Picture of stone formations in the Israel desert
SUMMER EXPERIENCES

Trek Pan-America

Embrace adventure across the Americas this summer. Start off in the north for three weeks in the bustling cities and breathtaking national parks of the American West. Then head to Costa Rica spending two weeks whizzing through cloud forests and exploring tropical beaches.

  • At a Glance

    35 Days | Current Grades: 8-10

    Community Service: ~16 Hours

    Location: Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, & Costa Rica

  • Dates & Costs

    • 7 Spots or Less

    Land Cost: $8,600

    See Program FAQ's

  • Included:

    • Accommodations (hotels and lodging)
    • All meals
    • All programming
    • Deluxe motorcoach
    • Medical insurance
    • Gratuity for program staff
  • Learn More:

Start your summer off right by heading north on Trek West to travel through the stunning landscapes of California and the American Southwest on the ultimate road trip adventure for Jewish teens. See a totally new side of America, including the awe-inspiring national parks of Zion, Bryce, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon National Parks. 

Then travel to Costa Rica! You’ll climb mountains, explore fascinating cities, and come home with a sense of accomplishment. exploring the misty cloud forests and tropical beaches of Costa Rica. On Trek Costa Rica you’ll go on thrilling outdoor adventures, learn about a uniquely local approach to sustainable living,and dicover the Jewish story of this country small in size but large in beauty.

 

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 sustainable ranch and learn ecologically friendly farming practices
Meet with local Costa Rican teens and take part in meaningful community service projects
Celebrate Shabbat together with San Jose‘s Jewish community
Raft down the roaring rapids of the Pacuare River!
Experience a taste of college life staying on the campus of UC Berkeley and UNLV
Raft down the Salt River in Arizona and explore Sedona
View the shear majesty of the Grand Canyon
Hike to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park
Experience life on a western dude ranch
Feel the energy of Las Vegas and see a Blue Man Group show
Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society rehabilitation center or at a LA Food Bank
Explore Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu and Hollywood in Los Angeles
Participate in a native species restoration project in the Marin Headlands
Hike to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite and kayak on Lake Tahoe
Tour Alcatraz, walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Trek West + Trek Costa Rica. At the end of Trek West those making the connection will continue on to San Jose via a designated supervised flight (not included). A supervised hotel stay-over will be available if needed (included). Our first day in Costa Rica features plenty of rest and relaxation before starting anew. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive.

One Happy Camper

This BBYO Passport summer experience is eligible for a $1,000 grant from One Happy Camper. The grant is available in select communities to teens participating in their first Jewish overnight summer experience. Learn more and see if you qualify for One Happy Camper.

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

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Arrival in Phoenix

  • Pick-up at Phoenix airport and transfer to accommodations in Scottsdale

  • Program orientation and icebreakers

  • Evening: enjoy pizza dinner and swimming in the pool

  • Overnight: Country Inn & Suites – Scottsdale, Arizona

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Backcountry Arizona & Sedona

  • Check-out and begin traveling north through the heart of Arizona to Flagstaff

  • Cool off with tubing down Arizona’s Salt River

  • Experience a natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park

  • Break to explore downtown Sedona and view the local mesas

  • Check-in to our accommodations and dinner in Flagstaff

  • Overnight: Springhill Suites – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #3 |Thursday | Grand Canyon

  • Rim hike along the edge of the Grand Canyon – Bright Angel Trail

  • National Geographic Visitor Center & IMAX Movie

  • Evening: View the wonders of the night sky at the Lowell Observatory

  • Overnight: Springhill Suites – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #4 | Friday | Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Travel from Arizona to Utah via Lake Powell and Glen Canyon

  • Explore Bryce Canyon National Park and discover its otherworldly “Hoodoo” rock formations

  • Check-in to Ponderosa Ranch and prepare for Shabbat

  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat in the wilderness overlooking Zion National Park

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Ranch

  • Shabbat morning programming and lunch

  • Pool time, sports, and relaxed afternoon at the Ranch

  • Havdallah Ceremony – Followed by Rodeo & Barn Dance

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #6 | Sunday | Zion National Park

  • Challenge yourself hiking up Angel’s Landing high above Zion National Park

  • Relax and cool off at the at the Zion Lodge

  • Nature walk to the “Emerald Pools”

  • Evening: Western Film or Stargazing in the desert sky

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #7 | Monday | Las Vegas  

  • Travel from Utah  to Nevada

  • Photo stop at the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign

  • Discover Vegas – CSI: The Experience, M&M World, Bowling at the Silver Nugget, etc.

  • Overnight: UNLV Campus – Las Vegas, Nevada

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Hoover Dam

  • Tour of the monumental Hoover Dam separating Lake Mead from the Colorado River

  • Return to fabuous Las Vegas and walk “the Strip” – see the Bellagio Fountains, Streetmosphere at Venetian, Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo etc.

  • Evening: Las Vegas Show – Blue Man Group

  • Overnight: UNLV Campus – Las Vegas, Nevada

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Crossing the Desert  

  • Begin traveling from Vegas to Los Angeles

  • View the Mojave Desert National Preserve en route

  • Tour the Simon Weisenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance

  • Celebrate the spirit of Los Angeles at Venice Beach market

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Angeles

  • Prepare meals for the hungry at the Midnight Missions

  • Walk down Hollywood Boulevard and visit to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre  

  • View of Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory and hike to Mt. Hollywood for stunning views of America’s second largest city

  • Evening: Comedy Club Show in Los Angeles

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #11 | Friday | Los Angeles

  • Take part in a Jewish communal service project  

  • Lunch on own at LA’s original Farmers Market and Grove outdoor mall

  • Explore the grounds of the Getty Museum in the Santa Monica Mountains

  • Return to campus and prepare for Kabbalat Shabbat in the Los Angeles hills

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Los Angeles

  • Shabbat programming, lunch, and free time for sports and relaxation

  • Evening: Group night out at Santa Monica Pier

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #13 | Sunday | Northwards through the Central Valley

  • Tour of Air Force One at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley

  • Travel northwards to Yosemite National Park via California’s central valley

  • Arrive to Curry Village in Yosemite National Park

  • Overnight: Curry Village (Fixed Tents) – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #14 | Monday | Yosemite National Park

  • Giant Sequoias Ranger program at Mariposa

  • Day hike up the Mist Trail to the backside of Half Dome

  • Evening: Evening program in the Yosemite Lodge

  • Overnight: Curry Village (Fixed Tents) – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #15 | Tuesday | High Sierra

  • Continue traveling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains north to Tahoe

  • Stopping en route at Grover Hot Springs and Mono Lake

  • Dinner at the famous “Forest Buffet” at Harrah’s overlooking the Lake

  • Overnight: Quality Inn – South Lake Tahoe, California

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Lake Tahoe

  • Paddle surfing, kayaking and beach volleyball on Lake Tahoe

  • Tour of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympic sites

  • Take cable cars up to Squaw Valley’s Swimming Lagoon at 8,200 feet

  • Overnight: Quality Inn – South Lake Tahoe, California

DAY #17 | Thursday | California’s Central Valley

  • Begin traveling down from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Bay Area

  • Visit the Nimbus salmon hatchery on the American River

  • Lunch on own in Old Town Sacramento

  • Stop en route for a tour of the Jelly Belly factory

  • Evening: Group night out exploring San Francisco  

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #18 | Friday | Marin County

  • Cross the Golden Gate Bridge on foot connecting San Francisco and Marin County

  • Walk among giants in Muir Woods – Home to ancient redwood trees

  • Picnic-style lunch at Stinson Beach on the Pacific Coast

  • Travel to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais for an epic view across the entire Bay Area

  • Return to the city and experience tea time at the Japanese Gardens of Golden Gate State Park

  • Return to campus to prepare for final Shabbat

  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat service at local synagogue in Berkeley

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Berkeley

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch

  • Explore the town of Berkeley, including its festive farmers market

  • Guided tour of the University of California Berkeley campus

  • Group evening out on Berkeley’s Telegraph Street

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #20 | Sunday | San Francisco

  • Travel by boat to explore Alcatraz Prison in the middle of the San Francisco Bay

  • Shopping, lunch and wild sea-lion viewing at Fisherman’s Wharf  

  • Ride San Francisco’s traditional cable cars and zig-zag down Lombard Street

  • Jewish San Francisco – Tour of historic Congregation Sherith Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in America dating back to the California Gold Rush

  • Visit Alamo Park to see the iconic “Painted Ladies” homes

  • Evening: Closing dinner and ice cream at Fenton’s Ice Cream

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #21 | Monday | Farewell!

  • Travel day – flight flying from San Francisco to San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #22 | 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 ice breakers

  • Overnight: Best Western Irazu – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #23 | Wednesday | Into the Costa Rican Highlands

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Alajuela Central Market, an enourmous farmers market with delicious fruits, vegetables, cheeses, desserts, breads, drinks and more!

  • Travel northwards through the lush green forests and banana plantations into the highlands to Sarapiqui

  • Costa Rican Adventure Race and reforestation project that includes rafting down a river!

  • Put your dancing shoes on as you learn how to dance the Salsa!

  • Overnight: Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve – Chilamate, Costa Rica

DAY #24 | Thursday | Cross-Cultural Exchange

  • Discover the Rainforest at Tirimbina, explore the trails and understand the rainforest habitat

  • Find out the secrets of chocolate! See the process from cocoa plant to chocolate bar

  • Search for rainforest wildlife in the darkness of night

  • Overnight: Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve – Chilamate, Costa Rica

DAY #25 | Friday | Adventures in Baldi

  • Relax at the Baldi Hot Springs Resort, the most expansive hot spring facility in the area

  • Depart to Rancho Margot, orientation to the eco-lodge Ranch and everything it has to offer

  • Afternoon activity – your choice of horseback riding or kayaking!

  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at Rancho Margot

  • Overnight: Rancho Margot – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Ranch

  • Start Shabbat with a relaxing morning yoga class followed by Shabbat services

  • Tour Rancho Margot and its beautiful nature trails

  • Spend Shabbat afternoon at the Ranch with yoga, soccer, pool and relaxation time

  • Overnight: Rancho Margot – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #27 | Sunday | Costa Rican Approach to Sustainability

  • Explore Arenal National Park – Hike to the base of an active volcano for a stunning view!

  • Descend to the base of La Fortuna waterfalls and cool-off in the river

  • Travel to the misty cloud forest community of Monteverde

  • Nighttime walking safari in the Monteverde Biological Reserve

  • Overnight: Hotel Montana – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #28 | Monday | Monteverde Cloud Forest

  • Hike through the cloud-covered Santa Elena reserve and plant trees

  • Dine in “downtown” Monteverde and then depart to Selvatura Park

  • Fly high above the cloud forest canopy on a zip-lining and hanging bridge course

  • Walk through a colorful Butterfly garden

  • Overnight: Hotel Montana – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #29 | Tuesday | Along the Pacific Coast

  • Descend from the mountains and travel south along the Pacific Coast

  • Volunteer activity at the Senior Citizens Home in Quebrada Ganado

  • Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River

  • Help keep the Tarcoles community beautiful with a beach clean up project

  • Lecture from turtle hatchery expert – end your day with a short night walk on the beach

  • Overnight: Hotel Doce Lunas – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #30 | Wednesday | 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

  • Playa Hermosa Turtle Reserve – see the beachfront where turtles come to lay their eggs!

  • Evening: Relax after a long day with a delicious Kosher BBQ dinner back at the hotel

  • Overnight: Hotel Doce Lunas – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #31 | Thursday | Beach Day!

