Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
Length: 9 days
Audience: Biology and/or environmental science faculty and students
Highlights: Authentic homestay experience; Spanish lessons; collaborative projects with locals; hands-on lessons and discussions with local experts; visits to organic coffee farm, national parks; community service
*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 Farmer’s Market and Carara National Park
Prepare for a colorful and delicious morning as we explore the farmer’s market in the heart of Atenas. There we will purchase items for our Latin cooking class, which will include a Spanish language lesson. This afternoon we will visit Carara National Park. Guided by a local biologist we will learn about this ancestral forest with its shady canopies and dense tree growth, a haven for bird species such as the Scarlet Macaws.
DAY 3 Rural Public School, Coffee Farm, & Latin Dance Workshop
Today you will have a unique opportunity to serve in a low-income rural public school by working with students on science fair projects. This afternoon offers a one-of-a-kind hands-on learning experience at a local organic coffee farm followed up by an energizing Latin dance workshop for a better understanding of Costa Rica’s rhythmic culture.
DAY 4 Seed Conservation Presentation and Community Service
This morning we will hear from a local expert on the world of seeds. Learn about plant and seed species, local plant remedies, conservation, genetic manipulation, and indigenous use of plants and seeds in Costa Rica. We will wrap up the day serving the town of Atenas with the Atenas Municipality Recycling Program.
DAY 5 Marine Biology Presentation
Enjoy a day interacting with local marine biologists as you learn about the biodiversity of Costa Rica’s Pacific flora and fauna. Leaders from Mision Tiburon will share their work in educational projects and marine research, with special focus on sharks, ray, and turtles.
DAY 6 Poás Volcano – Chilamate
After breakfast enjoy an unforgettable visit to Poás Volcano by hiking to the rim of this world’s largest and most accessible volcanic crater. Following our visit we will begin our overnight adventure to Chilamate in the Sarapiqui North Caribbean region. After checking in to the hotel you will have a relaxing tube ride down the Amarillo River. Later this afternoon we will visit a unique project focused on the life and survival of the native ant population.
DAY 7 Braulio Carrillo National Park – Nature Pavilion/Zip Line
This morning we set out for Braulio Carrillo National Park. Here you will enjoy a moderate hike with a naturalist guide for an expert understanding of the park’s five ecosystems. Afternoon excursions include a chocolate tour and zip-lining through the rainforest canopy. We wrap up the day at the breathtaking Costa Rica Nature Pavilion, a National Geographic destination site and central home to over 225 bird species.
DAY 8 INA
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. Activities will include biology-focused lessons. This evening we will enjoy a final meal together, receive program completion certificates, and share our reflections of our incredible learning adventure.
DAY 9 Departure
IACR staff will take you to the San Jose International Airport where we will say our final adiós.