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Study Spanish at the beach
Learn Spanish at the beach in Costa Rica! In addition to the Heredia campus, Intercultura offers classes year-round at our custom-designed, beachfront campus in Sámara, Guanacaste. Take a video tour here! All students have the option to study at the beach: when you register, simply tell us when you will be in Heredia and when you will be in Sámara.
If you would like to visit the complete site for our BEACH CAMPUS, please click here:
We highly recommend the beach campus, as it offers a glimpse of rural life in Costa Rica very different from that in the cities. Due to the town's small size, students quickly come to know the local population and to feel at home in this warm and welcoming 'pueblo'. The school itself is the only accredited Spanish immersion school in Costa Rica that is right on the beach...there is no road between us and the ocean! Apart from the beautiful beach itself, students may visit nearby Nicoya, the colonial capital of the region, or the indigenous areas where traditional ceramics and art still flourish. For those students who wish to stay longer, volunteer opportunities are available.
Samara is located on the northern Pacific coast in the Guanacaste region. It is 5km long, lined with palm trees, and enjoys a calm, clear-water ocean in a protected coral reef bay. You can swim, surf, dive, snorkel, kayak or boogie board. The island, "Isla Chora" has deserted beach is accessible by kayak or boat.
Samara has also won Costa Rica's prestigious 'Blue Flag' award, given only to the beaches and communities with the cleanest waters and proven environmentally-sound practices
Our beach campus
Classes are held in our custom-built campus right on the beach, close to the town center and services. It has tropical gardens leading straight onto the sand (students have time for a quick dip in the ocean during their break!), as well as student social areas, rancho, kitchen, hammocks, TV lounge, showers and study rooms. We also offer tour planning services (domestic flights, horse-riding, bike or car rental, ultralight gliding, deep-sea fishing, dolphin tours, waterfall visits, etc) *these involve an additional cost*
Classes are given in fully equipped classrooms with AC, or in the open air classrooms next to the ocean. Courses follow the Heredia program with emphasis on conversational skills and didactic activities. Every Friday, in addition to regular class and a short weekly quiz, workshops are offered on political, social and cultural themes; students attend according to preference and Spanish level.
Extra-curricular activities offered include Latin dance, yoga and cooking classes, conversational interchanges with Tico students, optional tours, and a graduation activity at the beachside rancho. In their free time students enjoy mountain-biking to nearby beaches or forests, doing yoga, kayaking to the island, playing pool and darts, trying out the local "bocas" (typical dishes), spending time with friends at a beachside bar or restaurant, surfing one of the area's many beaches, or enjoying the sunset while riding horses down the beach.
Homestays with local families include breakfast, dinner and laundry, for 7 nights per week, and are a wonderful introduction to rural Costa Rican customs and lifestyles. Families live within walking distance of the school and beach (bikes may also be rented for easy coming and going).
We offer several hotel options for those interested. Hotels include different amenities, based on rates and availability. Most have AC and/or swimming pool, and all have private bathrooms with hot water. Prices are per person.
Note: The hotel option is based on a 5-night occupancy: Sunday through Thursday nights, leaving Friday. We also offer a 7-night option for a higher price, which includes weekend nights. Please see our price list for more details www.samaralanguageschool.com/prices.html
In the hotel, only registered guests are allowed beyond the hotel lobby; no visitors are allowed, particularly overnight! Hotels may apply steep surcharges to clients who allow unauthorized visitors to stay in the rooms.
For more details on beach accommodations, please see : http://www.samaralanguageschool.com/accomodations.html .
The town of Sámara
Sámara is a hidden tropical paradise on Guanacaste's Pacific coast, boasting a superb coral reef and kilometers of unspoiled sandy beaches. Sámara provides an ideal location for surfing, kayaking and safe swimming. Though small, this typical "Tico" town has everything you need -- supermarkets, pharmacies, many restaurants, stores, hotels, nightlife, bank, post office, medical clinic, gym, internet, local art gallery etc. For more information on the town and beach, go to Revista Del Sol Travel Guide at www.revistadelsol.com or www.samarabeach.com .
You have several options for your transportation to Playa Sámara, which we can help you arrange.
- Liberia International Airport arrivals:
- Standard taxi option will take you directly to your homestay in Sámara (1.5 hour drive).
- Car rentals are available at the airport, and are available for approx. $50-$100 for a one-day rental with drop off in Sámara. NOTE: Reserve in advance on the Internet for best rates and make sure you print out the rate given with your reservation confirmation number.
- Juan Santamaría International Airport arrivals (San José):
- Standard taxi option (please enquire for current prices) will take you directly to your homestay in Sámara (4+ hour drive).
- Car rentals are available at the airport, and are available for $50-$100 for a one day rental with drop off in Sámara.
- Stopover in Heredia/ San José:
- If you prefer to stay overnight in the Central Valley, you can do one night of homestay with airport pick-up for an additional fee. The family will call you a taxi the next day to catch the local bus to Sámara from San José, or the private bus service Interbus, or if there is a shuttle leaving the school, you may catch that (inquire for different prices).
- Alternately, we can provide a pre-arranged one night homestay including airport pickup, pre-paid public bus ticket, and taxi to the bus station the next day.
- You may stay overnight at a local hotel in Heredia or near the airport and catch a bus the next day (see above for bus options).
- If you prefer not to take the bus, you may fly from San José to Sámara-Carrillo local airport, 7 kms from Sámara Centro--flights only run during the dry season.
Beach week start dates
The Beach campus is open year-round, except for Christmas (closed for two weeks) and Easter (closed for one week). See price list for closed and national holiday dates.
AIRPORT PICK UP INFORMATION (Liberia Int'l Airport):
If you chose to have the school pre-arrange transportation with a provider from Sámara, they will be at the airport at the time and day you indicate. If you do not arrive on this time/day, for whatever reason, you will be charged the full amount of the pickup, to be paid directly to the taxi, as he will have already made the journey to the airport. NOTE: If you prefer not to be potentially responsible for this charge, you should NOT choose to have airport pickup, but rather take an airport taxi directly, which will cost approximately $15-20 more, but has no cancellation penalty.
HOTEL INFORMATION (Playa Sámara):
If you have chosen hotel accommodations, to guarantee your reservation you will need to send us your credit card number and expiration date. If you do not cancel at least 3 days before arrival, you will be charged a penalty fee of $45.
If you do not register for your beach program dates ahead of time, you may not be able to attend the beach campus, depending on availability. During high seasons the Samara campus does reach capacity, both for classes and homestays/hotel.
For more information on our beach campus, see the page www.samaralanguageschool.com