Multiple Locations +2
  • Costa Rica
  • Wales
12 - 26 weeks

Program Details

Mountain Climbing Remote Exploring Trekking
Primary Language
Age Min.


Starting Price
Price Details
Airport transfers, Instructors, local guides, accommodation, meals, remote emergency care, advanced survival & leadership training and certifications, logbook, project equipment and materials, project transfers, 24/7 emergency back-up, social activities, job assistance.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Some Equipment Meals
What's Not Included
Airfare Some Equipment Travel Insurance Visa
Jan 11, 2023
Jan 30, 2023
26 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Follow in the footsteps of past Gapforce Leaders including Bruce Parry and Ed Stafford - learn key Survival and Leadership skills on this unique and challenging 4 month course and use your skills in jobs in film, TV, charity expeditions, school groups and gap years.

You start in the mountains of Wales and then the team heads off to the jungles of Costa Rica. This extreme training course will push you to the limit. Our instructors are there to test you and they won't make it easy. Can you get your team through some of the most challenging terrain? Will you pass as a Gapforce Expedition Leader? Kick start your career!

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Gain nationally recognised training and qualifications, confidence in outdoor pursuits and experience in the adventure travel industry.
  • Plan and lead an expedition, put your training into practice.
  • An intensive personal development opportunity.
  • A once in a lifetime experience where the jungle will become your home.
  • Job offers for high performing graduates (details apply).

Program Reviews

4.84 Rating
based on 43 reviews
  • 5 rating 83.72%
  • 4 rating 16.28%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.2
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.7
  • Value 4.7
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 43 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Highly recommended

This was a well organised and administered adventure.
Both the staff in the office in the UK and the instructing staff were professional, supportive and polite.
There are a lot of moving parts on this kind of experience which will take a great deal of organisation. It went smoothly and without a hitch. Any issues which did arise were with outside partners rather than Gap Force or their staff.
The accommodation and food were often better than was described and therefore expected. It is a Jungle based course, so accommodation in the jungle is as expected. When not in the Jungle, it is better than I expected.

  • Personal development
  • Adventure
  • New skills learnt.
  • None
  • None
  • None
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Gapforce expedition leader course

My review of the course expedetion leader from gapforce Februari 2022.

First off I have a lot more confidence in myself.
The jungle is the hardest environment on earth. There is a reason why the special forces train in the jungle. Gapforce agrees with me, if you can lead groups in the jungle then you can do that everywhere on our planet. After this course there is the feeling that you can handle everything everywhere.

I always had the spirit of adventure and a small dream to travel to beautiful remote places, but I had no idea where to start and where to learn the essential skills of planning, surviving and taking a group with you. Either as work or as your own expedetion with mates.

I also learned medical stuff. I was never a fan of medical procedures and I didn't know anything about it. But during this course I learned a lot of medical procedures and I liked it. I know now how to set up an evacuation, give CPR and how to handle an emergency.

Before this course I never thought of risk assessments and how to keep people safe. Now everywhere I go I think of emergency scenarios and how to fix them. It is a little bit like a mind puzzle. I enjoy that very much and it makes you feel like you're prepared on anything.

I learned a lot but it doesn't mean that there weren't any fun things. For example we had a barbecue and during a volunteer project I measured a leatherback turtle and reburied its eggs to protect them from poachers. We visited a local tribal Bribri village and we did a 7 days trekking through untouched jungle.

To get the most out of this course I would recommend already having the basic lead/survival skills but even without it you can make it and end up working as a expedetion guide. It is important to know that this course is focussed on training you to become a expedition leader. This is more of a training course then a adventure course

22 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

GapForce Expedition Leader Training

I‘m an experienced Survival Expert and Outdoor guide from Germany but I thought there’s always something to learn and I wanted to get more experience in leading groups through the jungle and getting a good fundamental mountain leader training from a british company.
The GapForce ELT program seemed to be perfect for me, because of it’s adventurous content and schedule.

What I got and experienced was really good. We did many day hikes through the mountains in Wales with navigation, rope work like abseiling and much more. And we also spent many many times in the jungle in Costa Rica. That helped me to develop my skills and behavior in the jungle a lot. We‘ve seen fantastic places, gorges, hills, mountains, a lot of wildlife and also bad wet weather.
The instructor are very nice, helpful and experienced in what they doing and they gaved me everything I‘ve wanted from this course. We did a lot of river crossings, water safety and some rope work too. There’s also a big part of wilderness and survival training wich was also a reason, that this is the right thing for me.
We did the jungle training in many different camps with different conditions wich is really good to get as much experience as possible.
There was also a lot of theory content in terms of safety, leadership, presentation etc. included to help beginners becoming a leader and organizing and leading trips. Really good to get into this industry. It’s also good to prove yourself and get a better life experience.
Over all I was able to gather many knowledge and skills that I can use for my private expeditions or for my company.
But this is not a holiday trip! You should be fit, healthy and tough and bring some outdoor and life experience to get the best out of this incredible journey!

