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The World's Most Affordable Surfing Destinations

by Octavia Drughi

The go-to resource for planning your surf camps. Find all you need to know about the top destinations and take your surfing to new heights.
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When it comes to doing what we love most, there should be no limit to how much money we spend. And yet, money always seems to get in our way. How wonderful it would be if we could spend less and travel more!

Money should not hinder us from pursuing our dreams. Traveling on a budget may not always be easy, but it does have its perks.

You can travel in a van to save on accommodation, talk to friends and visit forums for recommendations on cheap places to stay and eat, all of which will help you get close and personal with the culture and history of a place. Opt to stay at budget surf camps to save money on lessons and equipment rental. You’ll also get a good deal on accommodation by doing so. Plus, they are usually located in front of the best surf breaks.

Do you want to save money and get the most out of your trip? Some of the best surf destinations in the world come with a reasonable price tag, without skimping on quality. Check them out and start planning your next escapade:

1. Peru

surf-puerto-viejo-lima-peru

The Peruvian coast is littered with epic left-hand point breaks, and the farther north you go, the warmer the water becomes. Just south of the Equator, Northern Peru is hit by north and south groundswells all year round, while the wind is constantly blowing offshore.

Water temperature fluctuates between 63 and 77ºF (17-25ºC), which means that you can even ditch your wetsuit during summer. Add to that the inexpensive cost of living, cheap lodging, and the fact that you can indulge in Peru’s cuisine without breaking the bank, and you have all the ingredients for your next frugal surfing trip.

Top budget surf camps in Peru

3 Days Surf Camp with Professionals in Huanchaco

3 Day Just Surf - Surf Camp with Professionals in Huanchaco, La Libertad

  • Skill level: Beginners and intermediates
  • Price: From USD 95
  • Availability: All year round

Ride the epic waves in Huanchaco, where you can always count on good surfing conditions, especially for beginners and intermediate surfers. Stay in a small family-run hostel, learn from surfing professionals, and enjoy the ocean. This surf camp is ideal to take your skills to the next level. It includes daily surf lessons (of 1.5h each), free practice surfing whenever you want, surf equipment rental during your stay, and 2 nights’ accommodation. The hostel features a fully equipped shared kitchen so you can cater for yourself (as meals are not included). 

6 Days Surf Camp with Professionals in Huanchaco

budget-surf-camp-huanchaco-peru

  • Skill levelBeginners & intermediates
  • PriceFrom USD 275
  • AvailabilityMay till December

Huanchaco is home to five surf breaks for all levels, spread across over one kilometer (0.6 miles) of beaches. During this camp, you’ll stay in a family-run hostel less than five minutes away from the nearest surf spot. There are numerous restaurants nearby where you can enjoy authentic Peruvian dishes. There will be five surf lessons of 1.5 hours each. Each lesson includes theory, safety briefing, and warm-up on the beach before getting into the water. The coaches will adapt the lessons to your skill level and the surfing conditions of the day. There will be a maximum of three students per instructor, which ensures personalized feedback and a fun and safe experience.

» Not sure where to go to score the best waves? Read our guide to the best surf spots in Peru.

2. Portugal

surfing-portugal

If you are looking to ride a wide variety of waves and have an affordable trip, Portugal is of the sunniest countries in Europe, home to some of the best waves on the old continent. It picks up north, south and west swells, offering a great variety of waves for all levels of surfers.

If you are looking to surf in Portugal, then you should start with the more popular regions like North Porto, Costa da Prata, the Lisbon Region, Alentejo, and the Algarve. Beginners will find gentle and fun waves near Lagos, Cascais, Ericeira, and Peniche. Furthermore, you’ll find an abundance of cheap surf camps in Portugal to choose from. 

Top budget surf camps in Portugal

7 Days Affordable Surf Safari Package with Daily Lessons in Peniche

7 Day Affordable Surf Safari Package with Daily Lessons for All Levels in Peniche

  • Skill level: All levels
  • Price: From USD 348
  • Availability: All year round

Surf excellent waves in Portugal’s hidden jewel: Peniche. This surf camp includes five surf lessons, surf equipment, transportation to the surf spots, daily breakfast, and more. During the low season (October to March), the school often visits Nazaré, Ericeira, and many more surf spots on the surf safari days. 

6 Days Amazing Surf and Yoga Holiday in Ericeira

6 Day Amazing Surf Camp Experience in Ericeira, Lisbon

  • Skill level: All levels
  • PriceFrom USD 570
  • AvailabilityMarch till December

This surf camp takes place in a lovely Portuguese villa, located on the top of the hill just outside the surf town of Ericeira. The program includes 5 nights of accommodation, 5 healthy breakfasts, 4 delicious vegetarian dinners, 1 daily yoga class, 3 two-hour surf lessons, 1-hour massage, and daily local transfers from and to town and beaches. During your free time, you can get around the town and enjoy its wide offer of fine bars and restaurants. Or if you prefer, you can explore the Sintra and Cascais Natural Park.

» Make sure you score the best waves and have a great time. Find out all you need to know about surfing in Portugal.

3. Mexico

surf-baja-california-mexico

Surfing in Mexico will give you an idea of what California was like some 60 years ago and the amazing opportunity to get barreled for the first time.

The Baja California Peninsula is home to more breaks than we can possibly count, with numerous well-kept secret spots that we do not want to divulge. Most waves are remote and only accessible by unmarked dirt roads, so all you need to do is hop on an all-wheel-drive equipped with a cooler, camp on the beach, and stay for as long as you like without having to pay for accommodation or lavish meals, and only go to town for supplies. 

On the southwest Pacific coast of Mexico, Puerto Escondido is home to world-class barreling waves for advanced surfers, as well as beach breaks for beginners. Furthermore, it is extremely affordable, catering to the needs of backpackers, solo travelers, and families, with a fascinating surf culture that will have you hooked.

Top budget surf camp in Mexico

 

8 Days Budget Surf Camp in Puerto Escondido

budget-surf-camp-puerto-escondido-mexico

  • Skill levelAll levels
  • PriceFrom USD 500
  • AvailabilityJuly till December

Looking to ride the wave of your life? This budget surf camp in Puerto Escondido is adapted to all levels and offers everything you might need – professional tuition, top-quality equipment, coaching sessions, fitness classes, and more.

You’ll get five days of semi-private surf lessons, with only two students per instructor. You’ll also receive an additional, free-of-cost surf coaching session supervised by pro surfer Roger Ramirez and captured by a professional photographer. During your stay, you’ll enjoy fitness group classes every evening from Monday to Friday, designed to enhance your surfing skills.

» For more on the waves, check out our guide to the best surf spots in Mexico.

4. Bali

surfing-bali

When you think of Indonesia, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably surfing in Bali. Our list could not be complete without one of the world’s top surfing destinations, which gets hit by the Southern Ocean swells and with a toasty water temperature that stays around 80 and 84 °F (27 - 29 °C) all year round.

With so many world-class breaks and highly-acclaimed budget surf camps in Bali to choose from, you are bound to find something to your liking. It is also a budget-friendly destination, with incredibly cheap accommodation, food, and surf lessons always on offer.

Top budget surf camp in Bali

3 Days Budget Surf Camp in Kuta

3-day-budget-surf-camp-in-kuta

  • Skill levelBeginner
  • PriceFrom USD 225
  • AvailabilityAll year round

Ride some of the best waves in Bali and stay in the heart of all the action – Kuta – with easy access to the beaches, nightlife, and shopping centers. You’ll enjoy daily surfing lessons, two and a half hours each. The experienced instructors will adapt the lessons to your level. The time of day when the lessons are held can vary depending on the surfing conditions. Plus, daily breakfast and airport transfer are also included in the package.

8 Days Surf Camp in Canggu

surf-camp-in-bali

  • Skill levelAll levels
  • PriceFrom USD 420
  • AvailabilityAll year round

Canggu is one of the most popular surfing areas in Bali as it offers amazing waves for all levels of surfers throughout the whole year. Find perfect waves and improve your skills with professional lessons, video analysis, and theory on this budget camp. The program also includes 7 nights of accommodation, daily breakfast, and insurance during the lessons. 

