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Best Costa Rica Surf Camps

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witch's rock surf camp

Witch’s Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Probably the most popular water sports in the world, surfing is a combination of skill, adrenaline, and the sheer thrill of being able to ride an unpredictable natural backdrop of an ocean wave. The high that you get from surfing is an addictive and un-explainable sensation that will keep you coming back for more. Indeed, surfing is a popular water sports that attracts people from all walks and ages of life.

Surfing may be done by people for recreational activity or they make it the central focus of their life, making it a multi-billion dollar industry across the world. One of the best places to learn to surf is Costa Rica. With more than 1200 kilometers of coastline and a unique position with access to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Costa Rica has become the 3rd most popular and largest surfing spot in the world, just next to Hawaii and Indonesia. With fully established and developed surf towns, year round warm weather, and the perfect water temperatures of 25-30 degrees Celsius, Costa Rica is a surfer’s paradise.

One of the best ways to learn to surf is to stay at a surf camp, where you’ll receive expert instruction and a ticket to the best surf spots for beginners. There are more than 100 of these in Costa Rica, making it extremely difficult to choose, but here’s an alphabetical list of some of the best:

Costa Rica Surf Camps

Anamaya Surf CampAnamaya Yoga Resort and Surf Camp

First on the list is Anamaya. Located in Montezuma, in the Puntarenas Province, southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, the resort specializes in yoga plus surfing camps that cater to beginner and seasoned surfers. The Soul Surfer Yoga Retreat is a week long program, designed to engage their students with the proper activities to enhance stamina and prevent injuries when they learn to surf the waves of the perfect swells of the ocean. Built on a cliff overlooking ocean views, the daily yoga sessions supplement the surf lessons that rejuvenates the body after a day of riding the waves. Steps away from epic waterfalls and rainforests, not only will you be learning or enhancing your surf skills, you’ll also be treated to a relaxing and luxurious getaway.

Blue Trailz Surf CampBlueTrailz

Second on the list is the Bluetrailz Surf Camp. Located in the surf town of Tamarindo, this hostel is considered to be one of the best in the area, offering a small scale approach to their surf camp, with a personal touch. They accept beginner and advanced surfers, and offer packages that incorporate surfing with other activities such as yoga and mountain biking. You can even personalize your package where you can opt to cook your own meals in your private space, for a true backpacker experience.

Corky Carroll'sCorky Carroll’s Surf Camp

One of the most visited surf camps in the country, Corky Carroll’s Surf Camp is located in Nosara, Costa Rica, and has been in business since 1998. The first to offer video filming and analysis services, you can watch yourself surf and get critiqued by your instructor. This makes for a perfect learning experience where you can actually see for yourself what you did wrong or how well you surfed on your first try. With one on one unlimited private surf lessons for a whole week, you’ll surely be able to make an impressive surf film by the end of the camp.

Costa Rica Surf ClubCosta Rica Surf Club

The Costa Rica Surf Club is a full surf school in Tamarindo that is ISA or International Surfing Association accredited. Its instructors are also ISA certified, with a minimum of four years surfing experience and at least 2 years of teaching surfing. The school operates at the highest instructional and safety standards, with high end equipment, ensuring you the best of the best when it comes to surfing instruction. The school only accepts ten students per week, giving you their full attention when you avail of their lessons. But don’t be fooled by the top quality services, Costa Rica Surf Club has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, making your surfing experience true to surf culture.

Costa Rica Surf InstituteCosta Rica Surf Institute

Dubbed as the ultimate Costa Rican surfing experience, the Costa Rica Surf Institute in Tamarindo offers a comprehensive clinical approach to teaching the sport. Using a variety of educational techniques that includes the science of waves, the history of the sport and knowing how to read the weather, this surf school will equip you with not only the skills to ride a wave, but the whole science of surfing itself. With free yoga, video filming and analysis of your morning sessions, you will surely learn more than just being able to stand on a surfboard.

