Surfing Travel Programs

A Guide To

Surfing Adventures Abroad


191 Surfing Adventure Travel Abroad Programs


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An action-packed 7-week tour combining travel & adventure with volunteering on Australia’s famed East Coast. Your journey begins in the awesome city of Sydney before heading north to Brisbane via the legendary Byron Bay. You’ll spend 2 weeks volunteering on an environmental conservation project, a great way to give back to this amazing country, before continuing north into Queensland. Sailin...


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Our working Holiday program is a great option for someone looking to experience Chile and learn Spanish while covering some of the expenses by working! You won’t receive a salary, but all Working Holiday programs provide free board (all of your meals) and lodging. In some cases, even compensation money. These unique programs are offered in the tourism sector and give you the opportunity to expl...


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Broadreach offers experiential summer adventures for middle school, high school and college students, including scuba, sailing, multi-sport, marine biology, language immersion and community service programs that span the globe. Over the years, we've taken thousands of teenagers to some of the world's most incredible destinations -- the islands of the Caribbean, Australia, Fiji, the Solomon Isla...


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The New Zealand Internships Tourism Program allows candidates the unique opportunity to achieve work experience in the fun and vibrant Tourism sector in New Zealand. It is a large and important industry as a result of the countries international reputation for natural beauty and as a place to engage in a range of exciting activities ...and you will be part of it! All positions are remunerate...


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Founded in 1992, the Babilonia Italian Language School is wholly committed to promoting the culture and heritage of Italy, while studying the country's famous language. Whether the participant is a local or international student, Babilonia is open to all those who wish to fully immerse in the culture and gain a broader perspective of the Italian way of life. The school is located in a historic ...


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Adventure, outdoor, environmental and sustainability education; conservation volunteering, outdoor expeditions on a journey through the North and South Islands of New Zealand, and East Coast of Australia. Join us for four service-learning conservation projects in diverse national parks and marine reserves; an introduction to multi-day outdoor expeditions including hiking, canoeing, rock climbin...


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If you are currently a student or have graduated in the last 12 months and want to gain valuable international experience, then USIT’s Work In Ireland programme is definitely for you! We offer a choice of packages for you to choose from for either 4 or 12 months! If you're interested in coming to Ireland for a summer abroad, a semester-long working holiday or a gap year away USIT’s Work in Irel...


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Mojosurf operates awesome learn to surf camps, surf schools and surf adventures in Bali, Lombok and Java. Mojosurf caters specifically for beginners and intermediate surfers who want to learn how to surf or improve their surfing in a fun and safe surf culture environment. The Mojosurf experience in this tropical region will introduce you to some of the best learn to surf and intermediate wa...


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With more than 400 projects worldwide and with 25 years experience of providing ethical travel placements, Frontier can find you the perfect adventure whatever you want to achieve. We offer placements in more than 50 countries including Costa Rica, Madagascar, Fiji and loads more. Here are just some of the options available: Marine Conservation and Diving Travel to beach paradises, scuba...


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Get ready for the ultimate adventure! The Alps are legendary for their breathing beauty and adrenaline pumping activities. Set off on an unforgettable journey with Travel for Teens filled with majestic views, fresh alpine lakes, and postcard perfect mountain scenery. Our Alpine Adventure is perfect for any nature lover and includes the best outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, hi...


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Global Works offers different programs varying in duration, dates, language learning, adventures and service opportunities. Travel adventures include hiking peaks, lush cloud forests, rafting the Pacuare, volcano tours, environmental projects, rain forest excursions, and surfing at pristine beach locations. Valuable community service alongside villagers improves language skills and cultural exc...


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Work as a Social Media Intern in the Galapagos. Help monitor and actively market IOI Galapagos donation and fundraising functions, and continue to build their presence on flickr, Google+, twitter, and Facebook. You will also take charge of blogging and website updates. IOI Galapagos encourages long-term volunteering to maximize benefits for both the locals and the volunteers. They encourage...


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Querétaro is an enchanting colonial Mexican city where old world charm and history meet modern innovation. The city was the third most important city during Mexico’s colonial era, when Spain governed the country and remains to be a growing cultural and economic center. In 1996, the historic center was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and Querétaro has repeatedly been recognized as the c...


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While Costa Rica has a very high literacy rate and has a very strong tourism industry, there are also quite large impoverished and at-risk communities. This project aims to send volunteers into these communities to help them achieve their goals. There are a variety of projects in different fields volunteers can choose from such as helping with women’s issues, child welfare, or healthcare and ed...


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Experiential education is swiftly becoming an essential part of the global curriculum, vital in teaching young people important skills such as teamwork, self-confidence and determination. This program is an outstanding method to teach English through integrated subject learning, as well as a lasting love and respect for the natural environment. During this internship, participants harness an...

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Surfing Adventures Abroad

Surfer Srinivas Rao sums up of the surfing lifestyle perfectly: “When you’re on a wave, time ceases to exist, and you’re in a such an intense combined state of euphoria, peace, presence, and excitement that it’s something you have to return over and over again. Once you realize that, to live any other way would seem completely insane.” You may not be a professional surfer—yet—but you’ll soon understand that snippet of surfing euphoria he talks about. With a little practice, you’ll be riding the swell in no time. Just hop on a plane, get to that beach, and ride the waves to surf travel!