» Have an epic surf trip. Find out all you need to know about surfing in Bali.

5. Morocco

surf-sidi-kaouki-morocco

Without a doubt, one of North Africa’s most fascinating countries, Morocco is a right-hand point break paradise. The region between Essaouira and Agadir is home to the best surf spots in the country, with Taghazout and Tamraght welcoming surfers of all levels on some of the best waves in the world. And you are sure to find a budget surf camp in Morocco to cater to your specific level and needs. 

The weather is warm all year round. However, the water temperature rarely reaches 72 °F (22 °C) in summer, which is why a wetsuit is required for most of the year. Accommodation can be quite inexpensive and Moroccan food is cheap, abundant, and simply delicious.

Top budget surf camps in Morocco

8 Days Surf Camp for Surfers of All Levels in Aourir, Agadir

budget-surf-camp-morocco

  • Skill levelAll levels
  • PriceFrom USD 459
  • AvailabilityAll year round

Discover the best beach breaks on the southern coast of Morocco, near Taghazout, Tamraght, and beyond. Enjoy six days of surfing lessons, three hours each, adapted to all skill levels. Stay in a riad perched on top of a hill, overlooking the famous K11 surf spot. You’ll also get complimentary use of the surfing equipment to ride the waves as you wish, while all daily meals are included.

 

» Find out all you need about budgeting and planning your surf trip to Morocco.

6. Costa Rica

surf-tamarindo-costa-rica

Less crowded than other consecrated surfing destinations but no less visually appealing, Costa Rica is one of the best places on the planet to learn to surf. With an average water temperature of 86 °F (30 °C) and some of the world’s most perfect barreling waves, it truly is a paradise for any nature and adventure lover. And if you are set on visiting the country on a budget, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that you can survive with very little money.

Top budget surf camps in Costa Rica

8 Days Surf Camp in Tamarindo

budget-surf-camp-tamarindo-costa-rica

  • Skill levelBeginners & intermediates
  • PriceFrom USD 550
  • AvailabilityAll year round

Ride some of the best waves on Cosa Rica’s Pacific coast with this budget surf camp in Tamarindo. Enjoy six days of surf lessons, free use of the camp’s surfboards outside the lessons to surf on your own, one snorkeling trip, one relaxing massage, and one yoga session. Daily Costa Rican breakfast is included in the package. Depending on your level and the surfing conditions, you could ride the waves at Tamarindo, Avellanas, Langosta, Playa Grande, or Playa Negra.

5 Days Surf Vacation in Santa Teresa

budget-surf-camp-santa-teresa-costa-rica

  • Skill level: All levels
  • Price: From USD 640
  • Availability: All year round

This surf camp takes place in a surf hostel in the middle of Santa Teresa, only a few steps from the beach, with access to the swimming pool, communal kitchen, and lounge area. Enjoy three surf lessons adapted to your level, with all the necessary surfing equipment provided by the camp. On a typical day, you’ll have a filling breakfast and head out to the best waves of the day for your level. Then, you’ll have lunch and get some rest before your next activity, which can be free surfing, diving, cycling, chilling at the beach, or other activities. The package includes daily breakfast and a welcome smoothie.

» From the surfing seasons and the best waves to the food and budget, here’s all you need to know about surfing in Costa Rica.

7. Sri Lanka

surfing-sri-lanka

Off the coast of India, Sri Lanka is slowly but surely progressing on the surfing scene. The surf culture is emerging in places like Arugam Bay, Galle, and Hikkaduwa, with plenty of surf schools for beginners and world-class breaks for experienced riders to get their adrenaline pumping.

The water is warm all year round, with an average of 81ºF (27 ºC), and there are over 330 days of sunshine per year. Lodging and food are dirt cheap, the line-ups are uncrowded, and there’s much to do when you’re not surfing too, such as a visit to tea and coffee plantations, going on a safari, visiting Buddhist temples, tasting the delicious food, and practice yoga on the beach.

