Embrace the Pura Vida of Costa Rica on the Pacific coast in the surfer’s paradise of Santa Teresa with Jakera Adventure that’ll take you right to the heart of Costa Rica! Here, you will surf in one of the top 10 surf destinations in the world or take yoga classes, learn Spanish, and volunteer in various environmental projects including working alongside international conservationists protecting turtles at a beachside volunteer station. Throughout the projects, you’ll assist in preserving precious ecosystems and help local people raise their quality of life!
Airport transfer available:
Juan Santamaria International Airport (US$75 per person)
Jakera Adventure has created a jungle paradise complete with a swimming pool overlooked by a rich tropical forest bursting with wildlife including Capuchin and howler monkeys, red squirrels, and tiny magical hummingbirds. The accommodations are single-sex dorms with beds with separate toilet and shower facilities (hot and cold water). Please note that you will need to help with cleaning dishes and keep your room and public areas tidy. You have a choice of either washing your own clothes or using a laundry service in the local towns on the weekends.
You will stay in a rustic wooden building specially constructed to accommodate volunteers. There is a large common area, kitchen and eating area, bunk beds, showers and toilet facilities, as well as running water (and drinking water).
This program starts on the first Sunday of each month, so clients can settle in before the program properly starts on Monday morning. Upon touchdown and clearing customs and immigration, you will begin a multi-logistical transfer to the Nicoya Peninsula. A 1.5-hour road transfer to Puntarenas, followed by a scenic one-hour ferry across the Golfo de Nicoya to Paquera, and finally, another 1.5-hour road transfer to your destination on the Pacific coast, Santa Teresa. You will quickly realize you are somewhere special as the asphalt road gives way to off-road terrain giving this special part of the world an island feel.
Programmed activities include Spanish lessons, professional surf or yoga lessons, volunteering in a range of projects in Santa Teresa and a turtle volunteer placement with the Association of Volunteers for Service in Protected Areas (ASVO) Montezuma. As well as Spanish lessons and a choice of professional surf or yoga instruction, other programmed activities include hiking so you can explore and enjoy the beautiful hinterland of Nicoya Peninsula and get a real feel for the biodiversity of this special part of the world. This program is quite busy and varied, but there is still free time to enjoy a great social life!
During your first week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, you have a choice of having surfing or yoga lessons. Surf lessons (approximately two hours) are delivered by a local professional surf instructor. As well as showing you the basics - or taking you to the next level - you will learn basic safety principles taking into account local issues such as rip tides. Boards are provided for surf lessons. Additional lessons are available on request as well as board rental.
Alternatively, at the times scheduled for surf lessons, you can enjoy professional yoga instruction. For a long time now, this magical place has been a destination for yogis from all around the world. What better place to learn or practice yoga than on a wild beach with the sound of waves crashing on the soft white sand, or in your jungle lodge surrounded by lush foliage to the sounds of the river and birds. Many people come here every year to practice and teach yoga so there is a class to for every level from absolute beginner to advanced yogi.
Popular classes include yoga for all including Vinyasa flow, slow flow, Ashtanga, Hatha, deep Restorative, relaxing and meditation. You are invited to try a variety of forms of yoga during your time with Jakera Adventure. Each class is 90 minutes (four classes per week) - a combination of group and private classes depending on your needs. Yoga provides mental balance, body control and it will help you to relax and enjoy every part of your journey in Costa Rica. Enjoy the mantras and discover a new way to relax and be in tune with your body (and nature) by doing yoga and living the Pura Vida lifestyle.
During your first two weeks with Jakera Adventure, you will receive two times of 45-minute Spanish lessons daily from Monday to Friday (usually at 09:00-11:00 but subject to change depending on the surf conditions). Tuition is delivered by accredited and licensed teachers and on day one, you will receive a short test to establish your level and objectives. These lessons are tailored to suit all levels from beginner to intermediate and are designed to help you interact and immerse with the local community and enjoy being in a Spanish speaking country.
During your second week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons (two to three hours per day), you will participate in volunteer projects designed to conserve and respect local natural resources. Project work is varied and priorities are seasonal and weather dependent. However, most of your efforts are focused on beach conservation, tropical forest, and Jakera Club.
Here, you will work alongside the Santa Teresa Lifeguards. Having seen the amazing beaches of Santa Teresa and adjoining Playa Hermosa and Playa Carmen, the recreational opportunities are clear. However, beaches need to be maintained to keep them clear of debris that not only looks unsightly but can cause harm to people and wildlife. Initially, you will receive briefing and training from the lifeguards as you set out your group objectives.
Work includes promoting lifeguard issues with regard to beach safety and etiquette (through signage, presentations, and speaking to visitors), preparing beaches with the lifeguards at the start of each day, and organizing cleanups with focus on recycling. Formed in response to water and beach pollution, this government-backed initiative aims to reward communities that adhere to their guidelines on conservation practice. By awarding the Blue Flag, the communities gain international recognition for their beach and can attract more tourists and investment.
