The best cheap surf destinations

Surf travel: explore the inexpensive side of surfing | Photo: Shutterstock

Dream spots, with perfect peeling waves, offshore winds, fantastic food, and friendly locals. Cheap surf trips are hard to spot, but we've identified the most inexpensive vacations you can experience if you're a traveling surfer.

Traveling on a budget is not always easy, but it has many advantages. Yes, it will save you money, but you will also be able to meet new people, make friends, and explore the local cultures more in-depth.

If you really need to take a plane, know what to pack for a surf trip, and then plan it so that you save time and money. Choose a surfer-friendly, low-cost airliner, and protect your surfboards.

Whenever possible, travel by bus or train, and contact friends that you might have in the region you're visiting. They certainly know low-priced accommodation for you to stay. And don't forget there's always couch surfing.

Those who own a nice surf van won't save on gas, but will have a place to sleep, and will be chasing the best swells at the right tide times. Surf camps can be great places to stay, and they're usually located in front of the best peaks.

Cheap lodging is not a myth, and surfers are the masters of adaptation. Some of the best surf breaks in the world feature affordable price tags.

Portugal: one of the best affordable surf destinations in the world | Photo: Shutterstock


Portugal is one of the sunniest countries in Europe and features hundreds of above-average surf breaks in its 1,115 miles (1,794 kilometers) of Atlantic coastline. Portugal has an incredible historical background, and one of the richest gastronomies in the world. The local people are friendly, and there's always a wave to be ridden.

When? All year round
Where? Southwest Alentejo And Vicentine Coast Natural Park, Ericeira, Peniche, Nazaré, Porto, Viana do Castelo, Azores Island, Madeira Island
Predominant Swell: W-WNW
Currency: Euro

Morocco: one of the best affordable surf destinations in the world | Photo: Morocco Surf Life


Surfing is becoming hugely popular in this northern African country. The number of surf camps is growing fast, and the Moroccan culture is rich and exotic. When the Atlantic starts pumping those endless corduroy lines, you've got waves for all tastes - lefts, rights, beach breaks, point breaks, and reef breaks.

When? Summer
Where? Casablanca, Safi, Essaouira, Taghazout, Agadir, Sidi Ifni
Predominant Swell: NW
Currency: Moroccan Dirham

Mexico: one of the best affordable surf destinations in the world | Photo: Hinkle/WSL


Baja California is a 750-mile surf dream with white sandy beaches, spicy food, and transparent waters. Whether you visit Los Cabos, Oaxaca, or Colina, you'll always find good surf. The Mexican surf culture is intense, but the country offers so much more that you'll think about moving to the land of tacos.

When? April-September
Where? Todos Santos, Pescadero, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, Tecoman, Michoacan, Puerto Escondido
Predominant Swell: SE-SW
Currency: Mexican Peso

Philippines: one of the best affordable surf destinations in the world


With plenty of uncrowded world-class reefs, the 7,107 islands of the Philippines are a tropical surfing paradise. Surfing may only have been a reality in the archipelago since the 1980s, but Cloud 9 speaks for itself. For many, this barreling right-hander is the most consistent wave on the planet. Get you spring suit on, and discover the gems the Philippines has to offer.

When? July-November
Where? Siargao Island, Catanduanes Island, Borongan, Baler, Badoc, Vigan, San Fernando
Predominant Swell: N-E
Currency: Philippine Peso

Papua New Guinea: one of the best affordable surf destinations in the world | Photo: PNG Surfaris

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a vibrant country with cultural influences from all over the world. This tropical surf destination will impress by the intense colors of the ocean, and by the consistency of its seasonal swells. When the surf's flat, experience the "shark calling" activities, and the multiple diving spots available on the island.

When? November-March
Where? Kavieng, Nusa Island, Nago Island, Vanimo, Wewak
Predominant Swell: N-NW
Currency: Kina

Thailand: one of the best affordable surf destinations in the world | Photo: Phuket Villa Thailand


Thailand's Andaman coastline is blessed by favorable southwesterly Indian Ocean swells. If you're looking for peace and tranquility, this is a great place to visit. Enjoy your surfing holidays surrounded by history, religion, and meditation retreats.

When? April-October
Where? Phuket Island
Predominant Swell: SW-W
Currency: Thai Baht

Puerto Rico: one of the best affordable surf destinations in the world | Photo: Earth Missions

Puerto Rico

The northwest region of Puerto Rico is a surfer's heaven known for its quality point breaks, and warm waters. Although it is considered by many a very windy island, it's 90 percent of the times offshore. Puerto Rico has plenty of surf shops, and the colonial feel makes it look exotic.

When? November-February
Where? Rincon, Aguada, Gas Chambers, Aguacate
Predominant Swell: N-NE
Currency: US Dollar

Peru: one of the best affordable surf destinations in the world


Peru is home to the famous "caballitos de totora" one of the longest left-handers in the world. Chicama pumps an endless wave. If you're lucky enough, you can surf a single wave for 1.3 miles (2.2 kilometers). But Peru's semi-arid nature is a land of sun, many other hidden surf spots. Boardshorts and a surfboard are all you need to live the ultimate surfing dream.

When? All year round
Where? Arica, Chicama, Paita, Bayovar, Playa Grande, Huacho, Chancay, Mollendo, Pocoma, Antofagasta, Miraflores, Barranco, Chorrillos
Predominant Swell: S-SW
Currency: Peruvian Sol

Chile: one of the best affordable surf destinations in the world


Chile is quickly becoming one of the most popular surf trip destinations in South America. It is a country that lives and breathes the South Pacific Ocean. The Chilean reef and point breaks are constantly pumping above-average waves, and are usually ridden by intermediate and advanced surfers.

When? March-May, October-December
Where? Iquique, Pichilemu, Valparaiso, Huasco, Totoralillo, Lebu
Predominant Swell: S-W
Currency: Chilean Peso

Costa Rica: one of the best affordable surf destinations in the world

Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers the best of two worlds. The Central American country offers an intense Caribbean coastline influenced by the Atlantic Ocean moods and a no less powerful Pacific Ocean side regulated by long distance groundswells.

When? All year round
Where? Tamarindo, Nosara, Pavones, Quepos, Dominical, Uvita, Drake, Manzanillo, Malpais, Jacó, Esterillos Oeste, Puerto Limon, Puerto Viejo
Predominant Swell: NW-SW (West Coast), NE-E (East Coast)
Currency: Costa Rican Colon

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