2020 Overland Costa Rica Rica Osa Conservation Expedition

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2020 Overland Costa Rica Conservation Program!  We have created two webpages dedicated to this once in a lifetime experience so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, is meant to share exciting details, highlights, and pertinent info, that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page is intended to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and get excited for Costa Rica!
Travel Dates: June 1, 2020 - June 12, 2020
Group Organizer(s):
WTT/SSA Contact:
Deadline(s): Complete an Enroll Now form and submit a $250 deposit to secure your spot on the expedition!

Costa Rica

From white sand beaches to misty cloud forests, from towering volcanoes to beautiful rivers that cut through tropical canyons, and to hospitable, friendly communities, Costa Rica has it all. Having abolished its military over 70 years ago, this tiny democratic republic has long been known for its pacifism, commitment to environmental protection, and its status as a destination for those seeking safe yet exciting adventure travel set against breathtaking scenery. However, despite an extensive tourism industry, in many parts of Costa Rica there remains a need for help and service. Our programs offer unique access to Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets and friendliest communities. We are confident you will love the land of Pura Vida as much as we do.

Program Highlights

Check out some of the possible featured experiences of your coming adventure! Each customized itinerary is unique, but these are just a few of the activities which may be available during your program.

Immerse yourself in the local language and culture by staying with a host family

Work side by side with the Organization for Tropical Studies' scientists in one of most studied ecosystems in the world.

Learn about the history of the chocolate industry while assisting in its preparation process.

Zip-line though the jungle

Trek to a beautiful waterfall deep in the jungle

Visit one of Costa Rica's most beautiful volcanoes

Stay in quaint jungle bungalows

Take private surf lessons from some of Costa Rica's best surfers

Practice your Spanish language skills with locals

Raft down one of Costa Rica's best rivers

Release baby sea turtles into the wild (seasonal)

Hike through the tropical rainforest and learn about local ecosystems

Explore a cloud forest, guided by a local naturalist

Assist with research efforts at the Playa Tortuga Research Station

Assist with surveys of marine and terrestrial wildlife

Clean up marine debris to ensure an unspoiled nesting habitat for sea turtles

Contribute towards an environmental service project

Discover the gorgeous beaches and world-class national parks of the Pacific coast

The Itinerary

We work hard to create engaging, educational, and truly immersive itineraries for our travelers. However, we also know that travel can be unpredictable, so we always design our experiences to be flexible enough to allow for adjustments based on group interests, unexpected opportunities, and any weather or safety concerns that may arise during your program. Should changes to the itinerary occur, we will notify travelers and families as quickly as possible. 

March 4USA - AlajuelaToday the group will travel from the USA to Costa Rica, and flights usually arrive in the evening. After arrival, the group will settle into their hotel for the evening and have an orientation meeting where the group will discuss the upcoming trip in detail.Casa Cielo Grande
March 5Alajuela - HorquetasAfter breakfast we will head for Sarapiquí, an area characterized by its lush tropical rainforest as well as by its rivers, about 3 hours north of the capital city. Upon arrival we will enjoy a chocolate tour and then settle in La Selva Biological Station where we will meet our research tutors and learn more about the projects we'll be working on. We will have a night hike through the trails in the middle of primary rainforest.OTC Lodge
March 6Horquetas de SarapiquíWatershed management project. All day long? Ethnobotany tour?OTC Lodge
March 7Horquetas de SarapiquíRiparian forest restoration. All day long? We will go whitewater rafting class 3 rapids down the Sarapiqui River.OTC Lodge
March 8Horquetas de SarapiquíAfter breakfast we will work on a camera trap project. After lunch we will head to La Fortuna, right next to the Volcán Arenal, an impressive volcano that stands out in the middle of the flatlands. We will go ziplining in the afternoon. At night we will relax at the Baldi Hotsprings where we will be having dinner too.OTC Lodge
March 9Horquetas de Sarapiquí - La FortunaAfter breakfast we will work on a camera trap project. After lunch we will head to La Fortuna, right next to the Volcán Arenal, an impressive volcano that stands out in the middle of the flatlands. We will go ziplining in the afternoon. At night we will relax at the Baldi Hotsprings where we will be having dinner too.Fortuna Lodging
March 10La Fortuna - AlajuelaToday we will explore Volcán Arenal National Park which bursts with wildlife. Inside we will find a waterfall and winding trails that lead through dense jungle. Students can relax, swim and explore in the morning. After lunch we will make the drive back to San Jose for a farewell dinner before our international departure the following morning.Casa Cielo Grande
March 11Alajuela - USAAfter breakfast, we will head to the airport for a morning departure back to the USA.Your own bed, eventually!

Safety and Support


Our daughter was sick the last two days of the trip. WT and her teachers kept us very well informed. You had a clear plan in place to get her home safely and to the doctor if necessary. The fact that you had a hotel room waiting for her in Lima, upon return from Cusco, was quite impressive. She was able to rest the entire day before travel back to the US. Thank you.

Parent of Isabella, traveler on 2017 program to Peru

Your Adventure Includes

Program Tuition Excludes: Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.

Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.

Our travelers are provided with fundraising opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling bird-friendly, fair trade coffee from our host countries. There is no limit to the amount you can raise, so get started now by selling coffee or referring your friends to earn credit toward your program!


WTT coffee
Resource center

Resource Center

Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.

Learn More

Ready to Get Started?

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