Putney Student Travel | Costa Rica Programs
97% Rating
(3 Reviews)

Putney Student Travel | Costa Rica Programs

Experience Costa Rica, a leader in conservation and biodiversity, and find out why this small country is home to some of the world's happiest people. Immerse yourself in the life of a small village while working side-by-side with locals on meaningful community service projects. Play pick-up games of soccer with Tico kids or hike to a hidden swimming hole. Explore Costa Rica's incredible diversity of landscapes and wildlife — trek through the rainforest in search of toucans, sloths, and howler monkeys, learn to surf on Costa Rica's world-renowned waves, or participate in a thrilling whitewater rafting trip. Whether you're exploring ecological treasures such as Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, searching the jungle for sloths and capuchin monkeys, learning to make traditional Costa Rican cullinary specialties like gallo pinto, or practicing your Spanish vocabulary, your time in Costa Rica will be fun, eye-opening, and memorable.

  • Play pick-up games of soccer with children and teens from your host village
  • Learn to surf on the pristine waves on Costa Rica's Pacific coast
  • Trek through a cloud forest in search of sloths and capuchin monkeys
  • Take part in a beach cleanup to protect sea turtle habitat
  • Go whitewater rafting with skilled river guides and take a thrilling ride through pristine rainforest
North America » Costa Rica
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1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
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Program Reviews (3)

Default avatar
16 years old
New Jersey

Best Experience of My Life


My trip to Costa Rica was fantastic. It was an absolutely beautiful place with the most amazing people.

I travelled to Miami, Florida to meet up with with all the other students in our group. Sure, it was awkward for the first day or two, but by the end of the trip, we were all sobbing our eyes out when it was time to leave. I talk to these guys often, so our friendship didn’t break when the trip was over. We even plan to meet up sometime soon! The staff was also fantastic, they were there for the students and to make the trip overall more enjoyable. My two leaders, kept us laughing, together and healthy through everything. I truly miss them.

However, the community service aspect was phenomenal. The people opened their homes to us, without hesitation, cooked for us, cleaned for us while we worked. Throughout this, we became super connected to the village and their way of life. We experienced their culture firsthand and became family. I now have a village in the mountains of Costa Rica, that I will have never forget.

Fantastic trip. Thank you Putney.

How can this program be improved?

Simply not possible.

Default avatar
16 years old
United Kingdom

A Fantastic time in Costa Rica


I went on the Community Service trip to Costa Rica with Putney. Overall, the experience was one in a lifetime and thoroughly recommendable.

I live in the UK and travelled to Miami to meet with the group who were made up of two leaders and 13 kids. The other kids were mainly Americans, with the addition of two French boys and a girl from the Netherlands. The mix of people worked really well and we made lots of progress with our community service project. I was away for a well-structured month which consisted of working weekdays and 'vacation' excursion trips on the weekends to explore the vast activities that Costa Rica has to offer. During the weekdays we stayed in the remote village of Biolley. Here there is a small-scale coffee plantation where we helped out by mixing and laying cement, moving and making coffee beds, weighing and bagging coffee and lots of other general jobs around the ecolodge. We also helped out with the cooking which allowed me to bring home new recipes to cook for my family. We got to know the villagers very well and were even invited to do homestays for a night. On the weekend excursions, we went to various parts of Costa Rica to do activities like surfing, horse-riding , zip-lining, white-water-rafting, plunge-pool jumping and swimming in waterfalls. On top of this, we got to see some incredible animals including sloths, toucans, tarantulas, crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas and parrots.

All in all, if you are looking to go to an amazing country to meet some amazing people, both local Costa Ricans and fellow group members, then you should choose the Putney Community Service trip to Costa Rica.

How can this program be improved?

N/A - it was perfect

Default avatar
16 years old

Best time of my life


This was one of the best experiences in my life. Going into this trip I expected nothing, all I knew was that I was going to Costa Rica with my twin sister. We did not know anything else about the trip, we did not know a single person. Now when I look back at the trip I would not have spent my summer any other way. I meet some of the most interesting and fun people I have ever met, everybody came from a different place and everybody had different stories. But we learned to grow as a family. I look back and think of the people in Costa Rica as my second family, they will always be there for you and care for you. Even though the work was hard, it was all worth it in the end. Seeing all of the local peoples faces once we finished our projects was one of the happiest moments in my life. Every single day everybody woke up with a smile on their face and they were ready to work. And of course we did not only work every single day, we also had time for the group just to bond and enjoy each others company. The costa rica trip that Putney provides is a great learning experience, it also gives you the feeling of a second family. I strongly recommend this program for teenagers because it is mind blowing and you learn a lot, you also get to meet some amazing people.

How can this program be improved?

I do not think that this program could get any better. The balance between work and free time was perfect, and the weekend activities were SO much fun.

About The Provider


Since 1951, Putney Student Travel has offered high school students powerful travel and experiential education programs that help them prepare for college, shape their futures, engage with people from different cultures, and form lasting friendships. Our summer programs range from two to five weeks in