Certification DetailsDate: 04/03/2018Evaluator: Gerardo BolanosView Bio

500m West and 350m South of Cafe de Paris
Playa Guiones, Nosara
Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa Rica 50206
Toll free # (USA & CA): (866)433 3355
Costa Rica Phone: (011)506-2-682-0113

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Safari Surf School
Nosara, Costa Rica
Aloha + Pura Vida

As the first surf school to set up shop in Nosara back in 1999, Safari Surf School (SSS) has stood the test of time and continues to not only be one of the best surf schools in Playa Guiones, but also a staple amongst the local community. The four-mile beach break in their backyard offers plenty for all experience levels, or more advanced surfers can try reef and pointbreaks within 20 minutes to the north and south.

Safari Surf School’s original HQ, the Casa Tucan Hotel and Restaurant, was actually one of the first members of the STOKE Surf program in 2012, but as they were working towards certification in 2013, the majority owners of the hotel decided to sell and Safari Surf School, unfortunately, had to leave their home. Rather than giving up on their dreams and their sustainability goals, the owners of SSS reached out to their clients (more like family)—who have been going to SSS to advance their surfing for generations—as potential investors to build a new sustainable hotel from the ground up. The Safari Surf ‘family’ then banded together and began the next chapter of their sustainable surf tourism business.

Now, a few years later, the new HQ for SSS is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum hotel in Costa Rica—Olas Verdes. Not only that, but the former chef and waitress of the Casa Tucan were given their own business at the hotel right next to the Safari office—an organic farm to table Tica-owned restaurant called El Manglar! Despite their challenges, Safari Surf persevered and connected a group of stakeholders who love Nosara to build a sustainable hotel, restaurant, and surf school all in one idyllic location on the edge of a wildlife refuge (five minutes from the surf).

Safari Surf School and Olas Verdes Hotel were certified together and conduct several initiatives that complement each other. View Olas Verdes’ profile for the complete picture.

Sustainability Management
Section Performance - 78%
Social and Economic Impacts Management
Section Performance - 75%
Cultural Heritage Impacts Management
Section Performance - 70%
Environmental Impacts Management
Section Performance - 96%
Stoked? Check out the surf!
Commitment to a Sustainable Future

We were one of the first members to join STOKE at our old hotel in 2012, and were close to certification when majority owners of the property changed hands in 2013. At that point, I set out to create a more sustainable HQ so I brought together like-minded partners to build the ideal surf hotel. A few years later, Olas Verdes opened its doors and we transitioned our management practices to this state-of-the-art sustainable hotel so we could be the first STOKE Certified surf school and to my knowledge, the world’s first surf school program to be certified sustainable. Today, Safari Surf is honored to hold this prestigious title and I’m forever grateful to my amazing partners and staff for their hard work and dedication to making this dream come true!

That said, we know there is no finish line and this is only the beginning. Going forward, here is what we’d like to achieve:

  • Develop more waste management and sociocultural training programs for staff.
  • Certify instructors to be able to accommodate and teach people with special needs.
  • Provide and integrate more interpretation about the cultural heritage of Nosara into the guest experience.
  • Showcase a local artisan(s) who can make an authentic Costa Rican product(s) that we can display in the office and support the artist and a local cause with the proceeds.
  • Help a local entrepreneur make their product or service more sustainable.
  • Offer voluntary carbon offsets to guests and create goals for GHG reductions from in-country guest travel and vendor emissions.
  • Track and report collected items from beach cleanups more frequently.

Muchas gracias for taking the time to get to know us and we can’t wait to share some waves with you soon.

Pura vida,

Tim Marsh, CEO & Co-Founder