10 Best Surf Camps Santa Cruz And How To Prepare - Green Iguana Surf Camp

10 Best Surf Camps Santa Cruz And How To Prepare

Surfing is a pastime that is enjoyed by many and Santa Cruz in particular is popular for its surf culture. The country is host to an impressive array of surf spots with sandy beaches and breaking waves. 

A surf camp is a paradise for individuals who enjoy participating in this water-based activity. Whilst attending the camp you will be able to advance your skills as you learn from the best instructors.

10 Best Surf Camps Santa Cruz And How To Prepare

You will also be surrounded by others who share the same passion for surfing.

Below, we have listed a few of the best surf camps in Santa Cruz. Despite being a popular surfing location, the country isn’t home to that many surf camps, however, you will be spoiled by some of the most beautiful surf spots.

We have also provided you with a guide that contains all of the details that you need to prepare. 

Club Ed Surf School and Camp 

Found on club-ed

The team at Club Ed Surf School and Camp are focused on understanding the goals and concerns of their attendees. They prioritize safety whilst ensuring that their guests enjoy fun packed days whilst learning more about the sport.

You will be taught by qualified instructors who have bundles of experience in this field. 

Regardless of whether you are at a beginner or intermediate level, there is a package available that suits your abilities. The gentle waves in Santa Cruz are especially favorable for those who are developing their confidence on the water.

Alongside surfboarding, guests can enjoy playing volleyball or soccer and visiting the local area. As darkness approaches you can then enjoy relaxing around a campfire with your fellow campers. 

Richard Schmidt Surf School 

If you are looking to improve your skills when riding the waves, taking lessons at the Richard Schmidt Surf School is an excellent choice. The lessons are led by experienced instructors who focus on making this activity both fun and educational.

The surfing retreat combines the relaxing elements of yoga with the fun of surfing and allows you to immerse yourself in two great activities.

There is also the option to customize a surf trip visiting your chosen destination accompanied by a surf instructor. 

Sun and Salt Collective Women’s Surf Retreat

The Sun and Salt Collective Women’s Surf Retreat is intended for women and aims to empower them through the art of surfing. Each morning you will be greeted by the beautiful scenery in the idyllic setting.

This package includes a 4 night stay at the retreat center, the provision of nutritional plant based meals cooked by a professional chef, 2 private surf lessons, and access to the sauna, hot tub, and pool.

You can also engage in daily yoga which is taught by a local instructor, and there is also the opportunity to enjoy some guided meditation.

Adventure Out 

Adventure Out has surf camps that cater to surfing enthusiasts of all ages. The 3 day surf camp is suitable for children aged 12 and under, whilst the 4 day surf camp is suitable for teenagers.

Aside from this, they also offer a yoga and surf workshop and 1 – 2 day surf classes for teenagers and adults. 

Those attending the 3 day or 4 day camp will be provided with 3 hours of surf lessons a day and will be taught by experienced instructors.

There are several surf clinics available, a few of which have been specifically created with the beginner surfer in mind.

As such, they are great for those who are completely new to surfing but want to develop their skills. 

Pleasure Point 

Pleasure Point is an excellent spot for beginners and is often referred to as the jewel of Santa Cruz. You will typically find that the waters here are crowded and favored by surfers of all abilities. 

It is popularly visited as the waves are reliable and the beach itself covers an expansive area. Due to the popularity of this location, it is important to be mindful of other surfers. 

Cowell’s Beach 

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Cowell’s beach is one of the best places to visit to learn how to surf. The long and gentle waves are easier to ride and allow you to build your confidence in the water before progressing onto the more advanced spots. 

Although the waters are often crowded, you will be surrounded by others who are in the same predicament as you. 

Steamer Lane 

Steamer Lane is another famous surfing destination in Santa Cruz. In fact, it’s the location that often comes to the minds of many when they think of this country and surfing.

It is very picturesque, however, it is quite dangerous too and because of this, it isn’t recommended for beginners and those who are not yet fully confident on the water. 

If you would like to learn more about surfing whilst you are visiting, you will benefit from a trip to the local surf museum. 

The Hook 

Situated fairly close to Pleasure Point, the Hook is popular amongst locals and advanced surfers. This spot earns its name from the vast amount of kelp that ends up getting hooked around buoys and skags.

The waves are appreciated for their perfect swells and although it often tends to be a busy destination, the views are certainly worth it. 

It is worth noting that due to the height of the waves and the swell, this isn’t a spot that is recommended for beginner surfers. 

Four Mile Beach 

Found on hilltromper

Located just out of Santa Cruz town to the North, Four Mile Beach is surrounded by cliffs and bluffs which protect it from the impact of harsh winds that typically affect other locations on the North Coast as the afternoon approaches.