  • A lot of helpful outdoor skills
  • Really good experience of trek in the wild
  • Seeing many nice places
  • Some very inexperienced participants
25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

ELT Program 2022

The ELT program was amazing and such a good experience. The biggest thing I got out of it for me was the confidence in my own abilities to start planning work straight away. The course is structured to provide a progressive program, developing your skills (both personal and leadership) constantly. The first few weeks in Wales were great to meet the team, climb some mountains and form friendships. The pace and intensity picked up when we got to Costa Rica and straight into the jungle. The instructors were great at making us feel as comfortable as possible and you do get used to living in a jungle environment quickly. The endless animals and plants is beautiful and there are some really amazing sights and sounds you’ll see every single day. Belt-kit and survival challenge tested our skills but also developed them and our confidence even further. For me, the highlight of the course came during the survival challenge. During this, my team ended up making a huge five person bed out of vines which was incredibly comfortable. After several nights of sleeping on that, it was time to leave the jungle…but our way of doing it. We trekked down the river, past incredible waterfalls and through a lot of obstacles. We kept on trekking through the river until it got too deep. At that point, we swam, using our massive 75L+ rucksacks as floats. We ended up following the river down to the beach and seeing the astounded look on the tourists faces as we emerged from the jungle absolutely soaked and stinking was priceless. I highly recommend the course, you will develop your skills and confidence way above what you thought was possible!

22 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Most Amazing Experience - Sign Up Now!!

This course was the most amazing experience. The chance to live in the jungle, learn from indigenous folk and learn important life skills is priceless and an opportunity most of us will never have again. Over the past 4 months I have become a more confident, well-rounded and employable person, enjoying every second of it. The staff are supportive and are passionate about what they do. If you want into the adventure travel industry, this is your chance! Gain skills, memories and friends for life!

  • Experience life in the jungle, raw and full-on but so worthwhile
  • A chance to learn survival skills from indigenous people
  • Become a more skilled and employable person, with qualifications and experience
  • If you’re not up for being muddy, tired and constantly learning then this isn’t for you!
23 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

ELT Course

I came on the TEL course looking for a challenge different to one I’d ever had before. I’d just finished school, in which the vast majority of your work is very individual. So I wanted to put myself in a team environment instead and learn as much as I could, both about being in and leading a team. The travelling the world and jungle bit was a big selling point for me too.

The course absolutely delivered. I found myself very much out of my comfort zone and I absolutely loved it. The course is very intense. You receive a huge amount of feedback, which can be hard to keep taking on board. But it is super helpful and alarmingly insightful, and I was very grateful for it when I saw how much quicker I was growing.

The jungle was quite something. To be so immersed in nature is not an opportunity most of us get often, and even the photos don’t do it justice. It was also just so refreshing to not be surrounded by technology and marketing, and to just be happy in the moment with some quality and down to earth people.

Speaking of the people, I had such a lovely group to share this with. The outdoors tends to attract a certain down to earth type of person and that they were. Spending every day with them for 4 months means you all go through many different dynamics together, but learning how to be amongst and even influence that was another challenge I loved.

Lots of us wanted to go on to be expedition leaders (though you don’t have to want to to go on this course), and by the end I felt really well trained and that I had a solid and detailed understanding of what it meant to run an expedition.

Ultimately, I had an amazing time and would 100% recommend it.

50 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Badass in training

When I found this training, I knew I had to sign up. It would be intense, but I needed to do it.
From the first email to the first day in the training, the predeparture support was great, answering all the questions and giving advise.
The last four months have come and gone in the blink of an eye. Every day has been an adventure, every moment has been a challenge to step out of my comfort zone. It's been hard, intense and fun. And the end of this trip is only the beginning of the new me. It has inspired me to continue to push my limits, to be stronger. To stand up for the life I want. To open my eyes and face my fears.
I am going back with a suitcase full of laughter, crazy stories, lots of mud and some bullet ants.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Commit to it. You'll start the training with a lot of energy and positivity. Know that there will be days when you will be tired, uncomfortable and overwhelmed. It's easy to laugh when you are feeling good, but the low moments will allow you to grow the most.
58 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Expedition Leadership Training course.

What an excellent 4 months. I had looked into the course for 2 years, eventually I signed up. From the time you sign up to the day you finish you are supported by Gapforce staff.

I have found this course to be extremely fulfilling, it has challenged me in different ways; mentally and physically. I feel I have grown as a person, improving self confidence, interpersonal skills, understanding others and personal ability in the course content.

To those who are looking at this course, I would say to get the most from this experience you need to have a reason why you are on the course, it doesn't have to be to become an expedition leader but if you have a goal you have an overarching objective to reach for, this will help keep focus throughout.

The course content itself is varied, kept industry relevant, always evolving and suitably challenging.
From mastering cooking in swampy mud in driving rain, conducting sleep deprived medical scenarios in caves, shepherding your group around Costa Rica and Panama to spending days alone surviving in the jungle. You will be challenged but you get out what you put in.

If you want a challenging, life changing, self improving and once in a lifetime experience the Expedition Leadership Training course is for you! 4 months of your time extremely well spent.

Expect to be busy, tired, wet, muddy, smelly and deeply rewarded. You won't be disappointed!

55 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers