Picture of stone formations in the Israel desert
SUMMER EXPERIENCES

Trek Costa Rica

Spend two weeks exploring and challenging yourself in Costa Rica. A stunningly beautiful country that is rich in bio-diversity and with endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Head for the cloud forests and tropical beaches of Costa Rica to explore a country rich in natural beauty and bio-diversity.

This experience combines outdoor exploration and cross-cultural adventure in the heart of Central America. Experience Shabbat with the local community, search for jungle wildlife on a nighttime safari, and explore your Jewish identity through the lens of life in Costa Rica.

Elements of the Program

Outdoors Experiences

Hike on an active volcano, zip-line over a rainforest, snorkel on a tropical beach, raft down a raging river, swim under a waterfall, relax in thermal hot springs, and go on a night safari. Costa Rica is a stunningly beautiful country that is lush with colorful plants, rare animals, and endless opportunities for outdoors exploration.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Although Costa Rica is a very small country, it contains more biodiversity than America or Europe! On Trek Costa Rica, you will spend the weekend on a “Costa Rican-style kibbutz,” explore an organic chocolate plantation, and eat deliciously fresh food at every stop along the way.

Traveling Jewishly

Trek Costa Rica is also an opportunity to explore your Jewish identity through the lens of life in Costa Rica. Delve into the meaning of being eco-kosher, fulfill the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repair of the world), and celebrate two very memorable Shabbatot – including one with the Jewish community of San Jose.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek Costa Rica is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself.The outdoor activities on Trek Costa Rica are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek Costa Rica is to provide teens with a more active way to experience the country through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Explore Monteverde’s cloud forests and swim under waterfalls
Hike to an active volcano and take a dip in a hot springs thermal pool
Search for jungle wildlife on a nighttime safari
Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River
Go ocean kayaking on the Pacific Ocean and relax on the beach
Stay at a ranch and learn ecologically friendly farming practices
Meet with local Costa Rican teens and take part in meaningful service projects
Celebrate Shabbat together with San Jose‘s Jewish community

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program

DAY #1 | Tuesday |  Arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica

  • Arrival to San Jose, Costa Rica.
  • Evening: Welcome to Costa Rica! Get to know each other with fun, interactive icebreakers
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Along the Pacific Coast

  • Kayak the Pacific coastline in Jacó
  • Drive to Playa Azul to help clean up the beach
  • Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River
  • Travel to the hotel in Jacó and check-in to accommodations
  • After dinner, visit Jacó’s Market to work as a team and pack lunches for Thursday’s picnic
  • Overnight: TBA – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #3 | Thursday | Manuel Antonio

  • Explore the expansive beaches and evergreen forest of the Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch in the beautiful nature of the park
  • Relax after a long day with a delicious BBQ dinner back at the hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #4 | Friday | The Canopy

  •  Ziplining through the canopy of Los Sueños
  • Lunch, folkloric show and volunteer activity with the residents of the senior citizens home in
    Quebrada Ganado
  • Depart to San Jose
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services at Shaare Zion Congregation
  • Shabbat dinner at Aish Hatorah
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in San Jose

  • Shabbat programming and lunch with the Jewish community of San Jose
  • Enjoy an afternoon of sports at the Costa Rica Tennis Club
  • Celebrate Havdalah – the start of a new week
  • Spend the evening jumping on trampolines at Sky Jump
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #6 | Sunday | Rafting on the Pacuare River

  • Wake up early and travel through Turrialba en route to the Pacuare River
  • Begin a full-day of white water rafting on the rushing rapids of the Pacuare River
  • Pizur dinner and shopping time at the mall
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #7 | Monday | Punta Arenas

  • Spend time volunteering with “Boy with A Ball”, an organization that works to better cities by
    reaching young people and equipping them to be leaders
  • Travel to Punta Arenas
  • Visit the Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary, home to Macaws being rehabilitated
  • Travel to Monteverde and check-in to accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Selvatura Park

