Costa Rica Northern Lowlands - 10 Days

Cultural Exchange and Service Learning + Arenal Volcano

Program Highlights & Inclusions

  • Professional ETA Tour Manager throughout your trip
  • Transportation throughout your trip
  • Accommodations in a host community with a host family
  • Community Service project in Costa Rica
  • Enjoy excursions organized by your host families - dance lessons, cooking lessons, hikes around the community, etc.
  • Visit a nearby private reserve to learn about the ecology of the area
  • Guided hike through the national park at the Arenal Volcano
  • Enjoy the natural hot springs of the Arenal Volcano
  • Horseback ride
  • Free time at the Arenal Volcano area

Daily Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival and Travel to Host Community

Upon arrival in San José, Costa Rica, you'll meet with your Tour Manager. You'll then journey to your host community located in the northern lowlands of this beautiful and fascinating country.  

On the way, you will enjoy scenic views and discuss the wonders of Costa Rica and how resource management affects the people of this beautiful nation. In the evening, you will be welcomed into your host community and spend your first night getting to know your host families.

Days 2 - 7 – Host Community and Service Project

The homestay experience and service project are the heart of your trip, an excellent way to bond with your host community and peers through service. On the first day you will gather in the morning at the work site to be briefed on the service project and to meet the local leaders who will be working with you.  

Each morning you will spend time working on your service project and will return to your host families to help prepare and enjoy lunch. After lunch, you will meet again to continue with the community project.  

In the afternoons and evenings, you will spend time with your host families and take a few excursions into the surrounding area to learn more about the culture of your hosts.  You may also enjoy dance lessons and cooking lessons, as well as hikes around the community. There will also be plenty of time for afternoon fútbol (soccer) games with the local youth.  You will spend your evenings living and learning with your host families and gathering as a group to reflect upon your time in the community.

On your final day in the community, you will wrap up your community service project, basking in the satisfaction of a job well done. For your final evening, you will gather with the host families and community members to celebrate the completed project.

Day 8 – Arenal Volcano

After breakfast, you’ll say goodbye to your new family and friends before heading to a nearby private reserve to learn more about the ecology of the area.  You will hike to a beautiful waterfall and keep an eye out for wildlife. After lunch, you will head to your hotel in the Arenal Volcano area.  

Once you have checked into your hotel in Arenal, you will go on a hike through the national park. This hike takes you through three distinct environments from the old volcanic flows, to the dense jungle canopy and broadleaf underbrush. Along the way, your Program Leader will help explain the geology of the volcano and the ecology of this unusual environment.  

In the late afternoon, you will enjoy the natural hot springs heated by the volcano and share stories about your host families over a delicious dinner!  

Day 9 – Arenal Volcano

Your day will start with a scenic horseback ride through this unique ecosystem. Tonight, you will have some time to go souvenir shopping before you drive back to the Central Valley.  

During your final evening in Costa Rica, you will celebrate with a farewell dinner and reminiscence about your program. This will be a delicious feast of Costa Rican delicacies and some special entertainment, unique to Costa Rica.

Day 10 – Depart

Today your Costa Rica program comes to a close and you'll start your journey back home.


We know how hidden costs can ruin a program. Our tours are fully inclusive; there are no hidden costs or surcharges.
Once your group enrolls in a trip, the price will never change. Here is what you will get on every trip:


Every single tour that we operate is unique and tailored for your group.

Private Tours

We do not combine your tour group with others.

Online Planning

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Flexible Payments

We offer a variety of online, scheduled and recurring payment options.

Affordability & Quality

We focus on providing the best experience with the best value for your dollar.

Chaperones travel for free!

Just tell us how many free places you need.

Medical & Trip Delay Insurance

ETA includes up to $100,000 per person in medical coverage and insurance protection for travel delays.

Optional Trip Cancellation Insurance

This even includes a "cancel for any reason" option.

24 Hour Support

We have staff available 24/7 via phone for any emergency.

Full-time Tour Manager

ETA's professional Tour Manager will be with you throughout your trip.

Air, Land & Water Transportation

We include all transportation... to, from and during your trip.


Hotel, homestay and/or hostel options are customized according to your preferences, itinerary and budget.

Sightseeing & Entrance Fees

If it is included in your itinerary, any fees and/or tickets are covered.


You choose which meals are included in your program.