8 Days Backpacker's Surf Camp in Nosara, Costa Rica

  • Nosara Beach, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Surf Camp Costa Rica

Safari Surf is more than a "surf school." Immerse yourself in an authentic sustainable surf vacation experience. They will share with you their passion and vast knowledge for the art of wave riding, the amazing community, the local people, and the culture behind Safari Surf School. All this while leaving an incredibly small carbon footprint behind.


  • 6 surf lessons
  • 1 activity of your choice
  • Surf photos and video review
  • Top-notch surfboards and all other gears
  • Bike rental during your entire stay
  • Daily breakfast and snacks
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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Cabinas Kahala

With the white sands of Playa Guiones a mere five minutes walk, the location is excellent. If you are looking for a quiet place to relax, kick back in a hammock for a nap or to read, Cabinas Kahala is the place to be. It is located in a residential area of Playa Guiones, away from all the hustle and bustle. Simple, clean, and comfy.

Nosara Beach Hostel

The hostel, offering dorm style rooms, combines a jungle ambience with beachfront tranquility. With the soothing sounds of the breaking waves or the Howler monkeys in the trees overhead being the only distraction, the breezy wrap around patio is the perfect place to to sink into one of the many hammocks after a long day of surf and adventure.

  • 07:30 Wake up to the sounds of Howler monkeys stretching their vocal cords off in the distance. Time for a fresh cup of coffee or whatever moves you. Off to the Safari facility for a pre-surf snack of fresh fruits and banana bread, and then meet up with your surf instructor.
  • 08:00 Upon your arrival at the facility, your instructors will have you paired up with fellow surfers based on your surfing level and abilities. Boards waxed, rash guards on, it’s time to hit the beach through their private path to the sands of Playa Guiones. Some stretches to smooth out the kinks, and into the water for a surf lesson with our top notch ISA and lifeguard-certified instructors.
  • 09:30 Body and mind craving nourishment after an awesome surf session, you get back to Olas Verdes, rinse off the boards, and jump in the pool to refresh, while your gourmet breakfast you just ordered off of the menu is being prepared. Share the morning surf experiences amongst new found friends as you feast on a fresh healthy meal.
  • 11:00 Time to explore! This is your time to explore the many offerings that Nosara has to offer. Choose from a world renowned zip line, to horseback tour, to an amazing waterfalls hike, there are more activities to keep you busy than time for you to do everything, or perhaps you prefer to read a book by the pool or the beach, take a yoga class, or get a rejuvenating massage.
  • 15:30 Back to the beach for an afternoon surf session. Working on fine tuning your new found surf skills or dusting off the rust from years past, surfing during the late afternoon hours before sunset just seem to cleans the soul.
  • 17:30 Having rinsed off the day with a clean crisp shower, its time to get your dinner groove on. Whether you are headed out into town to one of the top restaurants, or setting up your tables at Olas Verdes restaurant, you will be immersed in some of the best culinary tastes the area has to offer. With a full menu access everywhere you dine, you will feel free let your taste buds roam.
  • 18:30 For those who enjoy the nightlife, there are outlets to express your inner self. From the Tropicana for some dancing, to Shaman for reggae night, or you may find yourself at a house party form a tip you heard on the beach. Wherever you find yourself, the night is yours to explore.

Your package already comes with one activity of your choice with the options below. You can always add on additional activities to your vacation package, either prior to arrival or on site (additional cost).


Streaking down at empty beach or trotting through the jungle.

Kayak or SUP

Experience an amazing stand up paddleboard or kayak tour on the Nosara River or the local beaches.


Release and rejuvenate with an intoxicating full body massage.

Nosara Wildlife Refuge

Help support local wildlife by visiting the Nosara Wildlife Refuge.

Seasonal waterfalls

Discover the beautiful waterfalls and take a plunge in the cool water.


Center yourself with an peaceful yoga lesson and find your inner balance.


Ever wanted to fly? Well now you have the chance on this incredible zip line tour.

