Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
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Costa Rica Teen Adventure Trip

Costa Rica Active

Embark on a safari, take the scenic route on a bike tour, explore the underwater world with a snorkel, learn to surf, and hike through the jungle—all in just two weeks!



Costa Rica

2019 Dates

June 29 - July 12
July 14 - July 27
July 29 - August 11


14 days



Trip Highlights

  • Three days of surfing
  • Sail on the Marlin del Ray catamaran
  • Snorkel among incredible coral & fish
  • Whitewater raft the Pacuare River
  • Explore volcanoes & waterfalls
  • Zipline through the jungle
  • Community Service: 15 hours

*The itineraries below are from summer 2018. The 2019 itinerary will be finalized in October 2018.



Whitewater Raft: Pacuare River

We begin our Costa Rica Active trip by jumping onto the Pacuare River. Guided by expert raft guides, we spend two days navigating the Class III-IV rapids of the Pacuare River. Slicing through pristine jungle, we stop at waterfalls, admire toucans, and raft incredible rapids. Costa Rica Active campers stay in a rainforest lodge alongside the river - an incredible setting to start our trip.

Monteverde: Zip Lines, Hikes & Waterfalls

We visit Rincon de la Vieja, a volcano and national park famous for its stunning waterfalls. We jump into clear blue rivers and snap incredible photos of Costa Rica’s natural beauty. Next, we travel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest for hiking and zip lines. Spending the day on 17 different zip lines, the longest spanning 2 miles long, campers see incredible wildlife and views from the canopy.

Tamarindo Beach: Surf, Snorkel & Sail

Traveling to Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, we spend a few days enjoying Costa Rica’s world-famous beaches. We have three-morning surf lessons and spend the afternoons sailing on a 66-foot catamaran, the Marlin del Ray, and snorkeling in perfect waters. Campers love the beach and visiting the surf town of Flamingo Beach.

Active Community Service

Every Bold Earth trip includes community service. In order to help the communities we visit, Costa Rica Active includes 15 hours of active community service. Campers will help build a playground at a school near the town of Heredia. Campers get their hands dirty and are very proud of the work they accomplish!
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Day 1
Welcome to Costa Rica!
Welcome to Bold Earth! You will be met at the San Jose Airport by your experienced Bold Earth trip leaders. Campers will call home immediately upon meeting their trip leaders to confirm their safe arrival. Once the group has arrived, we load up our private van and travel a short distance to our bed & breakfast near San Jose. During orientation, we get to know each other and learn what to expect in the days ahead. Our first night in our accommodations is full of games and watching the sunset over Costa Rica. Dinner is a delicious Costa Rican feast.
Day 2-3
Whitewater Raft the Pacuare River
The adventure begins! We crash, plunge, and float our way down the famous Pacuare River as the jungle canopy shades us from above. Class III & IV rapids offer wild and exciting plunges and drops suitable for beginners and experts. Afternoons and evenings are spent at the Rios Tropicales Lodge lounging in hammocks or exploring the surrounding jungle. After a night in our bungalows, we wake rested and ready for another day of adrenaline-filled rafting!
Day 4-5
Action Packed Community Service
Partnering with the Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation, Bold Earth campers spend 2 full days helping to build a playground. Campers get their hands dirty working alongside local villagers to better the community. During the service project, campers learn basic principles of service while also becoming immersed in Costa Rican culture.
Day 6-8
Volcano: Rincón de la Vieja
To the volcanos! Traveling north, we venture to Rincón de la Vieja National Park. Famous for its hot springs, waterfalls, and mud baths, Costa Rica Active makes the most of these opportunities. Activities include river tubing, mountain biking, swimming, and hiking. This is an adventure-filled two days!
Day 9-11
Tamarindo Beach: Surf, Sail & More
Traveling to Costa Rica's most famous beach town, campers get excited for two full days on the beach. We spend three mornings in professionally-instructed surf lessons, and you'll have the chance to stand up and surf. In the afternoon we will sail on the Marlin del Ray, a 66-foot catamaran, and go snorkeling. Campers will also have a bit of free beach time to kick back and truly enjoy the Pura Vida lifestyle.
Day 12-13
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Monteverde, located in the midst of soaring trees and low hanging clouds, is Costa Rica's adventure capital. Surrounded by unique cloud forest, Monteverde is full of hiking, adrenaline, and wildlife. Costa Rica Active spends two days exploring the Santa Elena National Park by foot and by air. The highlights include a canopy tour with 17 zip lines. The longest is nearly 2 miles long! During our adventure, campers have the opportunity to see toucans, two-toed sloths, tapirs, and more!
Day 14
Adios Costa Rica
On our last day in Costa Rica, campers are supervised until their plane takes off. Bold Earth Trip Leaders help all campers check-in for their flight and ensure that parents have been called. Together, we celebrate our successes, reminisce on our adventure, and promise to see each other again. Campers give their last hugs and say, "Adios Costa Rica!"

