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With its lush jungles, laid-back lifestyle, and miles of stunning coastline, Costa Rica is one of the most popular eco-tourist destinations on the planet. But for surfers, this Central American paradise is a dream destination. Situated among the surfing giants of Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica is just as widely known for its consistent waves and warm waters. Travelers can expect surfing year-round; the best times (especially for beginners) are during the dry season between December and April.
Along with the fantastic waves, the friendly atmosphere and welcoming surfer community keep travelers returning. Here, you can find the experience that best suits your style, from party surf towns to yoga retreats, all with a luxurious stay nearby. These accommodations have fine-tuned every detail for their guests. Some provide all-inclusive week-long packages, starting the day with private surf lessons and ending with a massage, while others offer a la carte restorative yoga and beach-side dining between surf sessions.
These are the best surf hotels, boutique stays, and resorts in Costa Rican catering to every surfer’s need.
Guanacaste Province Surf Resorts
The Guanacaste Province is home to some of Costa Rica’s most well-known and best surf spots. In particular, the beach breaks and conditions in this region are perfect for beginners. There are a number of surf towns up and down the coast, but Tamarindo and Nosara are the best-known among surfers.
In Tamarindo, you’ll find a lively party town that’s perfect for solo travelers. Head to Nosara to experience a more laid-back vibe catering more to surfers specifically. Most luxury surf camps offer surfboard rental (sometimes for no extra cost), but if you want to bring your own, you’ll need a really good surf travel bag to protect it.
Four Seasons Costa Rica, Peninsula Papagayo
With spacious accommodations overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this five-star hilltop hotel offers unspoiled landscapes and unending luxury. This may just be the best of the best luxury surf resorts Central America has to offer. Choose between their different suites and private rooms, or enjoy peace and quiet at one of their private retreats (these are a great option for families). Your stay will be crafted with an expert personal touch by their team of nutritionists, trainers, and tour guides. Hop in the warm water with their SurfX program, taught by friendly pros who can help you catch a wave for the first time or refine your surfing skills.
Playa Blanca is just a short walk away, but they also offer day surf trips out to nearby beaches like Playa Avellanas and Playa Tamarindo. Reenergize with their ‘Wipeout Massage,’ wind down with a yoga class, and refuel with fresh, local cuisine. Don’t forget to try their 1,000 square-meter freshwater Bahia Swimming Pool (and the whirlpool grotto).
Price: From $1245 per night
Tierra Magnifica Boutique Hotel, Nosara
Tierra Magnifica is the home away from home for jet-setting surfers. The open-plan property near Playa Guiones perfectly balances luxury comforts and a relaxed, social atmosphere. Their Huacas Restaurant is the perfect place to get to know your fellow guests. Enjoy a leisurely meal crafted from local ingredients, or try a cocktail at the restaurant’s open-air bar. They offer group as well as private and semi-private surf lessons for travelers who prefer more one-on-one teaching.
Surf lessons are through the Gilded Iguana’s Beach Club (check them out for another great accommodation option), where guests have complimentary access throughout their stay. Surfing at Nosara is excellent all year round, but the rainy season from August to December is the best chance to see the Olive Ridley Turtles nesting on the beach at the nearby Ostional Wildlife Refuge.
Price: From $383 per night
Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, Tamarindo
Named for the Witch’s Rock break made famous by the classic surf film Endless Summer II, this surf camp is the perfect destination for solo travelers looking for a strong social experience. Situated on the Playa Tamarindo, it has direct access to excellent beginner waves out front, with more challenging breaks for advanced and intermediate surfers right next door. Costa Rica doesn’t have quite as many famous named surf breaks as spots like the Maldives, but Witch’s Rock is one of the best and the camp runs boat tours (for advanced surfers only). You may even run into Robert August, who now resides in Tamarindo, during their weekly showing of Endless Summer.
Price: From $1586 for one week
Book Through: Expedia
Surf Simply, Nosara
Two hundred meters of protected nature reserves separate Surf Simply’s luxurious rooms from the waves. Their carefully curated surfing lessons are focused on giving you the tools you need to teach yourself how to surf. Clear terminology, in and out-of-water training, and video analysis help make surfing accessible to everyone. Most of their guests are solo travelers, so this resort is designed to encourage the formation of new bonds and friendships.
Price: From $8300 for one week
Puntarenas Province Surf Resorts
The Puntarenas Province makes up the majority of Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline, so it’s packed with beautiful beaches and excellent surf spots. It’s also home to a number of nature reserves and thriving coastal rainforests. The province is closer to Costa Rica’s capital, San José, than Guanacaste, but you’ll likely find the towns here less crowded.
Dominical and Santa Teresa are the two main surfing towns in the region and are quite different locations. Find plenty of hiking and natural wonders, including the stunning Nauyaca Falls in the hippie town of Dominical. From there, take a day trip to Jaco to catch some more famous waves. In the southern Nicoya Peninsula, experience the bustling town and expansive beach of Santa Teresa.
