On this Service and Adventure in Costa Rica program, participate in service learning projects focused on civic engagement and conservation to learn about the local culture and environment. While in San José, assist at a local school in education, entertainment or building repairs. Another half of a day is dedicated to more humanitarian activities, where there are opportunities to support the local communities and learn firsthand about their daily lives. During a visit to the rainforest engage in an environmental conservation project, rebuilding trails and gaining a deeper understanding of the ecosystem.
Discover the beauty of Costa Rica, from the soothing waters to the lush treetops, filled with a wide variety of tropical plants and wildlife species. Hike through a sanctuary of biodiversity at Carara National Park and search for crocodiles on a boat tour on the Grande de Tárcoles River. Experience the cloud forest that wraps around the active volcano at Poás Volcano National Park. Explore the La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park to observe local wildlife exhibits, including birds, butterflies, monkeys, snakes and jungle cats. Watch majestic waterfalls cascade through the trees at La Paz Waterfall and La Fortuna Waterfall. Glide above all these wondrous sights by gondola and then zipline back down, rushing across mountains and flying through the treetops.
By interacting with the culture and traditions of Costa Rica, there are so many opportunities for growth and transformation. On a visit to Sarchí, get to know local artists as they craft and paint an oxcart, where the tradition began and became a national symbol of Costa Rica. Take a chocolate tour at the Tirimbina Biological Reserve, where cacao grows, and learn how to make delicious chocolate treats. Soak in hot springs that are heated by Arenal volcano, relaxing in the thermal waters. Go out to the farm at Arenal Vida Campesina to learn their sustainable agriculture techniques and try their freshly harvested vegetables. Before the journey ends, watch a folkloric dance performance at a Tiquicia Dinner Show and carry the memories home.
Spend the morning on the flight to Costa Rica and arrive at the San José airport by the afternoon. Meet up with the Tour Director, who provides assistance getting the group to their accommodations. Go on a city tour of San José to the essential landmarks, including University of Costa Rica, the Supreme Court, Democracy Square, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Football Stadium and many sights that display Costa Rican architecture.
Support a local school through civic engagement activities, reading to students, playing games and assisting in building repairs. In the afternoon, tour the National Theater, a treasured architectural landmark of Costa Rica. Visit the Museums of the Central Bank of Costa Rica, where there are two main exhibits, the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and the Numismatic Museum.
Start the day on an easy hike through Carara National Park, a sanctuary for biodiversity along the coast. Since this park is on a geographical transitional zone, the area is both a dry and tropical rainforest, creating a unique habitat for native wildlife. On an afternoon boat tour on the Grande de Tárcoles River, search for crocodiles, basilisks and a wide variety of birds.
Get involved in civic engagement, focusing on humanitarian activities, or an environmental service learning project in Costa Rica. Go to the artisan town of Sarchí in the afternoon to watch an artist work on a traditional painted oxcart, a national symbol of Costa Rica.
Walk along gentle trails in the dense cloud forest surrounding an active volcano in Poás Volcano National Park. If the park is closed due to volcanic activity, an alternative cloud forest activity is provided. Tour the nearby La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park, explore the aviary, butterfly observatory, monkey rehabilitation area, hummingbirds and orchid exhibit. Share a buffet lunch by hummingbird gardens, and then go through the serpentarium, jungle cats exhibit and hike out to viewpoints over four La Paz waterfalls.
Travel from Sarapiquí to Tirimbina Biological Reserve. While there, take a chocolate tour through the cacao plantation, taste the cacao bean and participate in the creation of chocolate treats. Continue to the Arenal area and relax in the medicinal, thermal pools heated by the Arenal Volcano.
Begin the day at La Fortuna Waterfall, cascading gracefully through the flora and fauna into the crystalline waters below. Learn sustainable agricultural techniques from a local farming family at Arenal Vida Campesina, and enjoy a traditional lunch with freshly harvested vegetables from the farm. For the second half of the day, engage in service learning with a focus on humanitarian activities or an environmental conservation project in Costa Rica.
Float above the rainforest in an open-air gondola for impressive views of the Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake at a lookout point. Zipline down, crossing from mountain to mountain, for pure exhilaration over the treetops. Return to San José in time for a Tiquicia Dinner Show to watch a native Costa Rican folklore dance while dining on local cuisine at a buffet dinner.
Climb aboard the plane in San José and journey home.
On this Costa Rica adventure, discover biodiverse ecosystems of rainforests and engage in service learning activities in local communities. While traveling through tropical rainforests, get an introduction to an abundance of new species of plants and animals. Experience civic engagement through hands-on activities, taking care of rainforest trails and assisting in humanitarian efforts. Gain insights into the culture of Costa Rica through arts, performance and chocolate creation. Watch lava flow from an active volcano to better understand earth science. With a curated curriculum for educators to apply with the program, students are empowered to put their learning into practice before, during and after the trip.
Quality, safe hotels with twin or triple occupancy corresponding to the destination.
All transportation is provided throughout the program.
Airfare covers round-trip flights from major airports.
All three meals are provided daily, featuring local cuisine.
Interactive learning experiences designed to expand educational and career goals.
Scheduled activities, experiences and guided tours are all included.
Customized experiences developed by travel experts to promote learning and engagement.
Full-time Tour Directors are on site for the duration of the trip, for an all-inclusive experience.
Tips for bus drivers, guides, Tour Directors and meals.
International travel insurance is provided for protection in case of accidents, illness, flight interruptions or baggage loss.
Advanced student security software that integrates geofencing, logistics, communication and more optimized safety features.
Dedicated 24/7 staff availability, supporting students every step of the way.
Experience understands there is a growing concern over the COVID-19 outbreak and travel. We are attentively monitoring the situation and following updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Department of State.
Public health authorities are focusing on prevention efforts and actively testing anyone whose symptoms are compatible with COVID-19. It is important to note that for travel and community settings, the CDC reports a low risk of exposure for those who are in the same environment for a prolonged period of time and without close contact as someone with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Learn more about the CDC Exposure Risk Categories.
To alleviate any uncertainty, Experience is implementing an Upcoming and Future Travel Policy for 2020. This policy allows our programs to adjust their travel dates and plans to provide more flexibility for travelers and relieve any immediate concerns. As the situation evolves, we will remain in contact with group leaders to keep them informed and adjust any travel plans as needed. We want to assure all group leaders, parents and travelers that we will not send programs to destinations that are deemed unsafe by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) or the U.S. Department of State. The health and safety of our travelers is of the utmost importance and always a main concern on our educational tours. We will continue to stay informed and safely navigate the situation.