Iguana Surf
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Iguana Surf is the #1 Tamarindo surf shop since 1989. We have taught over 125,000 surf lessons, have over 150 surfboards for rent, an excellent Tamarindo surf camp, the top tours in Tamarindo and surrounding area, & more. Our surf guides are ISA certified and focus on teaching you the core skills and safety of surfing while having a blast in the ocean. All guides speak English and Spanish. Our shop is located across the street from the main surf break and we also offer surf photography, rash guards, lockers, and merchandise for sale. We have options for surf trips to local breaks nearby and Tamarindo surf camp packages for those looking to surf over a long weekend or week-long stay.
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2022

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Tours and Tickets by Iguana Surf
Travelers talk about
(10 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
2,096 reviews
Excellent
1,979
Very good
65
Average
29
Poor
17
Terrible
6

Jess P
Louisville, KY2 contributions
Oct 2022 • Couples
The staff was incredibly friendly, the prices were good, and the experience unforgettable. I had 0 surfing experience before taking a semi-private lesson with my girlfriend and was a little nervous prior to the lesson. Christian was an awesome instructor and because of him, I was able to successfully get up and surf within the first hour (I was expecting to just wipe out for 2 hours). I would highly recommend Iguana Surf to both beginners and those who haven’t surfed in a while.
Written October 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kristina H
Thank you so much for your amazing review and recommendation! We are so glad you had such a great time and we love to hear that our staff do such a great job! We hope you come back to catch more waves with us soon! Pura Vida :)
Written October 12, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

brad r
6 contributions
Mar 2022
We are a family of 8 with 6 kids ranging from toddler to 17 years old. We did a customized family surf camp. Another family of 6 came along with us so we ended up as a group of 14 people. The package was customized to include 6 nights at the hotel at Iguana Surf, Daily Breakfast, 4 days of surf lessons, surf photos, airport transportation, and a surf trip to another beach.

The highlight of the package was the surf instructors, they were excellent and did such a good job being patient with such a large group. All of the kids learned to catch waves and even the adults that took lessons caught a few waves. They are honestly what makes Iguana Surf great.

The transportation to and from the airport was great, I was worried we were going to be crammed into a van with a large group but they provided a larger bus with AC. They dropped off and picked up on time.

The breakfast was excellent with a 2nd story balcony looking over Tamarindo Beach each morning while we enjoyed several great options for breakfast. The staff at Breakfast Grinds were patient with the 2 large families.

The hotel accommodations were good, we stayed in the family suite which comfortably slept all 8 of us. The rooms were newer and modern and the location of the hotel is perfect; above the surf shop right across the street from Tamarindo Beach. It was so nice not to have to worry about beach parking as the beach is very busy. There is a grocery store on the first floor next to the surf shop with just about everything you might need.

The surf trip to Playa Avellenas was a blast and the highlight of the trip. My kids had so much fun with the instructors and once again they were patient with a large group. They arranged for a photographer to take some surf pictures which I received a little over a week later.

We did a few other excursions while we were there but did not book them through Iguana Surf because the surf shop was so busy. There were a few issues communicating the daily schedule, I believe because they were busy in the shop and we were a large somewhat difficult group but it all worked out.

When it came time to leave we wish we could have stayed longer and overall had an epic experience.
Written March 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kristina H
Thank you so much for the amazing review! Your satisfaction makes every effort absolutely worth it :) We look forward to having you and your family come and catch some more waves with us again soon! Pura Vida :)
Written April 2, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

FellowTraveler293844
Palos Verdes Estates, CA3 contributions
Apr 2022
Location of our air BNB was awesome - right across from the beach and a close walk from restaurants and shops. Staff was accommodating and friendly, super helpful with booking last minute excursions - we especially loved the snorkeling part of the Catamaran Sunset Cruise. An added plus was the restaurant right outside the hallway of our room - made grabbing coffee or a bite to eat super simple. And the burgers were delicious!
Written April 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kristina H
Thank you so much for your kind words! Your satisfaction makes every effort absolutely worth it :) We hope you come back and stay with us again soon! Pura Vida :)
Written April 11, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sarah
1 contribution
Mar 2022
This is a review for the turtle tour operator NOT for Iguana Surf

!!!Surf lessons with iguana surf were great!!!

We booked the turtle tour with Iguana Surf some days in advance and the communication was fast and very friendly.
When we were picked up with a mini bus in the evening at the hotel it felt like sitting in an animal transport - too many people in definitely not enough space. Everybody wore a mask on the bumpy ride - except the guide. We didn’t feel safe at all. The guide gave about 15 minutes a lot of information in Spanish, in English it was about 2 minutes.
Arriving at the beach we got flash lights for a short hike (10-15 minutes). As we couldn’t find any turtle at the first beach (end of season), we went back to the bus to go to another beach, where we had more luck. To see these majestic animals was amazing and probably this kind of tour is the only chance to find them in those hidden places.

Nature was a gift, but the guides (who didn’t have official shirts or anything else to demonstrate that they are working for the national park and not on their own) and the three other huge groups at the beaches were impertinent. One had the impression that no one had respect for the nature. On other tours in Costa Rica we always felt, that guides work to preserve nature and they were really into it. This tour was more to make money I guess and I am pretty sure no Cent went to support the conservation of the Marino las Baulas national park.

Nevertheless: if you want to see turtles go for it.

And: keep in mind, that probably every kitchen in Tamarindo will be closed, if you come back after 9:30 PM… so be prepared ;)
Written April 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kristina H
I am very happy to hear the surf lessons were great... but I am very sorry to hear about the turtle tour. Please keep in mind that this review portal is for the surf lessons and this rating reflects on the surf lesson satisfaction. Nonetheless, we aim to partner with tour operators that meet our customer service level. Clearly that was not met here and we apologize on their behalf and will do everything we can to avoid this from happening again.
Written April 13, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anton
New York City, NY2 contributions
May 2021
I was fortunate to come across Iguana Surf on my recent visit to Tamarindo. They were very accommodating at finding me a one-on-one session, even with last minute notice. My instructor, Manuel, was terrific! He asked a lot of questions about my prior surfing experience to know how to custom tailor our time together. He gave me great fundamental and safety instructions on the beach, and had me up on waves as soon as we hit the water together. He kept a close watch on each of my rides (and falls) to let me know what I was doing correctly, what to keep in mind for the next wave, and showed me how to correct bad habits I had developed in my prior surfing sessions. He kept the whole experience informative and fun! I highly recommend Iguana Surf, and Manuel, for those visiting the area and looking for great instruction.
Written May 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kristina H
Thank you very much for your amazing review and reccomendation! We really love to know that our instructors are personable, attentive and overall do a great job! We hope to have you back with us soon to catch some more waves! Pura vida!
Written May 22, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BethS
42 contributions
Mar 2021 • Couples
My husband and I had never surfed before and knew Tamarindo has great waves for beginners. Thanks to Manuel, we both were able to ride some waves in just an hour and a half. Manuel was fun, patient, knowledgeable, and friendly!! We’d highly recommend this place for surf lessons and they offer a discount after taking lessons if you want to get back out on the waves during your stay!
Written March 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kristina H
Thank you very much for your amazing review.We specialize on beginner lessons. We are all about sharing our passion for the waves with all of our visitors;) Manuel is known for his patience and his way of motivating the students, he is one of our best. Pura vida!
Written April 4, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

406Ral10
London, UK9 contributions
Dec 2019 • Solo
I ve booked a 10 days surf camp with Iguana during Xmas and NY with private accommodation. I ve been told I was their longest camper for this period.

Positives

I’ve had the best instructor, Tomas who i cannot recommend more. He was knowledgable friendly and generally really fun to be around. I felt like I ve made some decent progress during the 9 classes I ve had and it opened my appetite to surf more in the future. I can’t speak about the other instructors but Tomas was the perfect instructor for me

The room was okay though the walls are very thing so being some ear plugs if you re a light sleeper.

Breakfast was great but I ve had it as Santa Rita instead of Breakfast Grinds as I found their menu very limiting.

The Not so positives

I found that considering the price I have paid ( have been charged more for the period before NY as demand is higher) the camp doesn’t cater to the level of service you’re paying for. The thing that bothered me the most was that was no activity organised for evenings despite having a hostess assigned, Isa, who I ve met once at the surf shop. I m confused to what her role really is as other than dropping me a text on WhatsApp to tell me about a trip (which you had to pay for) I ve Had no contact with her. I would have expected more activities and get togethers with the other campers.

The videos & pics taken were extremely disappointing. This kid literally stayed for 30 min (lesson is for 2 hours). The surf lesson on the photo day was a good one ( caught 6 nice waves) and yet all the pics I have are terrible. Granted they might be because of my stance however i would have expected them to stay longer and try harder to get some good shots.

