The beach where i’m sitting is almost deserted and that’s just how it is. Palms stand alone guarding the beautiful shores as many restful siestas are being had, cooling down in the afternoon sun. It’s beams reflect off the water with such power that you feel every single one on your skin. Harmony on the breeze, a stillness in motion. Pavones is beautiful. Located just north of the Costa Rica-Panama border on the Pacific ocean, I knew I loved this place the moment we arrived. The cool waters of the Rio Claro, with it’s glasslike pools thatmake one appear to be gliding through thick air, the water an embodiment of a certain intangible element that ties it all together. A beautiful energy in the air.
The first afternoon in Pavones, we found refuge from the hot sun and our heavy backpacks at Cabinas Carol, an attractive accommodation of cabinas with a nice communal kitchen, well kept bathrooms and free coffee. At 15 dollars a night, this is a great place to stay to meet awesome people and be a short walk from the beach. The rest of the duration of my stay was just next door at what didn’t seem like cabinas at first, but as the days went on seemed to just get better. First a bench, then a doormat, the list goes on. Carlos, Chino, Estevan and the gang there were super friendly and accommodating, and fed us the best papaya honey empanadas. In a whirlwind of transient hostels, for a week this felt like a home, complete with cute ass puppies. Though the town is quite small the grocery stores here are packed, not too expensive, there are a couple of bars and restaurants, and most everything in the town is close enough to create an amazing community vibe. The waves toward the right side of the beach are quite good for intermediate beginnners, and definitely for more advanced surfers while there is a swell. Walking from the town about an hour an a half you can reach Punta Banco, a giant stretch of beach where you will probably find yourself alone, or at least be just far enough away to think that one other beachgoer is just a fleck on the horizon. It’s a good walk but a hot one, and a little hitchhiking could be appropriate here, but either way so worth it to enjoy this magical beach.
On Saturdays there is the best little farmers market in the town just next to the ‘skate park’. I pretty much fell in love as I roamed the little tables, eyes wide and drooling at all the fresh baked goods, homemade hot sauces and hummus, beautiful handcrafted jewelry, coconut oils, fresh pressed juices and true gems of all locally handmade items. The fresh made hummus was my personal favorite, and you may find yourself spending your ‘life savings’ on these morsels of magic. On that note, make sure you bring enough cash to town, as there are no ATMs.
For a killer burrito, hit Tico-Mex, those things are huge and amazing. And for an evening of magic, the sunsets here are fricken beautiful. Plenty of dry coconut husks and driftwood also means a beachfire under the stars, good company, a box of Clos (the classiest of wines) and wading into the water to see bioluminescence and rainbow jellyfish. Pavones, hasta luego, I’ll be back!
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