“Pura Vida” is more than just a saying in Costa Rica: it’s the simple and pure way of life. Travel to the tropical paradise of Costa Rica and combine Spanish language education, adventurous exploration, cultural immersion, and community service to make an unforgettable summer. Earn 30 hours of community service, raft a jungle river, soar through the forest on an aerial zip-line, learn to surf, brush up on your Spanish, and relax on pristine, white sand beaches. This two week adventure will be filled with high adventure, colorful surroundings, and endless new experiences!
Our programs offer a wide variety of activity options. Explore the activities specific to this program below.
After landing in San Jose, you and your trip mates will head to your nearby hostel to kick off your adventure! That first night, you will play games, go over the trip itinerary and get to know each other! After a good night of sleep, you will all be ready to depart from the capital city and head south to San Isidro
There’s no better way to gain a feel for a new country and its different way of life than through food, local customs, and traditional entertainment. Upon arrival in San Isidro, you will experience a traditional Costa Rican cooking class! Then, over the next few days, you will split your time between Spanish language classes and service work in the San Gerardo Rivas Community. By balancing formalized instruction with community service and immersive activities, you are certain to build both new language skills and to solidify your ability to apply those skills in the real world. Before diving into coursework, you’ll each take a brief assessment to determine your Spanish level so that each class is catered to you! Each day in the classroom, you’ll enjoy a highly interactive half-day of instruction facilitated by native-speaking professional language teachers. In the afternoons, you’ll help the local community paint buildings, build sustainable gardens, develop sporting fields at the school, and whatever else they might need.
Next up is surfing instruction on the Pacific Coast! Your group will head south to Uvita, a small coastal village area with pure, white sand beaches and pristine surf spots. Over the next two days, you will work with professional surfing instructors who will introduce you to the basics of surfing in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. With wide, stable boards, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can pick up surfing. The beginning beach breaks provide rolling waves that you can ride for several hundred yards. Before you know it, you will be “hanging ten” in Costa Rica.
From the coast, you will head to northwestern Costa Rica, north of San Jose, to the Arenal Volcano. The Arenal Volcano is a cone-shaped, active, andesitic stratovolcano and is the backdrop of the town La Fortuna. Your group will take a few days to explore the volcano area and its lava fields. You’ll get to soak in the local hot springs, too! Then you’ll fly through the air on an incredible jungle zipline tour.
As the culminating activity for your journey, you will embark on a fantastic overnight rafting trip down the might Pacuare River, through forests and steep gorges towering above the riverbanks. The Pacuare offers some of the finest rapids in Latin America, as it winds deep inside one of Costa Rica’s most impressive primordial rainforests!
On the final day, you’ll get off the river and head back to San Jose. You will have one last celebratory meal together as you gather for the traditional end of summer banquet. The next morning, you will all head to the San Jose airport and head home after an unforgettable two weeks.
I met some amazing people that I will never forget and I learned a lot about myself. I grew in my confidence and especially loved learning how to surf!
Parker, 2019 Costa Rica Pura Vida Student
Trip Price Includes
- Group gear
- Personal gear and clothing
- Airfare to and from the trip start and end