Playa Guiones is nestled in the quiet, quaint town of Nosara in the Guanacaste Province on the Pacific side of the country of Costa Rica. Unlike the crowded beaches of places like Tamarindo, Jaco, or Dominical, in Nosara you won’t be trampled by hordes of tourists! There are no street lights or paved roads and they still have monkeys cruising in the trees, but there are just the right amount of amenities in town to ensure you have a relaxing vacation. It’s a surfer’s paradise!

Pre-surf snack (coffee, fruits, and banana bread) and daily breakfast with full menu access including fresh juice, water, coffee and tea, will be served during your stay.

  • Center yourself with an peaceful yoga lesson and find your inner balance
  • Discover their beautiful waterfalls and take a plunge in the cool water
  • Experience an amazing stand up paddle board or kayak tour on the Nosara River or their local beaches
  • Ever wanted to fly? Well now you have the chance on the incredible zip line tour
  • Experience deep sea fishing in Central America
  • Experience the sea turtle Arribada when in season at the beautiful Ostional black sand beach
  • Fish with a local on the beach or at the Nosara River mouth and catch dinner for the night
  • Help support their local wildlife by visiting the Nosara Wildlife Refuge
  • Half day or full day kids camps specifically designed for the kiddos
  • Horseback riding down at empty beach or trotting through the jungle
  • Play football with the Ticos - it's their national sport!
  • Release and rejuvenate with an intoxicating full body massage
  • Support the community with one of their local nonprofit partners
  • Two hours private instruction session to help you reach that next surfing level

Massage session is available and included in the price if you choose this activity.

  • 1 activity of your choice
  • 6 surfing lessons with qualified instructors
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Bike rental (per person) during the duration of your stay
  • Complimentary surf photos (free download)
  • Daily breakfast with full menu access (including water, fresh juice, coffee, and tea)
  • Pre-surf snack (coffee, fruits, and banana bread)
  • Unlimited use of top-notch surfboards and all other gears
  • Airfares
  • Airport transfers
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Personal expenses

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Nosara Airport (NOB).

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 45 days before arrival.


  • Review by a traveler from Canada
    10 out of 10

    "As this is a longer review, and if you are looking for a rating only for comparison to other schools, I would give this surf school a 5+."


    "Please read on if you would like more context. My comments are directed to the Safari Surf School in Nosara, Costa Rica. Nosara is located in the northwest part of Costa Rica (the Pacific side, if that matters to you). Flying into the Liberia Airport puts you closer to the ‘resort’ than the airport at San José."


    "The school gave us a wonderful introductory surf experience and an overall fantastic vacation. The service provided and the attention paid to my request for a customized package for my daughter and me were straightforward and thoughtful. I think this school would be fantastic for families with younger children as well."


    "Safari Surf School’s mission is to teach surfing to all kinds of students, young, less young, from beginner to more advanced levels. The instructors are dedicated, patient and true to the sport. They are surfers, some self-taught some perhaps not, but all seemingly well trained in terms of the school’s teaching methods; they paid attention to safety, ensuring that we all warmed up before the lesson. "


    "While active, I have never surfed. Our instructor, Erick gave us the basics on how to get on the board, and we got on the board on the first try at our first lesson! That certainly says it all. Our second instructor, Kevin, was also excellent."


    "Credit of course must be given to the school and its management in addition to the instructors. Its willingness to hire and train mature, responsible and dedicated instructors tells me that the school cares about its staff/colleagues, and about providing a quality experience to its clients. Locally, Safari Surf is a school that serves the community, offering lessons as well as running camps for children apparently. The school seems passionate about what they do."


    "For travellers like us, Safari Surf offers all-inclusive packages that you can review on its website. I dealt with Tim Marsh, who co-owns the school with his wife. From the moment I first reached out asking for a suitable package for my daughter and me, he was a joy to correspond with. His responsiveness and flexibility in addressing our needs were impeccable - second to none. "


    "All-inclusive of course, means providing accommodations, meals, transfers to and from the airports etc., in addition to the daily surf lessons. These packages could also include off-site excursions for zip lining, kayaking, visits to a wildlife reserve, dinners in town etc. While I call it a ‘resort’, the school is actually co-located with the hotel and the restaurant, all of which are managed separately. Safari Surf works collaboratively with the Hotel Olas Verde (accommodations are also available in town (Guiones) and elsewhere I think), and the restaurant EL Manglar (both of which have been separately reviewed), to offer these all-inclusive packages. The facilities are beautiful, the food fresh, the people lovely. The beautiful beach Playa Guiones is a few steps away (you won't see the beach from your hotel room), and as you can see from the pictures, the sunsets will take your breath away. The ‘resort’ is small, set amidst an untouched reserve with about 17 units, quiet and perfect in what it tries to exude. The hotel made sure our transfers to the airport were in order; the restaurant helped us pack food to go if we had an excursion and didn't make breakfast on time."


