On the southernmost corner of Costa Rica, near the border of Panama, lies a wonder of the surfing world……..”The Three Minute Left”.
- There’s a little bit of something for everyone in the tiny town of Pavones.
- Red Bull filmed Robby Naish surfing a wave for 2 minutes 15 seconds and going over 1 km at Pavones!
That left break, the second longest left break known on the planet will take surfers for a three minute, picture perfect ride between April and October.
Electricty arrived in Pavones in 1995, and with it came modern appliances, DirectTV, email and faxes. The main mode of transportation in Pavones has gone from the horse to the bicycle. The Pavones Bus is an infamous institution in its own right in the town. Fortunately, Pavones’ remote location has slowed development and the natural unspoiled atmosphere is being preserved.
Conservation awareness and reforestation and wildlife preservation projects are thriving, as well as community beach clean-ups. With an interesting mix of nationalities, Pavones is a thriving and peaceful community.
Although Pavones is famed for the perfect left that breaks right in front of The Cantina, the main landmark for miles around, there’s also a perfect right break just a few miles down the road. Surfing is king in Pavones, but tour operators in the town also can arrange hiking, snorkeling, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, rafting, biking, boating, rock climbing, and bird watching tours.
How to get to Pavones:
Pavones lies around 15 km south of Playa Zancudoand it is about 400 km south of the capital city of San Jose, the best way to get to Pavones is via Golfito, either by flying or driving. Once in Golfito just go south for about an hour to get to Pavones.
While the population is still largely Costa Rican with Spanish most commonly spoken, an international community of foreign residents has formed with more than a dozen countries represented bringing their various contributions to Pavones.
Writer Allan Weisbecker, author of “Can’t You Get Along With Anyone? A Writer’s Memoir and Tale of a Lost Surfer’s Paradise,” called Pavones the “world’s second longest wave” in terms of length, height, speed and swell.
Aside from birds, there is a vast array of rare plant, animal, reptile and aquatic life inhabiting such a relatively small area that the concentration overall is often magical. Three types of monkeys are common!
Visitors traveling to Pavones will only be 60 kilometers from Golfito National Wildlife Refuge, a small and sometimes overlooked wildlife refuge. Spanning 28 square kilometers, the park was originally created to protect the water for the community. Golfito Wildlife Refuge is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and a large variety of trees. Some of the species here tower more than 140 feet into the air. This park features several cycads, which are known as one of the most primitive plants in the world.