Costa Rica: Nature’s Kaleidoscope™
Five unique ecosystems. One adventure. See it with your own eyes.
- Experience massive biodiversity
- Hike along the base of a volcano
- Volunteer in rural communities surrounded by rainforest
- Learn to identify species of tropical flora and fauna
- Live in an experimental forestry station
- Swim in natural hot springs in the rainforest
- Zip line through the forest – check out this video
Rain Forest. Cloud Forest. Coastal Beach. Mangroves. Dry Forest. Our nature lover’s program is based in the Guanacaste Conservation Area – one of the most unique places on earth, with so much biodiversity that UNESCO, a UN body, named it a World Heritage Site. The conservation area, located directly on top of the Continental Divide, is where the Atlantic and Pacific ecosystems collide to create a natural kaleidoscope unmatched anywhere else in the world.
- Check out an overview video of our Costa Rica program.
- Read student blog : GLA Alum Emily Creek writes about things she learned in Costa Rica.
The first project is working with an experimental forestry project in the lowland dry forest that is trying to recover deforested land. In the mornings, we will build tree nurseries and plant trees to reforest the area. We’ll also clear trails through the forest to prevent degradation by hikers and other visitors. A couple of afternoons we’ll go out with biologists to collect species as part of a larger research project going on in the national park.
During the second week when we move to the cloud forest, we will work in an impoverished community where we’ll volunteer working on environmental projects in the area.
- Check out a feature article on GLA Costa Rica Alum Max Gehring and his contributions to the local community.
You will experience a range of distinct ecosystems and be able to compare and contrast each one. While living in the cloud forest, we’ll examine issues related to water, public health, and ecological conservation. Working first-hand in a watershed area is the perfect setting to discuss the global water crisis and its affect on impoverished communities. See first-hand the challenges locals face with regard to access to natural resources. Along the way, you’ll discover a whole new world of animals and plant life. See tropical birds swooping through the forest and exotic monkeys playing in the jungle treetops. If you look closely enough you may even spot a rare sloth.
- Student blog : GLA Alum Summer Lawrence writes about her experience on the Nature’s Kaleidoscope program.
You’ll engage in just about every outdoor activity imaginable! The huge range of ecosystems concentrated in a relatively small geographic area provides a vast array of exciting outdoor adventures. We’ll explore the forests by hiking and zip lining. You’ll also hike along the base of an active volcano, relax on a remote beach, ride inner tubes down a roaring jungle river, bathe underneath a waterfall and ride horses through the forest.
Upon arrival to Costa Rica the group will travel to our dry forest Home Base, located in the national park where we will spend the first half of the program. For the last seven nights students will lodge in our rain forest Home Base. Both the dry forest and rain forest Home Bases are rustic and simple, with four bunk beds per room and shared bathrooms. Students will only have internet access while at the dry forest Home Base. Food will be hearty, healthy, and locally grown food that consists of meats, beans, rice, vegetables, and fruit.