Surfing Povones | Costa Rica Surf Trip | Zancudo Surf Lodge Images

Zancudo Surf Lodge - SURF

Zancudo Lodge is home to a fleet of a dozen, 28-foot, center-console fastboats that were designed for fishing, but work just as well for running surfers to the points at Pavones and Matapalo. The twin Suzuki four-stroke engines and modern electronics will get you there and back again with no worries.

Zancudo Lodge is equidistant from Matapalo on the north side of the Golfo Dulce and Pavones on the south side. Both breaks take in the abundant south swell streaming up from distant storms in the southern ocean as well as tropical depressions and cyclones in the central Pacific.

Whatever the local winds are doing, one side of the Gulf will be offshore and the guides at Zancudo Lodge understand surfing conditions as well as they understand fishing conditions – and boats are a much easier way to access the surf around here than roads. Driving to Matapalo is a mission that can sometimes be impossible because of wrecked roads or flooded streams, and the road to Pavones isn’t exactly the Autobahn. The Zancudo Lodge fastboats transport guests to one side or the other in 20 minutes or less and get you into the heaving lineups with your hair dry.

Cabo Matapalo on the Osa Peninsula is home to four right points that range from longboardable to world class. From inside out, the waves are Pan Dulce, Backwash, Matapalo and The Crack.

Pan Dulce means “sweet bread” in Spanish and while this place is well inside the Gulf, it can light up on a giant swell, it’s generally considered a good beginner break for those learning to surf or standup paddle, but on a larger swell, this right can be the bread and butter.

Backwash is just that, a place with a lot of current and wedges coming off the beach which gives it a Makaha flavor – favored by shortboarders and longboarders alike.

The main attraction is Matapalo, which is a right reef/point that is the most exposed of all these spots and is best at mid-tide. On a big south swell, Matapalo will handle all that swell pouring into the Golfo Dulce up to triple overhead – a long, fast, fun challenging wave, breaking on the edge of the jungle with more monkeys in the trees than in the water.

Directly across from Cabo Matapalo is the Wild Kingdom of Pavones. One of the best left points in the world, Pavones starts on one side of the mouth of the Rio Claro and then goes a long, long way. Writing about Pavones for Surfline, Marcus Sanders said: “It's been called the longest left pointbreak in the world, and though Chicama in Peru probably holds that distinction, a good wave at Pavones works your legs more than an hour on any bloody Stairmaster ever would. Rides of three minutes are possible on a solid south swell -- and that's three minutes of full-on, down-the-line, zero-cutback surfing. Pavones when it’s on is one of those places that live up to the hype: a long, fast, challenging left that holds its shape from three feet to 12’+ and goes for 300 to 500 meters. A phenomenal wave on the right swell, with the right tide and the right wind.

There are some reef breaks south of Pavones for a change of pace. And closer to Zancudo Lodge, there are a couple of miles of easy beachbreaks just over the peninsula. Good for beginners when small and easy, and also a good place to learn to standup paddleboard, if that has caught your fancy.