Costa Rica 2021

In April, 2021 Barrett & Peggy traveled to Costa Rica, including a four-day stop to windsurf at Lake Arenal. After being postponed for over a year due to the COVID Pandemic, we were really looking forward to the trip. Lake Arenal is on a continental divide between the Atlantic and Pacific where wind funnels through a low point in the mountains. The result is epic conditions for windsurfing on Lake Arenal from December into May. Water temperature averages 72ºF throughout the year.

We stayed at Mystica Lodge, two miles from on-the-water windsurfing rentals at Tico Wind. Unless you walk, the road to Tico Wind requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle, especially after a rain. Conditions looked good when we arrived, but a bank of clouds on the horizon quickly blew overhead, bringing rain and gusty conditions. I sailed out from shore with on an 85L wave board & 4.4m sail in time for Peggy to take a couple of photos before the rain hit. Peggy headed for cover while I was alternately blasted by intense gusts alternating with lulls, all while riding huge swell in stinging rain. I lasted an hour and called it quits. That evening I warmed up by the fireplace at Mystica Lodge. The next couple of days sunny skies quickly alternated with storm clouds, so we went hiking, and drove to a lower elevation for dry weather and wildlife viewing. Fortunately, conditions improved dramatically on my last day at the Lake and I had a great time sailing in strong, but steady wind. Swell builds from wind blowing down the length of the Lake, making for exciting sailing.

Mystica Lodge
Peggy checking into Mystica Lodge
Driving 4WD road to Tico Winds windsurfing
Arrival at Tico Wind conditions are good, but a storm is approaching
Wing foiler & kiter on Lake Arenal
Barrett windsurfing Lake Arenal in stormy conditions on day 1
Peggy overlooking Lake Arenal while holding on to walking stick to avoid being blown over.
300 year old Ceiba tree
Broad Billed Motmot
Monkey searching tree for delicious mango fruit
Lake Arenal at sunset with clearing skies
Barrett enjoying warmth of fire after windsurfing
Peggy at Tico Winds, Lake Arenal on last windsurfing day
Windsurfer carving, Lake Arenal
Kiter, 4 Windsurfers, Wingfoiler on Lake Arenal
Close-up of action at Lake Arenal
Duck jibe
Barrett on right, local pro on left
Arenal volcano & dam at North end of Lake