Your main focus is the forests' most important resource - water. You will help with the maintenance and supply of Jakera Adventure's tree nursery: planting carefully selected saplings, gathered seeds, and ongoing support of recently planted trees to ensure their success. Jakera Adventures supports the local waterkeepers who patrol the river systems of Santa Teresa and neighbouring tropical forest resources by helping to report any contamination, clear forest debris and litter from streams before it is washed out to the sea and can cause further damage to wildlife, and by maintaining walking / hiking trails that allow visitors to access this beautiful area. It is also a great opportunity to learn about the biodiversity of flora and fauna in this special part of the world.
You will experience community work with the kids of Santa Teresa elementary school. Here, you will team up and work hand in hand with Santa Theresa school kids hosting extra curriculum activities. The activities are run by volunteers, and a range of fun and educational activities will include sports, arts and crafts, English classes, environmental awareness activities and social awareness activities.
Jakera Adventure also organizes and run out-of-school activities (including Saturday afternoons - which are open to all the clients to get involved) for the kids to appreciate entirely new experiences and adventures, including organized sea safety, beach and kids surf classes, swimming lessons, nature and turtle conservation activities, sports games, and arts and crafts. This is a fun way to engage with the local community and get your weekend kick started!
Jakera Adventure would like you to enjoy Nicoya Peninsula - an area of outstanding natural beauty - so each Wednesday, you will explore the surroundings on foot. The first is a two-hour jungle river trek along a river that runs by Jakera Jungle Surf Camp and into the lush tropical forest that surrounds you. You quickly find yourself lost and wondering which direction the seemingly nearby beach is.
The second Wednesday, you will hike from beach to waterfall to discover a multitude of waterfalls and rivers that tumble and twist through the rainforest and out into the Pacific Ocean. This hike helps you to understand how the whole ecosystem works. There is a huge range of flora including trees with specific medicinal applications. You begin to understand the beauty of this truly diverse location.
In week three, you will move to ASVO Montezuma to participate in a turtle conservation project run by ASVO. ASVO Montezuma is the Association of Volunteers of Service in Protected Areas (ASVO) which works in a number of special areas in Costa Rica to protect beaches, forests and rural communities. The research center is located in the small town of Montezuma, and the residents of the area are full of positivity and energy. It is an ideal place to conduct research of sea turtles, because on this beach, various species of turtles come to nest, such as the olive ridley, the leatherback, and the black turtle.
During the week, you’ll be protecting the eggs and hatchlings of olive ridley, black turtle, hawksbill and leatherback species, who visit local semi-intensive nesting beaches at night to nest. The principal objective of the project is to protect adult female turtles that frequent beaches along this coastline and their nest from human predators and wildlife, natural events such as beach erosion and flooding due to high amounts of rainfall in the nesting season.
This is achieved by maintenance of infrastructure and surroundings, monitoring of nesting sites, beach cleaning, night patrols to look for nesting female turtles (in season), transport of food and water, collection of data and releasing baby turtles into the ocean (in season) and the construction of a hatchery. Here, you will work for six to ten hours per day. It is important to note that although turtles nest frequently in the peak nesting season (July to November), there will be times where turtle activity is very low. You still need help during most of these periods for the construction and maintenance of the hatchery; critical for the upcoming season.
Owing to the special work carried out here and to minimize the impact of your footprint on the local environment the following house rules are strict to be followed.
In week four, from Monday to Thursday (four days / three night), you will go on an overland adventure to explore Monteverde national parks. You will stay in the picturesque town of Santa Elena and enjoy hikes to explore two national parks - one a cloud forest and one a tropical forest.
After an early morning breakfast, Jakera Adventure will load up the Jeep and drive east approximately one hour in time for the 09:00 Paquera ferry. Enjoy the one-hour voyage to the mainland and Puntarenas, before continuing a very scenic Jeep transfer - with amazing views across Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains - roughly north for two hours to Monteverde arriving in time for lunch.
You will spend the next four days in the town of Santa Elena, staying at a hostel (breakfast and lunch provided with lots of local options for dinner). Each morning, you will get up early to enjoy a two to three-hour hike exploring this unique biosphere including guided tours of two national parks, one is a cloud forest and the other is a tropical forest.
After you explore the village of Santa Elena and surrounding area to get your bearings and discuss the plan for next couple days - for those who have a head for heights and want to hug a tree, there is a huge strangler fig tree that you can climb inside. You will go back to the hostel for a chill time before dinner.
After breakfast, you will enjoy a guided hike to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to explore the cloud forest and find out about its inhabitants and flora. This is one of the few places on earth where you can see the rare quetzal bird and get spectacular views of both the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans. There are three kinds of monkey, medicinal plants, and a plethora of insects and bird life.
You will go back to the hostel for lunch and then your afternoon is free to chill or enjoy one of many activities that can be enjoyed here including rope bridge, bungee jumping, and zip lining, or a visit to a coffee, cocoa and sugar cane plantation, horse riding, ATV tour, and canyoning.
After breakfast, you will enjoy a guided hike to the Curi Cancha Reserve. This is a primary rainforest hosting an array of animals, plants, and insects. Your guide will be able to identify and explain medicinal plants and wildlife, many are unique to this environment. You will go back to the hostel for lunch - your afternoon and evening are free!
