Carlthrop School

Costa Rica 2020

August 7-16, 2020 | $2,800 + Flights


From tropical towns to volcanic peaks and rushing rapids, we explore topics related to Costa Rican language, culture, history, and environment as we participate in interactive lessons designed to connect to the places we visit and the people we meet.


Learning Objectives

This course is designed to provide a real-world understanding of the ecology and culture of Costa Rica. Through daily Spanish lessons and games, cultural interactions and hikes through the biodiverse environment, the group builds a connection between themselves and to the places they visit and the people they meet. By the end of this program, it is our hope that students will have a deeper understanding of Costa Rica that will help inspire their engagement as global citizens.


Group Goals

There are many challenges associated with traveling and learning in new environments, and the success of the experience depends on individual efforts and the cohesion of the group. Individuals are encouraged to assume leadership roles and become active participants in making decisions that guide the direction of the program. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that independence and control are reduced when working as a team towards a collective group experience. Another important group goal of the program is to develop greater cultural awareness and work together to learn about new topics, languages and customs. When traveling in a close knit community, respect for one another, the environment and the people we meet, are important parts of being responsible team members and global citizens.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the rainforest, cloud forest, beaches, rivers and oceans of Costa Rica
  • Practice Spanish speaking and listening in real-world scenarios
  • Zip-line through the rainforest canopy, visit natural hot springs and go white-water rafting
  • Snorkel and surf on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast



It’s a long flight to Costa Rica, but as soon as we arrive it will feel like we’ve entered a whole new world. We land in Liberia and head into the cloud forest. We settle into our eco-lodge at the base of the Arenal Volcano and learn the basics of Tico life, language, and culture through group orientations. From the comfort of our tropical accommodations, we engage in lessons on Spanish vocabulary and set out to explore the surrounding forest.


Cloud Forests and Volcanoes

Our next couple days are action-packed! We zip through the rainforest canopy on a zipline and keep our eyes out for unique wildlife like colorful toucans, monkeys, and tree frogs! The next day’s adventure is a white-water rafting trip. It’s a thrilling ride, but an accessible way to have a blast with the group. We work as a team to navigate over bumps and rapids as we rush under rainforest canopies.

As we become more and more accustomed to our lush surroundings, we begin to explore ecosystems in a different way. Through guided hikes and community interaction we learn the many links between Costa Rican culture and environment. This is a great introduction to Costa Rica’s vibrant communities and ecosystems. We visit a working farm and a local school; hike trails and relax in hot springs. Vamonos!


La Playa

From Volcanic peaks to ocean waves, we travel west to the Guanacaste Province and the shores of the Pacific Ocean. We arrive at our home base near the ocean and settle into our new environment. We learn about different marine ecosystems during adventures above and below the water. Explore this beautiful coastal region while also experiencing daily life for the people in small beachside towns. Connect with the community while participating in fun workshops on food, music and culture. Surf, snorkel, play soccer and continue to practice Spanish with our new friends. Before we know it, it is time to wave goodbye to the waves and all the people we have met. We travel back to Liberia and reflect on all that we have learned in such a short time. We end the experience with our course closing and preparations for our flights home, and already planning where will our adventures will take us next!

This itinerary is flexible and subject to change based on weather, group, availability of activities or other conditions. A more detailed daily itinerary will be provided upon enrollment.

Next Steps


Enrollment Process

Click here to submit your enrollment information. Do NOT use the general Broadreach Application (located at the green button at the top of the page).

Submit a $500 deposit by check or phone. Checks should be made payable to Broadreach and sent to 901 North West Street, Raleigh, NC, 27603. We will email you, using the email address from your application information, to confirm its arrival. Alternatively, you may call us and pay your $500 deposit via credit card or bank draft over the phone.

Once we receive everyone’s enrollment information and deposit, we will create a Broadreach pre-departure website with more information about the program including a packing list, program expectations, health information, itinerary, etc. A parent/guardian and student will also need to sign the Broadreach Terms of Agreement Risk / Release Forms and complete the Broadreach Medical Form with a doctor’s signature.

May 7th: Final Payment is due. Payments can be made by check, or by using an e-check on the Broadreach website (Optional: a credit card can be used for a 2.8% fee).

June 9th: Complete all paperwork and prepare to travel to Costa Rica

August 7th: Students fly to Costa Rica!


This Program Includes:

  • A Broadreach instructor with advanced medical training (WFR or EMT) to facilitate and support the group for the entire program.
  • Emergency medical travel insurance and evacuation assistance
  • All group accommodation in Costa RicaAll meals in Costa Rica
  • All preplanned activities, entrance fees and tips
  • All group transportation in Costa Rica
  • International airfare to/from Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR) – the cost will be determined once the group is confirmed.
  • Estimated group flight cost from Los Angeles to Liberia, Costa Rica is approximately $600 – $850


What is Not Included:

  • Airline baggage fees and departure taxes
  • Personal clothing – a detailed packing list will be provided
  • Personal expenses – passport application, visas, immunizations, meals and travel not associated with the group schedule in Costa Rica
  • Incidentals – souvenirs, snacks, medical expenses, etc.



  • Deposits and Final Payments are non-refundable
  • Please note the included trip insurance does not cover cancellation insurance. Most insurance companies require that travelers purchase insurance within 2 weeks of enrollment confirmation.
  • The cost of the program is based on having a minimum of 10 students. In the event that the group size falls below the minimum number we would need to alter the cost of the program or change the itinerary.


Risk of Traveling

There are inherent risks associated with travel in foreign countries. We take many steps to reduce our exposure and are careful to create a course design that promotes a positive experience for all. Upon enrolling, all participants are asked to sign a risk and release document outlining many of the common risks associated with travel. However, traveling in Costa Rica has unique risks that we feel are important to share and educate prospective participants about before selecting this program.

Costa Rica is a tropical, hot, and humid environment that requires participants to be proactive about managing personal and group health concerns and take active steps to prevent diseases such as food borne illnesses, insect bites, and potentially infectious diseases. There are numerous species of animals that present unique risks including, but not limited to, snakes, insects, mammals, and stray dogs. The group may also encounter cultural differences that are typical of developing countries. To prepare the group, we will provide detailed vaccination and health information in the enrollment packet and conduct thorough orientations in Costa Rica. We are available to answer any questions or concerns that may arise before, during or after the program.

Before traveling, we encourage participants and their families to learn about the risks associated with different activities, research Costa Rica and contact Broadreach with any questions or concerns about the program. We can’t wait to share the incredible ecosystems and friendly people of Costa Rica with you!