Costa Rica was one of the very few spots we offer where we hadn’t travelled ourselves. I heard a lot about it and therefore was very happy and excited to go down there and experience it myself: La Pura Vida. From Nicaragua, where I visited the surf camp we offer in San Juan del Sur, I made my way down south to Tamarindo and little did I know about the magic I was going to be confronted with. In Tamarindo, I went right away to the Spanish school, which offers the Spanish + Surf packages, where I was greeted by the director of the school Reto.
The school arranged me a room in one of their accommodations: Casa Wayra, which is located at the school itself. From my window I could look at the classrooms, which were partly inside and some had open walls. The first morning I woke up to the sound of monkeys and when I looked out of my window, I could see them flying across the trees of the beautiful garden which surrounded the school. ‘Learning Spanish in paradise’ wasn’t getting any more real than this. After a nice breakfast I went to meet with Reto and his wife, who run the school together. We spoke about how they started their school in 1996, as only the second language school at the beach in Costa Rica. Reto told me about how Tamarindo has develop over the years as a very lively beach town, with great surf, a lot of bars and several other things to do.
Read on after this photo of an iguana in one of the trees next to my accommodation…
After the talk, I was shown the accommodations the school offered. Casa Wayra – where I was staying myself – is a simple but very nice student accommodation with 4 rooms. Some rooms are shared (2 or 3 beds each) and there are private rooms as well. The spacious living room and kitchen was well being used by the students. The other 2 student houses, Casa el Mar (close to the beach, and 2 mins from the school) and Casa Carolina (5 mins walking and very modern, with an amazing pool), hosted similar facilities, with a kitchen and a spacious communal area.
After the tour, it was time to meet the surf school. Iguana Surf is one of the oldest surf schools in Tamarindo and I met with Rigoberto (nickname Tablon), the main manager of the shop (picture below). After a talk with him, I was being introduced to Alejandra, whom I was supposed to meet initially. We spoke about the students from the language school and how they combined the Spanish with the surf lessons. It was great to hear about the flexibility of the school and its professionalism. Alejandra invited me to join the surf lesson which was starting soon and even though it was a lesson for the very beginners, I was still stoked to join in.
The surf lesson showed me right away that the two things that matter the most, were also stressed the most: having fun and safety. The instructors Anthony and Kike obviously were very experienced and they kicked off the lesson with a 30 minute theory class at the beach. Two girls from Denmark, who already had surfed before, went into the water with me and Kike. The other 4, whom were surfing for the first time, went over the theory a bit longer with Anthony before heading into the water. The waves were rather small but very consistent and fun.
Would like to learn more about Spanish and Surf in Tamarindo?
The evening, a Thursday, I would join some of the students from the language school to visit the Tamarindo night market, where a lot of local products could be found. It was great to hear from the students, with various backgrounds, about how they did different activities every day. I was sad that I was already leaving the day after as it would have been great to stick around for longer. However, I was happy to have seen the school, met the guys at the surf school and experienced the town of Tamarindo.