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The secret is officially out, some of the world’s top tier surfing is found in Central America. Want to experience it for yourself? These are the best surf camps in Central America. No matter if you’re a beginner surfer, experienced already, on a budget, or prefer a bit of luxury, there’s a surf camp for you.
The squiggle of countries that connects South America to North America, Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Central America is riddled with awesome surf destinations but most of the Central America surf really revolves around Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Belize.
The real draw in this part of the world is consistency. Central America surf isn’t just about lefts or rights, point breaks or beach breaks. It’s got the whole shebang. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what’s on the menu.
Top Central America Surf Camps: Quick Picks
- Waluaa Surf & Yoga – Best surf camp overall
- Iguana Surf Camp – Best surf camp for beginners
- Miramar Surf Camp – Best surf camp for solo travelers and experienced surfers
- Maya Surf Tours – Best surf camp for making friends
- Panalive Tours – Best upscale surf camp
The Best Surf Camps in Central America: At a Glance
|Waluaa Surf & Yoga||Veraguas, Panama||$$||Book|
|Iguana Surf Camp||Tamarindo, Costa Rica||$$||Book|
|Miramar Surf Camp||Puerto Sandino, Nicaragua||$||Book|
|Maya Surf Tours||La Libertad, El Salvador||$||Book|
|Panalive Tours||Santa Catalina, Panama||$$||Book|
The 5 Best Surf Camps in Central America: In-Depth
1. Waluaa Surf & Yoga – Our Top Pick
Location: Veraguas, Panama
Best surf camp in Central America for surf yogis
Bringing surf coaching and yoga lessons together to give a full Panama beach life experience, Waluaa Surf & Yoga camp promotes leading a simpler, more balanced, and healthy lifestyle. Waluaa Surf & Yoga offers a surf and yoga experience specially tailored for beginners to intermediate surfers and yogis. Every morning of the seven-day camp starts off with yoga classes by certified instructors where surfers stretch to prepare mind and body for the surf sessions. The package also includes two surf theory and video feedback sessions where you will be taught the theoretical part of surfing through the years of experience of the instructors.
Apart from the lessons, Waluaa Surf & Yoga camp provides airport transfers and healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners every day. Each room at Waluaa includes a private bathroom with hot water shower, air conditioning, cable TV, a safe. There is also plenty of chill space around the infinity pool, bar area, and communal restaurant.
Extra excursions include a dive or snorkel trip around Coiba National Park, guided nature walks, spa treatments, and optional extra days.
2. Iguana Surf Camp
Location: Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Best surf camp in Central America for families and beginners
A beachfront boutique surf camp located in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, Iguana Surf Camp caters to beginner surfers looking to have a good time experiencing Costa Rican beach life safely. In operation as a surf shop, camp, and tour agency since 1989, Iguana Surf Camp’s team of surf instructors have over 30 years of experience in sharing the art of surfing with people from all over the world. Iguana Surf Camp offers 4- to 8-day surf camps which include surfing lessons on alternate days with unlimited surfboard rentals and daily breakfast. The team also offers free roundtrip airport transportation to/from Liberia Airport (LIR) so all you need to do is to pack your bags, take a flight, and get there. Everything else will be taken care of.
The adventure surf camp also includes accommodation in a modern beachfront lodge with air-conditioned rooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, and multilingual staff. You can also book accommodation elsewhere and take one-off surf lessons or rent gear from Iguana.
3. Miramar Surf Camp
Location: Puerto Sandino, Nicaragua
Best surf camp in Central America for solo travelers and experienced surfers
Typically offering six-day long surf camps, Miramar SurfCamp is an ideal Central America surf camp to go on with your friends or even as a solo traveler. Amazing waves are within walking distance from the camp, and the vibe tends to be light and social. Every day at the camp starts with surf lessons catered to your skill level. There are usually two camps: One catered to beginner and intermediate surfers and one for experienced surfers. Instructors know the area well, and can provide tips for just about any surfer who walks through their doors. At the end of the camp, surfers get a branded surf camp T-shirt and a bar of surf wax as a parting gift.
The accommodation at Miramar Surf Camp consists of two large complexes with two options of room types; ocean-view rooms and budget rooms. Both have air conditioning, an in-room safe, and sleep 3-4 people. It also has an ocean-side pool nestled on the edge of the cliff that overlooks Punta Miramar and an epic sunset, a restaurant where Miramar SurfCamp’s Brazilian chef to cater to any cravings, and a bar and a hammock area where you can unwind at the end of a surf session.
4. Maya Surf Tours
Location: La Libertad, El Salvador
Best surf camp in Central America to make friends
Offering tailormade surf lessons and coaching in El Salvador, Maya Surf Tours focuses on beginner and intermediate level surfers. With an abundance of point breaks and beach breaks near the camp, Maya Surf Tours is a great home base to explore some of the best surf spots of El Salvador. They also offer surf trip arrangements and logistics: transportation services, video, and photography, lodging, boat rides, etc. Maya Surf Tours will pick you up at the airport, then take you to the Papaya Lodge Surf Hostel, a lively hostel in El Tunco that features an outdoor private pool and a hammock deck where you can relax and unwind.
A usual day at the surf camp will start off with surfing sessions and surfing tours with excursions to Mayan ruins, shopping malls, and folkloric towns from guides who know the region better than anyone. Maya Surf Tours surf camps include gear rental and there are theory sessions where surfers can learn more about proper surf etiquette.
5. Panalive Tours
Location: Santa Catalina, Panama
Best surf camp in Central America for overall ocean lovers
Located in the surfing paradise of Santa Catalina, Panalive Tours offers five-day surfing, scuba diving, and yoga camps for all surf abilities. Known for their eco-tourism and sports packages that focus on natural experiences, Panalive Tours surf camps are ideal for surfers who want a more holistic surf experience with a range of sports and other activities. The five-day Central America surf camp includes two relaxing yoga sessions and three surfing lessons. They also offer scuba dives, village trips, guided hikes, and other activities that show you more than just the waves of Santa Catalina.
The highlight of the surf camp is Panalive’s luxury retreat, surfers will stay at the Vista Coiba Hotel which is one of the best places to stay in Santa Catalina. Vista Coiba Hotel features garden views, a private beach area, sea view rooms, and a well-stocked bar where you can chill, relax, and enjoy your spend on land.
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