21 Days » Yoga, Surfing and Photography in Amazing Costa Rica

21 days / 20 nights

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Exercise your mind, body, and spirit

Founded in 1997, the School of the World combines elements of Costa Rica surf camp, language school, yoga retreat, photography workshop and boutique hotel under one roof. Like-minded travelers from all over the world come here to pursue a passion, learn some new skills, and make lifelong friendships.

The School of the World is a Costa Rica surf camp + surf school for all skill levels, and we are one of the most established and well respected surf camps in Costa Rica. Learn to surf in the warm waters of Costa Rica any week of the year. Get ready to drop in!

Yoga, surfing and photographing are good for your body, mind, and soul. This combination is sure to keep you feeling amazing inside and out. Surf sessions are 2 hours a day (M-F), yoga classes are 1.5 hours each day (M-F) and photography classes are 2 hours a day + 3 field trips per week.  The yoga and photography schedule changes weekly to accommodate the surf schedule and tides.

Surf: Our expert instructors cater to all skill levels from beginners to advanced. Warm water year round, consistent surf conditions, and local breaks for all levels of surfers, the Playa Jaco area is an amazing place to surf! The School of the World has been widely respected as one of the top surf schools in Costa Rica for over 16 years.

Beginners learn the basics of paddling, standing, and turning, as well as wave selection and other fundamental skills from our instructors, some of the best and most experienced in the country. They have completed rigorous international surf instructor and ocean lifesaver training, so you will feel comfortable and safe in the water. Here at School of the World we have been teaching people to surf day in and day out since 1997. In addition to the daily surf sessions, we also incorporate land based balance training and photo + video review sessions into our programs.

Already a surfer? Then you know great surf is a recipe of a lot of elements coming together perfectly- swell, direction, tide, wind, time of day, and season are all factors. Local knowledge is key to scoring great waves on vacation, and having a great place to hang out between surf sessions is a big bonus. Just a few reasons why surfers keep coming back to School of the World’s surf camp! Let our experienced Costa Rica surf guides show you the best waves around and help you take your surfing to the next level.

*Surf classes generally have no more than three students per instructor.

Yoga: Class sizes are small and our experienced instructors keep learning fun and relaxed. Our certified instructors blend their training in Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Anusara yoga into the practice. Whether you are a beginner or have years of experience, our intention is for you to leave with the tools necessary to enrich and deepen your practice.”

Photography: Photography class is a mix of fun lessons, field trips, and editing in our digital darkroom suite. Beginners become acquainted with the fundamentals of photography, digital workflow, and basic digital editing. Intermediate and advanced photographers learn new shooting techniques and advanced editing, and students of all skill levels benefit from having a local guide take them to shoot at amazing locales they otherwise would never see.

General information Review Like

Yoga Styles

  • Hatha Yoga

  • Ashtanga Yoga

  • Vinyasa Yoga

  • Iyengar Yoga

  • Anusara Yoga

Instruction

21 / 21 days with instruction
English Instruction language
Spanish Spoken language(s)

Difficulty Level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Minimum age allowed is 18
  • The maximum participants in the group is 30
  • Seasonality

    J.
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    Daily Program Review Like

    Our schedule is created on a weekly base and completely written on the tides of the ocean, the amount of people and their course combinations. Therefore, it changes every week.

    In terms of hours, the classes will be divided as following:

    Surf: 1 session (2 hours) a day, transportation to the beach, surfboard and instructor is included. Based on the tides, surf can take place anywhere between 6am and 4pm.

    Yoga: 1,5 hours a day, yoga mat and other equipment is included. Yoga usually is the first class or the last class of the day, so everyone is able to attend.

    Photography: approximately 2 hours a day, 2-3 fieldtrips per week included.

    Accommodation Review Like

    Our beautiful facility has free Wi-Fi for our guests, a shared kitchen and dining area, 12 guestrooms, outdoor lounge, pool, garden, and lots of great spots to hang out and relax. It is located in a quiet neighborhood close to the center of town and is just a few minutes walk from the beach, dozens of great restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and everything else you could need.

    Standard Shared Room - All of our shared guestrooms (double occupancy) have private bathrooms, air conditioning, ceiling fans, hot water, refrigerators, cotton sheets and comfortable beds. We will pair you with someone of the same gender and age range if you are traveling alone or you can request a roommate and we will happily accommodate you.

    Private lodging - treat yourself and relax in style in one of our guestroom upgrades. We have some rooms that are allocated for use as upgraded shared rooms, or as private guest rooms. Most of them are located in the main building, which has the peaceful feel of a tropical treehouse. These rooms have one full size and one single bed, 100% cotton sheets, refridgerator, private bathroom, and A/C. Private rooms are available on a first-come first-serve basis so please reserve in advance, especially during our peak seasons (Dec-March and May-Aug)

    Private deluxe lodging - Our deluxe private rooms are great for traveling couples, or just spoiling yourself with an oversized bed for those after surf siestas! These rooms have super comfortable king size beds, cotton sheets, complimentary bath towel service, A/C, refridgerators, private bathrooms, and ceiling fans. Private rooms are available on a first-come first-serve basis so please reserve in advance, especially during our peak seasons (Dec-March and May-Aug).

    Staff Review Like

    Carlos
    instructor
    Head Photography, GoPro, and Surf Instructor: Carlos is an accomplished Costa Rican artist, photographer and surfer. He started working at the School of the World in January of 2006. He is certified in ocean safety and rescue, as well as CPR. He has exhibited his art in San Jose, Miami, and New York. In his spare time he enjoys surfing, skating, photography, painting, and fishing. Carlos also teaches some of the specialty photography and editing workshops, and assists Zach and Natazha with video projects.

    Alonso
    instructor
    Surf Instructor: Alonso was born and raised in Jaco, Costa Rica and started teaching surf when he was only 14 years old, before even he knew how to surf. Alonso is an accomplished competitive surfer, having won 4th place in the boys division of Costa Rica. He began working at the school in February of 2011 and is certified in ocean safety and rescue, as well as CPR. In his spare time he likes to surf, train for surfing, and is also an accomplished MMA fighter, with quite a few wins under his belt.

    Alejandra
    instructor
    Head Yoga Instructor: Alejandra is from San Jose, Costa Rica. She began practicing yoga at an early age and realized she wanted to dedicate her life to this discipline. Her foundations are Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Anusara Yoga. Alejandra is always deepening her practice, and travels to India yearly to study directly with the masters. She brings what she learns back to Costa Rica to share with our staff and guests.

    Catalina
    instructor
    Yoga Instructor Catalina is from San Jose, Costa Rica and has lived in Playa Jaco since 2003. Her foundation is in Vinyasa flow with an inspiration in anusada alignment. In her free time she likes to read and spend time with her two kids.

    Additional Things to do Review Like

    • Tours
    • Hiking
    • Weekend Trips

    What is included Review Like

    • Surf classes - 2 hours per day (Monday to Friday).
    • Yoga classes - 1,5 hour per day (Monday to Friday).
    • Photography classes - 2 hours per day (Monday to Friday) + 3 field trips per week.
    • Accommodation.

    What is not included Review Like

    • Meals - Food is not included in our programs. Our guest rooms have refrigerators, the school has a fully equipped shared kitchen, and there is a wide array of restaurants and grocery stores within walking distance.
    • Surfboards are provided for use during class, however to minimize our equipment loss and damage we do not loan them out after class. If you wish to surf outside of class time you will need to bring your own board or rent one from a surf shop in town. Surfboards cost about $10-20 per day to rent.
    • Wetsuits: Costa Rican waters are warm and you will not need a wetsuit. Rashguards are recommended as they protect from the sun and surfboard wax rashes. If you cannot buy one before you arrive there are many surf shops in town where you can get one.
    • We do not provide towels or laundry service. There is a laundromat nearby. If you forget or don't want to travel with towels you can buy them in town once you arrive. It is recommended to bring an extra if you are taking surfing or yoga classes.
    • Airfare.
    • Transfer from/to  the airport.

    Know before you go Review Like

    • Check-in on Sunday and check-out is always on Saturday.
    • Electricity: The outlets (electricity) are the same as in the United States (110v). If you are coming from a European country, or Australia, you will need an adapter.”
    • Currency: It is not necessary to change your dollars ahead of time, as they are accepted in most tourist towns and areas of Costa Rica. You can also withdraw money in the local currency through an ATM or exchange money at one of the local banks if you wish.
    • Shot: For the most up to date medical information for travelers check with the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga. U.S.A. www.cdc.gov/travel/camerica.htm Malaria medication and other tropical disease preventatives are usually only recommended if you plan to travel to the remote regions of the rainforest.

    How to get there Review Like

    You will want to fly into Juan Santa Maria airport (SJO) in San Jose.

