Since the late 1980s people have flocked to Costa Rica each year to enjoy its amazing beaches, bio diversity, volcanoes, national parks and to enjoy the feel of ‘Pura Vida’ (the pure life). Costa Rica’s natural beauty means there are numerous outdoor activities to enjoy including hiking, rafting, scuba diving, yoga and surfing with surf camps in Costa Rica being extremely popular for both beginners and experienced surfers.
With both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines and miles after miles of unspoilt white sandy beaches to explore Costa Rica, the “rich coast”, certainly lives up to its name and its not surprising that Costa Rica is by far the best country in Central America to surf. It’s also the safest and most stable country in the region.
There are a number of surfing hot spots in Costa Rica like Tamarindo, Nosara, Santa Teresa, Santa Cruz and Jacó. Thanks to its two different coasts and tropical climate and warm water, you can surf in Costa Rica all year round without needing a wetsuit.
The best time to surf on the Pacific coast is between April and November, however this is also the rainy season. The best time to surf on the Caribbean coast is between December and April in the dry season.
The pros may look easy but surfing can be really tricky so if you really want to be safe in the sea, learn how to surf, or improve your current surfing ability then I’d really recommend joining one of the many surf camps in Costa Rica.
The first time I tried to surf was in Kuta, Bali and I sucked because I didn’t know what I was doing and hurt myself. In 2018 I did a weeks surf and yoga retreat in Taghazout, Morocco which got me standing up on the board and confident and safe in the sea in no time. I’m still far from being a pro but trust me – having a surf instructor and spending time immersed in the surf lifestyle at a surf camp really helps if you’re serious about learning to surf.
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Costa Rica is also a yoga hot spot and many surf camps also include yoga – its really the perfect combination so you get the best of both worlds in one retreat holiday package. There is a wide range of surf camps in Costa Rica to choose from and it can be confusing figuring out which is the best for you.
I find www.booksurfcamps.com really useful, it’s like the Booking.com for surf camps where you can read reviews from people who’ve already been there themselves. After all, like hotels, not all surf camps are created equal and you want your surf holiday to be safe, relaxing and memorable for all the right reasons!
Covid update: Costa Rica is open to all nationalities and no longer requires any testing or quarantine. You just need to complete the online health form and have travel insurance that covers coronavirus. Mine is with SafteyWing. Yoga retreats, surf camps, restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions have implemented enhanced hygiene and distancing measures and the country has relatively low cases of Coronavirus but be aware that things can change at any time. Check the most up to date news here. Note that the photos in this article were taken before covid.
To help you decide here is my pick of the best surf camps in Costa Rica.
5 Best Surf Camps in Costa Rica
If you want to practice yoga as much as learning to surf then stay at the lovely Ohana Villas in Santa Teresa and let the people from Believe Surf & Yoga guide you through daily yoga classes and three surf lessons on this fantastic 7-day surf camp in Costa Rica. Their all-inclusive surf and yoga package is the perfect blend of yoga, surf and healthy food surrounded by unspoiled nature.
Stay in a one-of-a-kind lodge surrounded by lush jungle and diverse wildlife with a swimming pool and yoga deck surrounded by natural jungle. It’s the perfect paradise for relaxing and socialising between yoga classes and surf lessons and is just minutes away from the beach and everything Santa Teresa has to offer.
This surf camp in Costa Rica offers amazing value for money. As well as surf lessons, there’s 4 yoga classes each day to choose from in various styles as well as fitness classes and also daily social events to join. You can also choose one extra activity like zip-lining, horseback riding or waterfall trip to be included in your package.
There’s a variety of accommodation option to choose from depending on your budget. Breakfast is included and each villa has its own kitchen for you to prepare meals in, with grocery stores being a short walk away. Santa Teresa is also filled with a plethora of restaurants you’ll love exploring. For more info, prices, to read reviews and to book, click here.
Tamarindo beach is one of the best places to learn how to surf and La Botella de Leche offers one of the best surf camps in Costa Rica for beginners. The location delivers ideal surf conditions for beginner surfers and, combined with La Botella de Leche’s friendly, expert instructors and high quality surfing equipment, you’re sure to pick up surfing quickly on this exciting 6 day beginners surf camp.
The package here includes 4 surf lessons ( 2 hours each) and free use of surf boards as well as a snorkelling trip, yoga lesson and a USB stick of your surfing photos. Also included is 5 nights private air conditioned accommodation in a sociable, stylish, modern hostel with a pool and a daily typical Costa Rican breakfast.
