Top Student Tours of Costa Rica’s Environment
Tour the gorgeous rainforests and ecological centers with students in Costa Rica while experiencing local culture.
Costa Rica is a country in Central America with wonderful programs for eco-tourism with lush rainforests, protected forests and a wide variety of native species of plants and animals rarely seen in the United States. There are several rehabilitation and research centers within Costa Rica to explore along with programs that guide student groups through the country exploring science and culture. Students and teachers have many options for their trip to this abundant country.
Night Bat Tour – Sarapiquí
Students get a crash course in the history, adaptation and reproduction of one of the most prominent mammal species in Costa Rica through La Tirimbina. This biological reserve in the rainforest offers research projects focused on animal science as kids get a close up look at wild bats who are caught and released the same night by experts from the center. Students explore the nocturnal flying chiropterans in the dark of the night.
Snorkeling Tour – Cahuita National Park
Swim with fish, corals and crustaceans in this protected 600-acre coral reef. Students get an exclusive viewing of rare marine life with coral species such as elk horn, light yellow brain and blue staghorn. There are also sea turtles, angelfish, parrot fish, stingrays and barracudas that feed in the area. With a professional guide on this excursion, groups dive into science with live animals enriching their learning experience.
Arenal Volcano Rainforest Tour – Alajuela Province
These three tours around Costa Rica’s active volcano immerse students in the surrounding rainforests and wildlife. Ecology and natural history are prominent through the hanging bridges tour, which provides a bird’s-eye view of local plants and animals. As night falls, the rainforest comes alive with nocturnal species, and a twilight safari to experience the transition from day to night. The night hike is an exploration of the wild animals in their natural habitat. Students explore the rainforest through these tours, witnessing the animals and plants that live and grow there.
La Selva Biological Station Hike – Sarapiquí
A naturalist guide leads students through the tropical forests that surround this research center. The land’s natural history, flora and fauna are viewed on this half-day or full-day hike. The station also exhibits research conducted with scientific conservation and development efforts for students to learn. Science students will be immersed in international conservation of the rainforests during this hiking tour.
Coffee and Wildlife Tour – Toucan Rescue Ranch, Britt Coffee
Students explore the Toucan Rescue Ranch and observe how animals are rehabilitated and released back into the wild. The center houses parrots, macaws, owls, sloths and spider monkeys with stories of their rescue and information on their species. Students also experience plants through the coffee and wildlife tour with a provided lunch. Coffee experts present the history and science of growing the golden bean. This combination of animal and plant science immerses students in a day tour of Costa Rican ecology and culture.
Waves and Waterfalls Tour – El Viejo, Tamarindo
This guided program includes many adventurous activities through Costa Rica and its rainforests. There is whitewater rafting, horseback riding, mud baths, surf lessons, zip lines and rock climbing in a physically immersive exploration of Costa Rica. Besides the thrill of these exploits, students have a chance to meet a conservationist, perform mock research along the coast and interact with local communities in cooking or sports activities. This rigorous schedule allows students many unique experiences that occur within the tropical forests.
Coastal Conservation Tour – Alajuela, Qeupos, San José
The natural world is open for students to explore in this guided tour. Activities include bird watching, zip-lining, hikes, horseback riding, a boat tour, snorkeling, a butterfly garden, canoeing and volunteering in developing a nature exhibit. Students get a hands-on experience of the natural beauty of Costa Rica and its coastline. Lessons teaching conservation and environmental protection intertwine with adventure and learning on this coastal tour.
Eco Adventures Tour – San José, Sarapiquí, Arenal, Monteverde
This tour is geared specifically towards students stepping into the role of field ecologists with visits to a rainforest center, a night bat tour, lava fields, natural hot springs, a cloud forest, snake gardens, frog ponds and a zip-line. Students are charged with searching and identifying species of animals and plants throughout their trip, discovering the essence of Costa Rica’s’ rainforests.
Costa Rica’s Natural Wonders Tour – Guanacaste, Arenal, Los Chiles, San José
Students can experience the biodiversity of the local environment on this tour. Traveling through different regions, kids tour a sustainability farm, cook a local meal, zip-line through the canopy, discover thermal springs, snorkel, explore a national park, tour a wildlife refuge on a boat, hike to a waterfall, try whitewater rafting and tour a coffee plantation. The expeditions of this trip engage students in the culture and land of Costa Rica.
Science, Engineering and Math in the Tropics – San José, Barra Rio Pacuare, Sarapiquí
In this unique biological study tour, students explore Costa Rica from center to coast with hands-on research of turtles, bats, rainforests, wildlife and cuisine through locals and experts. With community engagement, students not only see the animals and plants that produce and affect the environment but the people that research, protect and live in it. With an emphasis in lessons on sustainability and environmental issues, groups can see how communities are linked with the protection of their environment.
Osa Peninsula Rainforest Discovery – Alajuela, San José, Puerto Jimenez, Sarchi
From volcanoes to beaches, this tour takes advantage of the naturally diverse wildlife and protected ecosystems. From boats, prop planes, hikes and glamping to snorkeling, coffee plantations and cloud forests, students will move around the country and explore its scientific wonders and amenities. The biodiversity students will be exposed to in the Osa peninsula is a once-in-a-lifetime experience of rainforests and wildlife, with lessons to conserve and protect these natural wonders.
Source to Sea Costa Rica – Monteverde, Northern Pacific Coast
In positive educational contact with the outdoors, students are housed in an eco-lodge in the valley below a cloud forest that includes a classroom, lab and connected hiking trails. Students join with professional researchers in collecting and analyzing data from the local environment as well as along the pacific coast in the marine awareness program. Through these excursions, kids can learn in the sciences of marine biology, hydrology, botany, ecology, herpetology, entomology and ornithology. With several days of travel, this program allows time for students to truly enjoy and experience Costa Rica.