Guest Reviews

Love Letters and Notes from our Surf & Yoga Journal

"Pura Vida! You guys rock! I didn’t really know what to expect. . . it was awesome, you completely catered to my needs and went above and beyond to make sure I had the best surfing opportunities. The instruction was absolutely great, and the week all round was really relaxing, enjoyable, & a great learning experience! I’ll be telling all my Aussie mates to get over here! Thanks heaps." Amy B. ~ Australia

"Thank you for expanding my horizons as a surfer. I have always loved the ocean, but this experience has truly changed my perspective. . . Hopefully soon I will be tearing up the Jersey shore. . . Thank you for being so wonderful and attentive this week! Now, if only I could master the art of enjoying a cerveza and surfing at the same time. . ." Jessica ~ New Jersey

"Just wanted to tell you again what a fantastic week I had at camp! So much positive energy, I feel like I got a shot of pure joy. Still riding the wave! You guys do a great job with everything, and your staff are amazing! I’ll be back for sure next year (and the year after that, and the year after that….), and my friend Elena still says she wants to come back for her 80th!" Monica Moore ~ Los Angeles, CA

" I just wanted to let you know again how incredibly thankful I am for my experience at Pura Vida Adventures. It exceeded my expectations in every way. The hotel was awesome. The instructors and hosts were caring, funny, knowledgeable, and always made safety a priority. The food was excellent and really, I could go on and on. You seem to have this business down and I have talked non-stop about it since I got back!Thank you again for such an incredible trip. It was trans-formative to say the least and I can’t wait to make it an annual pilgrimage. " Annie Levitt ~ Los Angeles, CA

"This has been such an awesome experience – mind opening and fulfilling. The group of women both attending and working at this camp are awe inspiring, powerful, beautiful, worldly and true. They have been an inspiration. I can’t think of a greater way to rediscover myself before I become a mother and take on all of the associated challenge. Thank you for this experience!" Kate Townley ~ Omaha, NE

"I want to express my deepest gratitude to all your staff (very particularly to Josie, Helen, Andy, Brett and Daniel) for the wonderful hosting, surfing lessons and incredibly thoughtful and powerful yoga classes. I feel I have come back to NY a different individual, and that I have improved as a person as a result of my stay in Santa Teresa. I felt that all of them were professionals doing an excellent job but, much more importantly than that, they were caring, inspiring and showed me their warm hearts every day in both conversation and silence. The smile in their faces was contagious. I went on different retreats that were powerful but I do feel that this one stands out and that it has impacted my life much more than words can express. And I believe it is because of the work of your staff, no doubt about it. Through them, I have come back to myself, if that makes any sense to anyone else beyond me." Jessica Santos ~ New York, New York

"Surfing was something that’s so different than what I do in my “normal” life. Pura Vida Adventures taught me to slow the "eff" down, enjoy life, and just chill—all while hanging out in an incredible place, eating fantastic food, and having conversations that made me laugh so hard I snorted pineapple-smoothie out of my nose. And the second time was even more incredible than the first. As soon as I walked through the gates of the hotel I had a smile on my face and literally did cartwheels and handstands on the beach my first afternoon there. I fell even more in love with surfing, and more than that, definitely consider Pura Vida my safe haven and happy place. I love the people it attracts, the positive attitudes everyone brings, and the fact that it creates connections that last long beyond the trip. And yeah, I’m already planning on heading back for round three in the not-so-distant future! I love you guys!" Anna Davies, Senior Editor at Cosmopolitan Magazine

“The best moment was the first time I caught a solid wave. Amazing!!! I can’t believe that just two and half months ago I couldn’t swim and now I am actually surfing and loving it!! There is nothing like facing your fears. After that, I was like, ‘bring it on’, I can do anything. This adventure was revitalizing, relaxing, and healing all in one and went far beyond my expectations. I’m a changed person since this trip and have come back a far better person. I wish I could share this experience with everyone…” Arpita ~ Essex Junction, VT ~ Click here for Arpita’s inspirational story of conquering her fears.

“Pura Vida gives you the whole experience – the surf, the food, the bonding. Most importantly though – I would like to really highlight how AWESOME your staff is. They were all professional in and out of the water but at the same time, super fun. They really looked out for us and we could all tell that they really wanted us to learn and do well. I honestly can not say enough about how great this camp is… SO worth the bruises and cuts, the bug bites and the tacky bathing suit tans we all come back with. I’d do it all over again in an instant.” Ako Matsuzaki ~ San Francisco, California

“I just had to write and tell you how this trip has just completely affected me. First of all, it reminded me how to LIVE, what it felt like to live, love the world. It was Malpais and everyone at surf camp – you, Danny, Erika, Julia, Melissa… just reminding me what life really is all about, and the ocean and surfing of course. Truly – it’s so awesome that you have Pura Vida and know that everything you’ve created really touches people (me) in more ways than just a “surfing adventure”. It brought the passion back in me to really live and reminded me what pura vida really is.” Tammy Chang ~ Honolulu, Hawaii

