Costa Rica Adventure
Join a group of like-minded thrill seekers on an Eco adventure to one of the most biodiverse countries on earth, taking you from the spectacular cloud forests of Monteverde to the sandy Caribbean beaches of Puerto Viejo!
Discover through first hand experience how Costa Rica is leading the way in sustainable tourism practices in areas including local farming, reforestation and wildlife conservation. Add into the mix a range of adventure activities including hiking, swimming, surfing and ziplining and you have all you need for the trip of a lifetime!
Suitable for: Adventure Travel, Summer Programs and Wildlife Conservation.
- Travel style: be part of an exclusive Gapforce group with a dedicated leader
- Sustainability: volunteer on sustainable volunteer projects including reforestation, animal rescue and turtle conservation
- Live like a local: immersive cultural experiences in Monteverde and Yorkin
- Boost your wellbeing: range of outdoor activities including hiking, swimming, surfing and ziplining
Week 1: Monteverde Cloud Forest
Start your adventure in style with a week at an incredible agrotourism reserve! Set deep in the enchanting cloud forests of Monteverde, the reserve is run by an association of local families dedicated to sustainable coffee production, agriculture and education on sustainability. During your time here, you will volunteer on a variety of initiatives combining conservation, organic agriculture and low environmental impact energy systems. This off-grid experience in sustainable living is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression, and the surrounding area boasts some of the best outdoor adventure activities; from exploring hidden jungle trails to ziplining and canopy tours, there are any number of ways to soak up the incredible scenery and vast array of local wildlife!
Weeks 2 & 3: Puerto Viejo, Caribbean Coast
Next, it’s time to pack up your bags, navigate the mountain passes, and arrive in the town of Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast, base camp for the next phase of your adventure. In an effort to reverse the decline of the endangered Great Green Macaw, the next three days will be spent making a real difference on a conservation project looking after these magnificent endangered birds. After your hands-on project work, enjoy some well-earned relaxation time on the Caribbean coast. Learn to surf, walk white sand beaches on a coastal hike to Gandoca and sample the colourful local cuisine and chilled backpacker scene. Spend a couple of days volunteering at a local Iguana Farm before concluding your Caribbean adventure living with an indigenous tribe, touring their Cacao farm, take part in a reforestation project, and enjoy a little homemade chocolate!
Week 4: Sea Turtle Conservation Project, Caribbean Coast
The next stage of your adventure is spent volunteering at a sea turtle conservation project on a remote stretch of beach that borders Tortuguero National Park. Costa Rica is home to 5 species of turtle, of which 4 are endangered, so supporting local partners on their work to reverse this trend is a powerful and rewarding experience. The remote project sites are beautiful, and your work typically includes beach patrols (during nesting season), hatchery work and site maintenance.
Pre-departure support • Airport pick-up • Expedition leader • All volunteering projects • Local project staff • All accommodation for the duration of the trip • Three meals a day • Project equipment and training • Program transfers • 24/7 emergency back-up • Return airport transfer
Included Trips & Activities
Coffee plantation visit • Cloud Forest hike • Ziplining Canopy tour • Surfing lesson • Ara Project volunteering • Gandoca Coastal hike • Iguana Farm volunteering • Chocolate Farm Tour • Sea Turtle Conservation Project
What is not Included?
Flights to/from destination • Travel Insurance • Visa & Vaccinations • Spending Money • Tipping & Gratuities
How much spending money do I need?
Knowing how much to budget can be troublesome, because it’s hard to predict exactly how many optional activities you’ll want to take part in, and you can do the trip on a shoestring or more opulently depending on your preference. We advise you to budget approximately £40-£60/week to cover items not included in the itinerary such as additional meals, drinks, snacks, and optional activities.
What is the food like?
Typical Central American food includes lots of rice, meat, beans, vegetables, and fruit. Whilst there will be some international options depending on where you are, regional dishes vary, and local specialties will always be made available! Vegetarian and vegans are easily catered for given the nature of the local cuisine.
What type of transport will I be using?
You are responsible for your flights to and from San Jose Airport. During the trip, airport transfers are included. Internal travel throughout the trip will consist of a range of transport types, including public and private buses, boats, and taxis. Please give us a call for more information on individual journey details.
Where will I be staying?
You will stay in a variety of diverse accommodation throughout your trip including local hotels, hostels, and volunteer guesthouses. Most accommodation will be dorm style with shared bathrooms.
Who takes part in this program?
This program is for anyone looking to volunteer and backpack through Costa Rica’s most sought-after destinations. There is no prior experience required, although the minimum age is 18 and you must also have your doctor sign our medical form confirming you are medically fit to participate.
Who will be supervising me?
Throughout your trip you will be accompanied by a Gapforce Expedition Leader. At various stages of your trip we utilize the services of local support staff including project coordinators, drivers, and guides.
If you are excited by the prospect of travel in Costa Rica, and would like a bit more inspiration, check out our Gapforce Costa Rica blog.
Recommend to anyone looking for adventure!
I had a great time on my Costa Rica trip with gapforce. I was really nervous going into it because I had never traveled alone before. Everyone was super nice and supportive, so I quickly made some great friends. I loved every second of the trip and feel that I grew as a person. I spent the first 2 weeks in Quepos on the pacific side learning to scuba dive. That was a lot of fun and our instructors were awesome. Our group stayed at a home stay which allowed us to practice our very beginner spanish and really get a feel for the Costa Rican culture. The last 2 weeks we went to the Caribbean's side. There we volunteered at a macaw sanctuary, a cocoa farm, and a turtle sanctuary. It was a lot of hard work, but it was very rewarding. Overall I had a great experience and met a lot of really cool people. I definitely recommend this trip to anyone looking for an adventure!Lydia
Had an amazing time in Costa Rica!
