Wildlife & Action

Costa Rica

Take a walk on the wild side during this 9-day trip to Costa Rica, a natural playground for animal lovers and adventure seekers. Hike through misty cloud forests, watch volcanoes curl smoke into clear blue skies, spot howler monkeys in the treetops, whizz down a zipline on a heart-thumping canopy tour and race down a river on a tubing adventure. In between the action, your students will volunteer at the uplifting Proyecto Asis, caring for the animal in the wildlife rescue centre and stay with the local community. It’s a perfect blend of nature, activity and genuine local experience.

The tours, hotels, day trips and suggestions in this tour are just an example of what we can do for you. Contact us to customize a trip especially for your group

Trip highlights

  • Stay at home with the welcoming locals and volunteer in the community or wildlife rescue centre.
  • Whizz through the rainforest on a canopy zipline and soak in the natural thermal pools of Rincon de la Vieja
  • Wander through the treetops of the wildlife-rich Monteverde cloud forest and twist down the river on a tubing adventure.
  • Walk along ancient lava flows and watch rumbling volcanoes curl smoke into clear blue skies.
  • Hike through lush forests to emerald lagoons in the Poàs Volcano National Park.

Costa Rica 9 days / 8 nights

Adventure level: exciting!
Max group size: 30
Included
  • 7 nights in comfortable 3-star accommodation and 2 nights in an authentic homestay as part of the Asis Proyecto volunteering project
  • Full Board
  • Full day volunteering at a wildlife rescue center
  • Private transport and private excursions with a bilingual certified guide. All entrance fees included.
  • 1 certified, experienced tour leader to accompany you every step of the way.
  • 1 teacher travels completely free of charge for every 10 students in the group

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Bienvenidos a Costa Rica!

When you land in San José, you’ll be transferred directly to your comfortable hotel. Perched in the basin of a high valley and home to over 1 million inhabitants, San José is flanked by towering jagged peaks and buzzing with constant activity. Unlike many other Central American capitals, it is not rich in colonial architecture, but you’ll find something eye-opening happening on every street corner. While it may not win prizes in the cosmetic department, San José is a real, working city with a big heart. Explore the choatic fruit markets and watch daily life unfold on the sidewalk.

Day 2 & 3: Rumbling volcanoes & wildlife conservation

Early this morning, you’ll set off on a beautiful journey to Poás Volcano National Park, passing strawberry fields and coffee plantations before climbing into the cloud forest. One of the world’s largest geysers, the active Poás Volcano has an awesome crater stretching over 1.5km wide. Standing on the edge of the caldera, you’ll watch the billowing smoke curl into the sky and hear the hissing of the bubbling sulphur within. You’ll hike through the cloud forest, bursting with bright orchids and exotic birds, before ending up at a tropical emerald lagoon.

In the afternoon, you’ll head towards Proyecto Asis, where you’ll be volunteering tomorrow. Here, you’ll learn about your friendly host family for the next two nights, a great way to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Costa Rican culture and the perfect chance to practice your Spanish.

Day 3 is all about rolling up your sleeves and lending a hand. Proyecto Asis is a diverse and inspiring organisation with volunteer projects ranging from wildlife conservation to environmental protection, animal rescue and local community. In other words, there are plenty of ways to get involved! It’s a rewarding day packed with generous spirit and team-building opportunities.

Days 4, 5 and 6: Arenal volcano and Rincon de la Vieja

Today, you’ll wave your family hosts goodbye and set off to explore the natural wonders of Costa Rica. First, you’ll drive to Arenal Volcano National Park. As you approach the park, you’ll see the gigantic cinder cone of Arenal rising a whopping 1,633 metres from the surrounding rainforest. You’ll hike around the base of the volcano, learning all about the tropical flora and fauna and walk on ancient lava flows at the famous lava wall. Next you’ll head into the cowboy province of Costa Rica and the gorgeous region of Rincon de la Vieja, set around a volcanic chain dating back over a million years. Here, you’ll sleep on an authentic ranch nestled between open pastures and thick forest.

