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ISLS Teen Spanish and Volunteer Camp Playa Dominical Costa Rica

Zip Line Tour
About 45 minutes south of Playa Dominical is the town of Cortez. Located in the mountains to the east of the town is one of the best zip line courses in all of Costa Rica. These mountains are very remote and undeveloped, with miles and miles of untouched, virgin tropical rainforest. One of the great things about zip lining is that it does not harm the trees or the forest. Instead their natural beauty becomes an integral part of the whole experience.

Students will be picked up after Spanish classes at the school and transported to Cortez by private shuttle. Box lunch will be served on the ride. Upon arrival, we will be met at the base of the mountain by our guides and we will transfer into a 4x4 tractor for the ride up the hill. As we leave the shuttle behind, we enter into a completely different world.

Once we reach the start of the tour, we will be given repelling gear, helmets and gloves. The guides will give us a safety talk that will instruct us on the best and safest way to complete the course. There are over 8 platforms suspended in the forest canopy. The zip lines connect these platforms, many of them over 300 feet in length. There is also a Tarzan Swing which catapults the students up and out of the canopy. With the dramatic views of the entire southern pacific coast of the country spread out below and untouched rainforest to either side, it is one of the highlights of the trip.

At the end of the tour, students will have a chance to use the restroom and change into clean clothes. We will then take the tractor back down the hill and the private shuttle will take us back to Dominical and our hotel.

Horseback tour to Nayaca Waterfall
In the Mountains east of Playa Dominical, near the town of Platanillo, is one of Costa Rica’s natural wonders, Nayaca Waterfall. This cascading, three tiered waterfall is over 300 ft tall and one of the largest in the Central America. At its base is a large swimming hole. Students will have the chance to climb up the face of the falls and jump into its deep waters. The experienced local guides will help the students have an exhilarating, but safe experience.

Don Lulo is the owner of the property surrounding the waterfall. His family runs the tour and most of his sons and grandsons are our guides. Students will be given horses depending on their ability to ride. There are a great many horses from which to choose. For those that need it, basic instructions on how to handle a horse will be given.

Once everyone is ready they will set off through the hills on about a half an hour ride to Don Lulo’s ranch house. Here they will have a large, typical Costa Rican breakfast. There is also a small petting zoo where they have toucans, scarlet macaws, deer and other animals of the forest. After everyone has been fed and had a chance to pet the animals we again set off on horseback through the forest. This part of the ride takes another 30 minutes untill they reach the Nayaca Waterfall.

There are changing rooms and bathrooms just before the falls. After spending a couple of hours relaxing and swimming, we will again ride back to the ranch house for lunch. Here we will receive an incredible chicken lunch with plenty of food and drink. Vegetarian options are also available. After lunch we will again have time to visit the animals and take pictures before returning by horse to the start of the tour. We will stop quickly at the hotel for students to change before heading to afternoon Spanish classes.

Surf Lesson at Playa Ventanas
Playa Dominical is one of the best surf destinations in all of Central America. It has the most consistent waves of any beach in Costa Rica. For this reason it is a very popular stop for surfers visiting the country. There are also a number of other beaches up and down the coast from town that are good for surfers of all ability levels. One of these is Playa Ventanas, which is also one of the most beautiful, but largely unknown beaches in the country. When we surf there, we mostly have the beach entirely to ourselves.
We have professional instructors who will be giving our students surf lessens, no mater their level of ability. If you are a beginner surfer, you will start from the top. If you are a more advanced surfer, you will receive instruction that will help you get even better. We utilize the services of the Dominical Surf School. Ronnie Abondo is the number one instructor and one of the best surfers in Costa Rica. He is also a certified lifeguard as are all other instructors. Anytime we surf away from Dominical beach, we bring along an extra lifeguard to watch from the shore.

All students will receive a short orientation at the beach to give them an understanding of the beach, the waves, the currents and all safety instructions. We will then break up into smaller groups determined by experience. Those that have never surfed before will stay on the beach and learn the basics before heading out to the whitewater to practice. Those with more experience will go out into the waves with their instructors.

Boards will be supplied to students depending on their level of ability. We will never surf in an environment that is too dangerous for our students and their surfing ability. If conditions on a given day are not conducive to our lessons, we will make every attempt to move to a different beach or reschedule them for that Friday. Safety is our number one priority.

Manuel Antonio Beach Tour
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio is located 40 miles north of Playa Dominical on the Central Pacific Coast. It is one of the smallest national parks in Costa Rica, but is the most popular because of its breathtaking beauty and abundant wildlife. Playa Manuel Antonio is considered to be the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica and one of the top 10 in the world. There are also a number of great hiking trails, along which students will see monkeys, sloths, pisotes (kind of like an anteater) and an array of birds.

We will be transported from the school, right after Spanish classes end and will have lunch on the way, as it will take about an hour to get to the park. Once we are at the park, we will be met by a naturalist guide who will take us on a guided hiking tour of the park. First we will stop at the beach and one of the counselors will stay with all of our stuff, beach towels and back packs. It is always nice to see the beach first, as it really is an awe inspiring site.

The hike will last about 1 ? hours and take us through areas of primary and secondary rainforest. We will visit a number of different lookout points or miradores, which will give us great views of the park, the ocean and the beach. The guide will point out the local trees and plants, but the highlight of the hike is always the monkeys. The park has troops of white faced (Capuchins) and howler monkeys that are easy to spot. It also has the very rare and not so easy to spot squirrel monkeys. These are the smallest and most endangered primates in Costa Rica.

After the hike, we will return to the beach for time to swim and relax. We will have snorkeling gear that the students can use to check out the undersea world. The beach is a perfect half crescent, with towering cliffs on either side, draped by think green forest trees. We will have snacks and water for all students.

At the end of the tour, we will make our way back out of the park. There are bathrooms and showers for students to clean up and change before heading by private shuttle back to Dominical.

ISLS Teen Spanish and Adventure Camps

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