Dominical appeals to visitors interested in surfing, eco-tourism, or the excellent Spanish language school, Adventure Education Center, or AEC. The town is not built-up like some of the coastal cities to the north, and has fewer than 1,000 residents. It has the feeling of Kauai or some of the South Pacific island chains, with a laid-back tempo and friendly people. Choose from a dozen restaurants, half a dozen surf shops, and miles of gorgeous beach.
Surfing in Dominical
Many, perhaps most, people visit Dominical for the surf. Depending on the tide and swell, you can have surf that is great for anyone from beginners to experts, and it is extremely accessible by just paddling out from the beach. It can also be a little overwhelming, so know the conditions and consider taking lessons from one of the many excellent surf schools and surf camps in town. We like Costa Rica Surf Camp, but others are very good as well.
In Costa Rica, the word "tourism" is inevitably preceded by "eco-" The Costa Ricans are justifiable proud of their gorgeous country, and offer hundreds of excursions and activities that allow visitors to see the jungle, rain forest, waterfalls, and biodiversity.
Dominical is ideally suited as an eco-tourism mini-hub of sorts because of the gorgeous ocean and beach, the coastal mountains that rise immediately behind it, and the generous rainfall. The area gets about 150" (400 cm) of rain per year, so it is lush and gorgeous.
You'll find everything from delicious fish tacos, to vegetarian and vegan fare, to relaxed fine dining in Dominical and in the immediate area to the south. We've listed our favorite places on the restaurant page, but the list is always changing, so walk along the main streets of Dominical (there are only three) and see what looks good to you.
AEC Spanish Language School
Originally, we came to Dominical for the very highly regarded Adventure Education Center language school. There were eight students in our group, with widely varying language skills, and AEC was able to accommodate all of us. Stay for a week or for a month. Home stays are also available if you're not staying at Caballitos del Mar.