Looking To Book A Costa Rica Surf Trip?

Looking To Book A Costa Rica Surf Trip?

Get The Inside Scoop From Our Surf Guides Before you Arrive!

You’ve heard Costa Rica is a perfect destination if you want to fulfill your surfing fantasy.  With some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the kindest locals, and sunshine year round (even in green season!), you have no reason not to go!  BUT you aren’t exactly ready to jump on a plane and grab a board yet, until you know what you’re getting yourself in to.

So what should you expect when you book a lesson with Iguana Surf on your Costa Rica Surf Camp?

  • 2 hour lesson with a bilingual instructor, including a 30 minute beach safety briefing
  • Practice surf form on the beach – this way you will feel 100% confident before you even hit the water!
  • Time to catch waves – Your instructor will be right by you the whole way, telling you when to stand up and pushing you into the wave.
  • Review your lesson, wash off, and rent your board for the next time out or schedule another lesson!

That’s the basic breakdown of a surf lesson, but what’s the inside scoop?! We talked to some of our most experienced surf instructors to find out what questions they get asked from Costa Rica Surf Camp first timer’s.

Interviewed Today is 3 of our Top Surf Guides

Manuel, Abraham, and Christian are dedicated surfers and a crucial part of Iguana Surf’s amazing team. To learn even more about them and the rest of the crew, check out our Meet the Iguana Surf Family blog post.


How long have you been surfing?

I’ve been surfing two years.  I started working at the shop and learned how to surf there. They gave me a job offering and I thought I might as well learn how to surf!

Is it important to be a good swimmer in order to learn how to surf?

It’s not necessarily important, because the water will be at chest level.  You’ll be able to stand the whole time you are learning.  The instructor will push you into the waves, and sometimes all you have to do is slow paddle before standing up.  Before the lesson, we will go over safety and everything you need to know in the water.

Does age matter?

No, because we can teach anyone how to surf! We figure out which board fits you best based on your age, size, and skill set. We can learn in the smaller waves.

Where is your favorite place to surf in Costa Rica?

Avellanas is my favorite spot, because the waves aren’t too big and it’s the perfect wave for an intermediate surfer.

Why do you love to surf?

I love to surf because it’s a time to relax while still being active.  If you have stress or worry, the water helps take that away and find calmness.

What makes Iguana Surf unique?

Iguana is not just a surf shop, it truly feels like home! Everyone is welcome to come and hang out, whether they are surfing or not.  It is a fun environment, where everyone feels like family.

What’s your best insider tip?!

Don’t take it so seriously! It’s just surfing.  Be safe, and have fun!


How long have you been surfing?

I started surfing at 12 years old, and now I’m 23!  I’ve been instructing for 3 years, and teach lessons almost every day, multiple times a day.  My favorite is the surf campers!  When I can have lessons with them every day for week.  I can see their progress and how far they’ve come every single day with each lesson.  I love the challenge of giving people the proper tools and knowledge to learn how to surf!

Why is Tamarindo a good spot for beginners to learn how to surf?

Tamarindo is a perfect spot for beginners because the wave is not too heavy, and it’s easier to learn when the waves aren’t so big.  The currents in Tamarindo are not as strong as near-by beaches.  We don’t have reef or a lot of rocks, which means there is more space to learn without potential dangers.

Am I going to get eaten by a crocodile or shark?

Absolutely not!  We have crocodiles in Tamarindo only in the river mouth, so you will not see them while surfing.  As long as you stay away from the “danger” signs by the river mouth, you are super safe!  I have never seen a shark in Tamarindo.  The only kinds of sharks around here are the small, harmless kind.  The wildlife we do have is manta rays and jelly fish ( in January, February, and March).

Where is your favorite place to surf in Costa Rica?

My favorite spot is Witch’s Rock.  The waves are perfect- they are huge and strong, but slow. It’s like my Disneyland!  The water is so clear and a beautiful blue.  You can only get there by boat.

Why do you love to surf?

I love to surf because when I’m out on the water, I feel like it’s just me and the wave.  It’s my relaxing time, my spa.  When I have a lot of problems or worries, I go surfing and the adrenaline takes away all of my stress.  I also get fat when I stop surfing!!

What’s the best time to surf?

The best time to surf in Tamarindo is 2 hours before high tide, and 2 hours after high tide.  It’s more difficult to surf during high tide because the wave is wide and slow.

At Witch’s Rock, there is no limit!  You can surf anytime, another reason why I love it.  But the swell is biggest during high tide!

In Playa Negra, the best time to surf is low tide, but there is a lot of reef there.

Avellanas is the same as Tamarindo, 2 hours before high tide or 2 hours after.

In Playa Grande it’s best to surf at medium tide, one hour before high tide.

What makes Iguana Surf unique?

Here at Iguana, we are a family.  We see our customers as friends.  When we go for a lesson, we want you to feel like you are just surfing with a friend!

How long have you been surfing?

I started when I was 11 years old, but I stopped for awhile and focused on soccer instead.  Now I’m 33 and love to surf for fun, instruct, and get competitive on the soccer field!

How many surf lessons do I need before I can be on my own?

It’s very different for every single person, it depends on how strongly you want to learn!  I would say that if you joined us for a surf camp for a whole week, you will definitely have some skill and knowledge to be able to go out on your own.

Where is your favorite place to surf in Costa Rica?

My favorite place to surf is here, in Tamarindo!  I grew up surfing these waves, and I know every single spot. When I surf here I truly feel the Pura Vida vibe.

What is the difference between long boards and short boards?

Sometimes people think that longboards are only for beginners, but you can also surf a long board “classic style.”  A long board will provide more slow and smooth riding, while a short board is more fast paced and gives you an adrenaline rush.

Why do you love to surf?

I love to surf because the second I’m in the water and start to paddle, I forget everything else.  It is my therapy, it makes me feel instantly happy and clears my mind.  It’s also a really good way to stay in shape and meet friends on the water.  There are no words to explain the feeling of being on your board during sunset, friends next to you, waiting to catch the next wave.

What makes Iguana Surf unique?

Iguana surf was the very first surf shop in Tamarindo!  We don’t have customers here, we have friends.  Iguana is a big family, where everyone is welcome to come surf or just hang out with us.  Making customers feel like they are part of our family is our biggest priority.

What is the hardest part about surfing?

Surfing doesn’t become challenging unless you get frustrated.  The entire point is to just relax and have fun!! You can’t experience the joys and Pure Vida lifestyle of surfing if you are frustrated at the challenge.  Be patient, stay calm, and just have some fun!

Feeling prepared now to come join us at Iguana for your first Costa Rica Surf Camp?!  We’d love to have you for an individual lesson.  We offer private lessons, semi-private, or group lessons- at 3 different times a day so you have a lot of options.  Are you wanting to be fully immersed in the surf life for more than just a day?  Join our surf camp instead!  The surf camp includes a week stay at our beautiful brand new hotel, located directly across the street from the beach and best surf breaks.  You get a lesson every single day with the same instructor, and access to the board rentals whenever you want!

We are currently running a special for green season, call us today to book!  We can’t wait to surf with you!

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