Volunteering At Dreamsea Surf Camp Costa Rica - Blog - Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Dreamsea Costa Rica - Week In Review - Volume One

In this video, we begin a four part series called “Dreamsea Week in Review“, where we highlight life at Dreamsea Costa Rica! In the first installment, we take an aerial look at the Dreamsea crew getting into some soccer competition on the beach, dressing up in costume and playing a camp favorite “Flunky Ball”, the atmosphere within the camp, some morning yoga, and hanging on the beach at night. Of course, the Dreamsea anthem  “Slr” provides the soundtrack to the visuals. One hand over your heart, and the other in the air! Pura Vida!

Video by: James Magazzino

Song: “Slr” by Gyptian

Dreamsea Costa Rica - Playa Conchal Excursion

One of many weekly excursions the Dreamsea Costa Rica team takes our guests on, this video gives a look into our excursion to Playa Conchal, which is rated one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Located just 20 km from Tamarindo, Dreamsea takes the crew on a boat ride out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean to do some cliff jumping, and then to a hidden remote beach to have a family picnic, do some snorkeling, and sight seeing from what seems like the top of the world. Truly one of our favorite trips!

Video by Matty Dawkins

Song: “Salad Days” by Mac Demarco 

Dreamsea Surf Camp Costa Rica - Contact - Surfing, Glamping, Yoga - Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Arriving At Dreamsea Costa Rica - The First Impressions

So you're thinking about coming to Dreamsea...

and you’re wondering what it’s actually like to live as a big family in the jungle surrounded by nothing but diverse Costa Rican nature? Luckily, you came to the right place – I just arrived at Dreamsea and I’m excited to tell you all about what to expect when you first come here! Firstly, I need to make the distinction between arriving in Tamarindo and arriving at Dreamsea.

The two worlds are so far apart but complement each other so very well.

As you may already know, Tamarindo is a small town on the northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. It’s a tourist friendly hub of fun and holiday excitement with people coming from all over the world to surf, chill, party and almost everything else you can imagine (except winter snow sports admittedly). It is sometimes viewed as quite an American party town, and to a certain degree that might be fair. It’s safe, and more modernly accessible than many other areas of Costa Rica. You can get by with moderate Spanish speaking skills, and buy most things you need within the city.

However, as with many things in life, it is what you make it. Living at Dreamsea definitely makes use of the best elements of Tamarindo, and expanding on it by adding its own authentic experience. It creates something new and exciting. Arriving from the buzz of Tamarindo to the tranquility of Dreamsea is an amazing contrast I will never forget. Driving up into the jungle, seeing the scenery change from the vast beautiful beaches to untouched jungle in less than five minutes is truly special. Within this jungle, you will find a collection of white glamping tents, dotted around old mango trees and various small covered huts housing every amenity you need. This is Dreamsea, this is my new home.

The Dreamsea camp itself is absolutely amazing to arrive at.

It’s beautiful and well kept, there is a big team of trustworthy staff and volunteers happily making sure this never changes (I think my favorite job I’ve heard of so far is the person who is here to pick up the mangoes that the resident howler monkeys throw down!). From the doodles on the Mango tree, the little paths weaving throughout and the big airy white tents, there’s certainly something special about this place from the moment you get here.

However, I was distracted from the beauty of the camp by the beauty of the people.

I hardly had both feet on the ground before people were surrounding me, welcoming me and taking my bags! The chefs were about to go and buy their fresh daily supplies, stopping excitedly at the sound of my English accent. A place like this seems to bring together a unique mix of people, from all over the world, with different journeys leading us here and different things to learn from each other. I came here because I’ve been travelling for four months through Central America and I was ready to ‘belong’ somewhere, have a purpose and to take some time to improve my surfing and Spanish. I think there isn’t a more perfect place in the world for me right now! I’m really excited that Anton, the amazing surf instructor has now made it his mission to make me practically fluent by the end of my stay! On top of this, I have already got started on learning yoga, hula hooping, ukulele and slack lining, there is so much to do beyond relaxing!

Many people here have a passion for surfing or yoga, but everyone has an open-mind, a love for adventure, and an enthusiasm to learn..

Firstly, I was taken to my bedroom, one of the bright and spacious white glamping tents! With wooden floors, two beds, shelves and a fan, it is camping like I’ve never seen before! I share my tent with Ashley the yoga teacher who is quickly becoming the older sister I never had! Within 20 minutes of arriving, I was jumping on a beach shuttle heading to Playa Tamarindo. The beach shuttles are always a memorable part of the day, loaded with surf boards and people on our way to surf or chill at the beach! It takes 10 minutes of bumping along an old dusty road to arrive at a vast beach of white sand and beautiful waves

The Dreamsea team all make camp together at the quiet end of the beach, escaping from the hot sun under the shade of Tamarind trees. My introduction to most of the camp members was entering into a discussion on one of the most difficult decisions of the day: which flavor smoothie to buy (for future reference, watermelon, mint and lime is the best in my humble opinion!). At first I thought this was hysterical, but two days in, tomorrow’s post surfing smoothie is already a key question on my mind. Once this was decided, we all had a yoga lesson with Artem as the sun set over the glistening sea. There are three amazing yoga teachers at Dreamsea at the moment, all with their different styles. Artem practices very meditative and spiritual yoga, embracing the sun’s energy as it sets.