    "This kind of collaboration is heartening to see and experience (because I have experienced the ‘I’m sorry, ma’am, you are staying with the timeshare and we are the hotel. You should call this number.’). And to this point, Safari Surf’s commitment to and partnering with others, extend to the local community and to the nearby town of Guiones. If your package includes yoga or massages, you will know what I mean when you attend at these studios. There seems to be a certain respect towards Safari Surf (in their reference to the school and how they treated us)! "


    "Integrity, caring about its clients, treating its employees and partners within the community with respect, are highly important to me; whether everything was perfect all the time – much less so, yet even on this point, Safari Surf was pretty well, perfect."


    "And one final note. I have seen people consider Costa Rica as an alternative to the Caribbean. Because of the ‘all-inclusive’ vacations put together by Safari Surf, I am compelled to mention that you would not be getting a typical all-inclusive experience as in the Caribbean. Safari Surf does not offer the loud, partying venue. You will not be walking through acres and acres of concrete jungle, passing by the disco first, then the casino, to get to the snack bar which opens from 2:30 to 5:30 pm. Rowdy, drinking, partying was not the vibe I experienced. Come if you want to learn to surf, relax and discover or re-find your inner self."


    "I have experienced vacations with my children in many parts of the world, all of which have been thoroughly enjoyable. Nevertheless, we make a point of not going back to the same places (after all, the world is a big place). For Nosara with the Safari Surf School, I will make an exception. Pura Vida."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Bill E. from Pennsylvania, USA
    10 out of 10

    "An excellent week. All the instructors were very thorough, patient, and professional. This was kind of a weird vacation for me as I went with a goal in mind (learn to surf, and at least feel like I knew what I was doing and didn’t look too much like a dork doing it) instead of a vacation “just to get away” – but this one achieved both! I would definitely do it again. The staff was very helpful, helped me get my bearings, and it was great to spend time with them at dinner."


    "The accommodations and staff at Harbor Reef were great as well. They made the effort to get to recognize and know you a little bit and greeted you every day and make you feel welcome. The ONLY drawback with Harbor Reef was that the restaurant was a little limited on selection, but food at Olas Verdes (and the other places we went out to eat with the staff) backfilled nicely."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Rick W. from North Carolina, USA
    10 out of 10

    "Safari Surf School (SSS) made me feel right at home. This was my second visit. All of the instructors and support staff are kind hearted folks who take an interest in everyone. I really amped up my surfing skills this time. The daily instruction was awesome, the video tape of my first days on the water were well edited and the one-on-one analysis was really helpful. I had "homework" to do. I did my homework and I really improved as a result of implementing the advice. Thanks SSS !!!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Debra S.
    10 out of 10

    "Amazing. The staff, the professionalism, attention to detail. Really great experience. In a week most in our group were out on the big waves."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Canada
    10 out of 10

    "Our family of four (9 year old daughter and 17 year old son) took 2 lessons each over the course of the week we spent in Nosara. It was super easy to book the lessons beforehand online. In fact Tim was actually sitting at his desk and I was able to chat with him remotely as we booked the lessons. They paid special attention to the basics to make sure that we were doing it correctly and maximizing the fun we had over the 1.5 hour lesson. My son who has only surfed once before Costa Rica took a 3rd lesson and they had him out on the bigger waves with some success. Definitely a well run operation with special attention to customer service, some of the friendliest people we met were at the school. I would recommend this surf school in a heartbeat."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Maine, USA
    10 out of 10

