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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.

Headquarters

10509 San Diego Mission Rd
San Diego, CA 92108
United States

Reviews

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

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
Kim
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Discover Corps did an amazing job. They took great care in choosing the most perfect accommodations for the trip to Kenya. Ol’ Pejeta was fabulous and plentiful with animals. The Sweetwater camp inside the conservancy is true glamping with 5 Star service and food. Sweetwater is located on a watering hole where you can sit and watch Elephants, Rhino, Zebra, Warthogs, birds and Giraffes come and drink. Inside the Masai Mara we stayed at Asilia again another 5 star establishment. The animal sightings in the Mara are just amazing, breakfast is provided out on the open plains of the Mara while watching zebra and wildebeest stroll by. Then happy hour with cocktails are provided on the open plains while watching the incredible African sunset (unlike anything you have ever seen). The service provided at both locations was top notch. Discover Corps chose amazing places and designed a fabulous itinerary for our days in Africa. I would recommend this trip to anyone.

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

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
Dan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This trip was truly spectacular in every way. We learned so many fun facts about wildlife, saw some amazing animal behaviors (like a male lion climbing a tree to avoid flies) and got a great first-hand look at anti-poaching and conservation efforts. Completely eye-opening stuff. The guides were incredibly knowledgable, they answered all my obscure animal and culture questions with ease. They were committed to creating an amazing experience for all of us. The accommodations were beyond what I could have imagined. The luxury tents were so comfortable, kept out all bugs, had full plumbing and one of them had high-speed internet. All the service and food were outstanding. I quickly learned that English is very prominent in Kenya, so it was so easy to communicate with all staff and most residents, but you'll definitely learn some Swahili too! If you love animals and have a safari on your bucket list then this trip is a MUST!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I'd save more room in my bags for gifts/souvenirs and pack a little lighter.
Default avatar
ELAINE
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 27

Alumni Interviews

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

Elaine R. Rose

She is a 69-year-old retiree (mostly) and also a widow these past 4 years. Elaine loves new adventures and getting more than a surface look at a country or community.

Elaine R. Rose

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.

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

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