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Learn Spanish, Surf or Yoga, Environmental Conservation, Turtles & Adventure


Learn Spanish, Surf or Yoga, Environmental Conservation, Turtles & Adventure

Weeks 1 and 2

Monday - Friday
07:00-08:30 - Breakfast
09:00-11:00 - Spanish Lesson
12:00-13:00 - Lunch
14:00-16:00 - Surf or Yoga (Week 1 - Mon and Thurs, Week 2 Tues and Fri) and Volunteering (Week 1 -Tues and Fri, Week 2 Mon and Thurs)
Wednesday from 14:00-16:00 you will join a hike exploring the local area.

Saturdays and Sundays
Brunch. The weekends are always free for you to spend as you like!

Week 3

Departure to CIRENAS. Turtle conservation volunteer placement at CIRENAS Playa Ario (about an hour drive from Santa Teresa) 4 to 7 days dependuing upon season.

Week 4

Four day road trip to Monte Verde National Park - including hiking trips to explore Cloud and Tropical Forests

07:00-08:30 - Breakfast
09:00-11:00 - Free
12:00-13:00 - Lunch
14:00-16:00 - Free

Week 1 and 2: Surf or Yoga Lessons

4 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. Boards are provided for surf lessons. Additional lessons are available on request as well as board rental.

Alternatively, 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. You will receive 8 vouchers for yoga lessons.

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 (max of 8 classes per week) - a combination of group and private classes depending 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.

Weeks 1 & 2: Spanish Lessons

Each day Monday to Friday there will be 2 x 45 minute Spanish lessons (usually between 09:00-11:00 with breaks but subject to change depending 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 will be 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.

Weeks 1 & 2: Hiking

We would like you to enjoy Nicoya Peninsula - an area of outstanding natural beauty - so each Wednesday in weeks 1 and 2 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 will 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 Pacific Ocean. 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.

Weeks 1 and 2: Volunteering

You will join volunteer projects designed to conserve and respect local natural resources (2-3 hours per day). Project work is varied and priorities are seasonal and weather dependent. However, most of our efforts are focused on the following areas:

Beach Conservation
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. Work includes promoting Lifeguard issues with regard to beach safety and etiquette (through signage, presentations and speaking to visitors) and organizing clean ups with focus on recycling.

We are leading the charge in our local community to create as many recycle stations and collection points for plastic waste in particular so that Bionics can easily collect it all once a week from main road. We have built two recycle stations on our street and this has reduced the normal garbage by 30 % or more. As a result, on our street alone we collect a huge amount of plastic for Bionics each month.

We clean the beaches of plastic once a week at least and participate in community clean ups on a monthly bases and this month collected close to a ton of recyclable rubbish in one day with the help of about 100 volunteers. We go once a week to the Bionics Depo 30 mins away in Cobano to help them clean, organise and package the plastic for shipment to the USA where they turn it into shoes, T-shirts, building blocks and a whole variety of consumer goods, hence giving real value to this recycled material. This is the future and this is what may just save the planet or make a difference at least. Once this "rubbish" has value people will start to take notice and collect it and turn it into something useful. This way we show our students the full cycle of events, how plastic gets into the eco system, how hard it is to take it out once it's in there, and finally the light at the end of the tunnel, what we can do with it once we collect it.

Tropical Forest
Our main focus is the forests' most important resource - water! You 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 neighboring 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.

Week 3: Turtle Conservation Volunteering

You will spend 4 to 7 days at a Turtle Sanctuary that we support, CIRENAS Playa Ario. 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.

Seasonal Support
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 the year for the construction and maintenance of the hatchery, critical for the upcoming season.

Besides the Turtle conservation you will do in Cirenas, there will be some other works you will do:

Caletas-Ario Mixed National Wildlife Refuge
- Maintenance and Hikes on the trails
- Bird watching
- Monitoring of Wild Fauna through camera traps
- Identification of native trees

Permaculture and Healthy Eating
- Sowing and planting
- Composting
- Biomass
- Irrigation installation for plants
- Prune fruit trees and harvesting
- Hen house

Forestry Reforestation
- Collection of seeds of native trees by dry season
- Sowing in seedbeds
- Reforestation of native tree species on and off campus

Turtle Conservation volunteering is always part of the 4 week program and is available for non 4 weeks students upon request and depending availability.

Week 4: Monte Verde National Park

In week 4 we go on a 4-day 4x4 overland adventure to explore Monte Verde National Park from Monday to Thursday. We will stay in the picturesque town of Santa Elena and enjoy hikes to explore two national parks - one in Cloud Forest and the other in Tropical Forest.

Day 1
After an early morning breakfast, we load up the jeep and drive east approximately one hour in time for the 09:00 Paquera ferry. Enjoy the 1-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 2 hours to Monteverde arriving in time for lunch.

