“I arrived at School of the World last August with excitement and anticipation. I couldn’t wait to meet other people and get to surf in a new country. I’m an avid surfer at home in California and looked forward to catching waves in Jacó. .
August is known as the green season in Costa Rica. This time of year, it rains almost every day in the late afternoon and evenings, some days for a few minutes and some for a few hours. While I was initially a bit concerned about the possibility of rain, because who wants to go on a rainy vacation, I was pleasantly surprised by the intimacy that the green season brought out in the little city of Jacó.
It’s no secret that rain keeps people inside. For whatever reason, we don’t like getting wet. A natural effect of this is that less people visit Jacó during the green season. On the plus side, the streets are less crowded, you don’t have to wait in line at restaurants and bars and most importantly, you have more open space to catch the perfect waves.
When I arrived, I learned that there were only a handful of other students at the school. At first, I was a bit disappointed because I was concerned that I was going to miss out on a lively experience of meeting tons of new people from different places and backgrounds. However, after my first couple of days, I found that fewer people just meant that I was going to get more personalized instruction.
My first surf lesson was private (arranged by the school), and the minute I stepped into the salty Costa Rican waters the excitement and reminder of why I came to the school rushed right back to me. Since there were only a few of us in the class, we quickly became friends, and it was nice that all of us had one-on-one attention in the surf lessons. I felt like we were there to cheer each other on while also focusing on our own progress.”
“I had not originally planned to stay as long as I did, but I really enjoyed the surfing and the atmosphere of the school. I loved it so much I stayed another two weeks!”
I quickly embraced the daily showers and they definitely didn’t slow me down. One day, I took a trip to Manuel Antonio National Park since it’s a short distance from School of the World. It was a wonderful place to visit and the views were incredible.
“During my visit at School of the World, I really enjoyed having my own room and private (or small) classes. I could really focus my time on leveling up my surf skills. I made deep connections and friendships with the other students, and really connected with my teachers and instructors. I enjoyed my time so much that I booked another trip a few months later!”
“5 months later I came back, this time during the dry season. I stayed for four weeks, and every day the sun shone hot and bright. Pro tip: If you go to School of the World during the dry season, pack a lot of sunscreen! There was definitely a different air to Jacó during this trip. The school was completely full during this time, and instead of having a room to myself, I had three different roommates my last three weeks.”
“Because it was also the high season for locals, the ocean was a lot more crowded. Lessons at the school were not the one-on-one sessions that I had experienced in August, and rightfully so, since there were a lot of new people that needed instruction. The waves were much smaller than they were in August, so some days I couldn’t catch much at Playa Jacó. I ended up adding on the intensive surf class for more direct instruction and the opportunity to surf at more advanced beaches. I highly recommend it if you are already a confident surfer.
Every day I got to surf at Playa Hermosa and my surfing improved exponentially. The video analysis helped as well, as I was able to see things I do wrong as well as areas I excel in. This showed me exactly what I needed to work on next time I was in the water and gave me the confidence that I needed to become a better surfer.”
“Similar to my trip during the green season, I only signed up for surfing lessons. I was also working full time so most of my days were spent in the ocean or at the school. On weekends, I took trips with other guests to nearby waterfalls or even farther destinations such as Monteverde. There are a multitude of tour companies around who are more than happy to provide good deals so renting a car was not needed. We also had nightly movie nights, sunset swims, and card games. We even watched the Super Bowl!”
“The nightlife in Jaco is always great and I enjoyed it both during the green season and the dry season. All the bars on the main road (which is walking distance from the school) are fun to hang out at and have a drink in. There’s always a crazy party going on somewhere!”
“I loved my time at School of the World so much that I’m already planning my third trip back! Each time I’ve made so many good friends whom I’m in the midst of planning future trips with. I travel solo a lot, but School of the World is the one place I’ve truly liked every single person I’ve met.
“Everybody in all my total 6.5 weeks was easy to talk to, fun to hang out with, and just all around good people. The staff are all great as well. Everyone is friendly and happy to be there and will do everything they can to accommodate your needs and make you feel comfortable. I can’t recommend School of the World enough!”
School of the World offers various program and stay choices so that you can create a customized experience based on your travel desires. Stay for just a week vacation or work remote and stay awhile like Cate did. You can choose to only surf or add on any of our other program options like Spanish immersion, yoga, and photography.
The great thing about Costa Rica is that every season offers unique experiences and opportunities, and the surf is great year-round! Start planning your trip with us and get ready for an incredible experience.