Costa Rica (2 weeks): Biodiversity, Ecology & Sustainability

Sustainability and the Environment

Hike, paddle, and zipline through Costa Rica’s diverse ecosystems. Witness firsthand the country’s environmental conservation programs with sea turtles and other wildlife.



Community Service

Physical Activity


Water Activity



July 1, 2019


Program Description

A remote biological station nestled in the rainforest will be your classroom as you learn about Costa Rica’s efforts to protect the more than 500,000 species of rare tropical birds, indigenous animals, and plants. Travel by land and boat to the Campanario Biological Station in the tropical rainforest of the Osa Peninsula, which stretches nearly 170 acres inland from the sea. As you experience this tropical haven, an experienced Costa Rican naturalist will guide you, teaching you about the country’s famously diverse flora and fauna.

Feel a rush of adrenaline as you zip-line and hike your way through the rainforest’s dense canopy, then relax on legendarily beautiful beaches, where the rainforest grows along the white sand. Visit Manuel Antonio National Park to learn about its distinct tropical habitats, and kayak along the mangroves protected by the park. Take in the natural splendor of this coastal paradise with a catamaran cruise in the Central Pacific with your groupmates and new friends.

During orientation, stay in San Antonio de Belen, a quaint town outside San Jose. You will have the opportunity to explore the capital as you taste authentic Costa Rican foods and learn about the country’s history through visits to museums and the city’s Central Market.

Learn more about the daily life of a Costa Rican local during a six-day homestay with a tico host family. There, you will take a basic Spanish language class, enjoy nature hikes, eat meals of gallo pinto. Complete up to 15 hours of community service as you work on a project that focuses on rural development or ecological sustainability.





July 1, 2019 - July 16, 2019

Program Fee:


(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost:


Depart/Return City:



San José, 2–3 days


Other Accommodations:

Hotels, lodges, cabins

Sample Itinerary

    Days 1-2

    Orientation, San José area

    • Stay in San Antonio de Belén, a calm town outside of San Jose, for your orientation sessions and introduction to the program.
    • Explore the capital, San José, as you visit sites of interest, sample local food, and learn about the local history and culture
    • Get to know other members of your group through discussions and shared activities
    • Introduction to Tico Spanish – practice your Spanish language skills with vendors at San José’s Central Market

    Accommodations:  Hotel

    Days 3-9

    Homestay in Osa Peninsula

    • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a Costa Rican family and community
    • Practice your Spanish language skills with members of your host family
    • Participate in cultural exchange activities in the community
    • Explore your host community and the surrounding area
    • Work on a service project to benefit the local community

    Accommodations: With a local family

    Days 10-12

    Thematic component in Osa Peninsula

    • Travel by land and boat to a research station in the Pacific lowland tropical rain forest of the Osa Peninsula, Campanario Biological Station, which stretches nearly 170 acres inland from the sea.
    • Engage in daily activities such as hiking with local naturalists and exploring the diverse flora and fauna found in the rain forest.
    • Visit Corcovado National Park, see hundreds of bats fly out of their day roost in a cave along the rocky coast, and learn about conservation projects developed in the area.

    Accommodations: Campanario Biological Station

    Days 13-14

    Thematic component in Central Pacific

    • Travel south through the stunning Central Pacific to Manuel Antonio National Park, where the rainforest grows right down and meets the white sand beaches
    • Learn about several habitats, including primary and secondary forest and mangroves, as well as beach vegetation and marine resources, protected by the park.
    • Kayak along the coast and see the tropical vegetation in the coastal mangroves
    • Enjoy some time relaxing on the beach
    • Zip-line among the trees in the rain forest
    • Cruise the Central Pacific on a catamaran with your group

    Accommodations: Hotel

    Day 15

    • Enjoy a farewell meal with your group and do some last-minute souvenir shopping
    • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program

    Accommodations: Hotel

    Day 16


Itinerary is subject to change.