TRIP LENGTH: 7 DAYS (*Starting at $1250)

Itinerary can be customized to fit within your time frame or budgetary needs

At Appleseed Expeditions we believe that student travel combined with service can change our global communities in a positive way. Our educational school trips to Costa Rica are meant to inspire students to use their gifts and talents to make a difference in this global community. We choose specific experiential programs that immerse students in this Latin culture while teaching them about endemic rainforest habitats. It is our hope to shape the lives of students while on this school trip to Costa Rica to become future leaders who fight against social injustice and promote global conservation.

(*Does not include airfare. Please contact our office for price including airfare)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica

Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica. Once you pass through customs and immigration, meet your Appleseed Expeditions guide and take a bus to the hotel. If time permits, the group will visit some of the local shops before dinner. A trip orientation will wrap up the day.

Day 2 – Visit Zarcero ● Hike El Silencio Trail

This morning head to La Fortuna stopping in Zarcero along the way. The picturesque town of Zarcero is perched on the edge of the Central Valley in the San Jose Highlands. Zarcero is one of the most picturesque settlements in the Alajuela province. Enjoy the famed topiary garden of ‘Parque Francisco Alvarado’ which offers a series of vibrant shrubbery, sculptured and clipped into whimsical shapes. Well-manicured shrubs in the park are fashioned as dinosaurs, helicopters, airplanes, dancers and oxcarts. Enjoy lunch in Zarcero. Next your group will arrive at El Silencio Mirador which is a vast, 555-acre nature reserve located 7 miles from La Fortuna. The reserve has over 250 acres of primary rainforest, much of which includes old growth trees such as the Ceiba, the Trumpet Tree, and the Guarumo. There is a network of hiking trails that wind through much of this land. While immersed in the rainforest, visitors can search for tropical creatures and enjoy fantastic views of the Arenal Volcano. In addition to these trails, there is a mirador (Spanish for “lookout”) with incredible views of the volcano and surrounding hillsides.

Day 3 – Serve at La Fortuna School ● Visit Hot Springs

After breakfast head over to a school in La Fortuna.  Here, students will interact with local students, work on various projects such as painting, light construction, gardening and cleaning.  After lunch, return to the school to continue projects and spend more time with students and faculty. In the evening your group will relax in the thermal mineral hot water pools flowing naturally from the base of the Arenal Volcano.

Day 4 – School Service ● La Fortuna Waterfall

This morning your group will return to the school to finish projects and say goodbyes. After lunch in town head over to the La Fortuna Waterfall. The waterfall can be accessed by hiking the trail that runs through the rainforest, offering chances to spot toucans, monkeys, and other tropical creatures. The La Fortuna Waterfall emerges from dense jungle greenery before plummeting some 200 feet into an emerald pool below where students can cool off and enjoy the clear, cool, fresh waterhole. After dinner enjoy a time of reflection back at your hotel.

 Day 5 – Tour and Assist at Local Organic Farm

Today your group will visit Don Juan’s Organic farm. Here students will tour the farm and have hands-on experience harvesting vegetables for lunch.  Students will also get a chance to press locally grown sugar cane and sample the juice. After lunch, return to the San Jose area.  Stop in Sarchi along the way for shopping and dinner.

Day 6 – Poás Volcano Park ● Visit Local Coffee Plantation

After breakfast journey to Poás Volcano National Park.  Poás Volcano is one of the major attractions in the Central Valley region, and one of the most visited national parks. When the mist and clouds part you’ll see the sulfuric, bubbling, green rain fed lake at the bottom, surrounded by smoke and steam rising from fumaroles. Water from the lake is constantly seeping through cracks in the hot rock, evaporating and building pockets of steam. Poás is home to many cloud forest birds including hummingbirds, tanagers, flycatchers, toucanets, Costa Rica’s national bird the clay-colored robin, and the area’s most famous avian resident, the resplendent quetzal. There is also a visitor’s center, including gift shop and a small museum that explains and interprets the geothermal and ecological attractions in the park. After Poas, head over to a coffee plantation stopping for lunch along the way.  At the coffee plantation your group will learn a lot about coffee and how it is grown, harvested, dried and produced.  Back at the hotel your group and guide will spend time reflecting on the week and then enjoy a pizza pool party.

 Day 7 – Head Home

Before heading to heading to the airport, shop near Alajuela if time permits, and then fly home.

(Optional Days)

Optional activities you can add to your trip include:

  • Zip-line Adventure
  • White Water Rafting
  • Catamaran Snorkeling Trip to Tortuga Island
  • Rainforest Adventure to Manuel Antonio
  • Volunteering at ASIS Wildlife Refuge Center
  • Visiting the Organization of Tropical Studies
  • The Bridges in the Sky in Monteverde
  • Studying Sea Turtles in Nicoya Peninsula
  • Visiting Tortuguero

Itinerary subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including availability with vendors, weather conditions and flight schedules.


  • Explore undisturbed tropical rainforest
  • Visit Poas Volcano and hike in a Cloud Forest
  • Volunteer at a local school
  • Tour an organic farm and coffee plantation
  • Dip in the thermal hot springs near Arenal Volcano
  • Hike down to La Fortuna Waterfall


Tour guide who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes and local culture
Comfortable and safe accommodations
Breakfasts and dinners
T-shirt and Luggage tag

Note: Trip price does not include airfare, airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa.