Safari Surf School

About This Center

Safari Surf School offers authentic surf vacations, accommodations, surfing lessons and local experiences in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Safari Surf is family-owned and operated by Tim Marsh and his amazing wife Marsi.

Our location in Nosara is an extremely special place as it blends the cool vibe of a sleepy “surf town” with the wellness and focus of a world class yoga destination. It’s a pretty amazing synergy of people in and out of the water!

"One of my best friends has been telling me for years that I should check out Safari Surf School. I finally decided to follow her (contact info blocked) it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am sure that groups or families will have a great time, but as a solo traveler I could not have asked for a better experience." ~T Hensel

Venue Highlights

Playa Guiones is nestled in the quiet, quaint town of Nosara in the Guanacaste Province on the Pacific side of the country of Costa Rica. Unlike the crowded beaches of places like Tamarindo, Jaco, or Dominical, in Nosara you won’t be trampled by hordes of tourists!

There are no street lights or paved roads and we still have monkeys cruising in the trees, but there are just the right amount of amenities in town to ensure you have a relaxing vacation. It’s a surfer’s paradise!


  • A/C in Rooms
  • Pool
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House Keeping
  • Bicycles

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Meat
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


How do you get to Nosara? You can fly direct from many cities in North America, as well as from some capitals in Europe, to either Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose (SJO), in the center of Costa Rica or Daniel Oduber Quiros International in Liberia (LIR), closer to the Pacific side of Costa Rica.

Liberia Airport is the nearest international airport, just a scenic 2.5-hour drive to Nosara and Playa Guiones. The drive from San Jose airport, also very scenic, takes about 5-hours.

Please contact us for directions if you are self-driving.

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Jonathan Mitrani   March 20, 2020

      Great Surfing School

    We spent one week with Safari Surf School in Playa Guiones, Costa Rica. Thanks to amazing instructors, we highly improved our surfing level over that period. The instructors gave us good theoretical briefing on the beach before starting, and then good personalised follow-up once in the water. The instructors were rotating each day so our training was never the same from one day to another. Last but not least, all instructors were very friendly and communicated their passion for surfing. Besides surfing, we had lovely accommodation in nearby Harmony Hotel and gorgeous dinners. The management was always here for us and properly took care of organising all activities. We strongly recommend a surfing vacation with Safari Surf School.

  • Anya Tomkiewicz   March 11, 2020

      Amazing time in Panama with Trico!

    Another amazing surf safari trip with the family! Our instructor Trico was an amazing teacher and attentive to helping us improve our surf skills as well as all our travel and adventure needs. We surfed twice a day for one week and everyone in the family (of different levels) improved greatly. The waves were great and Playa Venao was a fun little spot to relax. Our day trips to playa guanico were also so memorable and a very special time for the family. Though the drive from Panama City was very long it ended up being worth the trek.

  • Maria McLaughlin   February 02, 2020

      Love Safari Surf

    Tim and Marsi were responsive to our inquiries from the beginning and put together a package that fit our family’s needs. All along their team was kind, friendly and considerate about adjusting things and accommodating us. We had a wonderful time and learned a lot. Our instructors were patient with our children (ages 8 and 10) and provided actionable feedback for surfers of all skill levels to improve. We can’t wait to come back! Having a local team is highly advantageous and we wouldn’t go with anyone but Safari Surf.

  • David Berger   January 17, 2020


    I had never gone surfing before attending a one-week program with SAFARI SURF in Nosara, Costa Rica. I worked with the staff to build a schedule that worked best for me. I went out with the instructors in private-lessons twice each day (90 min each session), and was able to stand up consistently and 'ride waves' by the end of the second day. The instructors, all locals of Costa Rica, all spoke English VERY well, and were incredible instructors. The program also offered a unique opportunity to meet other travelers, experience the local culture, and were beyond accommodating! I cannot wait to return for another week of paradise! Thank you, DB

  • Amy Juliet Kleist-Hermes   January 13, 2020

      Perfect Vacation!

