2024 Parker School Costa Rica Conservation Expedition
|April 11, 2024 - April 19, 2024
Airfare not included in program tuition
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Costa Rica Conservation Expedition: Osa Peninsula
From white sand beaches to misty cloud forests, towering volcanoes to beautiful rivers that carve through tropical canyons, and hospitable, friendly communities, Costa Rica has it all! Our conservation program along the Pacific coast gives travelers the opportunity to delve deep into the verdant ecosystems that set Costa Rica apart; in addition to white water rafting, relaxing on white sand beaches and swimming at the base of a towering waterfall, students will participate in field work and data collection at a research station staffed with professional scientists who conduct a wide array of research projects. Adventure awaits!
Conservation Expeditions bring travelers to the heart of the modern-day conservation movement. Whether building nurseries for sea turtle hatchlings in Costa Rica, snorkeling alongside sea lions in the Galapagos or teaching local school children in Thailand about the importance of wild elephants to their ecosystem, these trips make the wonders of our world, and our responsibility to protect them, abundantly apparent.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Brew coffee and make empanadas with a local farmer's family
Trek to a beautiful waterfall deep in the jungle
Practice your Spanish language skills with locals
Raft down one of Costa Rica's best rivers
Assist with research and conservation efforts at the Reserva Playa Tortuga
Discover the gorgeous beaches and world-class national parks on the Pacific coast
We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs 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.
|USA - Alajuela
|Today 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 to discuss the upcoming trip in detail.
|Alajuela - Bella Vida
|Our journey begins at Bella Vida, which is 4 hours away from Alajuela, and is a beautiful ecological farm deep in the southern rain forest of the country. Upon arrival at Bella Vida we will tour the farm on a hand on experience that involves tropical fruits and farm animals as well as a nearby coffee plantation that produces some of the best beans in the area. We will learn about the importance of organic farming and how rural farmers are taking advantage of sustainable farming practices. We will settle in our jungalows and enjoy dinner after some group activities.
|Bella Vida - Osa
|After breakfast, we'll hike down to Nauyaca waterfall, one of the largest and most beautiful in the entire country. Spend the morning swimming and relaxing by the riverside. We will have lunch at the waterfall and then hike back. Afterward, we will drive south down the coast to the Turtle Reserve Field Station. Here, we will settle in and meet the researchers with whom we'll be spending the next few days.
|After breakfast we'll take a hike through the surrounding tropical rainforest in the morning to get our bearings on the local ecosystems in the Osa. We'll then receive an orientation for the research we'll be conducting -- surveys of animals such as monkeys, crocodiles, sloths, birds and sea turtles (seasonal from May through August) using different methods like camera traps and observation. We'll take a break for lunch and continue to work in maintenance for turtle hatchery, the butterfly garden among others in the afternoon, in addition to receiving a lecture on local and national wildlife conservation efforts or doing a beach clean up. The next few days will consist of us working with researches on a variety of research projects.
|Continued work and research at the field station and its surroundings. In the afternoon, we will learn how to dance salsa, bachata, and merengue.
|Today, we'll pay a visit to the local community, where Reserva La Tortuga conducts yearlong environmental education campaigns with local schools. We may organize a nature walk with local students, build structures from reclaimed plastic, or have an afternoon on the beach with local students. In the evening we'll have some free time in the local town of Ojochal, and learn some useful Spanish phrases, visit the butterfly garden or play board games.
|Osa - Uvita
|We will have an early breakfast then say goodbye to our friends at Reserva Playa Tortuga, before heading northwest to Uvita on the central Pacific coast. We will spend the morning kayaking. In the evening, we will have some down time at the hotel pool to relax.
|After breakfast we'll make the drive back to the big city for a cozy farewell dinner ahead of our international departure the following morning.
|Alajuela - USA
|Your own bed!
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.
Villas Aracari is a beautiful property ideally located just twenty minutes from the airport. Close to the city center yet perched high in the mountains, the views of the Central Valley are breathtaking and the new pool is a delightful respite after a hot day. Spotless rooms and friendly staff will make you feel at home the moment you drop your bags.
Reserva Playa Tortuga
Reserva Playa Tortuga is a non-profit biological research and education center committed to developing and implementing community-based real world projects and conservation management solutions. The Reserva can accommodate groups in rooms that are spacious with quality mattresses and fans. Each room has Wi-Fi access, storage, drawers and screens in the windows to keep the bugs away. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
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.
Bella Vida Hotel
Bella Vida Hotel is situated in the tiny village of La Florida, with mountainside jungle overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and infinity pool . The accommodations are comfortable, the food fantastic, and the surreal setting provides an ideal introduction to the country’s impressive flora and fauna.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
I was very concerned about my daughter who has a peanut allergy travelling to a foreign country for the first time without us. Walking Tree was very sensitive to my concerns and reassured me that this is something they could handle and they did! I would send her again in a heartbeat. Thank you Walking Tree.
Parent of Emilie, traveler on 2018 Service Program to Costa Rica
Your Adventure Includes
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. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced for the flight roughly 75 days prior to travel.
Program Tuition Excludes: Travel insurance, baggage fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.
Need to Raise Money? We Have You Covered.
Walking Tree Travel is proud to team up with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative that distributes organic coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, chocolate bars, and more. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so the sooner you can start, the better!
Learn more here.
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.