  • Wake up with the sun and hike up to Mirros Mountain

  • Kayak and canoe on the Pacific Ocean then catch your breath and eat lunch on Jaco beach

  • Descend the mossy, stone steps of the Bijagual Rainforest to hear the roar of the Waterfall

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #32 | Friday | San Jose – Capital of Costa Rica

  • Ascend to the top of the Poaz Volcano National Park, overlooking San Jose

  • Shopping in Alajuela, one of the largest cities in Costa Rica

  • Return to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat in Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose

  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at San Jose’s Shaare Zion Congregation

  • Shabbat dinner at the Jewish Community Center

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #33 | Saturday | Community Shabbat

  • Enjoy a leisurely Shabbat morning at the hotel facilities along with Shabbat programming

  • Lunch at Aish HaTorah with the local rabbi

  • Afternoon relaxation at the hotel – hang out with your friends, play sports, and more

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #34 | Sunday | Rafting on Pacuare River

  • Wake up early and travel through Turialba en route to the Pacuare River

  • Begin a full-day of white water rafting on the rushing rapids of the Pacuare River

  • Evening: Farewell dinner party and bowling!

  • Overnight: Best Western Irazu – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #35 | 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?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated chaperoned flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is chaperoned by our staff.  Learn more about our group flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
We stay in several different kinds of lodgings, ranging from 3-star hotels to rustic eco-lodges in the jungle. Each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations.

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 posted approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, and you can expect a staff welcome call in the lead up to summer. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter during a summer in the American West. Daytime temperatures range from the 80s to 100s. The clothing that you pack should be light weight and comfortable in hot temperatures. Whenever we plan to be outside for an extended period of time, participants will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen and water. These rules are strictly enforced because over exposure to the sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration and sunburns. The good news is that the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity. So the higher temperatures may feel more comfortable than what you are used to at home.
 
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. Finally, June and July fall within the Costa Rica’s rainy season. What this means is that rain is common, although it’s often brief 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’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in the American West is 30 teens and in Costa Rica is 25 teens.

What’s the food like?
Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds.  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 the 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.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
  • At a Glance

    35 Days | CURRENT GRADES: 8-10

    Community Service: ~16 Hours
    Location: Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, & Costa Rica

  • 2018 Dates & Costs

    • 7 Spots or Less

    Land Cost: $8,600


    See Program FAQ's

  • Included:

    • Accommodations (hotels and lodging)
    • All meals
    • All programming
    • Deluxe motorcoach
    • Medical insurance
    • Gratuity for program staff
  • Learn More:

Start your summer off right by heading north on Trek West to travel through the stunning landscapes of California and the American Southwest on the ultimate road trip adventure for Jewish teens. See a totally new side of America, including the awe-inspiring national parks of Zion, Bryce, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon National Parks. 

Then travel to Costa Rica! You’ll climb mountains, explore fascinating cities, and come home with a sense of accomplishment. exploring the misty cloud forests and tropical beaches of Costa Rica. On Trek Costa Rica you’ll go on thrilling outdoor adventures, learn about a uniquely local approach to sustainable living,and dicover the Jewish story of this country small in size but large in beauty.

 

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 sustainable ranch and learn ecologically friendly farming practices
Meet with local Costa Rican teens and take part in meaningful community service projects
Celebrate Shabbat together with San Jose‘s Jewish community
Raft down the roaring rapids of the Pacuare River!
Experience a taste of college life staying on the campus of UC Berkeley and UNLV
Raft down the Salt River in Arizona and explore Sedona
View the shear majesty of the Grand Canyon
Hike to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park
Experience life on a western dude ranch
Feel the energy of Las Vegas and see a Blue Man Group show
Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society rehabilitation center or at a LA Food Bank
Explore Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu and Hollywood in Los Angeles
Participate in a native species restoration project in the Marin Headlands
Hike to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite and kayak on Lake Tahoe
Tour Alcatraz, walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Trek West + Trek Costa Rica. At the end of Trek West those making the connection will continue on to San Jose via a designated supervised flight (not included). A supervised hotel stay-over will be available if needed (included). Our first day in Costa Rica features plenty of rest and relaxation before starting anew. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive.

One Happy Camper

This BBYO Passport summer experience is eligible for a $1,000 grant from One Happy Camper. The grant is available in select communities to teens participating in their first Jewish overnight summer experience. Learn more and see if you qualify for One Happy Camper.

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

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Arrival in Phoenix

  • Pick-up at Phoenix airport and transfer to accommodations in Scottsdale

  • Program orientation and icebreakers

  • Evening: enjoy pizza dinner and swimming in the pool

  • Overnight: Country Inn & Suites – Scottsdale, Arizona

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Backcountry Arizona & Sedona

  • Check-out and begin traveling north through the heart of Arizona to Flagstaff

  • Cool off with tubing down Arizona’s Salt River

  • Experience a natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park

  • Break to explore downtown Sedona and view the local mesas

  • Check-in to our accommodations and dinner in Flagstaff

  • Overnight: Springhill Suites – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #3 |Thursday | Grand Canyon

  • Rim hike along the edge of the Grand Canyon – Bright Angel Trail

  • National Geographic Visitor Center & IMAX Movie

  • Evening: View the wonders of the night sky at the Lowell Observatory

  • Overnight: Springhill Suites – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #4 | Friday | Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Travel from Arizona to Utah via Lake Powell and Glen Canyon

  • Explore Bryce Canyon National Park and discover its otherworldly “Hoodoo” rock formations

  • Check-in to Ponderosa Ranch and prepare for Shabbat

  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat in the wilderness overlooking Zion National Park

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Ranch

  • Shabbat morning programming and lunch

  • Pool time, sports, and relaxed afternoon at the Ranch

  • Havdallah Ceremony – Followed by Rodeo & Barn Dance

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #6 | Sunday | Zion National Park

  • Challenge yourself hiking up Angel’s Landing high above Zion National Park

  • Relax and cool off at the at the Zion Lodge

  • Nature walk to the “Emerald Pools”

  • Evening: Western Film or Stargazing in the desert sky

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #7 | Monday | Las Vegas  

  • Travel from Utah  to Nevada

  • Photo stop at the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign

  • Discover Vegas – CSI: The Experience, M&M World, Bowling at the Silver Nugget, etc.

  • Overnight: UNLV Campus – Las Vegas, Nevada

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Hoover Dam

  • Tour of the monumental Hoover Dam separating Lake Mead from the Colorado River

  • Return to fabuous Las Vegas and walk “the Strip” – see the Bellagio Fountains, Streetmosphere at Venetian, Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo etc.

  • Evening: Las Vegas Show – Blue Man Group

  • Overnight: UNLV Campus – Las Vegas, Nevada

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Crossing the Desert  

  • Begin traveling from Vegas to Los Angeles

  • View the Mojave Desert National Preserve en route

  • Tour the Simon Weisenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance

  • Celebrate the spirit of Los Angeles at Venice Beach market

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Angeles

  • Prepare meals for the hungry at the Midnight Missions

  • Walk down Hollywood Boulevard and visit to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre  

  • View of Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory and hike to Mt. Hollywood for stunning views of America’s second largest city

  • Evening: Comedy Club Show in Los Angeles

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #11 | Friday | Los Angeles

  • Take part in a Jewish communal service project  

  • Lunch on own at LA’s original Farmers Market and Grove outdoor mall

  • Explore the grounds of the Getty Museum in the Santa Monica Mountains

  • Return to campus and prepare for Kabbalat Shabbat in the Los Angeles hills

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Los Angeles

  • Shabbat programming, lunch, and free time for sports and relaxation

  • Evening: Group night out at Santa Monica Pier

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #13 | Sunday | Northwards through the Central Valley

  • Tour of Air Force One at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley

  • Travel northwards to Yosemite National Park via California’s central valley

  • Arrive to Curry Village in Yosemite National Park

  • Overnight: Curry Village (Fixed Tents) – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #14 | Monday | Yosemite National Park

  • Giant Sequoias Ranger program at Mariposa

  • Day hike up the Mist Trail to the backside of Half Dome

  • Evening: Evening program in the Yosemite Lodge

  • Overnight: Curry Village (Fixed Tents) – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #15 | Tuesday | High Sierra

  • Continue traveling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains north to Tahoe

  • Stopping en route at Grover Hot Springs and Mono Lake

  • Dinner at the famous “Forest Buffet” at Harrah’s overlooking the Lake

  • Overnight: Quality Inn – South Lake Tahoe, California

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Lake Tahoe

  • Paddle surfing, kayaking and beach volleyball on Lake Tahoe

  • Tour of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympic sites

  • Take cable cars up to Squaw Valley’s Swimming Lagoon at 8,200 feet

  • Overnight: Quality Inn – South Lake Tahoe, California

DAY #17 | Thursday | California’s Central Valley

  • Begin traveling down from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Bay Area

  • Visit the Nimbus salmon hatchery on the American River

  • Lunch on own in Old Town Sacramento

  • Stop en route for a tour of the Jelly Belly factory

  • Evening: Group night out exploring San Francisco  

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #18 | Friday | Marin County

  • Cross the Golden Gate Bridge on foot connecting San Francisco and Marin County

  • Walk among giants in Muir Woods – Home to ancient redwood trees

  • Picnic-style lunch at Stinson Beach on the Pacific Coast

  • Travel to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais for an epic view across the entire Bay Area

  • Return to the city and experience tea time at the Japanese Gardens of Golden Gate State Park

  • Return to campus to prepare for final Shabbat

  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat service at local synagogue in Berkeley

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Berkeley

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch

  • Explore the town of Berkeley, including its festive farmers market

  • Guided tour of the University of California Berkeley campus

  • Group evening out on Berkeley’s Telegraph Street

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #20 | Sunday | San Francisco

  • Travel by boat to explore Alcatraz Prison in the middle of the San Francisco Bay

  • Shopping, lunch and wild sea-lion viewing at Fisherman’s Wharf  

  • Ride San Francisco’s traditional cable cars and zig-zag down Lombard Street

  • Jewish San Francisco – Tour of historic Congregation Sherith Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in America dating back to the California Gold Rush

  • Visit Alamo Park to see the iconic “Painted Ladies” homes

  • Evening: Closing dinner and ice cream at Fenton’s Ice Cream

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #21 | Monday | Farewell!

  • Travel day – flight flying from San Francisco to San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #22 | 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 ice breakers

  • Overnight: Best Western Irazu – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #23 | Wednesday | Into the Costa Rican Highlands

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Alajuela Central Market, an enourmous farmers market with delicious fruits, vegetables, cheeses, desserts, breads, drinks and more!

  • Travel northwards through the lush green forests and banana plantations into the highlands to Sarapiqui

  • Costa Rican Adventure Race and reforestation project that includes rafting down a river!

  • Put your dancing shoes on as you learn how to dance the Salsa!

  • Overnight: Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve – Chilamate, Costa Rica

DAY #24 | Thursday | Cross-Cultural Exchange

  • Discover the Rainforest at Tirimbina, explore the trails and understand the rainforest habitat

  • Find out the secrets of chocolate! See the process from cocoa plant to chocolate bar

  • Search for rainforest wildlife in the darkness of night

  • Overnight: Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve – Chilamate, Costa Rica

DAY #25 | Friday | Adventures in Baldi

  • Relax at the Baldi Hot Springs Resort, the most expansive hot spring facility in the area

  • Depart to Rancho Margot, orientation to the eco-lodge Ranch and everything it has to offer

  • Afternoon activity – your choice of horseback riding or kayaking!

  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at Rancho Margot

  • Overnight: Rancho Margot – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Ranch

  • Start Shabbat with a relaxing morning yoga class followed by Shabbat services

  • Tour Rancho Margot and its beautiful nature trails

  • Spend Shabbat afternoon at the Ranch with yoga, soccer, pool and relaxation time

  • Overnight: Rancho Margot – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #27 | Sunday | Costa Rican Approach to Sustainability

  • Explore Arenal National Park – Hike to the base of an active volcano for a stunning view!

