Guide to Schools in Guanacaste

If you’re considering purchasing real estate and moving your family to the stunning Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica, one of your key considerations will undoubtedly be education. Understanding the importance of your children’s schooling in shaping their future, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the top schools in Guanacaste. This region, known for its breathtaking beaches, vibrant culture, and lush landscapes, also boasts an array of educational institutions that cater to diverse learning styles and needs.

From innovative international schools offering the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum to eco-conscious establishments emphasizing hands-on, experiential learning, Guanacaste’s educational landscape is as diverse as its natural one. Whether you’re seeking a school that nurtures global citizenship, one that blends traditional and modern teaching methodologies, or an institution grounded in bilingual education, you’ll find options that align with your family’s educational goals and values.

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In our guide, we detail each school’s unique attributes, including their location, age range, educational approach, and extracurricular offerings, helping you make an informed decision about your child’s educational journey in Costa Rica. Embrace the opportunity to give your children an enriching learning experience in one of Central America’s most captivating and culturally rich regions. Welcome to your new home in Guanacaste, where educational excellence and paradise living meet.

  1. Costa Rica International Academy (CRIA)

    • Location: Brasilito, 500 Meters South of Reserva Conchal
    • Grades/Levels: PreK-12
    • Accreditations: Costa Rica (MEP) and U.S. (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools – MSA)
    • Description: CRIA is an international school with a focus on inspiring student interests and passions alongside rigorous academics. It offers a strong English-language program with dual enrollment and advanced placement options, plus co-curricular activities like swimming, surfing, drama, chess, Model United Nations, and community service.
    • Website: CRIA​​
  2. Educarte Bilingual High School

    • Location: Huacas, 9 km northeast of Tamarindo
    • Grades/Levels: PreK-12
    • Accreditation: Costa Rica (MEP)
    • Description: Educarte, known as the Centro de Aprendizaje, employs innovative teaching methods emphasizing fundamental values, academic excellence, global citizenship, and diversity through bilingual education. The school follows the Costa Rican MEP curriculum, offering a strong English program, project-based learning, French language and literature, and Spanish as a second language.
    • Website: Educarte​​
  3. La Paz Community School

    • Location: Flamingo / Brasilito
    • Grades/Levels: PreK-12
    • Accreditation: International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and Costa Rica (MEP)
    • Description: La Paz School focuses on bilingual experiential learning, integrating local community and ecology. It also focuses on personal development as well as academic, and starts each day with silent meditation. It promotes project-based learning, parental involvement, and emphasizes the development of peaceful values. The school prepares students for global university paths and careers.
    • Website: La Paz Community School​​
  4. Guanacaste Waldorf School (Pacific Waldorf School)

    • Location: Caña Fistula, 13km SE of Tamarindo
    • Grades/Levels: PreK-8
    • Accreditation: N/A
    • Description: Guanacaste Waldorf School, also known as Pacific Waldorf School, offers a holistic Waldorf education in a bilingual setting. The curriculum, inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s principles, emphasizes artistic, practical, and intellectual content tailored to the developmental stages of children in a holistic approach. The school offers healthy food and promotes a love of learning in a natural environment.
    • Website: Pacific Waldorf School​​.
  5. Journey School of Costa Rica

    • Location: Near Villa Real, approx. 10-15 mins from Tamarindo
    • Grades/Levels: PreK-12
    • Accreditation: U.S. Accreditation (Cognia), and Costa Rica (MEP)
    • Description: Founded in 2018, Journey School of Costa Rica offers a differentiated, student-focused curriculum in a dual-language setting. The school emphasizes individualized developmental and academic needs, social and emotional skills, and project-based learning. With guaranteed small class sizes and a variety of electives, including veterinary science, culinary arts, and skateboarding, Journey School provides a comprehensive education experience.
    • Website: Journey School of Costa Rica
  6. Dolphins Academy School

    • Location: Playas del Coco
    • Grades/Levels: Preschool to High School
    • Accreditation: Information not available
    • Description: Dolphins Academy celebrates global citizenship and offers a Wealthy Kids Course for financial literacy. The school organizes various activities, including Family Day and summer camps.
    • Website: Dolphins Academy
  7. Lakeside International School

    • Location: 15 minutes from Playas del Coco
    • Grades/Levels: Prekindergarten to High School
    • Accreditation: N/A
    • Description: Lakeside offers a bilingual curriculum and a holistic approach to learning, including outdoor classrooms and an aquaponic garden.
    • Website: Lakeside International School
  8. Niños Del Sol Eco School

    • Location: Near Ocotal Beach
    • Grades/Levels: Information not specified
    • Accreditation: N/A
    • Description: Adopts a Montessori style of learning focused on Earth, Community, and the Ocean. Emphasizes hands-on experience and allows students to learn at their own pace.
    • Website: Niños Del Sol Eco School
  9. Sea Wonders Academy

    • Location: Sardinal, 20 minutes from the airport
    • Grades/Levels: Preschool to 6th Grade
    • Accreditation: Based on the North American education system
    • Description: Offers a bilingual curriculum and emphasizes religious education.
    • Website: Sea Wonders Academy
  10. Academia Teocali

    • Location: 2km from Liberia
    • Grades/Levels: PreK to 12
    • Accreditation: International Baccalaureate (IB) World School
    • Description: Offers a bilingual IB program and is known for its high educational standards and success in preparing students for higher education.
    • Website: Academia Teocali
  11. International Christian School (Colegio Bilingue Ciudad Blanca)

    • Location: Liberia
    • Grades/Levels: PreK to 11th
    • Accreditation: N/A
    • Description: Focuses on Christian values and bilingual education, preparing students for higher education and competitive entrance exams.
    • Website: International Christian School

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