Heredia, Costa Rica
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Costa Rica Teen Service Trip

Costa Rica Discovery

14 days of service and adventure! Eye-opening cultural experience for teens looking to impact their world.



Costa Rica

2019 Dates

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


14 days



Trip Highlights

  • Life Changing Experience in Costa Rica
  • Snorkel, Sail & White Sand Beaches
  • Jungle Zip-line & Wildlife
  • Flamingo Beach: Paint Classrooms
  • Rural Village Service Project
  • Help Build the Foundation of a House
  • Community Service: 15 Hours

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



FLAMINGO BEACH: Village Service Project

Volunteering in the small fishing villages of Potrero and Brasilito, our home for the next three days is pristine white sand beaches and awesome service. Costa Rica Service will spend days working at a public health clinic or local primary school. Campers not only help repaint the buildings but also spend time assisting nurses and teachers. No experience is required - this community service project teaches campers to immerse themselves in a community and help in any way possible. Next, no trip to Flamingo Beach is complete without beach time! We spend a day sailing, snorkeling, and enjoying the warm waters of Costa Rica’s Pacific Ocean. Crystal blue water, bright corals, dolphins, and incredibly soft sand, allow campers to enjoy themselves.


Traveling to the village of La Carpio, Costa Rica Service prepares for its next community service project. We will help lay the foundation for a small community center and will be assisted by local carpenters. The project will involve construction work, laying cement floors and foundation, and installing basic plumbing. In addition, we help to improve a public park in the area, planting flowers and other plants as well as some landscaping to beautify the neighborhood.


Traveling to Rincon de la Vieja National Park, campers spend two days enjoying hot springs, mud baths, river tubing and awesome hikes. Partnering with Life Monteverde and the Santa Elena National Park, campers help plant trees, remove invasive species, and work with naturalists. This community service project helps protect Costa Rica’s natural beauty while also giving campers the chance to see amazing jungle wildlife. Campers also visit a sustainable coffee farm to learn about sustainable farming practices and sample delicious organic coffee.
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Day 1
Welcome to Costa Rica!
Welcome to Bold Earth! Campers will be met upon arrival at the San Jose Airport by their experienced Bold Earth Trip Leaders and will call home 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 daily routine, jobs, and safety rules are explained, and the process of growing together as a group begins. We watch the sunset over the Costa Rican tropics as we eat a Costa Rican dinner feast! Welcome to Bold Earth Costa Rica Service!
Day 2-4
Community Service: Potrero & Brasilito
Traveling by private van, Costa Rica Service ventures to Flamingo Beach to begin 3 days of community service. We spend days working in the small fishing villages of Potrero and Brasilito, communities that Bold Earth campers have invested in for many years. Working at a public health clinic and a primary school, campers spend the days working hard and experiencing the warmth of Costa Rican culture.
Day 5
Flamingo Beach
After a few days of community service, campers are rewarded with a beach day. Campers spend the morning on a sailing trip, seeing dolphins, sea turtles and more. The afternoon is spent snorkeling and enjoying the beach.
Day 6-7
Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Heading north to Rincon de la Vieja, we spend two days enjoying the hot springs and adventure activities of the National Park. Activities include hiking and river tubing.
Day 8-10
Monteverde: Community Service
Traveling to our next community service project in Monteverde, we focus on the environment. Days are spent between Life Monteverde and Santa Elena National Park. During our stay at Life Monteverde, we help on an organic and sustainable farm. In the National Park, campers help plant trees and remove invasive species. Both projects keep campers engaged and help mother nature.
Day 11-13
Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation
Costa Rica Service's next project is with the Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation. During our three days on the project, we help lay the foundation for a small community center. Working alongside locals, campers not only help the community but also learn about the challenges of life in the village. The last of our 3 community service projects, campers have gained a lot of experience in service projects and have learned a lot from Bold Earth's non-profit partners.
Day 14
Adios Costa Rica
On our last day in Costa Rica, campers are supervised until the last possible moment. Bold Earth helps all campers check-in for their flight and ensures that parents have been called. Campers give their last hugs and say, "Adios Costa Rica!"

Big Picture?

