Costa Rica – Exploring Pura Vida
Travel to Costa Rica and experience thrilling activities while exploring an incredible abundance of biodiversity in national parks filled with rainforests, beaches, and river valleys.
Arrive in Costa Rica. As students travel north towards La Fortuna, the majestic landscapes of this beautiful country in central America begin to reveal themselves. Student groups check-in to splendid bungalows located on a certified organic farm. Beginning the educational field trip, students discover the farm’s natural classroom, learning about the inner workings of sustainable agriculture. Students get a taste of many unique fruits and vegetables found only at this one-of-a-kind farm. In the evening, feast on organic foods prepared directly from the property in the outdoor dining area and an in-depth orientation provided by the guides discussing the adventures ahead for the remainder of the week. Returning to bungalows, students prepare for the following days adventures!
Continuing the field trip, students discover how to turn cacao into a delicious treat on a chocolate making tour! The traditional cacao process has been used for centuries by the indigenous people of Costa Rica and shared with students. In addition to making chocolate directly from the plant, students learn the important historical, cultural, and nutritional values of cacao. Continue north towards Monteverde on a scenic 3-hour drive around the foothills of the mystical Arenal Volcano looking for smoke and admiring the view of Arenal Lake. Along the way, learn about the local geology of the area before venturing through the underground Venado Cave systems. Spelunking, as students are guided through a vast cave system containing waterfalls, numerous stalactites and stalagmites, and encountering the animals that inhabit these ancient places. At Monteverde, the famous cloud forest, student groups check-in to European style lodge. In the evening, a perfect opportunity to tour the Monteverde Bat Jungle facility. This world class exhibit, where bats fly through a simulated jungle environment, is an incredible opportunity to observe these important mammals in a natural habitat. Students will have a better understanding of the importance of conservations efforts to protect these animals. Snug in cabins, student rest for the next day adventures.
Early morning hike through the cloud forests of the exceptionally diverse Monteverde Biological Reserve lead by a local naturalist guide. Keeping an eye out for the elusive Quetzal, the most prized bird to observe in all of Costa Rica. Visitors flock from all over the world just to catch a glimpse of the flowing tail feathers of this multi-colored bird. The adventure continues as students spend the afternoon at Selvatura Park, flying high above the forest tree-tops on a zip-lines and crossing over hanging bridges viewing the pristine forests from a unique perspective above the tree canopy! Student groups are challenged physically and mentally learning the importance of the forest canopy and the rare organisms that call these tree-tops home. In the evening discover how the forest changes at night with a guided night hike. Spotting nocturnal critters and creatures that typically hide during the day. Returning to the lodge, prepare for an early morning departure to the warmer coastal jungles of Costa Rica.
Traveling to the Pacific coast, the educational journey continues as students near the Central Pacific Conservation Area, south of the city Quepos. Watching as the landscapes change along the infamous Pan-American Highway, stopping in Rio Tarcoles for a glimpse of the resident crocodiles, before continuing along the highway that follows the contours of the Pacific Coast. At the coast, student groups hike through the tropical forests of Manuel Antonio National Park. Known for its excellent climate and scenic beauty, the park has impressive landscapes and several white sand beach coves surrounded by lush forests amidst mountains waiting to be explored. Although the smallest park in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio boasts a large diversity of wildlife and students soon find themselves on the lookout for spider monkeys, three-toed sloths and toucans. In local accommodations students prepare for an evening stargazing on the tucked away beaches of the Pacific Coast. Snug in rooms, students prepare for the exciting river adventure in the morning.
Students begin the day on a grand rafting adventure, paddling down the world class rapids of the Savegre River. Spend the day with certified rafting instructors from the locally owned Autentico Rafting Adventures and learn to navigate and paddle class III and IV rapids. Along the way, students witness life flourishing life along the riverbanks and observe how the river has carved through the canyons for thousands of years. Students understand contribution of the rivers to the numerous habitats throughout Costa Rica and how the indigenous Costa Ricans have relied on the river for hundreds of years. In the late afternoon, students swim in the pool, visit local vendors for souvenirs before packing bags to prepare for the next day departure.
The field trip continues in the morning as students embark on an adventure of a lifetime! In Las Tumbas, guided by a local family on their majestic land, begin the ascend hiking through dense forests to a series of cascading waterfalls. At the top, students begin the thrill of a lifetime, leaping from small waterfalls and swimming in pools beneath the cascading pristine waters of the mountains. A short hike leads to a set of hidden waterfalls, with the largest one dropping a grand 90 feet. Tucked behind the grand waterfall are the natural cave camping quarters, three rock walls looking out through the flow of cascading water from above. Students set up sleeping gear and continue the days adventure high in the forest atop the 90ft waterfall. Students have the opportunity to repel from the top of this waterfall, alongside the flowing water, to its base.
Students enjoy the evening meal prepared in the “cave kitchen and enjoy a bon-fire overlooking the star-lined mountains, camping behind a waterfall.
As the journey continues students hike back down the mountain and travel one hour west towards the Talamanca paramo, a landscape that includes several of the highest elevations in Costa Rica. Also known as Andean Páramo, students notice the climate changes to a cool high-altitude environment in this tropical equivalent of the tundra occurring at very high elevations above the tree line. High up in the Costa Rican paramo, students now appreciate the incredible ecological diversity throughout Costa Rica. Staying at a local family eco-lodge, students have the opportunity to truly learn what it is like to grow up in Costa Rica. Exploring and hiking the surrounding ecosystem, students learn about why this awe-inspiring region, with distinct affinities to the northern Andes, is considered a scared place to the indigenous people in the surrounding area. In the evening, students hear stories of the beginning of the eco-lodge homestead and share stories of their own reflecting on the experiences of traveling through Costa Rica.
Journey home with a better understanding and appreciation of the rich ecological biodiversity, conservation efforts, and culture of Costa Rica!
- Experienced and professional
- Required to complete an intensive on-site training program
- Present the program material in a way that makes it come to life
- Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR certified
- FDLE and FBI Level 2 Background Checked
- ASAP-Camp Safety Certified
OUR PROGRAMS BUILD…
- Leadership skills
- A “can do” attitude
OUR FIELD TRIPS INCLUDE:
- Certified instructors
- All meals and snacks-full day and overnight trips
- Activity fees
- All equipment
- Educational journals
- Bus activities
- Accommodations-overnight trips
FLEXIBILITY AND CUSTOMIZATION:
- Each trip is carefully planned to provide an educational and memorable experience
- All programs can be custom tailored to meet your school’s individual needs
- Level of instruction varies based on grade level.
- All programs are taught using a fun, interdisciplinary and hands-on approach
- Local history is incorporated into the learning experience
- Scholarships available so no student gets left behind
- Fitness level -moderate to high
- Required to walk, occasional strenuous uphill
- Must possess adequate swimming capabilities
- Comfortable hiking and spelunking
Field Trip Pricing
All pricing dependent on group size, destination, departure location and date of travel.
Contact Us For Pricing
- Customized curriculum and learning objectives
- Personal Build-A-Field Trip Guide
- Local Naturalist Guides
- Activity & Entrance Fees and Associated Tips
- Round Trip Airfare, Baggage & Departure Tax
- Private In-Country Transportation
- All meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinners
- Personal Travel Insurance
& Higher Education
International Student Educational Field Trip to Costa Rica, Central America
- Tropical Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming
- Arenal Volcano and Venado Cave geology
- Zip-line through the rainforests in Selvatura Park
- White water rafting down Savegre River
- Rappel from waterfalls in Las Tumbas
- Cultural immersion study