Going to School in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo and the surrounding Guanacaste area have a wide variety of private schools available for long-term visitors, ex-pats and International families. Our children have attended the TIDE Academy since 2012, and we have friends with kids at every one of the other schools in the area that are listed below. Each of these schools provides quality educations and we encourage you to explore your options and see which school might fit best for your family around Tamarindo, Langosta, Flamingo and the rest of the area.


TIDE Academy – The only school located in the town of Tamarindo, the TIDE Academy is USA Accredited and caters to both full-time and part-time students from all over the world. Serves grades Pre-K through 12th Grade. Our website is loaded with information and experiences we’ve had at TIDE, so be sure to browse around, especially our “School Experiences” section. The TIDE Academy features a non-traditional school week of 4 days a week and 4 hours a day, plus they offer after-school enrichment classes to round out the curriculum, especially for the younger grades. TIDE is also home to the only bi-weekly surf program to teach new surfers the basics and help advance existing surfers further. TIDE Academy is also certified in NCAA Athletics Eligibility for student-athletes wishing to compete in NCAA D1 or D2 collegiate athletics.

Online at: TideAcademy.com


La Paz School – La Paz is a beautiful school located in Playa Flamingo, about 25-35 minutes from Tamarindo. It is a bi-lingual school that offers IB diplomas and serves pre-school through high school ages students. La Paz is very focused on community and sustainability and that philosophy plays out all day long in their classes and recreational time.

Online at: LapazSchool.org


CRIA (Costa Rica International Academy) – CRIA is an impressive school that rivals schools in the United States with its facilities and campus. CRIA is both USA accredited and Costa Rica accredited. CRIA has students ranging from Kindergarten to 12th Grade and is located just north of Huacas about 20 minutes from Tamarindo.

Online at: CRIAcademy.com


Journey School – Journey is the newest school to the Tamarindo & Guanacaste area. Journey has a similar approach to TIDE and offers learning programs for year-round as well as part-time students from all over the world. Journey is located near Villa Real (10-15 minutes from Tamarindo)

Online at: journeytamarindo.com


Educarte – Educarte is located about 10-15 minutes from Tamarindo and caters to Preschool through 6th Grade students. Educarte is a bi-lingual school and focuses on community & artistic expression. Educarte is also one of the more economical options and features students from all over the world.

Online at: Controlmasproducciones.com/educarteen/


Waldorf School – The Waldorf School is another school that caters to Preschool through 6th-grade students. They are very focused on environmental awareness and feature unique qualities like vegetarian lunches. This international school is bi-lingual and is located in Canafistula, around 20-25 minutes from Tamarindo toward Santa Cruz.

Online at: crwaldorf.org


IREN Instituto Renacimiento School – IREN is located about 15 minutes outside of Tamarindo in the sprawling Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates property. It is a true Alternative School focused on project-based learning where students study the basics as well as survival skills, gardening, horseback riding, animal care, and life skills. Ages range from PreK to 12. Students have a variety of options for meeting graduation requirements including the US GED as an option.

Online at: irencr.com


As you can see, the list of schools available to families living in Tamarindo and the surrounding areas like Langosta, Hacienda Panilla, Flamingo and Conchal is impressive and well rounded. We would encourage you to tour and meet the staff at any of the schools you are interested in because it is hard to get a good “feel” for the schools only via their websites. We have really enjoyed educating our kids in both the United States and Costa Rica and hope this information is helpful to you as a future family sending your kids to school near Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Share Button