There’s a kitchen for you to cook your own meals and you can also explore the nearby healthy cafes and restaurants. You can also add additional activities like diving, horse riding and exploring the jungle on an ATV or an exciting zipline canopy experience. Click here for more info, prices, to read reviews and to book!
Read More: Best Surf Camps in Bali
Digital Nomads who want to surf, meet like minded people and still get work done will love Selina’s surf camps in Costa Rica. Selina have many unique co-working and co-living properties across Latin America including many surfing destinations in Costa Rica to choose from (see them here) but my favourite is this one in Jaco.
Selina is the only beachfront hotel in Jaco with a beautiful pool right on the beach as well as a communal kitchen, restaurant, bar, and a movie room. Selina’s 6 day surf package includes 4 surf lessons, surf equipment, all meals and 5 nights accommodation. There’s also great WIFI, a sociable scene and many other trips and activities you can choose to get involved in.
There are surf instructors suitable for all levels so its a good choice whether you want to learn how to surf or improve on your technique all while connecting with other digital nomads. Click here to see prices, reviews, more info and to book!
Read More: Best Yoga Retreats in Costa Rica
If your yoga practice is as important to you as learning how to surf then join this amazing 5-day yoga retreat and surf camp in Costa Rica and recharge, renew and enjoy the waves. You will start your day with a relaxing and rejuvenating morning yoga lesson and enjoy the ocean with three surf lessons on this 6 day retreat. All meals are included as well as a reception and sangria night. Plus, your accommodations include daily maid service so all you have to do is pack your bags, head to this oasis that sits between the beach and the jungle, and relax.
Founded by Alejandro Torres and Rose Gainza, Vida Asana was one of the first ever yoga retreats to pop up on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. It’s a stunning property surrounded by beautiful scenery and boasting a pool, a lovely yoga platform and lounge areas. Soak up the smells, sounds and scenery of both the jungle and the ocean at this Costa Rica surf camp. In your free time you can also explore massage, sound healing, acupuncture, temazcal sweat lodge ceremony or join in community enrichment activities or excursions, activities and day trips. Click here for more info, photos, reviews and to book.
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Where better than Costa Rica to take an eco yoga and surf retreat. Imagine zip-lining through the rainforest, sitting under a majestic waterfall, practicing yoga and surfing in a world famous hot spot. That is what you can expect at Danyasa Eco-Retreat. This 5-day surf camp in Costa Rica allows you to practice the physical and mental benefits that both yoga and surfing share and connect deeper with your body, breath, and creative spirit.
Enjoy three yoga classes, three surf lessons and four nights accommodation at this quirky, intimate, eco-retreat. The rooms are situated in upcycled container containers which means they are a little on the small side but they are cosy with top quality mattresses, 1500 thread count sheets, AC, hot water and high-speed WiFi as well as plenty of light, a sit out area and free filtered drinking water to maximize your comfort.
There’s also a secluded outdoor jungle shower and a delicious, organic, vegan breakfast is also included.When you’re not practicing yoga or surfing, you can relax and play on the sun deck, in the swimming pool or in one of the lounge areas or opt to join canyoning, canopy, kayaking, snorkelling, white water rafting or horse riding trips. Click here to book, get more info or read reviews.
You can’t beat surfing and practicing yoga at the National Park of Playa Grande, right across the estuary from Playa Tamarindo. This is one of the best surf camps in Costa Rica, and one of the most family friendly, offering secluded oceanfront eco friendly lodging, surfing and yoga in an open air yoga shala.
Spend a blissful 8-days in a stunning off-the-beaten-path location where the jungle meets the beach. You’ll be staying at Hotel Las Tortugas in a tastefully decorated private room. Enjoy yoga every morning, followed by surfing on one of Costa Rica’s best surfing beaches. A massage or spa treatment is also included in the package.
This surf camp is better suited to surfers with some experience as surf board rental for the week is included in the package but if you wish to take surf lessons to improve your technique these can also be arranged. It’s also completely family friendly.
You can also opt to spend the afternoon horseback riding, canoeing, exploring the area’s natural hot springs and waterfalls or enjoying a wide range of healing spa treatments at the onsite spa. A delicious vegetarian breakfast is included and other meals can be added on or you can explore the local eateries. For reviews, prices, more info or to book, click here.
Have you been on a great surf camp in Costa Rica?
I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below 🙂