Okay so I've been delaying this review for over 1.5 years now, so I'm sorry about that Jeremy (the founder/director). Anyhow, you can at least appreciate that I am not writing this in my post-vacation dopamine high.
I went there in November 2012 when they had just moved in their new place and that was perfect, since tourist season starts around December in Montezuma. Beaches were literally cleaned during the 2 weeks I spent at the Escuela Del Sol. So if you like super clean beaches and don't mind people, wait for December-April. If you're like me and prefer to have a whole beach to you and don't mind a few wooden pieces, go ±1 month outside that bracket. I have no idea what it's like during rainy season.
Montezuma is a nice little, but touristic, town. Not USA-touristic, but you know that's their main source of income there. So people are pretty nice and welcoming, but most things are expensive. So expect the same living expenses (restaurant/groceries/stores) that you would in mainland USA/Europe. If you were under the impression that Costa Rica was an inexpensive country, you are mistaken. HOWEVER, I will say that La Escuela Del Sol was one, if not the, most affordable place for Yoga/Surf places I found in Central/North America. Anyway, to save money on food, use the kitchen offered at La Escuela Del Sol and go to the farmer's market on weekends. Plus, you make more friends that way. Also, if they still offer that hotel + shuttle from San José; I’d recommend it. Yes you pay a bit of extras, but it simplifies things a lot.
The hotel is very nice. All wooden floors and open corridors. I think I had the best room in the hotel so this is biased, but -my- room was super large, well cleaned and ventilated. Hot water in Costa Rica seems to be a running gag; it's not working very well. I did not mind that at all given the heat and humidity. Oh, one advice: it's so humid nothing you make wet will dry on its own, unless directly sunlit. So, pack accordingly. A week before me, there was a woman complaining about car/scooter noises in the same room I was staying. I'm a very light sleeper and yes, I did hear those in the morning. With earplugs, I slept quite well and it's really not that bad; if you are an average sleeper, you might not notice it. I'm kind of a serious guy who does physics, math and engineering for a living... so when I say that I turned native after two weeks; never wearing shirts or shoes, and that it felt really weird to put socks after my time there... you can believe me that you will chill there!
So I did Yoga and Surf during my two weeks. It was my first time at surfing and I enjoyed (almost) every minute of it. I say almost because I pulled a muscle after 1 week, but kept going anyway because it was too much fun. Surf is exhausting if you've never done it before. My teacher Guillermo was great (we had on average a 5/1 student/teacher ratio!), gave us really helpful advice and drove us to bakeries afterward. Nothing like cookies after 3hrs of exercise! People say that it’s a long walk to the surf beaches and that the website is exaggerating when saying 15-20min: No, they don’t. It’s really 15-20 minutes normal walking speed and there are 1 or 2 small hills. Maybe I’m being mean, but if it takes you 60 minutes to get there and you don't want to walk up a small hill, I’m not sure you should be surfing...
I also did Yoga. Yoga + Surf 5 days a week is strenuous. I’m in a pretty decent shape (gym 3x week) and I lost 5 pounds in that trip! I have been doing Yoga for 4 years now and I've been to 7 different studios around the globe. The yoga teachers at La Escuela, were a lot better than the majority of what I've experienced. I don’t know if she’s still there, but look up Dagmar Spremberg on YouTube and see if you like her style. There was also another teacher, Silvia Nevjinsky: she is simply fantastic! In 3 days she taught me more than I learned in weeks elsewhere. Perfect balance between technical and flow. To this date, I still can hear the sound of Montezuma waves breaking during yoga breathing.
In sum, Jeremy and Andrea where great, welcoming and made sure all was good with their guests. All the personnel were super friendly and qualified. The website really shows what they sell. If you can afford going there, go.
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