Tropical Challenge Semester in Costa Rica & Panama

Review this Program


Costa Rica: San Jose
Panama: Panama City


In our Tropical Challenge Semester course, you will experience an unforgettable semester with the rainforest as your classroom. Spend 70 days backpacking through the jungle, battling whitewater rapids, surfing warm water breaks, volunteering in local communities, exploring islands by kayak, rock climbing, rappelling waterfalls and Scuba diving. Your time in Central America will focus on both technical outdoor skills and personal development as you learn about the rich ecology and tropical landscape of Costa Rica and Panama. In true Outward Bound fashion, your experience will be far from all work and no play! The adventures you undertake will challenge you physically while honing your teamwork and leadership skills.

This course is eligible for up to 12 academic credits through Western State Colorado University (independent study credits through your school may also be available) and will allow you the opportunity to earn First Aid, CPR and NAUI Scuba diving certifications.

Core Activities:
- Backpacking/camping/homestays
- Whitewater rafting
- Rock climbing/rappelling
- Surfing
- Service project
- Scuba diving in Panama
- Inflatable or hard-shell kayaking
- Zip-lining/San Jose city tour
- CPR/First Aid Training

Duration: 70 days (Spring 2013)
Age Range: 17+

Certifications Earned:
* SCUBA Diver Certification (NAUI)
* CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer (American Red Cross)

Academic Credit Available: 12 possible credits


* Groups will tour the vibrant capital city of San Jose, as well as participate in an enriching service project in environmental conservation, education or community beautification.

Program Duration

9-12 Week, 3-6 Month

Travel Types

  • BackPacking Abroad
  • Climbing
  • Rafting
  • Kayaking (River)
  • Scuba
  • Surfing
  • Trekking
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Homestay
  • Volunteering

Type of Programs

  • Adventure Travel
  • Community Service / Volunteerism
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Student Tours


  • English
  • Spanish

Cost in US$:

Tuition listed on our website. Scholarships available.

Program Fees Include:

All food, lodging, in-country transportation and technical gear.

This Program is open to

Worldwide Participants.

Participants Travel

Independently or in Groups

Typically Participants Work

Independently or in Groups

Application Process Involves

  • Online Application