Recommendations for Surf Camps/Schools in Costa Rica/Nicaragua?
May 22, 2013 9:14 AM   Subscribe

We're looking for a 5-7 day surf school to give my sister as a graduation (from grad school) gift. She's fluent in Spanish, and doesn't need anything super luxury, just good instruction, good break, good vibes. Any ideas?

I know Tamarindo in CR and Sayulita in MX are two of the most common destinations, but I'd love any recommendations for specific businesses. She's already done a 3-day camp in Long Island, and I'm hoping this will be the stretch that gets her over the beginner hump, so I'm looking for a place that actually has good teachers and equipment good enough to not cause frustration. She's not into nightlife, and not into being pampered, but loves a chill beach scene. I've heard there are even some all-girls camps?
posted by copacetic to Travel & Transportation around Costa Rica (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This doesn't quite fit the 'surf school' requirement but when 3 friends and I went to Costa Rica on a surfing trip (1 somewhat experienced, 3 of us had never been on a board) we stayed at The Funky Monkey in Santa Teresa/Mal Pais.

We hooked up with one of the surf instructors they recommended and he had all of us up on a board same day. I can't remember the exact amount but it wasn't overly expensive and they cater to all levels of ability.

Bonus is the beach is a 5 minute walk away with a surf shop on route that does rentals, though I'm not in a position to judge the quality of equipment other than to say I was not frustrated with it :-)

The accomodations were top notch and the food is still something I dream about regularly (with the resident chef's breakfast burritos being perhaps the best things I've ever had the pleasure of eating for breakfast!).

My friends and I wanted a great surfing spot that wasn't overcrowded and for the most part unspoiled (unlike Tamarindo) and Santa Teresa certainly fit the bill.

I would highly recommend the Funky Monkey; just check Trip Advisor for more people that feel the same.

I think it's a great grad trip present!
posted by Anizev at 2:44 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I (mid 20's female) did a trip to Witch's Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo, and had an amazing time. It turns out I'm worthless at surfing, but all the instructors were positive, encouraging, and constructive all the way to the end of the week.

They have beginner classes at Tamarindo, the intermediates and advanced take trips out to the bigger waves during the day. You can switch it up, so if after one lesson your sister is feeling up for it, she can go intermediate (or advanced!) the rest of the week.

Nonstop rental is included while you're there, and free breakfast every morning. Lots of solo travelers, which was cool. One guy I made friends with had been going for 5 or 6 years after his first trip got him hooked on surfing.

It's not the cheapest spot in Tamarindo, but I thought it was WELL worth it. Many of the other classes we saw were 6-8 or more students per instructor, while we were 2-3 to a group. What else? The massage I got there on the beach was maybe the best I've ever had.

Anyways feel free to MeMail me with questions... Definitely recommend!
posted by ista at 5:43 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

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