  • Explore the hanging bridges, amphibians and reptiles exhibit at Selvatura Park
  • Walk through the picturesque village of Santa Elena
  • Ecological night tour of the cloud forest. Walk through the forest looking for nocturnal wildlife
  • Overnight: TBA – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #9 | Wednesday | La Fortuna

  • Check-out of hotel and head to La Fortuna
  • Drive around the largest lake of Costa Rica – Lake Arenal
  • Pilgrimage walk with local students on Don Juan Farm
  • Descend to the base of La Fortuna waterfalls and cool-off in the river
  • Check-in to accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – La Fortuna, Costa Rica

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Chiles

  • Keep an eye out for wildlife while on a boat ride in Rio Frio
  • After lunch, return to La Fortuna
  • Rest and rejuvenate in the Baldi Hot Springs
  • Overnight: TBA – La Fortuna, Costa Rica

DAY #11 | Friday | Arenal National Park

  • Explore Arenal National Park – Hike to the base of an active volcano for a stunning view!
  • Depart to Rancho Margot, orientation to the eco-lodge Ranch and everything it has to offer
  • Afternoon activity – your choice of horseback riding or ranch tour!
  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at Rancho Margot
  • Overnight: TBA – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rancho Margot

  • Morning yoga class at the ranch
  • Horseback riding or ranch tour (whichever you did not do the previous day)
  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Tour Rancho Margot and its beautiful nature trails
  • Choice of afternoon activities including yoga, soccer and relaxing at the pool
  • Welcome in the new week with Havdalah
  • Enjoy a dance performance by a local dance group
  • Overnight: TBA – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #13 | Sunday | San Jose – the Capital of Costa Rica

  • Check-out of hotel and head to the Oxcart Factory for shopping
  • Hike to the waterfall of Los Chorros
  • Lunch and free time in Alajuela
  • Travel to San Jose and check-in to accommodations
  • Closing ceremony and a soccer game with the kids from “Boy with the Ball”
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #14 | Monday | Heading Home!

  • Depart from San Jose Airport

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered. This flight often departs from the New York area, Atlanta, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary, or book separate flight itineraries entirely. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations – including 3-star hotels and more rustic eco-lodges in the rainforest. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space. Our accommodations are typically outside of cities and provide space for teens to relax and explore in a safe environment.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Costa Rica is a tropical country but the weather varies greatly from region to region. In the highland areas you can expect cooler weather in the 60s to 70s. Along the lowland coast, the weather is typically in the 80s or even 90s during the day. June and July fall within Costa Rica’s rainy season. This means that rain is common, often occurring in the late afternoon or evening.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Costa Rica is 25 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline. Historically, 50% of the Trek Costa Rica group is current 8th graders and 50% is current 9th and 10th graders

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In Costa Rica, expect to eat seasoned rice, beans, tropical fruit and veggies, plantains, and much more. Vegetarians will have no problems eating well on this trip.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica.

Will I need any vaccines?
BBYO Passport requires its participants to be up-to-date with most vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can check our immunization policy. There are no additional immunizations required aside from regularly mandated routine immunizations. However, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving.We recommend that you consult with your teen’s physician as well as the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

We know you'll love a BBYO Passport experience. But don't just take our word. Check out these real reviews from our past travelers and families.

 

Head for the cloud forests and tropical beaches of Costa Rica to explore a country rich in natural beauty and bio-diversity.

This experience combines outdoor exploration and cross-cultural adventure in the heart of Central America. Experience Shabbat with the local community, search for jungle wildlife on a nighttime safari, and explore your Jewish identity through the lens of life in Costa Rica.

Elements of the Program

Outdoors Experiences

Hike on an active volcano, zip-line over a rainforest, snorkel on a tropical beach, raft down a raging river, swim under a waterfall, relax in thermal hot springs, and go on a night safari. Costa Rica is a stunningly beautiful country that is lush with colorful plants, rare animals, and endless opportunities for outdoors exploration.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Although Costa Rica is a very small country, it contains more biodiversity than America or Europe! On Trek Costa Rica, you will spend the weekend on a “Costa Rican-style kibbutz,” explore an organic chocolate plantation, and eat deliciously fresh food at every stop along the way.

