A Florida native goes to Costa Rica in search of big waves and discovers a passion for nature and the love of his life.


For Florida-born surfer Louis Wilson, it was never about abandoning the United States—his journey to Costa Rica all started with a hunt for the perfect wave. Since his arrival in 1974, Louis discovered a passion for conserving the saltwater jungles and tropical fauna of Playa Grande. In 1986, he opened one of the first eco-tourism hotels in Central America, Hotel Las Tortugas. The main attraction, however, is Tamarindo National Park, which now encompasses 1,100 acres of ocean forest and wildlife. Watch as EX-PATS host Savannah Jane Buffet follows Louis and his fellow ex-pat wife, Carrie, through the endangered eco-systems along Costa Rica's coastline.

To learn more about Costa Rica, visit our destination guide.