You will have a free morning to enjoy an activity of your choice before you head back to Puntarenas and take the 14:00 ferry, and return to Santa Teresa in the early evening.
Notes: The schedule order may change according to tide, weather and volunteer work specifics.
This surf camp will first take place in Santa Teresa. Your experience is based at Jakera Jungle Surf Camp where Jakera Adventure has created a jungle paradise hidden in the tropical forest yet within a roar of the Pacific Ocean. They are a 10-minute walk from the cool cafes, bars, and shops that line the six-kilometer stretch of road and beach that make up Playa Santa Teresa / Playa El Carmen. After spending your time in Santa Teresa, you will be taken to Montezuma and Santa Elena.
In Santa Teresa, you’ll meet a nation of fiercely proud and fun-loving Ticos (Costa Ricans’ name for themselves). It may be small, but this peaceful, sun-drenched corner of Central America holds over five percents of the world’s biodiversity, boasting more national parks per square meter than any other country in the world. It is also home to some of the most important nesting sites for endangered turtles.
If that’s not enough, Costa Rica has both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, punctuated by fertile coffee growing mountains and active volcanoes. Moreover, the lively beach town of Santa Teresa is world famous for surf breaks across beaches which are pristine, uncrowded, and seemingly endless. The town comes alive with funky surf shops, cafes, restaurants, and nightspots for every taste and budget
Montezuma beach is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, on the northern Pacific of Costa Rica, 20 kilometers east of Santa Teresa. It is a paradise where there is a diverse range of flora and fauna close to the conservation station.
Set atop the spine of Costa Rica’s continental divide, Monteverde is a world above the coastal towns that dot the country's famous shoreline. It is a place of cloud forests and coffee plantations, monkeys, mist, and friendly locals. The town of Santa Elena is small and quaint, filled with tasty restaurants and folksy artisan shops, while the nearby rainforest hosts a remarkable amount of biodiversity.
Due to its high altitude - some 4,662 feet (1,440 meters) above sea level - Monteverde is privileged to receive a steady supply of clouds and the life-giving moisture that they contain. This moisture, often in the form of fog, catches on the branches of the tallest trees and drips down to the other organisms below.
This helps to support a complex and far-reaching ecosystem, one that harbors over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, tens of thousands of insect species, and over 2,500 varieties of plants, 420 of which are orchids alone. Visitors can explore this internationally recognized environment from trails and trams, along with canopy tours or inside museums.
Breakfast and lunch are provided but the daily routine will be structured to accommodate quality of the surf, as Jakera Adventure tries to create opportunities for the beach in between your priorities of Spanish lessons and volunteering. All food in this camp is organic, sourced from local farmers and fishermen with garnishes and tidbits from Jakera Adventure's own garden.
The menu is predominantly vegetarian, though they do also serve locally sourced meat and fish. Safe drinking water, tea, coffee, natural soft drinks will be provided throughout at each phase. Beers and sodas are not included. Although menus will be local, they’ll be tempered to Western tastes and vegetarians are easily accommodated. Salads, simple soups, tortillas, sweet plantains, and local food made from tubers (similar to potatoes) are also popular.
Blessed by one of the best surf breaks in the world, this part of the country is great for all levels, from beginner to pro. Check with your project leader for up-to-date advice. Surf lessons cost about 40 USD per hour from a local guide.
Every Sunday morning, you can get up a little earlier than usual to enjoy a pre-breakfast yoga session on the beach. Yoga is very popular in this part of the world and perfectly compliments the focus and energy required while surfing and helps you to connect with this beautiful part of the world. 45 minutes will cost around 15 USD.
Costa Rica is a wonderful environment to explore from the water. Strong waves and currents make this a challenging paddle along one of the most beautiful parts of Costa Rica’s coastline and nearby islands.
One of the most enjoyable and natural ways to explore Costa Rica’s green and pleasant lands is on the back of a horse. There’s a recommended stable in Santa Teresa, which offers about 80 hectares of private land with trails transecting forest, the cost of which is approximately 35 USD.
Tours of the jungle canopy on zip-wire cost around 45 USD, or you can go on suspended bridges for 30 USD.
Dolphins can be seen in Costa Rica’s waters all year round and the country boasts one of the world’s longest whale watching seasons. Tours are available from the coast at around 70 USD.
Please book your flight to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request for 75 USD each way.
Jakera Adventure can arrange for someone to meet you at the international arrivals for transfer overnight to a hostel conveniently located near the airport and Santa Teresa. For the transfer to Santa Teresa, they use Montezuma Expeditions who operates a service twice daily at 06:00 and 14:00 from December 15 till May 31, and once a day at 08:00 from June 1 till December 14.
For same day transfers to Santa Teresa, please go to La Malinche Restaurant - exit arrivals terminal, turn right and walk 50 meters to the restaurant. Please note the times of transfers are May 1 till December 14 daily, transfers at 08:00 / December 15 till April 31 twice daily transfers at 06:00 and 14:00. Times are approximate, so try to arrive a few minutes early and departure should be within 30 minutes of stated times.
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