    My son and I just returned from a surf school vacation with Safari Surf in Nosara. We stayed at Olas Verdes and I cannot say enough about how beautiful our vacation and experience was! We absolutely loved our time surfing, relaxing, doing yoga and adventuring. The staff at Safari Surf and Olas Verdes are absolutely the best! Super kind, and they truly made us feel like we were apart of the family. Helberth, our surf instructor, challenged us and had us laughing all week long! We cannot wait to return!!!

  • Joan Panagos   January 03, 2020

      Great visit to Nosara and Safari Surf

    Nosara is our favorite holiday vacation. Olas Verdes and Luis run a beautiful operation. We love Safari Surf and Jeffrey takes care of everything we need. Surfing with our instructors Alonso and Kevin is incredible and they so kind to our children. Christmas Eve at La Luna is always a treat. We had a fabulous dinner for all 17 of us at El Manglar at Olas Verdes and it was perfect. Maritza’a new restaurant “Celejas” was really a treat and she has done a spectacular job. Nosara is paradise :-)

  • Maeve Muldowney   March 26, 2019

      Unforgetable family surf vacation

    We had a great time in Playa Venao. What an extraordinary, beautiful and peaceful place. Nature has blessed that beautiful corner of the world and so far the development of tourism in the area has occurred in a way that allows the beauty and drama of the place to shine through. Truly a surfer's paradise we were amazed everyday to find ourselves alone on the beach, the only small gathering of people observing surfers of various abilities attempting to catch a wave. When the really talented surfers are out there on the waves it is truly spectacular. What a privilege to experience this! Lucky for us, the two best surfers putting on a show at Playa Venao last week Augustin and Jose, along with Nico Almeida from Safari Surf, were the instructors dedicated to our family (3 kids - 14, 12, 10 and 2 adults) for 6 days of lessons, but more about that later. We booked our vacation on-line with Marsi as follows: •RT Transportation from Panama City to Safari Surf and back via private shuttle taxi van •(7) Nights' accommodation at your choice of lodging below– includes all hotel taxes •24 / 7 Full concierge services (i.e. any need to get to the market, pharmacy, schedule any outings, make any needed reservations, get you to location of activities, outings to view turtle etc.) - the staff is there to assist at all times! •Full breakfast daily •Dinners hosted nightly by Safari Surf staff; (Includes: Transportation when needed, (3) course meals, all taxes & tips, Note: alcoholic beverage is available at additional cost) •(2) Surf lessons daily (12 total) with all equipment provided & use of equipment in down time (2:1 and 3:! lessons- Privates additional charge) •Choice of (1) activity from the following: daily yoga, (1) massage, horseback riding or zip line tour •Complimentary surf photos •Optional travel insurance from Travel Guard (Free Quote) We opted for a condo accommodation (2 bedroom) at Blue Venao for our family and chose to do the zipline activity while adding on a few yoga classes and some additional surf lessons. I will admit to being a bit nervous about everything when the driver didn't arrive at the appointed time to pick us up at the hotel in Panama city. But there is a lot to be said about the way an organization and individuals deal with issues when they occur and once we were in contact with Tim from Safari Surf (always a bit complicated with hotel WiFi and foreign cell service) we were reassured that we would be picked up eventually, the delay was due to the perfectly understandable reason of the Carnaval taking place in Panama that week. From the moment we arrived in Playa Venao, we felt that we were being taken care of. Nico met us at the condo where we stayed, with keys and plans for our evening meal and for breakfast and surfing the next day. In the morning, he met us at the pool after breakfast and acted as our guide, teacher, surf coach and organizer for the next week. Before this trip, our kids had done one surf lesson in Tofino B.C. and us parents a few more lessons before coming to Panama, so we were real beginners. Nico, Jose and Agustin were thorough, patient and at the same time challenging us to do more each lesson. The lessons were always well structured with a warm up, focus on safety and practical advice from how to best position one's self on the board to the best sun screen and how to avoid having burning eyes from salt water and sun screen. Always with patience and a focus on improving performance and fun. It was great to watch our kids learn to surf and from the first day to enjoy the accomplishment of not only getting up on the board, but doing so on increasingly challenging waves. For me personally, I felt pride at getting up on the board with greater frequency and gratitude to Jose and Nico who both very gently suggested that it might be a good idea to not grab my nose as soon as I pop up on the surf board! (apparently Jose's wife has the same reflex so I'm in good company). It was also great to see our 10 year old daughter develop a fun relationship with Augustin who clearly loved seeing her learn so quickly and try tricks on the board as the days went on. As a parent, there is nothing better than seeing your children challenge themselves and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. What a great thing to have been able to do while on vacation Nico did a great job arranging our meals. We had a chance to go to all the good restaurants on the beach and were never disappointed. The only thing I would say is that while the accommodation at Blue Venao is great, the restaurant is very basic (although the staff are all great). We ended up doing almost all breakfasts at El Sitio because the food and service are so good and the view of the main break where the real surfers play is awesome! All of Nico's recommendations were great and all our meals were taken care of as outlined in our agreement. It is hard to say what the best thing was about or vacation, because it was all so good. I guess it would have to be to quality of the people who helped us. The quality of the surfing instruction was exceptional. These guys really know what they are doing and inspire confidence. Always observant and understated, they were focused on watching the waves to ensure that we were ready to catch the next opportunity to get up. They always cheered us on when we did well and had helpful advice when we wiped out. A couple of things that we would have liked to have known in advance… •A wet suit top (or wetsuit) is really essential. Playa Venao is very windy and while it is very hot, the water can get cold and was most days we were there. Having a wetsuit top keeps kids and adults alike comfortable and in the water for the maximum time. We only managed to find these the day before we left. More notice on this would have helped us to avoid last minute rush. •There is no ATM on the beach. The closest one is at least 30 min away. We almost ran out of cash and were unable to tip our instructors as we would have liked, this was a bit embarrassing. Had we known this in advance, we would have planned accordingly In conclusion I will quote my 10 y old daughter who said "I would do absolutely everything exactly the same again next year… except the 6 hour drive to the airport". I totally agree with her but I feel like the 6 hour drive is kind of part of the package. For such a special place the 6 hour drive is a small price to pay.