Top budget surf camps in Sri Lanka

8 Days The Surfer Beach Camp - Full Lesson Surf Camp in Weligama

budget-surf-camp-sri-lanka

  • Skill levelAll levels
  • PriceFrom USD 365 
  • AvailabilityFrom November till May

Discover the most impressive surf spots in Sri Lanka! Depending on your skill level and the surfing conditions, you’ll be taken to secret waves by boat as well as to the most famous spots on the south coast, where you’ll learn to surf or improve your technique. Two surf lessons per day (six days), surfboard rental, six dinners, and daily breakfast included.

 

» Not sure where and when to go? Read our guide to the best surf spots in Sri Lanka.

8. The Philippines

surf-philippines

If you are looking for a cheap and uncrowded surfing destination with friendly locals and exemplary surfing etiquette, look no further than the Philippines. Filipino food may not get the recognition it deserves, but it is to die for. And cheap too. Don’t even get me started on the drinks… Let me just tell you that rum is cheaper than juice.

The world-famous Cloud 9 on Siargao Island speaks for itself, a barreling right-hander that is considered the most consistent on the planet. Needless to say, it attracts an international crowd, but there are plenty of beginner-friendly and less crowded spots worth checking out in its immediate vicinity as well as on the other islands.

Top budget surf camp in the Philippines

15 Days Surf Camp and Island Tour in Baras, Catanduanes

surf-camp-in-the-philippines

  • Skill levelBeginner and intermediate
  • PriceFrom USD 1,050 
  • AvailabilityAll year round

Experience surfing in the natural and untouched beauty of Puraran Beach. You'll get 12 days of surfing lessons, a whole-body massage, and an island tour. The program also includes 14 nights of accommodation in a private room, daily delicious breakfasts, and videos and pictures of your last surfing day.

» Ride the best waves. Check out the best surf spots in the Philippines

9. Thailand

surf-thailand

When it comes to planning a budget surf trip, most end up choosing between the Philippines and Thailand; but they both deserve international recognition thanks to the quality of their waves and friendly vibes on their beaches. Thailand’s Andaman coast is exposed to the southwesterly Indian Ocean swells, and Phuket takes full advantage of those groundswells.

However, the waves don’t seem to get any higher than 10 ft (3 m), which makes the country an excellent destination for beginners. Advanced surfers will find plenty of challenging breaks too. The waves may not be tall, but they are nevertheless impressive, with fast, hollow, and barreling sections.

Top budget surf camps in Thailand

3 Days Learn to Surf Camp in Thalang, Phuket, Thailand

3 Day Learn to Surf Surf Camp in Thalang, Phuket

  • Skill level: Beginners & Intermediates
  • Price: From USD 126
  • Availability: May to November

Embark on a weekend getaway at Bangtao Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Learn to surf in warm tropical water with fun and gentle waves. During this short, yet intense escapade, you will enjoy two surf lessons. Each day after breakfast, you’ll be picked up from your hotel and taken to the beach to enjoy the lesson. On the second day of your stay, the surf lesson is followed by a traditional Thai massage, on the beach.

» Read our article and discover the best surf spots in Thailand.

10. Chile

surf-chile

With quality breaks ranging almost the entire length of the country’s Pacific coast, Chile is on its way to becoming one of the most popular surfing destinations in South America. Still uncrowded thanks to its remoteness, it is blessed with above-average waves fueled by the South Pacific Ocean, which is why Chile is generally recommended for intermediate to advanced surfers.

Beginners will find some fun waves too. Punta de Lobos, Chile’s surf capital, is dotted with surf schools. Please take note that the water is chilly, with temperatures varying between 55 and 61ºF (13-16ºC). The further south you go, the colder the water becomes.

 

*Prices are subject to change depending on the date of arrival.


Looking for ways to save money on your next surfing trip? Pick a budget surf holiday and be on your way to some of the best waves in the world.

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