Frommer's Fodor's and Lonely Planet

School of the World - Playa Jaco, Costa Rica

The School of the World is a special place for travelers that want to pursue a passion or learn a new skill while on vacation. It is located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, in the town of Playa Jaco. By combining elements of a boutique hotel, surf camp, language school, yoga retreat, and photography workshop under one roof, we have built our reputation as one of the most original and innovative options available for travelers today. Check out our intro video:

This is School of the World Costa Rica from ZplusN on Vimeo.

Learning Vacations in Costa Rica

learn to surf in Costa RicaSince 1997 the School of the World has been setting new standards for creative study abroad for people of all ages. The school's founder Zach McDuffie is a leading expert on this popular genre of travel, and everything he learns on the road researching and reporting goes into making this school even better when he comes home.

In addition to our four programs that run all year round (Surfing, Spanish, Yoga, and Digital Photography) we also offer specialty workshops throughout the year. These include surf training, yoga and wellness workshops, digital darkroom photo editing, fashion and beauty photography, travel portrait photography, salsa dancing, cooking classes, videography, music, art, volunteer programs, and more. We are constantly adding new workshops, so join our mailing list or follow us on facebook and twitter for the latest news.


Spanish immersion program in Costa Rica


Study Spanish in Costa Rica

School of the World began as one of the first options for studying Spanish near the beach in Costa Rica (most of the language schools are located in or around the capital city which is in the central valley). The school's Spanish courses incorporate international Spanish teaching guidelines with Costa Rica's local variations of the language. While the program covers all aspects of Spanish, teachers place a heavy influence on developing verbal skills. Studying in a Spanish speaking country allows students to immediately practice what they have learned with native Spanish-speakers.




surf camp in Costa RicaSurfing in Costa Rica

Surfing is a way of life here! With year-round warm water and some of the most consistent surf conditions in the world, Costa Rica is the perfect place to plan a surf vacation. At the School of the World the entire schedule revolves around the tides to make sure that guests (and staff!) get to surf at the best time of the day. Our instructors have all completed international surf instruction and life saving certification courses and are some of the most experienced instructors/guides in the country. We are one of the most respected surf schools in Costa Rica, with over 13 years of experience. New surf programs start every week of the year for all skill levels from beginner to advanced. The coastline in our area offers a variety of breaks, ranging from the friendly smaller waves of south Jaco beach for beginners to the world class Playa Hermosa popular with advanced surfers from around the world. Beginning surfers can feel safe with our experienced instructors and advanced surfers can feel confident that our guides will show you the best surf around. We even offer advanced balance training workshops which benefit surfers of all levels.



Digital Photography in Costa Ricalearn digital photogrpahy in Costa Rica

Founder Zach McDuffie is also an award winning photographer whose travel and beauty photography appears in publications worldwide. He developed a photography department at School of the World that satisfies everyone from first time photographers to working professionals looking to learn new techniques. Beginners become acquainted with the fundamentals of photography, digital workflow, and basic digital editing. Advanced photographers learn new techniques, and students of all skill levels benefit from having a local guide take them to amazing locales to shoot that they otherwise would never see.




Yoga in Costa Rica

yoga in 
Costa RicaSurrounded by natural beauty and tranquility, this is the perfect place to practice yoga. Yoga is a great way to improve your health and well being, and the School of the World offers one of the most affordable options to take a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. Our experienced instructors are trained in multiple disciplines of yoga, including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Anusara, and Bikram. The yoga classes can be combined with any of our other offerings. In addition to our daily classes we also have specialty yoga workshops available throughout the year.