Adventure from the get go
On our way to the Caribbean coast, we are introduced to Costa Rica’s ecological wonders on a jungle adventure with naturalist guides. Hike through highland rainforest, spotting “blue jean” poison dart frogs, leaf cutter ants and tropical birds perched in the trees. Whitewater raft the thrilling rapids of the Sarapiqui River, keeping your eyes peeled for monkeys, tiger herons, toucans and vultures. Zip from tree to tree and enjoy the bird’s-eye view on a jungle canopy tour. Watch fireflies light up the night sky, and fall asleep listening to the majestic sounds of the rainforest.
Perform turtle research on moonlit beaches
Energized, we travel to Tortuguero, a remote and beautiful village nestled alongside the Caribbean coast. Our journey takes us through acres of banana plantations and down the Tortuguero River, where monkeys, sloths, toucans and crocodiles greet us from both sides of the boat. Once in Tortuguero, we settle in at the John H. Phipps Biological Field Station, where we’ll assist biologists. Your first night shift is amazing… No lights are allowed on the beach, but your eyes adjust and you can see by the light of the brilliant night sky. Each time you find a turtle nesting, your small group drops down in the sand to begin its work. Measure the carapace and flippers. Check the turtle for irregularities. Count her eggs as she lays them and diagram the nests. Record every step of these majestic green and leatherback turtles. During the day, we anchor our field work with discussions on sea turtle biology and conservation. Learn about feeding, mating, nesting behavior and migratory patterns. Discuss Tortuguero’s cultural and natural history and why this remote location plays such a vital role in sea turtle conservation. In our free time, we venture out on boat safaris through the maze of canals in Tortuguero National Park in search of cool wildlife. Hike through rainforest with local educators, learning about remarkable medicinal plants and beautiful birds. Give back to this community you have come to know and appreciate by working with local children or helping a high school class with a service project.
A better sense of Costa Rica and a better sense of self
A short, scenic flight takes us high above lush green mountains, active volcanoes and endless coastline to the Osa Peninsula on the Pacific coast. After a 4x4 drive and a boat ride, we arrive at Costa Rica’s hidden gems, Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park. Get ready to explore, hike, snorkel, kayak and canoe in some of the most diverse and bountiful ecosystems in the world! Head out into the clear blue waters of the open ocean in search of swimming turtles, superpods of dolphins, breaching humpback whales and more. Snorkel the pristine waters of Caño Island to discover eagle rays, parrot fish and spectacular coral reefs. Hike through the misty jungle in Corcovado National Park as scarlet macaws fly overhead. Listen for the booming voices of howler monkeys, and watch in awe as monkeys climb down to take a peek back at you! Swim beneath magnificent waterfalls and marvel at the gorgeous scenery with new friends. It is the perfect place to reflect on your time in Costa Rica and realize how much you have learned about its rich and friendly culture, astounding biodiversity, and of course, amazing sea turtles!