Wild Studies Home Page

Costa Rica - Activities

HomeBahamas Eco Island ExperienceCosta Rica GreenBaja Marine ExtremeAdventures For AdultsStaff
College CreditsSignInTestimonialsOther ResourcesContact
Costa Rica GreenCosta Rica Green ActivitiesCosta Rica Green Questions & AnswersThe Country of Costa Rica

Day 1: Arrival

After claiming your bags and making your way through customs, you will be met at the San Jose International Airport by a friendly member of our Wild Studies staff holding a sign with your group’s name. You will then be driven to your first home away from home, The Inca Real Hotel. You will spend the first 2 nights of your journey in this fine establishment, rich with Costa Rican flair. Depending on your arrival time, you will be given a short walking tour of the immediate San Jose area, an opportunity to shop at an artisan market, and enjoy a traditional Costa Rican dinner, served in style on a banana leaf, along with your choice of fresh tropical fruit juice.


Day 2: San Jose Area Tour

This day is full of immersion in the Costa Rican culture. The first stop of our comfortable tour bus is a coffee plantation where you will dine in luxury on a traditional Costa Rican breakfast complete with samples of coffee produced at the plantation. This is followed by a complete tour about the production of one of the most economically beneficial products of the country – coffee. From the bean fields to the roaster, you will be shown step-by-step all that is involved with this process. Your next stop will be to Volcan Poas. This active volcano is a site to see! As we climb higher, you will see the city of San Jose nestled in the valley while experiencing first-hand the change of climate and corresponding vegetation in these higher elevations. We will visit the active crater and take a hike to a lagoon. On the drive back down, we will stop at a farm and sample fresh strawberries and beverages. The third main stop will be at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. This will be your first of many opportunities to see a wide variety of rainforest creatures up close and personal – from snakes to hummingbirds. Make sure you aren’t carrying any hitchhikers upon your exit from the butterfly house! In addition, you will take winding staircases next to natural waterfalls, one of the most captivating features of this country’s landscape. Finally, your day will end with a river boat trip. On this part of your journey, keep your eyes peeled for caiman, crocodiles, lizards, monkeys, and a variety of birds!



Day 3: Journey to the Osa

The morning starts off with a hearty breakfast at a local restaurant. After filling up for a long day of traveling, you will pack up and leave the Inca Real for your new destination: Carate. You will be traveling by air in a comfortable turbo prop plane while taking in the breathtaking views of the mountains, rivers, and sea on your way to the Osa Peninsula where you will be greeted by a lush paradise of palm trees and tropical plants as the plane touches down on the gravel runway. There, more staff will meet you to complete the rest of the trip by specially designed taxis for rough terrain. On our way, we will stop and enjoy a packed lunch on the beach of Matapalo, where you will watch the continuum of waves crash at your feet at this most desirable surfing destination. One of the most unforgettable parts of this trip is the first time entering primary rainforest. As the landscape changes and you become surrounded by the shadow of the towering trees, you realize that you are truly in a special place. Upon arrival in Carate, our bags will be loaded onto a horse cart and we will enjoy a walk down the black volcanic sand beach along the Pacific Ocean to our final destination: the eco-lodge. Here we will have some time to relax on the beach after a day of traveling. Tonight, a new atmosphere will surround you as you fall asleep to the hypnotic sound of crashing waves and slumber with the rainforest in this luxury tent camp.


Day 4: Canopy Traverse & Rainforest Introduction Hike

You awake to the sounds of scarlet macaws and the stirring of animals of the forest floor. Breakfast is served in the open air dining area overlooking the ocean. Your first day in the rainforest begins with visiting the place where most of rainforest life reigns – the treetop canopy. If you want a monkey’s-eye view of the forest, you will use our zip lines to traverse the canopy and take in awesome views of land and sea. It is here that you may have a close-up encounter with wildlife that you don’t get on the forest floor and will see exotic plant life, such as orchids, in their natural environment. After another fine meal, you will take your first hike through the rainforest. On our journey, you will be educated on the different life of the forest and learn the best hiking techniques for seeing wildlife. Our guides will take you through the trails and seek out creatures along the way – be sure to look at the base of trees for the strikingly-colored poison dart frogs! Dinner is served, followed by a lesson on rainforest ecology. You will also be taught how to use the rappelling equipment for tomorrow’s adventure. Weather and time-permitting, you will take a hike down the beach searching for sea turtles that use this beach as a nesting site.


Day 5: Waterfall Rappelling & Rock Climbing

On this second day, you will eat a hearty breakfast in preparation for a hike upriver to a waterfall. This hike offers a different view of the varied-topography of Costa Rica. Once we reach our destination at the top of the waterfall, if you so choose, our guide will assist you in donning our harness, ropes, and helmet. After reviewing the instructions you were given last night, you will have the opportunity to rappel down this waterfall and then test your rock climbing skills climbing back up alongside it. You will also be given a short geology lesson to learn about what makes this area such a marvel of Nature’s beauty. We will eat a packed lunch and watch for wildlife on our hike back down. Look out for gold that lies waiting to be discovered in this riverbed! How about another night hike and star-gazing after dinner?


Day 6: Corcovado National Park

In the morning, we will prepare for departure from the eco-lodge, but not before hiking through arguably one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth – Corcovado National Park. Here you will hike in the forest along the Pacific, listening carefully for the sounds of creatures rousing as a result of our arrival. Shhh! What was that?? As you look above toward the sounds, you see branches moving wildly. It’s a troop of spider monkeys overhead! Are we the observers or the observed? You will truly feel at one with Nature in this extraordinary place. Have your cameras ready! We leave the rainforest today and travel to Puerto Jimenez with anticipation of tomorrow’s adventure…

Day 7: Wildlife Up-close

You are in for a special treat on your final full day in Costa Rica. After a restful night’s sleep in your cabina, you awake to a different sound – roosters! In the delightful town of Puerto Jimenez, you are greeted by friendly neighbors as we take a short walk to a restaurant for breakfast. After breakfast, you are taken on a boat tour across the Golfo Dulce. Along the way, you will likely encounter one of the resident pods of Spotted Dolphin. Then a change of scene – instead of watching the wildlife from above, you will get into the water and snorkel around the reefs and walk along secluded beaches in search of marine life you will likely have never seen before. After that, we will visit a wildlife sanctuary and learn about the hard work that goes into providing injured and mistreated wildlife a second chance by the dedicated and compassionate staff. Watch out – you may become a “jungle” gym for one of the free-roaming resident monkeys! Many great photo opportunities here. You enjoy a peaceful ride back across the Gulf while looking out for elusive sea turtles. For your last evening in Costa Rica, you will enjoy dinner in an open-air, candlelit restaurant and wrap-up presentation by the staff.


Day 8: Homeward Bound

This morning, you will have breakfast in town and then it is off to the airport for another scenic trip back to San Jose. On our short walk to the airport, perhaps we will see white-faced capuchins in the mangroves. Upon arrival in San Jose, you will be escorted to your airline for your international flight back to the United States. Along the way, you will most certainly be reflecting on the new memories you have created during your stay on the Osa and be excited to share them with others when you arrive back home; you will certainly leave with a new appreciation for one of the most endangered environments on the globe. We hope you will make this a truly life-changing experience by making environmentally-favorable changes in your day-to-day life and encouraging others to do the same to help preserve this natural treasure.

Now it is time to start planning your next Wild Studies adventure! See you next summer!


Costa Rica GreenCosta Rica Green ActivitiesCosta Rica Green Questions & AnswersThe Country of Costa Rica