Surf’s Up: Seniors Head to Costa Rica for Spring Break

As Thanksgiving approaches, many seniors are searching for the ideal location for the next Spring Break: somewhere far from thesis research and cold, bleak winter weather.

Bram J. Levy ’04 and Previn Warren ’04 have appointed themselves head of a “Spring Break Committee” as they organize a week-long vacation to the resort region of Jaco Beach, one of the largest and most vital party scenes in Costa Rica. Levy and Warren said that over 100 students, mostly seniors, have responded to the flyers, posters and e-mails sent over House open-lists on Monday.

On March 27, Levy, Warren, and their companions will fly to San Jose International Airport, drive to Jaco beach, and enjoy the wildlife, nightlife and six kilometers of sandy coastline until April 4, all for an estimated cost of $675 per student.

The Harvard party is slated to occupy over 50 rooms of a single hotel.

“Typical spring break trips are just drunken, crazy parties,” Levy said. “I think a lot of Harvard students are turned off by just how crazy they are. Costa Rica seems the perfect mix of surfing, relaxing, partying, with beautiful culture and scenery. It gives people the choice to sit on the beach or visit the national park, not just be drunk for a week.”

Warren said that their travel agency,, could organize one trip to a nearby volcano, one surfing lesson and two parties involving free and unlimited alcohol.

Almost all Harvard students can legally purchase alcohol in Jaco Beach’s many bars and clubs, since the drinking age in Costa Rica is 18.

Phoebe M. Lithgow ’04, who reported for the 2002 Let’s Go travel guide to Costa Rica, said that Arenal Volcano, located roughly half an hour from Jaco Beach, erupts regularly.

“One of the biggest hot springs in Costa Rica is located right in the path of the lava, so if the volcano ever did have a major eruption, all the tourists would be covered in burning ash,” Lithgow said.

Levy said he looked forward to paying a visit to the volcano at night.

“Yes, it occasionally spews lava, but it’s not out-of-control, going-to-kill-people lava,” he said.

Levy and Warren—roommates in Dunster House—said they expected to see at least 150 students return the $50 deposit by Dec. 12.

If the Costa Rica trip generates enough interest, they might even need to charter an airplane from Logan Airport.

Zachary A. Corker ’04, one of the organizers of the Nov. 10 Harvard State University party, who is also a Senior Class Marshall, remembered last year’s successful though smaller-scale senior rip to Costa Rica.

“This an awesome example of seniors stepping up on their own initiative to involve their friends and classmates,” Corker said. “I think it’s sweet, and I’ll do everything to spread the word.”

Hunter A. Maats ’04, a Mather House Rep, said that the Senior Class Committee had a lot of events planned for the senior class in the months leading up to graduation, especially since seniors criticized last year’s Senior Soiree and claimed that the lottery for Red Sox tickets was unfair.

“Anything that seniors want to do to encourage class spirit is great,” Maats said. “I’m actually considering going on the trip.”

Levy and Warren said they conceived of the Costa Rica trip over dinner one September evening.

They envision a Spring Break of diverse and fun activities after a difficult semester of thesis research.

“I’m handing in my thesis on a Wednesday or a Thursday, then I’ll go home, pack my bags, head to Costa Rica, and lie on the beach and party for a week,” Warren said. “And I want everyone to come!”