Summer High School Programs in Costa Rica with Rustic Pathways

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About

One of Rustic Pathways largest countries of operation, Costa Rica is the perfect location for first-time travelers, adventurers, and nature lovers. Programs are one to two weeks in length but are easily connected. Start with one week of Spanish language immersion, then volunteer in an indigenous village, and finally, reward your hard work with a week zip-lining, rappeling, rafting, and surfing. With over 16 unique programs, you're sure to find your perfect Costa Rican experience.

“Costa Rica offers so much to new and experienced travelers alike. I have had the opportunity to expose students from all over to the world to the laid-back culture, friendly people, and nature that Costa Rica has to offer. As a proud Costa Rican, I love encouraging students to learn about my country.”
--Ricardo Romero, Costa Rica Country Director

Questions & Answers

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.

Reviews

97%
based on 72 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 61 - 72 of 72
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Halle
10/10

Surf and Service

The Surf and Service experience is the best of both worlds. Spend your mornings surfing and afternoons providing service to the local community. If your looking for a way to gain service hours while still having lots of fun and adventure this program is for you.

Yes, I recommend
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Anna
10/10

The best week of my life

This trip was fantastic, it was a great way to practice some spanish, and experience a whole new world. I really enjoyed it, and everything was great. Accommodations, surfing, food, zip-lining, just amazing. Honestly, this was the best week of my life, I was able to spend it with some really amazing people, who I am still in contact with!

Yes, I recommend
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Lilpuglet
10/10

Life under a volcano

Was incredible. I learned so much about sustainable living while staying at the ecobase by Arenal. The food was incredible and I met lifelong friends on this trip. The hot springs in town were also amazing!

How can this program be improved?
I would have stayed longer in Costa Rica to travel around a bit more. The program remained on base most of the time which had a certain kind of beauty to it. We were able to get comfortable and get to know each other, but it left me craving more of Costa Rica.
Yes, I recommend
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Cass
8/10

Rustic Pathways Costa Rica

I traveled with Rustic Pathways starting when I was only 15 years old. It was nerve wracking and exciting to be off on my own in a new place experiencing such new things. I fell in love with Rustic on this trip and have been with them for four years, including a GAP year.
This was the perfect place for new travelers to start. The staff were incredibly friendly, Costa Rica is beautiful and rich with culture, and the activities were energizing and enriching. I bungie jumped, white water rafted, befriended locals and painted a local school.
Now that I look back, it feels like it was only yesterday that I was doing a scavenger hunt around the town while looking up at Arenal Volcano.
I highly suggest any and all Costa Rica programs to someone who is seaking adventure, culture, good friends, and a laid back country.

How can this program be improved?
My only critique would be other students on the trip. This was at no fault of Rustic Pathways and in fact, their staff and program allowed for the hiccups on the social end to not ruin the experience.
Yes, I recommend
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med110
10/10

Loved it.

Inexpensive, made tons of friends, the service part was rewarding, loved the leaders. Would absolutely recommend. I had a great time and will never forget it! Rustic Pathways totally knows what they're doing

Yes, I recommend
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Gary
10/10

Sign up If you want a Life Altering Experience.

Everyday I was able to wake up to an unreal seen. I love every minute from surfing in Uvita to when we would play soccer with the local school children. I was able to help give back by adding on the local school so they would have more classrooms. We even spent a beautiful day out in the jungle visiting and SWIMMING in unreal waterfalls. All of the staff member were amazing and became more than a friend by the end of the trip. By the end of the trip it wasn't uncommon for everyone to consider our group as a family who just got to have the best time of our lives.

Yes, I recommend
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Arturo
10/10

Life Changing

Unforgettable, is how I would best describe my summer in Costa Rica. There are truly no other words to explain what I experienced. From working to create a camp for local "Tico" kids, to zip lining through marvelous forests. I had not even the slightest clue that this all existed. Being so enclosed in my everyday rituals and successions, I realized I had never really taken the time to embrace my surroundings and the world I live in. Without Rustic Pathways, up to this date I would have remained enclosed in my little imaginary bubble, unaware of the marvels our world contains. Thank you Rustic Pathways, for opening the world to me, for popping the little bubble I once wondered upon and demonstrating what a truly wonderful world we all live in. And thank you Rustic Pathways, for changing my life.

Yes, I recommend
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Peacelover101
8/10

Summer Camp Leadership

This program was a wonderful experience. We planned a day camp for deserving Costa Rican Youth of La Fortuna. Everyone on the trip got really close and we felt like a family by the end. Many kids from the trip have stayed in touch. The Ticos are adorable and really appreciate the work you do. The whitewater rafting at the beginning of the trip very well might have been the highlight as it was so spectacular! The scenery was beautiful the whole trip and you do a fair amount of tourism as well as your volunteering. Although it is helpful to know at least some spanish other kids will most likely be able to translate for you. The trip mostly has kids 16 and older though 14+ are allowed to go. I wouldn't recommend going before high school as it might be hard to relate to the rest of the kids. The kids on my trip were not as into the community service as one might expect though they did love the Ticos. The kids just weren't as in to the work and planning. You sleep in a base bed and breakfast type place and the ticos are bussed to you every morning. Its really great to bring arts and craft because there are not many supplies available in town. Overall the trip was a really great experience!

Yes, I recommend
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rusticalum
10/10

Volcanoes and Service

The nights in Costa Rica were especially amazing to me, since you are engulfed in a rain forest with the sounds of a stream and the animals both near an far. The occasional lizard runs past and you seem him climb onto the ceiling of the dinning area. These are a few of the things that made the country so beautiful to me. Also, you make immediate bonds with those around you. I started thinking that I would spend just about 7 days in a foreign country with no one but myself. This changed the first night at dinner when we started bonding as a group. The people are all in the same boat as you and are just as vulnerable. My friends from the trip and I stay in touch even now through facebook and update each other almost daily on how we are doing. Even though I zip lined for the first time and saw a volcano, that should not be the reason to go to Costa Rica. The people that you do the community service for and the experience of being placed into a totally different culture should be your reasons for taking the trip. This trip changed my life, and I will continue to return to this country as much as possible throughout my life.

I hope you will get as much out of the trip as I did.

-Tyler

Yes, I recommend
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DangeHaynes
9/10

Volcanoes and Rainforest - Life changing

I did the Volcanoes and Rain Forest program in Costa Rica - it was incredible.

The bus ride to the base house is a little rough, but only takes about 3 hours. The base house is beautiful - fresh water pools, soccer fields, ponds, and tons of rain forest.

For the most part, this is a community service program. I worked mostly with a school down the street helping to build a new classroom. The kids were adorable and always wanted to play soccer.

On the weekend, we went Zip Lining, rafting, and even had a big dance party at the house. Going into town was awesome, I only wish we could have spent more time there. Oh...and hot springs!

The staff were great. They didn't get in our ways, but were always around.

It was hard to say goodbye

Yes, I recommend
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Katie
9/10

Rustic Pathways Turtle Conservation

This was my first experience with Rustic and while my parents were skeptical at first they couldn't refuse after they browsed the detailed an comprehensive website and talked to the staff, all of which are enthusiastic and helpful. All of the pre-trip details were taken care of and a a first time international traveler, it made me very reassured and comfortable. Their airport staff members were amazing and made everything go smoothly, it was also a great time to start making friends. Once in Costa Rica all of the participants from all the programs went to a hostel for the first night and then we departed for our different programs the next morning. A typical day on Turtles involved waking up for breakfast and then a few hours of morning service. Afterwards was time for relaxing, swimming or showering before lunch. Meals were a mix of American and Costa Rican and were delicious even though I am a very picky eater. After lunch was more service which involved building a hatchery or a beach clean up. For the rest of the day we hung out and played games. Turtle walks occurred at night anthers were usually two groups. Everyone got to see a turtle laying eggs. And we each were involved in transporting eggs tithe hatchery. On the weekend we went into town and to the beach for zip lining and surfing. Overall, the trip was amazing with the best staff ever. They also make return trips possible with the Star Alumni discount.

Yes, I recommend
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Natb417
10/10

First AMAZING experience of my life.

I did this program going into my senior year of high school and it sparked all my interests and passions that I have today. Not only was the staff incredible, the itinerary perfect, the group incredible, and the locals hospitable, but the memories and friendships I made are everlasting. Rustic Pathways is an amazing program that did an amazing job. I had so much fun and loved traveling around Costa Rica and learning about its culture. Traveling Soccer and Service was a great mix between soccer, service, leisure, adventures and homestays. This was the beginning to my long adventure of traveling and culture exploring. It was unforgettable.

Yes, I recommend

About Rustic Pathways

Travel and volunteer abroad with Rustic Pathways to one of many exotic locations.

We take students on unique, rewarding, and safe programs to some of the world's friendliest and fascinating countries. Immerse yourself in a new culture, work on...