Costa Rican Science & Cultural Experience

Ridley College

Dates here##

Get ready for an adventure-packed education trip in Costa Rica, where you’ll we’ll start the Ridley College re-forestation project, take water quality samples, map out species in our local rainforest, and learn about the culture of Costa Rica.

March ## – ##, 2025
Price: $—- / person

Hurry! Reserve your space with a deposit of just $200

What’s included:

  • Professional Naturalists and Guides: Our guides have degrees as a Costa Rican Naturalist and will make your experience educational and fun
  • Lodging: All lodging is included in the trip cost
  • Meals: Fresh, healthy meals will be prepared by Costa Rican chefs throughout the week.
  • Activities: All activities and entrance fees listed in the itinerary are included in the trip fare.
  • Private Transportation: Chartered, private transportation is booked for your group

What’s not included: Flights to and from San Jose, Costa Rica. Breakfast & lunch on the first day and lunch and dinner on the last day.

Dear Students and Parents,

Imagine immersing yourselves in the vibrant tapestry of Costa Rica, a classroom teeming with lush rainforests, majestic volcanoes, and diverse cultures. At Costa Rican Resource, we’ve been crafting unforgettable student adventures for over 20 years, specializing in trips tailored to your interests and curriculum needs.

Our tours go beyond textbooks, offering hands-on learning opportunities in geology, botany, zoology, history, and more. We even incorporate Spanish language immersion and cultural interactions with local families, teaching you to make tortillas, dance like Ticos, and speak like the locals. This isn’t just a trip; it’s a life-changing experience.

But we understand your concerns about safety. Our certified guides are experts in first aid, wilderness rescue, and water safety, ensuring your well-being every step of the way. We also offer a comprehensive insurance policy for added peace of mind.

And what about the fun? We mix community service projects with thrilling adventures like ziplining through rainforests and exploring hidden waterfalls. Our energetic staff, including passionate naturalists, volcanologists, and Spanish-speaking guides, are ready to share their knowledge and make your trip unforgettable.

We’re excited to share the magic of Costa Rica with you. If you have any questions at all, feel free to email us at

Pura Vida,

The Costa Rican Resource Team

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica. We’ll stay at a San Jose hotel after you arrive at SJO airport. This will ensure your well rested and not travel weary for the big week ahead adventure and learning.

Meals: Dinner
Lodging: San Jose Hotel

Day 2 — Visit Irazú Volcano, Basílica, and travel to Turrialba.

Today we will start the trip by making our way to the Turrialba Valley. Enroute to Turrialba we will stop by the tallest volcano in all of Costa Rica. Here you will be looking down into the crater of the Irazu Volcano. This is quite the site to see and the energy exit point of where two tectonic plates (Coco & Caribe Plates) are doing a subduction slide under Costa Rica.
After a visit to the top of the volcano we will drive down its’ slopes and visit Costa Rica’s most famous church. Here you will learn the history and walk around La Basilica de La Virgen de Los Angeles.
In the afternoon we’ll arrive to the Valley of Turrialba which sits across the valley from another active volcano, Turrialba Volcano.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Lodging: Turrialba Hotel

Day 3 — ACACED orientation & Cultural experience at Sitio de Mata. Today we are going to meet at the Sitio de Mata Village. This is the highlight of our trip. The village is filled with awe-inspiring views and some of the most fabulous people on the planet. First, we are going to have an orientation with ACACED a local organization that is working for the conservation of freshwater species in Costa Rica. The first part is an orientation and then the group goes to a small river where they will teach you their conservative methods. Once we have the skills necessary, we are going to help with the reforestation! After, we will play a village soccer game with the local kids. Having worked up an appetite, It’s time to learn how to cook–Costa Rican style. We’ll learn how to make some of the traditional dishes of the village including patacones, gallo pinto, and tortillas. In the evening the village families will put on an all-out fiesta for us filled with music, food, and dance! Then we are going to drive back to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Lodging: Turrialba Hotel

A group of paddlers Pacuare river rafting near a waterfall

Day 4 — Rafting the Pacuare River + Zipline and Tarzan swing. Today, after breakfast, we are going to drive to Pacuare River. Here we will begin our three-day jungle expedition and raft what National Geographic has listed as one of their top three most scenic rivers on the planet.

We will spend a short one-and-a-half hours rafting and get to our private jungle lodge. Before entering the lodge, we will enjoy an unforgettable experience as we take a hike from the river deep into the ancient cultures of the Cabecar Indigenous. This is a tribe that lives with no electricity, three-hour hikes from the main road, and quite primitively. We will learn about the socio-economic issues with the indigenous here in Costa Rica. We will work with the indigenous in a service project for 6 hours. In the afternoon, we will hike back to the lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Lodging: Pacuare Outdoor Center

Day 5 — Raft Pacuare Canyon and Drive to the Caribbean Coast. Today we will raft the most scenic part of the Pacuare River. Here we will paddle by numerous waterfalls and through canyon walls that measure 300ft straight up. This is a day when we will keep you wet from start to finish, passing through some adventurous rapids.

After lunch, we will make the drive to the Caribbean Coast, where the forest meets the sea.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Lodging: Local Hotel

Day 6 — Morning hike, Green Macaw Center, and Sea Turtle Conservation Area. Today we will have time at the beach! We are going to hike Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge where the forest meets the sea.

After a morning at the beach at 3 pm we will be heading over to learn about the Great Green Macaw which you are sure to see plenty of on the Caribbean. Here you will learn about different conservation efforts and what has helped allow the species to flourish in a time when their food source (almond trees) have been diminished and taken years to grow back.

