2024 SMA Costa Rica Service Learning Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2024 SMA Costa Rica Service Learning Program!  To learn more,  you have two webpages at your disposal. The Pre-Enrollment page shares exciting highlights and important info that you will want to know before signing up. Once enrolled, you'll begin using the Post-Enrollment page which offers a greater level of detail.  Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for an unforgettable trip!! Pura vida! 
Travel Dates: March 23, 2024 - March 30, 2024
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,390 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $1,098

Tuition Calculator

There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan.  Follow whichever works best for your family. If we are within 90 days of travel, only the pay in full option is possible.

Program Tuition: $2,390

Pay in Full

$2,390.00

due today

All prices in United States Dollars.

Costa Rica Service Adventure

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 service adventures give travelers the opportunity to delve deep into small, rural communities set in stunningly beautiful corners of the country.  In addition to white water rafting, relaxing on white sand beaches and swimming at the base of a towering waterfall, students will gain confidence in their Spanish, contribute to a meaningful service project and grow into more confident travelers. Adventure awaits!

Service Adventures

Service Adventures

Service Adventures can combine rural homestays, adventure travel, and meaningful service projects which are guided by our community partners. Living in these small communities provides the opportunity to engage the language and culture from a uniquely advantageous position.

Program Highlights


Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!

Brew coffee and make empanadas with a local farmer's family

Improve your Spanish and immerse yourself in a homestay community

Trek to a beautiful waterfall deep in the jungle

Learn to surf with some of Costa Rica's best instructors

Collaborate on a service project in your homestay community

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

The Itinerary


We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers and given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
March 23USA - AlajuelaToday the group will travel from the USA to San Jose, Costa Rica! Upon arrival, we’ll settle into our hotel for the evening for dinner and an orientation meeting where we'll discuss the upcoming trip in detail.Rosa de las Américas
March 24Alajuela - Hotel Bella VidaOur 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. Hotel Bella Vida
March 25
Bella VidaAfter breakfast we will hike down to Nauyaca waterfall, one of the most beautiful in a country full of beautiful waterfalls! We will spend a few leisurely hours swimming, relaxing, and enjoying lunch at a large swimming hole and the river below. In the afternoon we'll return to the farm for a service project orientation meeting. The coming days will revolve around our service efforts; in the afternoons and evenings, activities are flexible and will vary, but may include time with community members, excursions to explore the surrounding area or group reflection sessions. Bella Vida
March 26Bella VidaOur few days in the La Florída, the village where Bella Vida is located, 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 hotel and enjoy dinner after some group activities.Bella Vida
March 27Bella VidaToday we will continue working on our service project and spending time with locals. Evening activities will vary.Bella Vida
March 28Bella Vida - UvitaToday we will finish our service project and celebrate with our new friends during a fiesta de despedida! Afterwards, we make the short drive to the central pacific coast where we'll check into our hotel and have dinner nearby. El Tecal
March 29Uvita - Dominical - AlajuelaThis morning we'll enjoy surfing lessons with some of Costa Rica's best instructors! Then we travel up the coast to the quiet seaside town of Dominical where students will be able to do some souvenir shopping and devour a tasty lunch. Then it's just a few hours back to the big city, where we'll have a final celebratory dinner together to commemorate our time together! Villas Aracari
March 30Alajuela - USAFly home, hasta luego!!Your own bed!

Accommodations


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.  We vet and inspect the accommodations to ensure they uphold the ethos of our programs, are great values for our travelers and nice places to rest after enriching days of travel.  

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Villas Aracari

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.

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.

Rosa de las Américas

A charming ranch-style hotel on the outskirts of San José, Rosa de  las Americas is a great spot to unwind after a long day’s travels. This hotel is complete with a lush gardens, a big pool, updated rooms, and friendly staff.

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
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING

This was a great opportunity for [my daughter]. Thank you for being so professional and for teaching her things we never could. It was awesome to work beside Smithsonian scientists and learn. Travel is such an education that cannot be taught in a classroom.

Kim
Parent of Emily, traveler on 2017 program to Panama

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. 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.

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

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