Travel For Teens: Costa Rica

Video and Photos

Walking to the BriBri Village
Holding Baby Sloth Lima
Beach Horse Backing!
Community service with local after school program
White water rafting

About

Join us on one of our Costa Rica programs this summer and experience the country like a true local! Our Costa Rica trips are led by our local director who will share with you the essence of this majestic country and show you the true meaning of Pura Vida! You are guaranteed an authentic experience! Explore beautiful rainforests, discover a vast array of wildlife, hike to hidden waterfalls, learn to surf and so much more! We offer a variety of programs that are great for first time travelers, adventurists, and those looking to brush up on their Spanish or participate in meaningful service projects.

Adventure & Culture

Costa Rica Adrenaline: Explore the culture and beauty of Costa Rica with us on this adventure-packed program of a lifetime!

Costa Rica: Ultimate Service and Adventure: Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime as you dive into the ultimate Costa Rican experience! Go hiking, surfing, and whitewater rafting and give your time to volunteer efforts as you work alongside the community and its wildlife.

Costa Rica Adventure and Service: See more tropical wildlife in its natural habitat than you can anywhere else in the world, zip line through the jungle, go on a crocodile safari, stay in a beautiful resort on the Pacific, and work with locals on fun, meaningful volunteer projects!

Costa Rica Sea Turtle Service and Adventure: Gain hands-on experience working with a local organization dedicated to protecting the different species of sea turtles that frequent the area's beaches and help out at a local village school. Compliment your service work with a variety of fun activities so that you can embrace the pura vida!

Costa Rica Surf and Service: We'll immerse ourselves in the day to day life of a beachside community, spending time with local schoolchildren and helping to improve their community facilities. The second half of the program features surfing lessons on one of the best beaches in Costa Rica!

Now Hiring: Travelers with Youth/Education Experience!

Are you passionate about inspiring youth? Do you believe experiential education is crucial to growth and development? TFT staff have the unique opportunity to work with teens in incredible countries all around the globe. Our staff have in-depth knowledge of the destinations we visit and are proven role models and leaders. If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you! Check out our site for more details and to submit your application today!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

99%
based on 17 reviews
  • Growth 9.9
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 15 of 17
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Ella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Time of my life!

What an amazing experience! This trip was truly 3-weeks that changed my life and perspective forever. Spending this time in Costa Rica will be the best choice you will ever make, I know it’s the best choice that I made. Expect to join a group of teens that are also interested in exploring the world and helping out animals. I still stay in touch with these friends 2 years later, and even have made trips across the country to New York City to visit my Costa Rica pals! The best part of the whole trip to me was the animals and working at the rescue center. Learn the proper care for these exotic animals and work with other volunteers from all over the world who share the same interests as you. Some of the amazing experiences I had were babysitting the baby sloths, taking a baby anteater into the forest, or feeding the young monkeys. Outside of working at the rescue center I tried so many things that were out of my comfort zone, a night hike in the jungle, salsa dancing in front of a whole restaurant, and ziplining through the jungle. I recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in immersing themselves into a new culture, and not afraid to get dirty and work hard to help this animal sanctuary.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would say to them that they should embrace the difference of cultures and really dive into all of the different experiences they will have. The more effort you put in will give you the best experience back!
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Julia
10/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Life Changing!

Signing up for a Travel For Teens trip was the best decision I’ve ever made. I was a bit nervous at first about traveling by myself, and I was worried I wouldn’t make any friends. Little did I know that in just a two week time period I’d have a whole new point of view on travel, and friends that will last a lifetime. There was never once a second where I felt homesick because every day was filled with life changing experiences like working hands-on with sea turtles, ziplining, surfing, and exploring the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Our counselors were some of the sweetest, and funniest people I’ve ever met, and were super helpful in guiding us on how to be proper travelers, rather than tourists. I swear time moves quicker in Costa Rica, because those amazing two weeks were over too soon. Our group may have looked incredibly weird to the patrons in Miami Airport terminal 24 who probably do not see very many groups of 12 teenagers huddled in a crying group hug. We eventually all managed to stop crying and go our separate ways, meanwhile planning our TFT trips for the next summer. Overall I returned more confident and open than I was before going on the trip, and am counting down the days till my next trip.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don’t be nervous! You will make friends! Day one I was so worried about if people were going to like me and if I would have fun, but by that night we were having Taylor Swift dance parties in the hotel rooms, and debating what the best Christmas songs are! Dive right in, because it’s so worth it!
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Henry
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

