Exploring Costa Rica with Diversity School
After countless hours of scanning through Spanish schools in Costa Rica, we finally found our ideal program.
The Traveling Spanish Classroom with Diversity School includes everything we wanted from adventures around the country to homestays with local families to all the attention we needed to comprehend tons of Spanish in such a short amount of time.
Our first host family met us in San Jose then escorted us to their home in Alajuela and onwards to our next stop. The couple showered us in food and fun facts about the Country, ensuring that our first night in the program was as comfortable as possible. The next morning, we left their home with full stomachs to catch the bus to San Isidro de General and meet our family for the week. We spent the following few hours winding through mountain roads that lead to stunning views of the valleys below. Our host-family met us at the bus stop, beginning one of our favorite weeks of our trip. We experienced seven days filled with Costa Rican food, culture and Spanish language with our teacher, Ana. We met incredible friends, practiced Zumba with the locals and enjoyed adventure after adventure. After putting in 20 hours of Spanish lessons with Ana, learning to Salsa and riding horses to Nauyaca Waterfalls, we were off to Uvita for the next week.
Another bus trip brought us to the Pacific Coast, where we began our week in the most peaceful Yoga Retreat with a local family. In Uvita, we met Ana´s niece and our new Spanish teacher, Adry. We spent our second week advancing in our Spanish and biking to the beach every day after classes. During class, we learned nature vocabulary while covered in a natural clay mask and while jumping from nearby waterfalls. After class, we spent hours exploring the beaches and searching for sand dollars. Uvita is home to El Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, which includes the famous Whale Tale of rock formations that jut into the sea. The Whale Tail is surreal, like a scene borrowed from Heaven. Once our time in Uvita was up, we were ready for adventure activities and Spanish lessons from our knowledgeable guides.
The next five days were pure bliss. In Drake Bay, we snorkeled and hiked multiple national parks. At Caño Island, we identified fish and sea life in Spanish with our guides. We were lucky enough to swim with the most brilliant and awe-inspiring creatures: Humpback whales. During our snorkel trip, a mother and baby whale swam by us and offered us a close-up view of their giant, stunning figures. The moment will be forever etched in our memories, and there are no words (in Spanish or English) to describe what it feels like to be close to such a magical creature. At Corcovado National Park, we spent the day hiking and identifying animals in one of the most biodiverse areas of the World. After Drake Bay, we headed to Monteverde and La Fortuna. In Monteverde, we went ziplining through the cloud forest and experienced humbling views from the mountains to the Pacific Coast. In La Fortuna, we were mesmerized by the sight of Arenal Volcano and relaxed in the surrounding hot springs.
We ended our program in Puerto Viejo with the Diversity School family. Our spanish teacher from the first week, Ana, greeted us upon arrival. After weeks of travel, her familiar face and the friends at Diversity School felt like home. We filled our final week of the program with Spanish lessons and exploration of Puerto Viejo. In class, we had cooking lessons with the other students and practiced our conversation skills over coconut water straight for the coconut. After class, we took dance lessons and enjoyed movie nights. From vegan restaurants to fire shows to yoga lessons at Casa Caribe (our home for the week), our experience in Puerto Viejo was so memorable and our Spanish skills were advancing so much that we asked to stay another week. There was room for us in the classroom and at Casa Caribe, so our journey continued seven days longer than we expected. With the beaches, mountains, rainforests, thrilling activities, positive people and hours upon hours of Spanish, we confidently claim that the Travelling Spanish Classroom is one of the best experiences of our lives.
Jimmy & Savannah