Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
Length: 10 days
Audience: Business faculty and students
Highlights: Authentic homestay experience; Spanish lessons; collaborative projects with locals; hands-on lessons and discussions with local experts; visits to local and international businesses, volcano, organic coffee farm, theater, Pacific Coast, and national parks; community service, and more.
*Due to the customized nature of each program, prices and itineraries are subject to change. For more details please contact Immersion Abroad Costa Rica.*
DAY 1 Welcome – ¡Bienvenidos!
Arrive in San Jose and meet your Immersion Abroad Costa Rica (IACR) coordinator at the airport. Travel to the IACR Program Center in Atenas for an authentic Costa Rican meal and important trip orientation. Your host family will pick you up to experience your first night in your new “Tico” home.
DAY 2 Exploring Language and Community
Participate in fun and engaging Spanish lessons followed by a guided orientation activity of the quaint, friendly town of Atenas. Enjoy a traditional lunch experience at the colorful central market sodas (small family-style diners). A late afternoon lesson and discussion will focus on Costa Rican education, health, and the economy.
DAY 3 Organic Coffee Farm and Latin Dance Workshop
Today offers a one-of-a-kind hands-on learning experience at a local organic coffee farm. Learn about sustainable cultivation techniques and discover why coffee is one of Costa Rica’s most important exports. Learn to dance merengue, salsa, and more as we wrap up the day with an energizing Latin dance workshop for a better understanding of Costa Rica’s rhythmic culture.
DAY 4 Peace University and Coopertive Dos Pinos
Your day begins at The University for Peace, a UN mandated academic institution whose mission is to offer degrees focused on worldwide peace and security. Here you will attend a presentation on entrepreneurship and innovation by local University of Peace professor. This afternoon we will visit Cooperative Dos Pinos, the largest dairy cooperative in Central America. Learn how Dos Pinos’ green initiatives actively reduce its waste emissions.
DAY 5 Congress and San Jose
Today we travel to capital city San Jose for a visit the Costa Rican Congress followed by a visit to the National Cultural Museum. Exhibits range from art to pre-Columbian artifacts. We will then walk through the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral and have time to shop at the vibrant artisan market.
DAY 6 INA and Latin Cooking Class
This morning you will engage in a special cultural exchange with Costa Rican students at INA (Instituto National de Aprendizaje), Costa Rica’s highly successful National Institute of Learning. You will participate in a business and language activity with local students enrolled in INA’s national English language employment program. This afternoon’s Spanish class will focus on food as we learn how to prepare typical Costa Rican dishes
DAY 7 Fresh Market, Community Interview, and CINE
Prepare for a colorful and delicious morning as we explore the farmer’s market in the heart of Atenas. Joined by INA students, you will have a chance to purchase and sample some of the most exquisite tropical fruits and vegetables. You will also have a chance to interview community business members around the market. This afternoon includes a visit to The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), Costa Rica’s premier agency for attracting foreign direct investment to the country.
DAY 8 Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Enjoy an unforgettable visit to Poás Volcano by hiking to the rim of this world’s largest and most accessible volcanic crater. We will continue the day with a drive to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens to explore some of the most beautiful and famous waterfalls in Costa Rica. You will have time to walk around their on-site wildlife rescue preserve with over 100 species of animals and historic home site.
DAY 9 Playa Herradura and Zip-Line
We begin today’s adventure with a scenic drive to Herradura Beach where you will have a chance to swim, play beach soccer, or just stroll the warm tropical sands that hug the blue Pacific waters. Before arriving at the beach we will stop for a unique zip-line tour through the rainforest. This evening we will enjoy a final meal together, receive program completion certificates, and share reflections on our incredible learning adventure.
DAY 10 Departure Home
IACR staff will take you to the San Jose International Airport where we will say our final adiós.