Location: Costa Rica
Housing: All lodging included. Primarily privately owned eco-lodges and cabins with some larger commercial. One overnight in the cloud forest in rustic cabins, depending on weather.
Language: English; learn as much Spanish as possible, but for starters, you can get by with “Please,” “Thank You,” and “Where’s the restroom?” Costa Rica is very “English friendly”.
Coordinating University: UW-River Falls
Contact Person: Brad Mogen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 404 Ag Science
Financial Aid Available: Yes. WI Residents should apply for the WI International Travel Grant
Description: The Costa Rica Study Tour is built around the theme of Sustainability and Eco-Tourism. Costa Rica is the premier international model of a country focused on the preservation of natural resources for the sake of environmentally-based tourism, both for the study and intimate experience of tropical biodiversity, but also adventure recreation.
This study tour is a broad mix of activities and travels. You’ll experience everything from snorkeling and diving (scuba certification necessary) on both the Caribbean and Pacific, as well as zipping along cables in the canopy of tropical forests, to white water rafting, to hiking in preserves and national parks, to horseback riding, to coffee and banana plantation tours, to world-class birding, butterfly, and hummingbird sites, to shopping in traditional arts and crafts markets, to visits with traditional families and indigenous representatives, and one-day excursions.
The trip is designed to provide as broad of diversity of activity and experience as can be had. The trip is has limited enrollment in order to keep the experience as personal as possible yet provide a fairly lengthy trip for a relatively low price. The price includes all expenses of round-trip airfare from Minneapolis, as well as Managua to Corn Islands, lodging, meals, ground transport, program entry fees, and gratuity for drivers/tour guides. Personal expense varies dramatically depending on the individual. Otherwise, students will need to purchase only a few meals or snacks on major travel days.