Costa Rica Spanish Immersion Expedition

This 2 week expedition will allow you to truly experience the Costa Rican way of life. Practice and improve your Spanish through interactions with the local people, make an impact through environmental conservation work and spot some of Costa Rica’s most famous wildlife.

  • Location Costa Rica, Central America
  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Expedition Type Real World Studies

Costa Rica is home to some of the most beautiful and biodiverse rainforest in the world. You’ll make this incredible environment your home whilst you work on some fascinating conservation and community projects. You’ll also get to explore San José– a bustling city with some great spots to buy souvenirs.

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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 and in-country transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Food and accommodation
  • Entry costs to places mentioned in the itinerary
  • Real World Studies resources and material
  • 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 Arrive in San José After arriving in San José airport, 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 getting a good night’s sleep.
Day 2 Head to Camp Terraba Following breakfast, you’ll make the 5 hour journey to Camp Terraba where you’ll be given a brief orientation about the projects you will be getting stuck into along with the language objectives you’ll cover throughout the expedition. The majority of your language lessons will be related to the Real World Studies Pathways that you will have taken part in before your expedition and your objectives will reflect this. In the afternoon, you will head out on a short trek into the surrounding forest where you will place camera traps to capture images of some of Costa Rica’s incredible wildlife.
Day 3 Spanish speaking and animal monitoring After a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast, you’ll be taking part in your first classroom-based language session related to wildlife conservation. Make sure to pay attention as you’ll be heading out into the community to practically apply what you’ve learnt so far. In the afternoon, you’ll head out on another trek to pick up the camera traps you set the day before. You’ll also take part in some data gathering and animal monitoring before heading back to camp to analyse your findings. After dinner, you will have the opportunity to meet with indigenous members of the community to learn about their traditions.
Day 4 Project work and cultural activities  This morning, you will be heading out to your first project site to work on reforestation projects. This will include transferring and planting native plants and trees. In the afternoon, you’ll be back in the classroom, learning more Spanish before heading for a cookery lesson using some of the vocabulary you’ve just learnt. After dinner, there will be a chance for reflection on the day’s events before you head off for a well-earned sleep.
Day 5 Visit the Cloud Forest Reserve  Today you will undertake a mini trek through the Cloud Forest before getting stuck into a community led conservation project. The project will allow you to put your knowledge of climate change into action as you work closely with the local people.
Day 6 Head to Uvita After breakfast, you will transfer to the village of Uvita where you will have the chance to enjoy a snorkelling experience. Based in a national park, the nearby beach is made up of pure white sands and has the perfect conditions for swimming. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled as you may be able to spot whales depending on the time of year. You will then head back to the hotel for a traditional meal before heading to bed.
Day 7 Transfer to Camp Caño Negro It will be an early start as you take the 8 hour bus journey to Camp Caño Negro. 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 also home to sloths, caimans, monkeys and tapir among others, so keep an eye out to spot some of this amazing wildlife. On arrival, you will be given a safety briefing and project explanation before having the chance to sit back and relax by the campfire and reflect on your time in Costa Rica so far. The noise of the cicadas will accompany you while you get some well-earned sleep.
Day 8-10 Project work and Spanish lessons 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. There will be several chances for you to reflect on your achievements and assess the impact of these projects. You will also be working on your Spanish language skills in a series of lessons and workshops relating to your wildlife conservation project work. You will practically apply what you’ve learnt by taking part in a variety of activities such as community interviews and meetings with local people. This will give you a real understanding of how the language is used in everyday life in Costa Rica.
Day 12 Project work and cultural activities Today will be your final day of project work where you will finish off the final elements of the project. You will then have the chance to say your goodbyes to the local community with a friendly football match. In the evening, you will sit round the campfire with you team for the last time, playing games, sharing your favourite moments from the trip and taking part in an informal expedition awards ceremony.
Day 13 Head to San José After a well-deserved sleep, you will be transferring back to San José where you will spend the day practicing your Spanish by exploring the city and buying souvenirs for your loved ones. In the evening you will settle into your accommodation before heading out to a local restaurant to enjoy your final traditional dinner in Costa Rica.
Day 14 Departure After breakfast at the hotel, you will transfer 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

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
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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 Cano Negro

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 county 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
  • Signature dish: Hash palm with chicken with sauce
  • Social areas: Large lawns ideal for chilling out on
Camp Terraba

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
  • 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

Great experiences, enthusiastic staff and a real passion for making a difference to communities. Students on expeditions have gained the confidence to widen their horizons.

Caroline, Travelling Teacher 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.

Manuel

Costa Rica is a very happy, peaceful country with some of the world’s 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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