5 Best Nosara Surf Camps Reviewed {2023}

The surf in Nosara is some of the best, and most consistent in the world. I mean, how many places can you surf glassy, perfect waves almost every single day of the year? Not to mention, the water here sits at a toasty 82-84 degrees all year long. 

One of the best ways to experience the surf in Nosara is to book a Nosara surf camp! There are surf camps in Nosara for all levels or surfers, from absolute beginners to experienced surfers. 

After spending 10+ months in Nosara and surfing here almost daily, I know this area like the back of my hand, and I’m super excited to share this guide to the best Nosara surf camps. 

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In a hurry? Here’s a quick rundown of the best Nosara surf camps:

1. Safari Surf School Backpacker’s Retreat– Best budget Nosara surf camp for backpackers

2. Surf Bikini Retreat– Best Nosara surf camp for women

3. The Gilded Iguana

4. Shambala Surf Retreat– Best Nosara surf and yoga camp for uncrowded waves

5. Selina– Best Nosara surf hostel for digital nomads

5 amazing Nosara surf camps

Nosara Costa Rica Surf, best surf camps in Nosara
Nosara Surfing

Without further ado, here are the 5 best surf camps in Nosara:

1. Safari Surf School Backpacker’s Retreat– Best budget Nosara surf camp for backpackers

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | 💸 Cost: $$ | 🌊 Availability: Check here!

Safari Surf School offers one of the best Nosara surf camps for backpackers. 

The Safari Surf School Backpacker’s retreat is suitable for all levels of surfers: beginners, intermediates, and advanced. Their surf package includes six expert-led surf lessons, supplemented with video analysis and surf theory lessons to really help you hone your surfing skills. 

During this surf camp, you’ll stay at the Nosara Beach Hostel. I’ve actually lived in this hostel for a few months, and it is AMAZING. The people are awesome, the kitchens huge, and it’s only a 3 minute walk from the surf. 

This Nosara surf camp includes daily delicious breakfasts at the Olas Verdes Hotel, along with a bike rental so you can get around town. 

You also get to choose an extra excursion: yoga, horseback riding, secret waterfall visits… the choice is yours.

Special features:

  • Accommodations at an amazing surf hostel three minutes from the beach
  • Daily breakfast at Olas Verdes Hotel
  • Bike rental included
  • Bonus excursion! Choose from yoga, horseback riding, exploring waterfalls, and more

“Jeffrey was amazing at making my holiday run smoothly. It meant I could focus on enjoying myself and Costa Rica rather than spend hours planning activities.”

– Jonathan (see more reviews)

2. Surf Bikini Retreat– Best Nosara surf camp for women

Surf Bikini Retreat, best Nosara surf camps
Book your surf camp with Surf Bikini Retreat

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | 💸 Cost: $$$ | 🌊 Availability: Check here!

Surf Bikini Retreat is a wonderful, all women’s surf camp in Nosara. 

The surfing program at Surf Bikini Retreat is incredible. Over the course of 8 days, you’ll receive 18 hours of professional surf lessons, a surfing photo shoot, two surf video analysis sessions, and a massage to help your muscles recover from all that surfing! 

Fueling your surf journey is a 100% healthy and all-natural breakfast, lunch, and dinner, prepared by a local chef.

Accommodations include a breathtaking surf villa where the good times roll on with wine, beer, and margaritas. Most surf camps don’t include alcoholic drinks, so if that’s something you’re interested in, this is definitely a big plus for Surf Bikini! 

If you’re seeking an all-inclusive, vibrant surf camp in Nosara for women, Surf Bikini Retreat should be at the top of your list. 

Special features:

  • All-inclusive
  • All women’s surf retreat
  • TWO video analysis sessions
  • Drinks included

“Couldn’t be more thankful for Adilia and her crew for giving us an amazing week in Nosara. They are the most supportive and encouraging instructors who push you out of your comfort zone to make you better and more confident out in the water. The accommodations were incredible. I can’t think of a better way to spend a week away.”

-Elizabeth (see more reviews)

3. The Gilded Iguana

⭐️ RATING: 9.5 out of 10 | 💸 Cost: $$$$ | 🌊 Availability: Check here!

The Gilded Iguana offers accommodation that’s truly a cut above, complete with a pool, lush garden, high-end restaurant, and the modern comforts of air conditioning and Wi-Fi. Yet, the real charm lies in their elegant touches that make every stay feel special.

But let’s get to the surf! The unique draw here is the option to join the Iguana Surf Club (for an extra fee). As a member, you gain access to hundreds of premium surfboards, giving you the freedom to find your perfect ride. The club also provides lockers, showers, and surfboard storage, as well as a private beach path for those dawn patrol surf sessions.

I was a member of the surf club for the last 6 months, and it was really great getting to try so many surfboards- it progressed my surfing a ton. 

Special features:

  • Luxurious hotel
  • Join the Iguana Surf Membership as an add-on, which includes access to 50+ premium surfboard rentals

“The staff is exceptional, very professional and super friendly. The property and rooms are very clean and just on easy block to the beautiful beach. Book your surfing lessons with Steven – he is so easy to get along with and made the experience amazing!”

-Trontz (see more reviews)

4. Shambala Surf Retreat– Best Nosara surf and yoga camp for uncrowded waves

Shambala Yoga Retreat, best surf camp in Nosara
Book your 7 Day Between the Ocean and the Jungle surf camp with Shambala Retreats

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | 💸 Cost: $$ | 🌊 Availability: Check here!

Nestled in the serene, uncrowded surf town of Ostional, Shambala Surf Retreat is the best surf camp in Nosara for anyone looking to beat the crowds, and practice a ton of yoga. 

At Shambala Retreats, the day kicks off with Kundalini and Hatha yoga classes, harmonizing your mind and body before your surf lesson. This surf and yoga camp caters to all surf levels, although the waves in Ostional tend to be a bit heavier than in neighboring Playa Guiones, making it a good option for more experienced surfers. 

The fun doesn’t stop with surfing; a sunrise turtle sightseeing tour is part of your surf camp package, allowing you to connect with the nature surrounding you. They also throw in a snorkeling excursion at the nearby beautiful San Juanillo Beach. 

Additionally, all meals are included in this all-inclusive Nosara surf camp package. The camp also includes day trips to Guiones so you’ll get to surf there too, in addition to Ostional. 

There are a mix of accommodation options available, from beautiful ocean view casitas, to a more modern lodge with Air-conditioning. 

The magic of Shambala Retreats lies in its unique blend of surfing, yoga, and nature immersion. If you’re seeking a more spiritual Nosara surf camp, you’ll love Shambala Surf Retreat. 

Special features:

  • Takes place in the quieter Ostional
  • Daily yoga classes
  • Sunrise turtle spotting and snorkeling excursions included
  • Daily surf lessons

“The whole experience of the retreat was great. There was a great balance between activity and rest/reflection/integration. Isabelle allowed the structure of the week to be fluid and catered to what everyone needed while going through their healing process. The kundalini yoga Isabelle taught was well explained and structured to the point that I’ve been able to continue and enjoy the process since leaving – always a bonus to have something tangible to be able to take away and add easily in to your every day practice. We had 2 sessions of Elemental Rhythm breathwork which was profound for all of us. Surf lessons with Maria were progressive and focused on different aspects of surfing through the course of the week and I definitely feel I’ve improved technically and with confidence in the water. Food and accomodation were all also fantastic. The week really delivered exactly what is/was described but to a level much greater than expected. Thank you Isabelle and the rest of the guys I shared the week with!”

-Grant (see more reviews)

5. Selina- Best Nosara surf hostel for digital nomads

⭐️ RATING: 8.2 out of 10 | 💸 Cost: $-$$ | 🌊 Availability: Check here!

While not a traditional surf camp, Selina Nosara merits a firm place on the list of best Nosara surf camps due to its unique blend of surf, social activities, and a resort-like atmosphere.

In terms of amenities, Selina is packed. A fully equipped on-site kitchen ensures you’re never far from a meal, while two pools provide perfect spots for post-surf relaxation. The bar and restaurant on site promise great food, drinks, and a chance to mingle with fellow surfers.

Selina doesn’t offer a traditional surf camp package, but you can book surf lessons and book board rentals right at the front desk to mesh surfing with your stay. 

What truly makes Selina standout is its youthful, social environment. From live music, to salsa night, to reggae parties, Selina has events every single night of the week- perfect for anyone who wants to party, and meet other travelers. 

Selina also has an air-conditioned cowork, making it the perfect stay if you need to work during your surf trip. 

Special features:

  • Two pools
  • Coworking space
  • Nightly social events

“The suites are super comfortable, the coworking space is super well equipped and the place is beautiful! The front desk staff was top! Everyone super nice and willing to help!”

-Aileen (see more reviews)

Nosara Surf Camp FAQS

What skill level should I be for a Nosara surf camp? 

Nosara’s surf camps cater to a range of skill levels. From beginners just learning the ropes to intermediates looking to advance their skills, and even advanced surfers seeking challenging waves, there’s a surf camp in Nosara for everyone. Always check with each surf camp for their specific offerings.

What is the best time to book a surf camp in Nosara?

Nosara provides good surfing conditions year-round, but for most surfers, the dry season (from December to April) with its consistent, manageable waves is the best time. The rainy season (from May to November) often brings larger swells and is more suitable for experienced surfers. However, the rainy season does bring those days where it’s just way too big and messy for anyone to surf. 

Are all surf camps in Nosara all-inclusive?

Not all surf camps in Nosara are all-inclusive. While most of them include accommodations and surf lessons, only some offer all meals. Check with each camp to see what is included in their package.

Are there surf camps in Nosara suitable for families?

Yes, many surf camps in Nosara are family-friendly and provide lessons for both adults and children. It’s an excellent destination for families looking for a fun, active vacation.

What else can I do in Nosara besides surfing?

Nosara is not only about surfing; it’s a tropical paradise where you can indulge in activities such as yoga, horseback riding, exploring local waterfalls, and more. The region is also known for its diverse wildlife and protected natural areas, making it a great spot for eco-tourism.

Can I rent a surfboard in Nosara or should I bring my own? 

Many surf camps in Nosara provide surfboards as part of their packages, and there are also several rental shops in the area. However, if you have a preferred board, you can bring your own.

How far are the surf camps from the beach? 

The distance from the surf camps to the beach varies, but all surf camps handle transportation to/from the beach if it’s further away.

What type of accommodation can I expect at Nosara’s surf camps?

Accommodations in Nosara’s surf camps range from shared dorms in hostels to private suites in luxury hotels. Many places offer amenities like pools, communal kitchens, AC, Wi-Fi, and on-site bars/restaurants.

Is English spoken in Nosara’s surf camps? 

Yes, English is commonly spoken in Nosara’s surf camps, as well as Spanish, the national language of Costa Rica. Staff members are often bilingual, and surf instruction is typically available in English.

However, learning a little Spanish goes a long way in being polite and getting around. 

Why book a surf camp in Nosara?

Planning a surf trip is a super fun process, but it can also be time consuming, and fairly stressful. Finding the right accommodation, getting your gear together, and ensuring reliable transport to the best surf spots – it’s a lot to handle. And while I do enjoy piecing together my own surf adventures, there are times when you want everything neatly laid out for you.

This is where booking a Nosara surf camp comes into play.

When you book a surf camp in Nosara, you don’t need to worry about logistics. No need to juggle surf lessons, accommodations, or board hire, and often, meals are included too. It’s all wrapped up in a neat package, allowing you to focus on what truly matters – the waves!

But it’s not just about the convenience. Nosara surf camps offer an amazing chance to mingle with other surfers from all corners of the globe. 

And when it comes to value for money, the surf camps in Nosara can be a great deal! It’s no secret that Nosara is one of the most expensive surf destinations in Latin America. However, when these surf camps book everything together: housing, surfboard rental, lessons, and food in some cases, it sometimes ends up being cheaper than booking everything individually. 

Choosing from the Best Nosara Surf Camps


 Your budget is a key consideration when choosing from the best Nosara surf camps. Prices can vary dramatically, from affordable options with shared accommodations to high-end surf resorts with private suites. Thankfully, Nosara offers a wide range of options that can cater to most budget ranges, and I’ve made sure to include the price point of each of these Nosara surf camps.

Skill Level

All of the surf camps in Nosara cater to beginner surfers. However, not all of them cater to advanced surfers, although there are a few. Make sure you book a surf camp that caters to your skill level! 

Time of Year

The time of year you visit Nosara will 100% affect the type of surf you’ll encounter. Guiones is a super exposed beach break, which creates wonderful, rideable waves all dry season, which runs from December to roughly April. This is a good time for surfers of all levels, especially the beginners and intermediates.

However, larger swells roll in during the rainy season, which can result in challenging conditions, better suited to experienced surfers.


 Nosara has several spots to consider. All but one of the surf camps take place in the Play Guiones area. Guiones is the main touristy hub of town, with a higher concentration of surf camps, restaurants, and shops. 

However, there is one surf camp in Ostional that offers a quieter alternative, with its uncrowded beaches and local charm. Deciding on your preferred location largely depends on what type of experience you’re seeking – lively and social, or tranquil and low-key.

All-Inclusive or Not 

Finally, deciding whether you want an all-inclusive package or a more a-la-carte style stay can affect your choice. 

Most Nosara surf camps include accommodations and surf lessons, but some offer all meals too. If you prefer focusing on surfing and chilling, an all-inclusive might be the way to go. But if you’re on a budget, or love exploring local eateries, you may opt for a surf camp with partial inclusions. 

I’ve made sure to note exactly what each Nosara surf camp includes. 

Enjoy the best surf camps in Nosara

In conclusion, Nosara has a great selection of surf camps designed to cater to every skill level, preference, and budget. Regardless of the camp you choose, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time, drastically improve your surfing, and forge some lifelong memories. 

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