At Pacific Learning Center, one of our key goals is to provide our student family with an immersive learning and cultural experience while in Costa Rica. To see what a typical week can look like for you as a PLC language student, click here.
In addition to your daily schedule of meals, talks with the family with whom you are living, walks on the beach, the language classes, and the planned routes where you visit people to practice Spanish… there are many other activities available in the surrounding area. Here are a few…(The green titles have URL links.)
Curu Wildlife Preserve: Offers opportunities to see a lot of Costa Rican animals.
Guanacaste: As one of the most popular provinces in Costa Rica, Guanacaste has gained a name for itself as a tropical paradise with a pristine shoreline, beautiful mountain ranges and a number of volcanoes. Visitors are drawn to the long summer days, active culture and unparalleled wildlife. Located in the far northwest corner of Costa Rica, Guanacaste's geographical features are diverse and exotic. With endless options for recreation, there are countless reasons why locals and international visitors alike travel to Guanacaste.
Horseback riding: Ask the locals about arranging to rent horses to ride along the beach. There are many working ranches that also will arrange horseback riding for visitors.
Jicaral: If you would like to venture farther from San Miguel, there are two buses each day that will take you to Jicaral, the closest town where you can change buses and travel to San Jose (the capital) or to other places around the area.
Mike’s Jungle Butterfly Farm: Mike's beautiful 47-acre mountainside property includes walking trails and a butterfly rancho. In addition to the butterflies, you might spot howler monkeys, agoutis and iguanas. He also has colonies of wild bees; you can buy their honey in the gift shop. Book ahead for a tour. (about 4k from Playa San Miguel where you will be staying)
Monteverde Extremo Park: Has one of the most beautiful views of the area and the country in terms of rainforest refers, you will see this during the tour with our extreme activities; mixing the majesty of these along with the extreme adventure of reaching the highest altitudes and admire the rich natural beauty of the forest and its treasures. You will feel excitement and emotions when you enjoy bungee jumping, mega tarzan, the giant rappel and superman and fantastic distances of each of the cables, the longest 3400 feet long and 600 feet high. You can find information about Monteverde (famous for zip lines and jungle tours) and Arenal (an active volcano) where there is a lake and hot springs.
Pretoma: Just a short walk down the road from your “home” along the beach is Pretoma. This organization partners with Turtle Trax to preserve the turtles in the San Miguel area from June through December. Often you see the turtle tracks on the beach where they have come up out of the sea during the night to lay their eggs. Check with the volunteers at Pretoma to see what is the best time to see the turtles and maybe even arrange to help them count the eggs, move the to the nesting area and then later help the babies when they hatch so they can make it back into the ocean safely.
San Miguel: San Miguel is a small beach town on the Pacific side of Costa Rica’s southern Nicoyan Peninsula. We have been investigating the nesting activity of marine turtles on this beach since 1998 after the town’s local community asked for help monitoring and protecting the nesting marine turtles. We employ 2 locals who help us to monitor the nesting activity on this beach. The beach is primarily an olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtle nesting beach, but eastern Pacific green (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) nesting events also occasionally occur. So far, volunteers have protected 2618 nests and released 129,529 baby turtles. You can participate in this project as a volunteer (July 1st – December 15th) or as a field coordinator or assistant (June 26-December).
Wingnuts Canopy: This canopy tour business is family-operated with personal attention as their motto. WingNuts believes that small is beautiful. They offer their tour to small groups, with a maximum of 10 per tour, allowing them to really personalize your canopy experience. Their friendly and knowledgeable guides are experts in safety and fun. WingNuts is about an hour’s drive from Playa San Miguel where PLC is located.
When you come to experience life, culture and language at PLC, you have your choice to live with a family at the beach or rent a condo located about 500 yards from the beach. If you live with a family the cost will include your room and all of your meals… the owner of the house is a great cook!! The cost is $350 per month for your room (see the green house in the photos) and all of your meals. There could be other students sharing the house. There are 3 bedrooms in the house. The family lives in another house on the property and that is where you eat all of your meals.
If you decide to rent a condo, it will range from $50 to $120 per day depending on how big a condo you wish (some condo owners may be willing to reduce the daily rate if you stay for a month or more). You will be responsible to buy and cook your own food. There are kitchens in each condo. Your experience will of course be different, since you will not be immersed in the culture as much as if you choose to live with a family.
Photos of one of our condos, with a kitchen, so you can do your own cooking while at PLC.
These are casitas where you can also choose to live. (Meals are provided by a local family.)