Planning on coming to Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica, but not sure what to expect?

Perhaps you’re interested in surfing or yoga but have never really done it before? Do you like the sound of Dreamsea’s community-orientated environment, but you’re not sure how you’ll fit in? Do you want to get outside of your comfort zone, but a bit nervous about trying something new?

Don’t worry – I’ve been there too! Whether you’re coming to Dreamsea Costa Rica for a couple of weeks or even a few months, the idea of going somewhere so new and different can be quite daunting, so it’s only natural you’ll want to know what to expect.

The best piece of advice I can give you to make the most of your time at Dreamsea Costa Rica is to come with an open mind.

You may have heard of the customary “Pura Vida” lifestyle that the Costa Rican’s lead here. If you wanted to, you could very easily adopt a similar attitude and tailor your trip around what you are used to and comfortable with. However, if you really want to live the Dreamsea experience, you’ve got to put in what you want out of it. Life here is a mixture of moments, experiences, memories, and adventures. If you open yourself up to what it has to offer, I promise you’ll have the time of your life.


Dreamsea’s specialties! A majority of life at Dreamsea (and in Tamarindo, too) revolves around yoga and surfing. We wake up to downward facing dogs and warrior one poses before spending the rest of the day playing in the swell at Tamarindo or catching green waves at neighboring beaches.

You might be thinking to yourself, “But I’ve never surfed/yoga’d before!” or I don’t even know what that lingo means!”. Or maybe you’ve dabbled a little but you don’t think you’ll be good enough?

Fear not. Dreamsea Costa Rica welcomes all levels of experience – from the seasoned yogi’s and surfers to the toe-dippers and fresh-faced fledglings. You’ll always have the support and encouragement of the camp’s friendly and qualified surf & yoga teachers. Even if you can’t touch your toes, you’ll never feel out of place on the yoga platform and can take it as slow as you need. The surf instructors also hold weekly Surf Tutorials in the evening, where they share all things surf related: talking about beach safety and surfing etiquette, to describing wave types and technique, and deciphering some of that lingo you may have been secretly confused but scared to ask about.

Still not convinced? When else will you get the chance to do yoga under the howler monkeys hanging in the trees above, or surfing at one of the best places in Central & South America?


We’re a little off the grid at Dreamsea, located in a nearby jungle of Guanacaste. Everything about the camp is very simplistic and minimal. The furniture is homemade, the decor is rustic and rural, and the toilets are open-air. You share your space with other campmates and some other residents too: howler monkeys, a few camp pets, and the occasional passing bull or cow.

Needless to say this might sound a little different to what you’re used to but don’t let that put you off. While Dreamsea may not have some of your usual home comforts it’s gives you a chance to let go of the materialistic and focus on what actually matters. With emphasis drawn away from money, time, possessions and other constrictions that rule the majority of our every day lives, value is returned to experiences and moments. Living this simplistic life at Dreamsea Costa Rica makes you realize how little we actually need in order to be happy.

If one of your other concerns is sharing your lavatorial space with 8-legged creatures & their friends (as mine was!), it really isn’t as bad as you think. Come prepared: arm yourself with a mosquito net, bug spray, a head lamp to take on the night-time trails to the toilet, and shoes to wear around camp, and you’ll be fine. We actually live in harmony with nature’s residents, and as long as we respect their home they are quite happy to leave us be.


Travelling, for me, is all about the people you meet along the way. This is is one of the reasons I decided to volunteer at Dreamsea Costa Rica, and after a month in camp, it didn’t disappoint.

There is a real global atmosphere within the camp and you’ll never be short of a friend. It may feel a little overwhelming initially, coming into friendship groups already formed and remembering a number of new names, but give it a few days. Ask someone how their day was. Sit down at a different table for dinner. See if anyone wants to come into town with you in the morning. Everyone is friendly and happy to talk – just be yourself, smile and say hello.

And if you’re someone who prefers your own space? That’s fine too! Some days you may even feel a bit of R&R is needed and you have the flexibility and freedom to have some alone time too, whether it’s taking a time-out in a cafe, going off for a solo surf, or having some me-time hanging on a platform in the Mango Tree at camp.


Make sure you get involved when you’re at Dreamsea, as there’s always something going on and it is the best way to experience this place properly. Come along to a group gym session in the morning (cheesy work-out music provided); sweat it out in the surf relay down at Playa Tamarindo; try your hand in a game of ping pong or take part in the monthly Dreamsea talent show. After dinner activities range from guided meditation and flip cup tournaments to music bingo and sing-alongs around a bonfire.

You may have come across some people in your life that give off the ‘too cool for school’ stigma, the kind of people who cringe at organized fun or turn their noses up at things like talent shows, but not here! We don’t take life too seriously at Dreamsea Costa Rica and everyone is always up for a laugh. Even if it’s a little out of your comfort zone, just give it a go – it’s a great way to immerse yourself and meet people.


Tamarindo is prime spot for surfing, sunning, and chilling out but it is also your everyday-kind of beach town. It can be easy to become a bit of a home-comfort hopper, bouncing between a day on the beach with a book and the nearest burger joint or Happy Hour. So while you’re here, make the most of this gem of a place and try something new. Get lunch from the ‘car lady’ for only 2,000 colones and indulge in gorgeous Costa Rican cuisine (all served out of the back of a Toyota). Learn some Spanish and get chatting to the locals: they are so friendly and more than happy to share tips for life in Tamarindo. Or, you can hop on a bus to the nearest town or neighboring beach and get a taste of a different local scene. Which leads nicely on to…


Every week the Dreamsea team organizes a different trip for campers: Cliff jumping at Playa Conchal, hiking and camping overnight at Playa Minas, swimming in the waterfalls of Llanos de Cortez, or a surfing trip to Playa Avellanas, Marbella and beyond. If you’re a backpacker on a budget, you might be a little wary of the prices and wondering if it’ll be worth it. Short answer – yes, it is.

Tamarindo is only a small glimpse into what Costa Rica has to offer, and there is so much more to see and do. When you go with Dreamsea your whole transport, trip and lunch are sorted. You’re with people who know the area well and know the best spots to take you – when we went to Playa Minas we even got to see turtles nesting! The excursions are excellent value for the prices and a good deal when you compare it to other tours from Tamarindo. Plus you’re guaranteed to go with a great group of people!

So come to Dreamsea Costa Rica with a sense of adventure, an open mind, and an open heart. Wake up with the howler monkeys and watch the sun set at Playa Tamarindo in the evening. Throw yourself into all there is to offer to get the most out of this amazing place and I promise you’ll leave with lifelong friends, a belly full of laughs and memories you’ll have forever.


THE WORDS: This blog was written by the amazingly talented Charlotte Porter, who studied creative & professional writing at the University of Nottingham, and calls Bristol, UK home. Charlie is currently traveling through Central America and documenting her journey along the way. You can follow her adventures at her personal Instagram and check out some of her written work at her Personal Blog.


Interested in coming to Dreamsea Surf Camp of Costa Rica, and  joining our community here in the jungles of Tamarindo, Costa Rica? Check out more of the Dreamsea Experience by hitting the “Learn More” button below! 
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It's About The People