Summer Programs For High School Students

Our Summer Expedition Program focuses on matching individual teenagers with tailored adventure camps to some of Costa Rica’s most incredible wilderness areas.


These trips for teens include a 10-15 day adventure component followed by a week of service-learning and homestay. Experiences can include backcountry, wilderness travel and camping, or front country travels to experience some of the best adventure tours in Costa Rica with hotel accommodations. This is a perfect opportunity to explore Costa Rica, push your limits and take on greater challenges.


  • Average group size: 8 to 15 students of similar ages, grade and level of maturity.
  • Led by two local trip leaders, one male and one female.
  • Participants are from all over the world including Costa Rica!!!

Summer Expeditions

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“I feel like I matured more and that I learned a lot of independence by going on a trip with a group of new friends.”

Nicolás Amador, Osa Expedition 2019


  • The best locations and adventure activities in Costa Rica are pitched and defined to meet the needs of the individual while trip teams are formed.
  • Back Country (remote areas inaccessible by vehicle): Trips focus on multi-day backpacking, sea kayaking, surfing, horseback riding, and/or whitewater rafting…Step out of your routine, learn more about your inner self and focus on the more important things in life!
  • Front country (stay in cabinas or hotels and eating in restaurants): Trips focus on day activities like outrigger canoeing, surfing, rafting, horseback riding, hiking, diving, bicycling, canopy tour, cultural activities and service projects.
  • Environmental and cultural education are key components of all summer expeditions.


  • Activities require no previous experience
  • Enthusiasm required! – A positive attitude will take you further than you can imagine.
  • On backcountry trips, take part in tasks such as preparing, cooking, cleaning and other activities for a successful trip
  • Learn how to cook delicious recipes – ceviche, gallo pinto, pizzas, baked desserts!
  • AUSun provides all camping and necessary equipment – you only need to bring personal items (AUSun provides a list)


  • Safety is our #1 priority!
  • Guides with CPR, First Aid and Wilderness First Responder licenses
  • Established emergency procedures and contingency plans
  • Impecable safety record
  • AUSun follows safety standards and regulations established in US and Costa Rica


“I went to four summer camps (13-17 years old) in different parts of Costa Rica and I can only say that it was life changing. …..the most important thing for me was how you matured as a person during the 6-8 days of the camp.”

Noah Pfister-Libby, Returning Client; several trips.

“The trip is amazing because you disconnect to the world you are living in (WI Fi, electronical items) and connect with nature, that’s very peaceful at the end.”

Carla Miguel Wright, Nicoya Expedition 2017

Read more Testimonials.

Our Top Picks

If summer vacation for your teenagers is about getting out, exploring, having fun and growing in every way and direction, check out some of our best teen summer program in Costa Rica. These are our top picks. Contact us for other programs and let us match you with the best options.

Surf Safari


Surf Safari – The Ultimate Surfing Adventure


Nicoya Peninsula


Surfing, Service, Sea Kayaking, Horseback Riding, Spanish, Rafting and more!


Osa Peninsula


Surfing, Trekking, Sea kayaking, Rafting, Service, Spanish, and more!



Q: Do I need to speak Spanish?

A: You do not need to know how to speak Spanish to come on a Summer Expedition. Although Spanish is the national language of Costa Rica, most “ticos” (Costa Ricans) speak some English and are very willing to learn. They also love to teach Spanish to foreigners.

Q: What travel documents do I need to complete and travel with? Do I 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 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: 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: 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: Where do the Summer Expedition participants come from?

A: AUSun is definitely a multicultural program. We get people from all over the world coming together on our different programs. Most of the participants for our Summer Expeditions, however, are from Costa Rica and the United States. Many of our national participants from Costa Rica are international emigrants from different countries that have come to Costa Rica due to their parent’s work. This brings an incredible diversity into our expeditions. We have had participants coming South America, Caribbean Islands, Asia, and Europe.

Q: Can friends come together on a trip?

A: Of course, however, it is not necessary. The relationships fostered from a group having to work together through thick or thin are quite astonishing. You will be surprised by the new friends you can make on an adventure far away from home.

Q: How do I know which Summer Expedition is right for me?

A: To find the right trip for you, first consider what activities you like or would like to accomplish. Next, please consider the age ranges we have listed for each trip. Lastly, keep in mind whether you want to camp in remote areas or prefer to stay in a bungalow or hotel. Take note that our OSA trip is considered our most challenging.

Q: Do I need previous experience in outdoor skills? Do I need to be in good shape?

A: NO. All of the outdoor activities of our Summer Expeditions are scheduled to suit all levels of experience. Beginners do not need any previous experience for any activity. Your enthusiasm will guarantee a positive experience throughout the adventure.

Q: What is the male/female ratio on a trip?

A: We have had a diversity of male/female ratios on our trips. Some trips have been completely female, while others have had an even split. AUSun can let you know the ratio for the trip you are interested in upon request.

Q: Will someone be at the airport to meet me on the first day?

A: Yes! Your trip leader will be meeting you at the airport and accompany you throughout your trip.