Costa Rica Scuba Expedition

The beautiful and biodiverse remote rainforest of Costa Rica will become your home on this exciting expedition. Work alongside conservationists to protect the natural environment and discover an array of colourful marine life as you learn to scuba dive.

  • Location Costa Rica, Central America
  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Expedition Type Scuba

Get back to nature and experience living in the heart of the rainforest, where monkeys and toucans will be your closest neighbours. Working alongside local people, you’ll learn about innovative and sustainable solutions to environmental issues and get involved in inspiring projects to support the environment, wildlife and community. To top it all off, you’ll undertake your PADI Open Water Dive Qualification, learning to scuba dive in warm tropical waters, surrounded by exotic fish and the occasional turtle.


A fully supported expedition, from start to finish

Your expedition cost is comprehensive and covers the incredible activities you’ll be taking part in, as well as the extensive support you’ll receive in the lead up to, and during, your expedition. 

Don’t forget you’ll also need your vaccinations, visas, kit and some spending money. You can find guidance on all of these on your personal Traveller Gateway once you sign up.  

  • Ongoing pre-expedition support
  • Flights
  • In country transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Food and accommodation
  • Adventure challenge
  • Project costs
  • Leader and staff costs
  • Camps t-shirt
  • Orientation and language lessons
  • 24 hour emergency support
  • Reserve location

This sample itinerary will give you an insight into what you’ll be getting up to. Please note, the exact projects, activities and camps may change closer to the time of your expedition.

Day Activities More details
Day 1 Leave for Costa Rica This morning you will make your way to your designated meeting point ready to embark on your journey to Costa Rica.
Day 2 Arrive in Costa Rica After arriving in Costa Rica, you will be greeted by a member of our Camps crew. They will transfer you to your accommodation where you will then have some free time to explore the city before you get a good night’s sleep.
Day 3 Head to your first camp After breakfast, you’ll make the journey to your first camp where you’ll be given an arrival briefing from our Camp Manager and an orientation of the local area and the project work you will be getting stuck into.
Day 4-8 Help support community development Over the next few days you’ll be involved in vital community development projects to help improve infrastructure within the village. This could include building communal structures for community events or other important facilities to be used by locals.
Day 9 Transfer to dive camp Today you will be transferred to our dive camp where you will complete your PADI Open Water Dive Course. You’ll be diving into warm tropical waters, learning about your equipment and trying different dive techniques. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for turtles, dolphins and some amazing exotic fish.
Day 10-17 Gain you PADI Scuba Dive Qualification Over the next few days, you will continue to master the fundamentals of scuba diving on your PADI Open Water Dive Course. When you’re not exploring the seas, you’ll be getting stuck into some marine conservation projects such as beach clean-ups and educational workshops.
Day 18-22 Environmental protection projects After being transferred to one of our environmental camps, you will have a unique opportunity to experience living in the heart of one of the world’s most biodiverse regions whilst helping to contribute to important conservation work. You will be working on a range of environmental projects, including protecting turtles and their ecosystem.
Day 23 Hit the road and head to next camp After a hearty breakfast, you will be transferred to a new camp. The camp is located on a wetland nature reserve and is one of the most important migratory bird sites on earth. Alongside many bird species, it is home to sloths, caimans, monkeys and tapir among others so keep an eye out to spot some of this amazing wildlife. In the evening you will have the chance to relax by the campfire and reflect on the day’s activities. The noise of the cicadas will accompany you while you get some well-earned sleep.
Day 24-27 Get stuck into project work Over the next few days, you will be getting involved with a variety of projects in the local area, from community development to wildlife conservation.
Day 28 Chao Costa Rica Today you say your final goodbyes to the local community and the Camp Costa Rica crew, before heading back to the airport in time for your flight home.

How you’ll make a difference

You’ll work on a range of projects throughout your expedition, each aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and designed to make a significant and lasting impact on the region’s most critical issues. 


Environmental conservation work

Though Costa Rica accounts for only 0.03% of the earth’s surface, it holds 6% of the world’s biodiversity – however, it’s under threat from human activity. Your work here will help support conservation efforts such as reforestation, beehive construction and lime-washing trees, as well as projects to encourage eco-tourism in the area.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts


Wildlife protection and conservation

The Osa Peninsula has suffered from extensive deforestation in the last few decades, which negatively impacts the huge array of wildlife living here. You’ll help support a local NGO on projects such as monitoring biodiversity, building bird boxes and supporting primate conservation.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts


Life on land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss


Community development

The indigenous communities of Central America have missed out on much of the economic development of the region. You’ll help to support one of our ongoing projects such as constructing a special educational needs centre and a community playground.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Good health and well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages


Quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all


Reduce inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries


Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Experience the local way of life in our authentic camps 

Our camps are the heart of our expeditions. Built and staffed by locals in the traditional style, and located within the heart of communities, they are the perfect place to relax after a day of project work. You’ll get to stay in a number of camps during your expedition, which could include those featured below. 


Camp Caño Negro

The boundaries of Camp Caño Negro are formed by the waters of the Caño Negro refugio (wildlife refuge) which stretches into Nicaragua. Situated in the far north of the country it is next to one of the world’s most important migratory bird habitats. Relax in the mornings spotting caiman basking on the banks of the waters edge.

  • Location: The community of Caño Negro is located in the Alajuela Province. 4 hours from San José
  • Accommodation style: cabins
  • Bed type: bunk beds
  • Toilets: flushing
  • Showers: cold, running water
  • Power: will need a universal adapter/converter
  • Social areas: large lawns ideal for chilling out on
  • Signature dish: Hash palm with chicken with sauce

Camp Osa

A biodiversity hotspot, Camp Osa is located on the edge of the Osa peninsula – a remote part corner of Costa Rica holding 2.5% of the worlds biodiversity. It shelters the largest remaining population of jaguars and tapiers. The Camp itself is based in secondary forest that is decades old – it really is true, unspoilt Costa Rica!

  • Location: 6 1/2 hours form San José. Camp Osa is located in the Osa Peninsula
  • Accommodation style: two-storey open-sided wooden cabins
  • Bed type: hammocks
  • Toilets: flushing toilets
  • Showers: cold bucket showers
  • Power: will need a universal adaptor/converter
  • Signature dish: Casado – a tradtional dish of beans, meat and vegetables
  • Social areas: open sided dining room looking out on to the forest

Camp Papagayo

In the Guanacaste province just a few minutes walk from the beaches of Bahia Culebra. The best location to dive in Costa Rica because the Guanacaste mountain range prevents any large rivers from depositing into the sea.

  • Location: 30km (45 mins) from Liberia, Guanacaste Province
  • Accommodation style: tents
  • Bed type: mattresses
  • Toilets: flushing toilets
  • Showers: cold, running water
  • Power: will need a universal adapter/converter
  • Signature dish: freshly caught local fish
  • Social areas: the beach!

Camp Terraba

Immerse yourself in the local community – formed by the indigenous Teribe people – who are proud of their distinct culture and have autonomous control over more than 900 hectares of forested land. Camp Terraba is based in a converted school and has spectacular views across the surrounding forests. You will be sharing the camp with your fellow volunteers and some local toucans!

  • Location: The community Terraba is located in Buenos Aires, Puntarenas Province. 5 hours from San José
  • Accommodation style: converted school with rooms
  • Bed type: bunk beds
  • Toilets: flushing toilets
  • Showers: cold bucket shower
  • Power: will need a universal adapter/converter
  • Signature dish: Rice and chicken
  • Social areas: an outside chill out area close to the local football pitch

Camps is amazing! I travelled to Costa Rica and I enjoyed every second of it, I loved all the project work and the staff in each camp were phenomenal. All staff, in country and back in the UK were brilliant. I overcame a lot over the month I was away, but I couldn’t have done it without the support of my leader and staff at the camps. Thank you for such an awe-inspiring trip of a lifetime!

Chloe, Camp Costa Rica 2019

Our local camp legends

Our camps are staffed by members of the community who will make you feel like a local in no time. These legends will make your expedition spectacular and will show you the very best of their home country. 


Costa Rica is a very happy, peaceful country with some of the worlds most important wildlife and rainforests. It is so important to protect the environment and the work that we do here at Camps International enables these natural areas to be protected for the future.

Interested in this expedition?

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