Traveling Jewishly

Trek Costa Rica is also an opportunity to explore your Jewish identity through the lens of life in Costa Rica. Delve into the meaning of being eco-kosher, fulfill the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repair of the world), and celebrate two very memorable Shabbatot – including one with the Jewish community of San Jose.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek Costa Rica is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself.The outdoor activities on Trek Costa Rica are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek Costa Rica is to provide teens with a more active way to experience the country through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Explore Monteverde’s cloud forests and swim under waterfalls
Hike to an active volcano and take a dip in a hot springs thermal pool
Search for jungle wildlife on a nighttime safari
Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River
Go ocean kayaking on the Pacific Ocean and relax on the beach
Stay at a ranch and learn ecologically friendly farming practices
Meet with local Costa Rican teens and take part in meaningful service projects
Celebrate Shabbat together with San Jose‘s Jewish community

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program

DAY #1 | Tuesday |  Arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica

  • Arrival to San Jose, Costa Rica.
  • Evening: Welcome to Costa Rica! Get to know each other with fun, interactive icebreakers
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Along the Pacific Coast

  • Kayak the Pacific coastline in Jacó
  • Drive to Playa Azul to help clean up the beach
  • Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River
  • Travel to the hotel in Jacó and check-in to accommodations
  • After dinner, visit Jacó’s Market to work as a team and pack lunches for Thursday’s picnic
  • Overnight: TBA – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #3 | Thursday | Manuel Antonio

  • Explore the expansive beaches and evergreen forest of the Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch in the beautiful nature of the park
  • Relax after a long day with a delicious BBQ dinner back at the hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #4 | Friday | The Canopy

  •  Ziplining through the canopy of Los Sueños
  • Lunch, folkloric show and volunteer activity with the residents of the senior citizens home in
    Quebrada Ganado
  • Depart to San Jose
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services at Shaare Zion Congregation
  • Shabbat dinner at Aish Hatorah
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in San Jose

  • Shabbat programming and lunch with the Jewish community of San Jose
  • Enjoy an afternoon of sports at the Costa Rica Tennis Club
  • Celebrate Havdalah – the start of a new week
  • Spend the evening jumping on trampolines at Sky Jump
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #6 | Sunday | Rafting on the Pacuare River

  • Wake up early and travel through Turrialba en route to the Pacuare River
  • Begin a full-day of white water rafting on the rushing rapids of the Pacuare River
  • Pizur dinner and shopping time at the mall
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #7 | Monday | Punta Arenas

  • Spend time volunteering with “Boy with A Ball”, an organization that works to better cities by
    reaching young people and equipping them to be leaders
  • Travel to Punta Arenas
  • Visit the Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary, home to Macaws being rehabilitated
  • Travel to Monteverde and check-in to accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Selvatura Park

  • Explore the hanging bridges, amphibians and reptiles exhibit at Selvatura Park
  • Walk through the picturesque village of Santa Elena
  • Ecological night tour of the cloud forest. Walk through the forest looking for nocturnal wildlife
  • Overnight: TBA – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #9 | Wednesday | La Fortuna

  • Check-out of hotel and head to La Fortuna
  • Drive around the largest lake of Costa Rica – Lake Arenal
  • Pilgrimage walk with local students on Don Juan Farm
  • Descend to the base of La Fortuna waterfalls and cool-off in the river
  • Check-in to accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – La Fortuna, Costa Rica

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Chiles

  • Keep an eye out for wildlife while on a boat ride in Rio Frio
  • After lunch, return to La Fortuna
  • Rest and rejuvenate in the Baldi Hot Springs
  • Overnight: TBA – La Fortuna, Costa Rica

DAY #11 | Friday | Arenal National Park

  • Explore Arenal National Park – Hike to the base of an active volcano for a stunning view!
  • Depart to Rancho Margot, orientation to the eco-lodge Ranch and everything it has to offer
  • Afternoon activity – your choice of horseback riding or ranch tour!
  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at Rancho Margot
  • Overnight: TBA – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rancho Margot

