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Corky Carroll's Surf School

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Playa Guiones 300 meters west of Hotel The Gardens, Nosara 53211 Costa Rica
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About

#5 of 40 Specialty lodging in Nosara
Location
5.0
Cleanliness
4.9
Service
5.0
Value
4.9
Corky Carroll's surf school is the original all inclusive surf school of the Nosara area. Family owned and operated starting in Huntington Beach California in 1996 than adventuring to Nosara, Costa Rica in 1998. We provide it all; airport transportation, comfortable hospitality, family style cuisine, experienced and professional surf instruction with daily video of your a.m. surf session along with constructive criticism feedback. Complimentary laundry, also beer and natural fruit included in the week's package.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Pool
Free breakfast
Fishing
Table tennis
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Airport transportation
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Walking tours
Meeting rooms
Full body massage
24-hour security
Non-smoking hotel
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
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Room features
Housekeeping
Safe
Bottled water
Laptop safe
Coffee / tea maker
Refrigerator
Walk-in shower
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
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Room types
Pool view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Quaint
Charming
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
108Reviews2Q+A17Room tips
Traveler rating
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Marc S wrote a review Dec 2021
Seattle, Washington16 contributions4 helpful votes
Just finished my second stay and I'm stoked to return soon. Corky Carroll's is like staying with the surfing family I never had. Great people, hospitality, instruction, location, surfboards, and food.
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Date of stay: December 2021
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Room Tip: There's only six rooms, two with A/C.
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WCHIII wrote a review May 2021
Charlotte, North Carolina4 contributions
We spent a week at Corky's with our family of four and had an amazing time. First and foremost, the staff is great. It has a true family vibe, where you are welcomed and made part of the family. Everything from hanging out with the surf instructors and chatting over a couple cervezas, to playing with the kids who live there, to having the family dogs follow you to beach for your surf session and then follow your back home. I have to call out Oscar, Patrick, Doyls and Danny who really worked hard to show us a great time. When the waves were a bit too big at Playa Guiones, they arranged a trip to nearby Playa Garza, which was super cool. And when we wanted to check in on playoff hockey, they got that set up in the rancho for us. When we wanted to do an excursion, they set us up with a local guide, Andrey Gutierrez (Instagram - tierra_azul_sport_fishing), who took us on an amazing fishing trip. We caught mahi-mahi that the kitchen staff turned into killer ceviche and dinner. One of the absolute highlights of the trip was the food. The kitchen staff is amazing. We have some food allergies that can be tricky to accommodate, but they had no problem working with us. The food is simple, local, and delicious. It was really nice to never have to think about any meals while we were there.
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Date of stay: May 2021
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jac_aleida wrote a review Mar 2021
Corte Madera, California14 contributions9 helpful votes
I can't recommend Corky Carroll's Surf School enough. It's like Cheers. You feel at home as soon as you arrive. The daily 1:1 instruction is exceptional and high caliber, and then there's the daily video analysis, which is incredibly helpful. The food is DELICIOUS, (they should seriously consider a side business and offer cooking classes too), and the accommodation and grounds are lovely. Beginners to shredders keep returning to continually improve and learn. I legit had NO clue what I was getting into, it exceeded ALL my expectations.
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Date of stay: February 2021
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Response from Collin Walker, Owner at Corky Carroll's Surf School
Responded May 3, 2021
Thank you very much for your review. All reviews are helpful, this one in particular motivates me everyday. I wish you a good day.
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Dvalsyd wrote a review Nov 2020
3 contributions
We were 8 middle aged guys looking for a getaway from the day to day grind of life in the U.S. Most of us had zero or minimal experience with surfing. What an INCREDIBLE week Collin and his family gave us. As has been written in many reviews, coming to Corky Carrolls is like becoming part of a family. And a very chill, inviting family at that. The meals are amazingly fresh, delicious and healthy - in almost unlimited quantity. The bar fridge is always stocked with beers and fresh juices and you're made to feel welcome to help yourself at any time of the day. The surfing instruction was also beyond expectations - Collin's team of instructors could not be more friendly, helpful or knowledgeable. All seemed to have a genuine interest in making sure we made real progress during the week as well as making sure we were safe and enjoying the experience. If we ever wanted to change up the boards we were using, Collin and the team were quick to offer up advice and accommodate us. Apart from the scheduled morning lesson, a few instructors would come out and free surf with us each afternoon which was also super helpful. Having just arrived back in the U.S., I think most if us are already scheming on how quickly we can get back to Nosara to repeat the whole experience. There are plenty of other more sleek, upscale surf schools in Nosara but if you want to capture the true essence of the laid back surf vibe that makes you forget all your real life cares, you should stay with Collin and Yaya at Corkys!!
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Date of stay: November 2020
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Todd446619 wrote a review Jan 2020
1 contribution
It has been awhile since I have been back (life gets in the way) but it was great to see Corky Carroll's run so well and how they provided such a great trip. When they claim that you will be part of their family for a week - they are not kidding. From kids having fun, dogs hanging out with you at the beach, and perfect "home cooking" it felt more like visiting relatives (in a good way) than a stay at a hotel. Loved everything about this trip and can't wait to bring my older son on my next visit. Todd
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Date of stay: January 2020
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Response from corkycarrollsurf, Owner at Corky Carroll's Surf School
Responded May 20, 2020
Thank you for the compliments, reviews like this go a long way for us!!! Looking forward to your next visit, especially if you are able to bring your older son. Thank you. Collin
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Patrick wrote a review Aug 2019
1 contribution
A bit delayed in posting my review, but visited Collin and team in February for my 50th birthday and a once in a lifetime surfing trip. As a lifelong Midwesterner I had zero surfing experience, but was something I had always committed to giving a shot. Collin's crew were all top notch, teaching me surfing literally from the ground up. This is not a 1 hour hotel resort with instructors pushing you into small waves in return for high fives. These guys treat it will all level of seriousness regardless of skill level but don't lose sight that surfing should be fun. Not only were the instructors and staff terrific but the other guests, who were all veteran surfers, were like long lost friends providing encouragement and a whole lot of beers along the way. The food was always on point and Yaya even made me a cake for my birthday. So as summer begins to wind down in the Midwest my mind turns to a second in a lifetime trip back to Corky Carroll's this winter. Hopefully followed by a third, fourth, fifth....
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Date of stay: January 2019
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Mgund wrote a review May 2019
San Francisco, California2 contributions1 helpful vote
Collin and the team at Corky Carroll’s Surf School have put together an amazing travel experience for every level of surfer looking to improve their skills, and a phenomenal travel atmosphere as well. From the minute you walk in the door you’re treated like a visiting friend. The instructors are top notch, amazingly patient, and invested in their students’ success. Pair that with detailed video review sessions each day, and we felt like our surfing improved dramatically in 7 days at the school. One of our favorite aspects was variety of boards you had at your disposal to try. Collin has amassed a fantastic quiver of options to suit various skill levels & techniques you want to practice (e.g. duck diving). The accommodations are great - you are staying literally 100 meters from the beach - and the food is incredible (important when you’re in the water hours a day). You get 3 home cooked meals a day, with juice, fresh coconuts, and cold beer available whenever you want. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience on our trip to Costa Rica!
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Date of stay: May 2019Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Response from corkycarrollsurf, Owner at Corky Carroll's Surf School
Responded May 20, 2019
Thank you for your amazing review and also for joining us for a week in Costa Rica. I appreciate the time you took in writing this review and posting it, I will share it with the rest of the crew. Take good care. Collin
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Kayvossea wrote a review Apr 2019
1 contribution
I spent 3 nights at Corky Carrols and it was everything as advertised and so much more! I’m an experienced surfer and enjoyed all that they had to offer. My boards got dinged en route and they patched them up for me. Pat took us to a really amazing black sand beach and the surf was amazing! The food was the best I had throughout my entire trip and the beers were always cold. I will definitely be coming back for the family atmosphere provided
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Date of stay: April 2019Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Response from corkycarrollsurf, Owner at Corky Carroll's Surf School
Responded May 20, 2019
Thank you and your group for staying the 3 nights and getting me out on the town for some live music and local spirits, good times! You now know where we are if you need another "escape of reality", where the waves are warm and the beer is cold. Take good care. Collin
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Susana Cicchetti wrote a review Mar 2019
San Francisco, California7 contributions6 helpful votes
CC Surf School provides an atmosphere that encourages family and friendship like no other. Yes, we all want to surf. Yes, we all want great food...sleep well...maybe party. You get that and more. The Walkers have created a culture that should not be missed. Go join...
