Surf camps are for all kinds of surfers — whether you’re a beginner who’s still testing the waters or an expert that’s looking for a place to meet other like-minded surfing pros. This place allows you to learn the basics, as well as enhance the skills that you already have with the help of professional surf coaches.
The good thing about surf camps is that you don’t need to spend all your vacation leaves in one go. Typically, these packages only last for a week, and most resorts and hostels offer convenient and all-inclusive packages for your surfing retreat.
But where can you find the best surf camps in the world? The ones in California, Dominican Republic, and Bali are all good — but nothing compares to the ones located in the coastlines of Costa Rica.
Why Costa Rica?
Located in Central America, Costa Rica is one of the most popular surfing destinations for various reasons. This country faces both the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Caribbean on the east, so the waves here are consistent all year round. The beaches’ water temperature is quite warm too (it averages at 80 degrees), so surfing without a wetsuit will work just fine.
Aside from the great surfing conditions, this country’s tourism industry is also thriving, making it the ultimate travel experience for surfers and non-surfers alike. From the breathtaking landscapes, buzzing nightlife, great food, and amazing surf camps — Costa Rica’s got it all!
Top 5 Best Surf Camps Reviewed
Hundreds of accommodations in Costa Rica are offering all-inclusive packages, so we’ve round up the best surf camps that fit every surfer’s budget and needs. Here’s the summary of our Top 5 Best Surf Camps:
- Selina Surf Camp in Nosara — Our Top Pick
- House of Somos — Best Budget
- Kalon Surf Resort — Best High End
- Surf with Amigas — For Women Of All Types
- Surf Simply — Most Beginner-Friendly
#1: Selina Surf Camp in Nosara — Our Top Pick
- Price: Starts at USD 690+ per person
Selina Surf Camp is located in Nosara. It’s nestled in between the Playa Pelada and Playa Guiones, a beautiful coastline in the Nicoya Peninsula. Although Nosara is famous for surfers and travelers, this district is difficult to explore. Only 4×4 vehicles can drive through its terrain, but if you’re feeling confident, you can try to negotiate with a tuk tuk driver who’s got mad driving skills to tour you around the area.
There’s no need to be disappointed, though, because Selina is well worth the trouble of all the bumps and turns of Nosara. This surf camp is perfect for surfers looking for an aesthetic nature retreat. Not to mention that they’re pet-friendly, too, so you can bring your furry friends with you.
When it comes to their surf lessons, Selina offers an all-inclusive surfing package for their guests. The basic one includes a 6-day accommodation, 4 surf lessons, free use of equipment, full-board meals, and a 5-day experience at their local cowork. Their surf lessons vary from beginner to expert level, and they have professional coaches to help you hone your skills. Aside from group surfing, this surf camp also offers yoga classes.
Selina is a social environment that comes most alive during the night. Cacao ceremonies and tribal drumming therapy are often held on their deck that overlooks the pool below, with hundreds of pretty lights hanging above. This surf camp is a good place to explore more of the local life, as well as meet other international travelers.
|Beautiful location with unique landscape||Not for surfers looking for secluded camps|
|Average rate compared to other resorts||District is difficult to explore|
#2. House of Somos — Best Budget
- Price: Starts at USD 22+ per night
If you’re looking for a surf camp that won’t break the bank, check out the House of Somos located in Santa Teresa. This region has favorable winds, so the waves and currents here are pretty intense (swimming here isn’t recommended). There are swells in every direction too, that’s why it’s ideal for learning the basics of surfing.
Want to improve your skills? Local surfers and coaches are available here to teach and share with you their expertise. You can also ask other surfers to share their tricks with you if you’re looking to save some money.
Now, let’s talk about their accommodation. This contemporary hostel offers private rooms, as well as semi-private sleeping pods for surfers on a budget. Don’t worry about losing your important stuff though, as everyone gets to have their own lockers. Aside from that, the property also has its communal kitchen and other shared areas because the owners believe that, in Somos, everyone is part of the family.
Take note that this surf camp is meant for socialization and environmental interaction. It’s perfect for both adrenaline seekers and nature enthusiasts.
|Social atmosphere||Little privacy|
#3: Kalon Surf Resort — Best High End
- Price: USD 2,990+ per person for a group booking / USD 3,770 for a solo booking
Surf camps don’t always come in group lessons and beach dormitories. For some surfers, this experience can be a luxury retreat as well. That’s where the Kalon Surf resort comes in.
This high-end resort/surf camp is located in the quiet part of San Jose, which provides added privacy and seclusion for their guests. One of the perks of staying in Kalon include an empty beach where you can practice surfing without being bothered by other surfers.
To top it off, they also offer all-in packages that include almost everything — from airport pick-ups, accommodations, surf coaching, post-surf skincare, to sumptuous gourmet meals! They also offer midweek massages and 3-course dinners prepared by their in-house chef every night.
When it comes to surfing lessons, Kalon surf camp focuses mainly on building a strong foundation. That’s why beginner surfers must first train in their infinity pool before they start with ocean surfing. They put importance into a surfer’s awareness, so photos and videos of their sessions are provided for daily assessments.
|All-inclusive packages with perks||Expensive|
|Dedicated surf coaches|
#4: Surf with Amigas — For Women Of All Types
- Price: Starts at USD 2,000 per person
Surf with Amigas is perfect for female travelers looking for a surf camp that focuses on supporting women of all ages, body types, and surfing skills. But take note that this camp isn’t exclusive to ladies alone. Couples are also accepted here, so there may be men on their premises every now and then.
With branches located in both North and South Costa Rica, this surf camp offers surf packages that include beach lessons for both beginners and intermediate levels. The coaches provide their guests with photos and video coaching as feedback guides. They also have yoga sessions while overlooking the ocean, nature immersions, and various outdoor activities.
|Has branches and retreats in different locations||Always fully booked|
|For solo female surfers/travelers||Slightly expensive|
#5: Surf Simply — Most Beginner-Friendly
- Price: USD 6,562 for solo booking / USD 11,784 for couple booking
First off, it might be hard for you to book a session or coaching with Surf Simply. This is because many surfers — both beginners and experts — want to get the chance to learn from them. They’re quite famous, you see. They’ve been featured in different publications like Forbes and The New York Times, just to name a few.
So what makes them special? Their surf coaches are all ISA certified, and unlike other surf camps in Costa Rica, Surf Simply’s 30 coaches only focus on 12 surfers per week. This means that they give more than 100% of their attention to their students and their training. Their principle is to teach you how to teach yourself, that’s why aside from surfing lessons and coaching, they also provide video feedback and footage of your progress.
Other inclusions in their surfing package include 7-day accommodation, massages, full-board meals, and other ‘day off’ activities.
You get videos of your surfing sessions Always sold out
Good for beginner surfers and experts Very expensive
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When’s the best time to go to Costa Rica?
The wet and rainy season from April to September is the best time to visit Costa Rica for surfing. The strong winds create the biggest wave barrels, which is perfect for both surfing beginners and experts. The only downside is that the heavy rainfall causes flooding in some places, making roads impassable.
The best weather in Costa Rica is from November to March, but due to the influx of tourists during this time, it may be hard to book accommodations.
Q: What do you need to bring to a surf camp?
As most surf camps offer all-inclusive packages, the only things you need to bring are your essentials — surf hats, sandals, and your favorite surfing accessories. Oh, and don’t forget your camera to capture special moments and sunblock lotions to protect your skin!