The beach covers a vast area, meaning that there is plenty of room for many surfing enthusiasts to enjoy the waves. 

A great thing about this spot is that it caters to surfers of varying abilities. Beginners will likely appreciate the lack of wind and calmer waves, however, the high swells and frequent breaks are great for advanced surfers. 

Privates Beach 

Privates Beach, also known as a local surfer’s beach, is situated in the Opal Cliffs area of Santa Cruz.

Despite the implications of the name, this beach can be enjoyed by the public and isn’t solely restricted to locals who are from the area. 

Surrounded by cliffs, the secluded location is perfect for surfers trying to distance themselves from the often overcrowded and popular surf spots.

Thanks to the gentle waves, this spot is perfect for beginners who are just starting out, or those who are trying to develop and master their skills at their own pace. 

Budget Planning

Meal Price Range

The cost of a meal in Santa Cruz can vary depending on the spending habits of each traveler. On average, the majority of travelers spend around $33 on food a day, with an individual meal costing approximately $13 per person.

You will find that food available in fast food restaurants is cheaper than food from a sit down restaurant. 

Some surf camps will include daily meals in the total price. If you are happy to dine at your accommodation, this will provide a cost-effective solution as you will not be faced with the added cost of purchasing food or eating at restaurants upon arriving at your destination.

You will need to check the details of your package to see whether meals are included. 

Equipment Rental

Many companies in Santa Cruz offer equipment for rental. Often when you pay to attend a surf camp, you will have access to resources such as an array of surfboards and surf suits.

If you would prefer your own surf suit you can either invest in one before departing or you can use one of several rental companies in the area. Some companies offer surfboard rentals at a cost of around $20 a day.

This cost can differ between companies so it is worth having a browse for the most affordable option that accommodates your budget. 

Prepaid SIM Cards

A prepaid SIM card offers a great way for travelers to stay connected with family and friends whilst they are on the go.

You will pay an upfront fee when purchasing the phone and in return, you will be able to send messages and make phone calls. 

In Santa Cruz, the most popular network providers are Verizon, AT&T, and T-mobile. A prepaid SIM card can cost as little as $10 or $25 and as much as $200 to $400, possibly more.

The amount that you pay will be determined by the number of calls that you are likely to make and the texts that you are likely to send. It can also differ between network providers. 

Public Transport

The cost of public transport in Santa Cruz can vary depending on the mode of transport and the age of the traveler. Travelers who ride the METRO can choose between a single day pass or a three day pass.

For a single ride, the metro can cost as little as $1 and $7.50 for a three day pass. Taking a taxi in Santa Cruz will cost significantly more than taking public transport. 

Gas Prices

If you are likely to rent a vehicle for the duration of your stay in Santa Cruz, having a general idea of gas prices will prove helpful.

On average, 1 gallon of gas is likely to cost around $3.49, however, you will likely find comparable gas prices and cheaper options available. The cost of the gas can also differ depending on the model and make of the car. 

Types Of Risks 

In general, Santa Cruz is a safe country to visit. Although the crime rates are slightly high, on the whole, the majority of areas in the country are deemed to be safe.

Surfing is also a safe pastime in Santa Cruz. It is worth noting that there are certain spots that can be a little dangerous when the swell is up, so you will need to be cautious. 

How To Prepare


Individuals traveling to Santa Cruz will need to have a valid passport and those traveling from outside of the USA will need to apply for an ESTA visa. 


Before traveling to the USA, getting the following vaccinations is recommended; a hepatitis vaccine, a diphtheria vaccine, a polio vaccine, and a tetanus vaccine.

Depending on the activities that you are likely to be participating in on your travels, you may consider getting your hepatitis B vaccine and a rabies vaccine. 

If you are uncertain of the vaccines that you need to get before visiting the country, it is worth consulting a health professional.

Language and Currency

The main language spoken on the island of Santa Cruz is natugu. English is also spoken by some people living in the country. In some areas of Santa Cruz downtown dollars are used and in other areas standard dollars are used. 

Checking Surf Forecast

There are several websites that you can visit to check the surf forecast in Santa Cruz. They will often provide a live surf report which contains information relating to the swell and the height of the waves.

Furthermore, you will also be able to see the expected weather for each hour of the day. 

Travel/Surf Insurance

If you are planning on visiting Santa Cruz, it is worth investing in travel insurance. A medical emergency can ruin your vacation, especially when you are then confronted with unexpected medical costs.

This will cover you should you fall ill or get injured. Many travel companies will require you to have particular surf insurance if this is an activity that you are likely to be participating in.

It is worth checking the details of your insurance policy to see whether surfing is covered.