Short-Term Program

Costa Rican Exploration

Program Itinerary

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

The Central Valley

6 Days

San José: Welcome to Costa Rica

2 DAYS

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA

Land in Costa Rica's capital city, San Jose, where you'll meet your fellow travelers and start your journey together. Visit a coffee plantation to learn about the importance of coffee on the Costa Rican economy.

San José: Youth Education Project

4 DAYS

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA

Collaborate with an educational nonprofit in San Jose that seeks to lift up local youth through education, engagement, help with homework, and teaching English.

The Pacific Coast

8 Days

Manuel Antonio: Jungle & Beach Adventure

2 DAYS

MANUEL ANTONIO, COSTA RICA

Explore Manuel Antonio National Park, one of Costa Rica’s natural gems. Walk through the rainforest and try to catch sight of wildlife like toucans, monkeys, and sloths. Take in the pristine white sand beaches.

La Isla: Mangrove Reforestation

2 DAYS

LA ISLA, COSTA RICA

Learn about the importance of mangroves to coastal ecosystems as you work on a mangrove reforestation project. In your down time, enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Central Pacific Coast.

The Osa Peninsula: Sea Turtle Conversation Project

4 DAYS

OSA PENINSULA, COSTA RICA

Travel to one of the most remote and beautiful parts of Costa Rica, the Osa Peninsula. Partner with an organization that is dedicated to preserving the biodiversity of Costa Rica, and work with them on projects including their sea turtle conservation work.

Arenal & Monteverde

9 Days

Arenal: Sustainable Living & Agriculture

4 DAYS

ARENAL, COSTA RICA

Spend time at an off-the-grid, sustainable ranch surrounded by the rainforest. Take workshops that focus on sustainable agriculture. During free time, relax in the natural pools, enjoy yoga classes, or rest & recharge in nature.

Arenal: Kayaking, Ziplining, & Hot Springs

2 DAYS

ARENAL, COSTA RICA

Get your adrenaline pumping as you fly through the rainforest on a zipline and paddle your way through the mists of Lake Arenal. Relax your mind and body in the area’s famous volcanic hot springs.

Monteverde: Cloud Forests & Reforestation

3 DAYS

MONTEVERDE, COSTA RICA

Monteverde is a mountain town nestled in Costa Rica’s cloud forests where you'll work with a local non-profit and research facility on their reforestation efforts.

The Central Valley

3 Days

University for Peace: Wrap-Up

3 DAYS

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA

At the UN-founded University for Peace campus on a verdant mountain overlooking San Jose, unpack your experience on program and think about how it connects to global sustainability and well-being. Reflect with your group and celebrate all that you’ve been through together!


Program fee

Tuition for this 4-week program is $7,900, and payment plans are available. A detailed budgeting guide for this program can be found here.

Your program fee includes:

  • Flights & transportation

    Round-trip flights and local transfers to each stop in your itinerary

  • Room & board

    Your accommodations and most meals

  • Activities & service projects

    Guided excursions and service opportunities with partner organizations

  • EF global support network

    One-on-one mentorship and travel support before and during your program


Ready to get started?

Our Gap Year Consultants are ready to answer any questions you have and to help find the perfect program for your family.

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