We know it’s summer and the weather is finally getting warm but there are still a lot of perks of spending your summer vacay in a hot location. A trip to Tamarindo, Costa Rica means warm waters for swimming and surfing, spending time soaking up the sun and a different culture, and…saving money. That’s right! There are savings to be had by staying at summer surf camps in Costa Rica.
A summer surf camp is a perfect solution if you want to do something epic on your summer holidays, whether you’re a solo traveler or you are hoping to book a last-minute trip. Leave the planning to our summer surf camp coordinators and relax knowing you have a clean and safe place to stay, daily breakfast, easy access to tours, and other travelers to hang out with!
Flight Deals for Your Summer Vacay
First things first, you have to get here. Don’t get sucked into paying full price for a flight! There are a few tricks that can help you save on airfare. These include using a virtual private network (VPN) to hide your location while searching for flights online, searching in incognito mode, and using Google Flights to find the cheapest flight.
To get to Tamarindo Costa Rica, you can fly into San Jose at the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), but you will have to take a shuttle or a bus to Tamarindo, which can take between five and nine hours due to frequent bus stops. Therefore, flying into the Liberia International Airport (LIR), officially called the Guanacaste International Airport is best. The drive from Liberia to Tamarindo will only take an hour and a half and, if you book your summer surf camp with Iguana Surf, we will send a shuttle to pick you up and drop you off!
A quick search on Google Flights (in incognito) found a few decent options from popular locations in North America. Just remember to check the dates, as certain dates have a big impact on prices. A return flight from New York’s JFK International Airport to Liberia International Airport is USD 366 round trip from Saturday, June 10 to Friday, June 16. This is perfect for Iguana Surf’s six-night summer surf camp package, as surf camps begin on Saturdays. A round trip from Toronto to Liberia for the same time period is USD 602.
Best Surf Beaches in Costa Rica for Your Summer Vacay
Now that you found a great deal on flights, where should you stay? Some of the best beaches for swimming and surfing can be found on the North Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Here, the waters are warm so falling off your surfboard is fun, not freezing like it is in the northern hemisphere. Beaches here are tropical and since it is summer in North America, it is essentially “winter” in Costa Rica. Right now (May) is the beginning of the green season, so the beaches and forests will be lush with greenery in the next few weeks.
Don’t worry about the rains in green season if you plan to spend your summer vacation in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Tamarindo Beach is in the driest part of the country. In July, for instance, it may rain for about 20 minutes in the morning or late afternoon but it will dry up quickly due to the heat. And don’t worry about losing the heat! The warm temps remain consistent no matter what time of year it is, with daytime highs around 30 degrees Celsius (86 F).
So, which beaches can you hit during your stay at a summer surf camp in Costa Rica? The best beach for those learning to surf is Tamarindo – hands down. The waves in Tamarindo are mellow and come right up to the shore so you don’t have to paddle far to reach them. There is a soft sand landing, so falling off your board is safe (and you WILL fall off!). One of the best things about making Iguana Surf your summer surf camp destination is we are located right across the street from the main surf break in Tamarindo! Tamarindo isn’t just for beginners, though. There is a surf break for every level from beginner to advanced.
Another of the best surf beaches in Costa Rica can be found just down the road from Tamarindo at Playa Avellanas. This a great beach break for any beginner surfers who have become comfortable with the main Tamarindo surf. A trip to Avellanas is typically included in Iguana Surf’s summer surf camp package. Playa Grande is located just to the north of Tamarindo Beach and offers some of the best waves in the area for more advanced surfers. It’s also a great spot to watch surfers taking on the bigger waves.
Booking Your Summer Surf Camp Vacation
Our six-night, seven-day surf camp package is ideal for your summer vacation in Costa Rica. Not only are there wicked flight deals offered from Saturdays through Fridays, but it’s also the perfect amount of time to spend trying something new and getting out of your comfort zone. You can save even more money if you bring a friend or two and share a private room – 25 to 40 percent savings!
Sample six-night surf camp itinerary:
Day 1: You will be picked up at the airport on Saturday, which will bring you directly to the Iguana Surf Camp in Tamarindo. You will check in and our people will help get you situated, showing you to your room, our upstairs restaurant, and where to find everything you need in town. After this, you will likely want to rest, get changed, unpack, or check out your surroundings. Tamarindo is a very walkable town and Iguana Surf is in the heart of it. There are literally dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops within walking distance.
Day 2: Today you wake up and take advantage of our daily breakfast at Breakfast Grinds to give you the energy you need for your first lesson. While surfing classes change daily depending on the tides, let’s say your first surf lesson begins at 10 am. After two hours of learning the ropes, you can have lunch and take the day to try one of our tours like an ATV tour of the surrounding beaches, mountains, and towns. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the area.
Day 3: During today’s lesson at 10 am, you will be under video surveillance! This is so we can show you how you are doing the next day during a video analysis. After lunch, you have plenty of time to travel through the jungle canopy on one of Costa Rica’s famous ziplines! Did you know canopy zipline tours were invented in Costa Rica by a Canadian? This tour starts at 3 pm and isn’t too far from your home base. Of course, the tour shuttle will pick you up and drop you off when you are done.
Day 4: Due to the tides, your surf lesson doesn’t start until the afternoon so you make the most of your morning by attending yoga on the beach, followed by brunch with your new surf camp friends and a little shopping for souvenirs. At 3 pm you have surf lessons and that video analysis with one of our instructors, who can show you exactly what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong out on the waves. Now you’re geared up to try out your new skills for today’s two-hour lesson!
Day 5: Today your surf lesson includes a professional photo shoot! This way you can come home with some beautiful shots of your vacation on the waves. After this, you grab a quick bite for lunch so you can make the 1 pm boat launch for your sunset catamaran cruise. Spend the day cruising across the ocean to a hidden bay, where you can snorkel, paddle board, swim, and later enjoy tropical cocktails on the deck while the sun sets over the mighty Pacific – ummm…yes, please!
Day 6: Today is your last full day and it’s time to take your included surf trip to nearby Avellanas Beach. Now that you are more comfortable on your surfboard, you can truly enjoy surfing at this new and beautiful location. Don’t forget to stop at Lola’s Beachfront Restaurant to hang out with local surfers, enjoy a refreshment, and meet their resident pig!
Day 7: Today is check-out day, so pack up your things early and you may just have time to get in one more surf with your unlimited board rentals before we drop you off at the airport.
Summers are made for adventure so don’t be afraid to try something new! Book your summer surf camp and take advantage of the best surf beaches in Costa Rica!
Written by Jennifer LaCharite