Study Abroad in San José, Costa Rica

Study Abroad in San José: Cultural Excursions

Included in your program fee is a range of activities which will take you outside San José and deepen your social, historical and cultural understanding of Costa Rica.

Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs Spa and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
(3 Days)

Included in program fee

Afternoon departure by bus to a small town called La Fortuna where the great Arenal Volcano is located. Once settled into the hotel visit the hot springs where you can bathe in the warm and naturally heated waters. Afterwards enjoy dinner with your friends and fellow students.

On day two, enjoy the vista of Arenal Volcano and the wide variety of birds and mammals that take refuge in Arenal Lake as well as a hike down to La Fortuna Waterfall. Then travel by boat across Arenal Lake to the small town of Monteverde, a major ecotourism destination in Costa Rica. There you will have the opportunity to go horseback riding, take a night tour through the forest and then enjoy a delicious dinner.

Finally head to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, ‘the jewel in the crown’ of cloud forest reserves. Enjoy the flora and fauna and have a go at zip-lining through the trees of the stunning cloud forest.

Includes accommodations, transportation, entrance fees, breakfast and dinner on the first night.

Manuel Antonio National Park (3 Days)

Included in program fee

Afternoon departure by bus to Manuel Antonio National Park, which has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Central Pacific coast. Once you have checked in to the hotel, head out with the group and enjoy live music and Latin dancing.

After breakfast at the hotel, go on a hike to the national park where you will be able to sink your feet into the white sandy beaches, enjoy swimming in the warm water and explore the flora and fauna of the park which includes monkeys, sloths, raccoons and many species of exotic plants and flowers.

On day three, enjoy the beach or the pool at the hotel before heading back to San José.

Includes accommodations, transportation, entrance fees, breakfast and dinner on the first night.

Coffee Tour, Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfall (Day trip)

Included in program fee

On the way to the volcano we will visit a coffee estate for a delicious breakfast and a coffee tour, in an actual coffee plantation where we will learn about the ancient techniques used by the experts to produce one of the best coffees in Costa Rica. On arrival at the volcano, walk to the top and, depending on the weather, see the crater. Later on, drive to La Paz waterfall where you’ll enjoy a buffet lunch. In the afternoon visit the butterfly and bird house, frog sanctuary, hummingbird gardens, wild feline exhibit and monkeys before walking through the waterfall trails down to the main waterfall lookout before returning to San José.

Includes transportation, entrance fees to the coffee tour, volcano and waterfalls and breakfast and buffet lunch.

Optional Excursion to Sarapiquí – Hiking and Rafting (2 days - $215)

Leave San José early on Saturday morning for Sarapiquí. Afternoon guided hike through the rainforest to a cacao growing area. The artisanal process by which cacao fruit is transformed into chocolate will be demonstrated followed by the opportunity to taste many different varieties in the traditional way. After dinner there will be a night hike with a local naturalist. At night a whole new world awakens and with the help of our expert guides you will explore the nocturnal wildlife including tree frogs, kinkajous and bats. On Sunday morning take a rafting trip down the Sarapiquí River before heading back to the lodge for lunch and an evening return to San José.

Fee includes accommodation, transportation, activities, dinner on the 1st night and breakfast and lunch on day 2. If a minimum enrollment of 10 students is not met the excursion may be cancelled.

Optional Excursion to Granada, Nicaragua (3 days - $575)

Not available on the Fall 12-Week Program

Depart San José for Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America. Continue on to Granada, a beautiful town south of the capital Managua which oozes colonial charm. The first day visit the city on the way to the dock to take a boat trip to the islets of Granada located in Lake Nicaragua. These islets are of volcanic origin, formed when the Mombacho volcano blew much of its cone into the lake thousands of years ago, thereby creating the archipelago. The fort of San Pablo is located on the islets and was built to protect the city of Granada from pirates in the 18th century.

The second day, visit Mombacho volcano and walk to the top. It is one of the most famous volcanoes in Nicaragua due to several factors: its location just 10 kilometers from the city of Granada, its access infrastructure and, above all things, the mystical cloud forest that occupies much of its sides and top. After visiting the volcano, continue on to the Apoyo Lagoon Natural Reserve (Laguna de Apoyo) to spend the rest of the day lounging in the water and sun. The lake is one of Nicaragua’s most beautiful natural wonders!

On the third day visit Los Pueblos Blancos (The White Towns) where the cooler temperatures of a hilly environment are a pleasant change from the heat of Granada. This group of villages is formed by an indigenous population known for its pottery industry. You will also visit Masaya city and artisan market, followed by a visit to Masaya Volcano or Cailagua Petroglyphs.

Fee includes transportation, accommodations, breakfasts, all visits and tours and the services of a local guide. A minimum enrollment of 10 students is required for the excursion to run.

Dates and itineraries of all excursions and day trips are tentative and subject to change.