W20 Costa Rica – Environmental Stewardship & Conservation

Experience the “greenest country in the world” as you engage in issues surrounding ecosystem restoration and environmental sustainability! The tropical restoration ecology and rewilding experience offers in-depth learning led by trained field staff and involves exciting tropical field immersion. Students will have an enlightened knowledge on the history, evolution, theory, science and necessity of restoring and rewilding lands by using case studies and active restoration effort examples in the Osa Peninsula as learning tools.


Day 1|Depart for Costa Rica!

February 23, 2020

Catch your flight booked out of Toronto Person International Airport and relax, soon we’ll be in beautiful San Jose, Costa Rica! After meeting our local guide, we take our private transportation from the airport to Tapirus Lodge.  Once settled in we spend the evening relaxing and forgetting what being cold felt like while enjoying a Costa Rican dinner.

Day 2| Biocoffee or Highland Fruits Tour

February 24, 2020

Choose between two amazing tours:

Biocoffee Adventure at Providencia:  Our tour begins with the visit of the Green Communities Experimental farm located in Providencia of Dota. Once there we will give you a little talk about the process and production of our supplies to our organic coffee and our volunteer programs. Afterwards we will head to the Coffee Mill to see the complete process surrounded by local employees and farmers. Next we are going to enjoy the typical and amazing lunch in Cascadas del Savegre Restaurant, afterwards visiting our organic model farm to compare our ecological production with conventional coffee production. To finish the tour you will have the opportunity to enjoy a coffee clinic (coffee tasting) to learn more about the preparation and quality and for sure drink a local cup of coffee. This tour includes El Pozerón and Velo de Novia waterfalls visit.

Highland Fruits: Why take a tour of fruit so common in places like USA and Europe? The answer is simple: the beautiful views of the valley of Copey serve as a backdrop to this tour where we will see how fruit and vegetables blend into nature and permit us to discover some of the unique sights in the country. Or maybe because we will see diversity in tropical and traditional crops such as apples, plums, peaches, passion fruit, tomatillo, blackberries and the incomparable Hass avocado. But the most important reason is because we will have the chance to see how a semi-organic farm operates, and how it produces fruit every 5 days by using diverse processes. It’s a tool that permits Mother Nature to create food not by seasons, but permanently. We will finish the tour with a typical lunch, using only local food, and also give you the opportunity to fish for trout in a restaurant-farm in the area.  Afternoon, hike around trails of the hotel to look for wildlife and specialy for the Quetzal.

Day 3| Nauyaca Waterfall

February 25, 2020

Early check out and transfer to the South Pacific (2 hour´s drive). On the way, you will stop by Nauyaca Waterfall. The tour consists of a car ride (pick up truck 4×4) of 12 km through paths and trails where tourists can enjoy the beauty of the landscape, as well as observe some of the wonders of the tropical rain forest. Half an hour later we arrive at the Nauyaca Waterfalls where you can swim and enjoy the spectacular landscape of 2 beautiful waterfalls for about 2 hours. After those 2 hours we return to our office again and we will have finished an unforgettable trip. Lunch included in a local restaurant. Then, drive for 3 hours to get to Osa Conservation.

Day 4| Arenal

February 26, 2020

Today we explore Arenal Volcano one of Costa Rica’s most recognizable landmarks! The Arenal Volcano looms large and ominous over the pastured green hillsides that surround its base. Although currently in a resting phase, Arenal remained the country’s most active volcano for the past 43 years. Its storied history is charged with eruptions — both major and minor — that have intimately affected the region and the people who live here.

Day 5| Piro

February 27, 2020

This morning we meet our local guides for a welcome presentation at the Osa Verde Biostation. After having our fill of a lunch, it’s time to explore the Costa Rican Rain forest! Our tour will take us through old growth and secondary forest which we will later be used as reference for our forest restoration project.

Day 6| Piro

February 28, 2020

Today we begin with a theory and field lesson in restoration and rewilding. The tropical restoration ecology and rewilding module offers an in-depth learning experience led by trained field staff and involves exciting tropical field immersion. This module will enlighten the participants knowledge on the history, evolution, theory, science and necessity of restoring and rewilding lands by using case studies and active restoration effort examples in the Osa Peninsula as learning tools.  The module will consist of a classroom lecture accompanied by practical field work at Osa Verde Biological Station. The module duration will be half a day, consisting of a 45min lecture, 2hrs of field activity and 30min de-brief. This afternoon we will begin monitoring tree growth in restoration experimental plots.

Day 7| Villa Vanilla Spice Plantation

February 29, 2020

At 9:00am Departure from Osa Conservation to Manuel Antonio. 1:00pm Visit to Villa Vainilla for a Sustainable spice tour. Vanilla is the most popular flavor in the world and is the plantation’s major crop. Native to Central America and Mexico, it is also the second most expensive flavoring agent and the reason for its high cost is the labor-intensive nature of vanilla cultivation and processing.  Each vanilla orchid is carefully fertilized by hand and during pollination season, visitors learn how to pollinate vanilla flowers.  Vanilla is the only edible member of the orchid family, the largest plant family on the planet. The Spice Plantation Tour is a half day tour.  You will experience the sights, tastes, and aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, pepper and other tropical spices, essential oil plants, and a wide variety of tropical ornamental plants. The tour begins in the post-harvest warehouse where we dry, process and package our spices. Then the fun begins with a gentle walk through our distinctive “Epiphyte Trail” winding through the plantation. You will then pass the fish pond on the way to the viewpoint, where in addition to enjoying the vistas (views), you will experience our new “Flavors of the World” tasting.  Our in-house pastry chef will prepare a variety of flavorful drinks and gourmet spice treats for you and your group to sample.  All items are made fresh on the farm from scratch and use as many ingredients from the plantation as possible.  Come taste the flavors of the rainforest and get inspired to try a little cooking and baking at home with some fresh organic spices! We also usually offer fresh homemade ice cream made with farm fresh milk and cream from our own dairy cow. If you’re a foodie – this tour is for you! The last stop is at our now famous “Spice Shoppe” where visitors and chefs alike stock up on vanilla beans and extract, ceylon cinnamon, savory chili-infused hot chocolate and other products grown on the farm to give as gifts or try in their own recipes! After the tour, transfer to the hotel and time to rest or enjoy of the beach.

Day 8| Depart Costa Rica

March 1, 2020

Sit back, relax and reflect on the amazing experience that was Costa Rica!




  • Roundtrip Airfare
  • 7 Nights Accommodation
  • Mascaradas y Cimmarrona Cultural Tour
  • Tabacon Resort & Spa Tour
  • Rain forest Tour
  • Rain forest restoration & rewilding
  • Tree growth monitoring


Second Payment
Third Payment
Final Payment





*Price may increase or decrease depending on exchange rates, final vendor quotes and number of participants.

1999+/- ($500 BWR grant applied)

TRIP DATE 02/23/2020



Costa Rica


Download Semester Exchange Handbook

Payment Options

Other Important Information

*Note: if we will be flying through the United States of America, you must have permission to enter and leave the United States. If you require a U.S travel visa it is your responsibility to obtain this document and email [email protected] a copy/photo.