    We can arrange for an airport pickup for $90 US. When possible we help arrange car pool for guests arriving at the same time so they can share the costs.

    If you would like us to organize this for you we will need your flight number, airline name and arrival date and time.

    Booking Review Like

    Cancellation Policy

    Non Refundable

    Deposit Percentage

    35%

    The rest of the payment should be made on arrival

    Features Review Like

    Activity
    • Cooking Classes

    • Hiking

    • Surfing

    General
    • Air-Conditioned Rooms

    • Beach

    • Eco-Friendly

    • Kitchen

    • Multilingual Staff

    • Yoga Studio

    Services
    • ATM / Banking

    • Car/MotorBike Rental

    • Convenience / Grocery Store

    • Free Wi-Fi

    • Local Market

    • Medical Assistance

    • Room Cleaning

    • Tour Assistance

    Customer Reviews

    3 Item(s)

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    1. Review by

      Posted on

      Changed My Life
      100%
      Atmosphere
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      Services and Communication
      100%
      Food
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      Accommodation and Facilities
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      Quality of the Experience
      100%
      Value for money
      Honestly, SOTW CHANGED MY LIFE! This is no exaggeration. When I originally came to the School of the World, I had quit my corporate job and decided I needed to spend time soul-searching. Little did I know that my life would be changed forever. I signed up for spanish classes but fell in love with Yoga and also took a week of Surf classes too. Added bonus, since I was there for a month I got to join the photography class one day for a field trip. I spent a month here as a solo traveler and truly loved it so much. When I returned to the states I felt homesick for School of the World.

      The rooms are clean, the staff is super friendly, and it was very conveniently located to the center of town and a farmers market right across the way which was great!

      I met incredible people during my stay (tourists and locals) and still keep in touch with them to this day. Feels like having friends all over the world :)

      If you're thinking about going.. don't hesitate! Words don't do my experience justice.. but I'll finish by expressing that I am forever grateful for this amazing and sacred place.
    2. Review by

      Posted on

      Quit your job and go back to school!
      100%
      Atmosphere
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      Services and Communication
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      Food
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      Accommodation and Facilities
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      Quality of the Experience
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      Value for money
      We had a beautiful private room. The staff is very nice and welcoming. The other students were also very friendly - we felt at home right away. The local people running and maintaining the establishment were very sweet and patient with our attempts at communicating in Spanish... The whole place was very clean and peaceful.

      We went to learn to surf and so we did! Esteban, our instructor, was so helpful and encouraging. By the end of our second session, we were getting up on our own on small waves! The learning conditions at playa Jaco are optimal. The water is warm, shoulder height and it's pure sand at your feet. Nothing to worry about there. We even spotted sting rays in the waves and small fish jumping over our boards.

      The students who had the privilege to stay longer (2 weeks or more), were riding the big waves easily, which says something about the instructors. Every Wednesday, they review the videos of the previous day to correct and improve the posture and technique of each student.

      We also practiced yoga. Alejandra, the instructor, was awesome, passionate and inspiring. She was able to challenge all levels, from mine, ultimate beginner with no flexibility whatsoever, to my fiancée's who practices regularly. My favorite part was the last position, when you just lie down and relax ;)

      We didn't take the Spanish lessons but they looked like a lot of fun and students who arrived without speaking a word of Spanish could understand and speak quite well in a short time.

      Basically, we didn't want to leave! If I could, I would have canceled our following destination to stay longer... we strongly recommend!
    3. Review by

      Posted on

      Wow, what a trip!
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      Quality of the Experience
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      Value for money
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      Food
      I wasn't sure what to expect of a learning vacation, but SOTW exceeded my expectations. I did surfing, photography and yoga and while my schedule for the week was a bit packed, it was so worth it. All the instructors were great - I learned SO MUCH in a short amount of time. Carlos is a fantastic photography teacher. I arrived not knowing anything about my DSLR and left shooting fully in manual, and with some stunning shots as my first photos! Surf instruction was top notch too - had Chris for most of the week and Carlos on the last day. They know their stuff and will teach you to be safe. You get video coaching in surfing once a week, field trips to great spots in photography, and the yoga was fantastic. The coordinators rock too - Tanner helped set up a zipline tour for me on my last morning and was always willing to help out with my random questions about Jaco! The kitchen is complete with pretty much everything you need, there are tons of restaurants nearby, and the school is walking distance to the beach (though I would recommend renting a bike just up the road from the school if you want to trip around a bit). My only regret is only staying 5 days. I will definitely be back!

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