AEC Spanish Institute's Dominical campus is located in the beach town of Playa Dominical, which is on Costa Rica's Central Pacific coast. Situated in a rural tropical beach setting this area offers Costa Rica’s unique “study the language and explore the land” experience. You will find the “real” Costa Rica in Dominical. No high rise apartments or big name hotels but you will find a dirt, gravel road with long sections of coast line with a tropical green paradise hitting you directly in your face and falling at your feet. The ocean will overwhelm you with its power, strength and beauty. The Baru river corridor will unload driftwood along Dominical’s main beach and help create sculptures of wood and sand. At other times of the year the beach will be a glaze with sand particles and the heat of the day. Flocks of birdlife will head home as the sun drops into the ocean’s horizon. From the campus you may witness crocks poking their heads to view a world from under the river. On campus you may see a sloth moving slowly up a fruit tree. Also, above campus keep eyes out for iguanas falling from the trees as their naps turn into a free fall from their dream world. The surf community unites here with the most consistent waves in all of Central America. Never surf before, take our Surf and Spanish class and enter a whole new world of discovery. From here you will truly understand the saying ‘Pura Vida”, pure life. For in Dominical it is all around you.
Upon entering Dominical from the pacific coast highway, the school is situated on the right side, just across from the town’s soccer field, between the road and the river Baru. It is about 50 meters up the road from Dominical's main bus stop and the San Clemente restaurant.
Closer to the river is the main schoolhouse, a two-story building with wood borders and a great deal of character. The inside is all tropical woods and very well appointed, as well as unique. There are tables and chairs beside the river to do homework or rest and relax in the shade. Classes are held on the second floor or in outdoor "ranchitos", overlooking the river which runs along the property. An open-aired, netted classroom provides a perfect environment for your Spanish classes. The first floor of the school is ideal for conversation, study or just relaxing. The setting of the campus is very tropical, with tall shady trees that keep the area cool. It is only a few minutes walk down to internet cafes, mini-supermarkets, 10 bar/restaurants, a bakery, and the beach! The campus has wifi.
The Playa Dominical campus has four lodging options with some of the best pricing in all of Costa Rica near the beach. These options consists of homestay with local Costa Rican families, School stay standard room, Beach stay Standard and Superior rooms. All lodging except for home stay option is based on double occupancy with shared lodging arrangements. Private rooms can be available based on time of year and with an added cost. A limited amount of host families are located a short walk from campus along the Baru River and in the nearby beach community south of the town of Dominicalito. Walking to the host family from campus takes between 10 and 35 minutes depending on the host family location. If housed in Dominicalito you will be picked up in the morning by staff on their way to work but you will have to make arrangements back to your host family later in the day via taxi or bus or by foot.
The School stay housing option is located right on campus with some of the best pricing available in town and in Costa Rica. This housing option is only open to our students and not the general public. We have only six rooms available that are designed for double occupancy. They are quaint wth there own bathrooms and with communal kitchen facilities on site they are a great option for our students on a budget. Located right in town you are close to all activities from entertainment and restaurants to yoga classes’ a couple doors down.
The Beach stay options are at our cabinas known as Montanas de Agua, on the outskirts of Dominical 75 meters from the ocean, a five minute walk from the school campus and a two minute walk from the main surfing beach. Montanas de Agua has two housing options with a Standard room with fan and bathroom. The Superior room has an air conditioning option, larger rooms and with newer bathroom facilities. A Special larger furnished apartment is available for family use or larger groups with AC option. The apartments and Superior rooms give students a quieter study environment, than our on campus housing, which are closer to all the activities of this beach community.
A limited number of air conditioned Superior rooms are available at Montanas de Agua at an additional cost of $40 per week. Those students wishing air conditioning should include a request for A.C. in the "special requests" section of your registration form. Every effort will be made to secure one for you dependent upon availability.