10 Best Surf Camps Caribbean and How to Prepare

The Caribbean is full of beautiful landscapes, rich cultures, and amazing waves. Today we’ve pulled together 10 of the best surf camps in the Caribbean so you can browse for the perfect retreat.

Bear in mind that each country has its own laws and rules around vaccines and visas, but don’t worry because we have covered that too. 

This article has everything you need to prepare for the surf vacation of a lifetime.

10 Best Surf Camps in the Caribbean

1. The House of Waves – Dominican Republic

The House of Waves is only 20 minutes from the airport and a short walk to the sea. They offer a 5-day, 3-day, or 2-day experience in their surf camp, so if you want a quick weekend adventure or a full-length vaccination, you can choose the package that’s right for you.

The Dominican Republic is known for its world-class surfers, so you know that the waves will be perfect on the day. 

2. Surf Camp – British Virgin Island

Surf Camp is excellent for beginners and advanced surfers alike. The translucent waters and soul-warming sunshine create the most magical experience you could ask for. 

Because their government is adamant about keeping the serenity of this beautiful island, you won’t find any western high-rise hotels or stop-start traffic. The British Virgin Island is still the idyllic paradise it has always been. 

Your 5-day trip will be planned for you with everything from coral reef diving to mixing with the culture. But don’t worry about being sidetracked because every day is a surfing day.

3. Cabarete Surf Camp – Dominican Republic

Cabarete Surf Camp calls itself the best surf camp in the country, and very few people will tell you they’re wrong. With Cabarete Surf Camp, you can surf and kiteboard, along with lots of other water-based activities, like swimming in the peaceful and tranquil lagoon. 

Whichever package you choose to use, Cabarete offers daily transport to the beach, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

4. Swell Surf Camp – Dominican Republic

Swell Surf prides itself on having a low student to coach ratio, so you don’t have to share the attention. Having taught over 1,000 people how to surf, you can be sure that you’re getting the best help you can.

There is only one surfing break in the Dominican Republic that is suitable for all learners, and Swell Camp takes you to that spot. Having fed you with their legendary breakfasts, you’ll have all the power you need to ride those waves.

5. Surf Balandra – Trinidad

Surf Balandra has different surfing packages for beginners and advanced surfers. For your one-week stay, you will have a couch for between 2 and 4 hours a day on the pristine and empty beach of your dream.

Trinidad has beautiful tropical trees that decorate the beach around your camp, just like a hidden, luscious garden overlooking the ocean. Even most explorative surfers have yet to experience the thrilling surf of the Trinidad seas, so put Surf Balandra on your bucket list!

6. Zed’s Surfing Adventures – Barbados

Zed’s Surfing Adventures is perfect for kids as well as adults. Zed’s has been mentioned in the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveller, and has been a top-ranked destination on TripAdvisor as a fantastic surfing camp. 

The surf lessons take place between the world-famous Surfers Point and the beautiful Freight’s Bay. Depending on your skill level, your instructor will determine which location is best for you on that day. 

If you plan on going fishing and surfing, then Zed’s has a package holiday for you too.

7. SASS – Puerto Rico

With a name like SASS, you know you’re in for a whirlwind of an experience. SASS is so excited to look after Americans that they will offer a Thanksgiving dinner if you apply in season. 

You can pick between a 4-night stay or a 7-night stay with at least 2 dinners and a daily breakfast included. 

8. Macao Surf Camp – Punta Cana

Macao was the original surf school in Macao beach, and it is still the best there today. Unlike the other surf camps on our list, Macao doesn’t have a place to camp. But with so many holiday resorts in Punta Cana, you can use Macao as a fun activity on your Punta Cana vaccination. 

Many resorts in the area hire Macao as their surfing champion, so if you sign up to a hotel near Macao beach, the likelihood is they will be on the agenda!

Macao Beach has 6 different surfing breaks along the beautiful sandy beaches to teach you how to surf. 

9. Surfbreak Cabarete – Dominican Republic

Surfbreak is ideal for people who want to relax. With surf and yoga packages, this tranquil location is perfect for your well-deserved break. 

The tropical beauty of Encuentro Beach surrounds the nature-inspired adventure vacation. Encuentro Beach is a great surfing area just 5 minutes away from your holiday home and 20 minutes away from the airport. 

With everything you need so close by, there is no need to hold on to any stress. 

10. Jamnesia Surf Camp – Jamaica

Jamaica only has one surf camp, and it is impressive. With surfing and skating packages this rustic and authentic surfing holiday will be the pride of your surfing life. 

With just a 10 minute ride from the airport, you can find Jamnesia Surf Camp exceptionally easily. You’d be eating authentic Jamaican cuisine and chilling with hearty reggae music. 

Jamaica has an active and immersive creative culture, from live music to art sessions. Your vacation will be active from day to night. 

Budget Planning

Each country will have its own price ranges when you’re traveling. We’ve compiled a little list to remind you of some of the things you should prepare for on your Caribbean vacation.

Meal Price Range

In the Dominican Republic, meals can cost you anything from 300 RD$ to 1,100 RD$. In American Dollars, that’s the same as $5.27 to $19.33

In the British Virgin Islands, the meals are more expensive, costing around $23 per meal.

