Coastal Spanish Institute (CSI) is a family owned Spanish language school located in the heart of Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica, overlooking the beach. The school is housed in a charming three-story, thatched-roof building and is outfitted with modern amenities throughout. All classrooms and common areas are equipped with air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. Tamarindo is consistently ranked as a top destination for surfers of all levels, and students will have the opportunity take advantage of this through surf lessons with CSI's sister school, Costa Rica Surf Institute, located in the same building.
This program consists of 20 lessons of group Spanish courses per week, totaling 18 hours and 20 minutes. Small group courses are limited to a maximum of six students per class, and are broken into four, 55 minute lessons each morning.
Starts at $360 for one week
20 lessons of group Spanish courses and 10 private lessons per week totaling 27 hours and 30 minutes. Group courses are taught each morning and private courses each afternoon. Students may choose to focus on any topic they wish during one-on-one classes including career specific themes such as business or medicine.
Starts at $490 for one week
Starts at $310 for one week
Starts at $600 for one week
Starts at $850 for one week
Starts at $1,295 for one week
Starts at $1,695 for one week
(Half Board) Staying with a local family is the best way to learn a lot of Spanish in a short amount of time. Host families are located between 2-3km from the school, and a free shuttle is available each morning and afternoon to and from school. Host family students are given a private room and their own key so they can come and go as they please. Taxis to town cost between 3-5 USD. Half-board (daily breakfast and dinner) is included in the price of host family accommodations. Families are hand selected by the accommodation staff and are very experienced hosting students. They can accommodate virtually any diet, allergy or preference. If you have any special needs, please indicate them on your registration form.
Starts at $175 / week
(No meals included) Shared residence apartments are also available on the third floor of the Spanish school building. The residences are basic, but affordable, and offer an ideal location for students who want to be in the center of town and on the beach. The residence is divided into a female apartment and a male apartment with a shared kitchen and living area. Each apartment has a private bathroom and a single bedroom with four bunks, arranged much like a standard university residence. The apartments also have balconies overlooking the beach. Air conditioning and free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the residences and students also have access to lockers. The kitchen is fully equipped for cooking and maid service is provided once per week. No meals are included in the price. Please note: The shared living area doubles as a yoga studio three nights per week for 1.5 hours.
Starts at $195 / week
(Private room, breakfast) The Luna Bungalows are just a short 5 minute walk from the school, and two blocks from the beach. Guests will have access to a pool and free daily breakfast. All bungalows include A/C, a safe and WiFi. Prices are based on mid-season rates and include tax. High season and holiday rates will be higher. During Teen Camp weeks, the Luna Bungalows are chaperoned and recommended for families and unaccompanied campers.
Starts at $678 / week
The school will be closed on the following national holidays. The school does not make up for missed class days, and no refunds or discounts will be given, so please keep this in mind when choosing your dates.
Students enrolling in the Teen Immersion and Volunteer Camp in Turrialba should fly into and out of San Jose (SJO) International Airport. Students in all other programs should try to book flights into and out of Liberia International Airport (LIR)
Students taking classes in Tamarindo are encouraged to fly into Liberia International Airport, which is a short 50 minute drive from the language school in Tamarindo. CSI can arrange student pickup from LIR for $85 USD.
San Jose International (SJO) is another option, but it is 4-6 hours away depending on weather. CSI does not offer pickup from SJO and students will be responsible for arranging their own transportation to Tamarindo from San Jose.
Student accommodation begins each Sunday before the Monday course start date, so if a student arrives any day prior, they will be responsible for finding their own lodging prior to arriving at CSI.
|Max Group Class Size:||6.0 students per class|
|Max Capacity:||75 students|
|Adjusted Price of INT 20:||$19.64 per class hour|
The school organizes a variety of activities that are open to participation from all students. Students will be presented with a list of available activities each Monday, and there is no need to reserve in advance. Weekday activities are organized a few evenings per week and are usually free or cost between $5-10 USD. A sampling of these activities includes:
The school also organizes weekend excursions to places of interest in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. These excursions range from $50-$200 USD per student, and normally include round-trip transportation, lodging and food. Some of the most popular excursions include:
CSI uses a communicative approach to teaching Spanish which encourages maximum conversation and student interaction. Each student will take a placement test upon arrival and be placed in one of 9 core levels. Classes consist of a combination of language exercises, role playing, reading, conversation, and grammar. Each Spanish teacher will then customize a program based upon the level of the participants in the class. Programs are offered starting each Monday throughout the year.
The rainy (green) season in Guanacaste, Costa Rica (the region where Tamarindo is located) is technically late May through early November, while the sunny (dry) season is mid November through late April. It's a bit more complicated than that though. Most years, with the exception of September and October, the rainy season months are actually quite pleasant, with sun all day until late afternoon, when rainstorms move in. It gets dark between 5-6pm every day anyway, so you actually enjoy sun most of the day. September and October are the rainiest months when you're most likely to see rain all day. The flora is beautiful during the rainy season, with all the jungle plants fully bloomed and green. It can be very dry and hot toward the end of the dry season and dust and drought can become a problem. November is a great month because the weather begins to turn sunny, but everything is still very green and the holiday crowds have not arrived. So to summarize:
Mixed weather (green) - May-August Rainy (green) - September - October Sunny (green) - November - December Sunny (dry) - January - April
Homestays are located in the neighboring towns of Villa Real and Santa Rosa. The school provides a free shuttle each morning and afternoon (about a 5-10 min ride) and taxis can be taken after hours to the town center of Playa Tamarindo for $3-5 USD.
There are dozens of restaurants at all price points in town and two small grocery stores within walking distance of the school. There is also a large super market that is a short, free shuttle ride from the town center. The shuttle leaves each hour.
Two meals per day, breakfast and dinner, are included with host family accommodation. Meals are not included with hotel accommodation unless stated otherwise. Some hotel options offer use of a shared kitchen for cooking meals.
If you are intent on learning as much Spanish as possible, and participating in a full Costa Rican immersion experience, we highly recommend living with a host family. Alternatively, we can arrange long term private accommodation in an inexpensive hotel, or you are welcome to arrange your own lodging.
Yes, students aged 16 and older can enroll in group classes year round. The school also offers private family lessons year round. In June and July, the school offers special Spanish immersion camps for children and teens. More information can be found on these camps in the "specialty programs language courses" section of the Coastal Spanish Institute school page.
We enroll Spanish students of all ages each month, from 18 all the way up to 99 years old. In May and June, we tend to get a higher percentage of college/university age students and families, because public schools are on summer break, while the late summer, fall, winter and spring bring students in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.
Schedules are subject to change on a week to week basis, but a typical week looks something like this:
Sun- Placement test and school intro (1st week only) Mon- 8am-10am grammar, writing, 10am-12pm conversation, speaking Tue- 8am-10am grammar, writing, 10am-12pm conversation, speaking Wed- 8am-10am grammar, writing, 10am-12pm conversation, speaking Thu- 8am-10am grammar, writing, 10am-12pm conversation, speaking Fri- 8am-10am grammar, writing, 10am-12pm conversation, speaking
Yes, the school organizes activities during weekday afternoons such as cooking classes, salsa dancing, movie nights and yoga. Most of these are free or require only a small materials fee. In addition, weekend excursions may be organized based on student interest (as measured by sign-ups at the beginning of each week). Weekend excursions cost between $50-150 dollars per person based on provider prices and group size. Examples include:
-Manuel Antonio -Monteverde Cloud Forest -Arenal Volcano and surrounding attractions -Playa Conchal -Fishing -Sunset sail and snorkel -Granada Nicaragua -Whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River -Rincon de la vieja ranch
Classes are 50 minutes each with a 10 minute break in between.