Costa Rica

Cloud Forest Initiative

$4,195

*Optional Leader Escorted Flight from Miami

14 days

Trip duration

9th – 12th

Grades

14 days

June 20 – July 3 - CURRENT WAITLIST

July 7 – July 20

San Jose, CR

Arrival & Departure

$4,195

Tuition

14 days

Trip duration

June 20 – July 3 - CURRENT WAITLIST

July 7 – July 20

9th – 12th

Grades

*Optional Leader Escorted Flight from Miami

Overview

The Costa Rica: Cloud Forest Community Initiative program is the perfect blend of service learning and adventure. Live alongside locals in a remote ranching village high in the cloud forest, helping to work on valuable infrastructure projects. Organize a community soccer match and English lessons with students from a rural elementary school and build your own Spanish-speaking skills while living in a traditional Costa Rican community. Experience the natural beauty of this majestic nation while rafting through thrilling rapids on the world-famous Pacuare River, and stay at a beautiful river lodge surrounded by monkeys, sloths, and tropical butterflies. Learn to surf on the gentle waves off Costa Rica’s beautiful palm-fringed beaches and explore lush rainforests, unspoiled coastlines, and refreshing waterfalls. Sample locally-grown chocolate and coffee, and learn the art of hand-making delicious tortillas and empanadas all while experiencing the “Pura Vida” lifestyle that makes Costa Rica one of the happiest places on earth!

Highlights

  • Work Alongside Local Residents on Critical Infrastructure Projects in Remote Communities
  • Catch a Wave While Learning to Surf the Peaceful Waves of the Pacific Ocean
  • Whitewater Raft Class II-IV Rapids on the Breathtaking Pacuare River
  • Immerse Yourself in the “Pura Vida” Culture of This Beautiful Central American Country
  • Build Your Spanish Skills While Living in a Rural Cloud Forest Village
  • Feel the Adrenaline Rush of a Thrilling Zipline Over the Rainforest Canopy
  • Trek to Secluded Rainforest Waterfalls and Relax in Refreshing Natural Swimming Pools
  • 20 Hours of Service Learning

Get the itinerary

Mollejones Cultural Exchange & Homestays

Travel to a remote Costa Rican village high in the misty cloud forests, founded by local residents who settled in this stunning mountain landscape over a generation ago. Learn traditional cooking techniques and the rich history of this place from the village elders. During your time in the community, experience the warmth and simplicity of Costa Rican culture while helping to support the needs of this amazing place.

Culture

Savegre Farming Community

ARCC groups have visited communities in the coffee-growing high country of Savegre every summer since 1994. Side by side with our village hosts, lend a hand in any way you can to assist with ongoing projects in the community. You may repair communal buildings or roads in the village, assist with farm animal care, or work on a greenhouse project to grow saplings of native plants.

Service

Rafting the Rio Pacuare

Paddle the Class II-IV rapids of this world-famous river as you pass under towering waterfalls, a wilderness of dense jungle, and hear the calls of tropical birds and monkeys. Spend two nights at a beautiful eco-lodge overlooking the river, which acts as your home base for a number of exciting adventures, including a zipline through the rainforest canopy and swimming at natural waterslides.

Adventure

Jungle

Surfing & Sun on the Pacific Coast

Visit the unspoiled beaches of the Pacific Coast, home to superb wave breaks and quirky surf culture. Here your professional surf guides share the secrets to catching the perfect wave, helping you learn the skills needed to shred waves like an expert! Spend the evenings on the warm sand, watching some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world over the Pacific ocean.

Surfing

Common Questions

Each program has a specific packing list that has been designed to fit the program’s activities, length, climate, and cultural differences. You will receive this packing list in the comprehensive Welcome Packet that is sent to all students after they enroll in a program.

The specific service projects that each group will work on depend on the needs of the communities at the time that the groups are there. Possibilities include: teaching English, constructing bridges in a small village, making improvements to community buildings or schools, planting trees, or environmental education and village clean-up.

Costa Rica is a relatively clean and safe place to travel. However, ARCC does recommend that you take some health precautions before your program. When you enroll in the program, you will receive more detailed information on pertinent travel vaccinations and immunizations. Please also refer to the Traveler’s Health section of the CDC website. Our leaders carry a full first-aid kit and are all certified Wilderness First Responders (WFR).

During this program, we sleep in a variety of accommodations: small hotel, community homes, or jungle eco-lodge.

Typically we will take a private 20-person shuttle from place to place. When traveling to more remote areas we will occasionally split into two groups and use smaller 4-wheel drive vehicles.

No. US and Canadian Citizens do not need a visa for this program.

You will want to bring two pieces of luggage: your main bag and a daypack. Your main bag should be a backpack, travel backpack or large duffel bag. This larger piece of luggage should be approximately 4,500-5,000 cubic inches or 70-75 liters, and should be able to hold everything on your Clothing & Equipment List. The daypack should be large enough to hold an extra layer of clothing, a water bottle, sunscreen, some snacks, etc. Some travel backpacks come with an attached daypack that you can zip off and use. Otherwise, your school backpack is a good option. When you travel, you should plan to check your large piece of luggage and bring the daypack on the plane as your carry-on.

Please keep in mind that while you will not be doing traditional backpacking on this program, the group will be navigating through airports, on and off buses, up and down stairways, and taking short hikes on unpaved paths. The group will be able to move much more efficiently if everyone is carrying their belongings on their back.

You will also need to pack an EMPTY small duffel bag inside your main piece of luggage. When you get to Costa Rica, you will use this duffel bag to store certain items that you will not use during specific sections of your program.

No. English is widely spoken in Costa Rica and your leaders and local guides will speak both English and Spanish.

Have questions? Speak to one of our Program Directors, give them a call at (415) 332.5075 , they love talking about their trips!