From the arid shores of Morocco to the chilly swells of wintery South Africa, the globe offers adventurers many exciting surfing tour destinations. Taking a group surfing tour is the best way to do what you love, meet new people and experience a new culture. Practice Spanish in Ecuador or take cooking lessons in Sri Lanka, all while spending long days immersed in waves of your preferred difficulty level.
The surfing tour is perfect for surfers who want guided information on waves and cultural insight on the destination. While many surfers prefer to seek out swells solo or avoid the group tour idea, you know it's a great opportunity to bond and travel with like-minded surfers from around the world. So grab your board (or rent one!) and dive into freezing or tepid waters, either way experiencing the thrill of a lifetime!
Where To Go
Around 100 miles south of the Colombo, the capital, Hikkaduwa has some of the best surfing in the world suitable for all levels. In between catching the waves, surfing tours offer spa treatments, diving excursions, and cultural trips. Surfing is best from November to April and on the southeast coast near Arugam Bay after April.
With almost 2,000 miles of coastline, South Africa is full of surfing destinations for every level and style, from the renowned Jeffrey’s Bay to Muizenberg, considered the birthplace of South African surfing. Combine your surfing tour in South Africa with a safari or cultural tour of Cape Town and Johannesburg for a meaningful trip. The surf in South Africa is good year round, but more advanced surfers swear by March to September.
Most people imagine deserts, camels, and blue-painted towns when they think of Morocco, but this country with over 1,200 miles of coastline is also a premier surfing destination. If you don’t mind cold water temperatures, head to Agadir and Essaouira between December and March for high swells. For warm temperatures and little to no storms, take a surfing tour near Rabat from summer, May through September.
Peru & Ecuador
Northern Peru and Ecuador offer some of the best surfing tours that also give you a taste of indigenous culture. From Mancora, Peru to Mompiche, Ecuador, fill up on ceviche after spending the day in the sun and sand. Surfing is great year round along this coastline, but the warmest water temperatures will be between November and March.
Planning Your Trip
What to Look For in a Surfing Tour
Because there are a number of different surfing tour packages, it’s best to pay close attention to what’s included and how much planning you have to organize on your own. For example, some surfing tours organize accommodation, and other times they only offer daily excursions from a destination over a week or two-week period. Some offer options to camp on the beach instead of staying in a hotel, so find a surfing tour company that provides the type of experience you’re looking for – from rugged to luxury.
If you’re a beginner and need extra instruction, choose a surfing tour that will accommodate your learning needs. Read the fine print of what the tour caters to, whether that’s advanced or novice.
Average Surfing Tour Cost & Length
While the price of surfing tours depends highly on the location, some can be more economical than other sporting tours. South African surfing tours are budget-friendly, starting at $600 a week; luxury surfing tours around the world can jump to up to $3,000 a week. Expect to pay between $600 and $1,500 for a week. Most tours run between one-two weeks.
Packing Tips & Gear Rental
Most surfing trips provide boards for an extra cost, especially for those geared towards beginners. Other gear like wetsuits are also available for rent, but it’s best to bring your own. Make sure to pack weather appropriate clothing for downtime -- not just a bathing suit! For surfing tours that include cultural components, pack destination appropriate clothing. For instance, if you’re surfing in Morocco, women should also bring long pants and long shirts to respect the local culture.
Although surfing is your main activity for your tour, take time to learn about the host culture prior to arriving. For example, learning about Sri Lanka’s civil war or Peru’s indigenous surfing roots will add another element to your trip. Respecting local traditions is a great way to make your surfing tour an opportunity to dive deeper into another way of life. Making local connections will also encourage you to come back for more.
Qualifications & Training
Most surfing tours provide options for all levels and will provide on-site training for those that need it. The important thing is to be honest with the tour provider about your skills. Don’t risk surfing in advanced waters with little experience.
Like any other physical activity, surfing carries its own set of challenges. Novice swimmers run the risk of drowning, warm waters attract sharks, and rocky coastlines are hotbeds for accidents. However, as long as you listen to the surfing tour guide’s advice and trust that locals know best, you’ll be safe.
Some surfing tour destinations can be risky, especially if the guides aren’t locals or don’t have proper training on currents and swells. The best way to stay safe is to choose a surfing tour with local guides with in-depth knowledge of the region. Pay close attention to their guidance.
Always wear sunscreen and drink lots of water to combat the hours you’ll spend in the sun -- even on cloudy days, you can still sunburn while surfing. Listen to your body and know when to take a break or call it a day.