• Costa Rica
    • Atenas
    • Heredia
    • La Fortuna
1 - 12 weeks
529 Plan eligibility
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Host Family Hotel Lodge
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
Price varies per program and is all-inclusive. Combine any two programs for a 5% discount.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare SIM cards Travel Insurance
Sep 23, 2023
Feb 20, 2024
2 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Costa Rica is a paradise for Spanish immersion, cultural exploration, and outdoor adventure! Home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity you will find an amazing array of flora and fauna. The landscapes are breathtaking with verdant volcanos, lush rainforests and pristine beaches. Choose from a variety of journeys in this Central American country with Arcos Journeys Abroad. Take Spanish classes in a tropical setting and live with a homestay. Experience the health benefits of nature on the mind, body, and spirit. Explore the unique cultures of Costa Rica and the lifestyle that makes this the happiest country on the planet. Participate in eco adventures such as ziplining, whitewater rafting, hiking, horseback riding, and surfing. Perform community service and volunteer work for the local community. Costa Rica is the “pura vida” experience you have been waiting for!

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Experience the thrill of a zipline through the rainforest
  • Try your hand at surfing on the Pacific Coast
  • Observe native wildlife such as sloths, spider monkeys, toucans, and poison dart frogs
  • Participate in community service and learn about the power of helping others
  • Hike to magnificent waterfalls and soak in hot springs heated by Arenal Volcano

Popular Programs

Volunteer planting a garden in Costa Rica

Perform community service in the rural community of Atenas. Help plant an organic garden at a school or paint a classroom. Work with children on homework and arts activities. Participate in cultural workshops to complement your experience such as cooking classes and art workshops. For eco adventure, zipline through the rainforest and soak in hot springs. Horseback ride through verdant grasslands at the base of Arenal Volcano. Travel to the Pacific coast for surfing and whitewater rafting!

Study abroad students in the Costa Rican rainforest with a waterfall

Live like a local in La Fortuna at the base of Arenal Volcano. Discover the region's hot springs, waterfalls, and rainforests. Volunteer at a nature trail and observe endemic wildlife such as sloths, toucans, and poison dart frogs. Learn about the healthy Costa Rican lifestyle through cooking workshops, market visits, and meditative hikes. Outdoor activities abound such as horseback riding and whitewater rafting. Travel to the Blue Zone on the Pacific and spend time in a local farming community.

Group of study abroad students in front of Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica

Study Spanish in a tropical paradise! Classes are taught on an orange and mango farm surrounded by nature. Live with carefully selected homestays and enjoy delicious local cuisine. In the afternoons play soccer, volunteer, or attend a cooking class. Visit an animal rescue center where you will see all types of endemic wildlife such as sloths, monkeys, and macaws. Travel to the rainforest for ziplining and to Jacó beach on the Pacific for swimming and surf lessons.

Program Reviews

4.95 Rating
based on 20 reviews
  • 5 rating 95%
  • 4 rating 5%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.85
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.95
  • Housing 4.9
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 20 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Very fun and educational experience!

I loved my trip to Costa Rica with Arcos, I found the activities such as zip lining, cooking, dancing, etc. super fun and helpful to appreciate the culture. The family I stayed with for the majority of the trip was super sweet and accommodating to me even though communication was a challenge(I don’t speak Spanish). The trip was very well organized, with the group leaders Catalina and Laura always being on top of everything and perfectly timing activities. The volunteer work was rewarding in itself and felt productive.

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

Found a new family in Costa Rica

Our daughter attended the Arcos trip in Costa Rica for 4 weeks, doing two homestay programs focused on language and culture. We did not know anything about the company, but were provided with endless contacts to call and all our questions were followed up with by the company so we decided to give them a try after overwhelmingly positive feedback. Our daughter had a wonderful time. I do think much of it was because of her first host family; they were a wonderful match. She stayed with a family and several kids from the program as it was a small session. They embraced our daughter and made her feel truly at home so much so that months later they still talk on a regular basis. The second home stay in a different area was not a good fit, but Brent and his team swiftly took action and the rest was wonderful as well. I really valued how accessible the team was especially on this and one other item that came up. Things happen, but how a company deals with it matters. My daughter had real opportunities to work on her Spanish with the teachers, but we stressed to Brent that that was a priority. I think the excursion trips and travel timing could be spaced a bit better, but I love that in each session the kids went somewhere else. My daughter had plenty of food and chances to shop and eat out with other students. It was a great program and good value for the cost, but it is really what the right child makes of it.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
This is for mature teens that want to really make the effort to embrace the opportunity. This in not a luxe teen tour. There is down time and the activities are what is available locally, but Arcos did a good job varying up the options. Go in with an open mind and heart and you may find a new family in another country.
  • Great families
  • Responsive team to issues
  • Chance to experience local area and language
  • Excursions are far given region so spacing them in trip better or maybe even having kids fly out of a different area worth considering
  • Team could be a bit more organized day to day on the ground
  • Asked to share a bed on hotel excursions. (but addressed immediately when we called)
14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience!

