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Language school trip for mom/daughter.

Austin, Texas
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Language school trip for mom/daughter.

I'm interested in language classes for my 13 year old daughter and I am considering Tamarindo. I would like to: be safe, be near a beach, use walking and public transportation only, stay 3-4 weeks.

Is Tamarindo the right place for us?

Suggestions for a longer stay lodging within walking distance?

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Costa Rica
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1. Re: Language school trip for mom/daughter.

Tamarindo is very developed and mostly expensive. However, it does have a good selection of excellent restaurants, shops and nightlife.

For a quieter, more family-friendly town, I would pick Samara. The InterCultura school there is a great language school - right on the beach. They can help you arrange lodging or homestay. You can look here for some ideas: www.samarabeach.com and here www.nicoyapeninsula.com

Nowhere
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2. Re: Language school trip for mom/daughter.

I can only second Hattie's recommendation. Tamarindo is mostly populated by expats. As such, the dominant language around town is English - not an ideal setting for Spanish immersion.

Conversely, Samara still maintains a largely Tico population, although there are plenty of foreigners, too. Still, the dominant language for just about anything tends to be Spanish.

Additionally, the town is much more relaxed than Tamarindo, which attracts more of a party crowd. Samara also has one of the safest swimming beaches in the area, making it ideal for kids of all ages.

As Hattie stated, Intercultura is a great school and generally comes highly recommended.

guanacaste
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3. Re: Language school trip for mom/daughter.

Here is a good option www.cpi-edu.com/flamingo.htm , not in Tamarindo, but it is right on the beach. Flamingo is a nice little town.

Edited: 21 March 2012, 23:04
Tamarindo, Costa...
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4. Re: Language school trip for mom/daughter.

Tamarindo sound like the right place and their are several Spanish Schools in the area. There is more to do, it's centrally located, and the prices can be very reasonable. I like jose b recommendation, but it's in Flamingo Beach. Schools in Tamarindo include the Wayra Institute and CSI.

http://www.spanish-wayra.co.cr/

http://www.coastalspanish.com/

For lodging here is a link to a luxury two-bedroom condo for only $99 per night, just 100 yards from the schools.

tripalertz.com/deals/detail/346-Mango-Center…

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Language school trip for mom/daughter.

Tamarindo can be the place you are looking for!

roadadvsior

Tampa, FL
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6. Re: Language school trip for mom/daughter.

Have you considered doing a homestay option? Most likely you could arrange to both stay together with the same family. I've done homestays once as a college student and twice as an adult. The experiences were absolutely amazing!

This summer I'm taking my 16 year old to CR to practice Spanish. She's taking one week of classes in Santa Ana and we're staying with a family. Then, we're off to two more weeks of travel and vacationing.

Good luck with your search. Wherever you end up, this will be a huge life experience for her!

7. Re: Language school trip for mom/daughter.

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Tamarindo
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8. Re: Language school trip for mom/daughter.

Looks like the pumpers are out again trying to draw people away from Tamarindo to their own town.

It is not fair for Framptonian to say that English is the dominant language in Tamarindo. There are many ex-pats here, yes, but the majority of them are from spanish speaking countries such as Argentina and Columbia. Naturally, many locals speak English, just like in Samara, but no way is Spanish less spoken here.

Tambor is 4 hours away from here so I'm sure if the poster was looking to go to that area, they wouldn't have posted in the Tamarindo forum.

Costa Rica
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9. Re: Language school trip for mom/daughter.

I'm not a "pumper" trying to draw people to my "own town." I don't live or work in Samara, and in fact live several hours away. I have stayed in both Tamarindo and Samara and gave a description of each that I consider is fair. (The nickname for Tamarindo is "Tama-gringo.")

I think Samara is better for families - unless the family is interested in what Tamarindo has to offer, which is what I described.

An inexpensive homestay with a Spanish-speaking family is the perfect way to both learn or improve your Spanish while immersing yourself in the Costa Rican culture. I would definitely consider a homestay during a least part of your time in Costa Rica. Intercultura and other Spanish schools all offer this as an optional part of the "package."

Agree -- it will be an amazing experience for you and your daughter.

Nowhere
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10. Re: Language school trip for mom/daughter.

Well, puramar, I dont think anyone owes you an explanation. However, since this might also be helpful for the OP, here goes:

I don't think either Hattie or I are trying to drum up business for "our town." Neither Hattie nor I live anywhere close to Samara and neither of us has a business in town. The same cannot be said of you, can it?

To me, Tamarindo is, in fact, a huge expat enclave and having lived there, I know how little English is spoken. I also know what the main crowd attracted to Tamarindo tends to be. Since the OP is looking to learn Spanish, I figured that she might be better off in a place where Spanish is truly needed to communicate with others.

Secondly, since the OP is traveling with her young daughter, I figured that one of the safest swimming beaches in CR would be a better match than a beach with a swell large enough to draw lots of surfers and with occasional rip-tides.

Like others, I don't go to the "Tamarindo" forum to collect potential vacationers and direct them elsewhere. Instead, I go to the general forum and click on posts that sound interesting. If I have an alternative suggestion that I think might be a better match - as in this case - I will happily post it.

I understand that all this is very threatening to you as a Tamarindo business owner since YOU obviously have a vested interest in drumming up business. You have aptly demonstrated this in many prior posts - I remember a water pollution issue some years ago that you were vehemently trying to sweep under the rug.

To me, it's all the same. I don't benefit one way or another. I simply hope to share some of my knowledge about CR with fellow travelers - whether a particular business owner likes it or not. In this particular case, I think Samara is a better match than Tamarindo. Had the OP said she wanted to go surfing or have more of a party atmosphere, I would have recommended Tamarindo since Samara would have been a poor match.