Actually called "Rio Claro", the boutique town famous for the second longest left hand wave in the world is known by most foreigners as "Pavones." Rio Claro is a great place for people wanting to be in walking distance to the famous wave and downtown. Pavones is a multicultural town that still has a lot of local flavor; aproximately half of the businesses in downtown Rio Claro are owned by Costa Ricans. The town thrives on surf tourism during the swell season from March through October.
Aerial photo of downtown Rio Claro taken by Matteo Banschenbach of Pavones Hot Shotz
Aerial photo of Rio Claro river mouth and downtown taken by Matteo Banschenbach of Pavones Hot Shotz
Photo of an epic set at the Pavones point taken by Matteo Banschenbach of Pavones Hot Shotz
Rio Claro has two grocery stores, one and half hardware stores, and a small "pulperia". Gasoline is available to buy by the gallon in town. If you have a Banco Nacional debit card, you can usually withdrawl cash at the grocery stores, otherwise you'll have to head to the nearest ATMs in Laurel, Paso Canoas or Golfito.
Photo of one of the two grocery stores in RIo Claro taken by Matteo Banschenbach of Pavones Hot Shotz
Fishing is a very important part of the local economy. The town of Rio Claro has a fisherman's association committed to sustainable fishing practices. Despite fishing being the second most important economic activty, after tourism, it certainly provides the most financial stability for the local families, as the fishing does not rely on the swells like the surf tourism.
Photo of fishing boats, or "lanchas", taken by Matteo Banschenbach of Pavones Hot Shotz
Soccer reigns king as a favorite pastime in Latin America, just as it does in Pavones. The locals play friendly games of soccer, called "mejenga," multiple times a week. Competitions are held on the weekends, usually as a means to raise money for community needs, via sales of food and drinks. Surf is also top ranked as a recreational activity. There are no other organized sports in the area, which is important to keep in mind if you are looking to move down with your children. But no worries, nature's playground abounds here and between soccer, surf, swimming, walking, hiking and biking, you and your family are sure to stay fit, if that is your priority!
Photo of soccer "damas" and surfers heading to the beach taken by Matteo Banschenbach of Pavones Hot Shotz
If you prefer a room with a view, the ocean views nearest to downtown Rio Claro are had in the mountain communities of Altamira and Santa Clara.
Many thanks to Matteo Banschenbach of Pavones Hot Shotz!!