9 days
San José, Tortuguero, Sarapiquí region, Arenal region, Guanacaste
Program designed to: Experience the incredible bio-diversity of Costa Rica's flora and fauna as you journey coast-to-coast from beaches and rainforests to cloud forests and hot springs. Spot species of toucans, howler monkeys, orchids and butterflies found nowhere else on earth. Connect with local “Ticos” in marketplaces and beachside cafes and embrace the Pura Vida—a uniquely Costa Rican approach to making the most of each day.

Highlight: Learn more about the distinct cultures of Costa Rica's eight indigenous communities—like the Maleku and Bribri—who inhabit a diversity of ecosystems.
  • Day 1: Fly to Costa Rica

    Meet your Tour Director at the airport

    Enjoy dinner in San José 

  • Day 2: San José • Tortuguero

    Snap a photo at Braulio Carrillo National Park, built to preserve the wildlife of the area, from jaguars and ocelots to quetzals and eagles

    Travel by boat to Tortuguero, accessible only by boat and home to just 700 residents

    Enjoy lunch at your hotel in Tortuguero 

    Spend a half day exploring Tortuguero Village on your own 

    Enjoy dinner in Tortuguero 

  • Day 3: Tortuguero

    Enjoy a boat ride through the Tortuguero canals and see how the rainfall, fresh water, and Caribbean sea supports the area's exceptional biodiversity

    Enjoy lunch at your hotel in Tortuguero 

    Visit Tortuguero National Park, and see if you can spot a howler monkey, toucan, or even caiman

    Enjoy dinner in Tortuguero 

  • Day 4: Tortuguero • Sarapiquí region

    Travel to Sarapiquí, a county in the Heredia province known for its lush rainforests and outdoor activities

    Enjoy lunch in Sarapiquí 

    Add this in-depth excursion:
    Sarapiquí canopy tour

    Sarapiquí canopy tour

    Soar like the birds and the monkeys that call the cloud forest home on this exciting half-day canopy tour! Zip lines unveil one of the planet’s most fascinating ecological systems from a unique perspective—from the tops of the trees. With local expert guides at your side to instruct you on safety protocol, you can decide which view you prefer—from below the trees or from 90 feet above! (Note: To ensure safety, there is a 220lb weight restriction imposed on canopy tours)

    Enjoy dinner in Sarapiquí 

  • Day 5: Sarapiquí region • Arenal region

    Add this in-depth excursion:
    Whitewater rafting

    Whitewater rafting

    Experience the thrill and excitement of a whitewater rafting expedition! Use teamwork to navigate a path through the free-flowing waters of the Sarapiquí River (rapids level 2-3). Admire the lush Costa Rican scenery as you pass by stretches of tropical forest.

    Travel to the Arenal region and keep an eye out for the mile-high Arenal Volcano

    Enjoy lunch on your way to Arenal

    Visit the Arenal hot springs and dip your toes into the naturally heated pools

    Enjoy dinner at your hotel in the Arenal region 

  • Day 6: Arenal region

    Enjoy a kayaking trip on Lake Arenal

    Visit La Fortuna Waterfall, a spectacular 200-foot cascade surrounded by green cliffs

    Enjoy lunch at your hotel in the Arenal region 

    Enjoy dinner at your hotel in the Arenal region 

  • Day 7: Arenal region • Guanacaste

    Travel to Guanacaste and take in the craggy bluffs cloaked in forests that stretch above you 

    Enjoy lunch on your way to Guanacaste 

    Take an excursion to Rincón de la Vieja National Park, a rain and cloud forest that boasts geothermal hot springs, including the Blue Lagoon; its color comes from the minerals in the stones beneath the lagoon

    Enjoy dinner in Guanacaste

  • Day 8: Guanacaste

    Enjoy snorkeling off the coast of Guanacaste in clear Pacific waters, home to interesting and unusual marine life

    Take a boat tour of Palo Verde National Park, one of the last tropical dry rainforests in Central America

    Enjoy lunch in Palo Verde National Park

    Enjoy dinner in Guanacaste

  • Day 9: Depart for home

Want to learn more about this program?
  • Day 1: Fly to Costa Rica

    Meet your Tour Director at the airport

    Enjoy dinner in San José 

  • Day 2: San José • Tortuguero

    Snap a photo at Braulio Carrillo National Park, built to preserve the wildlife of the area, from jaguars and ocelots to quetzals and eagles

    Travel by boat to Tortuguero, accessible only by boat and home to just 700 residents

    Enjoy lunch at your hotel in Tortuguero 

    Spend a half day exploring Tortuguero Village on your own 

    Enjoy dinner in Tortuguero 

  • Day 3: Tortuguero

    Enjoy a boat ride through the Tortuguero canals and see how the rainfall, fresh water, and Caribbean sea supports the area's exceptional biodiversity

    Enjoy lunch at your hotel in Tortuguero 

    Visit Tortuguero National Park, and see if you can spot a howler monkey, toucan, or even caiman

