Overall amazing trip but not value for money...

Housing: 5
Support: 5
Fun: 4
Value: 4
Safety: 5

I had a really fantastic time overall but I found I was promised things that weren't delivered... Volunteering and spanish lessons were spaced apart by 1 or 2 hrs so we wasted time hanging around at camp. There were no turtles this time of year, and the animal sanctuary they replaced it with was fine but not what I had signed up to the programme for. Meli Sophie and Pablo were awesome but when they left we had no group leader and volunteering felt half-hearted. It would have made a big difference if we had group leaders that were there for the whole time.
I wasn't told much about the volunteering and I was not expecting to be doing litter-picking and recycling for the majority of days. We taught english to children on friday mornings which was fun and helped my spanish a lot.
The excursions at the weekend were expensive- Isla Tortuga was $60 and the waterfalls trip was $35. I was not expecting to have to pay that much when I had payed over £4,000 already. We also had to pay for the zipline and canopy tour in Monteverde which came to $85... I was surprised this was not included! I don't remember being told this when I booked the trip. Bring plenty of spending money because Teresa is expensive and you will want to do trips at the weekend- for example renting quad bikes was about $60 per quad for 24hrs.
The surf lessons were great and I picked it up really quickly. I only had 4 lessons included and it was $50 per lesson after that which I had not prepared for in my budget. I would recommend buying your own surfboard there if you take to it and avoid going during rainy season as the surf conditions aren't ideal.
Santa Teresa has a great vibe and nightlife, and the locals are friendly! I really would recommend Jakera. I think it was the people and location that made the trip. It felt like home and after 2 months I was so sad to leave.
A big thank you to the staff as well they were fantastic. When I brought up issues they were quickly resolved and compensated for. I felt like the staff at Jakera would do anything to make your experience better, and the issue was more the Leap not giving the right information about the programme. My biggest complaint is that I expected more for the amount of money I payed. I think the agency fees are excessive- for example If you book directly with Jakera it is 2 weeks shorter but you save about £500 and you have 8 yoga lessons included.
The leap were however very helpful when I booked the trip and answered all my questions.. booking was super easy and I felt very supported during the trip. So I suppose this is the extra you're paying for and if it's your first time travelling and money is not an issue then you might find this helpful.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed