Costa Rica Student Travel
Costa Rica is the perfect classroom for a middle school or high school student group trip and Adventures Under the Sun has 20 years of experience to prove it!
Our itineraries focus on outdoor environmental education and/o service while our passionate local guides introduce students to the political, social, environmental, economic, historical and gastronomical aspects of the country. In a short visit it is possible to witness the tremendous biodiversity protected by our exemplary conservation efforts. Our political stability and non-militarized government, as well as the numerous global flight options make it a safe and easy destination. And, Costa Ricans, or “ticos” are extremely friendly, passionate and educated people who love positive cultural exchanges.
From whitewater rafting through the rainforest, surfing perfect waves, zip lining over a tropical canopy, or bathing in the hot springs on the flanks of the active Arenal Volcano…. We’ve got it all! We have various established itineraries you can choose from to some of the most unique and spectacular places of Costa Rica. Groups on a limited budget and time frame can experience the best of Costa Rica on one of our shorter 6 to 7 day itineraries. If you can, take your time and discover Costa Rica on a 9 to 10 day adventure immersion trip. Or, if your group has specific needs, contact us for a customized student trip.
“I feel amazing after this trip and I have a greater sense of awareness. One thing I learned about myself is that I can take risks and love it, Yes.!”
Hadassah, Cedarwood School
Long Itineraries – 8 & 9 Days
Captivate your students with an assortment of natural educational ingredients on a lengthy group trip to three or four destinations in Costa Rica. Adventures Under the Sun’s longer itineraries are a great option for high school student groups with considerable objectives, minimal constraints and in need of guidance to optimize the experience. We will help you make environment, culture, stewardship, adventure, service, language and health the prevalent foci of your trip.
Perfect Student Adventure (9 DAYS)
Expand your students’ cultural horizons and comfort zones on this service learning and adventure journey throughout Costa Rica.
Discover Costa Rica (9 DAYS)
Discover Costa Rica’s culture, history, adventure and biodiversity on this journey through our northern territories.
Oceanic Expedition (9 DAYS)
Take advantage of this excellent itinerary to indoctrinate students about the tropical ocean and marine environments of Costa Rica.
Adrenaline Adventure (8 DAYS)
Keep your shoes tied for this active trip in Costa Rica could knock your socks off!
Short Itineraries – 6 Days
Allow your students to learn and experience more than they would in a month in your classroom on one of our Student Group Travel Short Itineraries in Costa Rica! These are targeted for student groups on a budget that don’t want to sacrifice the quality of a travel experience. Our four sample itineraries include off and on the beaten track destinations full of adventure, challenges, variety and inspiration.
The Essence of Costa Rica (6 DAYS)
Learn how the humble community of San Luis in Costa Rica has thrived via communal efforts and sustainable methods of livelihood and immerse your students.
A Tropical Trekking Expedition (6 DAYS)
A perfect trip to Costa Rica for a biology class or the outdoor club. Journey deep into the jungles of the Corcovado National Park.
A Taste Of It All (6 DAYS)
Capture the full flavor and folklore of Costa Rica with a cultural introduction to authentic lifestyles while visiting a historical hacienda in La Fortuna de Arenal.
Sustainability Adventure (6 DAYS)
Caribbean or Pacific option. Head straight to the jungles of Costa Rica to learn about a unique community that thrives on permaculture and sustainability.
“Great trip, the homestay and language program really allowed the students to engage in the language and culture. The Corcovado experience was unbelievable. “
Emily Durkin, Teacher Telluride Mountain School
“All the safety standards were met, and I never felt at any time that safety was compromised. The leaders were well qualified and went above and beyond. “
Chaperone. Keystone Montessori School
Trip Itinerary Criteria
It is not easy to decide what company to use to plan your class trip, and more difficult to decide on what journey. To make it simpler for you, Adventures Under the Sun presents our student group travel trip itinerary criteria.
There are six key components for all our Student Group Journeys and they are:
- Comfort zone levels
- Trip Tasks
Each category is rated on three levels. We use a sun icon to represent each level, much like a star is used to describe a hotel.
Below are the ratings for each category.
Q: Do I need to speak Spanish?
A: Although Spanish is the national language of Costa Rica, you may easily get by without speaking it. Most “ticos” (Costa Ricans) speak some English and are very willing to learn. They also love to teach Spanish to foreigners.
Q: What type of Service Activities can AUSun set up for our class trip?