  • Morning yoga class at the ranch
  • Horseback riding or ranch tour (whichever you did not do the previous day)
  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Tour Rancho Margot and its beautiful nature trails
  • Choice of afternoon activities including yoga, soccer and relaxing at the pool
  • Welcome in the new week with Havdalah
  • Enjoy a dance performance by a local dance group
  • Overnight: TBA – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #13 | Sunday | San Jose – the Capital of Costa Rica

  • Check-out of hotel and head to the Oxcart Factory for shopping
  • Hike to the waterfall of Los Chorros
  • Lunch and free time in Alajuela
  • Travel to San Jose and check-in to accommodations
  • Closing ceremony and a soccer game with the kids from “Boy with the Ball”
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #14 | Monday | Heading Home!

  • Depart from San Jose Airport

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered. This flight often departs from the New York area, Atlanta, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary, or book separate flight itineraries entirely. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations – including 3-star hotels and more rustic eco-lodges in the rainforest. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space. Our accommodations are typically outside of cities and provide space for teens to relax and explore in a safe environment.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Costa Rica is a tropical country but the weather varies greatly from region to region. In the highland areas you can expect cooler weather in the 60s to 70s. Along the lowland coast, the weather is typically in the 80s or even 90s during the day. June and July fall within Costa Rica’s rainy season. This means that rain is common, often occurring in the late afternoon or evening.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Costa Rica is 25 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline. Historically, 50% of the Trek Costa Rica group is current 8th graders and 50% is current 9th and 10th graders

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In Costa Rica, expect to eat seasoned rice, beans, tropical fruit and veggies, plantains, and much more. Vegetarians will have no problems eating well on this trip.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica.

Will I need any vaccines?
BBYO Passport requires its participants to be up-to-date with most vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can check our immunization policy. There are no additional immunizations required aside from regularly mandated routine immunizations. However, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving.We recommend that you consult with your teen’s physician as well as the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

Trek Costa Rica

Spend two weeks exploring and challenging yourself in Costa Rica. A stunningly beautiful country that is rich in bio-diversity and with endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Trek Costa Rica

Spend two weeks exploring and challenging yourself in Costa Rica. A stunningly beautiful country that is rich in bio-diversity and with endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Head for the cloud forests and tropical beaches of Costa Rica to explore a country rich in natural beauty and bio-diversity.

This experience combines outdoor exploration and cross-cultural adventure in the heart of Central America. Experience Shabbat with the local community, search for jungle wildlife on a nighttime safari, and explore your Jewish identity through the lens of life in Costa Rica.

Elements of the Program

Outdoors Experiences

Hike on an active volcano, zip-line over a rainforest, snorkel on a tropical beach, raft down a raging river, swim under a waterfall, relax in thermal hot springs, and go on a night safari. Costa Rica is a stunningly beautiful country that is lush with colorful plants, rare animals, and endless opportunities for outdoors exploration.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Although Costa Rica is a very small country, it contains more biodiversity than America or Europe! On Trek Costa Rica, you will spend the weekend on a “Costa Rican-style kibbutz,” explore an organic chocolate plantation, and eat deliciously fresh food at every stop along the way.

Traveling Jewishly

Trek Costa Rica is also an opportunity to explore your Jewish identity through the lens of life in Costa Rica. Delve into the meaning of being eco-kosher, fulfill the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repair of the world), and celebrate two very memorable Shabbatot – including one with the Jewish community of San Jose.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek Costa Rica is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself.The outdoor activities on Trek Costa Rica are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek Costa Rica is to provide teens with a more active way to experience the country through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Explore Monteverde’s cloud forests and swim under waterfalls
Hike to an active volcano and take a dip in a hot springs thermal pool
Search for jungle wildlife on a nighttime safari
Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River
Go ocean kayaking on the Pacific Ocean and relax on the beach
Stay at a ranch and learn ecologically friendly farming practices
Meet with local Costa Rican teens and take part in meaningful service projects
Celebrate Shabbat together with San Jose‘s Jewish community

