Wow, what can I say about La Escuela del Sol that is believable. I'm still having a hard time believing the pure bliss and adventure I experienced there. First the little town of Montezuma where it is placed is picturesque in every way possible. It is no bigger than some of our mega stores like target and walmart here in the US, but its soul is enormous. It's just three little blocks circling a small park with banyon trees, iguanas and a jungle gym with swings. There are great restaurants both within Montezuma and in the surrounding beaches, some of which offer world class cuisine (Los Artistos - pura vida!). There are a few touristy shops and in the afternoon the little street near the ocean fills up with street venders. The town dogs are all about but nice as can be and well cared for. We often had a friendly dog adopt us for an afternoon and follow us about. Not begging for food or getting in our way, just enjoying the companionship and hoping for a little rub on the head now and then. There is only one bar in town which all the locals and tourists alike end up in each night and it spills out onto a little beach, where bonfires and late night swimming take place. The town is surrounded by a beautiful nature reserve on one side with miles of sandy beaches interspersed with rocky outcrops and crashing waves. And the other side of town is a river leading to a great waterfall and swimming holes. We saw jesus lizards skitter across the water and howler monkeys commenting on our progress. As for the school itself the instructors are top notch. You can take a variety of classes: surfing, yoga, spanish, poi (fire dancing) and scuba diving. Guillermo was our surf instructor and was possibly the best teacher I've ever encountered. He was comical and charming, while patient and instructive. He read the surrounding waves expertly and knew when to push us and when to hold back. With each wave he'd give us detailed feedback on what we did right and how to correct little issues here and there. All three of us were standing and surfing in the first day. The hike to the beginner beach is a good one and I would suggest water shoes over flip flops or keens as you are climbing over rocky trails as well as the surf washing over your feet at high tide. There was a bit of trash on one small stretch of beach that came in with the surf but that is more a testamant to the rest of the worlds bad habits than the local area itself which organizes beach cleanups regularly. Otherwise the town itself and the rest of the beaches were cleaner than most towns and cities worldwide. The hotel the school is located, El Tajalin was perfect for our stay. Some of the rooms are small and it has only basic amenities but that's all you need in paradise. I didn't even realize we didn't have a phone or tv till I was about to leave. It did have excellent internet connection which allowed us to post pictures and keep in touch with family back home. The floors are all wood, the beds simple but comfortable with ceiling fans and AC in each (though we didn't even use the AC). There is a safe in each room which we used but honestly never felt unsafe, in fact the staff felt like staying with friends rather than a hotel. The upper floor has a nice open air common room with hammocks, couches, open space to practice poi or yoga in front of a big mirror and a kitchen for common use.
I can't say enough about this place although I hope this place won't get ruined with increasing tourism as so many places do. It is truly paradise. Just make sure you leave it better than you found it so others can enjoy it's charms.
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