• Learn about remarkable biodiversity in the Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Visit Costa Rica's National Biodiversity Institute and Pacuare Turtle Project
  • Sea Kayak along the mangrove-lined estuaries of Manuel Antonio
  • Take a Whitewater Rafting journey down the Pacuare River
  • Explore the prehistoric Venada Caves and nearby hot springs
  • Option to include service learning projects that address UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Tailor this Costa Rica school trip to suit your school's needs & wishes

For budding nature & biology students it would be hard to beat the National Parks and reserves of Costa Rica. From our well-appointed lodges, campsites and hotels, our experienced guides lead students on day walks and night excursions through pristine rainforests and cloud canopies to view the pristine biological diversity that calls Costa Rica home. Expect to view scarlet macaws and howler monkeys, hummingbirds, toucans and birds of prey to name a few. The Monteverde Cloud Forest alone boasts an incredible biodiversity with 400 species of birds, 2500 species of plants, 120 species of amphibians and 100 species of mammals. With 8 suspension bridges and almost 3 kms of treetop walkways crisscrossing through the forest canopy, our time spent in the cloud forest is exhilarating. This immersive school trip also includes a visit to the Pacuare Turtle Project and the National Biodiversity Institute (INBio) to further enhance our education outside of the classroom. The trip includes loads of time for adventure with activities such as Sea Kayaking at Manuel Antonio and whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River.


Start and Finishing Point:

San Jose


Grading:Introductory to Moderate   


You will meet at the airport by a tour representative upon arrival in San Jose, and taken to the group hotel in San José. There will be time to relax and shower before dinner in the evening, when the guide will also hold a trip briefing on the forthcoming days. activities.

Meals:  D

The Pacuare River, or the Río Pacuare, flows approximately 108 km to the Caribbean. The rain forests that surround the river are home to exotic animal species such as jaguars, monkeys, ocelots, and a very large number of birds. Enjoy a picnic style lunch before your whitewater rafting journey through pristine rain forest. The rapids section of the river is approximately 30 km of Class II-III rapids. The Pacuare is the most scenic rafting river in Costa Rica and one the world’s classic whitewater experiences. By afternoon arrive at your comfortable riverside camp, El Nido del Tigre. Nestled between the sounds of the rainforest and the hum of the river take time to explore this lush environment and look out for wildlife such as Toucans overhead. The camp has spacious tents on fixed platforms with its own supply of pure spring water, shower and sanitary facilities. The name of the camp, El Nido del Tigre, comes from the giant patches of ginger plants that carpet the main floor of the main area of the camp. When the ginger reaches a certain height it falls over creating flattened areas in the shape of a tiger’s paw - hence its name, which translates to “the nest of the tiger”. From the centre of the nest, trails radiate throughout the forest and along the river. There is an open area for those who like the odd game of ball or Frisbee.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a wonderful sleep and a hearty breakfast we will hike from the camp through the rainforest to visit a local butterfly farm. There are approx 1,251 species in Costa Rica including the Swallowtail and Glass-wing, many of which have adapted in ingenious ways to their environment. Our visit here will be followed by lunch taken along a quiet section of the Pacuare River, before continuing on with our hike through the Rain Forest. Keep your eyes open for unique flora and fauna that can be found here. Our vehicles will be waiting for us at the end of our hike to transfer us to the port. Here we will meet our boat to take us to the Pacuare Reserve where we will spend the night.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a good night's sleep in the tents, we get ready for rafting again. There is so much nature and wildlife to explore along the river! The Pacuare takes us through virgin rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and river-carved canyons. We will safely maneuver through the exhilarating class III rapids but most of the time just float through calmer stretches and enjoy the near-vertical green walls on the shoreline. En route, we make stops for lunch and short hikes to some waterfalls. In the afternoon, minivans will pick us up and transport us to Arenal. Overnight stay in hotel.

Meals:  B,L,D

The morning is free to explore the town of La Fortuna and its surroundings with your guide. The afternoon will be spent exploring the base of Arenal Volcano during a gentle hiking tour. The majestic Arenal Volcano is the main attraction of La Fortuna, with an almost perfect cone of 1657 meters (4971 ft) high. At the beginning of the walk, you enter the primary forest scenario with natural trails where you can observe abundant plants, and giant trees, and the possibility of seeing local fauna that inhabits the private reserve. This part of the trail amazes every visitor with its scenic beauty. After leaving the forest, you will walk through the most anticipated section: the volcanic lava trails, where our guide will provide you with relevant information about the formation of the Arenal Volcano, its eruption phases, as well as details of its eruption in 1968 and the change that caused in the area. You will also enjoy the excellent views of the Laguna Verde and Lake Arenal. Later, you will be transferred to take a relaxing dip in thermal waters and enjoy a delicious dinner at the end of the day.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will transfer to the amazing Venado Caves, which feature wonderful limestone rocks, stalactites, stalagmites, and corals. Whimsical stone formations are shaped by the forces of an underground river. The caves were first formed during the Miocene Period, about 15 to 20 million years ago. After their formation, they remained below sea level for an extended period of time, before tectonic movements brought them to the surface and the Guatuzos aborigines became the first people to discover them.

Meals:  B,L,D

Discover the Santa Elena Cloud Forest on a guided hike. While the Monteverde Reserve is on the "must-see" list for most travelers to Costa Rica, the Santa Elena Reserve offers the opportunity to experience this rare ecosystem without waiting in lines for a photo or stepping off the path as large tour groups pass. During your guided hike, you'll have the chance to see an astonishing number of animals. Elusive feline species include pumas, jaguarundi, and the endangered jaguar, while more commonly spotted species include spider monkeys, sloths, bright red poison dart frogs, and tarantulas.

