Lucero Surf Retreats because they seemed to have the right mix. It was the perfect decision.

Marieke and Jared are awesome. Marieke customized a flexible schedule for both of us, which worked out great. All of the partners they work with (Yoga instructors, Surf teachers, Message Therapists, etc.) are total pros. The Yoga in the jungle is transcendent. Jared and Daniel will have you surfing on Day 1! And my wife and I both said the messages were the best we have ever had.

We really loved our accommodations at Otro Lado - a peaceful, beautifully landscaped villa retreat. Good food for breakfast and lunch (try the shrimp salad). Nice rooms. Friendly staff (especially Mateo and Vanessa).

Lots of good restaurants within walking distant from Otro Lado. One thing, though; Heads-up on the motorcycles, ATV's and trucks flying around the single lane, dirt road. For such a laid-back town, people there drive like maniacs.

Also, one "do-better"; the online payment option for Lucero was a little glitchy. Not a big deal, just took a little more work than it should have.

If you want the perfect mix of surfing, yoga and other awesome jungle-related activities, this is your retreat. It was a pleasure to meet Marieke, Jared and their lovely family. They're currently building their own resort in Santa Teresa and it's looking spectacular.

We will be back!

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mark M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2017

We visited Costa Rica for Yoga & Surf retreat and Lucero made our holiday very special. Their package is balanced, includes fun, sports, relax and adventure. You can't choose better deal than this. Accommodation was stunning, food great, and surf lessons unforgettable.

Thank you guys for everything, it was amazing experience.

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
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Thank Lucinka J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2017

I was researching for the perfect surf/yoga camp when Lucero Surf Retreat popped up. From beginning to the end, Marieke was attentive and made sure that we were able to do everything we wanted during our trip. She made great suggestions and was flexible and accommodating.
Jared is by far THE BEST surf instructor that I have ever had. He is patient and methodical and your safety is his primary concern.
Marieke & Jared from Lucero will have you falling in love with the beautiful beaches of Santa Teresa! They are now friends that I look forward to visiting again in the very near future! Thanks to them, I feel that my mind, body and soul has been recharged! Pura vida!!

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
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Thank Janet Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2017

In early planning for my first surfing experience, I researched a number of surf camps along the Costa Rican Pacific coast for a friend and myself. We settled on Lucero Surf Retreats given the location of a more scenic/natural environment in Santa Teresa, previous positive reviews of Lucero, the "vibe" from their website, and most importantly the ease in working with Marieke and Jared who took care of all aspects of our trip and surf camp activities. Lucero Surf Retreats provide a variety of options for separate or combined surf and yoga activities. We choose the surf package as we wanted to focus just on surfing for the week.

I'll start from the beginning and provide additional tips gleaned along the way. We flew in to San Jose and stayed at the Hotel Los Volcanes in Alajuela prior to our pick up by Lucero for the trip to Santa Teresa. In addition to shuttle transportation from Alajuela to Santa Teresa being provided as part of our package, one night's accommodation at Hotel Los Volcanes was also included. I will be providing a separate review for our excellent stay at Hotel Los Volcanes. We were picked up right on time from the hotel by the shuttle for our trip to Santa Teresa. It took about 5/12 to 6 hours to reach Santa Teresa on the shuttle, which took the ferry from Punta Arenas.

