Tropical Adventures

About

The Tropical Adventures Foundation is a nonprofit organization that offers volunteer trips to Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua for individuals, families, and groups who wish to explore new cultures. By supporting the empowerment of volunteers and communities alike, Tropic Adventures helps foster peace, justice and growth.

Founded
2005
Headquarters

2040 Bancroft Way, Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States

Reviews

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

Tropical Adventure stood out from other international volunteer experiences for its personable and detailed website and what made me actually pursue our experience with them was their responsiveness and excellent follow through. Scott arranged for me to speak with 3 other families who volunteered and he himself assisted me with all the preparation details. Then Susan helped refine our itinerary and gave some excellent suggestions for working in BriBri as well as suggested side-trips to take. We ended up going over to Panama and **everything** worked out like a charm.

Our experience in Bri Bri was well attended to by the staff as well as our guide Mario. My 15 y/o daughter was very enthusiastic about the experience as it unfolded. I wasn't sure because she had not encountered the kind of environmental and social extremes we were embarking upon. She was the one who coached ME through some of the challenges. It was hot and muggy and there were ants and spiders. We joked and helped each other through it and focused on why we were there.

Mario was *excellent*. He is very knowledgeable and helped us organize the kids for our projects. He took us on hikes and pointed out the plants, fruits, and of course the crocodiles who enjoyed our chicken bones. He attended our volunteer projects and helped us with language interpretation and offered his heart-felt presence to both us and the children and elderly we worked with.

Overall we felt very well taken care of and all my questions and concerns were addressed prior and I felt we were well prepared and supported for the experience! I have referred many people to TA and I wouldn't hesitate considering the experience again.

Shawn & Hannah
Tucson, AZ

Default avatar
whome?
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I did intense research for over a year on various countries & programs. I ultimately chose TA bc they were legitimate, they allowed my 10 y/o child to volunteer, they offered a program to directly work w/ & assist people (as opposed to eco-programs), the communities to choose from were safe, & CR has a sound infra-structure (roads, nearby hospitals, competent medical care -- all impt to me w/ my child). In prep for our visit, Susan was responsive to my many em's & Qs. I would strongly suggest asking all of your questions in advance as the "handbook" needed to be updated & online info was a bit remiss. Armed w/ the answers to my Qs, I felt we could not have been more prepared for our trip.
During our stay, our host family & the school were PHENOMENAL! No, we did not have hot water, a private bathroom, a/c, or even solid interior/exterior walls. Yes, we had to walk in the heat several blocks to the school & around town & got quite a few mosquito bites (no biggies). BUT, the hospitality of our host family & the overall generosity & spirit of Hojanchans made it all worth it & then some. Hojanchans by & large make it a point to visit with extended family & friends almost every day & didn't seem to fret over the small things. The kids at the Center were smart & precocious & enjoyed the projects we brought w/ us. Lucy, our TA assistant at the school, was incredibly helpful & extremely attentive to our needs. My daughter will always remember her time there & hopefully never forget to enjoy & focus on what's truly important in life. We got to experience the REAL PURA VIDA! Much gratitude to our host (Rosemary & her family), Hojancha, & TA!

Default avatar
ednjr
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I decided to go to Costa Rica at the last minute, and Scott and Susan from Tropical Adventures were very helpful in putting something together in a short amount of time. We had some trouble keeping in touch with each other, because of conflicting work schedules (Scott and Susan were in the jungle and I work late), but we kept at it, and planned a good trip. I felt really good about the work done at the animal rescue (the monkeys and one rambunctuous coati being my favorites), and about the folks I met there. I enjoyed the home-stay as well. Met some wonderful American college kids working for their winter mini-semester, and my Tico hosts were top-notch and a lot of fun. And I finally got to Monteverde, on this, my fourth visit to Costa Rica.

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

I took four teenagers to volunteer in Puerto Viejo on the Carribean coast of Costa Rica. We taught English in a local school until 2 pm, and then had afternoons free to go to the beach or explore. We stayed with a host family and it was a wonderful experience. The kids at the school were fun and enthusiastic. Isaac and Susan advised us on places to go and even helped us get there. We went on a fun side trip to a sloth rescue center, and another one kayaking down a rain forest river. I would definitely recommend Tropical Adventures for a great volunteer experience and vacation at the same time!

Default avatar
hat381
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

We were able to go out on the restricted beach area and monitor the turtles as they came up on the beach and dug their holes to lay their eggs. We were able to count the eggs and assist in tagging the Olive Ridleys. It was one of the coolest things I have ever witnessed. We also cleaned the beach ... played sand volleyball .... walked the tide pools ... and assisted the Leatherback Turtle project in building a hatchery. Truly a life-changing experience!!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Alumni Interviews

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

Tell us a little about yourself and your role at Tropical Adventures.

Óscar: My name is Óscar Carratalá Climent, and I'm from Alicante, Spain. I'm 27 years old. I've studied economics. I was a volunteer in an animal protection organization in Spain too. Now I work on volunteer projects for Tropical Adventures and in the office as well.

Why did you decide to volunteer/intern abroad with Tropical Adventures in Cosat Rica?

Óscar: Recently, I've finished my degree in Economics so after that, I was looking for on internet, and I found a Tropical Adventures internship, so it was a chance that I couldn't refuse - Costa Rica! No place could be better if you love the animals and the nature!

Nature of Costa Rica

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Óscar: As the intern marketing coordinator it is my responsibility to make sure our project information is current on our website and the locations where we advertise. I research new projects, post on Facebook and Twitter, keeping everyone up to date on exciting news.

As a volunteer, I have had the opportunity to visit many projects and work in many fields - sea turtles, children, retirement home, and wildlife rescue center. With sea turtles we were cleaning the beach, building a new hatchery to help the turtles nest (specially the leather backs), and at night we were patrolling and looking for the tracks of the turtles. When we saw one, we measured her, and wrote all the features (number of eggs too) for the future studies with turtles.

The next project "arribadas" with children and old people from the retirement home (Bambú): they were so happy to see us, and have someone to talk to. I was listening all their stories, so funny, one of them told me that I had to get married with a girl from Costa Rica and have children with her, who knows! Nevertheless, it was really a nice experience help them with their activities, help in the garden, paint the walls, etc.

What made this volunteer abroad experience unique and special?

Óscar: This amazing country, full of nature, always warm and the nice people who live hear. I feel like at home!!

How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, etc)

Óscar: This experience, one of my best ever, see to nature, real nature, and animals in freedom, exotic animals, stay in one beach where you feel the only one in the world, is something that you just can see on TV. And with Topical Adventures, team work and taking responsibilities, it is going to help me a lot for my career, really nice experience.

More Interviews