Surfing is one of the most popular travel activities.
The community around it creates an instant bond between surfers.
Of all the action sports out there it’s one of the cheapest.
That’s not to say surfing is cheap.
The most expensive part of the sport is getting out to surf destinations.
A surf getaway can drain the wallet dry if you pick a location with a high cost of living.
Surfing takes some time to learn.
Picking a location that balances good surf with a low cost of living is a great strategy.
To help you way your options, I’ve made a list of the best cheap places to learn surfing.
Each location on this list has great surf.
Some arguably more than others.
As a first timer I wouldn’t get wrapped up in the differences.
The non surf factors like cost of living, culture, and ease of access are arguable more important for a beginner.
There are two ways I score each location.
Cost Of Living Score (COL):
The COL is a score actually from Numbeo.
Numbeo’s COL score is based on every day expenses not including rent prices.
On their index they also have details on rent costs and other things.
A COL of 100 means the cost of living is equal to living in New York City.
Average Daily Cost (ADC):
The average daily cost is based on what I view as the cost of living the traveling surfer life.
This includes the cost of staying at a basic hotel, meals, drinks, surfboard rental, and scooter rental.
The price is the average daily cost for a month long stay.
I based this on my ADC in Bali and adjusted that cost according to purchasing power in other countries.
Argentina is still a well kept secret among surfers.
Mar del Plata has excellent surf.
Even better than the surf is the cost of living.
Even better yet?
Argentina hospitality is incredible.
You'll definitely get invites between sessions to hang out with locals.
Ecuador is a globally recognized surfing destination.
On top of that it has incredible year round weather and diverse geography.
Ecuador offers plenty to explore on non surf days including the Galapagos islands.
If you're into diving this is a must dive location too.
Surfing is one of the first things that comes to mind when you mention Indonesia.
Bali is the most famous spot, but most of the Indonesian islands offer great surf.
This is one country you can go all around and still be a short drive to world class surf.
Indonesian food also tops my list for most interesting cuisine.
Morocco has some of the most diverse year round surfing.
If you like seafood, the fish industry is on fire here.
During your down time there is a lot to explore including world famous cities like Casablanca.
Mexico gets a bad rap.
Yes there is a long ongoing drug war in the country.
The crime rates in Mexico are lower than many of the worst cities in America.
Mexico is an amazing place to visit and who could resist fresh tacos after a surf session?
Peru has a complex history that must be explored.
The surf scene gets a lot of talk.
The vibe here is laid back and brings in some of the most die hard surfers.
It's also home to the longest left hander in the world.
Oh the Philippines.
The place is as unusual as it is amazing.
It has to be one of the most diverse places on this list.
The culture in here is famous for their welcoming nature.
There is so much to see and do here and the people will go way out of their way to make sure you fall in love with their country.
Sri Lanka has good surf.
Great surf might be debatable.
For a beginner it is more than enough.
What makes Sri Lanka a must consider destination is the quality of it's beaches and the vibes here.
With amazing food, pristine beaches, and cheap cheap cheap cost of living this country ought to be at the top of your list.
Colombia, like Argentina, hasn't received a lot of recognition for its surf scene.
Colombia has an excellent surf scene but because of its violent history it is just now getting global recognition.
Colombia is quickly becoming a top destination among world travelers and it won't be long before the secret is out.
The pacific beaches are a struggle to reach now, but as the tourism industry fills out here, those untouched surf meccas will become overcrowded.
Best to get there while the getting is good.
There are a few other great locations worth mentioning.
These other locations would still make for a great skill focused travel trip.
They were just a little more expensive, or aren't as talked about among surfers.