Day 1 – Arrival and Travel to Host Community
You will depart as a group and fly to San José, Costa Rica, where your Tour Manager will welcome you. You will have lunch on the road, and enjoy scenic views as you journey to your host community, which lies in the northern lowlands of this beautiful and fascinating country.
On the way, you will 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.
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!
Your day will start with a scenic horseback ride through this unique ecosystem. After a delicious lunch at a typical restaurant, 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.
Today your Costa Rica program comes to a close as you depart for your flight out of San José. You'll have a breakfast box to take to the airport.