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The Most Affordable Surfing Destinations in the World [Updated]

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 would it 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 cheap 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. 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.

Surfing in Peru is divided into two main areas:

  • The point breaks to the south of Lima, which include Arequipa, Moquegua, and Tacna, renowned for their consistency and big waves.
  • The reef and point breaks in Northern Peru, which include the areas around Lima and Chicama, home to what has been internationally acknowledged as the longest left-hander in the world. Further north, Lobitos and Mancora are home to perfect barreling waves.

Check out the best surf spots in Peru in this article!

surf-huanchaco-peru

Best time to go: Between April and October in Southern Peru, and all year round in Northern Peru.

Our recommended budget surf camp in Peru

8 Days Rustic and Ecologic Surf Camp in Mancora

Get trained according to your level! During this affordable surf camp in Mancora, you will be taken to the best surf spots in the Piura region in Northern Peru. Six surf lessons, free use of surfboard during your stay and daily breakfast are included. 

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 250 per person for 8 days/7nights

Availability: From January till October

 

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. 

Water temperature is not too friendly in northern and central Portugal, and you will need a wetsuit all year round. On the bright side,  the weather is very pleasant and sunny, and you can hang out on the beach in a swimsuit or board shorts. On the south coast, the water gets slightly warmer during summer.

Check out the best surf spots in Portugal in this article!

surf-portugal

Best time to go: All year round. Summer, between May and September, is the best time to go if you wish to learn to surf. The waves get double the size during winter months, between October and April, which is also the prime surfing season.

Our recommended budget surf camp in Portugal

7 Days Yoga and Surf Camp in Ericeira

Surf the best waves in Ericeira, Europe’s first and so far only World Surfing Reserve. The camp includes six surf lessons, three yoga sessions, and complimentary use of surfing equipment so that you can have all the fun you want in the water outside of the courses.

Skill levelAll levels

PriceFrom € 295 per person for 7 days/6 nights

AvailabilityAll year round

 

3. Mexico

surf-puerto-escondido-mexico

Photo credit: Chris Ford via Flickr

On Mexico’s Pacific coast, you will find point breaks and beach breaks as far as the eye can see. Surfing in Mexico will give you an idea of how 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.

Check out the best surf spots in Mexico in this article!

surfing-mexico

Photo credit: Bryce Bradford via Flickr

Best time to go: Between April and September.

Our recommended budget surf camp in Mexico

8 Days Yoga and Surf Camp in Puerto Escondido

Stay only a few steps away from legendary surf break Zicatela, which pinned Mexico on the world surfing map. The package includes five surf lessons, four yoga for surfers classes, and one private surf photo session.

Skill levelAll levels

PriceFrom € 245 per person for 8 days/7 nights

AvailabilityAll year round

 

4. Bali

surfing-bali

When you think of Indonesia, the first thing that pops to 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, so 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.

Check out the best surf spots in Bali in this article!

surfing-bali

Best time to go: Between May and September (dry season) on the west coast. Between November and March (rainy season) on the east coast.

Our recommended budget surf camp in Bali

4 Days Semi-Private Surf Camp in Canggu

Learn to surf and build on your surfing foundation with daily surf lessons for all levels, with a focus on technique and safety. The surf camp also offers video analysis, meaning that the instructor will show you the footage of you surfing and will give you some useful tips on how to improve your technique. 

Skill levelAll levels

PriceFrom € 157 per person for 4 days/3 nights

AvailabilityAll year round

 

5. Morocco

surfing-morocco

Photo credit: Eelke via Flickr

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, 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.

Check out the best surf spots in Morocco in this article!

essaouira-morocco

Best time to go: Morocco is a year-round budget surfing destination, with the breaks putting on their best performance in autumn and winter. The waves are biggest between December and February.

Our recommended budget surf camp in Morocco

5 Days All-Inclusive Guided Surf Camp in Tamraght

Discover the best beach breaks near Agadir with daily surf lessons, and go on a one-day trip to Imsouane. Stay in a villa overlooking the famous spots at Devil’s Rock and Banana Beach, with complimentary use of surfing equipment and all daily meals included.