A: AUSun has been working with various established community organizations throughout Costa Rica for many years. Projects can be social humanitarian or animal rescue and rehabilitation oriented. Depending on the final itinerary established, and the type of project you are interested in, projects can vary and include: reforestation of native species within reserves; construction or maintenance of infrastructure for community establishments like schools, non-profits, old folks homes, community centers, animal shelters or rescue centers, etc; waste management, clean up and awareness activities; animal interaction and sustenance at a shelter; English classes for rural schools; or environmental education activities and projects with local students.
Q: Are there any required vaccinations I must have before going to Costa Rica?
A: AUSun requests that you have an updated Tetanus and Tuberculosis shot before coming on any program. The CDC recommends that those traveling to Costa Rica be inoculated for malaria and hepatitis. These inoculations are not required by AUSun; this is left to your discretion. Should you choose to be inoculated for these diseases, please be aware of the side effects. If possible, administer the inoculations well in advance so that side effects will not affect you during the program.
Q: How will we be traveling during our journey?
A: The group will travel in a private van or bus that can accommodate your entire group and your luggage comfortably. All vans or buses used for AUSun programs have insurance, carry a tourism transport permit, and have seat belts.
Q: What is AUSun’s insurance policy?
A: AUSun follows safety standards and regulations established by leading outdoor adventure tourism operators in the US and Costa Rica. We are covered by a Comprehensive Commercial General Liability policy with the Costa Rican National Insurance Institute.
Q: What travel documents will students need to complete? Do we need a visa?
A: Upon receiving your trip deposit, we will send you a Trip Forms and Information Folder that includes all the relevant and important documents you need to read, fill out and sign prior your trip. This will include Medical History Forms, Acknowledgement of Risk forms, Permissions Forms, etc. It will also list all the other relevant documents you may need to travel with for your trip. You must be sure to have a valid passport to travel to Costa Rica. It must have at least six months validity before expiring or you may not be allowed to enter or depart Costa Rica. Be sure your passport will not expire while traveling because it will be difficult to renew in Costa Rica, especially as a minor. IMPORTANT FOR MINORS UNDER 18 Some airlines may require minors traveling alone be assisted by an airline representative. Generally, this has an extra fee. Please be sure to travel with a copy of our Permission to Travel Letter and a photocopy of your passport. Visas are NOT required for those traveling from the following countries: European Union, United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. If the country you are coming from is not listed here, please contact the Costa Rican consulate in your area. If you have any difficulties, AUSun may assist you as well.
Q: What should be our policy for cell phones on our Student Group Journey with AUSun?
A: Adventures Under the Sun’s goal on your student group journey is to stimulate personal growth through real, face to face interactions and experiences amongst the students and with people and the environment; therefore, we strongly discourage and request that all students abstain from bringing a cell phone on their trip. This will also reduce the chance of cell phones getting lost, misplaced or even stolen; Costa Rica is a developing nation where poverty is still prevalent and temptations to steal are always a threat. Teachers or chaperones though, are welcome to bring phones to remain in communication with parents and school administrators. AUSun representatives in the office in Costa Rica know the exact location of all participants while on their adventures. In case of an emergency, parents can call the office or trip cell phone at any time, day or night, and the representative will get them in touch with the group as soon as possible.
Q: What is the average size of a Student Group?
A: Group sizes are generally defined by the client. We recommend an average of 12 – 17 kids, as this allows room for individual attention to be given to each student during the course by the teachers and trip leaders. We can accommodate much larger groups, however.
Q: How many trip leaders do you provide for a student group?
A: AUSun provides one trip leader for the first 15 students. We do recommend that at least one representative from your institution be present, thus establishing two adult chaperones for the group. After 15 though, we will recommend another trip leader or more chaperones.
Q: What type of experience do your guides/trip leaders have?
A: AUSun trip leaders are required to carry a guiding license awarded by the National Tourism Bureau (ICT) after completing an intense course on Costa Rican natural history, English language classes, tropical biology, CPR, first aid, etc. AUSun also requires trip leaders to partake in our staff training program held every year and in which we teach them the guidelines, policies, procedures and standards of all of our programs.
Q: Can you include home stay, language classes, cultural immersion or community service activities in our itinerary? And if so how do you select these?
A: Yes, AUSun can include any of these experiences in your itinerary. Costa Rican’s love to share their customs, traditions and language, and a “tico’s” hospitality is unmatched; therefore, we are always delighted when requests for such are made. Because we offer programs all over the country, Adventures Under the Sun has sought out various grassroots rural organizations and local non-profits in distinct communities, and the most dynamic language programs. We work closely with the members of these organizations to create the safest, most educational and ideal cultural experience for our visitors. Our outreach contacts are known members of the community and have ample historical knowledge of the families that provide homestays, and the locations in most need of help.