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5 Rad Surf Lodges from Around the World

Bring your board across international borders to reach one of these legendary locales

Just steps from the beach. (Olas Verdes)

Bring your board across international borders to reach one of these legendary locales

These lodges combine world-class surfing with a taste of another culture—from Costa Rica to Indo to Mexico and beyond. You’ll put in some hours traveling there, but it’ll all be worth it when you drop in on that first wave. Enjoy worldly accommodations, eclectic dining, and first-class surf instruction. And best of all you're never more than just steps from the beach. 

Playa Colorado Surf Resort, Tola, Nicaragua

Playa Colorado is one of Nicaragua’s most notorious breaks. It’s not for beginners, but rippers rave about the year-round deep-water swell. It’s a private beach, accessed only by tenants of Hacienda Iguana, a gated golf resort. So stay at Playa Colorado Surf Resort (from $95), within Hacienda Iguana, and you can rent a one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or three-bedroom condo within steps of the sand.

Nihiwatu Surf Resort, Sumba, Indonesia

Click to enlarge. (Alexandre Ribeiro dos Santos)

You’ll come for the private heavy left-hand reef break, but you’ll stay for Nihiwatu’s high-end villas—you can sleep in a deluxe two-story treehouse perched on wooden stilts (from $650 including all meals)—as well the private tropical feel of the remote west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumba. Surf lessons are offered for all abilities and the best season to visit is April through October.  

Casa Creando Olas, La Saladita, Mexico

Casa Creando Olas feels like more of a home than a hotel—including the comfort-food Mexican breakfast you’ll have cooked for you each morning. Located near the small surf town of Los Llanos, the lodge sleeps 12 in private rooms and is situated right on the beach in La Saladita, known amongst longboarders for its consistent left break, and there are over a dozen other breaks nearby. After surfing, rinse off in the outdoor shower and take a yoga class in nearby Troncones.

Olas Verdes, Nosara, Costa Rica 

Olas Verdes
Click to enlarge. (Olas Verdes)

This boutique hotel—the world’s first LEED certified surf hotel—opened with 17 rooms in December on Playa Guiones, a popular surf destination in Costa Rica. You’ll walk a trail through the jungle to reach the four-mile-long beach, which has swell year round. There’s an in-house surf school and a yoga deck.

Long Beach Lodge, Tofino, British Columbia

Want an international surf vacation that’s a little closer to home? Check out Tofino, BC, and the Long Beach Lodge Resort (from $166). The lodge has 41 beachfront rooms plus 20 stand-alone cottages steps from the surf break at Cox Bay Beach, one of Canada’s most fabled spots. The beach is long enough that you won’t feel stuck in the crowds and the hotel has an on-site surf school, plus sauna, hot tub, and locally-made boards for rent. ​

Filed To: Surfing / Lodging
Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons )

San Marcos, Texas

Billed as the world’s toughest canoe race, the Texas Water Safari, held each June, is a four-day, 260-mile jaunt from the headwaters of the San Marcos River northeast of San Antonio to the small shrimping town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There’s no prize money—just bragging rights for the winner. Any boat without a motor is allowed, and you’ll have to carry your own equipment and overnight gear. Food and water are provided at aid stations along the way. Entry fees start at $175 and increase as race day approaches.

The Ring

(Courtesy Quatro Hubbard)

Strasburg, Virginia

The Ring is a 71-mile trail running race in early September along the entire length of Virginia’s rough and rocky Massanutten Trail loop. To qualify, you need to have run a 50- or 100-mile race before the event and win a spot through the lottery system. Entry is free. Complete the run and you’ll become part of the tight-knit Fellowship of the Ring and be eligible for the Reverse Ring, which entails running the trail backwards in the middle of winter.


(David Silver)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Each spring, competitors gather in Santa Fe’s historic plaza with a simple goal: be the first to reach 12,308-foot Deception Peak, 17 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain away. Competitors run or bike the first 15 miles to the local ski area before transitioning to their waiting ski-touring setups for the final push to the top. Time stops only when they’ve skied back down to the tailgate in the resort’s parking lot, which is funded by the modest entry fee of around $25. To add to the sufferfest, some participants sign up for the Expedition category, in which they strap their skis, skins, boots, and poles to their bikes for the long ride up. Start dates vary depending on snow conditions, but look for the event page to be posted on Facebook in late March or early April.

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