What's The Big Picture?

Costa Rica is the adventure capital of Latin America. Full of rainforests, beaches, rivers, monkeys, sloths, frogs, and, zip lines, Costa Rica is a stunning country with amazing sites.

Think 14 days of non-stop, action-packed adventure to Costa Rica’s best beaches, cloud forests, rivers, and cities – this trip is an incredible combination of culture and adventure activities.

Your adventure will be led by one local Costa Rican guide and one American Bold Earth Trip Leader. Our small groups ensure you will make lifelong friendships and have an unforgettable summer camp adventure! Bold Earth has perfected Costa Rica trips for teenagers. You will learn, explore, be active, get wet, and say, “I WAS INCREDIBLE!”

Can I speak to references?

To receive a list of Costa Rica Active references call us in Colorado at 303-526-0806 or email Please mention the trip you are interested and where you live.

Since 1976 over 16,000 students from all 50 US states and 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We encourage you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programming and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like.

We want careful and selective families to choose Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose Bold Earth Adventures. Our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic.

Tell Me More About Costa Rica!

For campers interested in politics, international development, cooking, music, sports, or just about any topic, “Ticos” love to talk. Ticos are immensely proud of their country and love to share. Like Spanish? There’s plenty of opportunities to expand your language skills!

Costa Rica is a wonderful place to travel. Full of culture, natural beauty, and educated citizens, campers are immersed in a new language and a sophisticated country. Costa Ricans, known as “Ticos”, are proud, happy, and successful. Campers are always impressed by Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Costa Rica constitutionally abolished its army in 1949. It is the only Latin American country to have been a democracy since 1950 or earlier. Costa Rica is a leader of good governance, police relations, and environmental sustainability in Latin America. Costa Rica serves as an inspiration to the developing world.

In 2012, The New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranked Costa Rica as the world’s happiest and greenest country! Campers experience the beauty of Costa Rica’s environment and the warmth of its culture.

According to the World Bank, Costa Rica’s GDP per capita is US $11,122 (2009), The literacy rate in Costa Rica is 94.9%, one of the highest in Latin America. When the army was abolished in 1949, it was said that the “army would be replaced with an army of teachers.” In 2010 the life expectancy at birth for Costa Ricans was 79.3 years.

Is Costa Rica an Authentic Adventure?

Bold Earth is 14 days of outdoor adventure for campers who want to whitewater raft, jump off waterfalls, surf, climb volcanoes, wake up early, go to sleep tired, eat local food, and adventure, adventure, adventure!

Bold Earth is an authentic adventure experience. This is not a teen tour. With twenty years of experience in Costa Rica, Bold Earth has scouted the most authentic, safe, and exciting locations, hired the best local leaders, and found the sweetest host families.

Tell Me About the Community Service!

Community Service is a Bold Earth core value. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands-on community service projects that are active, engaging, meaningful and life-changing. All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.

Service Credit: 15 Hours

Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation: Bold Earth has partnered with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation for many years to help build playgrounds, parks, and gardens in the city of Heredia. During our community service project, campers spend two days working to assist a low-income neighbourhood by building a children’s park. We build a playground, plant trees, paint murals, and spend time with the local children. For more information, visit the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation.

Click to View: ALL Bold Earth community service projects

What Should I Pack?

Over the last 20 years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the Costa Rica Active packing list to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable on the trip. Check out the Costa Rica Active Packing List for a detailed description of exactly what to bring. Anything not included on the list is provided by Bold Earth.

Checking Bags? Most campers choose to check their bags for Costa Rica. Major airlines do not charge for checked bags for international destinations. Check with your airline for checked bag fees. Campers are required to pay for their own checked bags.

Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. The Bold Earth Trip Advisor team is always available to help answer packing questions or provide gear recommendations.

What's the Weather Like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rican summer weather is pretty much perfect, 80° – 90° F, 26° – 32° C. Frequent afternoon rainstorms cool down the day and usually do not interfere with our activities.

Keep in mind, one of the main reasons we visit Costa Rica is because it’s covered in amazing rainforests rich with wildlife, birds and incredible beauty.

How Do You Create Groups?

Bold Earth is proud to run trips with small groups and positive social dynamics. Our Costa Rica Active group has a maximum of 13 incredible and enthusiastic campers with one American Trip Leader and one Costa Rican guide.

Group size matters! Small groups enhance camper experience and cultivate better relationships. Knowledgeable and experienced guides make Bold Earth trips safer while giving Bold Earth programs powerful authenticity.