By supper time, as we all sat together eating a delicious meal (which I will cover in another blog post), in the big communal outdoor eating area, I couldn’t believe I’d only arrived that afternoon. At these big family suppers, new members are welcomed and old members say goodbye. That night, one guest named Brian left and summarized some of the most special parts of the Dreamsea experience perfectly:

“Everybody here, I will remember for the rest of my life”.

I already firmly believe this will be true for me too.

After an evening of chilling on the beach, lying under the mango tree, eating under the canopy and dancing below the stars, I have already become so much more relaxed. When I first arrived I found it hard to unwind, I was used to planning my next day of travel, where I was going to stay and what I was going to see. I’ve now realized how rarely we get the opportunity to take some time out of life and its worries like this. I feel very lucky to be here and I look forward to finding out more about Dreamsea as the month progresses! Pura Vida!

-Hannah Blower

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Dreamsea Costa Rica - The Moments

As I was paddling out
for my next wave..

in the distance I heard IZ’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” begin to play. Up until that moment I felt everything had been perfect, but hearing that song at that exact time, put me on another level. There I was surfing the sunset session off the gold coast of Costa Rica, with a gorgeous Norwegian girl on a board next to me, and IZ in the background providing the soundtrack to what felt like a dream.

Two thoughts were going through my head:

  1. How is this real life?
  2. How did I get here?

To fully appreciate the moment, let’s rewind the story two months.

Back to a frigid December in Minnesota. A typical day entailed arriving at my job in the factory around 7:30 a.m., grinding the day away for a struggling company, and clocking out around ten hours later. Had it not been for the boxing gym down the street, self-implosion would’ve been a genuine concern.

You get the picture, I wasn’t happy. The problem was, internally I knew that tons of people would feel blessed to have my lifestyle. I felt guilty for wanting more. Why couldn’t I just be grateful with my current situation?

Nights were often spent lying awake thinking about the past year and a half since graduating college. Time had flown, yet what had I accomplished? Besides work, what was I living for? Music, girls, parties? None of that truly satisfied my soul.

When it comes to depression there is a wide spectrum of severity. But in a broad sense, I think it can be categorized into two groups: You’re either excited about life or you’re not. Most days I wasn’t excited. I was sick of going through the motions. I needed some fucking adventure! A radical change had to happen.

On one of those December nights, I decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown. I bought a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. In January I informed my boss of the impending decision, and the next thing I knew it was February and I was boarding my flight. The excitement for life was back and stronger than ever.

After landing in San Jose, it was on! Determined to learn how to surf, I soon found out about a place called Dreamsea Surf Camp.

It sounded too good to be true.

An international surf camp where people from all walks of life come together to create a community? I was prepared to do anything to get there. Turns out all it took were a couple emails back and forth and everything was set. Stoked would be an understatement!

Upon arrival I was greeted by a friendly staff, outgoing guests and volunteers, and a family of howler monkeys. The place was surreal. After a short tour around camp it was obvious why “Dream” was in the camp’s name.

After only a day I already felt part of the family. Campers are constantly coming and going which made forming friendships quick and easy.

Over the next month I
became close with people
from all over the world.

One of my goals for my backpacking trip was to have at least one meaningful conversation every couple of days. The type of conversation where people let their guard down and speak from the heart. To my delight, these conversations were happening multiple times a day.

I discovered it didn’t matter whether English was your first language or your third language, there were people from all over the world who thought and felt just like me. Although many of our core beliefs about life were the same, the perspectives I was introduced to were brand new. Connecting with people and hearing their unique stories became addictive.

What I eventually realized was that surfing served as the pretext for going to this camp. In reality, it was the heartfelt connections formed between people that made the experience life changing.

Dreamsea attracts a certain type of person because their message is clear:

 “Collect moments not things”.

As a backpacker, I had already prepared to give up the comfort of all of my possessions. What I didn’t yet know was how to immerse myself in each moment and truly live it to the fullest. I’m talking mind, body, and spirit. It’s not something most of us are naturally good at, let alone are taught how to do.

At Dreamsea Costa Rica living in the moment is the default lifestyle.

As a result of the aligned philosophy, I’m convinced it’s the closest I’ll ever get to living in a utopia. Leaving Dreamsea was tough. How do you say goodbye to a lifestyle of surfing twice a day, living with 40 of your closest friends, eating family style meals morning & night, and continually meeting & learning from new people?

As Bob (my soul brother from Holland) and I boarded the bus for our next adventure, we both agreed that we would consciously bring the Dreamsea spirit with us wherever we went. As a result, the six ensuing hostels all got to experience a sliver of the Dreamsea magic.

After five months of backpacking, I came back to the States a different man. On the plane ride home, I noted in my moleskin a sentiment that was first learned at Dreamsea, and will remain a guiding principle for life going forward:

“Slow down and appreciate the beauty in each moment.”


-Danny Greene

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