We 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 we will get up early to enjoy a 2-3 hour hike exploring this unique biosphere including guided tours of two national parks, Cloud Forest and Tropical Forest. After we explore the village of Santa Elena and surrounding area to get our 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 ‘Stangler’ fig tree that we can climb inside. Back to hostel for chill time before dinner.

Day 2
After breakfast we enjoy a guided hike to the Monte Verde Reserve to explore 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. Back to the hostel for lunch and then your afternoon is free to chill or enjoy one of many activities including rope bridge, bungee jump and zip lining (from USD 50 per person), or visit to a coffee, cocoa and sugar cane plantation (from USD 30 per person), horse riding (from USD 50 per person), ATV tour (USD 60 per person) and canyoning (USD 70 per person).

Day 3
After breakfast we enjoy a guided hike to the Curicancha Reserve. This is primary rain forest hosting an array of animals plants and insects. Our guide will be able to identify and explain medicinal plants and wildlife, many unique to this environment. Back to the hostel for lunch - afternoon and evening free!

Day 4
Free morning to enjoy the activity of your choice before we head back to Puntarenas and the 14:00 ferry and return Santa Teresa early evening.

Free Time

During the weekends, there are a lot of opportunities to expore the area and try out different activities such as white water rafting, horse riding, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, whale watching, a jungle canopy tour etc. There is always something to do and if it all sounds too active, you can just enjoy the beach or pool.

Please note: Travel on the weekends, or any of the extra activities is at your own expense and risk. We cannot be responsible but, if anything happens, we will of course be there to assist. Please ensure that you have adequate medical insurance before you carry out any activity.

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Police Clearance Certificate

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

Vad ingår?

Extra utgifter på plats


We have created a jungle paradise complete with swimming pool overlooked by a rich tropical forest bursting with wildlife including capuchin and howler monkeys.

Accommodation is same-gender dorms with beds, and separate toilet and shower facilities (hot and cold water!). Breakfast and lunch are provided but the daily routine will be structured to accommodate quality of the surf (generally better in the mornings) as we try to create opportunities for the beach in between our priorities of Spanish lessons and volunteering.

There is a laundry service in the local town for getting your clothes washed at a very reasonable price. Wifi is available for free.

During week 3, you will be based at Cirenas. Accommodation is in a nice wooden house with 6 rooms, each with a couple of bunks up to 4 per room, a maximum of 16 guests. Open air showers and toilets, all rustic but clean and nice. Sheets, pillows, and mosquito nets are provided and all the rooms have fans. All 3 meals are served up at the main lodge and are good healthy Costa Rican dishes. There is not WiFi at Cirenas.

Please bring your own towel.

The arrival package includes airport transfer to the hostel in San Jose, one night in San Jose in dorm accommodation, transfer the following day from San Jose to Playa Santa Teresa.

Lokal transport

You can either get to the project on your own, or make your arrival smoother by booking an airport transfer or an arrival package.

Airport Transfer
You can book your project including an airport transfer. There is an airport transfer at 08:00 from San Jose..

Arrival Package
You can book an arrival package including pick-up from the airport, 1 night in San Jose and transfer to Santa Teresa on the following day. The next day the same transfer times to Santa Teresa apply:
There is an airport transfer at 08:00 from San Jose.

Other Transportation
Local transportation during the program is at your own cost.

Departure Transfer
Shuttle buses can be booked locally for a transfer back from Santa Teresa to San Jose airport. The journey takes approximately 5½-6 hours. Alternatively, a domestic flight can be booked from Cobano to San Jose, the domestic flight is a 10-minute walk from the international airport.


Breakfast, lunch, and brunch on weekends are included. Safe drinking water, tea, coffee, natural soft drinks will be provided. Beers and sodas are not included. All food in our camp is organic, sourced from local farmers and fishermen with garnishes and a few extras from our own garden. Our menu is predominantly vegetarian, though we do also serve locally sourced meat and fish. 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 of tubers (similar to potatoes) are also popular.

There is a kitchen at the camp where you can make your own food. You will need to help with cleaning dishes and keep your room and public areas tidy.

There are also social nights arranged at camp - pizza night, burger night, Mexican night etc where dinner costs between USD 10 (not included).

During the days at the turtle rescue centre all meals are included.

Mer information

Volunteers will need dark coloured clothing to work at night, preferably long sleeved, flashlight with a red LED if possible, mosquito net, closed toe shoes for turtle patrols that will be comfortable and a waterproof jacket. Please pack a red light/lamp, you will need this if you join a night time turtle patrol.
Light weight sleeping bag for night patrols and mosquito net are useful and should be in the packing list.

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