    "And there are some great places there! We have been using Safari Surf for 6 years. Now that they are at Olas Verdes it is even better. Jeffery will take care of everything and set you up with some wonderful surf instructors - Hilberth and Marlon to name a few. The location is great - right in the middle of Guiones, with a quick walk to some of the best surfing in Costa Rica. I also want to give a shout out to the cooks. We had an amazing breakfast there - everyone had something different and we all kept arguing about who had the better meal. The food, the atmosphere of Olas Verdes are all great, but the people at Safari Surf are what make this a place we will always go back to."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Travelers from USA
    9 out of 10

    "Had an amazing time. "


    "The staff was very helpful and wanted to assure you got the most out your lessons and not just stick you in the water to make a dollar. The instructors were very knowledgeable and you can tell they loved what they did. I was up on green waves during my second lesson and Jeff got same great pictures. Even the instructors that were not giving me a lesson, took time to answer questions and review my videos. I'm already planning my next trip. "


    "Thanks Jeff, Luis, Marlon and Erick (of course Tim for setting it all up)"


    "Pura Vida"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from USA
    9 out of 10

    "We are a "non" surfing family and we had the best time learning how to surf in the warm waters of Guioness Beach. Our instructors were Kevin, Helboth, Alonso, and Marlin. They were great instructors and they made it fun. One of the highlights to our trip to Nosara."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Brian W. from USA
    9 out of 10

    "Amazing Job! I thought we were crazy visiting Costa Rica with four young kids. Put them in Safari's kids camp every morning. They surfed and had fun while Mom and Dad did whatever they wanted (yoga, surf, hike). Afternoons were tours or family time on the beach. The staff was incredibly warm and friendly but the real standout at Safari was the "structure" they provided to our vacation. I would never have believed a disorganized young family could visit Costa Rica and that both the parents and children could get so much individual and family enjoyment from the trip. Thanks guys. We'll be back."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Mike M.
    9 out of 10

    "Myself, wife and 12 year old just had the best Spring Break ever learning to surf with Safari Surf School at Nosara, Costa Rica. We booked our stay at Olas Verdes for five nights and no regrets. The staff was amazing and the surfing was fun. Everyone was able to get up on the boards and enjoy, while our son was the superstar of our group. There were many things we enjoyed including the food, other families we met, zip lining and just hanging out. Of special note were the people. Jeffery (Manager) and his staff go out of their way to ensure your vacation is perfect. There are so many names that added something to our trip, Jeffery, Jasmine, Luis, Marlon, Kevin, Cindy, Stephanie, Eric, and others who I missed, thanks! We came looking for a grand adventure and we got that. The people being so great was an added plus. We look forward to visiting again."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from USA
    9 out of 10

    "First time surfing for all of us (two parents, and kids age nine and 13). We had a variety of instructors, Alonso, Kevin, Tinis, Pio, Luis, and Marlon and each one brought their own tips and tricks, along with tremendous enthusiasm and kindness. Everyone in our family got up during the first lesson, and continued to have a blast surfing, during our stay. I will fully admit to being terrified of surfing, this was something my kids and husband has proposed and as a mom in my mid-40's I didn't think I could ever do, so what a thrill to feel the wave beneath me that first time and what a sense of accomplishment to get more confident out there. We stayed on site, at Olas Verdes, which I'd highly recommend. We met a ton of other nice families (also staying on site) during the course of our stay, and the setting was beautiful, just a short walk through the jungle to the beach. We went for three nights (so didn't surf the first afternoon we arrived, just got a lay of the land and played in the ocean), then surfed two times a day the next three days. (Actually, one afternoon we skipped surfing and went zip-lining, which was fun too.) My only wish was that we'd been able to stay another day or two, at least. Nosara is a cool, laid back town and there are some yummy restaurants you can walk to, or borrow the Olas Verdes bikes and ride in to, for meals you're not taking at the hotel. Highly recommend Safari as a family surf camp. We will surely return!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Damon R.
    9 out of 10

    "The staff are amazing, the boards are great and they really take care of you. You feel like a member of the family. We stayed at Olas Verdes and it was a true convenience, such a pleasure to deal with."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

Nosara, Costa Rica

Safari Surf School offers authentic surf vacations, accommodations, surfing lessons, and local experiences in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

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