In the afternoon we will rest because during the night we are going to do a beach patrol to search for nesting turtles.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Lodging: Namuwoki Hotel

Day 7 — Travel to Sarapiqui and learn about the Bat Project. The most popular mammals in the tropics are not monkeys or Jaguars, but they are bats! We cannot let you leave the tropics without learning about their importance and hopefully gaining a new appreciation for them. Here you will be able to trap bats at night and study their pollination habits under a microscope during the day.

This is a great end to what we know will be an amazing trip filled with learning and fun from start to finish!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Lodging: Selva Verde Lodge

Day 8 — Bats program of Tirimbina and travel back to San José. During the morning we are going back to la Tirimbina reserve to do the final part of their bat Conservation project. Then we are going to start the drive back to the city to get close to the airport for your return flight. We can coordinate a visit downtown or some souvenir shopping.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Lodging: Local Hotel

Volcano in costa rica

Day 9 — Fly home. Today, we’ll drive you to the airport with luggage full of memories and a lot of Pura Vida!

Meals: Breakfast
Lodging: No lodging

1. Tree Planting with a Legacy:

  • Citizen Science: Each group gets a native tree species to research (importance, growth, challenges). We’ll map planted trees yearly, tracking survival, growth, and biodiversity impact. Data goes to iNaturalist, contributing to global forest restoration knowledge.
  • Local Connection: We’ll partner with a conservation organization (RAFA), learning planting techniques, challenges, and seeing their restoration efforts firsthand. Fundraising back home could support their cause and build a lasting partnership.

2. Night Hike: Mapping Biodiversity in the Dark:

  • Beyond Identification: Students use guides for animal calls and behaviors, making the hike immersive. They’ll collect data on species abundance, distribution, and interactions, creating a biodiversity map of the lodge grounds.
  • Data-Driven Advocacy: Analyzing data could reveal endangered species and we can brainstorm ideas on how to protect locally.

3. Water Quality Detectives:

  • Testing Power Up: We’ll test for a wider range of parameters (nitrates, phosphates, turbidity) to understand potential pollution sources and its impact on ecosystems and communities. We’ll compare data from different locations to see upstream-downstream relationships.
  • Action-Oriented Learning: If water quality issues arise, we’ll brainstorm solutions with students, like community education, sustainable waste management, or advocating for stricter regulations. We can partner with local water conservation organizations to support their efforts.

Pack like a Pura Vida pro! Go light & casual, with quick-dry clothes for sun, rain, and cool nights. Layers are your friend, and a carry-on saves you money and hassle. We handle bags on arrival, so leave the fancy outfits at home and embrace the adventure!

  • Up-to-date passport (make sure the passport is valid for 6 months after arrival)
  • Extremely casual – can be hot, cold, sunny, and wet all in one
  • Shorts for hiking and hanging out
  • T-Shirts, polo shirts, or hiking shirts
  • Pair of long pants or jeans for hikes
  • Bathing suits (good to have two pairs because sometimes you need the second one before the first one is dry)
  • Water shoes with straps for rafting, zip-lining & rappelling
  • Flip-flops for showering or getting up at night
  • Light jacket (gets cool in the evening)
  • Light rain gear
  • Hats and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen – the sun is intense and then it rains!
  • Insect repellant
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Toiletry items
  • Prescription medicine (pack in your carry-on)
  • Dramamine–your new best friend & mine, I like to keep the bus clean!
  • Large ziploc or plastic trash bags for traveling from hotel to hotel with wet bathing suits or wet dirty shoes
  • Day pack or backpack

What is your cancellation policy?

Our cancellation policy is firm. We highly recommend travel insurance. Below is our cancellation policy. Please note, that notice must be made in writing to

  • Notice sent 90 days or more before the trip: 90% refund
  • Notice sent 60 to 89 days before the trip: 50% refund
  • Notice sent 45 to 59 days before the trip: 25% refund
  • Notice sent 0 to 44 days before the trip: No refunds

Is there a deposit or payment schedule?

  • The initial deposit is $200 which is due at the time of booking.
  • Six months before the trip, 50% of the remaining balance is due.
  • Three months before the trip the remaining balance is due.

Can parents put this trip on a credit card?

Yes, our new reservation system allows the parents to register and pay directly.

What is the company’s plan for a natural disaster?

Our policy for all major events is one of mutual “good faith”. Costa Rican Resource will make all good-faith efforts to keep your group safe and avoid all affected areas to continue your experience as appropriate for the particular event in question. Although these events can never be predicted it is very likely that such events will be limited in scope by geography and Costa Rican Resource will work within the limits of individual hotel cancellation policies to adjust your itinerary with limited additional expense.

Is travel insurance required?

Costa Rican Resource is a company that operates with many different tour operators. Each of these companies are insured for the services they offer. We have proof of all insurance documents and booklets, which can be sent out any time you request. We do strongly suggest when traveling that you take out adventure student travel insurance that is purchased in the States. We do not require that you show proof of purchase before traveling with us but we do recommend you have adventure travel insurance. It is very inexpensive and can be obtained from many companies online. The US Dept. of State provides this list of approved insurance providers Travel Insurance (

Also as a reminder, all our guides are up to date on their Wilderness First Responder and First Aid courses. If there were an emergency, our clients would be brought to the CIMA Hospital, which is not only the best hospital in Costa Rica but one of the top hospitals in all of the Americas. CIMA is the primary facility for all major care needs. Smaller clinics may be utilized for minor care as we travel throughout the country but this is done on an as needed impromptu basis.

Are any immunizations required?

We do not require any immunizations for our tours. You are free to check the CDC website for their recommendations.

Are US dollars accepted in Costa Rica?

Yes, US dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas, but expect your change in colones (roughly 550 colones per dollar). ATMs dispense both currencies, and credit cards are generally accepted in most places.