  • Anya Tomkiewicz   March 08, 2019


    Loved my experience with Safari Surf School and staying at Olas Verdes. Am a beginner surfer and was able to surf twice a day with a simple walk to the beach and access to all the boards at any time. Coaches were awesome (Eric and Helberth!) and really helped me improve.

  • Patricia   January 26, 2019

      Safari Surf School Experience

    Our experience with Safari Surf School was far beyond our expectations. They were very helpful, accommodating, and efficient in the planning phase of our trip and this attitude continued throughout the five days we were there. They couldn't do enough! They made us feel very welcomed and special. The staff are wonderful individuals who do a fantastic job! My surfing coach, Daniela, was an amazing and very patient teacher. She was exacting in her explanations and cheered me on with my small, yet significant, accomplishments. We rarely want to visit a destination more than once because there is so much to see - but we definitely plan to return to Nosara and Safari Surf School.

  • Rosemary Irwin   January 08, 2019

      Safari Surf School stay December 27 to January 4

    Our extended family of 9 stayed at Casa Costa Rica for 8 nights, and did twice daily surfing with the surf school. It was absolutely amazing, our group had at least 7 instructors over the course of the week, and each and every one was fantastic and taught us so much. We were all able to surf in white water within a day, and the 20 to 30 year olds were outside by the third day. It was truly amazing. The food was truly incredible, the accommodation was great, the surfing was great and the yoga at Bodhi Tree was also a highlight. We also did deep sea fishing and the canopy tour, both amazint experiences. It was an incredible trip!

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