Meals:  B,L,D

Sloth Sanctuary: In close collaboration with the Caribbean Sloth Sanctuary, Selvatura Park showcases the sloth, one of Costa Rica´s most iconic animals in a carefully designed exhibit that replicates their natural habitat and that is home to 20 sleepy, slow-moving, tree-dwelling individuals. This is the sanctuary where time takes on a new meaning and invites quiet contemplation of these extraordinary mammals. Enjoy a guided tour of the exhibit to learn about this emblematic species, its habits, and why it doesn't go anywhere very quickly. Observe these sloths from a stressless distance as they roam among the trees and foliage of the exhibition with freedom and in safety. Not only will you fall in love with our sloths, but the sanctuary is also a way that Selvatura Park supports education and promotes environmental conservation. These beautiful mammals arrived at our sanctuary having been rescued from the effects of poaching, habitat destruction, illness, and accidents among other reasons that now prevent them from being reintroduced to their natural habitat. For this reason, the Selvatura Sloth Habitat is very dear to our hearts and part of our ongoing mission to protect and preserve this recently-named national symbol. Butterfly Garden: Selvatura Park boasts one of the largest and most beautiful butterfly gardens in the Americas and is home to more than 30 species of Costa Rican butterflies of all altitudes and climates. Wander through this spacious dome-shaped structure that ensures the perfect amount of sunlight and shelter from the wind for these delicate animals to flutter between the array of nectar-rich flowers. Specialized guides will entertain you during a tour through the flower-filled gardens with lots of information and fun facts about the magnificent butterflies, their incredible life cycle, and much more. This is the opportunity to absorb the butterfly effect and the peace that is felt while observing them feeding, resting, or in flight.

Meals:  B,L,D

Leaving the coast we will head back to the city of San Jose, stopping on the way to experience Costa Rica’s coffee tradition: 640 acres of prime coffee plantation where the secrets of a real coffee cup are carefully held and shared with the group. You will be instructed on the climate, topography, location and history of the Hacienda, sample prime gourmet coffee, and experience first hand each of the processes involved in growing and producing Costa Rican coffee. On arrival in Manuel Antonio you will be taken to your hotel and for dinner.

Meals:  B,L,D

An exciting morning awaits us as we will prepare to sea kayak at Isla Damas. This area is particularly noted for its estuaries lined with mangroves. Paddling silently in the kayaks, we will have a great opportunity to enjoy this magical ecosystem and observe the fascinating wildlife that inhabits it. White-faced monkeys, sloths, green iguanas, spectacles caimans, boas, crab-eating raccoons, silky anteaters, crabs as well as numerous bird species, are just some of the fauna found in the aquatic forests and island channels of the mangroves.

Meals:  B,L,D

The morning is yours to enjoy the beach or by the pool of your hotel before returning to your hotel in San Jose, about 3 hours away.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Meals:  B

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Life Below Water:  Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.

Life On Land:  Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Sustainable Cities And Communities:  There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.

Learning outcomes for students

World Expeditions Schools journeys are designed to encourage positive personal development and the learning of life skills, while leaving the communities and environments we travel to, in a better condition than when we arrived.
The programs are designed to:
• build strong friendships and bonds with their peers, their teachers, and the local people they meet.
• increase the confidence to engage with new people, and collaboratively make informed decisions.
• discover the benefits of working cooperatively together as a cohesive team, to achieve a common objective.
• Increase the ability to face, and cope with, mental and physical challenges and therefore increase resilience.
• give students a chance to appreciate and care for the natural world. The environments we travel through are beautiful and often pristine, invariably the students will gain a deeper appreciation and understanding about how their individual actions impact on the environment.
• Learn personal skills i.e., time management, personal hygiene, responsibility for personal gear, patience, tolerance, and public speaking.
We help encourage students to learn what it means to be a true global citizen.


  • Full Board through out as per itinerary
  • Experienced english speaking guides
  • Internal transportation including airport transfers in private vehicles
  • Good quality accommodation on twin share basis
  • Two nights’ accommodation at Pacuare Reserve with the Turtle program
  • All group camping equipment (Sleeping bags and mats are not included)
  • Rafting gear and instruction
  • Kayaking gear and instruction
  • Group medical kit
  • Visit to the National Biodiversity Institute
  • Entrance and sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Detailed pre departure information
  • Industry led risk assessment

  • International flights to and from San Jose
  • Christmas, New Year and Easter supplement (please ask our staff for details of this small peak season surcharge)
  • Meals not indicated
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Sleeping bag & sleeping mat (can be hired locally - must be booked in advance)
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Single supplements
  • Departure taxes $29 USD


Introductory to Moderate

Why travel with us

Why travel with us

Assisted over
14,000 Students Worldwide

Since the 1980's, we have helped students from around the globe to experience the world's most exciting destinations, allowing them to travel, give, grow.

400+ Service Learning

Together with students, we have completed over 400 Service Learning programs in developing countries. We will always continue to support causes including social justice, animal welfare, the environment and more.

Fully Customised
School Travel Programs

Want to include service learning, your school curriculum and a physical challenge, or any of the above? Contact us and we can design a program fully catered for your students and budget.

Safety and
Support - Our #1 Priority

Every school receives a detailed risk management plan that is guided by government advisories and the local partners we work with. We never compromise on the safety of your students to reduce the price of the program.


Want to find out more?

Our educational travel experts are ready to help you tailor an itinerary or service learning project to suit your school’s needs and budget. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.

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