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program

DAY #1 | Tuesday |  Arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica

  • Arrival to San Jose, Costa Rica.
  • Evening: Welcome to Costa Rica! Get to know each other with fun, interactive icebreakers
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Along the Pacific Coast

  • Kayak the Pacific coastline in Jacó
  • Drive to Playa Azul to help clean up the beach
  • Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River
  • Travel to the hotel in Jacó and check-in to accommodations
  • After dinner, visit Jacó’s Market to work as a team and pack lunches for Thursday’s picnic
  • Overnight: TBA – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #3 | Thursday | Manuel Antonio

  • Explore the expansive beaches and evergreen forest of the Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch in the beautiful nature of the park
  • Relax after a long day with a delicious BBQ dinner back at the hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #4 | Friday | The Canopy

  •  Ziplining through the canopy of Los Sueños
  • Lunch, folkloric show and volunteer activity with the residents of the senior citizens home in
    Quebrada Ganado
  • Depart to San Jose
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services at Shaare Zion Congregation
  • Shabbat dinner at Aish Hatorah
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in San Jose

  • Shabbat programming and lunch with the Jewish community of San Jose
  • Enjoy an afternoon of sports at the Costa Rica Tennis Club
  • Celebrate Havdalah – the start of a new week
  • Spend the evening jumping on trampolines at Sky Jump
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #6 | Sunday | Rafting on the Pacuare River

  • Wake up early and travel through Turrialba en route to the Pacuare River
  • Begin a full-day of white water rafting on the rushing rapids of the Pacuare River
  • Pizur dinner and shopping time at the mall
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #7 | Monday | Punta Arenas

  • Spend time volunteering with “Boy with A Ball”, an organization that works to better cities by
    reaching young people and equipping them to be leaders
  • Travel to Punta Arenas
  • Visit the Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary, home to Macaws being rehabilitated
  • Travel to Monteverde and check-in to accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Selvatura Park

  • Explore the hanging bridges, amphibians and reptiles exhibit at Selvatura Park
  • Walk through the picturesque village of Santa Elena
  • Ecological night tour of the cloud forest. Walk through the forest looking for nocturnal wildlife
  • Overnight: TBA – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #9 | Wednesday | La Fortuna

  • Check-out of hotel and head to La Fortuna
  • Drive around the largest lake of Costa Rica – Lake Arenal
  • Pilgrimage walk with local students on Don Juan Farm
  • Descend to the base of La Fortuna waterfalls and cool-off in the river
  • Check-in to accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – La Fortuna, Costa Rica

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Chiles

  • Keep an eye out for wildlife while on a boat ride in Rio Frio
  • After lunch, return to La Fortuna
  • Rest and rejuvenate in the Baldi Hot Springs
  • Overnight: TBA – La Fortuna, Costa Rica

DAY #11 | Friday | Arenal National Park

  • Explore Arenal National Park – Hike to the base of an active volcano for a stunning view!
  • Depart to Rancho Margot, orientation to the eco-lodge Ranch and everything it has to offer
  • Afternoon activity – your choice of horseback riding or ranch tour!
  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at Rancho Margot
  • Overnight: TBA – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rancho Margot

  • Morning yoga class at the ranch
  • Horseback riding or ranch tour (whichever you did not do the previous day)
  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Tour Rancho Margot and its beautiful nature trails
  • Choice of afternoon activities including yoga, soccer and relaxing at the pool
  • Welcome in the new week with Havdalah
  • Enjoy a dance performance by a local dance group
  • Overnight: TBA – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #13 | Sunday | San Jose – the Capital of Costa Rica

  • Check-out of hotel and head to the Oxcart Factory for shopping
  • Hike to the waterfall of Los Chorros
  • Lunch and free time in Alajuela
  • Travel to San Jose and check-in to accommodations
  • Closing ceremony and a soccer game with the kids from “Boy with the Ball”
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #14 | Monday | Heading Home!