I had an absolutely amazing time in Costa Rica! Despite being nervous about travelling alone and not knowing anyone there I felt so comfortable as soon as I arrived. The first two weeks of my trip involved learning to scuba dive, getting to see the coral reefs and the marine life that calls it home was incredible, my instructor Sam was so helpful and a brilliant teacher! I loved exploring the area in my free time and had some of the best moments of my life with the friends I met on the trip. The last two weeks of my trip involved volunteering on a few different projects, which was mostly a great experience, especially visiting a indigenous cacao farm, as well as the turtle conservation, despite not being lucky enough to see a turtle. I didn’t really enjoy the volunteering at the Green Macaw sanctuary; it required lots of digging up mud and because the trip is so full on and the hot, humid conditions it was very hard work. Living in the jungle for a few days was an exciting experience, I had a lot of fun especially on solo night, making my own fire and cooking my own food and quickly got used to the many animals and sounds that seemed pretty scary at first! Our group was able to go out for a few nights out to experience the local nightlife and traditional food which allowed us to relax, have fun and get to know each other better, salsa night was a personal favourite of mine! To sum it up I had an amazing experience with some amazing people and I would recommend this to solo travelers who are looking to do the same.Luke
I had an amazing time in Costa Rica! I was really nervous before the trip but the minute I got there GapForce made us feel welcome and very safe. The staff are amazing and really supportive all the way through the trip. We travelled all over the country and I did things I never thought I would do and will likely never get the chance to do again. For example, zip lining over ravines, or going to a Coffee Farm. Made great friends and met interesting people from all over the country. I would recommend this trip to anyone who is travelling alone, or who wants to see a whole new culture and lifestyle. Going into the jungle was massively interesting and nowhere near as scary as you’d think (if you don’t mind insects too much). I saw loads of wildlife such as crocodiles, monkeys, sloths and coatis. An all round wonderful trip!!Lucy
So many once in a lifetime experiences!
So when I went to Costa Rica I had absolutely no idea what to expect. So when me and my best friend walked off the plan we were filled with nervous energy! Thankfully we walked out of the airport to the smiling face of Joe. Who was not just our leader but a great friend and a massive part of the trip being fun. Throughout my month away i faced so many fears and believe i grew a lot as a person. Whether it was small things like trying rice and beans, as i am an extremely fussy eater, or the big things like zip lining across the rainforest, i made sure to give everything a go. And i definitely would have regretted it if i didn't. Being someone who is extremely scared of heights i was extremely nervous to zip line but due to the support around me i gave it a go and i must say it was one of the best days of my life! There were so many once in a life time experiences throughout the trip and I would not change it for the world . Both the experience and the people. I would not have had the same experience without them, and Joe was definitely a good leader that helped me enjoy the trip to the fullest.Danii
I loved going on the Costa Rican Adventure!
I loved going on the Costa Rican Adventure. Not only did we get to visit some incredible places and meet loads of cool people, I also made some really good friends from all over the world in my group. My favourite place was Puerto Viejo which is a gorgeous Caribbean beachside town. Surfing and hiking up the mountains to the natural waterfalls were both amazing activities and I’m so glad I got the chance to do both. Zip lining and Canyon swinging in Monteverde was a thrilling experience, especially when standing up in the canopies but it was so cool!!! The food and accommodation were great and I had loads of fun. I definitely want to come back to visit Costa Rica in the future!!!Ishani
Best time ever!
Traveling with this program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and every experience I had on this trip was so valuable. I made friends for life and has once and a life time adventures. There was such a variety of things we did it was great. You got out door adventure one day then a nice restaurant for dinner then to a classy bar for drinks. I loved that we got to experience all aspects of where we were staying instead of one or the other. The program was so immersive in the countries culture it was refreshing!Claire W
I am extremely grateful for the experience I had. While the accommodations and overall cleanliness was not always ideal (nor expected given the locations), but that was far outweighed by the beautiful places we got to explore and volunteer with. The volunteer work was certainly tiring at times, but always felt satisfying and impactful in the end. There was a good balance between guided activities and free time. Overall the relationship between gap force and the places we visited felt very comfortable, welcoming, and safe. I can confidently say that it would be difficult to have a bad experience and I’d highly recommend anyone to give it a go. I found this program through a friend and truly knew nothing about it but after learning about the process the expedition leaders go through to lead these trips and the measures gap force takes to keep us safe, it is 100% trustworthy. I am sincerely grateful for the dedication and care gap force has for making a lasting experience on its travelers.Alexi
It’s the best time I’ve spent abroad by far!
For any first time travellers (like myself) to somewhere so exotic, Gapforce provides an excellent safety net so that you feel independent but still supported. Certain experiences such as staying with an indigenous tribe or volunteering on a turtle project are things I would have struggled to sort for myself so I am hugely grateful to Gapforce for organising such privileges. Whilst more experienced travellers may find that going with a lead group is inhibiting, it is a massive confident builder to anyone who is even slightly apprehensive about travelling without family. I have also made friendships that will last a lifetime - it’s been the best time I’ve spent abroad by far.Dylan
One of the best experiences of my life
One of the best experiences of my life! Met the best people and experienced the most amazing things. Would recommend bringing extra money as you have do subsidise some of the meals and things are more expensive than they seem. Had 2 different group guides and they were very different in dealing with challenges that we faced. Got to experience things you might not necessarily experience outside of an organised group (for example staying with the Bri Bri tribe), and met the most amazing locals. Would recommend to solo travellers as everyone is so lovely!Hannah
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- Costa Rica
- Duration: 4 weeks
- Departures: February, June, November