Costa Rica Program for College Students Overview
Take a break from college studies and head to majestic Costa Rica and explore the country’s pristine beaches, lush jungles, and famous volcanoes with other young adults from around the globe.
Start the adventure with a thrilling two-day white water rafting trip and spend the night at a jungle lodge.
No trip to Costa Rica is complete without a taste of adventure! Kick off the journey with a two-day white water rafting trip with an overnight at a jungle lodge before heading to La Fortuna for volcano views, lush jungle, and a plethora of wildlife. Hike to the area’s famous waterfall for a refreshing swim and for those daring enough, fly across the treetops while ziplining. The area’s natural hot springs make for the perfect way to relax and end each adventure packed day!
Spend the last half of the trip at one of the country’s hidden gems, Playa Samara. This beach is off the typical tourist path and the perfect place to embrace the Pura Vida lifestyle! Take a surf lesson, snorkel, or simply relax in a hammock enjoying the sun.
Volunteer with the local youth in this beachside community on a variety of projects including beach cleanups or teaching English. Forming meaningful connections with the locals is one of the best ways to have an authentic travel experience and go beyond the standard tourist vacation!
- Centrally located accommodation
- All ground transportation
- All breakfasts
- Three dinners
- A guided hike to a famous waterfall in La Fortuna
- Plenty of beach time and opportunities to spot wildlife
- Up to 20 hours of service with children in a local community
- Two TFT guides
- Zip-lining over the jungle canopy in La Fortuna
- Surf lesson at Playa Samara
- Relaxing in the natural hot springs at the foot of Arenal Volcano
- Kayaking and snorkeling excursion to Chora Island
DAYS 1-3: TURRIALBA
Our trip begins in Turrialba, home to many of Costa Rica’s adrenaline-pumping activities and one of the country’s most famous volcanoes! Spend your first night at a mountain lodge overlooking the volcano. The next day we jump straight into a thrilling two-day whitewater rafting adventure on the Pacuare River! This rafting trip is suitable for all skill levels and completely safe. Spend the night in a lodge tucked in the rainforest on the banks of the river. Everyone always has a blast at our comfortable jungle accommodation! When we aren’t rafting, we’re taking fun hikes to waterfalls and natural pools. The second day of our rafting journey will not disappoint since the Pacuare River is rated one of the top rivers in the world for whitewater rafting! Throughout our rafting adventure, we will have great bonding opportunities with everyone in our group and together we will experience spectacular views of the rainforest and even spot exotic wildlife like monkeys, colorful birds, and sloths.
DAYS 4-5: LA FORTUNA
The next stop on the adventure is one of Costa Rica’s most well-loved destinations– La Fortuna. La Fortuna provides breathtaking views of Arenal Volcano– the 10th most active volcano in the world (don’t worry, it’s safe and very closely monitored!) and access to the national park.
This region provides ample opportunities for adventure. Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall, a 210-foot ribbon of water in the jungle. Admire the falls and jump in the nearby pools for a refreshing swim!
For those daring enough, zip line over the rainforest and enjoy the thrill of flying across the treetops. For those seeking a more relaxing experience, enjoy a soak in the natural hot springs formed by the nearby volcano.
DAYS 6-10: SÁMARA BEACH
Our last stop in our adventure is in Samara Beach, a small surf town with breathtaking mountain views. Samara is famous for its gentle waves (perfect for surfing) and wild horses that roam the beach.
Volunteer with the local beachside community on a variety of projects including beach cleanups and working directly with the local youth. TFT has a close relationship with this community and travelers will have the opportunity to closely connect and interact with the friendly locals. This provides an authentic travel experience that a regular tourist would not have access too.
Samara is the perfect place to enjoy the beach, soak up the sun, swim in vivid blue water, and, of course, surf! Choose to take a kayaking excursion out to Chora Island to snorkel amidst the bi-color parrotfish and other colorful sea life, or simply grab a hammock and relax in the sun while listening to the sound of the waves.
After eleven days of adventure in this beautiful country you will fully understand the true meaning of pura vida!
DAY 11: RETURN HOME
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do.
Eat, stay, and travel like a local. Check out what past travelers have to say about TFT and discover why we were awarded top youth travel organization year after year!
"For my graduation present last year, I was grateful enough to travel to Italy with TFT! I was a bit nervous about traveling across the world without knowing anyone beforehand, but the staff and my peers were all so friendly and welcoming! Everything about this trip was so FUN, exciting, and very well organized. From the airport designations to the travel itinerary, everything was smooth sailing. There was always something new for us to do/see which was my favorite part of the trip. Although relaxing, it was fulfilling to be kept busy with a new culture to explore. I highly recommend not only the Amalfi trip, but any trip with TFT! They are an extremely trust worthy company and my parents were confident that I was being left in good hands. This trip was hands down one of the best trips I have been on and am excited to be traveling with TFT again soon!"
"I went on the Costa Rica Adrenaline trip this past summer and it was amazing! I have never gone on a trip by myself before and I was very nervous. But after meeting with everyone at the airport, I knew that I made the right choice booking the trip! The staff were so helpful and very resourceful throughout the trip, and everyone in my group were super nice and welcoming! I really enjoyed the adventures we did, such as: tubing, ziplining, snorkeling, and canyoning! But one of the best memories I had was being able to surf for the very first time!! It was so surreal and an incredible feeling! I was said to say goodbye on our last night, but I still stay in contact with some of the friends I made to this day! I would totally recommend this trip to anyone who loves adventure!!"
"I had been wanting to go to Japan for years prior and getting the chance to go and be fully immersed was amazing! We got to walk through a national forest and see a beautiful waterfall that I wouldn't have even thought to do. We also went to the Studio Ghibli Museum and got to experience city life but also get out of the crowds and go to towns farther out. I got pushed so far out of my comfort zone that I wouldn't have allowed myself to do if I decided to go to Japan by myself on my own terms. I would go back on this trip in a heartbeat. It was so much fun and I got to meet such amazing people. Truly is something that you should do if given the chance."
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can go on this program?
This program is open to adults ages 18-22 from around the world! Typically, our participants are culturally curious individuals who are excited to make new friends, experience something unique, and interested in stepping out of their comfort zones.
Where do we stay?
Most of our programs involve hotels which are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners. All of the hotels we use are clean, safe, and comfortable.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a program.
Do most travelers go on their own?
Yes! In fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that form along the way. When we travel by ourselves, we are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new friends on another TFT program the next summer!
If you are thinking about joining a TFT program by yourself but you are feeling unsure, please let us know! We have plenty of references from solo travelers who had great experiences and would be happy to chat with you about it.
What is included?
Tuition cost includes ground transportation; accommodation; chaperones and guides; some program-related activities and admissions; taxes and tips; all breakfasts, three dinners, and lunches while rafting.
Not included in cost (this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; lunches, dinners, visas and visa application fees; personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions unless otherwise stated; beverages; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
What is the average group size?
The maximum group size is 30 participants. Most tours average between 10-30 participants. Please contact us for more information about this specific program.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
All US citizens that enter Costa Rica are automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa.
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!