What hours should I avoid the sun?  What do you recommend for sun protection?

Nosara, Costa Rica is nine degrees North of the equator.  It’s hot – all year.    The sun’s a factor in any outdoor activities.  After ten years of playing in the beautiful Nosara area, here are my guidelines for dealing with the heat and radiation.

  1. Start early!  The sun rises around 5:15 most of the year.  We don’t follow daylight savings time here, so there’s no time change.  Getting up and out early means more active time in lower sun conditions.  You’ll avoid crowds in the surf – huge bonus!  Also, as we face West, the morning light in the water is excellent.  The sun will be over your left shoulder while you’re waiting for waves, this saves the eyes.
  2. Buy Heavy-Duty Sunscreen.  You’ll likely be spending a ton of time in the water or sweating a lot, and most sunscreens won’t last and will run in your eyes.  Buy and use sunscreen built for the water.  A personal favorite is Aloe Gator.  It’s like Vasoline.  There are also some great face-sticks like Head Hunter.  If you don’t mind looking like casper use white, otherwise they make it in a skin-tone.
  3. Avoid the middle of the day!  Between 10am and 2pm you shouldn’t be outside.  If you took my advice and got an early start, you should be napping, getting ready for the afternoon activity.  If the surf is pumping, or you going to be fishing all day, make sure you cover up.  Use a hat in the water, long sleeves, lots of sunscreen – and drink lots of water.
  4. Sunglasses are a must.  Especially if you’re fishing all day, make sure you have UV protection.  When you’re fishing you get a double-dose of sun.  From the sun and off the water.  So, even if you’re wearing a hat, you’re still getting blasted.
  5. Enjoy the Sunset!  From 4:30 until dusk the beaches in Nosara are spectacular.  You should be all rested from your nap and ready to charge again.

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