Where is the best place to learn to surf in Costa Rica?

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Answered by: Janet, An Expert in the Traveling in Costa Rica Category
A small community on the Costa Rican north Pacific coast, Tamarindo

offers a variety of wonderful opportunities for surfers of all ages and levels.

Because of its location, it has become a surfing mecca in Central America and

hosts thousands of surfers every years. Even those that choose to visit for

other reasons cannot resist the lure of the gentle waves in the small

bay. On a normal day, the waves on one end are perfect for beginners while the

waves on the opposite end of the bay can support surfers of varying abilities.

     Since Tamarindo was made famous by the screening of "Endless Summer

II", in which world renowned surfer, Robert August, memorialized the town and

its waves, surfers the world over have been descending upon this once sleepy

fishing community to partake in the sport. Recently, the size of the waves

shifted and became gentler due to some environmental changes in the bay, and

the town has since moved its focus in order to appease all of the travelers

wanting to learn to surf.

     Over the last seveal years, many surf schools have popped up in the

area. Robert August (who now works with Witch's Rock Surf Camp) was one of the

first to start this trend, and since then many other reputable and well run

schools have sprung up to pick up the overflow. Many of these operate out of

adventure companies and can provide not only lessons for the novice, but surf

trips for other, more experienced surfers.

     For those wishing to learn to surf in Costa Rica, there are one to two classes per

day, depending on the tides, by just about every surf company in town. Most of

these companies guarantee that you will be able to stand up on your board and

at least catch a wave by the end of your lesson, and it is an amazing sight to

see a flock of fledgling surfers, each with matching rash guards, as they

shakily capture their first waves. The smiles and joy are contagious as they

ride their way in or topple back into the ocean.

     Each school offers lessons in both English and Spanish, and depending

on the size of the class there will be one or two instructors to help once the

students are out in the waves. Learning to surf couldn't possibly be any


     For those that have already mastered the art of catching a wave, there

are a variety of great surf breaks in the Tamarindo vicinity. On either side of

Tamarindo there are breaks that can accommodate intermediate to advanced

surfers, and nearby is the thrilling Witch's Rock, one of the most coveted surf

spots in the country. The spot is located just off of Playa Naranjo and

requires either a boat to get there or a 4x4 to arrive by land, so it's

advisable to hit one of the many surfer hangouts in town to find some travel


     Because much of Tamarindo's tourism caters to the backpacker and

traveling surfer, there is no shortage of inexpensive lodging and food options.

There is also a great bar scene with lots of dancing and a supply of people

from all over the globe to meet. And with an incredibly eclectic and

international influence in the area, there is something to please everyone,

from genuine Italian-made pizza to Lebanese food to sushi. Very few places

around the world embrace surfing so wholeheartedly, and because of that,

Tamarindo offers the perfect retreat for anyone wanting to learn to surf in Costa Rica or

wanting to further their skills in the sport.

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