Experience 14 unforgettable days of community service in Costa Rica. We hit the ground running with a full schedule of service goals and carefully designed projects. Included are 3 diverse community service projects, each with a unique focus. A service certificate describing your work will be awarded upon completion.

In addition to serving local communities, campers will have the opportunity to sail, snorkel, zip line, observe Costa Rican wildlife, and experience the best adventures that Costa Rica has to offer.

Can I speak to references?

To receive a list of Costa Rica Service 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 About the Community Service!

Costa Rica Service campers will complete 40 hours of meaningful, enriching, and impactful community service.

1. Portero & Brasilito Villages: In small fishing villages located just north of Playa Flamingo on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, campers spend three days working at a primary school and at a public health clinic. Campers not only help repaint the buildings but also spend time assisting nurses and teachers. In Portero, we help lay the foundation for a small community center and will be assisted by local carpenters. The project will involve construction work, laying cement floors and foundations, and installing basic plumbing. In Brasilito, campers volunteer at a public health clinic, learning about rural health and Costa Rica’s health care system. Campers work hard, learn a lot and truly give back to the community. Campers with an interest in teaching or public health will especially love this project!

2. Monteverde Cloud Forest: Volunteering with Life Monteverde, Bold Earth campers learn about the ecologically sensitive Santa Elena National Park. Surrounded by toucans, sloths, monkeys, and incredible flowers, campers plant trees and remove invasive species. The objective of this 3-day project is to help reforest (recreate the natural ecosystem) an old farm. The project not only includes lots of hands-on experience but also includes an environmental education component. For campers interested in the environment, this is an inspiring project!

3. Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation: Helping to build a community center near the town of Heredia in Costa Rica’s ‘Central Valley,’ campers immerse themselves in the culture and community of the village. Working alongside locals, campers learn the fundamentals of construction (how to mix concrete, use a hammer, lay a foundation) and then begin working! Wearing hardhats, campers see the progress before their own eyes. Campers sleep well in the evening because this project is fun, inspirational, and exhausting!

Each community service project is carefully designed by Bold Earth and its partners in Costa Rica. The goal of each project is to expose campers to the impact of community service, provide campers with insight on how to implement their own service projects, and cultivate the spirit required to be an impactful global citizen. We hope campers return from their summer on Costa Rica Service with the confidence and know-how to plan their own community service projects.

Click to View: ALL Bold Earth community service projects

Is This Trip Only Community Service?

Costa Rica Service campers complete 40 hours of community service, but they also have the chance to have unbelievable amounts of fun! Bold Earth is all about service and adventure, and Costa Rica Service includes lots of both.

The adventure components of the trip are amazing. Costa Rica is known as the adventure capital of Latin America, and to skip adventure would be a shame. Campers will snorkel, snail, hang out on the beach, hike in the jungle, and go ziplining through the lush rainforest canopy. These cultural and adventure components only contribute to the value and meaning of the community service projects.

Where Do We Stay?

Costa Rica Service 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.

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.

What Is 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 rain forests rich with wildlife, birds and incredible beauty.

Tell Me About Costa Rican Food!

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.

What Should I Pack?

Over the last 15 years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the Costa Rica Service packing list to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable on the trip. Check out the Costa Rica Service Packing List for a detailed description of exactly what to bring. Anything not included on the list is provided by Bold Earth.

Checking Bags? On airport day, campers will check the large duffle bag. We recommend using the small daypack as a carry-on. Most airlines do not charge a checked bag fee for international travel. We recommend asking the airline for their specific policy – campers are responsible for checked bag fees.

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.

Is Costa Rica Service an Authentic Adventure?

Bold Earth is 14 days of outdoor adventure for campers who want to serve communities, jump off waterfalls, zip lining, hike in the jungle, 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.

Can I Combine Two Bold Earth Trips?

Costa Rica Service is specifically designed to be combined with Costa Rica Active. The time between trip (one day) is fully supervised and is included at no additional cost.

Please contact our Colorado office for more information: 303-526-0806 or e-mail at

What Will My Group Be Like?

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.

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 Service. 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 Service 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.

Costa Rica Discovery

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
Monteverde, Costa Rica
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"My Bold Earth Costa Rica trip was life changing on all fronts. When looking back on my experience I am elated with the people and wonders of the beautiful experience!"

-Amy W.

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