What better way to learn about a destination than through the people who live and work there?

While there is the presence of a low season in Costa Rica’s climate-based calendar, it doesn’t stop adventurous people from all over the world from coming to volunteer at Dreamsea Costa Rica.

In exchange for help with various daily tasks that keep the camp in top shape, volunteers get to live in this spacious jungle sanctuary and enjoy the gift of simplistic living, delicious family dinners, and countless new friends. Volunteers tend to spend anywhere from one week to a full month soaking in the beauty and excitement of Tamarindo, getting to know each other and the surrounding areas very well.

In order to give future guests or volunteers some insight into life here at Dreamsea Surf Camp, I asked our current volunteers some questions about their experiences so far.

Naturally, my first question had to revolve around surfing, the area’s most popular sport.

When I asked people to describe their best surfing experience, everyone had something amazing to say regardless of their status as a beginner or advanced surfer. Nele, a volunteer from Germany, said her very first surf lesson brought her the most joy. She expected a monumental challenge, but found herself pleasantly surprised when she stood up with ease and caught wave after wave. Michael from the Czech Republic, who had only surfed a few times before arriving at Dreamsea, said his best surfing experience was riding a wave sideways for the first time.

The best surfing experience for Riley, one of our surf instructors, was riding waves in a storm, with lightning igniting the clouds overhead and rain thickening so much that he could barely see the waves in front of him. Surfing undoubtedly becomes a special part of people’s lives at Dreamsea, whether they are continuing a life-long passion or trying the sport for the first time.

After a full day of surfing, Dreamsea is the perfect place to chill out and relax, so I decided to ask everyone their favorite way to spend downtime. Brian, a volunteer from Canada, takes advantage of the peaceful environment by reading in a hammock, or stays active by using the camp’s sturdy fitness equipment. Mia, from Germany, also likes to stay active, and enjoys hiking through the surrounding forest during downtime. Keaton, from Canada, says night-swimming in the nearby ocean is one of his favorite activities, due to the silence of the deserted beach and the presence of glowing phytoplankton in the water. Other crowd favorites include hanging out by the giant mango tree that towers over the camp, hula hooping, playing ping pong, and practicing tricks on the wooden balancing board.

The best way to fuel these busy days is through the delicious food at Dreamsea Costa Rica.

Nati, our incredibly talented chef, switches up the menu daily, and everyone who dines at the communal wooden tables can’t stop raving about the incredible variety and flavor of the meals. Because breakfast and dinner are always a highlight of everyone’s day, I was curious to know the favorite meal at Dreamsea of some volunteers. Viviane, a volunteer from Switzerland, is a huge fan of the weekly Italian meals full of hearty pasta, salad, garlic bread, and some type of heavenly dessert. Matt, from Australia, always looks forward to Peruvian nights, which consist of flavorful dishes like ceviche or lomo saltado. Though the cuisine changes nightly, breakfast always has fresh fruits and scrambled eggs, with occasional treats like pancakes or arepas, and vegetarian, vegan, or dairy free options are always available.

Though Tamarindo itself can entertain endlessly, the Dreamsea crew embarks on weekly excursions to give guests and volunteers a taste of other beautiful areas in the region. I loved hearing all the interesting stories when I asked volunteers about their most memorable excursion. Artem, our camp yoga teacher, loves visiting Playa Grande where the wind and wave patterns are different from the usual Playa Tamarindo, so he can improve his surfing skills. Shara, a volunteer from New York City, loves Playa Conchall because of the gorgeous scenery and the opportunities for snorkeling and cliff jumping. Other excursions venture outside of the beach, such as a day trip to nearby hot springs or taking a catamaran out on the ocean for a day full of food, drinks, and good company.

On a more practical note, people can make the most of their time at Dreamsea Costa Rica, by being prepared.

In closing, I asked the volunteers things they wish they had packed for their trip to Costa Rica, and the reoccurring theme is to pack lightly but always prepare for the elements. Alina, from Germany, wished she had packed a sturdier pair of flip flops. Sandals are perfect footwear for the hot weather, but the uneven terrain of the jungle roads can take its toll on a flimsy pair of flip flops.

In addition to strong footwear, campers recommend insect repellent, a flashlight or head torch for walking in the jungle at night, and a fast-drying microfiber towel. These items make life in the Costa Rican forest that much easier.

From daily surfing trips to the beach, to the relaxed pace of life at camp, Dreamsea Costa Rica offers such a unique experience for travelers, that I was honestly overwhelmed by all the positive experiences I heard from the people I interviewed. People spoke just as highly about chilling out at camp and enjoying family meals as they did about exciting excursions.

Dreamsea Costa Rica has something for everyone, and travelers from all different backgrounds can find something that sparks a flame inside of them.


THE WORDS: This article was written by the passionate and thought-provoking Gabby Boucher, who is from the US, and is currently exploring the World while soaking up perspective and sun. You can follow her incredible adventures via her PERSONAL WEBSITE or her INSTAGRAM


Interested in coming to Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica, volunteering with us, and  joining our team here in the jungles of Tamarindo, Costa Rica? Check out more of the Dreamsea Experience by hitting the “Learn More” button below! 
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