  • Depart from San Jose Airport

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered. This flight often departs from the New York area, Atlanta, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary, or book separate flight itineraries entirely. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations – including 3-star hotels and more rustic eco-lodges in the rainforest. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space. Our accommodations are typically outside of cities and provide space for teens to relax and explore in a safe environment.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Costa Rica is a tropical country but the weather varies greatly from region to region. In the highland areas you can expect cooler weather in the 60s to 70s. Along the lowland coast, the weather is typically in the 80s or even 90s during the day. June and July fall within Costa Rica’s rainy season. This means that rain is common, often occurring in the late afternoon or evening.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Costa Rica is 25 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline. Historically, 50% of the Trek Costa Rica group is current 8th graders and 50% is current 9th and 10th graders

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In Costa Rica, expect to eat seasoned rice, beans, tropical fruit and veggies, plantains, and much more. Vegetarians will have no problems eating well on this trip.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica.

Will I need any vaccines?
BBYO Passport requires its participants to be up-to-date with most vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can check our immunization policy. There are no additional immunizations required aside from regularly mandated routine immunizations. However, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving.We recommend that you consult with your teen’s physician as well as the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

We know you'll love a BBYO Passport experience. But don't just take our word. Check out these real reviews from our past travelers and families.

 

Head for the cloud forests and tropical beaches of Costa Rica to explore a country rich in natural beauty and bio-diversity.

This experience combines outdoor exploration and cross-cultural adventure in the heart of Central America. Experience Shabbat with the local community, search for jungle wildlife on a nighttime safari, and explore your Jewish identity through the lens of life in Costa Rica.

Elements of the Program

Outdoors Experiences

Hike on an active volcano, zip-line over a rainforest, snorkel on a tropical beach, raft down a raging river, swim under a waterfall, relax in thermal hot springs, and go on a night safari. Costa Rica is a stunningly beautiful country that is lush with colorful plants, rare animals, and endless opportunities for outdoors exploration.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Although Costa Rica is a very small country, it contains more biodiversity than America or Europe! On Trek Costa Rica, you will spend the weekend on a “Costa Rican-style kibbutz,” explore an organic chocolate plantation, and eat deliciously fresh food at every stop along the way.

Traveling Jewishly

Trek Costa Rica is also an opportunity to explore your Jewish identity through the lens of life in Costa Rica. Delve into the meaning of being eco-kosher, fulfill the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repair of the world), and celebrate two very memorable Shabbatot – including one with the Jewish community of San Jose.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek Costa Rica is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself.The outdoor activities on Trek Costa Rica are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek Costa Rica is to provide teens with a more active way to experience the country through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Explore Monteverde’s cloud forests and swim under waterfalls
Hike to an active volcano and take a dip in a hot springs thermal pool
Search for jungle wildlife on a nighttime safari
Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River
Go ocean kayaking on the Pacific Ocean and relax on the beach
Stay at a ranch and learn ecologically friendly farming practices
Meet with local Costa Rican teens and take part in meaningful service projects
Celebrate Shabbat together with San Jose‘s Jewish community

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program

DAY #1 | Tuesday |  Arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica

  • Arrival to San Jose, Costa Rica.
  • Evening: Welcome to Costa Rica! Get to know each other with fun, interactive icebreakers
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Along the Pacific Coast

  • Kayak the Pacific coastline in Jacó
  • Drive to Playa Azul to help clean up the beach
  • Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River
  • Travel to the hotel in Jacó and check-in to accommodations
  • After dinner, visit Jacó’s Market to work as a team and pack lunches for Thursday’s picnic
  • Overnight: TBA – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #3 | Thursday | Manuel Antonio

  • Explore the expansive beaches and evergreen forest of the Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch in the beautiful nature of the park
  • Relax after a long day with a delicious BBQ dinner back at the hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #4 | Friday | The Canopy

  •  Ziplining through the canopy of Los Sueños
  • Lunch, folkloric show and volunteer activity with the residents of the senior citizens home in
    Quebrada Ganado
  • Depart to San Jose
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat services at Shaare Zion Congregation
  • Shabbat dinner at Aish Hatorah
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in San Jose

