There are few places that boast better weather than the continent of South America. From the beautiful beaches of Brazil to the phenomenal coastlines of Costa Rica, South American boasts some of the best surfing spots in the world and makes it a perfect location for surfers no matter where you go.
Whether you are a beginner, advanced or aspiring professional surfer, South America is full of unique surfing environments and opportunities that makes it a gold mine for surfers around the world. But with so many countries and areas to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed as to which surf camp you should choose.
We’ve gathered the top 10 surf camps in South America followed by a guide on preparation so you will know everything you need to know so you can enjoy your experience to the fullest.
Here are the top 10 surf camps in South America you should consider:
One of the best surfing spots in the whole of South America is Tamarindo in Costa Rica and Witch’s Rock Surf Camp is one of the best camps available for those visiting the area.
Offering a variety of packages since 2001, their inclusive programs allow you to ride large waves no matter what your ability is. With a hotel that sits on the beachfront, you’ll be able to take in wonderful views of the ocean when you’re not surfing.
Tamarindo is renowned for its waves and you’ll find yourself riding more waves than you could have imagined during a week-long stay.
Location: Costa Rica
Address: Playa Tamarindo, 152, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, 50309, Costa Rica
Another great surf camp in Costa Rica is Zopilote Surf Camp which is based in Cobano and is ideal for those who wish to surf in warmer waters. With guaranteed surfing all year round, the water is always an average of 27 degrees and is also neoprene free, boasting a wonderful background of the natural world which encompasses the area.
Located at the stunning Playa Hermosa, Zopilote Surf Camp is only minutes away from Santa Teresa and Malpaís so you can experience Costa Rican culture during the afternoons when you are not surfing. It is one of the quietest and cleanest beaches in Costa Rica which makes surfing a relaxing and positive experience.
Since 2005, Zopilote Surf Camp has been attracting surfers from around the world.
Location: Costa Rica
Address: Playa Hermosa (Puntarenas), Cobano, 6011, Costa Rica
Venturing over to the beautiful Playa Venao in Panama is the Beach Break Surf Camp and Resort which was established in 2012. The seclusion of the surrounding area means that there is a quietness that makes surfing a relaxing experience. The Resort itself is owned and operated by lifelong surfers who are extremely passionate about the sport.
Sitting on the beachfront, you’ll have wonderful views and be able to enjoy the surroundings when not surfing. No matter your age or skill level, Beach Break Surf Camp and Resort will do everything to help you develop the skills you need to excel and have a position experience.
With a variety of surf packages available to suit all budgets, this is a fantastic choice for those who have a specific idea in mind of what they want to achieve.
Address: Beach Break Surf Camp, Playa Venao, Pedasi, Panama
For those who are wanting to learn how to surf in Mexico and really get to know the culture then the Oasis Spanish and Surf School is a brilliant way to learn the sport and the language in a fun and exciting way.
Based in the sunny Puerto Escondido, this school has seen thousands of people from all over the world walk through its doors and learn all about surfing. With an array of fully qualified teachers who are able to work with surfers of all abilities, this school works hard to ensure that you get an experience that is tailored to your needs and abilities.
With lessons available in English and Spanish, you’ll have an array of practical and theoretical sessions so you have a high awareness of ocean safety when you are heading out to the water.
Address: Blvd Benito Juarez #6, Fraccionamiento Rinconada, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
Another surf school in Mexico that is among the best is Cabo Surf School. Boasting a great price point with packages starting at $120 for beginner surfers, this school was formed in 1999 and is based in Cabo San Lucas.
With lessons aimed at children specifically, you’ll find your children benefit from the great community that the Cabo Surf School encourages thanks to their group activities and lessons.
Lessons are taught at a variety of beaches including El Tule beach, Cerritos, Costa Azúl and East Cape so you can be sure that there are great waves all year round. Your child will learn how to identify various waves and will know how to approach them so they are as safe as possible.
