Surfing is rarely just a hobby; it’s a way of life. If you can’t stop your inner Kelly Slater from going off like the barrel of a perfect wave break, it’s time to pack up, head somewhere warm, and get your surf on. Here are 5 sick villas to plan your next surf trip around.
Sunset House, Tamarindo
On Costa Rica’s northwest Pacific coast, in Guanacaste, sits a happening mini metropolis with laid back beach town roots. Tamarindo fuses Costa Rica’s chilled out Pura Vida mentality with a vibrant beach scene, a comprehensive surf culture, and a relentless nightlife. You can wetsuit up at various surf shops in town, while the team at Sunset House can provide you with longboards, shortboards, stand up paddleboards, and bodyboards on request. Tamarindo’s two main breaks – Pico Pequeño and El Estero – are challenging enough for advanced surfers, with waves reaching up to 12 feet. All other breaks are suitable for beginners and first-timers. In the evening, the pinkish-orange skies above the beach are gorgeous. Still, you may opt to walk five minutes back to your appropriately named villa, rinse off under the outdoor shower, and catch the sunset from your terrace by the pool.
Stay at Sunset House
Hanalei ‘Ilikea, Hanalei Bay
Hanalei ‘Ilikea is beachfront to Hanalei Bay on Kauai, leaving you mere steps from some of the Pacific’s best boogie boarding and surfing. The grass yard separating you from the sand is big enough for the kids to run around and play in and the beach is just as good for relaxing as it is for catching waves. Ocean and waterfall views make it all worth your while even if you didn’t bring your board. But if you did, there are a few things you need to know before getting in the water. Winter storms can make conditions a little rocky, and October-March’s high surf season brings out the strongest rip currents. If you’re a beginner, or just looking for swimming or yachting, we suggest avoiding this time of year, or staying close to the pier where waves are made for beginners. True surfers, though, will want to head towards the middle of the bay, between the Hanalei Pavilion and the second lifeguard station. It is there, at Pinetrees, where you’ll find waves as high as 20 feet.
Stay at Hanalei ‘Ilikea
Captured in Paradise, Surfrider Beach
If Malibu, California is known for one thing, it’s the beach. So where else would you rather be stationed than on the ‘Bu’s best beach? At Captured in Paradise, Malibu Beach is at your doorstep. Between surf outings, the villa brings you the best of Malibu living. Mixing a laid-back essence with touches of Los Angeles glamour, this villa is perfect for entertaining or just relaxing with a book. Still, we recommend you get out there; world-famous Malibu Pier is just a mile away, and Santa Monica Beach and Venice Beach are each less than 15 miles away. Between the Pier and Malibu Lagoon, you have the wonderfully wavy Surfrider Beach, which as its name suggests, is an absolute paradise for boarders. Surfrider, with smooth and tapering waves, is recognized by surfers around the world as the gold standard for summertime ‘point’ surf. In fact, in 2010, it was dedicated as the first world surfing reserve. If you were looking for classic Malibu surf culture, you’ve just found it.
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Villa Sungai Tinggi, Echo Beach
Bali is a surfer’s paradise, and places like Villa Sungai Tinggi are part of what make it so. Beachfront and oceanside, you’re just steps away from more than 100 meters of black sand overlooking one of Bali’s finest surf breaks. Despite being one of its more recently discovered surf spots, Echo is undoubtedly one of Bali’s best. There are others too: Berawa, Seseh, and Pererenan are all close by and offer fine waves suitable for mostly intermediate surfers, but Echo has become most famous for advanced surfers looking for a challenge. Its 180-degree seascape and sunsets make it a photographer’s paradise, and its many dining options are great for those that just want to watch. Cafes line a cliff high above the ocean where you can post up in the afternoon or evening for barbeque, buffets, and some shockingly good Balinese coffee. At the end of the row sits a centuries-old Balinese Hindu sea temple after which the beach gets its name. Echo Beach is just a nickname – its local name is Pantai Batu Mejan.
Stay at Villa Sungai Tinggi
Son Reve, Sayulita
Enjoy all the perks of luxury beachfront living in San Francisco (Mexico – not California) at this architectural masterpiece located in the community of Punta Mita. Son Reve means His Dream in French – and that it is. Beachfront and with its own infinity pool, hot tub, alfresco shower, and outdoor kitchen, you won’t have much else to ask for here. The trendy Mexican surf town of Sayulita is just a short drive away. First discovered by roaming surf seekers in the 1960s, Sayulita remains one of the few authentic surf towns left in Mexico. Seaside and sunny, it’s certainly a tourist town – though not a tourist trap. People come for tequila, fish tacos, paletas (Mexican popsicles), and of course, surfing. Sayulita, at times, feels like a college party town for grown ups. The bay offers warm water and consistent waves all year round, making for favorable surf conditions for all skill levels. Beginners should stick to the right side, in front of the village, as locals can get a bit possessive towards bennies (non-locals) on crowded days. The left break, in front of the campground, is faster and typically reserved for advanced surfers who know the etiquette. Waves hit the bay all year round, though the north swells tend to hit between December and April, making now the best time to visit. First-timers should contact Luxury Retreats’ concierge service so we can help you arrange surf lessons at Sayulita Beach, given in English or Spanish.
Stay at Son Reve