Imagine an oceanside utopia where your only cares in the world are surfing, having a good time, and surfing some more. You just imagined life at a surf camp. Surf camps are designed to have you surfing as much as possible, and in most cases, are packaged to include everything you'll need during your stay. Most surf camps, including surf camps for kids and surf camps for adults, include accommodations, meals, surf gear, surf lessons, and coaching or guiding, depending on your experience and ability.
If you're interested in learning how to surf or just beginning to surf, surf camps are a great place to start, and the daily surf lessons will help you build a solid foundation. On the other hand, if your surfing skills are more advanced, you'll have access to experienced, local surf guides who are completely dialed into their beaches and will ensure you're on the best waves at any given moment.
Surf camps come with lots of different vibes, so do your due diligence and make sure the camp you select fits your unique needs and desires. Some surf camps provide a wellness retreat for families replete with yoga classes and healthy foods, while some camps are better for more advanced surfers, yet others cater to a younger, more wanderlust type of crowd.
Regardless of what you prefer, surf camps make fantastic surf trips because they do the majority of day planning and logistics handling for you. With all the legwork taken care of, you'll get to focus on surfing and having the time of your life. So, whether you're looking for a few laid back lessons or an intense immersion course, one of these surf camps is sure to fit the bill.
Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Swell Surfcamp in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, isn't your run-of-the-mill surf camp. The accommodations are chic and include hearty breakfasts (fresh-squeezed orange juice, omelets, and crepes, and fresh fruit bowls) and sumptuous dinners (everything from lasagna to chicken cordon bleu, but their traditional Dominican spreads are a highlight). Meals are shared with other campers around their huge communal dining table, where guests quickly get to know their fellow travelers. The relaxed and welcoming vibe makes you feel like you're part of a really chill, extra fun, extended family.
Structured lessons take place each morning, leaving your afternoons free to relax on the grounds, lounge by the pool, or doze in the hammocks. You'll also want to take some time to explore the picturesque town of Cabarete, just a quick stroll from the camp.
GREAT FOR: Solo travelers, couples, and friends seeking a chill, social-centric experience.
Lucero Surf Vacations
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Located on a jungle hillside in the charming surf town of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, Lucero Surf Vacations offers boutique surf and yoga retreats that are off-the-beaten-path. The stunning property offers top-notch surf lessons and unbeatable hospitality. Week-long packages include small group lessons, exquisite accommodations, and daily breakfast and lunch.
This surf camp is an excellent choice for all types of travelers, but it's an especially appealing option for families. While most adult surf camps don't accept children in their programs, Lucero not only accepts children and gives them fantastic surf lessons, but they have babysitters available, and the whole experience is very family-friendly. Why only look for surf camps for kids or yourself when the entire family can join in the fun?
GREAT FOR: Solo travelers, couples, and families seeking a laid-back yet luxurious boutique experience.
Playa Maderas, Nicaragua
Known as the "Surf Sanctuary of Playa Maderas," Rapture Surfcamp Nicaragua is an outstanding adults-only surf camp nestled in the scenic hillside above Playa Maderas. There are multiple types of accommodations to suit any budget – all with sweeping views of the jungle and ocean below. The area is home to some of the country's most legendary surf spots and is suitable for both novices and pros alike.
After your daily lessons with the experienced local instructors, the choice is yours: have a yoga session on the panoramic deck, dive into the sprawling infinity pool, or have an after surf cocktail over a breathtaking view of the sun setting between the jungle hills and the Pacific Ocean. The incredible amenities of the villa offer the maximum amount of relaxation for guests.
GREAT FOR: Solo travelers and couples seeking an exotic surf camp experience.
Endless Summer Surf Camp
San Clemente, California
Professional surfer turned Camp Director Jason Senn has made introducing people to surfing and enhancing their skills his life's work. Endless Summer Surf Camp is located on a deluxe campsite overlooking the Pacific Ocean on one of the least crowded beaches in Southern California. It's easier and less intimidating to learn to surf when you don't have to stress about more advanced, local surfers flying past you.
Endless Summer Surf Camp was the first surf school to be endorsed by Surfing America and offers separate overnight surf camps for kids and overnight surf camps for adults. Whether you've never surfed before or are ready to take your surfing skills to the next level, Endless Summer has the instruction you need. The camp is all-inclusive (accommodations, meals, and surfing equipment) so all you need to do is worry about getting there.
GREAT FOR: Adults, kids, and families seeking an all-inclusive camp with expert coaching.
Richard Schmidt Surf Retreats
Nosara, Costa Rica
If you're worried that maybe you don't have what it takes to ride the waves like a pro, Richard Schmidt Surf Retreats in Nosara, Costa Rica is for you. That's because the "Schmidt Guarantee" promises you'll stand up and catch a wave on your very first lesson at the surf and yoga retreat.
The promise comes from Schmidt himself, a former pro-surfer who has been teaching surfers of all ages since 1978. Schmidt has teamed up with world-renowned yoga instructor Rolf Gates for week-long yoga and surf retreats where surfers of all ages are welcome, but surfers under 18 years of age need to travel with an adult. It's the perfect camp for people like us who think yoga and surfing go hand-in-hand. The 80% surfing and 20% yoga retreats are a great way to immerse yourself in the two complementary activities.
Camp includes 7 days / 7 nights villa accommodations at The Beach House, just a 5-minute walk from Playa Guiones, a breathtaking 3.1 miles long, white sand beach, located in the heart of the Nicoya peninsulas Gold Coast.
GREAT FOR: Solo travelers, couples, groups, and families seeking to learn from surfing and yoga from top industry professionals.