WAYRA Instituto de Español offers a great surf and Spanish program. Throughout your stay here, you will participate in the standard or intensive group Spanish classes, also practicing by speaking with the locals. On your free time and during the weekends, you will have the chance to take surfing lessons and surf some of the best waves of Costa Rica.
Airport transfer available:
Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (US$50 per person)
Casa El Mar, amidst a tropical garden, has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The main floor is an open area with a large community kitchen, a comfortable living room, and a spacious dining area, with a double door that leads into an outdoor sitting area. The setting of the main floor invites the students to have activities such as preparing dinner, playing games together, doing homework, or sharing their day's experience with others.
The bedrooms are assigned for women or for men and are to share. The rooms vary in size and normally the largest bedroom with a walk-in closet and a private bathroom is assigned for the ladies. The midsize and the small bedroom share a bathroom and each has a closet. All of the rooms have a fan, a security box, and the showers have hot water. The patio is surrounded by large trees and a nice garden where you can relax in the hammocks or lounges for a shady retreat.
Casa La Carolina is located two-and-a-half blocks from the school and three-and-a-half block from the beach. This house offers all of the luxuries and comforts of a home in a lush tropical garden. The house is modern, spacious, and tastefully furnished and decorated. It has a fully equipped kitchen, a living room with a dining area, and a lounge room on the second floor.
The bedrooms are naturally cooled by a ceiling fan and air conditioning. Each sleeping room has two beds, a private bathroom, a closet, and a dresser. The bathrooms have showers with hot water. The rooms are to share unless otherwise arranged. Behind the main house, there is a one-bedroom apartment with a matrimonial bed, ideal for couples or for people that prefer a private room. The apartment has a kitchenette, equipped for two people, a private bedroom, and a bathroom. In the garden is a small patio.
The student house Casa WAYRA is right on the campus and is a newly built house with a spacious living room. All of the four rooms have air conditioning. The largest room has a balcony from where the beautiful tropical school garden can be seen, as well as three beds and a private bathroom. The other three rooms have all two beds. Two rooms have to share the bathroom, while one room has its own bathroom.
Like in the other student houses, the WAYRA student house offers a fully equipped kitchen to the students. In addition to that, they have in each of their student houses free wireless internet 24 hours per day. Students are welcome to bring their own notebook with them. All rooms in the student houses have a security box where the notebooks and other valuable things can be placed. This accommodation includes breakfast at a local restaurant or at the school.
WAYRA is centrally located in Playa Tamarindo, just 150 meters from the beach, and is situated in a beautiful tropical garden. On the premises, the students can find three buildings and two small ranchos (open air dry palm huts). All classrooms are distributed among the buildings. The classrooms are spacious and comfortable, with large open windows to create a comfortable and appropriate atmosphere to study.
The main rancho has five classrooms on the second floor and the cafeteria with a snack bar on the ground floor. In the cafeteria, students relax and enjoy conversations with other students while having some snacks and refreshments. It is also a good place to do homework during school hours or to take part in one of the dance lessons that are practiced after school on the main floor.
To learn Spanish in Costa Rica, it is essential that you immerse yourself in the language. Living with a family is a unique experience that will give you the best opportunity to learn the language, experience the culture, and get to know the people from Costa Rica. The families are all screened and carefully selected. You will meet many people from the community and your host family will try to make your stay unforgettable.
The families live in the towns of Villareal and Santa Rosa. These small towns are not on the beach and both are very rural and tranquil. Villareal is five kilometers and Santa Rosa is seven kilometers outside of Tamarindo. The homes are small and typical and will offer a private room for each student, unless otherwise arranged, and the bathrooms are normally to be shared with the family.
This is a very popular option for those who wish to experience both Spanish immersion in Costa Rica, as well as the local culture. This accommodation includes breakfast and dinner, laundry service, and morning transportation to school.
All teaching is carried out in Spanish to enable students to be totally immersed in the language during study. Groups are small, averaging three to four students (maximum six students per class). The courses begin every Monday. The first day of class, all new students must arrive at the school by 7:15 a.m. to be evaluated and placed in their appropriate level and to complete any necessary paperwork.
According to individual progress, students may be moved to different groups during the program to maximize their learning. WAYRA will determine if the students attend the morning or afternoon session. Morning sessions are from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and afternoon sessions are from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a 20-minute break at 9:50 a.m. and at 2:50 p.m.
WAYRA Spanish Institute organizes two weekly activities, on Mondays and Wednesdays. Activities may include volley ball, soccer games, bocce games, ping pong, dancing classes, and cooking classes.
You can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. You can also introduce yourself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details, such as where you live, people you know, and things you have. You are able to interact in a simple way, provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
You can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance, such as very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, and employment. You can also communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. You are able to describe, in simple terms, aspects of your background, immediate environment, and matters in areas of immediate need.
You can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, and deal with most situations likely to arise while traveling in an area where the language is spoken. You can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. You can also describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions, and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
You can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in your field of specialization and can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. You are able to produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
You can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts and recognize implicit meaning. You can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions and use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. You are able to produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors, and cohesive devices.
You can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read and can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. You can express yourself spontaneously, very fluently, and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning, even in the most complex situations.
WAYRA maximizes the students' learning experience with a thoughtful balance of personal, cultural, and academic challenges within a secure and supportive environment. The instructors are skilled in blending conversation with grammar to meet the individual needs of the group members.
In the classroom, WAYRA makes learning an enjoyable natural process. Teachers encourage debate, conversation, and exchange of ideas to promote critical thinking and verbal skills. Games, videos, and music are frequently used in the classrooms.
Outdoor activities, such as walks in the nature reserves, visits to different businesses in town to gather information, conversations with people from the community, interviews, or excursions to neighboring towns are all used to practice and learn more about the ecology, economy, and culture of Costa Rica. Your language ability will grow as your outlook broadens. Every day the students are required to do about one hour of homework.
WAYRA has developed its own classroom methodology. Their textbook is designed to accelerate the learning process. Grammar is presented in an organized and logical manner followed by examples. An array of practice exercises and short stories give the students and teachers many conversational opportunities.
Additionally, WAYRA incorporates materials from various conversational text sources. This results in an eclectic system that enables the student to learn Spanish as quickly as possible, with special attention paid to individual learning styles and modalities.
Costa Rica touches the heart and mind through its incredible natural beauty and its gracious people. No one feels a stranger here for long. It is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, a treasure house of flora and fauna, unequaled within such a small area. Travelers fall under the spell of this natural wonderland, with its tropical forests, rushing rivers, exotic animals, high mountains and impressive volcanoes.
Costa Rica is known around the world for its national park system, now protecting about 12% of its total area. It is a country without an army and the national hero is not a general but a young, barefoot campesino (country person).
The country also has one of the highest literacy rates in Central America and a social security system that offers health care to its entire population. Costa Ricans like to say they have gained through evolution what other countries try to attain through revolution.
Costa Rica's national costumes, music, food, and even the national tree: the Guanacaste, all originate from this region. The province of Guanacaste is located in the northern part of the country on the Nicoya Península, about 140 kilometers away from San José. The coast is indented with bays, peninsulas, and warm sandy beaches that are some of the least visited, least accessible, and yet most beautiful in the country.
Guanacaste is famous for its spirit-filled typical fiestas, with traditional corridas de toros (bull riding), topes (the regions colorful horse parades in which the Guanacastecans show their meticulously groomed horses), and night dance parties with live music. The bands usually play merengue, cumbia, and salsa. WAYRA's students often go to the many villages in the area to participate with the local people in celebrating their patron saint's day.
You could be part of the Costa Rican style rodeos and bull riding. This is an authentic experience to be in contact with the Guanacastecans, as well as their rich culture and traditions. From December through May, there is a fiesta almost every weekend in a different town. After May, the fiestas are not as frequent.
Playa Tamarindo is located on Costa Rica's west coast, on the Nicoya Peninsula, province of Guanacaste. Tamarindo has about 1,000 habitants. Some of the homes of the residents are spread on the hills, overlooking the impressive ocean. The students can find most of the restaurants, hotels, tour operators, surf schools, supermarkets, and other major businesses on the main roads.
The white sand and crystal clear water of this spectacular beach attract nature lovers, surfers, giant-turtle watchers, and sun-seekers all year round. Tamarindo is a small, multicultural town that attracts national and international tourists all year round. This growing town offers many amenities, such as art galleries, handmade crafts from all over the world, and a wide variety of restaurants and cafes. Tamarindo's night life includes live concerts, many bars, and a casino. Typical fiestas move from town to town but are never far away.
Daily breakfast will be served at the cafeteria of the campus for those staying at Casa Carolina, WAYRA, and El Mar. The host mothers will prepare a variety of fresh and tasty meals for those staying with host families. The cooking is normally traditional but if you have a specific diet or preference, the host mother will do everything she can to meet your needs.
In some houses, the mother cooks on typical mud stoves with wood, and in others, on more modern kitchens, but regardless of the method they use, the meals are well enjoyed by the students. With a host family, you will have the opportunity to taste different fruits and vegetables that could be difficult to find in any other place.
Visit to the historical town of Nicoya or take a guided tour into the Barra Honda cave.
Visit to Guaitil, where pottery in Chorotega style is made.
Enjoy a visit to the cheese factory, humming bird gallery, finca ecológica, or simply take a night walk in the beautiful park.
Take a trip to the the waterfall and visit Cabo Blanco National Park.
Join in on a boat tour to observe wildlife on Tempisque River.
Go hiking and animal watching in the park, take a little trip to La Casona, enjoy beach time at Puerto Soley, watch the sunset, and have dinner in La Cruz.
Playa Tamarindo is at the heart of Las Baulas Marine National Park, where giant leatherback sea turtles come ashore at night to nest their eggs in the sand. The nesting season at Las Baulas are from October through February and, at this time of the year, WAYRA arranges excursions to visit the Baulas Museum to learn about the turtles followed by a guide to visit the park to witness the nesting process. These tours are at night and scheduled during high tide.
Go hiking in the forest and do some bird watching, enjoy the beauty of natural hot springs, go on a night visit to the volcano, and a trip to Venado Caves. For some ocean adventures enjoy a diving session, snorkeling or sailing.
Please book your flight to arrive at Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) or Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) Transfers from and to Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) is available upon request. The price is 25 USD per person in a shared shuttle. In case there is just one passenger, the cost is 50 USD for arrival between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 65 USD for any other arrival times.
From San Jose International Airport (SJC) to Tamarindo, you can take a bus. Interbus is a private bus company that offers direct service to Tamarindo. This bus ride takes about four hours and 30 minutes to reach Tamarindo and they offer daily service at a price of 54 USD per trip. The buses are air-conditioned and comfortable. The departure time is at 8:15 a.m. at the Hotel Berlor (if you stay at this hotel) or at 3 p.m. at the restaurant Dennys by the airport; arriving in Playa Tamarindo approximately at 1 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. respectively.
The ride with the public bus takes approximately six hours from San Jose. As this is a public service, you cannot make a reservation; therefore, you must purchase the ticket personally as early as possible. Students with a homestay reservation should inform the bus driver to drop them off at the bus stop in Villareal. Since the reception of the school closes on Sundays at 4 p.m., students staying at a student house should not take the public bus to Tamarindo. There is no problem for students to take the public bus if they stay with a host family. At the bus stop in Villareal, they will be picked up by a member of the host family.
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