I choose Jaco Surf School only because it was one of the first places I encountered while walking down the beach. Rate for a beginner lesson was $50 which included board rental for 24 hours.
I wish I would have dome some research and chosen one of the better reviewed schools. We had what seemed to be a very large group (around 7) for our lesson which consisted of some instruction on shore followed by more instruction in the water.
The instruction on shore was given by the owner, Gustavo, and the time in the water was spent with his helpers. I found Gustavo to be slightly abrasive and not particularly friendly. His helpers had about the same disposition. Safety instruction was minimal if non-existent before entering the water.
Tip: Ask your instructor for all of the best techniques to avoid being pounded to a pulp by the surf before entering the water. Also, there are stingrays on the ocean surface so be sure to shuffle your feet as much as possible when you walk. (I was stung and no one knew what to do. What to do: Go get a tetanus shot and some painkillers from the pharmacy! ) None of this was mentioned before entering the water.
Also, take water with you as none is offered until your first break which could be up to an hour and a half after the start of the lesson.
All-in-all, I found the service very unfriendly and not very personal and I'm sure you can find better elsewhere.
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