Thumbnail

Discover Corps

About

Discover Corps is a new way to travel. Our authentic, off the beaten track itineraries plug travelers into the daily lives of local people.

Our team of local Program Hosts gives you unparalleled access to the lives of people and the stories of places in our host countries. Since our average group size is 8-10 travelers, you can have experiences that big tours can’t. And because you’re traveling with us, we can ensure you’ll have a safe and seamless volunteer travel experience.

Whether it's learning to cook a regional delicacy, helping out at the village school, or sharing stories over cocktails with a local artist or activist, our trips across Asia, Africa and Latin America are vacations with purpose.

Visit our website to learn more about these unique 8, 10 & 14-day trips.

Reviews

Default avatar
Sean
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A different way to experience Costa Rica

I have been to Costa Rica before, I spent time in the more visited surf towns like Tamarindo & Montezuma, so when my wife suggested we look into the Sea Turtle Initiative I was intrigued. Right away, Discover Corps' friendly and knowledgeable team answered all our questions and provided us with a wealth of information to help us decide if this was the right fit. We've never been group travelers but we were ready to have someone else do all the trip planning for us. The week long trip offered up more than we were expecting. Behind every activity, our awesome guide Tara provided context and education and was extremely knowledgeable about the local communities we visited. The volunteer piece was pretty neat, the beach patrols were late at night and while we were told that turtle sightings aren't guaranteed we lucked out and saw 2 sea turtles nesting in the sand. We stood quietly and watched as she dropped all her eggs then used her rear flippers to push sand over the top and disguise the nest. We then took the eggs and relocated them to the hatchery where they are to hatch in protection. We also had the chance to release newly hatched sea turtles into the ocean a different night. I personally really enjoyed the visit to Bejuco Artisnal fishing village and the visit to "Jungle Mike's" where we learned of his enthusiasm for entomology. He toured us around his property and rattled off all the scientific names for every species of plants and insects we came across, very fascinating. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our trip with Discover Corps, all 3 accommodations were great and the food was delicious. We highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to see a different part of Costa Rica in a safe and comfortable way. We are already planning our next trip for 2020!

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing I can think of. I'd say the whole week was carefully planned out, it rained quite a bit but that's just part of the experience!
Default avatar
Cori
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible experience in Peru

My family (me, my husband, and 3 kids ages 17, 14, and 11) took a 2-week trip to Peru in August and used Discover Corps to organize several days of service while we were there. It was an incredible experience that we will never forget, and one of the highlights of our entire trip. Miguel, our host and guide, was so informative and kind and made us feel like family. We loved spending time with him and the children in the community -- doing arts and crafts, flying kites, eating meals, and teaching them English. We also got to visit an orphanage and a local NGO where women produce dolls that are sold around the world. It gave us an incredible perspective on the country and our lives as well. When my daughter sprained her ankle, Miguel took us to the clinic in the main city, and we got excellent and expeditious care. We couldn't have asked for a better experience. It was just what we wanted, and I highly recommend this trip and the organization.

Default avatar
ELAINE
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

All Around Wonderful

I had a wonderful experience with Discover Corps. I was especially impressed with the personal one-on-one guidance from the moment I inquired to the moment I boarded my plane. They really make an effort to make sure you are getting the trip you signed on for and are comfortable and ready. The trip itself was also great -- our guide was always 2 steps ahead in making the days go smoothly and as expected. He was very knowledgeable and personable. He took great care of us. And our driver was skilled and a lovely addition to the group. We explored and learned and enjoyed all that beautiful Costa Rica has to offer. The accommodations were fine, not fancy but certainly adequate. The last three days were in a fabulous resort that was definitely over the top luxurious. I had a wonderful time and learned so much. Perfect.

What would you improve about this program?
There were nice opportunities to volunteer and get a hands-on intro to the environmental concerns in Costa Rica. But bring a pair of work gloves. You will actually get down and get a little dirty.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Barbara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Trip

The Sea Turtle Initiative trip with Discover Corps was wonderful. EVERYTHING, from meals to transportation, was taken of as advertised. The guide/interpreter was personable and knowledgable about the culture and country. The diversity of backgrounds of the other volunteers and researchers with Turtle Trax made for interesting conversations. I was able to help with moving sea turtle nests, releasing hatchlings, and beach clean up. The night beach patrols were amazing--the stars above, sound of the surf, and walking in the sand were very calming.
I knew some about problems sea turtles face, but this trip changed my view of how to help & I highly recommend this experience.

Default avatar
Daniel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable

The experience of volunteering in the community while staying with a local knowledgeable guide who is well connected in the community is priceless and totally unforgettable. I highly recommend it to any family or group of friends that want to have an experience of a lifetime. You’ll meet new lifetime friends and make a difference in kids lives. Excursions to various points of interest were thoughtful and well managed. Bring your hiking boots have a fantastic time!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 14

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

This program seemed to fulfill my desire to learn about Costa Rica from a more "insider" view and it also satisfied my need to be an active rather than a passive traveler. The "small group" format was also appealing. CR has been at the top of my travel "bucket list" for a long time. It was also my first journey as a solo traveler and I liked how it sounded like I would get a very personal experience as part of a small group.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I was easy to just embrace the design of the program as organized by Discover Corps. All the pieces were in place and it was a pleasure to put myself in their capable and helpful hands. From the first time I inquired about the trip to the fabulous attention paid to my needs during the trip to the final drop off at the airport to return home, I was so grateful that ALL aspects of our travel were handled so professionally and effectively. It was a pleasure.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Take work gloves. The volunteerism segments involved some "get down and a little dirty" activities. We spent two days with hands-on involvement with re-forestation (planted some trees with the help of townspeople) and wildlife preservation at Kids Saving the Rain Forest compound side-by-side with other volunteers from all over the globe. What a treat to become a part of the solution, even for a short time.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

We were on the go all week, but the schedule was not a whirlwind tour. Each day we had a clear objective that included learning, seeing, great food and just enough down time so we could catch our breath. Our guide, a very well informed and proud Costa Rican, gave us a wonderful introduction and immersion in Costa Rican history, culture, politics, ecology, and wild life. And we had laughs along the way too. We also enjoyed witnessing his excellent network of friends and colleagues as he greeted so many along the way.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

We were a very small group (only three travelers) and I worried that with only two other people to interact with I would not find kindred spirits. I needn't have worried. This trip attracts people who want to learn, who appreciate other cultures, and who are not expecting luxurious arrangements (although our last three days at the beautiful resort were delightful). We were all of a mind and I enjoyed their company.

What is life like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a beautiful and unique country that is focused on a healthy environment and an engaged citizenry. The burgeoning tourist industry is embraced by everyone in every region and city. They are welcoming and lovely. Do some reading about the country's history and governing policies, as well as their approach to environmental activism. It's a work in progress, but they are certainly a model we can all admire.

Also, sharpen up your animal and bird spotting skills. Our guide could spot a sloth a mile away. I tried to get better at it with him as an inspiration.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.