With No Barriers Youth
No Barriers Youth offers a unique experience in Costa Rica, one that other trips will not offer. Produce handicrafts made from recycled banana paper with a rural women’s cooperative. Fly high above the rainforest on a canopy tour featuring walkways and exhilarating zip-lines or:
- Visit an organic farm and sit in on classes at the environmental EARTH University
- Volunteer with wildlife rehabilitation, recycling projects or tutoring local school children
- Research the impacts of deforestation while hiking in the ‘Children’s Eternal Rainforest’
- Witness lava while hiking at the base of an active volcano
- Take a relaxing dip in natural volcanic hot springs or a heart-pounding white-water rafting adventure through the jungle
- Watch the rainforest come alive after dark with a night-time search for howler monkeys and three-toed sloths
Costa Rica is an inviting first step into Central America for travelers of any age. An environmental science teacher’s paradise, the country’s rich biological diversity – with flora ranging from bromeliads to fungi and fauna ranging from howler monkeys to toucans – thrives within its vast forest preserves. But Costa Rica has a great deal more than simply biological diversity. From cosmopolitan San José to the rural tranquility of Monte Verde, Costa Rica encompasses an array of geographic and cultural diversity, all in a relatively small area. Groups can hike, snorkel, and photograph wildlife; you can visit the cloud forest one day, an active volcano the next, and finish a trip by relaxing on a hot sandy beach.
Morning: Depart for San Jose.
Afternoon: Meet your No Barriers Youth Expedition Leader and transferred up by private bus to Monteverde, passing through the hills of Costa Rica’s Central Valley.
Evening: Check into your lodge and enjoy a delicious home-cooked dinner. There will be an introduction to your program plus a short Spanish lesson. Then, rest up for a big day tomorrow!
Day 2: Trail Maintenance with Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve / Visit with peers at Colegio Santa Elena
Morning: After having breakfast transfer to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, a short bus ride away. The Santa Elena Reserve is administered by the only public high school in town, the ‘Colegio Tecnico Profesional Santa Elena’. You’ll help with a trail maintenance project alongside a few high school peers to help keep the Reserve fit for future visitors.
Afternoon: Head back down to the Colegio Santa Elena to have lunch with the high school students before they guide you on a tour of the campus and farm. Join them in some hands-on activities including helping to feed the pigs and milking the cows.
Evening: Dinner at the lodge followed by a salsa dance lesson!
Morning: Visit a very important project helping to protect a biological corridor between the coast and the highland cloud forest. The Pajaro Campana project runs through your lodge property at La Calandria. You will meet the director of this project to learn about how conservation issues relate to local community development, and then go out into to field to assist with on-going project activities.
Afternoon: After lunch, visit a working organic coffee farm in the San Luis Valley to learn about this important product as well as learn about sustainability efforts within coffee growing. Afterwards, visit the incredible and unique Monteverde Bat Jungle, to learn about these important and threatened mammals.
Evening: After dinner go for a night walk led by a professional guide to learn about nocturnal animals on the extensive Calandria trail network. Return to the lodge and spend time journaling about your experiences so far.
Morning: Breakfast at the lodge, then head back for another half day of working alongside your high school peers at the colegio farm to continue the service project activities you started earlier. Later, play a game of soccer with your new friends!
Afternoon: After lunch and a short closing/goodbye session with your peers at the colegio farm, enjoy the exhilaration of flying through the trees on the Original Canopy Zip Line as the grand finale and reward for all of your hard work. You’ll end in downtown Santa Elena where you will have some free time to shop for souvenirs or get a bite at a local coffee shop serving Monteverde shade grown coffee.
Evening: Have dinner at the lodge followed by closing activities run by your teachers, and a final salsa dancing lesson!
Morning and Afternoon: Good bye, cloud forest; hello, Arenal Volcano! After breakfast take private transport across Lago Arenal (with stunning views of the volcano). Lunch will be even more savory than usual because, you’ll be preparing it! Participate in a Costa Rican cooking class and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Time permitting (and depending on your energy level), hike to La Fortuna waterfall.
Evening: From cold mountain streams to volcanic hot springs, head out for an evening of fun and relaxation at Ecotermales Hot Springs. Sleep well that night after a full day!
Morning/Afternoon: Today is a rafting adventure! Paddle your way down the stunning Rio Balsa river. This full day tour is great for beginners as well as those who have rafted before. A traditional lunch is included along the way. Return to the hotel to rest and change before your final night’s celebration.
Evening: You’ll be treated to a final BBQ dinner including folkloric dancing by a resident performing arts group. Spend some time as a group reflecting and journaling about the experiences from the past week.
Morning: Leave for San Jose and depart. Arrive home inspired and forever changed by your educational adventure to Costa Rica.
Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.Rachel W., Student
There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.Saul S., Student
I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for another unbelievable and life changing trip. No Barriers Youth made it all possible and took the guesswork out of a potentially nerve wracking and complicated task.Amanda W., Trip Leader
“Every journey starts with a single step.”
Facts & Figures
Capital: San José
Avg Annual High Temp(F): Jan – 88° July – 89°
Special Note: Unofficial Motto: “Pura Vida”- conveys the state of happiness, peace, and tranquility.
Spanish - official
Below Poverty Line
Carbon Emissions (%)