Animal Rescue School Trip Overview
The rich diversity of the wildlife, the untouched beauty of the jungle, the warm and friendly people–What better way to introduce your students to Latin America than by bringing them to Costa Rica? During this immersive experience, students will complete up to 6 hours of community service at an animal refuge in La Fortuna. When we’re not volunteering, we’ll take advantage of Costa Rica’s natural wonders as we zipline through the rainforest, whitewater raft down one of the world’s best rafting rivers, and soak in hot springs heated by the geothermal activity of a volcano.
Our mission is to provide an authentic experience rooted in “teaching teens to be travelers, not tourists.” Language students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Spanish and practice what they have learned in the classroom. Our staff members will help students discover that foreign languages are an exciting tool they can use wherever their travels might take them.
Our goal is to help students to step outside their comfort zone, appreciate other cultures, and discover the joy of traveling. Thanks to our years of experience in leading young travelers around Costa Rica, Travel For Teens are experts in engaging and inspiring student travelers. Join us on this one-of-a-kind cultural experience and leave them with memories to last a lifetime!
Did You Know? Teachers travel for free! Enroll just six paying participants and your trip is covered. Learn more about the Benefits for Teachers.
During this trip, you and your students will…
- Earn up to 6 hours of community service credits volunteering at an animal refuge, working with local species like monkeys, toucans, turtles, sloths, and more!
- Rush through the jungle on an adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting adventure
- Spend the night in an eco-lodge deep in the jungle
- Hike through the rainforest at the base of the impressive Arenal Volcano
- Swim in natural pools formed by waterfalls
- Zoom through the lush forest canopy on a ziplining tour
- Relax with a soak in the hot springs, heated by the volcano’s geothermal energy
- Visit one of Costa Rica’s hidden gems, the turquoise-colored Río Celeste
Detailed Trip Itinerary
Learn more about what each day is like on tour! Click on the day to discover the different sites and activities you will experience
DAY 1: ¡Bienvenidos a Costa Rica!
The adventure begins as you fly from your preferred airport to San José. Your Travel For Teens guides will meet you at the San José Airport and accompany you for the duration of your journey. Upon arrival, board our private coach and head out to the town of Turrialba. Get settled into the hotel and enjoy your first dinner of authentic tico cuisine.
DAY 2: Rushing down the river
This morning we’ll start our incredible whitewater rafting journey down the Pacuare River! The Pacuare is one of the world’s top-rated rafting rivers, and is perfect for beginners and advanced rafters alike. Float through the dense rainforest and keep an eye out for local wildlife, like monkeys, toucans, and sloths. In the afternoon, hike to a natural pool and waterfall to refresh after a day of paddling. This evening, we’ll spend the night at an eco-lodge deep in the jungle.
DAY 3: Our first glimpse of Arenal
Today we’ll continue our rafting tour in the morning. Once we’ve finished, we’ll have lunch and board our private coach to La Fortuna. Towering over this quaint town is the impressive Arenal Volcano. Enjoy another delicious Costa Rican dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants and take a walk to explore the village.
DAY 4: Aiding the animals
Let the community service begin! We’ll be volunteering at a refuge for injured and sick wildlife, helping the animals on their way to recovery. We’ll have an introductory talk from the refuge coordinators before getting to work cleaning the animals’ cages, feeding them, and any other tasks that are needed. The refuge has all sorts of local wildlife present, like margays, toucans, sloths, monkeys, snakes, and more. In the afternoon, whoosh through the jungle canopies on a zipline tour. Costa Rica is the world’s premier ziplining destination, and with good reason!
DAY 5: A Waterfall Hike
In the morning, we’ll continue our important service work at the animal refuge. After lunch, hike deep into the jungle to the La Fortuna Waterfall. This 210-foot ribbon of water forms natural pools that are perfect for going for a refreshing swim. In the evening, relax in the natural hot springs for which La Fortuna is famous. The hot springs are heated by the geothermal activity of the volcano and are always a student favorite!
DAY 6: Turquoise Lagoons
Take a day trip outside of La Fortuna today to Tenorio Volcano National Park, where we’ll do a rainforest hike along the spectacular Río Celeste. This river is a bright turquoise color, and our hike will feature stops at bubbling hot springs, soaking in the lagoon, and amazing views of the volcano. Tonight, we’ll have an upscale final dinner to celebrate the end of an amazing trip.
DAY 7: ¡Hasta luego!
Your TFT guides will accompany you to the airport and assist you with check-in for your flight. Wave goodbye as you head through security and sit back and relax on your flight home.
Choose to extend your adventure up to 10 days!
For teachers seeking something a little bit longer we have plenty of options! Choose to add on an overnight white water rafting trip or more time at the animal rescue center for the ultimate Costa Rican adventure.
Contact us for details!
The TFT Difference
We Never Combine Groups
Your tour should be special and just for you and your students! We will never combine two or more groups on the same bus or tour. We will lead a trip with as few as six people and a teacher. Your Trip Director travels with you for the duration of your program.
Stress-Free Planning and 24/7 Support
We are there for you every step of the way, and our support begins the moment you decide to do a TFT trip! We will provide you with a team member who will help bring your tour to life, along with everything you need to help get students to sign up for the adventure! On the tour you will have 24/7 dedicated staff with you to ensure everything runs smoothly and because we know travel is full of surprises, solve anything that may pop up along the way.
Photos and Email Updates
Your trip is special and you and your students should have those memories captured forever! Expect frequent personal email updates and hundreds of photos from your TFT staff shared with you and your students’ families so everyone can follow along on the journey. We are the only teen travel program to offer this in-depth trip communication and it truly makes all the difference!
Central Accommodation and Local Meals
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do. We stay at locally owned accommodation in the city center so you don’t waste your valuable time commuting. We dine at charming authentic restaurants to get a real flavor (literally!) for the local culture. The best way to travel is like a local. So ditch the tour bus and have a real traveler’s experience with us!
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 are consistently winning awards for Top Youth Travel Organization.
"We can't tell you enough how much Lucy (and Katie) enjoyed the trip. Lucy came back with such an appreciation for Costa Rica and for you and the other TFT team members. She said you were one of the most amazing persons that she has ever met. We want to thank you whole-heartedly for giving the kids such a wonderful experience! Wishing you all the best!"
"I just wanted to write and let you know how grateful we are for the positive, incredible experience this trip as been for Noah. He said that he has more stories than he could ever tell. It’s been remarkable…And your emails with the updates and the foods eaten, etc, have allowed us to have a glimpse at what is happening every day. These things are life changing for teens and we’re beyond grateful to you and your team."
"Thank you a million times over for leading an incredible trip. Abby has the most amazing time. She said you guys were awesome. She made incredible friends and loved all the adventures. It was a perfect trip. It was hard to find a trip that was only for older teens 11-12th grade and we are so glad that we found you."