In Trinidad, meals can cost anything from 45 TT$ to 500 TT$. In American Dollars, that is the same as $6.63 to $73.69.

In Barbados, meals can cost around B$62 per person. In American Dollars, that’s the same as $31.

Puerto Rico uses US dollars, and their food prices are very similar to the US as well. With a meal costing anything from £11 per person to £28 per person.

In Punta Cana, meals can cost you anything from 350 RD$ to 1,900 RD$. In American Dollars, that’s the same as $6.15 to $33.39.

And lastly, in Jamaica, meals can cost you anything from J$250 to J$1000. In American Dollars, that’s the same as $1.66 to $6.66

Remember, those conversion ratings can change, so these numbers might not be accurate when you are ready to travel, but use them as a guide to know how to budget for your vacation. 

Prepaid SIM Cards

Roaming charges in the Caribbean are extortionary high. To avoid international roaming charges, we suggest you buy prepaid SIM cards from the country you’re visiting. 

You could try and not use your data, but let’s face it. You want to take photos of your trip, and you want to show them to your friends. 

As long as you buy a SIM card from the country you’re in, the charges will be less expensive, but if you want a shortlist of the best SIM cards, check out this list.

  • Barbados – Diel Barbados or Flow Barbados
  • British Virgin Islands – CCT Wireless, Digicel BVI or FLow BVI
  • Dominican Republic – Claro Dominican Republic
  • Jamaica – Digicel Jamaica
  • Puerto Rico – Claro Puerto Rico
  • Trinidad and Tobago – Digicel Trinidad

Equipment Rental

Most of the camps offer surfboards to rent but ask you to bring your own swimming gear. But some of them ask for a rental fee.

  • Cabarete Surf Camp has over 100 boards you can rent from, but their renting rates change throughout the year. 
  • Zed’s Surfing Adventure lets you rent their boards for 2 hours, a day, or a week. With their prices ranging from $25 US to $160 US.
  • Macao Surf Camp has a shorter rent time of 1 hour, half a day, or a full day. With their prices ranging from $10 US to $25 US.
  • Surf Break Cabarete separates their rentals via performance. With a range from $20 US to $25 US per day

Types of Risks You Need to Be Aware of in the Caribbean Islands

The safest countries to visit in the Caribbean islands are Barbados, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.

In general, all the Caribbean islands are very safe, but that doesn’t mean you should travel without knowing the risks. 

LGBT Travellers

LGBTQ travelers should be aware that same-sex relationships are not legal in every country. Men, in particular, have to take precautions to stay out of any negative light. We suggest that gay men travel with a group of heteronormative friends to keep themselves safe.

The countries that still list homosexuality as a crime are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines. 

Transgender people should be even more cautious.

Although it is rare for a traveler to be prosecuted, you may find yourself in prison for 5 years to life.

LGBT-friendly islands are Puerto Rico, St Barts, St Martin, and St Croix.

Natural Disasters

The Caribbean has a pretty famous hurricane season, and it hits between June and November. As the years go along, the storms get worse, with most of them reaching category 5. 

With hurricanes come destruction, mudslides, flooding, and tsunamis. When you arrive at your holiday destination, you will likely be given an evacuation plan, just in case a hurricane hits. Familiarize yourself with the plan, and if you weren’t given one, ask a local what you should do.

If you travel out of hurricane season, you’ll be fine. The risk of a hurricane is at its lowest between December and April. 

How to Prepare for Your Trip to the Caribbean

This list is essential to making sure you’re prepared for your Caribbean surfing trip!

Visa

To travel to the Caribbean for a short vacation, you probably don’t need a visa. 

Click here and type your vacation destination into the “Learn about your destination” search bar. 

Click the search icon, and you’ll be taken to a page that details all you need to know about that country. 

Scroll down to “Quick Facts,” and you’ll see if a visa is required. 

Vaccines

Again vaccines differ depending on the country. 

Click here and type your vacation destination into the “Learn about your destination” search bar. 

Click the search icon, and you’ll be taken to a page that details all you need to know about that country. 

Scroll down to “Quick Facts,” and you’ll see if any vaccines are required. 

Language and Currency

There isn’t just one answer to this question, so scroll down to the country that matches your holiday destination to find out what languages they speak and the currency they use.

British Virgin Island:

  • Languages: English is the official language, Spanish is well known
  • Currency: United States Dollar (US$)

Dominican Republic:

  • Languages: Spanish is the official language, English and French are well known.
  • Currency: Dominican Peso (RD$)

Trinidad:

  • Languages: English is the official language, Spanish is well known.
  • Currency: Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TTD$)

Barbados:

  • Languages: English is the official language, Bajan is mainly used, French and Spanish are well known.
  • Currency: Barbados Dollar (BBD$)

Puerto Rico: 

  • Languages: English and Spanish are the official languages. Spanish is more dominant. 
  • Currency: United States Dollar (US$)

Jamaica:

  • Languages: English is the official language, Jamaican Patois is mainly used.
  • Currency: Jamaican Dollar (J$)