This summer I went to the Costa Rica for younger teens: Hola Costa Rica trip. It's a very big step to go out of the country with people you don't know. Trust me I was very hesitant. It takes a lot of courage to sign up for something so far out of your comfort zone, assure you, you will NOT regret it. I had the time of my life. Everything was perfect. The food was wonderful. The other kids were great. The counselors were very professional and experienced. It was truly a life changing experience that I was lucky enough to be a part of. This was the best summer ever!

Henry Bleiweiss

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
There was this one thing, like a cup cake, but a little more pasty, and it was sooo goooooddd!
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Lola
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costs Rica Adventures

I traveled on the Costa Rica Adrenaline this summer. It was my first time traveling without my family, and, boy, was I nervous. All those fears quickly disappeared once I arrived to the airport and met my travel mates. Although we all came from different parts of the country we immediately bonded. I loved the hacienda and its horses. The tubing was my favorite of the many adventures. The guides made me feel comfortable and safe. I made lifelong friends and can’t wait for my next adventure! I would recommend travel for teens for anyone looking to break out of their comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to try new things and meet new people. Everything is super organized and there is nothing to worry about. I can’t imagine a better tour group. Next: Asia?

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing! Everything that was promised was delivered.
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Joshua
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Pura Vida with TFT

I cannot thank TFT enough for the incredible experience they provided with in Costa Rica. Each day offered something new and exciting like paddle boarding on the Gulf of Mexico or playing soccer with Costa Rican school children. Both my counselors, Jenna and Hadley were enthusiastic and filled the room with positive energy. Every place we stayed was clean and safe and each activity was very well coordinated. I am so grateful I had this opportunity and I urge everyone to go TFT!

What would you improve about this program?
I was absolutely blown away with everything. No changes need to be made.
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Ella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Fantastic Costa Rica Adventure

My Costa Rica experience with TFT was an unforgettable one. I appreciated how it was not just a “vacation” but I was very invested in the culture and communities there. From zip-lining across the green rainforest, to building playgrounds for Costa Rican children, TFT did a fantastic job allowing me to see all the amazing things Costa Rica has to offer. The staff members were amazing, and easy to bond with, yet still placed reasonable and strict rules in place.

What would you improve about this program?
Possibly nicer hotels, but the hotels chosen were very culturally investing.
Jordana
Jordana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica: Adventure and Service was Great!!!!

My experience with TFT has been nothing short of great. I loved my trip, the people, and sharing so many great adventures with everyone. I hope to do it again sometime soon! We went ziplining, white water rafting, and had so many crazy adventures. For service, we helped out at a school by cleaning their walls, and picked up trash on the beaches and in the streets. We also got to go on an alligator tour as well and see all the beautiful sites Costa Rica has to offer.

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Suzy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica Surf and Service

Traveling to Costa Rica to learn to surf with a bunch of other teenagers from all over the countries was one of the best decisions of my life. Not only did I make new friends, but I was introduced to a new culture and was forced to go beyond my comfort zone. This experience has impacted my life in so many ways. Primarily, traveling with Travel for Teens has encouraged me to travel abroad in college, and visit towns beyond tourist attractions. In addition, the volunteer aspect of the trip has introduced me to a newfound love of working with children. I never thought that I could create so many wonderful memories on a 14 day trip, but I am glad I did.

What would you improve about this program?
I loved everything about the program, I don't think anything needs to be improved!
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Bryce
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely Amazing!

From creating new friends, zip lining, surfing, hiking, and tubing down one of the most famous rivers in the world, what is there not to enjoy. In 2016 I went to Costa Rica by myself scared to meet anyone. I came home with 15 new friends and a great tan. This trip not only gives you a thrill, but also gives you a new perspective on Costa Rica. Wether it’s the jungle, the beach, or the people, there are so many things to fall in love with. This trip will change your life in such an amazing way!

What would you improve about this program?
It can’t, it’s already amazing how it is.
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Olivia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica: Animal Rescue Service Trip

It was amazing to meet new people, new animals, and have new opportunities. On our days off from working in the center, we went zip lining, snorkeling, and even had the opportunity to go to Panama. I won't forget following an anteater or playing with monkeys as tours went by. Between working with baby sloths or monkeys at the center, to surfing, to white after rafting, to snorkeling, it was a trip I'll never forget. I was very excited to go and plan on taking another trip this summer!

What would you improve about this program?
Stick to the itinerary because we missed activities and were disappointed because we spent a lot of time at the hotel not doing anything.
Stella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

COSTA RICA ADVENTURE AND SERVICE

This was the best TFT trip I’ve taken so far! On this trip I saw so many things I couldn't even comprehend before seeing. I've watched the sunrise over volcanos, Ive rafted through the rainforest, zip linings over the canopy, and met some of the most beautiful people
I loved my counselors and they were amazing, friendly, and helpful. Both of them spoke the language which helped our group get a more local experience. They also were incredibly understanding of each and every one of us.
I felt fully embraced as a local on this trip and every place we went we were treated amazingly. We went to Turrialba, La Fortuna, and Samara Beach. In each place we went on several different adventures that were specific to the area we were in. We got to go rafting, zip lining, surfing, hiking, and much more! The food was amazing too!
The community service was my favorite part of the trip. I spent two days volunteering with local children, even though we couldn't speak the same language by the time my group left they were hugging goodbye and calling me their big sister. It was such and amazing experience and we learnt a lot from each other.
I can’t wait to go on my next adventure with TFT!

Kat
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Travel For Teens: Costa Rica Adrenaline

Last summer (July 2016) I went on my first trip with Travel for Teens on the Costa Rica Adrenaline trip. In short, this was the best trip of my life. Everyone was so kind, positively-minded, and energetic! My counselors (Marco, Danielle, Sarah, and Katherine-CIT) were outstanding! They were always encouraging us to try out new things and were all so hilarious! I really can not say enough good things about them. If I went on another trip, I would try to request them for my trip because they made the trip extra fun. I think that by the end of the trip, all the teens and counselors became such close friends because we were constantly spending time with one another, that by the end, it felt like we kinda became one big family haha. I am a shy person and was pretty nervous about meeting new people before this trip especially since I was coming all the way from Los Angeles on my own. However, after only a few hours of spending time with everyone, I felt almost at home! On my last day, I kid you not, I remember we were all at the airport saying our goodbyes and most of us were crying because we just became so close with one another! In fact, some of us started discussing our plans for future trips together.
I enjoyed every single part of our trip whether it was hiking to waterfalls, ziplining, or even simply just riding in the buses. We followed the itinerary which had detailed activities for each of the 10 days we spent there. We got to go water rafting, hiking to waterfalls, ziplining, canyoning, horseback riding, visit hot springs, surfing, and so much more. The guides for some of our activities were so patient and had great stories to tell us. I surfed for the first time on this trip and I learned so quickly with the help of the instructors. I also spent my 16th birthday on this trip, and they were nice enough to buy me a small cake and made sure it was well spent. Definitely my favorite birthday yet!
Although the hotels we stayed in were, I believe, considered 3 star hotels, they were great. They were very clean and spacious. The first one we stayed in had lots of extra space, a pool, the beds were comfortable, and the food was delicious. They also had really tasty Costa Rican coffee which I would definitely want to have again! The second hotel we stayed in was also good. It was more centered in a local beach town (about a 1 minute walk to the beach) which gave us the opportunity to watch several beautiful sunsets from our hotel rooms. We even got to hang out with some dogs and cats who would wander around both hotels haha. Throughout our entire trip, it was raining every now and then with the occasional thunder storms, but during those times when we had to stay in our rooms, we would all play games, talk, laugh, and oh boy did our counselors have some funny jokes and stories!
Throughout our adventure, we were also given a good amount of freedom. The counselors/directors made sure that we were always safe, but still gave us enough room to do what we wanted in our free time. Essentially, they did not treat us like little children who were irresponsible, which I thought was really great. I had been to other camps in the past and most of them didn't respect us and treat us as well as Travel for Teens did.
My trip with Travel for Teens made me feel limitless. It's everything you would expect and more. Every single time I get to travel to a new destination, I simply feel invincible and I greatly thank Travel for Teens for introducing me to that feeling.
In the future I hope to go on as many more trips with Travel for Teens as I can. I am hoping to do more programs with them such as "Europe for Older Teens: Greece, Italy, and the Islands," "Thailand for Older Teens," as well as "South Africa Service, Adventure, and Safari." I hope to become more well-rounded from these trips and learn more about the rest of the world, while also opening myself up to new experiences and meeting new people. I hope to gain more appreciation for other cultures, make friends with strangers, and to better learn to enjoy the simplest things in life. I believe teenagers are always trying to figure out what they like, what they don't like, or basically trying to find a sense of self identity; it's part of growing up. These trips really helped me personally to learn more about myself and I think they can benefit others in the same way. I think every now and then, it's good for people to take themselves a bit out of their comfort zones and I travelling really pushes you to do that. Travelling just really opens up a lot of new perspectives on many things and takes you to a whole new place (literally).

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Nataleena
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Animal Rescue Party

The trip was a breath taking experience where I learned so much about Costa Rican culture and animals. I volunteered at an animal rescue center during the day and explored the culture at night and during weekends.
We surfed, snorkeled, zip lined, shopped, danced, and so much more.
We created amazing, close friendships with students from all across the country. We grew close as we played with baby monkeys, cleaned poop, splashed in the ocean, and sang together. Sing alongs and splashing wars were natural occurrences that made a bond that is still strong half a year later.
The trip was amazing and I can't wait to experience another TFT adventure later this year.

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Fiona
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Travel For Teens: Costa Rica

Among all the amazing memories I made on this trip, one I will never forgot is white water rafting down the Pacuare River. I had the most amazing and unforgettable experience. Even though this excursion was only on the second day, I already felt like I knew the other teens on my trip so well. It was so easy to connect with the other kids and the trip leaders, which made this trip all the more fun. As we paddled down the river, all the kids laughed and screamed as we hit the big rocks and intense rapids. Despite knowing each other for less than 24 hours, we laughed at each other and helped each other when one of us fell out. Eventually, we stopped for lunch on the side of the river, and after, we walked over to a waterfall. It was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen; I will never forget the view. We had the chance to slide down the waterfall and jump off the side into the natural pool. The experience itself is indescrible. Overall, I had so much fun and will never forget this day.

What would you improve about this program?
The trip itself was amazing, so the only change I would suggest making is having more "back up" options, when the weather does not cooperate or the activity falls through. Occasionally, due to weather, we were unable to do the scheduled activity, so we quickly figured out a plan B. However, in the future, I would suggest having more structured activities in this type of case.
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Tyler
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Adventure with Travel for Teens in Costa Rica!

Wow, I don't even know where to begin when it comes to sharing all of the amazing things that occurred during my time with Travel for Teens in Costa Rica. In 2014, I went on the Costa Rica Adventure and Service trip and absolutely loved it! Going into the trip I didn't really know what to expect, but I had high expectations because the standard had been set so high on my previous trip with Travel for Teens, Discover Europe. This trip was exactly what it said it was, an adrenaline rush with a huge service component. We had the opportunity to zip-line on multiple occasions, repel down waterfalls, swim in the ocean, go white water rafting and much more. The service components were fantastic as well. During my trip, we helped a local scout troop clean up their local community and my favorite which was clean the outside of a local school building. We had the opportunity to interact with the children, play games like duck duck goose and practice a little bit of our Spanish. I could expand on so many aspects that made this trip fantastic, but there is one specific thing that I would like to highlight. This trip really immersed myself and the other travelers with the locals. Whether it was at the hostel we stayed at or the vendors that would take us on our activities I didn't feel like a tourist, but a traveler. One day we had a cooking lesson with a husband and wife that taught us how to make coffee and empanadas. This was hands down one of the best parts of the trip. The couple was very warm, welcoming, and loving towards us and not to mention helped us make some of the most amazing empanadas I've ever tasted. That opportunity also really gave me the chance to really bond with other teenagers on the trip. Yes, this trip was fantastic in every way and I can say so much about it, but the one thing I would like people to know is that ,with Travel for Teens whether on this trip or another one, you will feel and be embraced as a local. This is the best way to truly get the most out of your experience and Travel for Teens does it magnificently.

What would you improve about this program?
The one thing that could be improved was the photography during the trip. There were some moments that I wish could've been captured on camera to reflect on. Of course, some moments can't be captured, but I would love to have majority of them for the memories.