First published in 2019 – last updated: August 2023

Looking to learn how to surf in Nosara, Costa Rica?

You’re in luck! Learning to surf in Nosara, Costa Rica can be an incredible experience, as the area offers a perfect combination of beautiful beaches and consistent waves. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, Nosara has everything you need to make your surfing experience unforgettable.

Playa Guiones is one of Nosara’s most popular spots and also one of the most versatile surfing beaches in all Costa Rica.

Here’s our guide to help you get started with planning your surf adventure in Nosara, Costa Rica:

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1. Choose the Right Time to Visit

Costa Rica has two main surf seasons: the dry season (December to April) and the wet season (May to November). The dry season generally has smaller waves and is better for beginners, while the wet season can bring larger swells, better suited for more experienced surfers.

2. Select a Surf School or Surf Camp

Enrolling in a surf school or surf camp is the best way to learn the basics of surfing quickly and safely. There are several reputable surf schools and camps in the area.

These schools and camps offer inclusive packages for surfers of all levels, so whether you’re just starting out or looking to improve your skills, they have a program for you.

Surf schools and surf camps will provide you with all the necessary equipment, including a surfboard and rash guard.

The vast majority of surf instructors at Nosara’s surf schools and surf camps are experts in their field, certified by the International Surfing Association (ISA) and lifeguard certified. They provide personalized instruction and guidance to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable surfing experience. Plus, they’re friendly and welcoming, making you feel right at home in the Nosara surfing community.


3. Choose the right Type of surf lesson

Beginners should start with either group or private surf lessons to learn the fundamentals of surfing, including paddling, balancing on the board, and catching waves. Lessons typically include both on-land instruction and in-water practice.

Depending on your preferences, you can choose from different types of surf lessons.

Private and Semi-private Surf Lessons

Private lessons give you one-on-one instruction with the instructor, allowing for a faster learning process. Semi-private lessons are perfect for couples or friends who want to learn and bond together.

Group Lessons

Group lessons are a more affordable option and provide a fun and social learning environment.

Capturing your epic moments of surfing

Most surf schools in Nosara also have videographers who capture footage of every surf class and session. This footage is used to monitor your surf performance and identify areas for improvement, helping you progress faster in your surfing journey.


4. Book accommodation for your surfing vacation in Nosara

Nosara offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget and taste.

Choose accommodation close to the beach where you’ll be learning to surf. This way, you can easily access the surf spots for your early morning sessions. Playa Guiones is the main beach in Nosara known for surfing. There are plenty of options: From hotels to hostels and surf camps, you’ll find options that are both comfortable and budget-friendly.

Check out Aloha Surf Nosara Vacation Rentals.


5. Practice Patience, stay fit, and document your progress

Surfing can be challenging, and progress might be slow at first. Be patient and persistent, and remember that falling and failing are part of the learning process.

Surfing requires physical fitness and core strength. Engage in activities like swimming, yoga, and balance exercises to improve your overall fitness and enhance your surfing skills.

Consider taking photos or videos of your surfing sessions to track your progress over time. It can be incredibly satisfying to see how far you’ve come.

Remember that learning to surf takes time and dedication. Stay positive, have fun, and enjoy the process of becoming a part of the surfing community in Nosara, Costa Rica!


6. Learn Surf Etiquette and stay safe

Understanding surf etiquette is crucial for safety and enjoyment. Respect the lineup, wait your turn, and communicate with other surfers to avoid collisions.

Always prioritize safety. Follow your instructor’s guidance, be aware of your surroundings, and respect the ocean. Learn about rip currents, wave sets, and how to handle your board properly.


7. Immerse in the Surf Culture and explore Nosara

Embrace the local surf culture by talking to fellow surfers, watching experienced surfers, and enjoying the relaxed beach lifestyle.

While surfing will likely be your main focus, take time to explore the beauty of Nosara. Visit nearby attractions, experience local cuisine, and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Why Surf Camps in Costa Rica are a popular choice

Surf camps in Costa Rica, particularly in popular surf destinations like Nosara, offer a unique and immersive experience for individuals of all skill levels who are interested in learning to surf or improving their surfing abilities.

Apart from Costa Rica’s ideal surfing conditions, here are some reasons why surf camps in Costa Rica, and specifically in Nosara, are a popular choice:

Experienced Instructors:

Surf camps often employ experienced and certified surf instructors who are skilled at teaching newcomers the fundamentals of surfing or helping more experienced surfers refine their techniques. These instructors are familiar with the local conditions and can provide personalized guidance.

Structured Learning:

Surf camps provide structured lesson plans that cater to different skill levels. Whether you’re a complete beginner or looking to enhance your existing skills, surf camps can offer tailored instruction to help you progress.

Immersion in Surf Culture:

Surf camps provide an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the surf culture. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share a passion for surfing, creating a supportive and encouraging environment.

All-Inclusive Packages:

Many surf camps offer all-inclusive packages that include accommodations, meals, transportation, and surf lessons. This convenience allows participants to focus solely on their surfing experience without worrying about logistics.

Accelerated Learning:

Being in a surf camp environment allows for focused and consistent practice, which can accelerate your learning curve. With multiple lessons and practice sessions, you’ll likely see faster progress compared to sporadic self-guided attempts.

Yoga and Wellness:

Some surf camps, especially in Costa Rica, combine surf instruction with yoga sessions and other wellness activities. This holistic approach can enhance your overall experience and well-being.

Exploring a New Destination:

Costa Rica’s natural beauty, biodiversity, and friendly atmosphere make it an appealing travel destination. Surf camps give you the opportunity to explore a new place while pursuing your passion for surfing.

Safe Learning Environment:

Surf camps prioritize safety. Instructors are trained to teach proper techniques and ocean safety practices, reducing the risks associated with learning to surf independently.

Memorable Experience:

Participating in a surf camp can be a memorable and transformative experience. You’ll create lasting memories, forge new friendships, and potentially develop a lifelong love for surfing.

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Ready to learn how to surf in Playa Guiones, Nosara?

Dive into the world of surfing in Nosara and experience the thrill of riding the waves in one of the most beautiful surf destinations in the world. Register with a surf school and book your accommodation today to embark on an unforgettable surfing adventure in Nosara, Costa Rica.

Check out and their list of recommendation of the best surf schools and surf camps in Nosara, Costa Rica.

Also, you can reach out to Tyler from Aloha Surf Nosara and he is happy to give his personal recommendations for surf  instructors and/or schools.