Pura vida! Costa Rica is packed with adventure, like whitewater rafting down tropical rivers, surfing on world-class beaches, and hiking in lush rainforests. Wildlife abounds in this diverse landscape; don’t be startled the first time you hear a howler monkey—they’ll keep their distance! We’ll see bubbling mudpits and mini-geysers around volcanoes, visit cascading waterfalls, and walk in the country’s famous cloud forests. We’ll make sure to give back to local communities by participating in meaningful service projects.
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Costa Rica Discovery
14 Daysview dates and prices
Arrive: San Jose (SJO)
Depart: San Jose (SJO)
Whitewater raft the Río Pacuare
After landing in San Jose and exploring the nearby, culturally-rich Heredia, we’ll begin our Costa Rica adventure with a two-day jaunt down the warm, jade-green waters of the Río Pacuare! Surrounded by dense, lush rainforest and cascading waterfalls, we’ll switch between calm waters and exciting class II–IV rapids; keep your ears pricked and eyes peeled for toucans, parrots, sloths, monkeys, and more. National Geographic has named this river as one of the top 10 rivers to raft in the world.
Learn to surf in Tamarindo
While in Costa Rica, you have to learn how to surf! Three days with professional surf instructors will teach us correct technique, water safety and awareness, and surf etiquette. Playa Tamarindo is acclaimed for its reliable, beginner-friendly waves; in fact, this entire area attracts surfers of all abilities from across the globe. When we’ve had our fill of the breaks, we’ll relax on the beach and explore the artsy town of Tamarindo. One afternoon will be spent on a private cruise around Flamingo Bay, where we’ll splash around in numerous snorkeling spots.
Hike around Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Rincon de la Vieja
After landing in San Jose and exploring the nearby, culturally-rich Heredia, we’ll set off on our Costa Rica adventure with three days in the extraordinarily biodiverse Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Monteverde (meaning “green mountain”) is home to more than 100 species of mammals (including all six species of the cat family and endangered species), 400 species of birds, and 120 species of reptiles and amphibians. We’ll explore the reserve’s splendor from walkways built into the forest canopy, and we’ll do a night hike to see nocturnal animals in action! Want to see things from a different perspective? You’ll get to fly through the canopy on the world’s first two-mile-long zipline! We’ll then travel to Rincón de la Vieja National Park, where we’ll hike around to see mini-geysers (from a safe distance!) and unwind in bubbling volcanic mud pits. We may see armadillos, iguanas, and howler and spider monkeys. Our visit wouldn’t be complete without swimming in the turquoise waters at the base of the 80-foot-tall Oropéndola Waterfall and floating in a tube down the river. Another afternoon will be spent touring sugar cane, coffee, banana, and plantain plantations!
Community service and homestay in Monteverde
During our three days of Monteverde adventure, students will stay with Tico families, where they’ll help cook, clean, and learn the Costa Rican lifestyle. They’ll also get to practice their Spanish! Two days will be spent giving back to these beautiful mountainous communities by volunteering with Siempre Amigos, an organization dedicated to providing aid to underserved families. An integral part of the Tico culture is inclusivity; by the time our students leave their homestays, they’ll feel like a home away from home. We coordinate with locals in the community to provide the most-needed help possible, which includes cooking, farming, and helping repair homes.
Dates and Prices
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Approximate service hours: 7–12
Included in Tuition:
- All meals
- All lodging, group gear, and technical gear
- All guided activities
Not Included in Tuition:
- Personal gear and clothing
- Optional trip protection
Homestay and cultural immersion
I loved having the chance to know and bond with so many people as I explored Costa Rica and had the time of my life!
I think this was a great trip for Lyla. She made some good friends and had some wonderful stories to share. Overall, Bold Earth seems great. Thank you for your work!
Surfing and hanging out with my group was the best. It was life-changing and the best 14 days of
my life. There was never a dull moment, and I was always busy and having a blast.
Bold Earth proved to be a safe and fun adventure for Kate with some meaningful interaction mixed in. She enjoyed the homestays and loved the local food. Kate also liked the activity level day to day. Darcy was open and friendly with communication, and I appreciated the time she took to make sure Kate was ready for the trip and would be able to participate in all activities.