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“This was awesome.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Escuela Del Sol

La Escuela Del Sol
Frente al parque infantil | Contiguo al puente, Montezuma, Costa Rica
8884-8444
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Ranked #5 of 18 activities in Montezuma
Type: Other
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Combine Spanish, surfing, yoga, fire dancing and scuba certification in any combination for 1-12 weeks in Montezuma, Costa Rica. Programs include accommodations, zip line canopy tours, horseback riding, waterfall hikes, bonfires and a whole lot of fun.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“This was awesome.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

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.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • English first
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English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

My husband and myself attended Srikanta's fire-dancing workshop in Montezuma in March, which was organised by LEDS.

The entire retreat was exceptionally well organised.

Jeremy handled the admin, logistics and co-ordination impeccably.

Srikanta's fire staff and poi workshop was beyond amazing! Words cannot describe. It was one the most amazing experiences we have ever had. Srikanta's is a master of his art and an inspiring teacher. His demeanor is calming and tranquil and he has the most unbelievable patience.

There was a huge disparity in the skill level of the course attendees yet Skrikanta managed to ensure that everyone received the requisite level of teaching for their individual skill level and constantly ensured that each person was sufficiently challenged.

Banyan is the most amazing yoga teacher I have ever met, so much so that even as a certified yoga teacher myself, I am considering doing his "Yoga Teacher Training" course towards the end of the year.

The accommodation was at Casita Sollevante, which is on top of the mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The room we stayed in was very basic, however it was clean, neat and tidy and had a fabulous outdoor shower. The free wi-fi connection works well. The pool and pool area is fabulous. Thanks to all the staff, especially Varina and Nancy, for the wonderful service.

All in all, an amazing, memorable trip.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A trip I will never forget!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

The week long poi and staff retreat I took at LED with Skritanta Barefoot was one of the best holidays I have ever had!! Both the fire dancing and yoga instruction we had was second to none - the week was both fun packed and super relaxing!! I met a wonderful bunch of people and have come home a happier and hopefully more skilled fire performer!! I can not wait to sign up for next years retreat - as this was a trip I will never forget!! Many thanks to Srikanta, Banyan and Jeremy for putting together a great week of activities in such a beautiful place..I will be coming for 2 weeks next time!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The perfect place to relax or to or energise”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

It's over a month since I left and the feeling of calm and relaxation are still with me. Montezuma is amazing; from the paradise-like beach and forests, to the wonderful people, the amazing local produce and the surprising variety of restaurants and bars. And the Escuela is a perfect place to enjoy it all from. I stayed two weeks and took Yoga and Spanish both weeks. The schedule was well organised to allow the surfers to follow the tides, keep yoga later in the evening when it was (a little!) cooler, and Spanish and Poi fit around them. All my teachers, Andrea, Wendy, Silvia and Dagmar were all truly inspirational and fun to work with. Jeremy and the other hotel staff were very accomodating, they did everything they could to ensure the best visit for each guest. If you end up unhappy with anything about the place or your scehdule, don't live with it and then have a moan on trip advisor afterwards; speak to them and they will do whatever they can to improve things. The place is kept very clean and changes of towels and sheets were regular which is a bonus given I was there at the end fo the dry season when water was short.
The only negative comment I would have at all is about the kitchen facilities/eating arrangments. Montezuma is sadly not very cheap to eat out in, especially if you are traveling on US Dollars/ British Pountds and expecting your money in Costa Rica to go a lot further. In some of the restaurants I found I was paying the same equivalent in dollars as London prices! So the alternative is to cater for yourself in the Hotel, which is rather under equipped. There is plenty of crockery, fry pans and cups, but unfortunately while I was there two of the four cooking rings were not working, and for the number of people there in my first week, four hobs wouldn't have been enough in the first place. It made it very tricky to cook, and since the fridge was running badly (they got it fixed after we complained) a lot of people had food that went off overnight due to the extreme temperatures. They could also do with a few more saucepans and a lot more bowls. Is a small thing but when most people want to cereal or fruit for breakfast it's suprisingly important thing to only have three bowls.
However, this is really the only comment, and if you are happy to think carefully about what you're making to eat, or have the money to eat out, it's no big deal. Overall the place was comfortable and welcoming, the team inspiring and the classes incredible. I would go back any day and hope that one day I actually can!!

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LEDSMontezuma, Owner at La Escuela Del Sol, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Hey Jane,

I'm glad you had such a great time. It was fun to have you around!

It's funny that you say "If you end up unhappy with anything about the place or your scehdule, don't live with it and then have a moan on trip advisor afterwards; speak to them and they will do whatever they can to improve things"

I wish you did! :)

We've made some improvements to the kitchen which may have made you happier before you left.

1. We added another stove top with 3 more gas burners (5 total) as well as fixed the two electric ones that weren't working properly.
2. We added 20 more bowls, 20 more coffee mugs, 20 more glasses and lots more silverware.
3. The fridge is in top shape after a quick adjustment (it's only 1.5 years old).
4. By my count we have 4 saucepans in the cabinet but I'm looking to add another large one, since maybe that's what you meant? They were out when I went shopping for one last week but we'll get it soon.

Also, if you had mentioned it, I could have pointed to you to several restaurants where meals cost between $5-$10. Decent economical options to the fancy restaurants in town.

Hope to see you again soon!

-Jeremy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Had the best time ever..!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

I spend the most intense two weeks in this awesome place, had fun, dance, learn how to surf and fire dance too, the people there is just amazing and the best of all REAL, I felt like family between them, Andrea is so willing to make you feel at home and Jer is a great fire dance adviser, he is always trying to make you feel comfortable at La Escuela Del Sol.. Loved the place, definitely going back...!!!! I must recommend...!!!

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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