2024 St Edward Costa Rica Conservation Expedition

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2024 St Edward Costa Rica Conservation Expedition!  To learn the basics about this once in a lifetime opportunity, you'll begin by using the Pre-Enrollment page, the purpose of which is to share exciting highlights and important info that participants will want to know before signing up. If you enroll, you'll graduate to the Post-Enrollment page which offers a greater level of detail.  Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for Costa Rica! Pura vida! 
Travel Dates: June 1, 2024 - June 10, 2024
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,490 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $993

This program is currently at full capacity.

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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

Conservation Expeditions

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.

Program Highlights


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

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

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

The Itinerary


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. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
June 1USA - 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
June 2Alajuela - Bella VidaOur journey begins in earnest when we leave the city for Bella Vida, a beautiful farm tucked deep in the southern rain forest of the country. Upon arrival we will settle into our bamboo bungalows and then tour the farm for a hands-on experience involving tropical fruits, local coffee beans and a whole host of animals! We will learn about the stunning biodiversity of the area as well as how rural farmers are taking advantage of sustainable practices. This evening we'll enjoy a delicious dinner at Bella Vida's large restaurant and then retire to our cabins for some group activities.Bella Vida
June 3Bella Vida After breakfast we'll hike down to Nauyaca waterfall, one of the most beautiful in a country full of beautiful waterfalls! Spend the morning swimming and relaxing near a large swimming hole and the river below. We will take lunch at the waterfall and then hike back back up to start our drive to a Wildlife Conservation Field Station which is located on the central Pacific coast. Upon arrival we will settle in, meet the staff and researchers with whom we'll be spending the coming days, and learn about their different projects on which we'll be assisting. Dinner will be at the station.RPT Field Station
June 4Field StationAfter breakfast we'll get organized into the different groups will be working with for the next couple days. Groups may work collecting data for different research projects being conducted by the scientists and volunteers stationed at the Reserve and working alongside park rangers doing conservation work. We will also take a hike through the surrounding tropical rainforest in the morning to get our bearings on the local ecosystems in the Osa. Activities at the reserva will vary but may include surveying on monkeys and other mammals, setting up trap cameras, preparing the turtle hatchery, monitoring caimans, night walks and beach patrolling.RPT Field Station
June 5Field StationToday we will continue field research in small groups. In the evening, we will learn how to dance salsa, bachata, and merengue. We will also have some free time in the local town of Ojochal, where we can learn some useful Spanish phrases, visit the butterfly garden, and play board games or table tennis..RPT Field Station
June 6 Field StationToday we will continue field research in small groups. 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, play board games or table tennis. If time allows, we can pay a visit to a nearby beach or spende time with the local communty. RPT Field Station
June 7Field StationWe'll walk along the beach in the morning and conduct a clean-up of marine debris to ensure a clean nesting habitat for sea turtles. In the afternoon, we'll put the finishing touches on our different projects and also hold a reflection to discuss our experiences with Costa Rica’s conservations efforts.RPT Field Station
June 8Field Station - UvitaAfter breakfast, we will head to the small surfing town of Uvita. Here, students will take surf lessons from professional instructors along a wide, expansive, and empty stretch of coastline that has a reputation for breaks that are great for beginners. After surfing and enjoying the beach for the afternoon, we will have a delicious dinner overlooking the Pacific Ocean.Hotel el Tecal
June 9Uvita - AlajuelaToday, we will make our way back to San Jose, stopping first to soar through the rainforest canopy on a zip-line adventure. Once back in the city, we'll enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner ahead of the international departure the following morning.Hotel Aeropuerto
June 10Alajuela - 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 locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe. 

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

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.

Hotel Aeropuerto

Hotel Aeropuerto is located five minutes away from the Juan Santa María airport. Clean rooms and friendly staff will make you feel at home the moment you drop your bags. The swimming pool  is surrounded by fruit trees and flowers, which attract a number of butterflies and birds, and even some iguanas and squirrels. Students will be grouped by gender. Wifi is available throughout the property.

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.

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