Kalon Surf Resort, Dominical
Kalon Surf Resort designs their stays around 7-day all-inclusive itineraries that adjust with the ocean tides. The experience is geared around learning to surf, but there are plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the resort’s natural beauty and luxury amenities. This is one of the best surf resorts in Costa Rica. Historically, 80% of their guests have little to no surf experience, so you’ll be in good company as you build a foundation of basic skills.
The resort itself is tucked away off the beaten path, surrounded by jungle on the Osa Peninsula. A three-course gourmet dinner is served at a long communal table where all the guests gather together for a great time each night. Hybrid Pilates-Yoga classes and massages are designed to help all levels of surfers recover faster, while their spacious rooms and bungalows offer privacy and comfort.
Price: From $4490 for a week
Danyasa Eco Retreat, Dominical
Eco-conscious, luxurious, and relaxing, this adult-only retreat strongly focuses on yoga and meditation. The jewel in their crown is the open-air Bamboo Yoga Play studio. Here, daily yoga sessions are hosted by welcoming, knowledgeable teachers. Practitioners of all levels are welcome and if you’re interested in one-on-one instruction they offer private classes in the studio or in your room. They usually run an energizing morning session and a relaxing, candlelit evening session. They also host week-long retreats run by practitioners from around the world. These sometimes include surfing lessons at the Playa Dominical. Whether you join a class or head out onto the waves yourself, you’ll be glad to have the comfort and community of Danyasa waiting for you when you return.
Price: From $152 per night
Shaka Costa Rica, Near Santa Teresa
Shaka Costa Rica is a retreat with a personal touch that begins at the booking process. Let them know your surfing experience, who’s traveling with you, and anything else you want them to know. They’ll tailor your lessons, room, food, and more to make your experience unforgettable. With a maximum 3:1 surf coaching ratio, you’ll get focused attention from their surf coaches. The Hermosa Surf Zone is one of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica, and this retreat is right in the heart of it.
Address: 160, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
Price: From $2150 for five nights
Book Through: Official Hotel Site
Hotel Nantipa, Santa Teresa
Hidden in the jungle of Santa Teresa, the Nantipa beachfront hotel puts you a step from the sands in one direction and a step from lush greenery in the other. Wide open-air spaces where you can eat, swim, practice yoga and relax, create an enchanting ambiance. Catch the sunset with a cocktail at Manzu, their beachfront restaurant and stay present in the moment at their Numu Wellness Centre.
Price: From $480 per night
AKWA Resorts, Santa Teresa
AKWA Resorts has some stunning rooms (with king-size beds), but one of the best features of this resort is its spacious, luxurious villas and lodges, perfect for larger groups and longer stays. Surf instructors Tavo and Maya (also the yoga instructor) can help you ride your first wave or perfect your technique on the gentle waves at Santa Teresa’s beautiful beach.
Price: From $160 per night
Selva Boutique Resort, Santa Teresa
Along with daily surf lessons for all skill levels, Selva Resort offers a number of other ways to enjoy the water. Head to the famous turtle-shaped Tortuga Island, where you’ll find snorkeling as good as on St. John (you might get to swim with turtles or dolphins), or take in the view with some coastal horseback riding. Back at your villa, take a dip in your private infinity pool and enjoy the view out over the gardens and the water.
Price: From $355 for two nights
Mint, Santa Teresa
Mint offers a wonderful balance between tranquil privacy and a welcoming community. There are just five guest rooms dotted across the hill where you can relax and enjoy stunning ocean views. Head down to the lounge area in the main house to grab the daily breakfast and get to know your fellow guests. When you’re ready to get in the water, some of the best waves in Santa Teresa are just moments away.
Price: From $230 per night
Book Through: Booking.com
Costa Rica Surf Experiences
If you want an extra customized package or just a little extra guidance to help plan your vacation, try booking through one of Costa Rica’s Surf Experience companies. They’ll organize your accommodation, surfing lessons, food, and other activities for your stay.
Here are some of our favorites:
Lush Palm, Costa Rica
Lush Palm’s 7-night all-inclusive surf retreat in Costa Rica caters to both beginner and intermediate surfers, offering an immersive experience in an oceanfront villa with breathtaking views near prime surf breaks. This adults-only retreat includes personalized surf coaching with video analysis, surfboard rentals, daily surf guiding, nutritious meals, yoga sessions, and massage to enhance the surfing journey. A highlight is the mid-week private catamaran charter, allowing guests to explore Costa Rica’s coastline without working for it.
Price: From $3,950 per week
Safari Surf School, Nosara
Safari Surf School creates customized, all-inclusive surf vacation packages for each traveler, including the option to book a full holiday home instead of staying in a hotel. Their instructors are all locals and many of them have been with Safari Surf for years, so they know all the best spots and local surf culture.
Price: From $1700 for a week
Surf with Amigas
Surf With Amigas runs all-inclusive women-only surf and yoga retreats across the Pacific coast. They run camps in the north and south of Costa Rica, incorporating adventurous outings like horseback rides, waterfall hikes, and short boat trips in between surf lessons.
Price: From $2100 for a week