Items of note on the connection to Santa Teresa through San Jose:
- Going through customs at San Jose was pretty smooth. I had brought copies of my passport with the idea of having the immigrations official also stamp my copy with the entry date so I wouldn't have to carry my actual passport around. They would not stamp the copy.
- There is an ATM by baggage claim from which I was able to get colones. I had VISA and MasterCard credit cards and both worked (I had called card companies ahead of time to say that I would be traveling to Costa Rica). The airport ATM only provided colones so be prepared ahead of time to know how many colones you want by calculating in your head the equivalent dollar value ($1 equals approx 500 colones). While in Alajuela there is a bank with ATMs near the Hotel Los Volcanes from which you are able to get colones. In Santa Teresa, there are two banks with ATMs, one of which provided access to dollars. If you need to go into the bank when it is open you need to have your actual passport (and not a copy)
-Everywhere we went in Costa Rica colones or dollars were accepted. But almost always, if we used dollars the change would be in colones.
- When leaving San Jose airport to go to the hotel in Alajuela, you need to get a taxi. Use the dark official Red taxis with the triangle on the side that says "Alajuela" in the bottom of the triangle. Some say "San Jose" which can only serve the San Jose area and not Alajuela. Be careful as there are also a lot of "orange" taxis with writing on the side, which are not "official" Costa Rican taxis. The rate for an official taxi in to Alajuela was about $8, and while the "orange" taxis were about the same they encouraged you to pay a bit more.
- While there are a number of good options to eat out in Alajuela, we ate in the restaurant at Hotel Los Volcanes where the food was excellent.
- If you need additional sunscreen or other supplies for the beach, suggest you buy in Alajuela before going to Santa Teresa, as same item is double the price in Santa Teresa.
- The ferry takes about 1 1/2 hours and then you are settled back into your shuttle. When arriving to the ferry area, there is a restroom in the ticket office that costs $1 if you need it after the long ride in the car. There is also pretty decent food and restrooms on the ferry.

We arrived in Santa Teresa for the Lucero surf camp about 1:30 Sunday afternoon, and were taken to the Otro Lado Lodge. I will also be providing a separate review for this excellent lodging. We were met by Marieke at the Lodge with our schedule for the week. There were a total of 4 people at surf camp that week, and we were assigned Daniel "Dani" Lujan as our instructor for the week, with Jared taking the other two people. Lucero Surf Retreats has a policy of only two people per each certified instructor, which provides for an awesome amount of personal attention and feedback by each instructor for his or her students. Our week included 8 personalized surf lessons, an ATV tour led by Jared to Montezuma, surfing pictures, and a welcome sunset barbecue on the beach the Sunday we arrived. We were offered flexibility in the scheduling of our surf lessons Monday through Saturday morning, and we opted for one lesson on Monday and Wed and two lessons a day on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Boards are also available to practice on when not in lesson, but to be fair two lessons a day for beginners is pretty tiring.
Items of note while in Santa Teresa:
-Breakfast and lunch were included each day, and even though our surf instructor scheduled our times based upon tides, we were always able to be back for breakfast and lunch.
- We had all of our surf lessons at Playa Hermosa (which had consistent waves for our level of surfing). We were picked up for each lesson by Dani with a short drive to Playa Hermosa. Dani was truly the consummate professional instructor in all aspects of surfing and beach safety. We were provided detailed personalized instruction by Dani from the ground up, and continual feedback throughout each session. I was able to get up on the board initially for a short run the first day, and then steadily progressed through out the week to more consistent pop-ups and longer runs. Most importantly, I left with a good foundation to practice/surf on my own for future growth in the sport.
- We were each provided an ATV by Lucero for 24 hours on the Wed of our stay, which began with a tour by Jared across the peninsula through the jungle from Santa Teresa to the beach town of Montezuma. In addition to a lunch provided by Lucero at one of the beach restaurants in Montezuma, we were taken to nearby waterfalls for a short hike and a swim in the pools. Afterwards a stop was planned for viewing the sunset at the Vista de Ollas infinity pool.
- Clothing: It was 90 degrees F with no rain during our stay in Santa Teresa. Shorts and tee-shirts were the norm, with flip flops an sandals worn all the time. A lot of folks just go barefoot. I had board shorts and rash guards for surfing. For the ATV tour you'll need tennis shoes and maybe a small backpack. Jared provided bandanas to protect from any dust encountered on the roads.
- Getting around /food in SantaTeresa: While we walked to a few great places to eat for dinner, the folks at Otro Lado were very good in calling for a taxi pickup to go further down the road into Santa Teresa for dining. The places we ate in Santa Teresa for dinner were cash only. Prices for meals were more than we might have expected, but on par with what I might pay in the US. There are also a few supermarkets in Santa Teresa. There was beach access to the Santa Teresa beach just across the road from Otro Lado.
Bugs: During this time of the year (dry season), we really didn't see any mosquitos but there were a few bees down by the beach towards sunset so be careful.
-Phone/WiFi: Good Wi/Fi at Otro Lado, and was able to use phone over WiFi option provided by my cell phone provider in States.