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Date of stay: March 2019Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Response from corkycarrollsurf, Owner at Corky Carroll's Surf School
Responded May 20, 2019
Thank you for this review. I appreciate your time in posting this, well written to the point. After reading this I get a rush of excitement, similar to how I feel while surfing. Thanks for bringing these points to my attention. Let's do another week that was fun. Take good care. Collin
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Melinda C wrote a review Oct 2018
Chesterfield, Virginia1 contribution
My boyfriend has vacationed at Corky Carroll’s Surf School every winter (January or February) for about 13 years. He and his brother decided that they wanted to learn to surf and were lucky enough to find this surf school (the BEST) through an internet search. For many years, this was a “guy’s trip” for him…until I decided that I wanted to learn to surf in 2012. My boyfriend had been telling me for years that Costa Rica was the absolute best place to go to learn to surf. So, in February 2013, I made my first trip to Corky Carroll’s and shared a room with a girlfriend while my boyfriend stayed in the room next door with his brother. Since that time, I have returned to Corky Carroll’s 4 more times. This trip has now become a couples’ trip as we went with 2 other couples earlier this year. We are in the process of planning our 2019 trip and couldn’t be more excited! While we have discussed planning surf trips to other areas, we always seem to talk ourselves out of it. We just can’t imagine going anywhere else! This vacation is more than a vacation for us every year…it feels like we are visiting family! We have grown very close to Collin and YaYa and their boys over the years…and the staff at Corky Carroll’s. It feels like home to us! Property: This is a surf camp, not a fancy resort…and that is one of the things that we love about it! There are two buildings with 3 rooms each for a total of 6 rooms. The rooms are arranged around a nice pool area that includes hammocks for relaxing/napping. Each room has a private bath. There is no AC, but the ceiling fans and pedestal fans in the rooms will keep you comfortable. The grounds are well kept, and the gardens are beautiful! There is a common area where the guests eat all of their meals together (family style) and where people hang out and socialize throughout the day and in the evenings. Food and Drink: The camp is “all-inclusive.” All food, beer, water, and fruit juices are included in the price of your stay. If you want sodas or wine, you can buy it at the mini super (small supermarket that is walking distance from camp) and keep it in the mini fridge that is provided in each room. The food is consistently amazing, and it is a big reason why people keep coming back! Lunch and dinner are buffet style, while breakfast is a mixture of continental (toast, fruit, waffles) and an onsite cook who will prepare hot breakfast items to order (breakfast burritos and French toast are are favorites). Bocas (appetizers) are also prepared every night before dinner (around 6:30). Local Costa Rican beers are provided in an open fridge that is always well-stocked. Experience: The experience is like no other vacation! Everyone is so friendly, and you will get to know the other guests who are sharing the camp with you. My boyfriend has made many friends over the years of traveling here as have I, which is another one of the things we really love about this place! Surfing: The surf spot is Playa Guiones, which is about a 5 minute walk from the camp. The walk is not too bad, but it can be a little bit of a bear when carrying a surfboard (especially for this girl, who doesn’t have the longest arms). I highly recommend that women consider bringing a “board buddy” or something similar to assist in carrying the surfboard to and from the beach…you will thank me later! Playa Guiones has provided a consistent wave ranging from waist to head high every year that we have been. The inside is perfect for beginners to learn and perfect your pop up before moving to the outside break. The “all-inclusive” price includes a one-hour surf lesson every morning. The surf instructors are great and will have you surfing in no time! They try to rotate you through the different surf instructors throughout the week so that you can learn a little bit from each of them. The school also provides a videographer that takes video footage during the morning surf lessons. The video is a great way to see what you are doing when you are out surfing so that you can get additional coaching to help you improve. Everyone gets together in the common area after lunch time to watch the daily video together, which is always fun!
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Date of stay: January 2018
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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LOCATION
Costa RicaProvince of GuanacasteNosara
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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Frequently Asked Questions about Corky Carroll's Surf School
Which popular attractions are close to Corky Carroll's Surf School?
Nearby attractions include Nosara Kids Camp (0.2 miles), Jungle Escape Nosara (0.3 miles), and Jenstones Gallery (0.3 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Corky Carroll's Surf School?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Corky Carroll's Surf School?
Top room amenities include a refrigerator, a pool view, and a walk-in shower.
What food & drink options are available at Corky Carroll's Surf School?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Corky Carroll's Surf School?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Corky Carroll's Surf School?
Conveniently located restaurants include Rosi's Soda Tica, Cafe de Paris Restaurant & Bakery, and Robin's Cafe & Ice Cream.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Corky Carroll's Surf School?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Corky Carroll's Surf School have airport transportation?
Yes, Corky Carroll's Surf School offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are pets allowed at Corky Carroll's Surf School?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Corky Carroll's Surf School?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Spanish.