The surf town of Dominical is a nice and easy 30-minute drive south from Manuel Antonio. The last two years has seen the road paved, prior to that it was a dusty, pot-holed drive, which took hours. The main street of this little town is still dirt and full of holes but it has a great under-developed feel to it. There is not much to do here apart from surf. You only come here to hit the beach, eat wraps and drink fresh smoothies.
Dominical boasts some of the best and most constant waves in Costa Rica so we had one very happy 7-year-old surf bum. It is also home to the Costa Rica Surf School from whom Dominic took another lesson from. This time Dominic dropped down to an even smaller 5 foot 9 board and once again amazed us all, including his instructor, as to how quickly he has picked the sport up.
Dominical also has the obligatory stall-holders flogging all kinds of curios. This was of particular interest to a certain 5 year old.
Our accommodation was the magnificent Costa Pariso. It’s made up of five individual cabins and has a prime location right on the beachfront, this allowed Trina to recommence her running regime – AGAIN. The restaurant at Costa Pariso also serves the best food in Dominical so we had four nights to enjoy and indulge. The time we had there also allowed us the opportunity to get to know Bob the owner, Shelby the chef and Jo who handled marketing and front-of-house, these guys are all Canadians and all fantastic.
Just outside of Dominical is Hacienda Baru, which is an 815-acre wildlife refuge. It’s not closed in so the wildlife are free to roam. The hacienda offers a number of nature trails so we settled on a self-guided five kilometre option. It got interesting just after the start when we spotted a snake. Thinking nothing of it we all got nice and close and made sure the boys got a decent view. It was only after we completed the hike that we showed a guide some photos of our find and was immediately advised that this particular snake was a Fer-de-lance, which happens to be one of Costa Ricas most deadly snakes.
We continued on with our exciting exploration. It seemed like around every corner provided another adventure with the possibility of spotting something else.
Dominic found another snake but this one was swimming in the stream beside us so we couldn’t get a photo to identify – we made sure to keep our distance this time though. Plenty of monkeys and a wide range of other animals provided plenty of photo ops and two very happy explorers.
Having been out of the surf for a full day, Dominic was desperate to get back on the board. A $10 daily surfboard rental and a trip to the next beach over, Dominicalito, was called for. The waves at Dominical main beach were massive so no good for a learner (no matter how good he thinks he is!)
We did have some wildlife action back at the hotel when Bob the owner dived into the pool and stood on a massive iguana that was lying at the bottom. He got a hell of a fright. Who knew they could swim? It took some time to coax the monster into the pool cleaning net and release it back to where it had come from only for it to dive straight back in again.
Dominical was a fantastic destination but after four days it was time to move on to pastures new much to Dominic’s disappointment, as this was his last surfing opportunity for a whole three weeks.