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Tamarindo and its Beaches

Posted: 23rd October 2015 08:54

Once a quiet fishing hamlet, Tamarindo, on Costa Rica’s west coast is today one of the country’s prime destinations.  Frequented by surfers, partiers and nature lovers alike, Tamarindo is one of the most developed and accessible locations in the country.  This small multicultural town is home to only one thousand inhabitants and the all-round yearly temperature never drops below 22°C.  The town’s bohemian streets are lined with chic eateries, surf shops, tour operators, art galleries, ethnic clothing stores, music bars and homemade crafts enveloped by the encroaching rainforest and palm trees.

The province which Tamarindo lies in, Guanacaste, brought the country its national costume, music and food; it is also renowned for its spirited fiestas.  Guanacaste has a strong cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty but, luckily, it is still one of the least touristy destinations in Costa Rica.  Yet, the region is highly developed and also includes its own airstrip.  The breathtaking Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge, with its 1,000 acres of dazzling protected forest and astonishing biodiversity, is also located within the province. 

But, what Tamarindo and the west coast are most celebrated for is their unspoilt beaches.  Right in front of the town centre is one of the region’s top beaches which boasts an irresistibly laidback vibe, golden sands, clear blue waters and some of the best surf camps in the Americas.  Beach loungers can relax at fantastic waterside restaurants and lounge bars, as well as enjoy the spectacle of blue dolphins and leatherback turtles.  Adrenaline seekers can relish kayaking, surfing, snorkelling, diving, horseback riding, mountain biking and much more. 

WAYRA Instituto de Español

Learn Spanish at the Beautiful Tamarindo Beach

Since 1996, WAYRA Instituto de Español has been teaching Spanish as a second language through its full immersion programmes.  This Swiss and Latin American managed institution is also approved by the Instituto de Cervantes as an official DELE examination centre.  WAYRA has welcomed students from nation’s including Canada, Switzerland, the US, Germany, The Netherlands, England, Brazil and many more.  The school’s small dedicated team of six to eight teachers boast years of experience teaching all levels and university degrees, as well as some holding DELE teaching certificates.  Just a stone’s throw from Tamarindo’s main beach, WAYRA’s campus lies in a tranquil and beautiful tropical garden teeming with spectacular wildlife.  The campus has 12 comfortable and spacious classrooms, as well as a cafeteria, snack bar, outdoor social spaces and Wi-Fi.

Students can join a range of standard programmes, including specialised courses, which offer a full immersive experience at no extra cost!  WAYRA’s classes are structured around a carefully balanced curriculum that incorporates personal, cultural and academic challenges in a secure and encouraging environment.  Teachers effectively blend conversation and grammar study to suit individual needs and encourage debate, conversation and critical thinking.  This classroom based work is complimented by daily activities which not only keep your day varied, but immerse students in everyday Costa Rican life.  Students can get out into the town to converse with local business owners, visit neighbouring towns and partake in the day-to-day activities of Tamarindo life such as beach BBQs, volleyball, dance lessons and pool parties.  WAYRA also organises fantastic weekend trips to locations like Santa Rosa National Park, Montezuma and Volcán Arenal. 

The Language Programme

Whether you are an absolute beginner or an advanced Spanish speaker, WAYRA’s Language Programme can be effectively tailored to suit your learning objectives.  For a minimum of one week, beginning every Monday, students work in small groups of three to four learners to guarantee optimal student, teacher interaction.  Upon commencement of the course, students are assessed to determine their appropriate level and are allocated accordingly; throughout the programme, students can move classes depending upon their progression.  Students are either assigned to morning sessions (08:00 to 12:00am) or afternoon sessions (13:00 to 17:00pm) and can select one of three intensity levels: Standard (20 hours per week), Intensive (30 hours per week) or Private Lessons. 

Specialised Programmes

DELE Examination Preparation – WAYRA is the only school in the Guanacaste province to prepare students for DELE examinations and allow them to sit those tests on-campus.  This intensive preparation programme equips students with the knowledge, confidence and exam technique to pass expertly.  Levels of certification include A1, A2, B1 and B2. 

Spanish for Professionals – Whether you are an established professional or an aspiring student, this course is designed to introduce you to Spanish vocabulary appropriate for fields including medicine, business, real estate and many more. 

Spanish and Surf Programme – From Monday to Friday, students participate in WAYRA’s Language Programme and during their free time, including weekends, take surfing lessons.  The programme runs for two weeks, but can be extended to three or four weeks, with six hours of surf instruction per two weeks. 

Voluntary Work

Make a Difference, Learn New Skills

WAYRA offers students numerous opportunities to volunteer in Costa Rica from teaching English to human rights, from environmental conservation to animal rescue or health work.  You do not need a strong level of Spanish comprehension but, to develop a basic grasp, it is advised to join WAYRA’s Language Programme for a minimum of two weeks. 

Turtle Rescuing

Work with a dedicated team to rescue and conserve Tamarindo’s stunning leatherback turtles.  At night, volunteers comb the beaches to find spawning turtles and bring their eggs to a safe place to be examined and counted.  For a minimum of two weeks, budding biologists and conservationists have the opportunity to gain experience in survey and record work, whilst helping to maintain one of the country’s most threatened creatures.  Volunteers share accommodation with fellow participants among the breathtaking national park right next to the beach.  The programme also includes daily breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks in the afternoon. 

Sarapiquí Project

San Miguel de Sarapiquí is a small town located in the Alajuela province.  Since the 2009 earthquake, WAYRA volunteers have been working with the local community to develop creative solutions to revitalise the local economy.  The region is renowned for its rural charm and huge biodiversity with over 500 species of bird and over 100 species of mammal alone.  Volunteers are quickly immersed in the Costa Rican way of life and rapidly improve their Spanish language skills.  There are many project opportunities to choose between including communications & technology to aid local business, community & recycling to empower local people, health work with the San Miguel Red Cross and education assistance in an elementary school.  Throughout the programme volunteers live with a host family and are provided with three meals per day.

 (++506) 2653 0359

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