Gap Year in Costa Rica

Immerse yourself in the environmental sustainability of the world’s eco-travel capital.

  • CLIMATE: Year-round: 65-80 °F
  • CURRENCY: Costa Rican Colon

This nation's lush bounty includes so much more than its incredible landscapes—like rainforests and pristine beaches.

Costa Rican culture is vibrant, taking the shape of pura vida, an encompassing phrase that translates directly to "pure life," but is often peppered in as a greeting or to say "it's all good."

Service learning projects in Costa Rica help you learn what a pura vida future looks like for youth, precious wildlife, and the environment from local community members and non-profits.


Start to understand sustainable agriculture. Stay at an eco-lodge community with a school and sustainable ranch where you'll get an incredible understanding of organic agriculture by tending to the land.

Immerse yourself in the cloud forest. Explore the intricate ecosystem of Santa Elena Cloud Forest—a rainforest canopy teeming with rare tropical flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth.

Help protect endangered sea turtles. Nearly all species of sea turtles are now classified as endangered because of poaching and environmental factors. NGOs in Costa Rica strive to protect sea turtles' natural habitats, rescue their eggs from predators and curious tourists, and promote environmental education to prevent sea turtle extinction.

Dense rainforests with over 10,000 species and plants can be found all over Costa Rica.

See how the city functions. Visit San José, the capital of Costa Rica as well as the country’s largest city. Grasp the city's history and current relationship to our global world.

Spend time with youth. Many rural schools in Costa Rica are under-funded and so they lack educational resources. Local non-profits have stepped in to create safe, clean, and fun learning centers and create opportunities for further education. You'll help teach conversational English, lead after-school activities programs, and serve as role models and mentors for the kids.

Take some time to think. Head to one of Costa Rica’s most celebrated beaches for some rest, relaxation, and reflection. Play on the beach or take guided walks in the adjacent rainforest to see scarlet macaws and capuchin monkeys in their native habitat.

Note: This itinerary is subject to change due to availability and local conditions at the time of departure.

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