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Costa Rica

Field Workshop
12 Days

  • Photograph monkeys, sloths, rare birds, and other wildlife.
  • Swim beneath a waterfall and explore pristine beaches.
  • Interview leatherback turtle researchers on the coast.
  • Learn about the local coffee trade while volunteering on an organic farm.
Costa Rica
Costa Rica

Dates & Tuition

New information for summer 2015 trips will be available in late October. Request a catalog or sign up for email and be among the first to find out about all our new trips!

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Nat Geo Expert

Conservation biologist Taylor will join a portion of this field workshop.
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On Assignment Projects

Choose one of these projects and delve further into your area of interest:


Wildlife & Conservation

Itinerary — 12 Days

Costa Rica has protected nearly a quarter of its land from development, creating a refuge for countless species and ensuring that its cloud forests, steaming volcanoes, and pristine beaches will be around for generations to come. From the rain forest to the coast, discover Costa Rica's incredible biodiversity. Through an On Assignment project of your choice—Photography or Wildlife & Conservation—set out to investigate and document Costa Rica's stewardship of its diverse ecosystems.

Monteverde and San Luis

6 days.The program begins in San Luis—a beautiful, self-sustaining village located on the southern edge of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve—our base as we explore this unique ecosystem.

A typical day begins with an exercise focused on your On Assignment project—an early morning photo shoot of toucans as they flock to feed in the papaya trees, a workshop on medicinal plants, or a visit with local farmers to learn about their daily lives and help out in the fields.

We'll spend our afternoons discovering the region on field assignments and active excursions. Swim under the spray of the spectacular San Luis waterfall, which emerges from the jungle mists and tumbles some 300 feet. Explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest from top to bottom: hike the trails in search of the elusive quetzal, glide through the canopy on a zip line, and ride horseback deep into the forest to find untouched primary growth. Visit a local coffee cooperative or volunteer to plant trees with the biological corridor project. Learn to cook traditional Costa Rican staples such as gallo pinto, tamales, and tortillas; and play soccer with the local schoolchildren. In the evenings, participate in discussions with local naturalists and our National Geographic expert.

Northwest Coast

6 days.From the mountains of Monteverde, head west to Costa Rica's beautiful Pacific coast. Using a marine research station as our base, spend five days exploring the coastal ecosystem and the tropical dry forests of Guanacaste. Meet with conservation biologists to discuss the endangered leatherback turtle, and work with students at a local elementary school on their environmental education program. Spend an afternoon at the beach and catch a wave on one of Costa Rica's premier surfing beaches.

Wrap up your On Assignment projects and share them with the group on the final night.


A tropical biology research station, the San Luis Ecolodge is our base for the first six days of the program. Students live in cozy bungalows nestled among trees. We spend the last five days on the Pacific coast where we'll stay in dormitory-style accommodations at a marine research station.
Apply now for this program or call us for more information at 877-877-8759.

Your participation in a National Geographic Student Expedition provides support to National Geographic's mission of increasing global understanding through exploration, geography education, and research.
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