Costa Rica Discovery!

Adventure Travel - Quo Student Travel
Pura vida!

It’s more than the quintessential slogan for Costa Rica – it’s a way of embracing the day and living life to the fullest.

Here, among the lush rainforest canopies, pebbled beaches and gaze-worthy waterfalls, students and teachers will channel their inner adrenaline junky while connecting with a culture that’s warm and welcoming.

Join Quo for an incredible 8-day adventure, packed with cultural immersion, meaningful service, language exposure, connection to nature and educational experiences that will have an enduring impact.

For personal growth, educational benefits and advantages that last a lifetime, you can’t beat our Costa Rica adventure!

– Quo Founder, Peg Thomas

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Program Snap Shot

Smaller group. Bigger impact.

 Program length:  8 days
All Inclusive Price:  from $3,495
Program Departs:  
week of July 28, 2019

Minimum Group:  30 Paying Travelers

Program Priced from Chicago (ORD).

$350 Deposit required at Enrollment.

Program Highlights:
  • Arenal Volcano
  • White Water Rafting
  • Orphaned & Injured Animal Rescue
  • Visit a Local School
  • Hands-On Service Learning Project
  • Swim at Picturesque “La Fortuna” Waterfall
  • Authentic Local Markets
  • SkyTram Aerial Gondola in Rainforest
  • Canyoneering and Waterfall Rappels
  • Volcanic Hot Springs
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Hummingbird Colony
  • Zipline Canopy Adventure
  • Outrigger Canoeing at Jaco Beach
  • Snorkel Adventure in the Ocean


Costa Rica Student Travel

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Full Program Itinerary

Day One – Journey to Costa Rica
Today we will fly to San Jose, Costa Rica. Upon arrival we will be met by our guide who will accompany us to our hotel in San Jose where we will enjoy a welcome dinner before getting a good night’s rest.
Day Two – White Water Rafting
After a morning briefing with our guide, our Costa Rica adventure begins with adrenaline!

  • We will drive to Siquirres for an incredible white water rafting on the Pacuare River.
  • The drive is beautiful and our guide will make good use of the journey by helping us discover and learn a lot about Costa Rica along the way.
  • We’ll start with some fun and effective safety training so everyone has an amazing and memorable experience.
  • This is the best rafting river in the country – and one of the 10 best in the world! Perfect for an unforgettable start to your week of Pura Vida.
  • With our excellent river guides, you’ll also be learning what makes Costa Rica one of the most fascinating & exciting destinations in the world.
  • We’ll take a breather halfway through our rafting trip to eat lunch along the rushing river before going strong all afternoon.

Later, we will begin our journey north, into the landscape dominated by the majestic Volcano Arenal. The 3-hour drive is beautiful and our guide will make good use of the journey by helping us discover and learn a lot about Costa Rica along the way.

We will enjoy a peaceful dinner in the globally-adored village of La Fortuna de San Carlos, or just “La Fortuna.”

This has been a big day, and we’ll be pretty wrung out by the time we get to the hotel. We’ll get oriented to the grounds and have a safety briefing, then settle into our rooms so we can recharge for tomorrow’s big adventures!

It may be an early night for our tired group, but we’ll sleep in the shadow of Arenal Volcano.

Day Three – Animal Rescue, Arenal National Park, Hot Springs
This morning we will visit a rescue center for orphaned and injured animals.

  • This will be a prime opportunity to learn about the fauna of Costa Rica.
  • These animals are going through a lengthy rehab process, which allows us to get up close and learn things we would otherwise only read about in books.
  • Some of the orphans and injured will eventually be released into their natural habitat. Ultimately, however, many cannot, and they become habituated and friendly with humans.  
  • If we’re lucky, we’ll get up close and personal with some of the wildlife as we help with feeding and cleaning their habitats.

This afternoon, our guide will introduce us to Arenal Volcano National Park.

  • This distinctive cone-shaped volcano is one of the most famous sites in Costa Rica.
  • Every inch of the park has fascinating things to teach us about biology, geology, vulcanology, climate & history.
  • There is so much to see and do, this afternoon will fly by in a blink!
  • Prepare for an exhilarating and informative hike on the volcano!

We will also have an exciting, custom learning adventure that makes the most of the phenomenal resources in this beautiful park.

Later this afternoon, we’ll visit the famed Baldi Hot Springs. Are you ready to RELAX?

    • Baldi is the largest hot springs in the world, truly a world-class resort.
    • Amidst the tropical rainforest, 25 thermal pools are filled by crystalline waterfalls. The springs that feed these pools are the result of rainwater heated by magma in the Earth’s interior.
    • Each pool features a different temperature, so you can lounge, relax and play in the pools that feel right to you.
    • The purity of this geothermally-heated mineral water leaves you feeling you’re floating in an oasis, surrounded by sounds of singing birds and falling water.
    • You’ll be surrounded by impressive and well-manicured tropical gardens and wooden bridges over a hot-water river that crosses the entire property.
    • It’s not all relaxation, though! This is Costa Rica, so there will also be extreme water slides to get your adrenaline pumping!

    We’ll enjoy dinner (& tons of fun) tonight at the hot springs.

Day Four – Zipline, Waterfall Swim, Craft Market, School Visit
This is a big day of adventure and discovery!

We’ll venture into the rainforest for a unique canopy tour. Our adventure begins on the Sky Tram, an open air gondola which transports us to the highest point of the Arenal Reserve.

From the top of the gondola we will ZIPLINE through the Rain Forest.

  • This incredibly exciting adventure includes 8 cross-sectional cables that together have a total length of just under 2 miles!
  • The longest cable is 2,500 ft in length and over 650 ft from the rainforest floor.  
  • During this activity, our specialized naturalist guides will point out the unique fauna and flora of the area.
  • Deer, monkeys, snakes, sloths, frogs, peccaries, raccoons and a great variety of birds are just some of the animals that can be seen during the tour.

Next, we’re in trekking mode, as we are in pursuit of one of Costa Rica’s most sought-after remote locations: picturesque La Fortuna Waterfall, where we’ll be rewarded with a swim in the refreshing natural pool.

  • This is the most beautiful waterfall in Costa Rica, and people come from all over the world to swim in this refreshing natural pool.
  • You can swim right up to the cascading waterfall, and even stand in its crashing flow!
  • Epic Selfie Alert: This is an awesome photo op.

Then we’re headed back into the village of La Fortuna for lunch. We will have time to explore their incredible local market.

  • This is where the locals shop for craft items, food and essentials.
  • You’ll be amazed at the beautiful handmade goods and locally grown meat and produce.

What awaits you next? Let’s just say that memories of this afternoon will stick with you for a lifetime. A visit to La Fortuna’s local school will give you a chance to meet Costa Rican children:

  • get involved with their lessons,
  • teach some English and
  • play games and sports.
  • You’ll love learning about their lives and interests, and you just might make a friend for life.
Day Five – Waterfall Rappel & Canyoning
This morning we don our safety helmets and trek through the forest to some of the most exciting waterfalls in Costa Rica. This is a place few people endeavor to experience.

  • Even when the destination is totally amazing, they say some of the best rewards are found in the journey itself. That’s certainly true today. As we make our way through the lush rainforest, our clever, experienced and resourceful guides will help us discover many of the secrets that lie hidden deep within this phenomenal canyon.

And soon we will encounter our first waterfall! Time to harness up & rappel into the beautiful, pristine canyon below.

  • Do you jump off cliffs? You will today. After some careful safety training, we’ll harness up, don our helmets, and complete 5 thrilling rappels, 4 of which are alongside (or right in!) waterfalls, and one dry rock face. Exhilarating!

After a hearty lunch, we’ll motor around Lake Arenal en route to Monteverde. Here, we will spend two nights in a rustic lodge high in the Costa Rican Cloud Forest!

When we arrive this afternoon, we’ll enjoy lunch and get a briefing from our expert guide, who will help us get oriented to this new climate and environment. The cloud forest is distinctively different from the rainforest, in terms of temperature, elevation, humidity, topography, microclimates and the rivers that run through each.

We’ll begin to identify the differences first-hand as we enter the incredible world of hummingbirds at the Hummingbird Gallery!

  • You may be surprised to learn how many colorful varieties of this bird species can coexist in this relatively small area.
  • You’ll see every color, pattern, shape and size of these phenomenally fast-moving birds as they zoom though the jungle environment and drink from the specialized hummingbird feeders.
  • You’ll observe how they socialize, and if you gently lift your hand near a feeder, one or two of these tiny, delicate birds may alight on you fingers.

As you pause to take in the beauty and complexity of this incredible habitat and the reserve that surrounds you, you’ll might feel you’re appreciating nature’s spectacle in a whole new way.

Day Six – Monteverde Cloud Forest
Today is all about discovering the fascinating and exciting Cloud Forest biome.

  • This morning, we’ll hike right into the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, on a mission to discover and explore the almost-unimaginable range of ecosystems and unique biodiversity found here.
  • This cloud forest has even more biodiversity than the Amazon Rainforest, and we’ll be on learning-overdrive as our naturalist guide introduces us to the astonishing array of plant and animal species in this area.
  • You. Will. Marvel.
  • If we’re lucky, we might see the beautiful Quetzal, the Three-Wattled Bell Bird, or the Black-Faced Solitaire.
  • Equally impressive is the unique flora of orchids, bromeliads, and strangler figs, a sensory experience which only adds to this forest’s already mysterious beauty.
Day Seven – Jaco Beach, Outrigger Canoes, Snorkeling
Adventure activities always create an opportunity for personal growth, and Costa Rica is packed with adventure!

This morning, we’ll head to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Once we arrive at Jaco Beach, the fun begins! Welcome to your outrigger canoe expedition.

  • A bit like a team-building adventure, these outrigger canoes are a great way to get safely out on the ocean.
  • Designed for a small group of paddlers, these outriggers (think of them as Hawaiian-style canoes) are a great equalizer of abilities.
  • Your steers-person in the canoe controls your direction as the team provides the steam.
  • Every group gets to the most beautiful beaches around at the same time.
  • The canoes are more efficient than kayaks and paddling is a little easier.
  • You will glide past spectacular cliffs filled with frigate birds and pelicans, and your guide will point out interesting landmarks.

Also, if you want, you’ll have time to snorkel from the beach (as long as conditions permit). Yay, BEACH TIME!

You’ll have lots of options if anyone in the group is into monkey- and bird-watching, or just into beachcombing.

This afternoon, you’ll drive back to San Jose. The group will have time to freshen up and get ready for your farewell dinner!

Day Eight – Adios, amigos!
Today we’re homeward bound!

Breakfast at the hotel before heading to the airport for our flight back to the USA.