Experience the breathtaking beauty of Costa Rica while nurturing new friendships and giving back to local people. Interact with biologists and scientists working to preserve the pristine environment. Volunteer at a local school or orphanage to assist children in need. Plant trees to preserve the delicate rainforests. Challenge yourself as you soar over the jungle on a zip line.
Greet fellow travelers in your gateway city before boarding your flight to Costa Rica.
After breakfast, travel to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and arrive in the lush Veragua Rainforest, near the historic Port of Limon. Begin your discovery of this diverse reserve with an aerial tram ride through the rainforest canopy to explore trails found in this unique habitat.
Later, engage with researchers actively working to discover and catalog new species of rainforest life at the National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio). Wind your way through walking trails full of live interactive exhibits including: snakes, butterflies, and the world’s largest nocturnal frog exhibit.
Begin your service work with an environmental research project involving butterfly catch-and-release, as well as insect identification.
Amid the nighttime sounds of the Veragua Rainforest, take a walk along the trails to look for nocturnal mammals including kinkajous, opossum, and the five different species of owls found in Veragua.
Rise early and have breakfast at the Veragua Rainforest Camp before departing for the community of Brisas.
Enjoy a true People to People day of activities as you help with projects at a local school such as painting, planting trees, and interacting with the local children.
This evening, Veragua’s many species of frogs come to life, their sounds filling the air, as you venture out with a flashlight in hand to witness the entire frog metamorphosis— from eggs to tadpoles to adult frogs.
Spend today working with a biologist in a scientific service project involving the collection of songs from the amphibious in Veragua Rainforest.
This evening, fall asleep to the harmonious lullaby of the jungle´s night sounds during an overnight stay in a tent suite. Each suite has its own deck, surrounded by lush rainforest foliage. What animals do you imagine you’ll hear tonight?
Learn how to make traditional Costa Rican dishes in a cooking class lead by a local community leader. Learn about the history, botanical names and cultivation of each fresh ingredient. Your menu may consist of guacamole (avocado dip), batidos (milkshakes), empanadas (turnovers), Costa Rican tortillas, or patacones (fried green plantains). Enjoy sampling all of your culinary creations at the end of the class!
Spend the afternoon giving back to the environment through more hands-on service.
Spend your morning with a canopy tour over the lush rainforest and canyon, traversing cables and platforms over 90 feet high! Your unique experience will take you from tree platform to tree platform, crossing over a canyon two or three times.
Journey on to the Arenal area and stop along the way at the town of La Fortuna, located in the valley of the Arenal Volcano. Relax in the beautiful, rock-lined geothermal pools of Ecotermales Hot Springs, which is naturally heated by magma from volcanic activity.
Today, enjoy learning traditional and non-traditional methods of farming in rural Costa Rica. Learn to milk a cow, make tortillas, gather vegetables from the garden, see the milling of sugar canes, and collect water from the manmade well. You'll even be able to enjoy a typical organic lunch made with products harvested from the property and cooked on a woodstove. Show appreciation to your hosts by sponsoring and planting a tree in danger of extinction.
Visit a local school nearby to donate supplies and spend time with the children. Time permitting, you may read to the schoolchildren before they perform traditional folkloric dances for you.
This evening, weather permitting, check out the lava viewing at a look-out!
Travel back to San Jose, where you will visit an orphanage and spend time with the children, as well as provide some donations or work directly in a service project.
Continue your journey to Santa Ana to meet your home stay family, who will welcome you into their home as a guest for the next two nights.
This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner and some fun Latin dance lessons with fellow delegates and their host families.
This morning, participate in a social service project in the community of San Bosco de Ciudad Colon.
Later, hear a presentation from a professor at the University for Peace on a topic that will have you reflecting on your Ambassadorial experience thus far, as well as your place in the world. UPEACE began at the United Nations under the leadership of the president of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Carazo.
Enjoy a final evening with your Costa Rican home stay family.
After saying a sad goodbye to your host family, travel to the Huetar Indigenous Reserve called Quitirrisí. Learn about the history and traditions of this group of Costa Rican people, and see the crafts the huateres people create and sell to help support themselves in this rural community.
In the Nacientes Palmichal area, lend a hand cleaning up the forest, doing a maintenance project on the lodge, or helping with recycling efforts. You’ll also get to see how earthworms are used to help compost waste from the Beneficio Palmichal.
Tonight, enjoy the rhythm of the music as you practice what you learned in your Latin dance lessons.
Depart this morning for Jacό and prepare for two great activities. Today, your delegation will be split into two groups to alternately take part in both of the day’s activities—surfing and an environmental service project.
Surfs up! Learn from experienced instructors to develop your surfing skills. Jacó is world-renowned for having consistent waves and an easy beach break, which allows you to surf almost the entire beach.
Give back through service when you help with activities such as reforestation, beach cleaning, or trail maintenance.
Prepare to get wet when you board your raft for some of the world’s best white-water rafting near Manuel Antonio National Park. Experience Costa Rica’s beautiful rivers from a different perspective as you plunge through dramatic and largely unexplored tropical wilderness, then descend from the mountains above Quepos, through jungle gorges to near sea level farmlands and palm oil plantations.
Get out and explore the area during a rafting adventure at Rio Naranjo River, which carves deep into exposed bedrock, offering stunning views.
Enjoy a leisurely morning as you participate in your choice of activities: break up into groups for one last swim at the beach, lounge by the hotel pool, or journal about your journey.
After lunch, depart from the beautiful jungle for San Jose.
Say goodbye to Costa Rica!
Note: Highlights featured represent past programs. Your program may differ slightly in some areas due to scheduling conflicts, unforeseen changes, and the arrival of new opportunities. Your program's schedule of activities will be provided as confirmed, closer to actual travel.
Our inclusive tuition is yet another reason People to People Student Ambassador Programs stands out.
|12 hours of pre-travel preparation||Yes|
|People to People Ambassador Programs travel shirt||Yes|
|International airline surcharge||No|
|Taxes and gratuities||Yes|
|Three meals per day||Yes|
|Safety & Insurance|
|On-site 24 hour delegation manager||Yes|
|Supervision (average leader/student ratio 1/10)||Yes|
|24-hour response team||Yes|
|Travel Protection Plan & Cancel For Any Reason Benefit Upgrade:
Available as optional purchases for your program
|One elective high school semester credit||Yes|
|College credit (Eastern Washington University)||No|
|24 service-learning hours||Yes|
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Our teacher leaders are the backbone of our unique student travel programs. They are active, positive, and passionate educators who truly enjoy helping students achieve their full potential. In addition, our highly experienced onsite program staff assist with all program logistics and ensure that our students and teachers have an engaging and safe educational experience.
All of our leaders meet rigorous standards that include an application, an extensive background check, CPR certification, personal interview, safety training, and onsite training.