a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Kiteboarding in Costa Rica
Kiteboarding in Costa Rica

Kiteboarding in Costa Rica

Kiteboarding in Costa Rica

Before the pandemic in 2019 and the subsequent lockdown, we were able to make a trip to Costa Rica for a fantastic surf-adventure and kite-board experience. This post is all about finding a little known windsurf spot in the jungles of Costa Rica and kiteboarding there.

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Costa Rica Kite Session Overview

  • Location: Lake Arenal, Route 142, Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • Date: December 31, 2019
  • Wind: 21-26 knots– East (Gusts up to 30 knots)
  • Temperature: 75 degrees F
  • Kite Gear Used (Rental Gear):
  • Additional Notes: When we were here in 2019, the Cabrinha Kite Gear Rental cost from Tico Wind was 40,680 Colon (or roughly $75 USD). This included the kite, board, control bar, and harness for a couple hours [$1 U.S. Dollar = 540 C.R. Colon].

This adventure also inspired us to buy our own sprinter van for adventure travel after seeing the many uses of surf-vans here (similar to the kite-vans we saw in La Ventana the year before).

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Surf Van Spotted

Kiting in Costa Rica

Although Costa Rica is known for tropical jungles, spider monkeys, and pristine surf destinations, there is a hidden kite-spot inland, northwest of La Fortuna on Lake Arenal.

Naturally you find wind-turbines not far from a good kite destination.

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Imagine kiteboarding surrounded by a tropical jungle with a scenic volcano and wind turbines on the hills in the background. This is what kiteboarding on Lake Arenal is like.

Welcome to Lake Arenal

The western end of Lake Arenal is known for ex-pats and people looking for something quieter than the bustling tourist center of La Fortuna.

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Arenal Volcano

Fun Fact: The lake itself was expanded in the late 70s for hydro-electric power and the original towns of Arenal and Tronadora are still submerged underwater. Consequently, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad(I.C.E.) owns and manages much of the property surrounding Lake Arenal and helps preserve the pristine beauty of the lake.

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This also limits where you can access the lake, and brings us to “Tico Wind.”

“Tico Wind”

“Tico Wind” is a friendly kite-board rental and lesson center located on the west end of Lake Arenal. They have jet skis in the water on-hand for help and are very accommodating with launching/landing kites.

Kiteboarding at Tico Wind
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“Tico Wind” Entrance

Getting here can be tricky with winding mountainous roads. We originally made the 3-hour trip from Tamarindo in the west to Lake Arenal via Route-21 & Route-1 to Route-142. Most of the roads are paved along the way.

Coming from the west on Route-142 you will pass the Equus Restaurant on the left. This is a good reference point and place to get something to eat nearby. After passing Equus Restaurant, you will need to turn right on the dirt road that takes you to “Tico Wind.”

“Tico Wind” is off of Route-142 on the west-end of Lake Arenal.

The road is marked with a blue sign that says “Tico Wind” on it. Although the road can be traversed with a 2WD vehicle, I would highly recommend a 4WD vehicle for this road. Follow this dirt road to the end and you will have arrived.

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Road to “Tico Wind”- 4WD is Recommended

The Kite Spot

Kiteboarding in Costa Rica
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The wind comes down from the Arenal Volcano here and builds up across Lake Arenal to this kite-spot on the western end, creating strong, but gusty winds.

The launch spot can be tricky with sloped red volcanic rock and many large boulders. The rocks can also be very slippery. Bring wetsuit booties for this location.

Arenal” literally translates to “sandbank,” despite the lack of soft sand here.

This is not a forgiving launch spot. There is no soft sand. It kind of reminds you of the surface of Mars. Overall, the kite spot is fairly open with very few trees to get in the way.

Kiteboarding on Lake Arenal in Costa Rica
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Kiteboarding in Costa Rica
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On this session I wore a lifejacket, helmet, and rash-guard. You can never be too safe.

Helmets are cool!

The water gets deep ten feet from shore here, so having a lifejacket is nice. This spot also seems like it would be good for foil boarding.

Once you get your kite in the air, and you are on the water, beware of the windsurfers and give them space. This spot, like many kite-spots was first born as a windsurf destination. So be respectful.

Kite Conditions

Close to shore the wind can be gusty and turbulent, but further out the wind is a little cleaner and stronger. There can be a lot of chop away from shore.

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Watch out for Windsurfers
Kiteboarding in Costa Rica
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Overall, kiteboarding in Costa Rica on Lake Arenal was a great experience. The wind was a bit gusty and there was a lot of chop, but it was a lot of fun with some opportunities to boost.

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Where to Eat

After a kite session on Lake Arenal stop by the “Equus” restaurant nearby for some meaty dishes or a cold cerveza. We stopped here many times!

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“Equus” Restaurant Nearby
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Costa Rica Wildlife

Over kited?

Check out the fantastic hiking and wildlife nearby at the Tenorio Volcano National Park. The Rio Celeste Waterfall is worth a visit if you don’t mind stairs.

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Hike through the jungle!
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Lush Jungles
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Beautiful Waterfalls
Kiteboarding in Costa Rica
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And Great Kiteboarding!

What is your favorite warm weather kite-spot? Share in the comments below. Thanks for reading. ~KiteBikeVan

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