A surfer walking on the beach in Malpais. Photo © Keith Levit/123rf.

Things to Do in Malpaís and Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

The shoreline immediately north of Cabo Blanco is a lively surfers’ paradise with some of the best surfing beaches in the country. The past few years have seen phenomenal tourism development, propelling the contiguous communities of Malpaís and Santa Teresa from offbeat obscurity to huge popularity. With this boom comes a surge in nightlife, outdoor activities, and more and more ways to spend your time.

Parque Recreativo Cristóbal Colón. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Planning Your Time on Puerto Rico’s West Coast

Embrace the slow-paced, nature-loving vibe of Puerto Rico’s west coast, a long-time favorite of surfers and divers but with so much going on–from salt flats and subtropical dry forests to colonial cities and fishing villages–that it’s worthy of an extended stay. Here are tips and advice on planning your time exploring all the best of the west coast.

La Pared in Luquillo. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Things to Do in Luquillo, Puerto Rico

Luquillo attracts visitors from far and wide for two reasons. One is its beautiful public beach, commonly referred to as Playa Luquillo, and the other is the Luquillo Kioskos, more than 50 food vendors serving some of the very best street food available in Puerto Rico. Here are even more reasons to visit

Surfboard rack on the ocean shore in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Surfing Lessons and Outfitters in Waikiki

You’ll find surfing is a way of life in Waikiki. There’s a long history here of welcoming visitors to learn how to catch a break and ride the big one that continues on today with several surf schools offering private, group, and customized surf tours for reasonable prices, as well as boards and gear.

A woman sits cross-legged on the beach with her surfboard.

Surfing Lessons and Rentals in South Maui

In South Maui, you’ll find plenty of outfitters and instructors ready to give you a lesson or set you up with some gear based on your level of skill. Since choosing which school or outfitter to go with is more of a challenge, here’s all the info you need to make it easy.

A surfer contemplates the waves at Honolua Bay on Maui.

Best West Maui Surf Spots

Surfing is more than a hobby in West Maui—it’s a way of life. Here you’ll find the best surf spots in West Maui for visitors from beginners to experts, as well as plentiful recommendations for lessons and where to rent a board.

A surfer shoots the curl on the North Shore.

Best North Shore O‘ahu Surf Spots

From surf spots best suited to kids and novices to waves best left to experienced locals, here are all the best surf spots on O‘ahu’s North Shore, along with how to get there, hazards to watch out for, and the breaks you’ll find.

Waves lap against the sand at Poka‘i Bay in Wai‘anae, Oahu.

O‘ahu Leeward Surf Spots

Much of the surf on the leeward side breaks over sharp and shallow reef, making it best suited for expert surfers. Scaling rocks and reef to enter and exit the water can be a challenge for newcomers, and the locals are quite territorial when it comes to their surf breaks. Still, with the right attitude, there’s definitely a wave to be had on the leeward coast.

Surf school - a group of surfboarding students headed into an ocean swell/

Best Surf Spots in Lahaina

Lahaina and the areas south of Lahaina have small waves breaking during most of the year, but you’ll find summer has the most consistent surf and the best swells. From beginner to expert and every skill level between, here are the area’s best surf spots, the types of waves waiting for you, and rentals if you need them.

A surfer rides a wave at Koki Beach in Hana, Maui.

East Maui Surfing

Surfing in East Maui is reserved for only intermediate and advanced surfers. Here’s where to go for the best surfing in Pa‘ia and Hana, where to rent boards, and schools in the area that cater to more skilled surfers.