Multiple Locations +2
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
    • Bocas del Toro
4 - 12 weeks

Program Details

Hiking Scuba Diving Surfing
Fall Spring
Host Family Lodge Tent
Primary Language
Age Min.


Starting Price
Price Details
Course tuition includes all room and board, technical gear, instruction, and in-country transportation while on course. Airfare to/from Costa Rica, personal equipment, and personal supplies are not covered in tuition costs.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Equipment Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Some Equipment Travel Insurance Visa
May 13, 2021
Jun 18, 2024
34 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

OUTDOOR LEADER SEMESTER (65 Days, Spring or Fall)
Discover your strengths and leadership style as you delve into the field of outdoor education through both technical & soft-skill training. Earn seven internationally-recognized certifications and 10 academic credits.

COAST TO COAST EXPEDITION (85 Days, Spring or Fall)
Coast to Coast Expedition is the perfect choice if you want a life-changing experience that will immerse you in a brand new culture, challenge you physically, and allow you to learn and grow as a leader. Earn 12 academic credits and five internationally-recognized certifications.

Dive into science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) topics while exploring the tropics of Costa Rica and Panama. This Residential Gap Semester can last from 35 to 65 days and participants can bring electronics, cell phones, and laptops.

Video and Photos

Top graduates of this Outdoor Leader Semester program will be offered a paid internship as a Field Instructor Intern for Outward Bound Costa Rica’s summer high season, with the possibility of staying on as a year-round instructor.

Coast to Coast is the perfect choice if you want a life-changing experience that will immerse you in a different culture, challenge you on physically and grow as a leader while learning about yourself and how effective you are at leading others.

Embark on a 26-day cross-country expedition that will push you to expand your boundaries and give you new cultural awareness. Trek through rainforest valleys and dense cloud forests as you learn the local traditions of Costa Rica. Spend your evenings camping under the stars, living with host families on their farms, learning to cook using local ingredients, and learning more about yourself, your passions and dreams. Venture into Panama to become NAUI scuba certified, understand the fragile ecosystem of the ocean in the archipelago and test your skills at wakeboarding. Sea kayak to remote islands and work side by side with the indigenous villagers. Nicaragua will take you inland to work in local communities on school/orphanage projects and close contact with local school children. You can also earn 12 academic credits upon successful completion of course as well as earn international certifications in outdoor education.

Program Highlights

  • Expand your boundaries and step out of your comfort zone while engaged in outdoor education.
  • Gain a new cultural awareness during your stay in Costa Rica and Panama.
  • Practice your Spanish language, build leadership skills, and boost your confidence.
  • Earn internationally recognized certifications, giving you a competitive edge in your further study or future career.
  • Enjoy a broad range of outdoor activities - sea kayaking, scuba diving, rappelling, rainforest trekking, etc!

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Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.7
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 5
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester course at Outward Bound Costa Rica

Undoubtedly, participating in this course was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Throughout my time in Costa Rica, I felt happier, more at peace, and truly alive. The life lessons I learned in Costa Rica have changed who I am for the better, and I know I couldn't have learned these lessons in a more beautiful setting than at OBCR.

I really recommend this life-changing course to everyone, and even though signing up to a course like this may seem a bit daunting, embarking on this journey is a beautiful investment in your personal growth and self-discovery.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
For some reason, I was terrified of kayaking, so when I heard we were going on a kayak expedition down the Pacuare River, I was so scared.
The first hour of our expedition, I was singing to myself so I wouldn't cry, just trying to ignore the fact that I was terrified. Luckily, throughout all of this, my instructors were supporting me and making me feel safer and safer.
Then, at one point, on a huge rapid, I flipped my kayak. At first, I thought I wouldn't survive, but then i came to the realization that the river did this on purpose because after I got back in my kayak, all the fear had left my body, and I loved the rest of the expedition.
It's crazy how that works because now the expedition is one of my favorite memories of my entire course.
  • it's a place filled with self-discovery and growth, in every way imaginable.
  • You learn so many skills, practical and mental
  • It's a beautiful immersion in the Costa Rican culture, lifestyle, and nature.
  • Sometimes it does seem hard, but know that even the hard and difficult times will eventually make you stronger.
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Coast to Coast Review

