Your Costa Rica Surf Vacation on a Budget

Your Costa Rica Surf Vacation on a Budget

We all know the costs to travel are going up but that doesn’t have to mean a Costa Rica surf vacation is out of reach, even if you’re on a budget. There are several ways for the budget traveler to afford a Tamarindo Costa Rica surf camp, with dorm-style accommodations, combo tours to make the most of your vacation, and price breaks for bringing a friend, choosing Iguana Surf Camp can be your one-stop shop for a budget-friendly surf vacation.


Not everyone has the budget to fly halfway around the world to stay at their dream surf camp. Choosing a surf camp that is a bit closer to home means you spend less of your travel budget on flights, not-to-mention the time you could lose traveling to some far-off place. For example, if you’re living in Canada or the United States, a flight to Australia will cost you around $3,000 and could take about 24 hours. A flight from North America to Costa Rica will likely be around one-third of this cost and time. 

tamarindo Costa Rica surf camp

So, if you’re in the Americas and looking for something closer to home, check out Iguana Surf Camp. We are located in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, which is just an hour’s drive from the closest international airport (LIR). Our proximity to great beaches for learners and even experienced surfers makes travel here easy and affordable. Our camp provides lessons at some of Costa Rica’s most famous surf spots. Tamarindo is one of the most popular places to surf in the country, where you can catch waves perfect for beginners or make it your base camp to try some of the most challenging waves that the county has to offer, like Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point. You can learn how to stand up for the first time or take on some of Costa Rica’s most powerful waves at Iguana Surf Camp.

Costa Rica surf vacation

Our Tamarindo Costa Rica surf camp is located directly in front of the main beach, meaning you just have to cross the street to start surfing! We are also located right downtown so you can walk to dozens of restaurants, shops, grocery stores, and bars. This is perfect for travelers that don’t want to rent a car or spend a lot of money on taxis.

We often recommend one of the restaurants near the hotel to our budget travelers who want to eat real Costa Rican cuisine. Soda El Buen Comer serves the typical “casado” meal, which is a generous portion of your choice of protein, salad, rice, beans, vegetables, and plantains. They also serve the traditional rice and beans called “gallo pinto” for breakfast along with eggs.

Big Time Budget Tip: Bring a refillable water bottle! The tap water in Costa Rica is safe to drink, so you can save money by filling up your bottle at the tap and save dozens of plastic bottles from ending up in the landfill.

Costa Rica surf vacation

Another money-saving opportunity can be found at the surrounding beachfront bars and restaurants which offer happy hour prices daily from 5 to 7 pm.

You don’t have to spend your entire Costa Rica surf vacation testing your surf skills at Tamarindo Beach. It’s easy to try out the waves at other beaches when you make our Tamarindo surf camp your base, which is located within a 30-mile radius of other great surf spots like Playa Grande, Playa Avellanas, and Playa Langosta. We offer combined surf trips to these places for $160 plus tax per person or $260 for two people. This also includes your own guide and a surfboard. It’s typically a four-hour trip and you can surf for two hours.


You can save a lot of money when you choose shared accommodations at our Tamarindo surf camp. Our eight-bed dorm room is clean and comfortable. This isn’t some mosquito-filled, hot, and damp surf camp – this is a true escape from the jungle!

Discover our Tamarindo Costa Rica surf camp packages

We offer five, six, and seven-night surf camp packages that include everything you need to learn to surf and stay with us, including a round-trip shuttle to and from the airport, daily breakfast, surf lessons, video analysis to help you improve your skills, a rash guard, unlimited board rentals, a surf trip to a nearby beach, and professional photos of your surfing success! Our seven-night surf camp stay is usually USD 849, but we are currently running a promotion for November 2022 of 15 percent off!

Costa Rica surf vacation

Big Time Budget Tip: Travelling in the off-season in May and from September to November is when you will find the biggest discounts on your Costa Rica surf vacation.

The savings don’t end there! You save all year long when you bring your friends. Bring one friend and save 25 percent, bring two friends and save 40 percent!

While breakfast is covered during your stay, we also have a shared kitchen in the hotel that is fully equipped so you can save money by preparing your own lunch and dinner. There are several options for grocery shopping nearby but those with a really limited budget can find even more savings in the nearby towns. Chain grocery stores like Maxi Pali and Mega Super can be found in Villareal, or the even cheaper Pali store near the town of Huacas, are more budget-friendly options than the stores found in Tamarindo.

tamarindo Costa Rica surf camp

Getting to these towns is pretty easy and inexpensive. You can hop on a public bus in front of the surf shop (the green bus) for less than a dollar or pay a little more and grab a “colectivo” (private taxi) for $2 to $3 each way. Don’t worry! We will help you figure it out. Someone is always available to answer your questions.


The best part of the trip for some is also the cheapest. This is spending the day at the beach, lounging, swimming, people-watching, and, of course, surfing. The biggest expense for most people during their Costa Rica surf vacation will be taking tours to see the country and experience sights other than the beach. This is where spending your time at a Tamarindo Costa Rica surf camp like Iguana Surf comes in handy because we offer combined tours in our surf camp package add-ons. Combining tours, rather than taking one at a time, is a cost-saving measure for travelers on a budget.

Costa Rica surf vacation

Our best value and most popular add-on for a seven-night stay is the Costa Rica Adventure Add-On. This combo tour includes a sunset sail on a catamaran that takes you to a quiet and secluded beach for lunch and lounging where your chances of seeing some tropical wildlife are pretty good! This trip also includes an open bar and dolphin-watching from the deck. This add-on also includes an ATV tour of the surrounding beaches and mountains. The two-hour ATV tour provides an exhilarating way to explore the natural beauty that Costa Rica is known for.

Costa Rica surf vacation

The biggest highlight of the Adventure Add-on has got to be the full-day Adventure Combo Tour. This all-day tour takes place at Rincon de la Vieja National Park where you can see one of the largest and most active volcanos in Costa Rica! Once here, you will glide through the canopy on an eight-cable zipline, rappel a canyon wall, do some rock climbing, and white-water rafting all before enjoying a volcanic mud bath and a relaxing dip in the natural hot springs. This is the ultimate Costa Rican adventure all wrapped into one all-included day!

There are ways to save a buck during your Costa Rica surf vacation and our local guides at Iguana Surf will help you with all the tips and tricks you need to stretch your dollar!


Written by Jennifer LaCharite

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