Del Mar Surf CampDel Mar Surf Camp

Formerly known as Costa Rica Surfing Chicas, the Del Mar Surf Camp used to be an all-female camp but has recently opened its doors to men and families. Founded in 2003 by three female locals, it sets itself apart from other surf camps because it is 100% owned and operated by Costa Ricans. Boasting of three locations across the country, namely — Hermosa, Santa Teresa, and Nosara — the surf camp offers all kinds of locations with the perfect spots for beginner and advanced surf enthusiasts. You get the best of surfing and the local culture when your instructors are pro surfers of the Costa Rica national team.

Green Iguana Surf CampGreen Iguana

One of the longest running surf camps in the country, the Green Iguana Surf Camp located in Playa Dominical offers the highest quality surf camp in the rustic and peaceful town of Dominical. Home to Costa Rica’s most consistent surf spot, you are guaranteed of professional instructors and uncrowded waters that are the perfect environment for a concentrated lesson on surfing.

Playa Grande Surf Camp Costa RicaPlaya Grande Surf Camp

Located in the northern Costa Rican province of Guanacaste, the Playa Grande Surf Camp is one of the country’s most revered surf camps. This surf camp, just 100 meters away from the pristine stretch of white sand of Playa Grande beach facing the Pacific Ocean, was formerly named Jammin’ Surf Camp. With swells all year round, both beginners and advanced surfers can enjoy the warm waters of the beautiful beach. Other exciting activities can also be found in the area where you can enjoy horseback riding, zip lines, scuba diving, yoga, spas, and even get to see the endangered Leatherback sea turtles that inhabit the area.

Safari Surf School in Costa RicaSafari Surf School

Considered to be the premier surf school and surf camp in the country, the Safari Surf School is an official Billabong surf camp, with it being the only surf school to be voted by the National Geographic as the “Best Outfitter on Earth.” Located in Nosara, the school is dedicated to being a sustainable business where 99% of its employees are locals of the area.

Tamarindo Surf SchoolTamarindo Surf Camp

One of the most visited surf camps in Costa Rica is the Tamarindo Surf Camp. Fully staffed with local instructors, you get the best lessons in surfing and culture from these hospitable instructors. They guarantee that you will be able to stand up and surf on your very first lesson, otherwise your second lesson is free. For advanced surfers, they also offer guided tours to legendary spots like the world renowned Ollie’s Point and Roca Bruja, that are about an hour away.

Waves Costa Rica Surf SchoolWaves Costa Rica

Latin America’s first Roxy and Quiksilver surf camp, Waves Costa Rica was created by a group of professional surfers dubbed as the “Costa Rican Surfing All Stars.” Based in Tamarindo Vista Villas Hotel, this premier Roxy and Quiksilver surf camp only offers ISA and Costa Rica Surf Federation certified instructors, giving you utmost guarantee of the highest standards in instruction and safety.

Witch’s Rock Surf CampWitch’s Rock Surf Camp

And lastly, the Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, also based in Tamarindo, gives you a unique experience with its inclusion of surfboard shaping seminars from the legendary Robert August himself. Opened 12 years ago, the establishment is located on a beautiful beach with consistent waves. They limit their students to a maximum of three per instructor, giving you the much needed attention and focus of their teachers. In 2011, Robert August, the star of the most influential surf movie that made surfing popular around the world, offers discussions and talks about the history of surfing and shows you how to shape surfboards.

Further Info

Surf towns across Costa Rica are becoming famous all over the world. With the perfect conditions for surfing, countless surf camps are rapidly being established across the country. Costa Rica has it all when it comes to the best surf camps that you can find — from laid-back and relaxed experiences, to full institutions, and even luxurious treatments — you can find it all.

If you want to make a career out of surfing, or simply learn how to ride a simple swell, the surf camps in Costa Rica have it all for you.

  1. Costa Rica Surf Club also has cool paintings!

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