Location
  • Costa Rica
Length
1 - 4 weeks
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment
Timeframe
Summer
Housing
Dormitory Hotel Lodge Tent
Language
English
Age Min.
12
Age Max
21

Pricing

Price Details
Costs vary depending on program. Between $ 1,195 and $1,895 per week, plus international airfare to San Jose, Costa Rica. Students traveling from the United States will travel on our escorted group flight from the United States, international participants can choose to take our group flight from the USA or arrange their own airfare.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare
Jan 11, 2024
Jul 08, 2024
83 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Since opening Costa Rica operations in 2003, Rustic has expanded to include the most spectacular regions of this Central American paradise. From the Pacific to the Caribbean, from rainforests to rivers, from service to adventure, our programs here encompass the breadth of what Costa Rica has to offer. Our team of talented local staff members challenge veteran travelers with new experiences and introduce more novice adventurers to the joys of travel.

With our large staff of local Ticos, you’ll quickly feel at home in Costa Rica and easily slip into the lifestyle of pura vida, a phrase meaning “pure life.” Embrace the idea of living life to the fullest as you learn to relax, appreciate nature, and experience everything Costa Rica has to offer.

Video and Photos

Popular Programs

Surf and Service

Learn to surf or take your skills to the next level during this one-week program. Live at our base house and soak in the laid-back culture of beach town life. When you’re not surfing, work on infrastructure projects supporting the communities around Playa Grande. You’ll also have the chance to go on a private catamaran and go whitewater rafting!

Turtle Conservation Project

This program is designed especially for students who are passionate about turtle conservation and want to embrace the authentic and rustic park ranger lifestyle! Live at an actual park ranger station, take cold showers, and work alongside the rangers to protect this incredible species. Take walks along the beach at high tide to track sea turtle behavior. When not working hard, zip line, surf, and enjoy the beautiful beach views and sunsets.

Sea Kayaking

Surf the hidden breaks and enjoy the secluded beaches of Dominical. Set off on a three-day sea kayaking expedition through the Golfo Dulce in the Osa Peninsula. At night, camp on the beach and enjoy dinner next to a bonfire as you exchange stories about the day’s adventures. Venture into Corcovado National Park, keeping an eye out for monkeys, sloths, and scarlet macaws. Participate in a variety of infrastructure service projects to support the communities you visit.

Program Reviews

4.90 Rating
based on 120 reviews
  • 5 rating 92.5%
  • 4 rating 6.67%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0.83%
  • Impact 4.85
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.8
  • Value 4.8
  • Safety 5
  • Growth 4.65
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.75
  • Housing 4.5
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 120 reviews
Default avatar
Christian
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Pura vida

I recently had the incredible opportunity to participate in this pura vita trip, and it was truly a life-changing experience. The organization was well-structured, ensuring that every aspect of the trip was meaningful. From the moment I arrived they tried to make you feel comfortable. Also the people I met I will never forget. I felt safe the whole time and the events were really fun. I went alone but i quickly made a ton of friends so by the end of it I did not feel alone like I came into the trip.

2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Anna
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My review

I had a lot of fun in the time that I was at the pura vida service and I loved helping out with the local community. It was fun to make friends both with the locals and with the other students who came on this trip. We went on a lot of adventures, such as zip lining and white water rafting. I made a lot of memories while I was here and I definitely will try to bring back what I learned to my hometown. I loved trying the local food, I also loved being able to make some of my food. I would definitely come back.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would want to do more service
Pros
  • Helping out with the commjnity
  • Good food
  • Made friends
Cons
  • Early mornings
  • Got lost
  • Not enough service
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Kayla
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Highly Recommend

All the students were very inclusive and made me experience a joy! I enjoyed learning about the Costa Rican culture, language, and food. The community service has not only impacted the community here but has changed my mindset on how I view the opportunities I have back at home. In addition, the activities were a blast. It was my first time white water rafting and I felt so safe. The views and environment here is so clean and beautiful. I love how the program leaders are easily approachable and enjoy playing games and making jokes with the students.

