More about Witch's Rock Surf Camp
Love this place!!
This was our second stay at Witch´s Rock Surf Camp and it was just as awesome as the first. The rooms are really nice and have a lot of character. The camp is kept very clean and the staff is super helpful. The restaurant bar is the perfect happy hour spot to meet up with friends and fellow guests. I recommend the "nachos as big as your ass" they´re perfect after a day of surfing. The camp is centrally located near a handful of great surfing beaches. The instructors and surf guides know their stuff and are happy to share their passion for surfing with visitors. If you are looking for a surf adventure WRSC is the way to go. They´ll take care of all the planning to ensure you have safe and memorable experience in Costa Rica.
Went to Witch's Rock Surf Camp for a week and will never go back. I've traveled a bit, been to many beaches, and grew up sailing on the ocean. For the past 20 years I've lived high up in the Colorado mountains working as an outfitter and snowboard instructor. I prefer laid back, bare bones vacation experiences, which is how Witch's Rock bills itself. Well, here's what we experienced. The door to our room didn't close or lock, there were holes in the walls, the air conditioner didn't work, and our room was filled with ants. For a majority of our 2-hour surf lessons we saw our instructors for only the first half hour - then they would stay on the beach chatting up girls or be out surfing themselves. One of the other guests got sick from the sushi at the restaurant. Tamarindo is noisy, crowded, smelly, and generally not a very nice place to visit. Raw sewage is running down the streets and pouring into the ocean. The town is also growing so fast with so much new money coming in that the tensions between locals and the tourism industry are reaching boiling point. For the past few months, Witches Rock has had a mostly absentee owner and the locals who are running the place are not to be trusted. Tamarindo is full of tourists, crime, and scams and unfortunately Witch's Rock has not escaped the ugliness. Based on other reviews I've read, Witch's Rock may have been a great place in the past, but I wouldn't recommend going there now.
You'd be a fool not to go
I just got back from the best vacation of my life.
My dad, younger sister and I spent a week at Witch's Rock Surf Camp and leaving felt like leaving family.
I knew the accommodations were not going to be like the Four Seasons, but I was impressed with our large, clean room that always stayed air conditioned. Pay extra for the ocean-front view!
The 3 of us shared one instructor each day and despite being in completely different physical shape, our instructor's always challenged us, helped us learn and progress and Still managed to make us fell safe.
On day one I had an accident in the water and had to get 7 stitches on my face (me being clumsy). I was so impressed how the staff of the hotel jumped to my aid and within minutes of the accident I was in a clean doctor's office. Getting hurt did not damper the vacation one bit.
Eat at Joe's, the hotel restaurant, had great food that I never tired of - even when given the choice to dine out we usually stuck to Joe's. The mini fish tacos and creative sushi rolls were among out favorites.
I don't think I can write enough good things about this place.
Great Experience for all the Family
I took a weekend away from San Jose with my son and father, I already surf but my son and father wanted to learn. We spent 4 days at Witch's Rock Surf Camp and it was great fun for all of us. The managed to get my father standing up on waves and my son really took to it, he wants to move from the city and live at the beach. They sent me on surf tours everyday and I caught some of the best waves of my life, all of the surf guides and instructors went out of their way to make me feel like one of the guys. The hotel room was large and the staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The food in the restaurant was really good and the plates were really big, you should definatley try their Nachos as they are huge!
Had a great time and met great people
I loved witch's rock surf camp. I thought it was really organized, and accomdating. The food was great, especially the included breakfast every morning including cafe con leche and orange juice. The instructors were super nice, and I met a ton of people during my stay and we had a blast. The rooms are simple and nice. Not luxury, but clean and with character. The resort has a great location, just slightly outside of town, and with a close walk to an amazing french bakery in the Hotel Cocodrillo. The staff was super nice and helpful, and we could grab a board anytime we wanted to go surfing. I had surfed a bit before, and I got worlds better this time, learning really how to surf. I had so much fun, and I easily found myself getting up at 5am to go surf. I got the bug. I would totally recommend this place, and it was completely booked when I was there. It has a great break for beginners and intermediates, and if you know how to surf, the camp also runs surf tours to local beaches with good breaks. The person who wrote the bad review has no idea what they are talking about. Tamarindo is great, the locals are great, and there is still a ton of soul in the place, even though it is growing quickly.
Best vacation ever - I'll return again this year
My favorite thing about Witch's Rock was the staff - they were awesome! They were all super friendly and I loved how helpful the front desk was and they surprised me by how quickly they learned my name even though they had full house while I was there.
I signed up for the Intermediate surf camp and it was very organized; every night I could check the board to see who my instructor would be, what time we would be surfing, when high tide was, what other guests would be in my lesson with me (never more than 3 or us in a group which is great), when and what the next day's surf seminar would be (wave dynamics, paddling, board shapes, etc) and what other optional activities were going on the next day (spanish lessons, salsa, volleyball). They have about 6 surf instructors and you'll have lessons with several of them over the week and if find you are partial to any one instructor's style, you're welcome to request to have them for your lessons. At the end of the week is Graduation Day and they take everyone on a field trip to surf a new spot and it's a blast. I was really impressed that even though these guys do this EVERY week, no one ever seemed like they were going through the motions and they were very genuine about the graduation experience and just in general your experience throughout the week.
I went on this vacation purely to surf and relax. I didn't do any of the organized tours that were available, I sat on the back patio or in the (amazing) pool every day enjoying the view of the Tamarindo beach, reading, or chatting with other guests or the owner's dad.
The pictures on the web site accurately portray the rooms - they're not luxury rooms, but they're nice, affordable, clean, have wi-fi (you can get it in the bar/patio as well) and are comfortable and well air conditioned. My only advice is if you are a light sleeper, request a Courtyard room or if you're in a Tiki room, bring ear plugs because those face the street and the street traffic in the morning is a bit loud (there's not a lot of traffic, but the large service vehicles and the rough road make for a loud combination). But it didn't really bother me after the first night. The penthouses (rooms 9 and 10) have great rooftop balcony's and whoever has the penthouse usually has a rooftop party at some time during the week which is fun. And let's face it, if you're looking at Witch's Rock, it's because you want to surf; in all likelihood you'll mostly only be in your room to sleep and shower.
I admit the guy who wrote the negative review in March had me worried a little; it sounded like Joe, the owner wasn't around much and the place was a wild mess. However when I got there, my room and the grounds were in excellent condition and my instructors were attentive (and like I said, if you find you don't connect with an instructor, you're welcome to request not to be paired with them again). I also read Joe's blog on the web site before I left and whatever may have been keeping him away at the beginning of the year, he's been around Witch's Rock pretty regularly since then with just a week here or there to return to CA to see his family. And it sounds like he's really active in the Tamarindo community. His father is also at the camp a lot and they're both actively thinking of ways to offer even more services to their guests.
This was the best vacation I've ever had. I surfed every day for 9 days, met some really great people - both other guests and employees- and plan on going back again at the end of the year. Hopefully by then I'll be able to do the surf tours (the advanced surfers who were signed up for the daily tours had nothing but complements for the locations they were taken to and the guides that took them out).
I found Witch's Rock's website looking for a place to learn how to surf and get away for a bit. I was nervous as I had never been to Costa Rica and I was a solo female traveler. Turns out I had no reason to be nervous. The other guests and the staff at WRSC were all so friendly and helpful- I had friends by the time the bus got to the camp from the airport! We had some rain due to tropical depression Alma north of us but it made for good, uncrowded surfing. The rooms are nice- spartan, but even in the rain I barely spent any time in mine. The food at Eat @Joe's was good, especially the sushi.
The surfing instruction is definately second to none- at the most I had three students to one instructor, and sometimes it was one on one. They had me standing on my first day, and by the end of the week I was catching green waves on my own on an 8'6" board.
If you are looking for a friendly, clean place to learn how to surf and meet some amazing people, I highly recommend WRSC. Definately also check out the canopy tour and as much of Costa Rica as you can. Pura Vida!
WRSC.... the very best
WRSC, is a pure surfing vacation. Go ready, and go with the intent of spending hours and hours in the water each day surfing. I spent the week on a tour and my sister spent the week taking lessons. I was in bed at 8-9Pm each day exhausted and was leaving for the next trip at about 6Am each morning.
Joe has set this place up perfectly, he keeps his little compound well secured and clean which seems to be a neccessity in the area. All of the instructors/guides are locals who are amazingly energetic and stoked. You can spend your entire stay on the hotel grounds, and in the restaurant./bar. Which is useful when you're tired from a day in the water. The menu is excellent, they have a full surf shop. I got to see some world class breaks.
I could go on forever about how great it was but the end story is you have to go see it for yourself, if you're a traveler you won't regret it. It's a great experience and I can't wait to get back myself.
Best Surf Experience!
Witchs Roack Surf camp was all, and more, than we had expected. We stayed for 2 weeks on the surf camp package, and initially thought we wouldn't surf everyday, but we were so hooked we made sure the surfing fitted around everything else.
The staff were excellent and made every effort to ensure we were enjoying all aspects of our holiday, not just the areas they were responsible for.
The surf instructors were the best we have experienced with loads of enthusiasm and passion, and keen to impart as much knowledge to you as possible.
We stayed in a Tiki room which was basic, but clean and had everything you needed. It's true it can be a bit noisy above the bar, or if there are really early trips heading out, but you're usually so tired from the surfing it doesn't bother you. The location of the camp to the beach and waves was perfect - you could literally come out the surf, hand your board in, and get a cocktail from the bar! The food at Eat @ Joe's was excellent - I don't think a day passed without one of us eating the legendary nachos!
If you are a beginner surfer, I couldn't think of a better place to learn - there are no rocks, the sea is about 29 degrees celcius, and the waves are consistent. There is a lot more to the local area than just surfing, so you will never be bored!
We can't wait to return, and will hopefully have many holidays there in the future!