That word is reserved for the best of the best, those rare gems that have it all – perfect waves, a stunning natural landscape, welcoming locals, a rich culture, the list goes on. So when someone says they live in paradise, it’s easy to dismiss as an exaggeration.
Over the past few years, Leilani McGonagle has spent every Rip Curl Women’s trip telling the team about her hometown in the south of Costa Rica. By all accounts it sounded like where she lived was nothing short of that rare gem we call paradise. Pura vida living at its finest.
But after years of hearing tales of this lush, tropical, wave-rich jungle from Leilani, good friends and fellow Rip Curl team riders Alyssa Spencer and Leah Thompson decided it was time to go and see it for themselves. And as it turns out, Leilani’s description of her home was no exaggeration.
After a full 24 hours of travel, including a jet, a small twin-engine plane and a bumpy drive, Alyssa and Leilani were greeted by Leilani at her home… nestled directly in front of one of the world’s best left-hand point break.
“I had been wanting to go visit Leilani for so long,” says Alyssa Spencer, who gave us the low-down on the trip. “I saw a south swell headed that direction, I messaged Leilani, called Leah, and next thing I know I’m on plane!