This trip was the best decision I’ve made, and one I will always remember! It was the perfect mix of fun adventure and rewarding community service. There was never a moment I was bored, yet I was also never tired of being on the go. The coordinators were there to answer questions and provide support throughout the whole trip, and they instilled a lot of trust in the whole group of kids. The experiences I had, the people I met, and the independence I gained will be carried with me for the rest of my life.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The thing that surprised me most was how much freedom and independence we were allowed on the trip. The coordinaters had a lot of trust in us and everyone respected that while still making most of the trip and having fun.
  • Adventure
  • Cultural experience
  • Meeting new people
16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Homestay experience = best thing ever

My homestay family was so kind and welcoming I feel like I gained an extended family on this trip. From conversations around the table to excursions out and about town, the family made an effort to involve us in everyday life in Costa Rica. The adventures--rafting, surfing, horseback riding, etc.--were amazing, but nothing compares to the authentic experience of building relationships with such wonderful people. I will definitely go back and visit on my own one day. I truly love my homestay family.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The fresh fruit and juice every day were incredible and I will dream of them for the rest of my life! Imagine getting off a river raft for a fruit break and having a fresh pineapple cut right right there beside the river!
  • cultural immersion
  • homestay family
  • adventure & exploration
  • heat
  • excursions cancelled by rain
19 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


I have made such great memories on the trips that I have taken through this program, and Arcos Journeys Abroad made all of that possible by using great communication, fun activities, and made sure we felt safe and good about everything! From the first trip that I went on, Arcos Journeys Abroad has made everything from the plane ride, to the home stay, to the activities a breeze and made sure that I felt safe and comfortable with everything. I cannot wait to see what the next trip I take with Arcos Journeys Abroad will bring me!

What would you improve about this program?
I would include a video or article made by a pervious student who went on the same trip where they can show pictures, show what it was like, what their housing was like, what they did, and things that weren’t on the packing list that they think are useful! This could be helping in determining which country the person wants to go to and can advertise the trip a bit better.
  • Fun and great memories
  • Great homestay
  • Very coordinated
16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Arcos Journeys Abroad Costa Rica

This was a great experience because I got to be enriched with Costa Rican culture and the Spanish language. I learned multiple things in my classes and learned very valuable lessons. My teachers also expanded my vocabulary and used many different tactics of teaching to help us grow in the language. We worked on group projects, gave presentations, played games, practiced with native speakers in the community, and sat through traditional teaching as well. Each of these challenged us to learn more every day.

  • Cultural immersion
  • Language immersion
27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun times with a great group of people

I did the eco program in Costa Rica and it could not have been a better time. The community service aspect was pretty minor overall, and there was lots of free time in Atenas and during excursions to hang out. All of the adventure activities were super fun - whitewater rafting was a highlight for sure. The Arcos staff and engaging and easygoing, and the homestay experience was great (even if my Spanish is pretty rough!). There was plenty of delicious food, and plenty of opportunities to see local wildlife - the monkeys at the beach were super fun to see in person.

  • Meet new people
  • Fun activities
  • Great staff
  • It's hot - sleeping can be tough.
40 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Arcos Journeys Costa Rica Program

My son absolutely loved his time in Costa Rica. Great service opportunities and excursions, wonderful kids and program directors, and terrific homestay. He came back feeling more confident about traveling independently, but also more confident generally. The program provided so many ways for the kids to explore independently, but with enough support to feel safe. Also, great communication with the families while the kids were away. We were comfortable the whole time, knowing our son was in great hands. Great job Arcos! We would absolutely recommend this program to anyone.

  • Great support, lots of fun, opportunities to connect with other kids, perfect mix of independence and guidance
42 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers