Multiple Locations +2
  • Costa Rica
  • Wales
4 - 12 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel After College Cultural Immersion Hands-On Learning Instructor Wilderness
Payment plans
Health & Safety

Program Details

Camping Hiking Kayaking Mountain Climbing Remote Exploring Trekking
Fall Winter Year Round
Hostel Tent
Primary Language
Age Min.


Starting Price
Price Details
Comprehensive leader training on a huge variety of modules
Nationally recognised certification and training including RGS Off-Site Safety Management, Activity First Aid, First Aid for Mental Health & British Canoeing Paddle Awards
In-house certification in expedition leadership, expedition and wilderness medicine, expedition planning and incident management.
Gapforce Instructors
A leadership development journal to structure and evaluate your progress.
Expedition and wilderness medicine handbook.
Comprehensive pre-departure support.
Airport transfers plus all ground transport in Costa Rica
All accommodation & 3 meals a day
Gapforce certificates of your achievements
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Some Equipment Meals Tour Guide Transportation Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Some Equipment SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Feb 22, 2024
Jul 02, 2023
28 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The ultimate adventure travel experience, gain high quality training in Jungle Survival, Expedition Management, Wilderness Medicine and Expedition Leadership on this unique and challenging personal development course!

Since the first course back in 2008, our Expedition Leader Training program has led the way in taking aspiring and enthusiastic trainees from raw recruits in the jungles of Central America to highly competent Expedition Leaders, armed with the skills needed to plan, organise, and lead expeditions across the globe.

A genuine once-in-a-lifetime adventure, kick start your career and join the next generation of Gapforce Expedition Leaders!

Video and Photos



We are committed to exert a positive impact on the regions, countries and communities which we visit. For us it is paramount that the local organisations and communities benefit from our cooperation by working with trusted local businesses and project partners who align with our sustainability objectives.

Ethical Impact

We are passionate about travel and the positive impact it has on young people’s outlook and future prospects. Our mission is to help people become global citizens through authentic, socially and environmentally responsible travel experiences which aid self-discovery and personal development.

As a small team, we are committed to providing a highly personalised service from your initial contact right through to your chosen adventure. We achieve this through our dedicated team of program leaders and support staff, all of whom are passionate travellers united by a common purpose to help young people explore the world.

Program Highlights

  • Action packed personal development & expedition leadership course.
  • Gain high quality training, nationally recognised qualifications and experience in the adventure travel industry.
  • Develop the skills and expertise needed to plan and lead expeditions around the world.
  • A unique and intensive personal development opportunity.
  • Job offers for high performing graduates (details apply).

Program Reviews

4.82 Rating
based on 55 reviews
  • 5 rating 83.64%
  • 4 rating 14.55%
  • 3 rating 1.82%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.2
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.75
  • Value 4.65
  • Safety 4.75
Showing 1 - 8 of 55 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Gapforce Expedition Feb 2022

I went into this program really nervous, not knowing what to expect, wanting to change my career, get into the outdoors, and start my travels with a purpose. This program fulfilled all of that and more, I have come out of my shell now, I have been able to make incredible unforgettable friends, and it has helped me make my career in the outdoors. I am lucky to be working in Australia as an outdoor educator 1 year on from having completed my course, and I believe the GapForce program has helped me achieve this.
My highlights from the trip are too long to add into this review, the jungle, the local tribe you get to meet, Costa Rica is amazing, cycling expedition was incredible. I am so happy I waited through Covid to get onto this trip.
The leaders were amazing, the skills of Gaz and the confidence he has in the jungle is so valuable it makes it feels comforting having him around.
Jade is just badass, so confident in the jungle, so knowledgeable about first aid and so many stories to be told especially about cycling.
Collin is just something, managed to work with him after I had finished with Gapforce and he is no different, so much laughter and banter you can have with him. Never a dull moment.

Thank you GapForce for an incredible expedition.

  • The jungle
  • meeting different people
  • the leaders
  • Having to many people in the group
  • Too many days off
121 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Expedition leader training

Tour guiding or leading expedition has always been something I wanted to do, but it also hard to get good contacts or get work when starting in the industry. The reason I chose to do the expedition leader training with gapforce, was because of the wide amount of theory and hands on training gained in 4 months to be a good leader. Have training in different environments ex: England and Costa Rica, all the certification achieved by the end the of it and the opportunity to gain a job out of it. Applying and completing the expedition leader training was the best decision I ever made it help me achieve many of my personal goal and lifestyle I was looking for. After putting hard work, discipline and positive attitude during my training i was given the opportunity by gapforce to be one of their own expedition leader. My dream job finally came true. I went from never leaving my own country to begin an international tour guide in just a couple of months. I'm still working with gapforce and I had the chance to lead a few expeditions. The amount of traveling, activities, contacts, friends and more opportunities gained from working with gapforce is absolutely amazing! To summarize it all, if you're looking for an experience with high intensity adventure that will boost your confidence, bring you great leadership skills... don't hesitate and join the training. This one in a lifetime experience will only bring you positive outcomes no matter what career or other path you take afterwards.

  • Lots of hands on and theory training
  • Well educated and experienced instructors
  • Offers jobs opportunities, if successful
  • Not for everyone, you must be motivated and positive mindset
137 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Expedition leader Training course Costa Rica

I believe that this course helps individuals build their life skills and learn new ones and also grow as a persin and learn new things about themselves and push comfort boundaries. This course has also helped me overcome challenges and gave me new and interesting topics and experiences to talk about and to remember. I would recommend this course to people willing to challange themselves so that they can have new life experiences. On this course I have been able to come closer to wildlife than I was expecting l, which gave me the ability to enjoy the flora and fauna of Costa Rica even more and see how everything in the jungle coexists. Rhis has been a really eye opening trip for me as I have also been able to learn more about the Bribri people and their way of life.

  • New life skills
  • Amazing memories
  • Lifelong friendships
  • Being out of your confort zone
  • Close to no comfort in the jungle(as is stated in the course discription)
  • Lots of mosquitoes(Bring extra insect repellant)
130 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Fun experience, NOT a training

The experience is fun, but if you are looking at this as a first step to work in the outdoors and already know how to behave outside, look elsewhere.
This is a program for very young people with no experience, and it's also totally not as hardcore as they sell it. Forget the label "expedition". Totally misleading. This is much more a Tour Guide thing then a Wilderness or Adventure Guide.

No focus on jobs. Never in the full duration we talked about navigating the industry. We did do an infinity of other useless workshops, though. "How to talk to collegues and head office", for instance. Answer: politely. Duration: 1h.
I'm not kidding.

They are also uninterested in training you. Some people kept doing things terribly and the instructors didn't care to correct them or explain again. Feedback is always positive no matter your performances, which in the long term is nauseating and unhelpful.
They win the moment you pay. Wonder why there is no selection process? Right.

The focus is solely on soft skills. You finish the program with nothing to show for it. The most concrete things we "learned" were... shopping for 5-6 days. Taking care of a budget for a week.
No hard skills learned besides reading a map and a compass. No knots, nothing technical.

Their marketing team does a great job at showing a much better program than what it actually is. Btw we also didn't do some of the best parts in the program, for no reason (rafting and mountain tops).

All in all, good fun, some things you will learn, but besides the chance to babysit in their programs don't expect this to be much else than proof of commitment on your CV.

If you never went outside your home, this is the program for you. If you are older and just a little more experienced, you'll be disappointed.

  • Fun
  • Some good leadership insights
  • For children
  • Not a solid first step
145 people found this review helpful.
Response from Gapforce

Hi Gregorio,

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, and sorry to hear that the course did not meet your expectations in respect of the advanced skills you were after. We have been running this course since 2008 and always strive to ensure people know what they are signing up for. Judging by the overwhelmingly positive feedback and reviews we receive, we do manage to achieve this in the vast majority of cases, so it is disappointing to hear that you feel this was not the case for you.

The course is designed to take aspiring and enthusiastic trainees from raw recruits to highly competent leaders, and therefore appeals to people with a wide range of backgrounds and prior experience. Our Instructor team are incredibly experienced and this, combined with the low instructor: trainee ratios, means they are usually able to make sure each and every participant gets the most out of the course. The course provides a balance of both hard and soft skills, both of which are equally as important in preparing trainees to become successful and competent leaders in an exciting and varied industry.

We are always open to feedback to see if there are any areas we can improve on, and therefore thank you for your review. If you have any further comments, please do email them through to the office and we would be more than happy to discuss these with you in person. In the meantime, thank you for taking part in our course and we wish you every success with your future career.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Gap force ELT course

The course is about building up the qualities and skills needed in a leader, through various activities which as mainly practical and hands on. It’s an experience where the more you put in the more you get out, so if you are the type of person to throw your all into things this is for you. I have really enjoyed being in the jungle, arguably the most unique part of the trip. Thanks to the skilled and professional instructors we were able to live and experience the rainforest in all its glory whilst learning how to make shelters, do water rescues and much more.

I would recommend this course to people who are comfortable with being uncomfortable and enjoy a good challenge.

It was a really fun experience and the group I had doing it were all super supportive and it was nice to meet some likeminded people

  • I gained real world qualifications to take with my when I leave the course
  • Experience the jungle in its entirety and fully understand the power of the rainforest
  • Having fun and a great laugh with the group
146 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

ELT course

This course is a wonderful blend of leadership training, travel organization training, and technical wilderness skills. You start out in Wales where you engage in mountain leader skills, then you move on the Costa Rica where you spend the majority of the course. The Costa Rican portion consists of a nice blend of jungle trekking, navigation, activity based leadership (ziplining, biking, kayaking, etc), and general cultural immersion. I would highly recommend this course for anybody who is exceptionally adventurous and wants to break into the outdoor industry as an expedition leader.

  • Plenty of time in the outdoors
  • Good blend of technical and leader skills
  • Great group of instructors
  • The jungle can be rough for some people
  • You have to organize your own rations
  • It is very involved, you get out of it what you put in
139 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A great experience

A great programme with a good balance of practical and theory content. Belt kit and survival challenge were two of the highlights. Being in a Costa Rica was incredible and the rest of the group were friendly and supportive. The instructors were knowledgeable and supportive. It represented good value for money. The course is one of the best things I’ve ever done and I would recommend it to anyone looking to get into the expedition industry or looking for a change from the norm. Be prepared for a full on few months but a great time.

  • Locatiob
  • Course content
137 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Gap force expedition leader

For me, the reason I chose to do this course was because I wanted a career change and this provided me with everything I was looking for. The course really helped me understand leadership styles and brought out a more thoughtful side of me I didnt know I had. The fact that it's in costa rica is an added bonus !!! Now I've finished the course and have a job offer from gap force I'm really excited to see what the future holds. My favourite part of the course was when we spent a week with the family of the bri bri tribe. We played football with the local kids, had beautiful food made for us, slept in hammocks and had chocolate made for us with a grinding stone. Their culture is based on cocoa. How cool is that !!!

  • Helps build confidence. The change in confidence in members of the group from start to finish was amazing to see! Especially in the younger members.
  • Lots of time spent in the jungle learning cool skills as well as unique experiences you wouldn't find in many places.
  • Every day you're in a beautiful location, so if ever you have a bad day theres a lot to be happy about
  • None come to mind
141 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers