Costa Rica Spring Break

Spanish, Conservation, and Adventure

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Live into the heart of the rainforest. You’ll climb giant trees, forage for medicinal plants, learn Costa Rican homestyle cooking, and zip-line while immersed in the jungle at a secluded and rainforest lodge.

Improve your Spanish as you work on a service project and learn more about conservation efforts to preserve rainforest.

Whitewater raft on the Savegre River, through deep canyons and lush tropical rainforest.

Relax, swim and learn how to surf in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Program Details
March 27-April 4 AND April 17-25, 2021
Starting/Ending Point
San Jose, Costa Rica
Learning Goals
Spanish skills, conservation, rainforest ecology, sustainability, service, outdoor adventure
Service Hours Earned
Language Requirement
High 80°F, Low 65°F
Group Size
up to 18 students, 2 Global Routes Leaders, Costa Rican Staff
Spaces Available
Fresh fruits and veggies, beans and rice
Program Fee
$3,295 + airfare
International airfare is not included in the tuition. Roundtrip airfare to Costa Rica is estimated at $600-$1,000.
Rainforest Lodge, Guest Houses

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Day 1: Welcome to Costa Rica

Depart home and board the group flight at Newark Liberty International Airport to San Jose, Costa Rica. Arrive in Costa Rica in the evening and take private transportation to a nearby hotel. After a brief orientation, get a good night’s sleep for the adventure ahead.

Day 2: Into the Jungle

Depart from the hotel and head deep into the jungle. Your destination is a remote jungle lodge way off the beaten track, where you will immerse yourself in nature and learn about conservation efforts in Costa Rica. The lodge is run by an incredible family who have grown up in the rainforest for generations. Their hospitality and this magical setting are sure to stay with you long after your program is over.

After you’ve settled into your new home, have a more in-depth orientation with your group and get ready for service and jungle exploration in the days ahead. After a hearty Costa Rican casado for dinner, fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle.

Day 3-6: Rainforest Conservation and Exploration

With almost 6% of the world’s biodiversity, you have picked the perfect place to experience the rainforest. After a morning breakfast of gallo pinto, your days will include jungle walks and activities, with breaks during the day to beat the heat. Climb giant trees, forage for medicinal plants, zip line through the rainforest canopy, and learn how to make chocolate from cacao you gather with your own hands.

Your service project will consist of building a hydroponic garden in the nearby community to help with their sustainable food production needs. Learn how this farming technique is more sustainable for soil quality, conserves water, and produces just as much produce as regular farming, while using much less land and conserving the surrounding nature. Improve your Spanish while learning from and working with the local farmers and community members, and see how many times you can use the term pura vida in a conversation.

Your time in the rainforest is the perfect balance of exploration, service, and adventure. After community service or chores around the lodge, cool off by taking a dip in the river just below the lodge, rappelling down a cascading waterfall or exploring a nearby cave.

Day 7: From Jungle to Beach

Say goodbye to your adopted familia at the lodge and embark on your next adventure. Trade the jungle for the rapids of the Savegre River as you make your way to the Pacific coast. That’s right, you’ll travel to the coast via a raft! Take a break halfway for some lunch and delicious tropical fruit, and then at the end of your rafting expedition, make your way to the quiet beach town of Uvita.

Take the afternoon to relax on the beach. Share an epic beach sunset together as you prepare for program closure.


Days 8-9: Surf's Up! And Adios

Don’t just admire the beautiful waves, ride them! Experienced surf instructors will give you a lesson on land before you hit the water and hopefully catch your first waves! This is a great spot for first timers and experienced surfers so it is sure to be an epic day.

After surfing and refreshing lunch, head back to the capital, stopping along the way for souvenir shopping and any last-minute gifts. Enjoy your last night of Costa Rican cuisine and head to your hotel, with an early departure to the airport in the morning. We hope you had an incredible time in the land of Pura Vida and hope to see you back soon!



Experience Costa Rica
Reflect, Imagine, Learn

Watch this 3-minute video to get a sense of how your experience in Costa will unfold while you travel with like-minded peers and top-quality leaders.

This program is ideal for students in high school, who are looking for a meaningful international experience with a focus on ecological justice and outdoor adventure.

How are you addressing covid on this program?

There is always inherent risk involved in travel and Covid-19 certainly adds another layer of complexity to travel. During the design of this program, we have worked alongside our local partners to design a resilient program to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 for our students and staff as much as humanly possible. Here are the steps we are taking to make this program as covid-resilient:

  • All students will be sent an at-home covid testing kit which will need to be completed within 72 hours of departure. This takes the hassle out of figuring out testing options and can be done at home. Students will need to show a negative test result to attend the program. Families will be charged $150 for this service.
  • Students will receive a pre-departure health guide to reduce any potential exposure to Covid-19 as much as possible before departing.
  • There will be daily symptom monitoring and temperature readings
  • The group will be the only guests at most of our accommodations to avoid unnecessary exposure.
  • The group will take private transportation at all times during the program.
  • When in public settings our students and staff will wear masks and social distance from those outside of the group ‘bubble’ to avoid exposure.
  • The group will be registered with the US State Department STEP program should we need any assistance.

We cannot guarantee that students will not be exposed to or contract Covid while on the program, but we are confident that our staff will do everything in their power to avoid exposure.

Will I earn community service hours on this program? Can they be counted toward my school requirements?

Yes, you will receive around ~15 community service hours on this program, and you will receive a certificate after your program that you can show to your school. Each school determines whether or not Global Routes service hours meet their requirements. We’re happy to communicate with your school service advisor ahead of time to answer any questions they may have about your service work.

How many students are on the program?

The program can accommodate up to 18 students and average group sizes range from 10-15. The group will be chaperoned by 2 Global Routes leaders and our amazing in-country support staff.

Ask us your questions!

Whether Global Routes is the best fit for you or not, we’re here to help.

"Our daughter had the best time with the Global Routes trip to Costa Rica. It was such a positive experience for her! The trip definitely helped her get out of her comfort zone and has improved her confidence! From all the stories she has been telling me ever since she has gotten back, its all been great."
Seema, Parent, Costa Rica
"Global Routes is a life changing program that will expose you to a new experience and at times put you out of your comfort zone. This program aims to show young people the importance of perspective, which is extremely important in today's world where it’s so easy to be blinded and absorbed by the perspectives of ourselves."
Annabelle, Costa Rica alum
"This summer I learned almost as much as I laughed! My host family demonstrated kindness and generosity in a way I had never experienced before in my life. The trip was not only gorgeous but also filled with so much joy, laughter, and love, shared with people who I will never forget.”
Zo, Costa Rica alum
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