“I wanted to write you an email expressing my absolute ADORATION for PVA. I had an amazing time on my trip and could not have wished for anything more. I raved about it to all of my friends and still haven’t stopped talking about it weeks later. There is nothing better than a bunch of exciting, adventurous women getting together to catch some waves. Lots of laughs, lots of surf, AMAZING food, wonderful accommodations, fantastic instructors, warm water, endless sun, gorgeous sunsets…perfection.” Jennifer Graham ~Old Chatham, New York

“Thank you for the best vacation! I went down to Costa Rica feeling like I was simply walking though life but not actually living it and now I feel more alive than ever. You have an amazing group of instructors and are running a spectacular program.” Rebecca Steele ~Seattle, Washington

“Start by imagining the perfect week: surfing, yoga, wonderful food, beautiful women, falling asleep to the sound of the waves every night – wake to the sounds of tropical birds in the morning. Maybe see the stars like you’ve never seen them before. Start telling time by the direction of the wind and the tides. Forget what day it is. How hard can you paddle? Drink? Laugh? Double that, and that’s Pura Vida.” Elizabeth Proctor ~ Pacifica, California

“Today while doing yoga, I watched little waves break against the rocks and noticed the colors of the palm trees change from jungle green to lemon-lime. Later at Playa Carmen, I paddled to the outside, sitting on my board in the warm sun, floating up and over waves. I caught a wave, wiped out, and came up smiling. At sunset surf, I caught waves while the moon rose over palm trees while the sea quietly swallowed the sun. Tonight, I gazed at the stars while swinging in the hammock. Pura Vida. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.” Cathie Bechan ~ Stamford, Connecticut

“An amazing time, a magical place, and an adventure for the mind and soul. I couldn’t have had a better vacation. The camaraderie, surfing, food, laughter, chick-chat and the staff all add up to a very sweet moment in time. Thanks for creating an enriching and fabulous experience. An absolute treat for the senses.” Jen Hunt ~ Oakland, California

“This has been the best vacation/experience/surf adventure of all time. We have been so fortunate – this group of women is phenomenal!!! I really can’t express how great this has been. Our first day paddling out in warm water, all I was thinking was how lucky I was to be here. We’ve become fast friends and will continue on in the future, hopefully with a return trip to Costa Rica. Most thanks, appreciation and love to the Pura Vida staff and now friends.” Karen Wilson ~ San Francisco, California

“The most eloquent words that come to mind when I think about my surf camp adventure in Malpais – life changing. Pura Vida taught me how to surf, how to be tranquil, how to conquer my ocean fears and most importantly… how to enjoy life. The scenery is breathtaking, yoga and surf instruction are fabulous, accommodations are great and the Pura Vida staff are some of the most unpretentious, dedicated, talented and hardworking individuals I have come across in my business dealings. I came to surf camp, never having been on a surfboard. I left 7 days later “hanging 10″, meeting lifelong friends and coming away with the best experience of my life.” Arlene Bae ~ San Francisco, California

“The week I spent at Pura Vida Adventures would certainly be on my top 10 list of most terrific, fun, fabulous, and best things I’ve ever done in my life. I was fortunate to meet a group of amazing people, surf some waves, and generally revel in the utopian environment that is Mal Pais and Pura Vida Adventures.” Elizabeth Levy ~ New York, New York

“Here I am sitting at my desk at work and I thought of the story you told of the woman who would look at your website everyday when she felt sad. I thought I would have a hard time re-entering the madness and I was right. So here I am looking at the website and longing for the Pura Vida and thinking of the girls that got to stay an extra few days. Lucky! Thank you so very, very much for such a great week. I had the time of my life. Marla and I love telling the stories of ATVing, surfing and Canopy Zipping and we are spreading the word. We will certainly be back.” Jennifer McGeorge ~ Brooklyn, New York

“I just wanted to pass along a little note to thank all of you for a fantastic trip to Costa Rica. Each of you contributed with your own personal touches to make my Pura Vida experience awesome. I’m still stoked from the inside waves I was able to ride. You only learn to surf and catch your first wave once….I’m so glad that my first surf memories include all of you.” Wendy Weidman ~ San Francisco, California

“Thank you all for the most fantastic adventure of my lifetime (so far)! There is no other place I would rather be to turn the big 50 than here. Tierza – you rock!! Thanks for making my b-day so special. Erika – You are the bomb!! Your patience, insight, surfing knowledge, energy, and positive attitude are inspiring. I want to be like you when I grow up!!” Kate Trujillo ~ Oakland, California

"What a way to celebrate being 60! AND just what I needed.. a surf vacation in warm water without the bother of a wetsuit. Despite having 5 yrs. of surfing experience, at first I was very intimidated by the waves. However with Brett’s patience, calm encouragement and attentive guidance, I pushed through my fear and discovered that yes, I can ride these waves! Again and again! I gradually relaxed and ended up catching some of the best waves of my life. PVA is not only a great place for beginners, but also the perfect place for those who already can surf, and want to challenge themselves and learn more. And all the instructors are fabulous! Thanks so much for helping me overcome my fears! And for taking such good care of us. The memories will keep me warm." Mary Wagstaff ~ Larkspur, California

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Women's Surf Camp
Costa Rica Surf Vacation for Women
Costa Rica Women's Surf Camp
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women