2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Alana
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

highly recommend!

i had a lot of fun and i felt very taken care of by my program leaders. they truly were the highlight of my trip! i got to try a lot of new foods and experience activities like ziplining and rafting that i never would have done otherwise. i also got to experience a new culture and felt immersed because of the people who helped our group. i would definitely suggest someone in high school to go with a friend and have a fun trip! even just a week is awesome and you will never forget it. as someone who travels a lot but never alone, i got to experience something new and i loved it

3 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Julia
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Pura Vida

it was extremely refreshing to be here and even though i came alone i met the most amazing people and i’m going to miss them all a lot. a bunch of me and the friends i made will be visiting each other after this trip and i had a great time with the activities, sight seeing, the service project, and my friends! even when it was hot and tough the time we spent together and what we were doing was 100% worth it. 10/10 recommend i hope you all go on one of these trips and have an amazing time like we did

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
don’t be scared! i’ve never done sleep away and even tho i came alone i left with a bunch of new friends
Pros
  • meeting new people
  • feeling accomplished
  • sight seeing
Cons
  • slightly strict rules depending on where u go
  • very hot depending on where u go
  • n/a
4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Genevive
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Pura Vida Service

I had a great experience on this program. Halfway through me and a lot of the others were sick, I think because of the food. I think that more options could have been given to us when this happened, we kept eating at the base house which ended up being fine but it would have been nice to have other options. I also felt like the packing list wasn’t totally helpful. I think it should have mentioned that we should bring pants we are able to do service in. Also it had us bring tank tops but we were not able to wear them for doing service. I think that it should have mentioned somewhere that there will be a lot of downtime so to bring chill clothes for that because I mostly just brought ones for service. Also maybe 2 towels instead of one and mention that they are for swimming and rafting, and that the base house will provide bath ones because that was confusing when packing. Finally the swimsuits, I didn’t realize how much we would be swimming so I only brought 1 but it was wet all the time. Lastly, last summer I went to Thailand and the rustic ties were actual friendship bracelets where as the ones here were just a piece of ribbon and some of them were too small. When we were sick, there wasn’t any medication like Pepto Bismol, the program leaders had to go buy some which we had to give them our money for. Overall I had a super fun experience on this trip, and I really enjoyed the memories I made + people I met.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I really enjoyed all the wildlife on this trip, we saw monkeys and sloths and lots of other insects which I thought was so so cool.
Pros
  • People
  • Rooms
  • River Rafting
Cons
  • Sick
  • Some food
  • Not a lot of time to go downtown and see the actual town of La Fortuna
4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Parker
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great leaders

The leaders really made the trip so fun and i hope i get to meet them all again. They made it so easy to do everything and even during hard times they made it a lot of fun. Also the lead it really well and guided us to be better people. They were also serious when then need to be which made me feel safe and like they know what they were doing. Also they made fun activities and switched up things when weather did not comply. Overall i would love to see the leaders again. And i think they did a great job.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
It is helpful to have basic knowledge of Spanish. It helps to understand and talk to the kids during service.
Pros
  • Leaders
  • Kids on the trip with us
  • Activities
Cons
  • The sleeping quarters
  • Too many people to a room
3 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Natalie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Turtle Conservation Project in Costa Rica

My Rustic Pathways trip showed me a new way to look at the world. As the trip progressed, each day I started to put more and more into the tasks at hand. I realized how satisfying my hard work can be. Through the trip, I learned that even a little work on a project is a start in making a large difference. Although my trip was only 10 days, my perspective of volunteering changed. I was pleasantly surprised by the other teens’ commitment to our work helping the environment. My Rustic Pathways experience changed the way I view my carbon footprint and it has pushed me to make myself a better person and citizen of the world.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
As you head into this trip keep an open mind. You are going to see another culture and many new parts of nature. If you are open to trying new things, you will come out with so much more from your experience. So use this chance to meet new people while learning about yourself and what you are capable of. If an opportunity on the trip is offered, say “yes”. You might be nervous, but quickly your perspective will change and you’ll have the best time. With a willing, excited and open mindset, you can come out of the trip with so much more than you started with.
126 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi there Cesca, I would recommend checking out our blog channel all about prepping for your program. It won't be specific to Summer Camp Leadership, but might help. (Link below.) I would also check out our student lead Facebook group – Rustic Pathways Travelers 2018. Hopefully that helps, but please feel free to reach out to us at hello@rusticpathways.com if you have any additional questions...

Basically, Rustic Pathways has a program called group travel, and you can choose which country you want to go. For the Costa Rica group travel programs, the prices range between $1945 and $2355.