Thousands of people travel to Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica every year and most of them come to surf. Besides Jaco in the central Pacific part of the country, Tamarindo is the most popular place to learn how to surf in Costa Rica. In fact, it’s one of the most popular places in the world to learn how to surf thanks to its consistent waves and weather. This is why you will find the best surf camps in Costa Rica right here in Tamarindo Beach.
The two most popular surf camps in Tamarindo Beach are Iguana Surf Camp and Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. So, what makes these among the best surf camps in Costa Rica, and which one is right for you? Read on to find out.
Iguana Surf Camp
Iguana Surf is a boutique surf camp located right across the street from the beach and main break in Tamarindo. There are six rooms, so guests here enjoy a more personalized experience over the spring break-style camps. There is also a surf camp host and hotel interns on-site at all times to answer all of your questions and give you the “inside scoop” on local happenings. While private surf lessons will be customized to your level of experience, group lessons at Iguana Surf cater to beginners, where over 125,000 surfers have learned to surf over the past 30 years.
Surf Camp: Iguana Surf Camp has a five-night, six-night, and seven-night surf camp package. The seven-night stay features accommodations in their Costa Rica surf hotel, airport transfer, five surf lessons, one surf trip with an instructor, video analysis, a photo package, daily breakfast, a rash guard, unlimited board rentals, and discounts on Costa Rican tours. The seven-night surf camp package starts at $849 plus tax for a shared room and $1,499 for a private room.
Lessons: Daily surf lessons are offered to guests during their package stay. but they also offer standalone group beginner lessons, private lessons to meet you where you’re at, and semi-private lessons so you can learn with your friends during your visit to Tamarindo Beach or try a Stellar Package if you have a few days to learn without committing to the surf camp. There is a three-day, five-day, and seven-day Stellar Package that includes daily private lessons, a surf photo package, unlimited board rentals, a t-shirt to keep, and a surf video analysis and surf trip for the longer two packages. The packages start at $265 plus tax.
Accommodations: Iguana Surf hotel is located directly across the street from the beach and just a two-minute walk to the center of town with a variety of restaurants and shops. There are 4 private rooms, a family suite that sleeps up to 10 people and a dorm room. The dorm room has just six bunks with private lockers and two dedicated bathrooms. The Iguana Surf Shop is on the ground floor and there is a full supermarket right next door.
Equipment: You have access to unlimited surfboard rentals during your stay at Iguana Surf Camp. Surfers also get to use a rash guard during their lessons.
Perks: If you opt for a private room during your stay, you can get 25% off when you bring a friend and 40% off when you bring two friends. The surf camp packages feature add-ons such as yoga lessons, Spanish lessons, ziplining, ATV tours, catamaran cruises, scuba diving, volcanic hot springs, and more. Just choose an add-on during check-out for major savings on these tours and experiences.
Witch’s Rock Surf Camp
Witch’s Rock Surf Camp has been operating in Tamarindo since 2001, hosting over 50,000 guests. Their beachfront location on Tamarindo Beach is ideal for surfers looking to wake up first thing and get out on the waves.
Surf Camp: Witch’s Rock Surf Camp offers surf camp packages for beginners, intermediate, and advanced surfers. Their seven-night surf camp packages include seven nights at their Costa Rica surf hotel, airport shuttle, daily surf lessons, daily breakfast, videography, video analysis, surf tours by van or boat, unlimited board rentals, and a graduation surf trip and party. This package starts at USD 1,852 for a private room.
Lessons: Daily two-hour surfing lessons at Witch’s Rock are provided to guests staying as part of their surf camp package. Walk-in lessons are also available provided there is space, as priority is given to the surf camp guests. Therefore, you can only book a two-hour walk-in lesson one day in advance. The cost is $62.15 and includes your board rental during the class. You can also take part in the Beginner Surf Program which is $130 per person, per day and offers two-hour daily lessons, a surf seminar, 24-hour board rentals, and access to your own surf video. There is a four-day minimum.
Accommodations: Witch’s Rock Surf Camp has 18 rooms at its Costa Rica surf hotel, some with an ocean view. Each room comes with air conditioning, a private bathroom with hot water, and a safe to store your valuables. Witch’s Rock is set up more like a resort, with a swimming pool, surf shop, two on-site restaurants (Eat at Joe’s and El Vaquero), three bars, and a microbrewery. They also have larger accommodations such as two-bedroom and three-bedroom suites at their sister surf hotel, Pueblo Dorado, which is located across the street.
Equipment: During your stay at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, you will receive free surfboard rentals to use during lessons and anytime throughout your stay.
Perks: Witch’s Rock offers the 50/50 program, which works as a referral program that gives you a $50 credit on your next stay if someone drops your name at the time of booking. When you bring a first-time guest with you on your stay, you will receive the $50 credit and your guest will receive your 10% return guest discount. Guests can also get a 20% discount on their next stay if they book it during their current stay.
While both surf camps offer similar packages and locations, the biggest difference is in the prices and atmosphere. Witch’s Rock is more like a resort while Iguana Surf is a smaller boutique experience. You can save a lot of money by opting for a shared dorm room at Iguana Surf and save a few hundred dollars for a private room stay, however, you won’t be staying directly on the sand surrounded by restaurants and bars.
If you want more of a resort-type experience, stay at Witch’s Rock. If you want a personalized, boutique beachfront experience then go with Iguana Surf. Which one is the best surf camp in Costa Rica? We can’t say. You will just have to come to Costa Rica and decide for yourself!
Written by Jennifer LaCharite