Address: Matamoros and Lázaro Cárdenas # 23450, Cabo, San Lucas. BCS
6. Otra Ola
Otra Orla Surf Camp is based in Manabi, Ecuador and is ideal for all ages and abilities with a variety of private and group lessons available. With groups reaching a maximum of 6 people per instructor, you can be assured that you’re in safe hands at all times, even if you are a beginner.
With each session lasting 90 minutes, you’ll learn everything from the theory on ocean safety all the way to riding waves in the water by yourself. With an array of boards available to rent, there is something for everyone no matter what the weather is like.
With suitable waters all year round, surfing is a popular activity during all seasons in Ecuador thanks to the great weather. The lessons are taught by bilingual instructors who have more than 10 years of experience in the surf industry.
Address: Ayampe, Manabi, Ecuador
Muchik Surf School is based in Huanchaco in Perú which brings the highest level of quality teaching within a supportive environment so you can have a safe and enjoyable experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Perfect for all ages and abilities, this school will teach you everything you need to know about surfing through theoretical and practical sessions so you know what to expect when you are out in the water. With a wide array of equipment available to rent, you needn’t worry about bringing your own board if you are a beginner.
The team will help pick out equipment that is suited for you and your skill level.
Address: Independencia 100, Huanchaco 13000, Perú
For those seeking adventure in Brazil then Bahia Surf Camp is an ideal choice. Located in a protected environmental preservation area, you will see the best of the Brazilian surroundings as well as added privacy as the only people allowed in the area are the residents of the Camp.
Owned and operated as a family business, this is a camp that brings passion to surfing and allows pupils to make the most of the local community whilst learning to surf. The surf spot in particular is one of the best reef breaks in the whole north coast which is ideal for those who are more advanced and want to tackle higher waves.
Address: Condomínio Busca Vida 42C, Catu de Abrantes – Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil
The ThunderBomb Surf Camp is based in Nicaragua and provides a fantastic surfing experience for those who want to learn how to surf in the most tropical and exciting of locations. Located in North Nica, this camp has access to an uncrowded beach that has the best waves.
Ideal for all ages and abilities, you’ll have the opportunity to take in the fantastic weather no matter what time of year you visit while also learning about the culture. With packages starting from $1199, this is the perfect choice for those who have the money to spend and want to have the most luxurious accommodation and highest quality instructors.
Address: North Nica, 45 tubos av, Chinandega, Nicaragua
Our final recommendation is the Surf Camp & School in Praia da Pipa which is based at Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil. Pipa is often referred to as one of the best beach locations in Brazil and is popular among surfers new and experienced alike.
The Surf Camp Hostel is fantastic for those who are travelling with family or in a small group as you can have a private room and enjoy the shared facilities with like minded people if you choose to. With the camp located so close to the ocean, you’ll be able to make the most of your time riding the waves at the optimum time during your training.
Address: R. da Arara, 105, Tibau do Sul – RN, 59178-000, Brazil
How to Prepare
When preparing to travel to South America, make sure that you have the appropriate Visa for the country that you are visiting. Every country is different so make sure you are filling in and receiving the correct paperwork to avoid running into problems when you arrive.
Equally, it is important to consider the various vaccinations that are recommended when visiting countries in South America which includes: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever and rabies. This will ensure that you are as safe as possible when travelling.
Depending on the country you are visiting in South America, you may be visiting a Spanish speaking country or Portuguese. However, for those who only speak English, all surf camps tend to have bilingual instructors who can also speak English as well as their first language.
However, a lot of South American surf camps like to use their camps as a tool for participants to learn a second language meaning that you’re having a fully rounded experience. The currency will also differ depending on what country you are visiting. For example, Chile has the Chilean Peso and Brazil as the Real.
As with any holiday, always make sure you take out travel insurance and also additional surf insurance in case of emergencies. Hopefully, you won’t run into any problems but it’s always best to be safe than sorry.