Bold Earth encourages all participants to take ownership of their Bold Earth trip. Campers will get a chance to be the Leader of the Day (LOD), which will give campers the opportunity to step into a leadership role. Our goal is for students to return home with a dozen new lifelong friends, feeling more confident, more of a leader, and more self-aware with a better appreciation of the world around them.

Do Campers Join Bold Earth Alone?

Yes! Bold Earth campers are diverse, energetic, leaders and fun! Approximately 85% of campers join Bold Earth on their own. Bold Earth fully supports students joining on their own or with friends.

Bold Earth will not allow more than three people who know each other in one group. We recommend you contact alumni references from this trip to ask them for feedback about the students in their group.

Where Do We Stay?

Costa Rica Active campers spend 9 total nights staying in bed and breakfast-style adventure lodges, and four nights in homestays. During the homestays, two campers stay with each family. Bold Earth carefully chooses all accommodations to be safe, comfortable, and authentic.

Homestays are often the highlight of the trip, allowing campers the opportunity to really connect with locals. Homestay families are very carefully selected, screened and have been working with Bold Earth for years. Host families are reimbursed for their hospitality.


What is the Homestay Like?

Families who choose Bold Earth are looking for authentic, safe, and successful adventures. Staying in a homestay gives Bold Earth campers the opportunity to experience the best of Costa Rica. Eating local food and experiencing Costa Rican culture while staying with a family are all part of this amazing adventure.

Year after year, campers love the short homestay in Costa Rica – it’s the perfect length and very carefully planned. Campers experience authentic culture to complement the days of active adventure.

Homestay Fast Facts:
• Two campers per family (private room)
• Homestays are comfortable and modern (nice bathrooms, refrigerators, etc..)
• All campers live in same neighborhood – Trip Leaders are very nearby
• Campers are together from 8 am – 6 pm, and have a post-dinner evening meeting every night before bed
• Campers are with host-family for dinner and sleeping

Should you bring a gift for your host family? A gift is not necessary or expected. If you choose to bring a gift, we suggest a picture of your family, a soccer ball, or a cool picture book – nothing extravagant, heavy, or that can melt. Some people bring a memento from their hometown as a gift. Another gift that is appreciated is a book in English for their school or library. Children’s books in English are especially well received.

What is the Food Like in Costa Rica?

Bold Earth campers love to eat, and Costa Rican food is delicious, healthy, and diverse. Popular foods in Costa Rica include rice, beans, chicken, fresh fish, fruit, and vegetables. Bold Earth and host families always provide plenty of delicious and nutritious food, and campers help cook during the trip!

Costa Rican cuisine is known for being flavorful, yet fairly mild, with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Rice and black beans are a staple of most traditional Costa Rican meals, often served three times a day; Gallo Pinto, a breakfast dish of rice and beans mixed together with onions and bell peppers, is often considered the Costa Rican national dish.

Do I Need a Passport/Visa?

Passport: ALL campers require a valid passport to enter Costa Rica. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of the trip.

Americans, EU, and Canadians: No visa required

Other Countries: Most campers will not require a visa to visit Costa Rica. For more information, we recommend you contact the Costa Rican embassy in your home country.

Do I Need Any Immunizations?

Bold Earth carefully researches possible health risks as part of our trip planning for the exact destinations we visit on Costa Rica Active. Bold Earth visits well-established tourist locations. For most campers, standard vaccinations are sufficient for travel in Costa Rica.

For more information, please consult your family physician or local travel clinic. The day-to-day Costa Rica Active itinerary on the website can be printed show to your travel clinic or family physician.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a Costa Rica specific website which we find to be very broad covering all areas, ages, seasons and types of travel.

Can I Combine Two Bold Earth Trips?

Costa Rica Active 14 is specifically designed to be combined with Costa Rica Service 14. The time between trips (one day) is fully supervised and is included at no additional cost. Please contact our Colorado office for more information: 303-526-0806 or email

Costa Rica Active

Travel Made Easy!

  1. Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
  2. We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximum coordinated group flights.
  3. Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.

Every trip has a story.

We have 40+ years of amazing travel tales to share, but our favorites are always best told by our adventurers themselves.
View Trip Blog
Flamingo Beach, Costa Rica
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"Costa Rica Active was my first and surely not my last trip with Bold Earth! Every single moment of it was amazing. I laughed so much everyday that by the end my cheekbones were hurting! The trip leaders made these two weeks unforgettable and everyone in the group got along really well, it felt like a second family! Costa Rica is an amazing country I loved discovering. The families were warm and welcoming, and I was able to improve my Spanish. Thank you Bold Earth for the best summer ever!"

-Alex W.

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