Tamarindo Family Surf Lessons

Tamarindo Family Surf Lessons

Welcome to a new family surf adventure!

Ready for your Tamarindo family surf lesson? Here we go! Hop aboard Enrique’s boat for a short water-taxi ride to another world. You are officially on your way to your Frijoles Locos Family Surf Lesson.

Glide up the Tamarindo Estuary keeping an eye out for birds, monkeys, and crocodiles. Peek carefully into the mangroves, and keep your eyes scanning the riverbanks. You never know what you will see as you are transported away from the hustle and bustle of Tamarindo, to the small, quiet community of Playa Grande.

Are you an explorer?

Created with adventurous Tamarindo family visitors in mind, our Playa Grande surf lesson package is right for you if you are the kind of family who likes to do things a little different!

How does it work?

Once you have made your reservation, and have a confirmation, simply walk down the beach of Tamarindo, until you reach the ‘pangas’. Pangas are the name locals give to small boats. You will see the collection of boats that are on standby to take willing beach-walkers across the river. Here, Enrique (the boat captain) will meet you and take you 5-10 minutes up the river to Hotel Bula Bula, where your surf instructor and guide from Frijoles Locos Surf School will await you.

From Hotel Bula Bula, you will jump in the Frijoles Locos surf-mobile and be driven to the most suitable part of the beach for learning to surf. Enjoy your 90-minute surf lesson away from the crowds and a far-cry from the hoards of other surf schools. Focus on learning, safety and fun.

Book now! We look forward to treating you to a phenomenal surf lesson, and the full Playa Grande experience.

Details and necessary information:

We offer clients who stay in Tamarindo a special package where you catch a small boat taxi across the estuary from Tamarindo to Playa Grande (to a hotel called Hotel Bula Bula).

Private lessons (from Tamarindo, by boat) Ideal for families!

  • 1- 4 people with one instructor
  • 90 minutes instruction time. Please allow at least 2- 3 hours out of your day for this option, in case you wish to visit our surf shop and take a shower/ see more of Playa Grande.
  • Board and rash-guard included for lesson duration.
  • Personalized instruction with one instructor just for your group.
  • 1 instructor can teach up to 4 students. Flexible attendance…same price for 1 up to 4, in case people drop out or want to join on a whim.
  • transportation from Hotel Bula Bula (meeting you from the boat), and within Playa Grande included.
  • Best for people who appreciate a custom experience, tailored to your level of surfing.

Cost for this package is $145.

The boat trip will take 5 minutes- then only a couple minutes to the surf spot.


You can choose to drive from Tamarindo in your rental car, and park at our surf shop, however, it will take 25-30 minutes to drive, each way. The cost if you drive yourselves to Frijoles Locos Surf Shop is $120.

How Do I book?

In order to reserve, we request from you the following info. Please email to [email protected] or fill out the contact form down below.

Desired dates: (please give 2-3 choices)

Desired Time: lessons are scheduled according to tides however, we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Activity:  Surf Lessons with Frijoles Locos at Playa Grande by boat from Tamarindo.

Name/s of Client/s: 

Number of participants:

Contact info for participants:   

Accommodation- hotel/ house name: 

AGES of kids, if any: 

Price:  $145 for up to 4 people.

Remarks/ notes:

– Surf instruction, surfboard and lycra rashguard provided for lesson duration (90 minutes)

– Payment in advance will be requested (credit card or Paypal)

– Boat transfer from Tamarindo to Hotel Bula Bula in Playa Grande and return included.

– Transport from Hotel Bula Bula by vehicle to the beach for surfing included.

– Transport within Playa Grande if desired, included.

– Please help us keep Costa Rica beautiful and bring your own refillable water bottle. We do not supply water in single-use plastic bottles.

– Leave all unnecessary valuables at your hotel, bring only what you will be using in the water, plus a towel and drink bottle.

Cancellation Policy: All cancellations within 48 hours of scheduled activity will incur a full penalty fee.


5 reasons why Costa Rica rocks for family vacations:

5 reasons why Costa Rica rocks for family vacations:

Costa Rica outdoor lifeWhy does Costa Rica rock for family vacations?

1/ Easy to get to:

With more flights than ever before, LIR (Liberia International Airport) is super accessible. With direct flights from Baltimore, LAX, Houston, Dallas, Miami, JFK and Atlanta, there is sure to be a hub close by. Added bonus, once the wheel touch the tarmac, the North Pacific hotspots such as Tamarindo and Playa Grande, are less than an hour’s drive away.

2/ Family-friendly:

This becomes obvious the moment you line up for customs. Keep your eyes open for the family-friendly line to the far right of the customs/ immigration area at LIR. Families with small kids are welcome to glide right over to that special line, beating the boredom blues and cruising on through, fuss-free.

Once outside the airport, you will get the feeling that family is everything. Many local families live 3 generations in one home- sometimes out of necessity, but get this: most wouldn’t dream of putting Grammy or Grampy in a nursing home or retirement village- it just isn’t done here!

A positive side-effect of all this family-philia is that your rowdy, raucous kids won’t upset the apple-cart at any locally run restaurants. What does this mean for you? Less stress, more fun, happy family!

3/ Peaceful:

Costa Rica has no army. Peace runs through Costa Rica like blood runs through your veins. People are generally very happy, friendly and non-confrontational. Police in Costa Rica are likely to smile and wave in response to your smile and wave- they aren’t scary! People are human in Costa Rica- courteous, and polite. Old-fashioned good manners are appreciated, and contagious. You will notice the difference and be changed because of it.

4/ Outdoor paradise:

Costa Rica has room to run, play, and simply immerse oneself in the outdoors. Kids love the wildlife, the freedom, the warm ocean and the sunny days. With an enormous selection of activities, enjoying the outdoors is easy and stress-free. Just remember, pack your sunscreen, sun-hats and UV shirts- it gets HOT here.

5/ Trump-free.

You won’t find too many Trump sympathizers here. Among the local Tico, and ex-pat community alike, you will get a distinct taste for democracy, liberalism, free-thinking, and outside the box type people. Acceptance of all walks of life is the key here, which is all part of the Pura Vida!

Book your Costa Rica vacation now!

Frijoles Locos Online Store!

Frijoles Locos Online Store!

New in 2017!

In anticipation of our upcoming 10th-year anniversary celebrations, we have created the Frijoles Locos Online Store. Our popular t-shirts, towels, and hats are now available direct to you in the US, Canada and worldwide.

Keep an eye on new releases via Facebook @frijoleslocos and Instagram #frijoleslocos and tag us wherever you are, wearing our gear.

We look forward to seeing more of you wearing our product, and hope it reminds you of good times in Pura Vida land plus spreads the love to others yet to visit.

What hasn’t changed?

Of course, if you are in Costa Rica on vacation, we would love to see you in our physical store too- still located at:

Frijoles Locos Surf Shop

25 metros oeste de la escuela,

Playa Grande, Cabo Velas, Guanacaste



The Choice: Tamarindo vs Playa Grande?

People ask us often, to explain the difference between Tamarindo vs Playa Grande? Everyone has a choice, so we should they choose one over the other? The final decision is ultimately yours, and is as individual as you are.

Here is a little summary of Tamarindo and Playa Grande:


  • Tamarindo is much more touristy- busier, more shops, more people, more stuff…
  • If you are looking for nightlife- clubs and bars are open late and there is a lot of choice in Tamarindo. Sharky’s is a top spot for sports-fans and a good time with great bar food.
  • Tamarindo has a lot of restaurants but only a handful of outstanding ones. At the moment, Nordico, Seasons by Shlomy and Pangas are topping the charts. Pura Vegan, Noguis and Patagonia are great too. We also love Bamboo Sushi for their ambiance and delicious sushi of course!
  • Activities are more readily accessible in Tamarindo and it is easier to join in on group activities as there are more people.
  • Like Playa Grande, Tamarindo also has good surfing but the waves at Tamarindo’s best spots tend to be smaller in size than Playa Grande’s main peak. Down-side to Tamarindo is that the learning to surf area is small and crowded with surf schools.

Playa Grande: 

  • Playa Grande is more peaceful.
  • Uncrowded is the keyword for Playa Grande. There are a couple commercial stores (our surf shop and another), a collection of small boutique hotels, and a lovely, uncrowded 4km stretch of beach. The beach of Playa Grande is separated from Tamarindo by an estuary. The only place you will find a crowd is at main peak surf break, when the waves are good!!
  • Playa Grande doesn’t have a real ‘town center’. In fact, it doesn’t have a church, soccer field, bakery, bank or any other key installations one would think was crucial in a ‘town’!
  • Small boutique hotels, not resorts, are the rule in Playa Grande. RipJack Inn, with 21 rooms, is one of the biggest and highly recommended. Many others have no more than 6-8 rooms. Hotel Bula Bula and La Marejada Hotel are also great choices.
  • The estuary separates Playa Grande from Tamarindo and vice versa.
  • Playa Grande has 9 or 10 restaurants, and all are really good! Upstairs at the RipJack, La Marejada, Bula Bula, El Point, Cafe Mar Azul, Cantarana, Seven BBQ, Cafe del Pueblo, El Huerto Pizzeria, and Kike’s Place are the current ones.
  • Relaxing, walking on the beach, surfing, boogie boarding, riding a bike, looking for animals are the primary activities in Playa Grande.
  • Surf lessons in Playa Grande are less stressful as they are uncrowded and away from the hustle and bustle of Tamarindo.
Many people say that they wished they stayed in Playa Grande. They would have rented a car and headed to Tamarindo a night or two for the nightlife, or to check out the abundant souvenir shops.
For others, Playa Grande is too quiet. It takes an effort to go anywhere else, and can feel remote- so if you like peace and quiet but also to explore, rent a car!
I would say that you know yourself best- do you like the hustle and bustle of a tourist town? If so, Tamarindo might be best for you.
Are you ok taking things slower while on vacation? Do you prefer a quieter setting, where you can visit a busier place if you need to? If so, Playa Grande might be the best choice for you.
Ready to book your Playa Grande vacation NOW? Email [email protected]

Surf Etiquette and Safety

web-photos-frijoles03Surf safety and surf etiquette are paramount to an enjoyable surf session for everyone involved.

Surfing is fun, it’s adrenaline-pumping and life-changing.

Surfing can also be dangerous to you, and those around you- like any sport, or activity, there are guidelines for best practices. Keep reading, to discover how you can minimize the chance of accidents, conflicts with other surfers and maintain good vibes and good karma!

  1. Select the most appropriate location for your skill level. If in doubt, ask your local surf shop.
  2. Surfer closest to where the wave broke has priority, or in some places, it’s the person first on their feet.
  3. Stay out of the way of other surfers- when paddling out, paddle towards the broken part of the wave so you avoid interfering with surfers on the green face.
  4. Don’t be a wave hog- take turns, encourage others.
  5. Be observant, pay attention at all times.
  6. Assist a fellow surfer in trouble or distress.
  7. Spend a little time speaking to locals before surfing- figure out the local vibe, how best to fit in.
  8. Your board is a missile and has the potential to harm another person. Never ditch your board when a surfer is behind you- hold onto it like a life depends on it. Remember a 9ft board with a 9ft leash has a reach of close to 20 feet…. and your fellow surfer on a similar board has the same… try and keep a good 40ft from other beginners.
  9. Relax, have fun, don’t be a jerk. Smile, share and lift the spirits of those around you.
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