Location: Costa Rica
Duration: 4 weeks
LEARN SPANISH, SURF or YOGA,
VOLUNTEERING, TURTLES & ADVENTURE
Learn Spanish, Surf or Yoga, Volunteer & Adventure in Santa Teresa – a jungle surf camp hidden in tropical forest yet within a roar of the Pacific Ocean.
This program starts on the first Sunday of each month, so clients can ‘settle in’ before the program proper starts on Monday morning.
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 Cirenas OR ASVO.
This is a traveling adventure so you can explore and enjoy the beautiful hinterland of Costa Rica and get a real feel for the biodiversity of this special part of the world.
Your experience is based at ‘Jakera Jungle Surf Camp’ where we have created a jungle paradise complete with swimming pool overlooked by a rich tropical forest bursting with wildlife including red squirrels, howler monkeys and tiny magical hummingbirds.
We are a 10 min walk from the cool cafes, bars and shops that line the 6km stretch of road and beach that make up Playa Santa Teresa/Playa El Carmen.
This program is quite busy and varied but there is still free time to enjoy a great social life!
Upon touchdown and clearing customs & immigration you will begin a multi logistical transfer to the Nicoya Peninsula.
A 11⁄2 hour road transfer to Puntarenas, followed by a scenic 1-hour ferry across the Golfo de Nicoya to Paquera, and finally, another 1 hour road transfer to your destination on the Pacific coast, Santa Teresa.
You quickly realise you are somewhere special as the asphalt road gives way to ‘off road’ terrain giving this special part of the world an ‘island’ feel.
Weeks 1 & 2 During your first two weeks with us you receive 2 x 45 minute Spanish lessons daily Monday to Friday (usually 09:00-11:00). Tuition is delivered by accredited and licensed teachers and on day one you 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.
Surf or Yoga Lessons – Week 1
During your first week with us, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday you enjoy a surfing or yoga lesson.
Surf lessons (approx. 2 hours) are delivered by a local professional surf instructor. As well as showing you the basics – or taking you to the next level – you learn basic safety principles taking into account local issues such as rip tides.
A summary of basic water safety principles is included below.
Alternatively, at the times scheduled for surf activities 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 our 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, Vinyasa Flow, Slow Flow, Ashtanga, Hatha, Deep Restorative, Relaxing & Mediation. You are invited to try a variety of forms of Yoga during your time with us. Each class is 90 minutes and you can have up to 8 classes in the first two weeks.
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.
Boards are provided for Surf Lessons and mats blocks and straps for Yoga Classes.
Additional lessons are available on request as well as board rental.
Volunteering - Week 2
During your second week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons (2-3 hours per day), you 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 our efforts are focused on the following areas:
Here we 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 we receive briefing and training from the Lifeguards as we set out our group objectives. Work includes promoting Lifeguard issues with regard to beach safety and etiquette (through signage, presentations and speaking to visitors), organising clean ups with focus on recycling.
Blue Flag Initiative
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.
Our main focus is the forests most important resource – water! You will help with the maintenance and supply of our tree nursery; planting carefully selected saplings, gathered seeds and ongoing support of recently planted trees to ensure their success.
We support 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 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.
Community work with the kids of Santa Teresa elementary school. Here we team up and work hand in hand with Santa Theresa school kids hosting extra curriculum activities.
Our activities are run by volunteers, and activities will include Sports, Arts & Crafts, English classes, environmental awareness activities and social awareness activities.
We also organise and run out-of school activities (including Saturday afternoons – which are open to all our clients to get involved), for the kids to appreciate entirely new experiences and adventures, including; organised sea safety, beach and kids surf classes, nature and turtle conservation activities, sports games and arts and crafts.
Hiking - Weeks 1 & 2
We would like you to enjoy Nicoya Peninsula - an area of outstanding natural beauty – so each Wednesday we will explore our surroundings on foot.
The first is a 2 hour ‘jungle river trek’ along a river that runs by Jakera Jungle Surf Camp and into the lush tropical forest that surrounds us. You quickly find yourself ‘lost’ and wondering which direction the seemingly nearby beach is.
The second Wednesday we hike from ‘beach to waterfall’ to discover a multitude of waterfalls and rivers that tumble and twist through the rainforest and out into the PacificOcean. This hike helps us to understand how the whole eco system works. There is a huge range of flora including trees with specific medicinal applications. We begin to understand the beauty of this truly diverse location.
Turtle Volunteering - Week 3
Turtle Conservation - This week will be spent at one of two Turtle Sanctuaries that we support , Cirenas Playa Ario OR ASVO Montezuma.
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 principle objective of the project is to protect adult female turtles that frequent beaches along this coastline, and their nests, from human predators and wildlife, natural events such as beach erosion and flooding due to high amounts of rainfall in nesting season.
This is achieved by maintenance of infrastructure and surroundings, 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’.
It is important to note that although turtles nest frequently in peak nesting season (July to November), there will be times where turtle activity is very low.
We still need help during most of these periods for the construction and maintenance of the hatchery; critical for the upcoming season.
For a seasonal overview of turtle activity see:
Monteverde National Park - Week 4
In week 4 Monday to Thursday (four days/three night) we go on an overland adventure to explore Monteverde National Park. We 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.
For detailed itinerary see Supplementary Notes below.
Start dates 2019
(FIRST SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH) Jan-06, Feb-03, Mar-03, Apr- 07 May-05, Jun-02, Jul-07, Aug-04, Sep-01, Oct-06, Nov-03, Dec-01
A total of 28 nights accommodation, breakfast & lunch (brunch at weekends), 20 intensive Spanish lessons, 4 surf lessons OR 8 Yoga classes, hiking, volunteering, 4 nights at Turtle Sanctuary , road trip to Monteverde plus 3 nights accommodation at Hostal St Elena, and all other activities as described above.
Participants who don’t want to Volunteer in their second week and would prefer more surf lessons can pay for an extra surf week at 160 Euros, this includes transport, surf board and 4 group surf lesson by a professional surf instructor.
Extra surf classes are also available individually for 60 euro per lesson.
‘Program’ starts on a Sunday (changeover day) with the program ending after breakfast on corresponding Sunday 28 days later. Clients are welcome to arrive Saturday or earlier if they pay a supplement for extra night bed & breakfast.
Book this program now
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