Skill levelAll levels

PriceFrom € 210 per person for 5 days/4 nights

AvailabilityAll year round

 

6. The Philippines

surfing-philippines

If you are looking for a cheap and uncrowded surfing destination with friendly locals and an 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.

Check out the best surf spots in the Philippines in this article

surfing-baler-aurora-philippines

Best time to go: Between December and April. The Philippines is blessed with warm water all year round, varying between 63 and 77°F (21-25°C).

Our recommended budget surf camp in the Philippines

7 Days Unlimited Surf Camp in Puraran Beach, Baras

Surf at Puraran Beach and enjoy the surrounding unspoiled nature on a peaceful island retreat. You will get six days of surf lessons, a one-on-one session with the surf instructor, unlimited use of the camp’s longboards, and daily yoga classes.

Skill levelAll levels

PriceFrom € 317 per person for 7 days/6 nights

AvailabilityAll year round

 

7. Thailand

surfing-phuket-thailand

Photo credit: [email protected] via Flickr

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 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.

Check out the best surf spots in Thailand in this article!

surfing-thailand

Best time to go: Between April and October.

Our recommended budget surf camp in Thailand

3 Days Learn to Surf Surf Camp in Phuket

Embark on a weekend getaway to learn to surf at Bangtao Beach in warm tropical water with fun and gentle waves. You will learn about the ocean and the waves, get daily surfing lessons for beginners and intermediate surfers, free surfing equipment rental outside of the lessons, as well as a pampering Thai massage to ease the muscles after all that hard work. 

Skill levelBeginners and intermediate surfers

PriceFrom € 164 per person for 3 days/2 nights

AvailabilityFrom May till October

 

8. Chile

pichilemu-chile

Photo credit: V.T. Polywoda via Flickr

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.

surfing-chile

Photo credit: Diana Onell Romero via Flickr

Best time to go: All year round; Chile has a national average of 300 days of surf per year.

Our recommended budget surf camp in Chile

True Beginner Week: 8 Days Spanish Class and Surf Group Camp in Pichilemu

Enjoy daily surf lessons at the best surf breaks near Pichilemu, famous for they year-round consistency. The package also includes three group Spanish language classes and cultural experiences. 

Skill levelBeginners 

PriceFrom € 489 per person for 8 days/7 nights

AvailabilityFrom January till November

 

9. 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 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 visits to tea and coffee plantations, go on a safari, visit Buddhist temples, taste the delicious food, and practice yoga on the beach.

Check out the best surf spots in Sri Lanka in this article!

surf-mirissa-sri-lanka

Best time to go: Between November and April on the west coast and between May and October on the east coast.

Our recommended budget surf camp in Sri Lanka

8 Days Affordable Surf Camp in Arugam Bay, Eastern Province

The instructors at the BeReal surf camp promise you that you will catch your first wave after only three lessons! Breathe in Sri Lanka’s natural surroundings, where elephants still roam free and get five two-hour surf lessons adapted to your needs.

Skill level: All levels

PriceFrom € 349 per person for 8 days/7 nights

AvailabilityFrom April till October

 

10. 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.

Surfing in Costa Rica is divided into four main areas:

  • The Carribean Coast, home to some of Costa Rica’s biggest waves.
  • The North-Pacific Coast, which includes the Guanacaste-Nicoya region, is the country’s most popular surfing destination.
  • The Central Pacific Coast, which includes Jaco, is the first stop in many surf itineraries and Costa Rica’s most easily accessible region.
  • The South Pacific Coast, which includes the Puntarenas region.

Check out the best surf spots in Costa Rica in this article!

surfing-costa-rica

Best time to go: Between May and October and from November through March.

Our recommended budget surf camp in Costa Rica

7 Days Budget Surf Camp Tamarindo

Experience the real surf spirit at a camp adapted to your needs. You will embark on two amazing half-day surf trips catered to your specific skill level, and get five days of surf lessons. 

Skill levelAll levels

PriceFrom € 393 per person for 7 days/6 nights

AvailabilityFrom January till June

 


Don’t spend too much time saving money for your next surfing trip; go now! Pick a budget surf holiday and be on your way to some of the best waves in the world.

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