    Enjoy dinner in Tortuguero 

  • Day 4: Tortuguero • Sarapiquí region

    Travel to Sarapiquí, a county in the Heredia province known for its lush rainforests and outdoor activities

    Enjoy lunch in Sarapiquí 

    Add this in-depth excursion:
    Sarapiquí canopy tour

    Sarapiquí canopy tour

    Soar like the birds and the monkeys that call the cloud forest home on this exciting half-day canopy tour! Zip lines unveil one of the planet’s most fascinating ecological systems from a unique perspective—from the tops of the trees. With local expert guides at your side to instruct you on safety protocol, you can decide which view you prefer—from below the trees or from 90 feet above! (Note: To ensure safety, there is a 220lb weight restriction imposed on canopy tours)

    Enjoy dinner in Sarapiquí 

  • Day 5: Sarapiquí region • Arenal region

    Add this in-depth excursion:
    Whitewater rafting

    Whitewater rafting

    Experience the thrill and excitement of a whitewater rafting expedition! Use teamwork to navigate a path through the free-flowing waters of the Sarapiquí River (rapids level 2-3). Admire the lush Costa Rican scenery as you pass by stretches of tropical forest.

    Travel to the Arenal region and keep an eye out for the mile-high Arenal Volcano

    Enjoy lunch on your way to Arenal

    Visit the Arenal hot springs and dip your toes into the naturally heated pools

    Enjoy dinner at your hotel in the Arenal region 

  • Day 6: Arenal region

    Enjoy a kayaking trip on Lake Arenal

    Visit La Fortuna Waterfall, a spectacular 200-foot cascade surrounded by green cliffs

    Enjoy lunch at your hotel in the Arenal region 

    Enjoy dinner at your hotel in the Arenal region 

  • Day 7: Arenal region • Guanacaste

    Travel to Guanacaste and take in the craggy bluffs cloaked in forests that stretch above you 

    Enjoy lunch on your way to Guanacaste 

    Take an excursion to Rincón de la Vieja National Park, a rain and cloud forest that boasts geothermal hot springs, including the Blue Lagoon; its color comes from the minerals in the stones beneath the lagoon

    Enjoy dinner in Guanacaste

  • Day 8: Guanacaste

    Enjoy snorkeling off the coast of Guanacaste in clear Pacific waters, home to interesting and unusual marine life

    Take a boat tour of Palo Verde National Park, one of the last tropical dry rainforests in Central America

    Enjoy lunch in Palo Verde National Park

    Enjoy dinner in Guanacaste

  • Day 9: Depart for home

Want to learn more about this program?

Learning outcomes on this program

Confidence • Curiosity • Global perspective • Empathy • Adaptability • Relatability • Self-Awareness


EF Global Learning Model Post-Study Abroad Learning Resources
Academic resources

With this program, you get access to our Global Learning Resources, which include:

  • Discussion questions
  • Sample assignments
  • Journal prompts
  • Webinars
  • EF's Global Competency Assessment, a pre- and post-program assessment to measure competency development
See the resources you get
EF Global Learning Model Post-Study Abroad Learning Resources
Academic resources


With this program, you get access to our Global Learning Resources, which include:

  • Discussion questions
  • Sample assignments
  • Journal prompts
  • Webinars
  • EF's Global Competency Assessment, a pre- and post-program assessment to measure competency development

See the resources you get



Your experience includes

  • Round-trip airfare

    Your price includes round-trip airfare for your whole group

  • Accommodations

    Safe, comfortable hotels with private bathrooms will be waiting for you at your destination.

  • On-tour transportation

    Land & water transportation

  • Regional-style meals

    Daily breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included in your program.

  • End-to-end support

    Your team helps to secure administrative approval and academic credit, provides recruiting tools and helps establish your program's ongoing presence on campus.

  • EF Global Learning Toolkit

    To capitalize on moments for building empathy, awareness, and adaptability in a global environment, we offer a number of different tools designed to help educators facilitate student growth abroad and on campus, including academically enriched travel programs, industry engagement opportunities, global learning resources, and a Global Competencies Assessment tool.

  • Full-time Tour Director

    Your Tour Director is with your group 24/7, providing deep local insight while handling all program logistics.

  • Expert Local Guides

    Your expert Local Guides are natural historians, adding cultural insight and enhancing teaching moments wherever your curriculum takes you.

  • Guided sightseeing

    Gain insider knowledge and cultural perspective from licensed local guides who join your group for select experiences on tour.

  • Entrances

    Tortuguero canals, Hot springs, Kayaking, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna Waterfall, Rincón de la Vieja National Park, Palo Verde boat tour

  • Worldwide support, safety and security

    EF has over 500 schools and offices in more than 50 countries worldwide. We provide 24-hour emergency support service along with a comprehensive $50 million liability policy that covers you and your institution while abroad.

  • Flexible payment options

    Give more students the opportunity to study abroad by offering them two different payment plan options, along with our TripFunder website to help fundraise for the program.


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EF College Study Tours blog page     Blog →

Want to learn more about short-term study abroad with EF College Study?

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