2020 Westwood Sea Turtle Conservation Expedition

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2020 Westwood Sea Turtle Expedition! We have created two webpages dedicated to this exciting program 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 meant to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and we can't wait to start our enriching adventure!
Travel Dates: February 14, 2020 - February 25, 2020
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,000 USD - or - $1,900 USD with discount if paid in full
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $717

Tuition Calculator

There are two options for payment, including an easy installment plan.  Follow the option which works best for your family.

Program Tuition: $2,000

Pay in Full

Pay in full at the time of enrollment and receive a $100 discount off your program tuition! Payment with the discount would be:


due today

Payment Plan

Pay a $500 deposit at the time of enrollment and establish a monthly payment plan. If you enroll today, your estimated* monthly payments would be:


per month

* This is an approximate price. Your exact total will be confirmed by the Admissions Team upon enrollment.

All prices in United States Dollars.

Costa Rica Conservation Expedition: Tortuga Feliz

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 50 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!

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions invite students to participate in scientific research projects, learn about diverse ecosystems, and lend a hand in community-based biodiversity conservation efforts.

Program Highlights

Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!

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

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

Assist with research and conservation efforts at the Reserva Playa Tortuga

The Itinerary

We work hard to create safe, engaging, and immersive itineraries for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

1USA - San JoséToday the group will travel from the USA to Costa Rica. 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. San Jose Hotel
2Alajuela - La FortunaIn the morning, the group will head to Alajuela to La Fortuna. We will enjoy a traditional Costa Rican lunch and have a short cultural orientation meeting, before jumping straight into our first adventure activity—zip-lining through the rainforest!Hotel La Fortuna
3La FortunaFollowing breakfast, we will go on a wildlife and nature hike in Arenal National Park. During the day, we will visit the massive Lake Arenal and in the evening we will soak in hot springs at the base of an active volcano. Throughout the program, we'll have the opportunity to interact with community members in Spanish, participate in cultural exchanges, and explore Costa Rican culture.Hotel La Fortuna
4La Fortuna - Widecast Field StationToday the group will travel to the Caribbean side. After a scenic boat ride, we will arrive at the WIDECAST Field Station. We will have an introduction and tour of the station and begin our nightly beach patrols in search of female leatherback and green turtlesField Station
5Widecast Field StationDays at the WIDECAST Field Station will be dedicated to helping research assistants with their personal research projects or camp maintenance tasks, such as beach cleanups or equipment inventories. In the nighttime, we will continue the important task of patrolling the beach.Field Station
6Widecast Field StationThe morning will be spent assisting with the research projects and camp maintenance tasks. After a hearty lunch, we will go on an exciting river biodiversity tour with a local expert who will help us identify the diverse plants and animals that call the river home.Field Station
7Widecast Field StationIn the morning, we will have an exciting lecture on sea turtle biology, ecology and conservation. In the afternoon, there will be an optional rainforest hike, and in the evening, there will be an exhumation demonstration of hatched turtle nests.Field Station
8Widecast Field StationIt is our last day to complete our research projects and help out around the camp. After lunch, we will have time to play soccer with the local community and in the evening we will celebrate with our new friends with a fiesta de despedida!Field Station
9Widecast Field Station - Playa ChiquitaIn the morning, we will go on a boat ride from Tortuga Feliz and travel to the southern Caribbean coast. After all of our hard work, we will have some much deserved time to relax and swim on the beach.Playa Chiquita Hotel
10Playa Chiquita Today the group will have the unique opportunity to visit the indigenous village, Bri Bri. Arriving by motorized canoes along the Río Sixaola, we will be led on a tour of the village and participate in the process of making chocolate from the raw cacao plant. We will also learn about medicinal plants and have the chance to interact with villagers.Playa Chiquita Hotel
11Playa Chiquita - San JoseA full day is ahead of us, with white water rafting along the Pacuare River and lunch along the river’s banks. In the afternoon, we will head back to San Jose for our final dinner together before our international departure the following morning.San Jose Hotel
12Alajuela - USAAfter breakfast, we will head to the airport for a morning departure back to the USA.Home


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing our accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled. 

For rooming, travelers are grouped by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with their group.  Non-binary travelers are accommodated. Group Organizers and Program Leaders, along with any other traveling adult, are roomed separately from students.
Below are the hotels we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
La Cusinga Eco Lodge

This hotel offers beautiful cabins with views of the ocean and the jungle, built with sustainable wood and local materials to maximize comfort and minimize the impact on the environment. The food, service, and comfort of the rooms all combine to provide a true “Pura Vida” experience. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the facilities keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Camping y Cabinas El Tecal

Cabinas El Tecal is a locally owned and operated three star hotel close to playa Uvita in the Marino Ballena National Park. Off the beaten path, the hotel comes with modern amenities, a private pool, and great service. It’s the perfect place to relax away from the crowds. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

La Costa de Papito

La Costa de Papito is a lush eden between the edge of the jungle and the beautiful white sand beach of Playa Cocles. Selected for its philosophy of travel and hospitality, students will have a truly Caribbean experience in this tropical paradise. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the facilities keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Hotel Pacandé

Located in Alajuela, Hotel Pacandé is the perfect place to start and end a Costa Rican adventure because of its warm family atmosphere and proximity to the airport. Cleanliness and service are the main qualities that differentiate Pacandé from typical hotels in the area. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Safety and Support


Lovett’s trip to Morocco was a once in a lifetime trip for a lot of our students. It was great to hear how the students raved about the trip to their parents upon return. Overall a wonderful trip that the students and staff loved!

Group Organizer on Morocco Service Adventure

Your Adventure Includes

Estimated Airfare

In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

Program Tuition Excludes: Premiere 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 funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!


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