Best Private Schools in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica

Best Private schools in the Guanacaste Area :


Moving with your kids to a new area can present many challenges you need to overcome, one of them is to pick the right school for your children to have the best education available.


Let us help by presenting to you through their own words; the top private schools in the area of Playa Tamarindo / Playa Grande / Playa Flamingo and surroundings :


La Paz :

Imagine a preK-12 dual language learning experience in a rural, ecologically and ethnically diverse Central American country where all cultures and socioeconomic levels are openly embraced and celebrated.

“Our mission is to educate the culturally diverse youth of Guanacaste through bilingual experiential learning and enrichment that integrates the local community and environment, while preparing students to become thoughtful, contributing citizens in the global community.”


For more information, please visit their website by clicking  here.

Location of the school : here


CRIA, known before as Country Day :

“CRIA is proud to provide a wonderful learning experience to students from around the world. We are a U.S. accredited college preparatory school serving a diverse international community. We strive every day to inspire a passion for learning and provide children with the skills, values, and courage to become responsible leaders in their communities and the world.

As we approach record enrollments once again for the fifth year in a row, we continue to pursue our longer-term vision within our values as a community in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

We aspire to be a world-class international school with a culture of high expectations, high performance, and accountability.

We respect all creeds, religions, and points of view. CRIA does not undertake religious instruction nor blend secular and sectarian education. At the same time, moral values and spiritual issues have a place in the educational process. Values such as fairness, justice, compassion, honesty, and the Golden Rule are taught without a religious label. Faculty and staff conduct reflect these values and serve as models for the students.

If you are interested in exploring whether CRIA is the right fit for your family, please come and visit us and we’d be delighted to have you see and meet our students and teachers in action firsthand!”


For more information, please visit their website by clicking  here.

Location of the school : here


Educarte :


“Welcome to the Centro de Aprendizaje, Educarte by St. Joseph website.

As educators we are constantly researching new and innovative teaching methods, always with an emphasis on fundamental values within the context of bilingual education, academic excellence, diversity, and global citizenship. We have built a teacher and administrative staff that brings new ideas and a wealth of enthusiasm.

We offer Educarte students the opportunity to learn and understand the importance of their future contribution to the world they live in, using a combination of traditional and innovative methodologies.

We encourage parents to take an active role in their student’s education, both at home and at Educarte events and activities.

Thank you for visiting our website. By looking at these pages we hope you will gain some insight into our school, our learning philosophy, and a feeling for our wonderful students with diverse interests, backgrounds, cultures, and languages. However, as informative as a website can be, it seldom tells the whole story. We invite you to visit our school and witness, first hand, the unique environment in which our students grow, learn, and appreciate each other.”

For more information, please visit their website by clicking  here.

Location of the school : here.


Tide Academy :


“Provide a one-on-one personalized education to each student. We want each student to succeed to the best of his or her ability. This means challenging them enough but keeping them academically engaged as well!


Provide a flexible education that is adapted to each student. Having students with different needs and schedules means we need to create a learning atmosphere that is individualized. Meaning some students take their work on the road, some via Skype, and or some choose additional class hours. We customize the academic experience. Promote learning outside the classroom. Learning should not only be for inside the classroom! Students intern at several local businesses for academic credit, we also work with several organizations creating community projects such as community murals, surf clinics, and local fundraisers.

For more information, please visit their website by clicking  here.

Location of the school : here.


Pacific Waldorf School :


The Pacific Waldorf School is also a bilingual school and the classes they provide are teached half the time in English and the other half in Spanish.


“ Guanacaste Waldorf School offers a bilingual Pre-Kindergarten thru 8th grade education in a natural setting in the NW coast of Costa Rica, near Tamarindo. For the 2018-19 school year, we will have approximately 100 students and about 30 staff members and volunteers, most of which have been a part of our team at PWS for several years. Our classes will be split into Pre-Kinder, Kinder, 1st/2nd grade, 3rd/4th grade, 5th/6th grade, and 7th/8th grade. In addition to a full Waldorf curriculum that includes Main Lessons in English and Spanish, Movement, Drawing, Painting, Woodworking, Handwork, Flute, Eurythmy, Theater, Physical Education, etc…, the children will have French and German Classes, Swimming, Gardening, Animal Care and Construction. We adjust our festivals to reflect, participate in and appreciate our local area and many of the festivals will be the same as many Waldorf programs from around the world – Mica-el, Martinmas, Holiday Festival, Advent Spiral, Easter and May Fair. We offer bus service from all surrounding communities and have many extra-curricular activities like jewelry making, aerial silks, soccer, tennis, swimming, puppet making, drumming and circus arts. Our parents are welcome to be involved in the school. Many give a few hours per month and many are very involved and help considerably with a small, growing school.”


For more information, please visit their website by clicking here.

Location of the school : here.



IREN is Costarican registered non for profit that has been working to help local education since it’s conception in 2013. It is an association that offers student centered, student driven, project based and personalized study programs and a campus limited to 50 students.   Beside academics and the arts students will also utilize the 33 acres of lush forest in Black Stallion’s Eco Camp, where IREN teaches survival skills, gardening, horseback riding, animal care and life skills.  IREN offers a personalized and diversified option for education.

IREN can guide students from online programs and offer a curriculum for home education. IREN makes sure each student is completing classwork and takes any program your child works with and modify it in a project-based learning system.
IREN does not offer a diploma, degree or title, we tutor. They have worked closely with the Ministry of Education of Costa Rica, various US districts and distance learning programs, various Canadian educational systems, as well as the US GED program. They help each child solve their individual educational needs.
IREN supports methodologies like conscious discipline; a way of educating that draws away from punishment and adult centeredness and is based on respect and mutual understanding between the student and the educator. They also practice multisensory education; which takes into account that people learn in very different ways.
IREN promotes active learning oriented towards problem solving and collaborative work and investigation with a ratio of 1 tutor for every 5 students. They offer focused learning groups, and individualized tutoring.   They also offer computer science, reading, body expression, languages, painting, theatre, writing, drawing,
IREN studies your child’s specific learning style and helps children understand their own way of learning in this way learning the tools and methods that make that learning style thrive.
“We work with each child to understand how they learn and in turn give them the tools to thrive.  IREN is a partner in education to the entire community, we are not competing with other schools, we are here to help them.”

For more information, please visit their website by clicking here.

Location of the school : here



NEO Playa Grande is an innovative new school designed and curated by Dr Kate, a primary and secondary teacher, clinical and educational psychologist, and education futurist. Dr Kate works with a team of internationally recognised and local educators who believe in preparing students with real-world skills for the future.

NEO curriculum is designed, evaluated, and constantly improved in order to evolve a new age system of schooling, genuinely aligned with our children’s needs for the future.

At NEO you will find the best elements of Montessori, Waldorf, and Mainstream embedded into our uniquely created and ever-evolving curriculum.

“At NEO School, we develop a uniquely curated future-focused curriculum alongside world-renowned teachers. Students learn critical thinking, problem-solving, ethical reasoning and entrepreneurship skills, so they are best equipped to find their purpose and understand how to build a meaningful life.”

For more information, please visit their website by clicking here.

Location of the school: here


Blog written by Bruno Grenier.

[email protected]


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