My room was literally the first room after the restaurant and for my last 3 days the staff were charging 1,000 colones for the public to use the iguana bathrooms. 3 times I had drunk people trying to get into my room thinking that’s the bathroom. When you pay 200 USD per night that’s just not right.

Overall I had a good time however if I had to do this again I d stay at a nice hotel and book lessons separately as this just wasn’t worth the money I paid
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kristina H
Hi Raluca -- I am so sorry to read your review. My name is Lindsey and I am the owner of Iguana Surf. I had numerous meetings with my management team and hosts over these last weeks in regards to the campers and our assessment surveys. We meet all together every 3 days to go over and check in on our campers and how everyone is doing. I remember your first review form where you gave great reviews of everything and only mentioned that you wish the breakfast had a few more vegetarian options which is when we arranged with another nearby restaurant for you to be able to eat there and followed up with you to ensure the only issue you had mentioned to us was taken care of and you were completely satisfied. Paris our Surf Camp Director checked in with you numerous times daily and we were never told anything except about how much you were really enjoying the surfing and your instructor. This saddens me now to read your review because obviously we care deeply for the complete satisfaction of our customers which is why we go to great lengths to ensure their happiness and constantly check in in order to be able to correct anything while you are here. I spoke directly with Isa and she did say that both her and Tomas hosted you and were out with you almost every afternoon or night. She even mentioned she bought you a Christmas present along with the other campers and put it under the tree for you to have on Christmas Morning. She was sick for part of your time here but she had spoken with Tomas to make sure you would be well taken care of. Again my deepest apologies you didn’t feel that way and I only wish you would have said something to us instead of insisting everything was great, so we could have had a chance to address it and fix it in the moment. I also wanted to comment about the rate you mentioned of $200/night. This does seem high when mentioned like that, but it is not telling the full story since you purchased a surf camp package The $200/day includes airport transportation, nightly beachfront accommodation, daily surf lessons, photo package, surf trip, rash guard and unlimited board rentals - in the end you are paying even less than $100/night. I honestly know it is the best price anywhere around for what you receive and I’m super bummed you didn’t feel the value was there. Please next time no matter where you are - when the staff and company are constantly checking in and even having you fill out satisfaction surveys during your stay, fill them out honestly to give the company a chance to address the issues in the moment- if not it is a lose lose for everyone. Pura Vida Lindsey Gaston Iguana Surf Vacations,
Written January 10, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lovin Lewes
Lewes, DE7 contributions
Aug 2022
If you need anything booked in Tamarindo, thisi is the company to call. We booked our hotel transfers and tours through Iguana and I couldnt be more pleased. They were very easy to communicate with and were very professional. Their transfer van was spotless and the driver was very accomidating. Thank you Iguana!
Written August 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kristina H
Thank you so much for your awesome review! Your satisfaction makes every effort absolutely worth it! We hope to have you come back and catch some more waves with us super soon! Pura Vida :)
Written August 18, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Becks
4 contributions
Dec 2019
I stayed for 3 days with Iguana in one of the hostels and booked 2 days of individual surf lessons with Manrique. The hostel was cleaned daily and I felt like myself and my things were safe. Young adults from all over the world do work stays for months at a time at the hostel and it was nice getting to know them. The staff at the surf shop were friendly and helpful and Paris was great about keeping in touch about my itinerary answering any questions I had. I would 10 out of 10 recommend Iguana Surf for both lodging and surf lessons (ask for Manrique!) for a solo traveler or with a small group.
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kristina H
I am so happy that you loved your days surfing with us! It makes absolutely every effort worth the while.;) We love sharing our passion for surfing with every visitor we host. We hope to see you again some time;) Pura Vida!
Written January 13, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Konstantin B
1 contribution
Feb 2022
Just came home from the 7 nights surf camp at Iguana and couldn't have been happier about my vacation choice!
I was a first time surfer, and my instructor Manuel was able to get me up on a board on the first day! From there he's continuosly guided me in improving my technique, so I could start catching waves on my own. Far from an expert, but I feel like I've got a great foundation with Iguana.
The hotel room itself was good - clean and modern, with one of the most comfortable mattresses I've slept on!
The location is unbeatable - right across from the beach with restaurants all around.
Highly recommend Iguana for your next surfing vacation!
Written February 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kristina H
Thank you so much for your amaing review and recommendation! We are so glad you all had such a great time and we always love to hear that our insturctors do such a great job! We hope to have you come back and catch some more waves with us again soon! Pura Vida :)
Written February 7, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Iguana Surf (Tamarindo) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go