Costa Rica’s warm water, year-round waves, and chilled out “pura vida” lifestyle have made this Central American country one of the most popular surf destinations in the universe.
Surfing Costa Rica has exploded in recent years. There's a good reason though. Where else can you get the tropical back drop, convenience of easy travel, great food, and variety of travel style options?
If a surf trip is on your mind and you live in North or South America, then look no further than Costa Rica. Next step of planning your surf trip is the seriously think about booking a surf camp.
Wait, you're an adult? You have a family? You may be thinking that surf camps are only for the young. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are surf camps for everyone. Adults, families, just females, singles, longboarders, couples, you name it.
Also, there are surf camps for all levels of surfers. From beginners just learning and intermediate surfers, to advanced. Whatever level you would like to take your surfing skills, there is a surf camp for you in Costa Rica.
Wherever your skill level is, there are a few things to keep in mind when booking a surf camp. In Costa Rica, there is surf all year long on the Pacific side. With most of the best surf spots in the northwest Nicoya Peninsula. During wet wet season (May to November) it brings the biggest, most consistent waves.
Have you ever thought about staying at a surf camp? Have any concerns? You shouldn't. First of all, when you're at a surf camp, you'll be around like-minded people. Getting up early to surf. Nothing is better than having a built in community when you're travelling.
1. Shaka Costa Rica Surf Camp
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica (not the Playa Hermosa neat Jaco)
Shaka Beach Retreat Costa Rica is a clean and sleek camp and is the definition of minimalism. With custom lessons to your ability, you’ll discover yourself imroving as a surfer. Shaka believes in quality – not quantity. This means you’ll be in groups based on your level and a 3:1 student to coach ratio for maximum progression.
2. Surf Simply Surf Camp
Nosara, Costa Rica
This surf camp was designed by the same architects behind the original Apple stores and Facebook headquarters.
The Surf Simply camp takes design seriously: It’s from the same architects behind the original Apple stores and Facebook headquarters.
To get an idea of what sets this state-of-the-art surf camp apart, look no further than how seriously the owners of Surf Simply considered its elegant new accommodations, opened in the fall of 2018. It was designed by the same San Francisco architects responsible for the original Apple stores and Facebook HQ, as well as the Seoul Incheon Airport.
Surf Simply brings the same level of detail and commitment to its surf coaching, not just to beginners but to experienced surfers as well. The team believes that even people who’ve been surfing for years will benefit from their highly individualized approach, with a strong emphasis on physics, theory, and video analysis. The teaching ratio is nine coaches to 12 students, guaranteeing highly personalized attention. The gleaming but understated 10-room resort is nestled alongside a nature preserve, where a short path leads to the waves at Playa Guiones, near Nosara, on the Nicoya Peninsula.
3. Lucero Surf Retreat
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Lucero Surf Retreat is a camp created by a family of four – two of which are only the ages of 4 and 7. They’re the type of camp you know comes from direct passion. The couple met while backpacking in Costa Rica and later made the lifestyle their reality.
Relaxed in all the right ways – no pressure to do anything you don’t want to. Family options & freedom to explore independently.
4. Witch’s Rock Surf Camp
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
You may arrive at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp by yourself, but you won’t be alone for long. WRSC, whose 18 midrange rooms can accommodate as many as 70 guests in shared and private quarters (upgrade to one of two penthouses with a private roof deck for the plushest digs), estimates that nearly a third of its weekly guests are solo travelers.
Located right on the beach in the surf town of Tamarindo, with more than 50 restaurants and 15 bars (and plenty more nightlife spots), it’s the perfect location to connect with other like-minded surfers both in and out of the water. Even better, WRSC has its own microbrewery, two restaurants, coffee shop, and surf shop, creating its own little resort atmosphere.
Surf camps include daily instruction for beginners and intermediates; advanced surfers can opt for surf tours, too, which include trips to some of the biggest and best spots in the region (although sans instruction). There’s a great break right in front of the hotel, and a dozen more close by, so you’ll never have to go far to find waves.
5. Safari Surf School
Nosara, Costa Rica
What makes Nosara and Safari Surf so attractive to people is that everything we do revolves around the art and passion that is surfing.
Their instructors are all very accomplished surfers with years of experience and training. They enjoy meeting new friends and making lasting friendships with all who come through our “doors”. Each instructor is extremely well trained and educated in the art of teaching surfing, safety, lifeguard skills and first aid response.
From Olas Verdes Resort to our surf program, Safari Surf employs 99% all local people who live and have families in Nosara. We strive for a sustainable existence in the community that we live in by educating, employing, and giving back to the local people in our community.
6. Surf With Amigas Surf Camp
Pavones, Costa Rica
Whether you grab a girlfriend or two or go solo, prepare to experience the full power of sisterhood at Surf With Amigas, founded and operated by U.S. pro surfer Holly Beck. Surf With Amigas a surf camp in one week intervals. Including all accommodations at three different locations on the southern Pacific coast (as well as one in northern Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica). Each of them near the world-renowned break of Pavones, and all taught by women.
Its minimal Jungle Retreat eco-lodge, accommodating 10 to 12 guests, is surrounded by jungle and is a short walk to two surf spots. The somewhat more upscale Pura Vista house (for eight to 10, with air-conditioning and an infinity pool) overlooks the ocean and jungle, and surf sessions are held at beaches a short drive away.
The Longboard Surf House, on par with Pura Vista accommodations-wise, is actually two guesthouses (housing 12 to 14 guests combined), with shared or private rooms near a left-breaking point, perfect for beginners and those wanting to improve their longboarding skills.
7. Peaks and Swells Surf Camp
Montezuma, Costa Rica
Peaks and Swells is the best kid's friendly couldn’t make it any easier—or more fun—for families who want to learn to surf together. Because of its location on the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, as opposed to the exposed Pacific side, the waves are more gentle and you don't have to worry about riptides.
The camp is limited to three families at a time, each in one of three unique villas that share a pool. Plus, they're all right on the beach. The homes are extremely private, but they’re only a 10-minute walk from the bustling town of Montezuma. And although Peaks and Swells realizes you’re there for a family surf adventure, they recognize the value of a little adults-only time, too: While mom and dad enjoy a late-afternoon yoga class or siesta, PAS organizes kids’ activities like waterfall hikes, beach games, or a walk to town for ice cream.
Each weeklong session includes a midweek “day off” for excursions, including zip-lining, stand-up paddleboarding, or visiting a turtle sanctuary or nature preserve.
8. Blue Surf Sanctuary Surf Camp
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Blue Surf Sanctuary has beautiful bungalows for the ultimate tropical experience. This is a great package for someone who wants to learn to surf as well as experience other activities and culture during their stay.
9. Kalon Surf Camp
Dominical, Costa Rica
If your idea of a surf camp is stepping off of the beach and into the lap of luxury, Kalon Surf Resort’s got you covered. Whether you’re a rank beginner or a shredder who wants to fine-tune some moves, Kalon tailors its coaching to help you attain your goals, including choosing the right surf breaks for you—all while piling on the creature comforts.
Each of the six guest rooms features balconies with sunset-primed ocean views over the central Pacific coast, luxury linens, and rain showers. Get a beer or glass of wine and a snack from the open kitchen, stroll the six-plus-acre property (including an organic garden), chill by the infinity pool, or enjoy a massage. And at the end of the day, sit down to a farm-to-table dinner, featuring sous-vide or molecular-cooking preparations of wagyu beef and fresh seafood, among other delights.