Our surf camp with Lucero ran from a Sunday arrival to a Saturday departure. This is the normal schedule for most Costa Rican surf camps I found, but Lucero is also flexible in providing services/arrangements outside of this norm should you require. Rather than taking the shuttle/ferry back to San Jose (also part of the Lucero package), my friend and I opted to take a short flight on SANSA from Tambor airport back to San Jose. There are a number of flights each day between Tambor and San Jose. It takes about 45 mins to one hour from Santa Teresa to Tambor airport by taxi which was included in our trip package. The cost of the flight was an extra $75 dollars, with Marieke making all arrangements with SANSA. My friend flew out of San Jose that same day, while I spent and paid for another night in Alajuela at Los Volcanes before leaving the country the next day. Hotel Los Volcanes pays for the taxi to the airport when you depart.
Items of note:
- SANSA airline is strict on their weight limits for baggage given smaller planes. They weigh you first with your carry on bag (limit 10 lbs) and then your checked luggage (30lbs). Any thing over and you have to pay extra, unless they are maxed out with a full plane and extra baggage may be saved for a later flight. See SANSA guidelines on there website. Before leaving Tambor on the plane you have to pay $2.25 (in dollars or colones) as departure tax.
- At San Jose airport, I did not have to pay the departure tax as it was already included in my airline ticket. About a year 1/2 ago a number of airlines (though not all) began including the tax in their fares. I called my airline a few days before while in Santa Teresa, and they told me that the tax was NOT included in my fare. When I stopped by the Departure Tax desk at the airport when I flew in from Tambor, they assured me that the tax was indeed included in my airline fare, and that the various airline call centers were giving out bad information. They were right, and I will be providing separate feedback to my airline in an effort to help spread the word.
- Any form of bug repellent with DEET was not allowed in my carry on luggage through security at San Jose.

In closing, I am extremely happy that I choose Lucero Surf Retreats to help complete surfing on my bucket list. Marieke and Jared went above and beyond all expectations to
make this the perfect holiday and surf camp experience.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Threepeaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2017

Marieke and Jared with Lucero Surf Retreats is 100% the way to go if you are looking to visit Playa Santa Teresa, especially to improve your surf skills. They have been part of the local community for 10+ years and are well connected, so they partner with the best in town for a variety of activity and meal options. Marieke is incredibly kind, and worked with me to plan a custom vacation package based on my desires (a week of surf and yoga). She had every day scheduled for me, so that I was able to make the most of my vacation from the day I arrived. Jared is a stellar surf instructor and coach. He partners with Danny (another surf instructor) and their teaching styles compliment each other very well. Jared really took time to observe my skill level and understand my goals. Both instructors are very patient and makes sure to train students in the proper technique and safety, step-by-step. One thing I loved about working with Jared is that he challenged me, but I absolutely always felt safe with him. On the topic of safety- this was something very important to me, as I am female who was traveling alone. The accommodations were very safe and well located- walking distance to market, shops, restaurants, and the beach was 200 m away. I loved Santa Teresa and Lucero so much that I have already planned my trip to return! Something I will do differently this time is rent an ATV or scooter (which Jared and Marieke can help with). While everything is in walking distance, the bank and some other surf spots are easier to get to with motor vehicle.

Room Tip: *Something to note is that Costa Rica has a law that no hotels can be within 150 meters (I think that is the number) of the beach.
  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled solo
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Thank crissytinabelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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