Your time will be split between our ‘beach side jungle surf camp’ on the Nicoya Peninsula on Costa Rica’s north west Pacific coast where you will learn Spanish, surf one of the top 10 surf destinations in the world and contribute to various environmental projects before heading further north to protect the turtles.
We have four departures throughout the year: Jan, April, July and September for either 6 or 10 weeks. The most popular is the all singing and dancing 10-week option where you can “do it all” but of course you can go for less time to accommodate restraints on time, budget or both. Just get in touch.
Week 1: Santa Teresa, Spanish and Surfing
Your main base will be at the beach side jungle Surf Camp, based in the lively beach town of Santa Teresa, world famous for surf breaks across beaches so pristine, uncrowded and seemingly endless that they are regularly listed in the World’s 10 Best Beaches.
They have created a jungle paradise, (which includes a swimming pool BTW…), overlooked by a rich tropical forest bursting with wildlife including capuchin and howler monkeys.
After a day of surfing, sunbathing, Spanish lessons and volunteering, you’ll have time to explore the town which comes alive with funky surf shops, cafes, restaurants and nightspots for every taste and budget.
Every day at Santa Teresa, Monday to Friday, there will be 2 x 45 minute Spanish lessons (either in the morning or afternoon depending on the surf conditions and/or volunteering schedule).
These lessons will be tailored to suit all levels, from beginner to intermediate, and are designed to help you interact with the local community.
However, these lessons are optional and if you prefer you can chose to do more project work.
During week 1 we have organized a surfing course so you can safely take advantage of the surf whilst living here.
Week 2 – 7: Santa Teresa, Spanish + Volunteering
Spanish lessons in the morning and volunteering projects in the afternoon.
Beach Conservation – Santa Teresa
Having been introduced to the amazing beaches of Santa Teresa, and adjoining Playa Hermosa and Playa Carmen, the recreational opportunities are clear. However, beaches need to be maintained to keep them clear of debris that not only looks unsightly but can cause harm to people and wildlife.
Formed in response to water and beach pollution, this government-backed initiative aims to reward communities that adhere to their guidelines on conservation practice. By awarding the Blue Flag, the communities gain international recognition for their beach and can attract more tourists and investment. Rubbish is recycled at a local plant.
But, like all good things, it’s an on-going battle and Leap volunteers are needed to keep up the good work with weekly beach clean-ups.
Tropical Forest – Santa Teresa
You will help with the upkeep of Santa Teresa’s neighbouring tropical forest whilst learning about the biodiversity of flora and fauna in this special part of the world.
Jobs here will include:
• Cleaning debris from streams.
• Maintaining the trails and keeping the signage clear,
• Forest nursery maintenance – planting trees, collecting saplings, helping to dispose of rubbish.
These will take place during the day and at night, when you’ll go in search of daytime and nocturnal wildlife in the the tropical forest.
You will be involved with various community projects which focus on helping local children with extracurricular activities and sports clubs, like the swimming classes, football and English classes at the school, painting murals, art (possibly dance) etc.
Jakera Jungle Surf Camp is a great bungalow home just 800m from the beach. Dorm style rooms, swimming pool and hammocks in the tropical gardens.
Weeks 8- 10: ASVO,Turtle Conservation
The Association for Volunteers for Service in Protected Areas (‘ASVO’) works in a number of special areas in Costa Rica to protect beaches, forests and rural communities. The Montezuma Sea Turtle Conservation Project is one of their projects located 17 kms/45 mins up the coast from Santa Teresa.
You’ll be protecting the eggs and hatchlings of Olive Ridley, Black Turtle, Hawksbill and Leatherback species, who visit this ‘semi intensive’ nesting beach at night to nest. The main objective of the project is to protect adult female turtles and their nests, from human predators, wildlife and flooding.
You will work between 6-10 hours per day and your jobs will include; hatchery maintenance, beach cleaning, night patrols to look for nesting female turtles (in season), transport of food and water, collection of data and releasing baby turtles in to the ocean (in season).
Weekends will generally be free time. There are many amazing activities to be enjoyed in and around Santa Teresa and the Nicoya Peninsula, some highlights are listed below. Generally, a consensus will naturally develop between fellow Leapers as to what they would like to do. There are many local bars, live music, DJ’s and restaurants, banks/ATM’s accessible on foot. The nearest small town is Cobano (11 kms).
Top Trips Include:
White Water Rafting
Kayaking & Snorkeling
Jungle Canopy Tour
Whale and dolphin watching
We have limited spaces, per departure, so book online to reserve your place and the Leap will get back to you to confirm the details.