  • Shabbat programming and lunch with the Jewish community of San Jose
  • Enjoy an afternoon of sports at the Costa Rica Tennis Club
  • Celebrate Havdalah – the start of a new week
  • Spend the evening jumping on trampolines at Sky Jump
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #6 | Sunday | Rafting on the Pacuare River

  • Wake up early and travel through Turrialba en route to the Pacuare River
  • Begin a full-day of white water rafting on the rushing rapids of the Pacuare River
  • Pizur dinner and shopping time at the mall
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #7 | Monday | Punta Arenas

  • Spend time volunteering with “Boy with A Ball”, an organization that works to better cities by
    reaching young people and equipping them to be leaders
  • Travel to Punta Arenas
  • Visit the Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary, home to Macaws being rehabilitated
  • Travel to Monteverde and check-in to accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Selvatura Park

  • Explore the hanging bridges, amphibians and reptiles exhibit at Selvatura Park
  • Walk through the picturesque village of Santa Elena
  • Ecological night tour of the cloud forest. Walk through the forest looking for nocturnal wildlife
  • Overnight: TBA – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #9 | Wednesday | La Fortuna

  • Check-out of hotel and head to La Fortuna
  • Drive around the largest lake of Costa Rica – Lake Arenal
  • Pilgrimage walk with local students on Don Juan Farm
  • Descend to the base of La Fortuna waterfalls and cool-off in the river
  • Check-in to accommodations
  • Overnight: TBA – La Fortuna, Costa Rica

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Chiles

  • Keep an eye out for wildlife while on a boat ride in Rio Frio
  • After lunch, return to La Fortuna
  • Rest and rejuvenate in the Baldi Hot Springs
  • Overnight: TBA – La Fortuna, Costa Rica

DAY #11 | Friday | Arenal National Park

  • Explore Arenal National Park – Hike to the base of an active volcano for a stunning view!
  • Depart to Rancho Margot, orientation to the eco-lodge Ranch and everything it has to offer
  • Afternoon activity – your choice of horseback riding or ranch tour!
  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at Rancho Margot
  • Overnight: TBA – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rancho Margot

  • Morning yoga class at the ranch
  • Horseback riding or ranch tour (whichever you did not do the previous day)
  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Tour Rancho Margot and its beautiful nature trails
  • Choice of afternoon activities including yoga, soccer and relaxing at the pool
  • Welcome in the new week with Havdalah
  • Enjoy a dance performance by a local dance group
  • Overnight: TBA – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #13 | Sunday | San Jose – the Capital of Costa Rica

  • Check-out of hotel and head to the Oxcart Factory for shopping
  • Hike to the waterfall of Los Chorros
  • Lunch and free time in Alajuela
  • Travel to San Jose and check-in to accommodations
  • Closing ceremony and a soccer game with the kids from “Boy with the Ball”
  • Overnight: TBA – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #14 | Monday | Heading Home!

  • Depart from San Jose Airport

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered. This flight often departs from the New York area, Atlanta, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary, or book separate flight itineraries entirely. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations – including 3-star hotels and more rustic eco-lodges in the rainforest. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space. Our accommodations are typically outside of cities and provide space for teens to relax and explore in a safe environment.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Costa Rica is a tropical country but the weather varies greatly from region to region. In the highland areas you can expect cooler weather in the 60s to 70s. Along the lowland coast, the weather is typically in the 80s or even 90s during the day. June and July fall within Costa Rica’s rainy season. This means that rain is common, often occurring in the late afternoon or evening.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Costa Rica is 25 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline. Historically, 50% of the Trek Costa Rica group is current 8th graders and 50% is current 9th and 10th graders

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In Costa Rica, expect to eat seasoned rice, beans, tropical fruit and veggies, plantains, and much more. Vegetarians will have no problems eating well on this trip.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica.

Will I need any vaccines?
BBYO Passport requires its participants to be up-to-date with most vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can check our immunization policy. There are no additional immunizations required aside from regularly mandated routine immunizations. However, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving.We recommend that you consult with your teen’s physician as well as the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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