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Thinking about surfing Costa Rica?
This is our complete surf travel guide. Read for everything you need to know about surfing in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a surfer’s paradise, with an endless supply of perfect waves. From the beginner-friendly shores of Tamarindo to the more challenging breaks of Puerto Viejo, there’s something for everyone. And with year-round good weather and water temperatures, you can surf here 365 days a year. Costa Rica is also well-known for its friendly locals and laid-back vibe. So whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned pro, you’re sure to have a great time surfing in Costa Rica.
Now that you know a little bit about Costa Rica, it’s time to start planning your trip. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about surfing in Costa Rica, including the best waves, where to stay, and what to bring. So let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is the best time of year for surfing in Costa Rica?
For many surfers, Costa Rica is the perfect destination. With its warm water, consistent waves, and laid-back vibe, it’s no wonder that Costa Rica is a top choice for surfers of all levels. But when is the best time to visit Costa Rica for surfing? The answer depends on what kind of waves you’re looking for. If you’re hoping to score some serious barrels, then the best time to visit is during the winter (December to April). During this time of year, the swells are bigger and the water is warmer.
However, if you’re more interested in catching some gentle waves, then you’ll want to visit during the summer months (May to November). This is when you’ll find smaller, softer waves that are perfect for beginners. So whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time surfer, Costa Rica has something to offer.
The Best Surf Spots in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a mecca for surfers from all over the world. Blessed with an abundance of warm water and consistent waves, it’s no wonder that Costa Rica has become one of the most popular surf destinations in the world. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there’s a wave for you in Costa Rica. Here are just a few of the best surf spots in this beautiful country.
Located on the northwest coast of Costa Rica, Tamarindo is one of the country’s most popular surfing destinations. The town’s wide beaches and consistent waves make it a haven for surfers of all levels, from beginners to pros. What’s more, Tamarindo is also a great place to learn how to surf. The warm water and gentle waves make it the perfect place to get your feet wet. And if you’re looking for some guidance, there are plenty of surf schools in town that can help you catch your first wave.
Nosara is one of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets. This surf town is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, and it offers some of the best waves in the country. While Nosara is a bit more off the beaten path than some of the other surf spots on this list, it’s well worth the effort to get here. The waves are world-class, and the beaches are stunning. And if you’re looking for a challenge, be sure to check out Playa Guiones, Nosara’s famous left-hand point break.
But it’s not just the waves that make Nosara special – it’s also the laid-back vibe and friendly locals. Whether you’re catching some early morning waves or relaxing on the beach with a cold beer, Nosara is the perfect place to disconnect from the outside world and enjoy the simple things in life. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable surfing experience, be sure to add Nosara to your list.
Located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa is one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful surf towns. The town’s long stretches of sandy beaches and lush jungle make it a popular spot for both surfers and travelers alike. And with its year-round warm water and consistent waves, it’s no wonder that Santa Teresa is often referred to as the “surf capital” of Costa Rica.
Whether you’re looking to catch some gentle waves or challenge yourself with some big barrels, Santa Teresa has something to offer. And when you’re not surfing, there’s plenty to do in town. From exploring the jungle to relaxing on the beach, Santa Teresa is the perfect place to enjoy the best of what Costa Rica has to offer.
Surf Camps in Costa Rica
One of the best ways to experience Costa Rica’s waves is to sign up for a surf camp. These camps offer everything from beginner lessons to advanced coaching, and they’re a great way to meet other like-minded travelers.
There are surf camps located all over Costa Rica, so it’s easy to find one that fits your needs. And with so many different camps to choose from, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you. Here are some of our favorite surf camps in Costa Rica:
Lapoint Santa Teresa
This popular surf camp sits in a secluded spot, surrounded by lush gardens, a 5-minute walk from Playa Carmen in Santa Teresa.
The camp is made up of one large villa and five bungalows. The main villa can accommodate up to 34 people, while the bungalows can each accommodate two. So whether you’re traveling with a large group or just want some privacy, they’ve got you covered.