Lucky for you dudes and dudettes, you can catch a wave and do surf trips almost anywhere you find an ocean. Keep in mind, however, that not all beaches are created equal. Some have more surge, swell and spray, while others don’t have a wave in sight. There are hundreds of amazing beaches for surf tours, but here are our top picks to travel and hang ten:

Indonesia. First stop on the list: Bali. Known for its forests and volcanic mountains, beaches, and coral reefs, you’ll not only catch worthy waves, but also have great views while you do it. Picture yourself cruising on the crystal clear water past steep volcanic ranges, palm trees, and white sandy beaches. Bali has warm water temperatures and consistent swell year-round at over 60 surfing spots on the island! Make your way to the top beaches including Uluwatu, Canggu, Kuta, and Nusa Dua on your surf holidays.

Australia. Next on the list is the Land Down Under! This may seem like an obvious pick, but with close to 23,000 miles of surfable coastline blessed with point breaks and coral reefs, it’s a wave-rider's paradise. Start in the east on the Gold Coast, a region south of Brisbane—famous for its surfing adventures, and beaches large enough to house all of the surfers it attracts. It has one of the most famous point breaks in the world, creating barrel after barrel of waves. Just south is Byron Bay, a small surf town must-see, and the large city Sydney, which is filled with surf spots like Bondi Beach. The list is endless, but other top spots are Snapper Rocks, Burleigh Heads, Nobby Beach, and Mermaid Beach.

Home to glorious beaches and coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific oceans, your surf adventure in Costa Rica can only be described one way: cowabunga! It’s main attraction are the year-round waves and generally warm waters (just bring a wetsuit for cooler months!). Expect big waves at Naranjo Beach and the river-mouth point break at Potrero Grande or Ollies Point. Barney or not, try the 90-foot waves at the Tamarindo Beach; surrounded by nature, you’ll never tire of seeing (and hearing) howler monkeys swinging from the trees while you’re waiting for the next run. Playa Grande is also famed for amazing waves and it’s Leatherback turtle populations (consider a surf volunteer adventure by helping to conserve these little guys in-between sessions!).

Surfing Trips Abroad

Anywhere there is a surfing adventure, there is a teacher. There are tons of surf travel programs in every surf town to turn you from beach bum benny to a surfer pro. Programs are fit for all skill levels and budgets. Schools, instructors, and programs often provide boards, wetsuits, and surf lessons. Most lessons will be one-on-one or in a small group; if you’re a beginner, the instructor usually starts the lesson on the sand, teaching you how to lie, paddle, and stand up on the board. Then you’ll move into the water.

Depending on your experience level, your surf tours instructor may stay with you in the swell to give you an extra push to paddle hard, stand up, find your balance, and catch a wave. With more experienced surfers, instructors may focus more on fun tips and tricks, like 360s, laybacks, and kickflips.

The moment you stand up on the surfboard is a total rush. You’ll feel weightless as the force of the wave pumps you across the shore. It’s almost as if you’re flying across the jewel-toned water beneath your feet. Typically April through October are the warmest months to surf, but with the advanced technology in wetsuits, you can tackle the surge anytime and still stay warm.

Surf and volunteer combo programs can be found in most locations, from Cloudbreak in Fiji to Indo to Jeffrey's Bay in South Africa. You can work in animal conservation (like in Costa Rica), teach kids about the importance of water systems and respecting the ocean, or get involved with local NGO’s. Just be sure to always look out for the men in grey suits!

Surf Travel Tips & Advice

Now that you know the sickest places to catch the gnarliest surf, you’ll do best with a few pieces of advice to take with you. First off, for the best waves, know the peak season of your destination. For any of these locations, you’ll get waves all year-round, but the biggest waves come during peak season. Remember: countries in the southern hemisphere have seasons opposite to those in the northern hemisphere.

During surf tours, be sure to pace yourself (and be patient with yourself). Beginners should use a big surfboard to get the rhythm and flow of the balance necessary to stand. It’s okay if you don’t know what your goofy foot is yet. Ideal surf trips feel like a combination of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and playing it safe. Don’t jump on a short board or tackle a barrel before you’re ready!

Packing for surf travel means swimsuits and towels a-plenty; your carefree beachy locks and suntanned skin will clue others into your epic awesomeness. And finally: don’t be a beach leech— cough up money and equipment when it’s needed!

Benefits & Challenges

Surfing is a relatively easy skill to learn. As you progress and hone your skills, you may be zipping through glassy barrels in no time! Whether this is your first time crushing the waves, or you’re a seasoned surfer, there is no doubt the adrenaline will be pumping non-stop during surfing adventures. You’ll have a blast, enjoy the beach, and get in some great exercise (have you ever seen an out of shape surfer? I don’t think so!).

Surfing is pretty easy to catch onto, but it does take some physical stamina. If you’re not the most athletic person, don’t worry. Whenever you need to take a break, ride back to the beach and bask in the sunshine for a while. Pay attention to the tides and currents as well. Some oceans, especially those with waves, can get rough at times. Know your skill level, and if the waves get a little rough for your liking, hang out on the sand until the tides have calmed.

Get ready to yell “Banzai!” Once you get the hang of it, you won’t want to stop the thrillingly surreal experience of surf trips. The power of the wave pushing you to gain speed while you’re right in the heart of nature. That feeling of being part of the ocean and riding on top of the world is freedom, adventure, and creativity all rolled into one. There’s only one place to get that feeling and it’s in the surf!

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