On day 5, you’ll disappear deep into Rincon de la Vieja National Park, scattered with thermal springs, bubbling mud pots and hidden waterfalls. In the afternoon, you’ll get your adrenaline pumping on a zipline canopy tour through the forest, high above the Colorado River. You’ll whizz down 9 cables between 17 platforms and wobble across a dizzying suspension bridge – an experience that will set your head spinning!

Day 6: River tubing and cloud forest adventure

Get ready for a rip-roaring river adventure! This morning, you’ll clamber into an inflatable tube and drift downstream along a river flanked by tropical forest on both sides. Following the natural flow of the river, you’ll crash through channels of foaming white water and float lazily through calmer waters, where you can soak up the views.

Afterwards, you’ll journey into the cloud forest of Monteverde, one of the most incredible wildlife sanctuaries in the world. With an alpine climate and quaint wooden houses, it’s like a tropical Switzerland tucked away in the forest.  A constant swing between bright sunshine and misty drizzle, Monteverde is somewhere really special. You’ll follow hiking trails through the high rainforest, keeping your eyes peeled for hummingbirds, Quetzals and more.

Days 7, 8 and 9: Treetop walkway tour and tropical beaches

This morning, you’ll take a treetop walkway tour, getting a whole new perspective on the cloud forest. Following a 3km network of canopy walks and suspension bridges high above the branches, you’ll learn about the flora and fauna with a expert nature guide. The forest is home to over 2,500 species of plants, 420 kinds of orchid and more than 400 bird species, as well as monkeys, sloths and more. Keep your eyes open and your camera handy! Coming down from the canopy, you’ll drop into the Butterfly Gardens before leaving Monteverde.

Next, you’ll travel along the Pacific Coast to Manuel Antonio National Park, a stunning mixture of tropical forest, mangrove swamps, rippling lagoons and wild beaches. On Day 8, you’ll hike through Manuel Antonio, spot wildlife with a custom-made telescope and stretch out under swaying palm trees on soft white beaches. Hiding out between the branches, you’ll find sloths, iguanas and squirrel monkeys, while dolphins and turtles swim through the clear waters offshore. It’s a wonderful way to end your trip. On Day 9, you’ll be transferred back to San José for your international flight home.

Practical Information

Costa Rica is a tropical country which thrives on rain and sun, both of which are ever-present throughout the year. Despite, the climate can be divided roughly into a wet and dry season and both have their advantages when it comes to the best time to travel. The wetter and greener months are generally from May to November when showers come in short, drenching down pours throughout the day, and are heaviest between September and October. The dry season runs roughly from mid December to April when temperatures  hover at around 27C-80F, with variations in the Caribbean coast which has its dry season rather in September and October.

Day 1: Arrival transfer from San José’s Juan Santamaria Airport to hotel. Overnight.

Day 2: Private bus transfer from San José to the ASIS community project in Arenal. Tour to Poàs Volcano National Park and thermal pools, all entrance fees included. Overnight at Proyecto ASIS homestay (B,L,D).

Day 3: One full day of volunteering activities with Proyecto ASIS. Overnight at Proyecto ASIS homestay (B,L,D).

Day 4: Private bus transfer from Arenal to Rincon del la Vieja. Hiking tour in Arenal National Park, all entrance fees included. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 5: Private bus transfer to Rincon de la Vieja National Park and hiking tour (Las Pailas route), including all entrance fees. Canopy zip-line tour in Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 6: Private bus transfer to Monteverde. Afternoon river tubing tour. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 7: Private bus transfer to Manuel Antonio. Guided Selvatura Treetop Walkway tour and visit to Butterfly Garden. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 8: Private bus transfer to Manuel Antonio National Park and guided tour including all entrance fees. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 9: Transfer from hotel to Juan Santamaria Airport in San José to begin journey home.

  • 7 nights in comfortable 3-star accommodation and 2 nights in an authentic homestay as part of the Asis Proyecto volunteering project.
  • Full board
  • Full day volunteering at a wildlife rescue center
  • Private transport and private excursions with a bilingual certified guide. All entrance fees included.
  • 1 certified, experienced tour leader to accompany you every step of the way.
  • 1 teacher travels free of charge for every 10 students in the group.

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