The open-air lounge and hangout area is the perfect place to socialize and meet new friends, while the swimming pool is perfect for cooling off after a long day in the sun. The on-site bar serves up refreshing drinks and delicious snacks, and the restaurant serves healthy food to help you refuel.
La Point Santa Teresa offers guests a 1-week all-inclusive package. This includes private or shared accommodation, 3 meals per day, 2 surf lessons per day, and unlimited use of the camp’s facilities. The camp also offers a range of other activities such as yoga, stand-up paddleboarding, and snorkeling.
Lapoint Santa Teresa is perfect for those looking for a surf camp with plenty of activities on offer and the opportunity to meet other like-minded travelers.
You can book a 1-week package with Lapoint Santa Teresa now starting from $783 per person.
Surf Spirit Costa Rica
If you’re looking for a luxury surf camp experience Surf Spirit Costa Rica in Tamarindo is perfect for you.
This high-end surf retreat is located a short drive from Tamarindo Beach. And while it’s a bit more expensive than some of the other surf camps in Costa Rica, it’s definitely worth the splurge. The secluded resort features beautiful wooden bungalows with stunning views of the mountains and the ocean, and an infinity pool that overlooks the nearby surf.
Packages at Surf Spirit Costa Rica start at $3223 per person for a 1-week stay.
The 1-week surf camp package includes 6 days of surf lessons, 1 private yoga lesson, 1 1-hour massage, and a snorkeling trip to the Catalinas Islands. You’ll also receive a pack of your surfing photos and a T-shirt. Plus, you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet each morning.
With its luxurious accommodations and top-notch amenities, Surf Spirit Costa Rica is the perfect place to relax and learn to surf in style.
You can book a 1-week package with Surf Spirit Costa Rica now starting from $3223 per week.
Located in the laid-back surf village of Nosara on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, Selina Nosara is the perfect place to surf, do yoga, and explore.
Guests can choose between a 1-week or 11-day all-inclusive surf camp package when staying with Selina Nosara. Both packages include daily surf lessons, shared or private accommodation, surfboard and wetsuit hire, and a daily breakfast buffet.
For digital nomads, there is also an all-inclusive Co-working package.
You can choose to stay in a private room or dorm-style accommodation. The dorms sleep 4 to 10 guests, and feature bunk beds, lockers, and shared bathrooms, along with free Wi-Fi. While the private rooms are more spacious and come with a private bathroom and air conditioning.
There are also plenty of social spaces to enjoy, including a pool, bar, restaurant, and coworking space.
With its great location and affordable prices, Selina Surf Camp is a great option for budget-conscious surfers.
See also: 6 of the Best Surf Camps in Costa Rica
Surf Resorts in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is home to some of the best surf resorts in the world. If you’re looking for a surf vacation with all the bells and whistles, then a surf resort is definitely the way to go. Here are some of our favorite surf resorts in Costa Rica:
Hotel Nantipa, Santa Teresa
Looking for a luxury surf hotel to stay at while you’re in Santa Teresa? Look no further than Hotel Nantipa. Located right on the beach, this modern resort is perfect for surfers.
Featuring living areas, terraces and hammocks, the rooms are stylish and offer all the amenities you need, like Wi-Fi, smart TVs and minibars. Upgrade to a bungalow for your own private plunge pool.
And don’t forget to check out the open-air, thatched-roof restaurant on the beach – it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a meal with a view. Breakfast is available each morning, as are yoga classes and wellness treatments.
Book a room now at Hotel Nantipa in Santa Teresa from $369 a night.
Mint Santa Teresa
Set on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this adults-only guesthouse is a short walk from Playa Carmen in Santa Teresa.
The four understated rooms all feature king-size beds, air conditioning, an ocean view, and a private rooftop terrace. Amenities include complimentary breakfast, an infinity pool with stunning views of the ocean, and a sundeck and lounge.
The property was specially designed by Costa Rican architects and is filled with handpicked, locally sourced furniture, and design details.
The owners – Jonas and Johanna – have spent 6 years in the area and are on hand to show you the very best of Santa Teresa, including their favorite restaurants, excursions, and surf spots. If you’d like some surf lessons, a trip out in the area, a horse-riding excursion, or anything else Santa Teresa has to offer, Jonas and Johanna are happy to help.
Book a room now at Mint Santa Teresa from $180 a night.
The Nomadic Hotel Nosara
This colorful guesthouse, located on the outskirts of Playa Guiones, is ideal for exploring everything that Nosara has to offer.
With its spacious and well-designed rooms, The Nomadic Hotel is perfect for couples or groups of friends seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The rooms are bright and airy, with high ceilings, large windows, private balconies, and free Wi-Fi.
Amenities include a tropical pool area, sun deck, and a kitchen serving fresh healthy meals on rotation. It’s perfectly designed to create a space that gets you amped on life, inspired, and connected with like-minded travelers.
The hotel can arrange surfing lessons, stand-up paddleboarding, horseback riding, and zip-lining – all of which can be enjoyed against the backdrop of Nosara’s stunning natural landscape.
Book a room now at The Nomadic Hotel in Nosara from $163 a night.
See also: 6 of the Best Surf Resorts in Costa Rica
Surf Lessons in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of the most popular surf destinations in the world, and for good reason. With miles and miles of coastline bordering both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans, there are waves to be found for every level of surfer, from beginner to advanced.
But if you’re a complete novice, then never fear! There are plenty of surf schools in Costa Rica that will get you up and riding the waves in no time.
Tamarindo Tours offers group surf lessons for just $50 per person, which includes all of the necessary equipment. The lesson takes place on the beautiful Playa Tamarindo, with its gentle waves and sandy bottom, making it the perfect place to learn.
If you’re staying in Nosara, you can get a private surf lesson with local Abraham. For just $80 per person, you’ll get a customized lesson that takes place on some of Nosara’s most beautiful beaches, like Playa Guiones.
Down in Santa Teresa, you can book a group surf lesson for $60 per person with Santa Teresa Tours. You’ll get two full hours of instruction, as well as GoPro pics and videos of your surf lessons to take home with you.
Surfboard hire in Costa Rica
If you’re an experienced surfer and just want to hit the waves, then there’s no need to worry about finding a surf school. You can easily hire a surfboard from one of the many surf shops in Costa Rica.
Iguana Surf is a surf school and surf shop in Tamarindo that offers a wide range of surfboards, including shortboards, funboards, hybrid boards, and longboards. There are over 125 boards, measuring from as short as 5’6” up to 10’, with both epoxy and soft-top options available, meaning there are boards for surfers of any level of experience. They offer plenty of help in selecting a board to fit your needs, and you can even get half off rental if you take a surf lesson with them.
The Frog Pad in Nosara is designed to help you get precisely the board you need and will offer plenty of advice on which of their stock might be best suited. They have bodyboards, longboards, funboards, shortboards, and more, including those with and without epoxy so there’s plenty of choice.
In Sanata Teresa, Kina Surf Shop carries not just a wide range of surfboards, but just about everything you’ll need to hit the waves, including bikinis and boardshorts. They offer high-quality boards from JS Industries and DHD Surfboards, as well as accessories such as leashes, wax, and sunscreen, not to mention fishing lessons. A good place to hit up if you’ve come completely unequipped.
Travel Insurance for Surfing in Costa Rica
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner just catching your first waves, travel insurance should be at the top of your packing list.
Surfing can be an unpredictable sport, and accidents can happen even to the most experienced surfers. Travel insurance will protect you in case of any accidents or injuries, as well as lost or stolen equipment. It can also provide valuable assistance if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
So before you start surfing Costa Rica, make sure you’re covered by a good travel insurance policy (we recommend checking out Nomad Travel Insurance for Surfing).