Why Should High School Students Have All the Fun?
An exciting combination of community service, language immersion, and action-packed adventure, the Young Explorers program is the perfect introduction to international travel for 12 and 13 year olds. You'll practice Spanish, work on worthwhile community service initiatives, zip line through the rainforest canopy, raft down a tropical river, view an active volcano, play sports with energetic Costa Rican children, hike through the jungle, play beach volleyball and soccer, learn to surf, and much more. As you journey through these new and exciting lands, you'll make bonds with your fellow students that only the transformative experience of travel can forge.
Ticos, Toucans, and Tropical Waterfalls
The adventure begins at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens just north of San Jose. You will stroll through swarms of butterflies, frogs, wild cats and hummingbirds amidst a lush jungle landscape. You will then head to the greater-Fortuna region, where you will be based for the rest of the week. Here, amidst friendly communities and tropical landscapes, you'll adjust to life in a foreign culture.
Situated at the foot of Arenal Volcano, the town of La Fortuna is a hub for high adventure. It offers diverse rainforest hikes, kayaking on Lake Arenal, exhilarating zip lining, soothing hot springs, and an abundance of wildlife. After the first few days of fun, your group will head over to the Sarapiqui region for a visit filled with adventure and service. You will also have the chance to visit a Maleku indigenous village, where you will learn about the medicinal uses of rainforest plants, participate in a traditional ceremony, and play soccer with local children. You'll have an action-packed week, and each new adventure will be suited to students your age.
Learning and Giving to the Community
Your days will be filled with a mix of adventure, cultural and service activities, which will include practicing Spanish and working on small-scale construction projects in the nearby villages, schools and parks. Games and art classes at the local elementary school will give you a chance to interact with students who are excited to learn and practice their English. (Work at the school is subject to school vacations and closings). As you immerse yourself in the local culture, your Spanish skills will continue to grow and you will soon feel like a part of the community.
Whitewater Rafting and Guanacaste Beaches
After a week of enjoying the relaxed, Costa Rican pace of life, you'll head to the scenic Sarapiqui River for an exciting whitewater rafting adventure. This river is full of safe but exciting rapids and is surrounded by lush tropical forest. When you come off the river, you'll head west to Carrillo, a coastal region home to plenty of sun, tropical beaches, and the sabanero (cowboy) culture. Spend this last leg of the program doing service in a local community, and then top off the journey with souvenir shopping, surf lessons, soccer on the beautiful beaches of the Pacific Coast, and a few optional adventure activities such as horseback riding, snorkeling and sea kayaking.
**These optional activities come at an additional cost.
The last blissful days on the beach will be the perfect time to reflect on the highlights of this amazing learning experience and reminisce with fellow travelers about all the unforgettable adventures you've shared together.
PRACTICE Spanish in a fun environment with friendly native speakers who are eager to help you learn.
PLAY with local school children as you teach English through games, songs and art classes.
RAFT one of Costa Rica's most exciting and safe whitewater rivers and get a good dose of Tico adrenaline along the way.
SURF mighty waves, enjoy the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, and relax along the famous white-sand beaches of Costa Rica.
EXPERIENCE the magic of the Maleku tribe during a one-day cultural immersion and shop for beautiful traditional crafts.
ZIP LINE through the rainforest canopy under the shadow of Arenal Volcano during an adrenaline-pumping ride.
DISCOVER the wildlife and natural wonders of the rural Sarapiqui region.