I was pretty nervous going into this program because I didn’t have a ton of experience with a lot of the activities that we were going to be doing, but my instructors made me feel so comfortable and gave me the tools I needed to feel confident in each activity we did. This course challenged me both mentally and physically and it made me realize that I am capable of so much more than I think, and I am very grateful for that. I feel so much more confident to push myself out of my comfort zone and to do things that might intimidate me. I gained so much self confidence and independence during this course and I am forever grateful for my instructors and group members for making my experience unforgettable.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
When we were rafting down the General River during our last expedition. The river was really high and there were some massive rapids. It was both scary and fun in the moment and when it was over I felt really proud of my whole group because we were able to see how much we all grew from the start of the program to the end.
100 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Obcr review

This trip has taught me so much in the 85 days I was on it. It sparked a sense of passion in me that I haven’t ever felt and made me feel like it was just the beginning of the rest of my life. OBCR gave me so much and much more that I could’ve ever asked for, and I’m so great full for it all. The new life skills I’ve learnt have helped me gain confidence in myself once again, and for the first time in a very long time I feel true to myself after this whole experience. Outward bound has put me in a direction in life that I can confidently say I want to pursue for as long as I can. I thank OBCR so much and hope to return to Costa Rica in the future.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Keep an opened mind always and always expect the unexpected
104 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Coast to Coast Semester 2018

Outward Bound Costa Rica exceeded every expectation I had for my 85 day Coast to Coast semester course. The program allowed us to experience the traditional culture of 3 different countries in Central America as well as teaching us everything we needed to know to get started with a career in the outdoor education industry. We got to experience many different activities from community service projects, to whitewater rafting, backpacking, surfing, scuba diving and more. This course was built for anyone who loves adventure and wants to push themselves both physically and mentally to become a better person and a better leader. I couldn't recommend this company or their instructors enough, I wish everyone could experience OBCR!

104 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Outward Bound Costa Rica- Outdoor Leader Semester

This 65 day course in Costa Rica was the best thing I think I have ever done. Not only did I grow phenominally as a person, I also had a blast doing it. I met people I have never grown such a close bond to in such a short amount of time, overcame challenges I never thought I could, and pushed myself to my maximum physical and mental capabilities. By covering everything from small-scale team building lessons to rappelling down >100 ft waterfalls, every type of adventure I could have was given to me! Highlights were watching rain forest thunderstorms with a homecooked meal after brutal yet amazing days of mountain backpacking, scuba diving through bioluminescent waters in Panama, wakeboarding with dolphins, and learning how to save lives! I had never truly understood the purpose of outdoor and advemture education before I went on this semester course, but even three years after, I know that working as an outdoor educator is my dream job thanks to everything OBCR taught me.

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

65 days that changed my life

During our week spent scuba diving in Panama, my fellow student and I decided to sleep out on the open, uncovered, dock one night. There just so happened to be a meteor shower that night so we spent the night laying on a dock in the middle of the ocean, watching the sky light up with shooting stars, and discussing our purposes in life. Spending 65 days exploring everything Costa Rica has to offer completely changed my outlook on life and inspired a love for outdoor education and experiential education. Whether we were backpacking through the rural central valley or sleeping on a dock in middle of the ocean in Panama, I was constantly challenged both mentally and physically. The wilderness first responder portion of the course was definitely the most difficult for. Days were full of classroom session and hands on practice (like making a backboard out of hiking backpacks then transporting a victim on it) and ended with a late-night car crash scenario, complete with fake blood, where we put of skills to the true test. This course is focused on developing leadership skills in the participants and instill a newfound sense of purpose in the world. I continued on to be offered, and accepted, a summer internship with Outward Bound Costa Rica and got to spend the summer putting all my newly learned skills to work with students. I can honestly say I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for Outward Bound Costa Rica.

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't change a thing about my experience, even the downfalls we experienced forced us to work as a team to find solutions.
112 people found this review helpful.

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