  • Descend to the base of La Fortuna waterfalls and cool-off in the river

  • Travel to the misty cloud forest community of Monteverde

  • Nighttime walking safari in the Monteverde Biological Reserve

  • Overnight: Hotel Montana – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #28 | Monday | Monteverde Cloud Forest

  • Hike through the cloud-covered Santa Elena reserve and plant trees

  • Dine in “downtown” Monteverde and then depart to Selvatura Park

  • Fly high above the cloud forest canopy on a zip-lining and hanging bridge course

  • Walk through a colorful Butterfly garden

  • Overnight: Hotel Montana – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #29 | Tuesday | Along the Pacific Coast

  • Descend from the mountains and travel south along the Pacific Coast

  • Volunteer activity at the Senior Citizens Home in Quebrada Ganado

  • Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River

  • Help keep the Tarcoles community beautiful with a beach clean up project

  • Lecture from turtle hatchery expert – end your day with a short night walk on the beach

  • Overnight: Hotel Doce Lunas – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #30 | Wednesday | 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

  • Playa Hermosa Turtle Reserve – see the beachfront where turtles come to lay their eggs!

  • Evening: Relax after a long day with a delicious Kosher BBQ dinner back at the hotel

  • Overnight: Hotel Doce Lunas – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #31 | Thursday | Beach Day!

  • Wake up with the sun and hike up to Mirros Mountain

  • Kayak and canoe on the Pacific Ocean then catch your breath and eat lunch on Jaco beach

  • Descend the mossy, stone steps of the Bijagual Rainforest to hear the roar of the Waterfall

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #32 | Friday | San Jose – Capital of Costa Rica

  • Ascend to the top of the Poaz Volcano National Park, overlooking San Jose

  • Shopping in Alajuela, one of the largest cities in Costa Rica

  • Return to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat in Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose

  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at San Jose’s Shaare Zion Congregation

  • Shabbat dinner at the Jewish Community Center

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #33 | Saturday | Community Shabbat

  • Enjoy a leisurely Shabbat morning at the hotel facilities along with Shabbat programming

  • Lunch at Aish HaTorah with the local rabbi

  • Afternoon relaxation at the hotel – hang out with your friends, play sports, and more

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #34 | Sunday | Rafting on Pacuare River

  • Wake up early and travel through Turialba en route to the Pacuare River

  • Begin a full-day of white water rafting on the rushing rapids of the Pacuare River

  • Evening: Farewell dinner party and bowling!

  • Overnight: Best Western Irazu – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #35 | 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?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated chaperoned flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is chaperoned by our staff.  Learn more about our group flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
We stay in several different kinds of lodgings, ranging from 3-star hotels to rustic eco-lodges in the jungle. Each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations.

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 posted approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, and you can expect a staff welcome call in the lead up to summer. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter during a summer in the American West. Daytime temperatures range from the 80s to 100s. The clothing that you pack should be light weight and comfortable in hot temperatures. Whenever we plan to be outside for an extended period of time, participants will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen and water. These rules are strictly enforced because over exposure to the sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration and sunburns. The good news is that the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity. So the higher temperatures may feel more comfortable than what you are used to at home.
 
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. Finally, June and July fall within the Costa Rica’s rainy season. What this means is that rain is common, although it’s often brief 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’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in the American West is 30 teens and in Costa Rica is 25 teens.

What’s the food like?
Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds.  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 the 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.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.

Trek Pan-America

Embrace adventure across the Americas this summer. Start off in the north for three weeks in the bustling cities and breathtaking national parks of the American West. Then head to Costa Rica spending two weeks whizzing through cloud forests and exploring tropical beaches.

Trek Pan-America

Embrace adventure across the Americas this summer. Start off in the north for three weeks in the bustling cities and breathtaking national parks of the American West. Then head to Costa Rica spending two weeks whizzing through cloud forests and exploring tropical beaches.

  • At a Glance

    35 Days | Current Grades: 8-10

    Community Service: ~16 Hours

    Location: Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, & Costa Rica

  • Dates & Costs

    • 7 Spots or Less

    Land Cost: $8,600

    See Program FAQ's

  • Included:

    • Accommodations (hotels and lodging)
    • All meals
    • All programming
    • Deluxe motorcoach
    • Medical insurance
    • Gratuity for program staff
  • Learn More:

Start your summer off right by heading north on Trek West to travel through the stunning landscapes of California and the American Southwest on the ultimate road trip adventure for Jewish teens. See a totally new side of America, including the awe-inspiring national parks of Zion, Bryce, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon National Parks. 

Then travel to Costa Rica! You’ll climb mountains, explore fascinating cities, and come home with a sense of accomplishment. exploring the misty cloud forests and tropical beaches of Costa Rica. On Trek Costa Rica you’ll go on thrilling outdoor adventures, learn about a uniquely local approach to sustainable living,and dicover the Jewish story of this country small in size but large in beauty.

 

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 sustainable ranch and learn ecologically friendly farming practices
Meet with local Costa Rican teens and take part in meaningful community service projects
Celebrate Shabbat together with San Jose‘s Jewish community
Raft down the roaring rapids of the Pacuare River!
Experience a taste of college life staying on the campus of UC Berkeley and UNLV
Raft down the Salt River in Arizona and explore Sedona
View the shear majesty of the Grand Canyon
Hike to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park
Experience life on a western dude ranch
Feel the energy of Las Vegas and see a Blue Man Group show
Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society rehabilitation center or at a LA Food Bank
Explore Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu and Hollywood in Los Angeles
Participate in a native species restoration project in the Marin Headlands
Hike to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite and kayak on Lake Tahoe
Tour Alcatraz, walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Trek West + Trek Costa Rica. At the end of Trek West those making the connection will continue on to San Jose via a designated supervised flight (not included). A supervised hotel stay-over will be available if needed (included). Our first day in Costa Rica features plenty of rest and relaxation before starting anew. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive.

One Happy Camper

This BBYO Passport summer experience is eligible for a $1,000 grant from One Happy Camper. The grant is available in select communities to teens participating in their first Jewish overnight summer experience. Learn more and see if you qualify for One Happy Camper.

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

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Arrival in Phoenix

  • Pick-up at Phoenix airport and transfer to accommodations in Scottsdale

  • Program orientation and icebreakers

  • Evening: enjoy pizza dinner and swimming in the pool

  • Overnight: Country Inn & Suites – Scottsdale, Arizona

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Backcountry Arizona & Sedona

  • Check-out and begin traveling north through the heart of Arizona to Flagstaff

  • Cool off with tubing down Arizona’s Salt River

  • Experience a natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park

  • Break to explore downtown Sedona and view the local mesas

  • Check-in to our accommodations and dinner in Flagstaff

  • Overnight: Springhill Suites – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #3 |Thursday | Grand Canyon

  • Rim hike along the edge of the Grand Canyon – Bright Angel Trail

  • National Geographic Visitor Center & IMAX Movie

  • Evening: View the wonders of the night sky at the Lowell Observatory

  • Overnight: Springhill Suites – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #4 | Friday | Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Travel from Arizona to Utah via Lake Powell and Glen Canyon

  • Explore Bryce Canyon National Park and discover its otherworldly “Hoodoo” rock formations

  • Check-in to Ponderosa Ranch and prepare for Shabbat

  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat in the wilderness overlooking Zion National Park

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Ranch

  • Shabbat morning programming and lunch

  • Pool time, sports, and relaxed afternoon at the Ranch

  • Havdallah Ceremony – Followed by Rodeo & Barn Dance

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #6 | Sunday | Zion National Park

  • Challenge yourself hiking up Angel’s Landing high above Zion National Park

  • Relax and cool off at the at the Zion Lodge

  • Nature walk to the “Emerald Pools”

  • Evening: Western Film or Stargazing in the desert sky

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #7 | Monday | Las Vegas  

  • Travel from Utah  to Nevada

  • Photo stop at the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign

  • Discover Vegas – CSI: The Experience, M&M World, Bowling at the Silver Nugget, etc.

  • Overnight: UNLV Campus – Las Vegas, Nevada

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Hoover Dam

  • Tour of the monumental Hoover Dam separating Lake Mead from the Colorado River

  • Return to fabuous Las Vegas and walk “the Strip” – see the Bellagio Fountains, Streetmosphere at Venetian, Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo etc.

  • Evening: Las Vegas Show – Blue Man Group

  • Overnight: UNLV Campus – Las Vegas, Nevada

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Crossing the Desert  

  • Begin traveling from Vegas to Los Angeles

  • View the Mojave Desert National Preserve en route

  • Tour the Simon Weisenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance

  • Celebrate the spirit of Los Angeles at Venice Beach market

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Angeles

  • Prepare meals for the hungry at the Midnight Missions

  • Walk down Hollywood Boulevard and visit to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre  

  • View of Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory and hike to Mt. Hollywood for stunning views of America’s second largest city

  • Evening: Comedy Club Show in Los Angeles

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #11 | Friday | Los Angeles

  • Take part in a Jewish communal service project  

  • Lunch on own at LA’s original Farmers Market and Grove outdoor mall

  • Explore the grounds of the Getty Museum in the Santa Monica Mountains

  • Return to campus and prepare for Kabbalat Shabbat in the Los Angeles hills

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Los Angeles

  • Shabbat programming, lunch, and free time for sports and relaxation

  • Evening: Group night out at Santa Monica Pier

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #13 | Sunday | Northwards through the Central Valley

  • Tour of Air Force One at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley

  • Travel northwards to Yosemite National Park via California’s central valley

  • Arrive to Curry Village in Yosemite National Park

  • Overnight: Curry Village (Fixed Tents) – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #14 | Monday | Yosemite National Park

  • Giant Sequoias Ranger program at Mariposa

  • Day hike up the Mist Trail to the backside of Half Dome

  • Evening: Evening program in the Yosemite Lodge

  • Overnight: Curry Village (Fixed Tents) – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #15 | Tuesday | High Sierra

  • Continue traveling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains north to Tahoe

  • Stopping en route at Grover Hot Springs and Mono Lake

  • Dinner at the famous “Forest Buffet” at Harrah’s overlooking the Lake

  • Overnight: Quality Inn – South Lake Tahoe, California

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Lake Tahoe

  • Paddle surfing, kayaking and beach volleyball on Lake Tahoe

  • Tour of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympic sites

  • Take cable cars up to Squaw Valley’s Swimming Lagoon at 8,200 feet

  • Overnight: Quality Inn – South Lake Tahoe, California

DAY #17 | Thursday | California’s Central Valley

  • Begin traveling down from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Bay Area

  • Visit the Nimbus salmon hatchery on the American River

  • Lunch on own in Old Town Sacramento

  • Stop en route for a tour of the Jelly Belly factory

  • Evening: Group night out exploring San Francisco  

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #18 | Friday | Marin County

  • Cross the Golden Gate Bridge on foot connecting San Francisco and Marin County

  • Walk among giants in Muir Woods – Home to ancient redwood trees

  • Picnic-style lunch at Stinson Beach on the Pacific Coast

  • Travel to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais for an epic view across the entire Bay Area

  • Return to the city and experience tea time at the Japanese Gardens of Golden Gate State Park

  • Return to campus to prepare for final Shabbat

  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat service at local synagogue in Berkeley

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Berkeley

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch

  • Explore the town of Berkeley, including its festive farmers market

  • Guided tour of the University of California Berkeley campus

  • Group evening out on Berkeley’s Telegraph Street

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #20 | Sunday | San Francisco

  • Travel by boat to explore Alcatraz Prison in the middle of the San Francisco Bay

  • Shopping, lunch and wild sea-lion viewing at Fisherman’s Wharf  

  • Ride San Francisco’s traditional cable cars and zig-zag down Lombard Street

  • Jewish San Francisco – Tour of historic Congregation Sherith Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in America dating back to the California Gold Rush

  • Visit Alamo Park to see the iconic “Painted Ladies” homes

  • Evening: Closing dinner and ice cream at Fenton’s Ice Cream

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #21 | Monday | Farewell!

  • Travel day – flight flying from San Francisco to San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #22 | 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 ice breakers

  • Overnight: Best Western Irazu – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #23 | Wednesday | Into the Costa Rican Highlands

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Alajuela Central Market, an enourmous farmers market with delicious fruits, vegetables, cheeses, desserts, breads, drinks and more!

  • Travel northwards through the lush green forests and banana plantations into the highlands to Sarapiqui

  • Costa Rican Adventure Race and reforestation project that includes rafting down a river!

  • Put your dancing shoes on as you learn how to dance the Salsa!

  • Overnight: Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve – Chilamate, Costa Rica

DAY #24 | Thursday | Cross-Cultural Exchange

  • Discover the Rainforest at Tirimbina, explore the trails and understand the rainforest habitat

  • Find out the secrets of chocolate! See the process from cocoa plant to chocolate bar

  • Search for rainforest wildlife in the darkness of night

  • Overnight: Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve – Chilamate, Costa Rica

DAY #25 | Friday | Adventures in Baldi

  • Relax at the Baldi Hot Springs Resort, the most expansive hot spring facility in the area

  • Depart to Rancho Margot, orientation to the eco-lodge Ranch and everything it has to offer

  • Afternoon activity – your choice of horseback riding or kayaking!

  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at Rancho Margot

  • Overnight: Rancho Margot – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Ranch

  • Start Shabbat with a relaxing morning yoga class followed by Shabbat services

  • Tour Rancho Margot and its beautiful nature trails

  • Spend Shabbat afternoon at the Ranch with yoga, soccer, pool and relaxation time

  • Overnight: Rancho Margot – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #27 | Sunday | Costa Rican Approach to Sustainability

  • Explore Arenal National Park – Hike to the base of an active volcano for a stunning view!

  • Descend to the base of La Fortuna waterfalls and cool-off in the river

  • Travel to the misty cloud forest community of Monteverde

  • Nighttime walking safari in the Monteverde Biological Reserve

  • Overnight: Hotel Montana – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #28 | Monday | Monteverde Cloud Forest

  • Hike through the cloud-covered Santa Elena reserve and plant trees

  • Dine in “downtown” Monteverde and then depart to Selvatura Park

  • Fly high above the cloud forest canopy on a zip-lining and hanging bridge course

  • Walk through a colorful Butterfly garden

  • Overnight: Hotel Montana – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #29 | Tuesday | Along the Pacific Coast

  • Descend from the mountains and travel south along the Pacific Coast

  • Volunteer activity at the Senior Citizens Home in Quebrada Ganado

  • Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River

  • Help keep the Tarcoles community beautiful with a beach clean up project

  • Lecture from turtle hatchery expert – end your day with a short night walk on the beach

  • Overnight: Hotel Doce Lunas – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #30 | Wednesday | 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

  • Playa Hermosa Turtle Reserve – see the beachfront where turtles come to lay their eggs!

  • Evening: Relax after a long day with a delicious Kosher BBQ dinner back at the hotel

  • Overnight: Hotel Doce Lunas – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #31 | Thursday | Beach Day!

  • Wake up with the sun and hike up to Mirros Mountain

  • Kayak and canoe on the Pacific Ocean then catch your breath and eat lunch on Jaco beach

  • Descend the mossy, stone steps of the Bijagual Rainforest to hear the roar of the Waterfall

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #32 | Friday | San Jose – Capital of Costa Rica

  • Ascend to the top of the Poaz Volcano National Park, overlooking San Jose

  • Shopping in Alajuela, one of the largest cities in Costa Rica

  • Return to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat in Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose

  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at San Jose’s Shaare Zion Congregation

  • Shabbat dinner at the Jewish Community Center

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #33 | Saturday | Community Shabbat

  • Enjoy a leisurely Shabbat morning at the hotel facilities along with Shabbat programming

  • Lunch at Aish HaTorah with the local rabbi

  • Afternoon relaxation at the hotel – hang out with your friends, play sports, and more

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #34 | Sunday | Rafting on Pacuare River

  • Wake up early and travel through Turialba en route to the Pacuare River

  • Begin a full-day of white water rafting on the rushing rapids of the Pacuare River

  • Evening: Farewell dinner party and bowling!

  • Overnight: Best Western Irazu – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #35 | 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?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated chaperoned flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is chaperoned by our staff.  Learn more about our group flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
We stay in several different kinds of lodgings, ranging from 3-star hotels to rustic eco-lodges in the jungle. Each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations.

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 posted approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, and you can expect a staff welcome call in the lead up to summer. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter during a summer in the American West. Daytime temperatures range from the 80s to 100s. The clothing that you pack should be light weight and comfortable in hot temperatures. Whenever we plan to be outside for an extended period of time, participants will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen and water. These rules are strictly enforced because over exposure to the sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration and sunburns. The good news is that the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity. So the higher temperatures may feel more comfortable than what you are used to at home.
 
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. Finally, June and July fall within the Costa Rica’s rainy season. What this means is that rain is common, although it’s often brief 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’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in the American West is 30 teens and in Costa Rica is 25 teens.

What’s the food like?
Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds.  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 the 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.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
  • At a Glance

    35 Days | CURRENT GRADES: 8-10

    Community Service: ~16 Hours
    Location: Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, & Costa Rica

  • 2018 Dates & Costs

    • 7 Spots or Less

    Land Cost: $8,600


    See Program FAQ's

  • Included:

    • Accommodations (hotels and lodging)
    • All meals
    • All programming
    • Deluxe motorcoach
    • Medical insurance
    • Gratuity for program staff
  • Learn More:

Start your summer off right by heading north on Trek West to travel through the stunning landscapes of California and the American Southwest on the ultimate road trip adventure for Jewish teens. See a totally new side of America, including the awe-inspiring national parks of Zion, Bryce, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon National Parks. 

Then travel to Costa Rica! You’ll climb mountains, explore fascinating cities, and come home with a sense of accomplishment. exploring the misty cloud forests and tropical beaches of Costa Rica. On Trek Costa Rica you’ll go on thrilling outdoor adventures, learn about a uniquely local approach to sustainable living,and dicover the Jewish story of this country small in size but large in beauty.

 

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 sustainable ranch and learn ecologically friendly farming practices
Meet with local Costa Rican teens and take part in meaningful community service projects
Celebrate Shabbat together with San Jose‘s Jewish community
Raft down the roaring rapids of the Pacuare River!
Experience a taste of college life staying on the campus of UC Berkeley and UNLV
Raft down the Salt River in Arizona and explore Sedona
View the shear majesty of the Grand Canyon
Hike to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park
Experience life on a western dude ranch
Feel the energy of Las Vegas and see a Blue Man Group show
Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society rehabilitation center or at a LA Food Bank
Explore Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu and Hollywood in Los Angeles
Participate in a native species restoration project in the Marin Headlands
Hike to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite and kayak on Lake Tahoe
Tour Alcatraz, walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Trek West + Trek Costa Rica. At the end of Trek West those making the connection will continue on to San Jose via a designated supervised flight (not included). A supervised hotel stay-over will be available if needed (included). Our first day in Costa Rica features plenty of rest and relaxation before starting anew. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive.

One Happy Camper

This BBYO Passport summer experience is eligible for a $1,000 grant from One Happy Camper. The grant is available in select communities to teens participating in their first Jewish overnight summer experience. Learn more and see if you qualify for One Happy Camper.

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

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Arrival in Phoenix

  • Pick-up at Phoenix airport and transfer to accommodations in Scottsdale

  • Program orientation and icebreakers

  • Evening: enjoy pizza dinner and swimming in the pool

  • Overnight: Country Inn & Suites – Scottsdale, Arizona

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Backcountry Arizona & Sedona

  • Check-out and begin traveling north through the heart of Arizona to Flagstaff

  • Cool off with tubing down Arizona’s Salt River

  • Experience a natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park

  • Break to explore downtown Sedona and view the local mesas

  • Check-in to our accommodations and dinner in Flagstaff

  • Overnight: Springhill Suites – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #3 |Thursday | Grand Canyon

  • Rim hike along the edge of the Grand Canyon – Bright Angel Trail

  • National Geographic Visitor Center & IMAX Movie

  • Evening: View the wonders of the night sky at the Lowell Observatory

  • Overnight: Springhill Suites – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #4 | Friday | Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Travel from Arizona to Utah via Lake Powell and Glen Canyon

  • Explore Bryce Canyon National Park and discover its otherworldly “Hoodoo” rock formations

  • Check-in to Ponderosa Ranch and prepare for Shabbat

  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat in the wilderness overlooking Zion National Park

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Ranch

  • Shabbat morning programming and lunch

  • Pool time, sports, and relaxed afternoon at the Ranch

  • Havdallah Ceremony – Followed by Rodeo & Barn Dance

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #6 | Sunday | Zion National Park

  • Challenge yourself hiking up Angel’s Landing high above Zion National Park

  • Relax and cool off at the at the Zion Lodge

  • Nature walk to the “Emerald Pools”

  • Evening: Western Film or Stargazing in the desert sky

  • Overnight: Ponderosa Ranch – Utah

DAY #7 | Monday | Las Vegas  

  • Travel from Utah  to Nevada

  • Photo stop at the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign

  • Discover Vegas – CSI: The Experience, M&M World, Bowling at the Silver Nugget, etc.

  • Overnight: UNLV Campus – Las Vegas, Nevada

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Hoover Dam

  • Tour of the monumental Hoover Dam separating Lake Mead from the Colorado River

  • Return to fabuous Las Vegas and walk “the Strip” – see the Bellagio Fountains, Streetmosphere at Venetian, Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo etc.

  • Evening: Las Vegas Show – Blue Man Group

  • Overnight: UNLV Campus – Las Vegas, Nevada

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Crossing the Desert  

  • Begin traveling from Vegas to Los Angeles

  • View the Mojave Desert National Preserve en route

  • Tour the Simon Weisenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance

  • Celebrate the spirit of Los Angeles at Venice Beach market

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Angeles

  • Prepare meals for the hungry at the Midnight Missions

  • Walk down Hollywood Boulevard and visit to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre  

  • View of Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory and hike to Mt. Hollywood for stunning views of America’s second largest city

  • Evening: Comedy Club Show in Los Angeles

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #11 | Friday | Los Angeles

  • Take part in a Jewish communal service project  

  • Lunch on own at LA’s original Farmers Market and Grove outdoor mall

  • Explore the grounds of the Getty Museum in the Santa Monica Mountains

  • Return to campus and prepare for Kabbalat Shabbat in the Los Angeles hills

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Los Angeles

  • Shabbat programming, lunch, and free time for sports and relaxation

  • Evening: Group night out at Santa Monica Pier

  • Overnight: American Jewish University Campus – Los Angeles, California

DAY #13 | Sunday | Northwards through the Central Valley

  • Tour of Air Force One at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley

  • Travel northwards to Yosemite National Park via California’s central valley

  • Arrive to Curry Village in Yosemite National Park

  • Overnight: Curry Village (Fixed Tents) – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #14 | Monday | Yosemite National Park

  • Giant Sequoias Ranger program at Mariposa

  • Day hike up the Mist Trail to the backside of Half Dome

  • Evening: Evening program in the Yosemite Lodge

  • Overnight: Curry Village (Fixed Tents) – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #15 | Tuesday | High Sierra

  • Continue traveling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains north to Tahoe

  • Stopping en route at Grover Hot Springs and Mono Lake

  • Dinner at the famous “Forest Buffet” at Harrah’s overlooking the Lake

  • Overnight: Quality Inn – South Lake Tahoe, California

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Lake Tahoe

  • Paddle surfing, kayaking and beach volleyball on Lake Tahoe

  • Tour of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympic sites

  • Take cable cars up to Squaw Valley’s Swimming Lagoon at 8,200 feet

  • Overnight: Quality Inn – South Lake Tahoe, California

DAY #17 | Thursday | California’s Central Valley

  • Begin traveling down from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Bay Area

  • Visit the Nimbus salmon hatchery on the American River

  • Lunch on own in Old Town Sacramento

  • Stop en route for a tour of the Jelly Belly factory

  • Evening: Group night out exploring San Francisco  

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #18 | Friday | Marin County

  • Cross the Golden Gate Bridge on foot connecting San Francisco and Marin County

  • Walk among giants in Muir Woods – Home to ancient redwood trees

  • Picnic-style lunch at Stinson Beach on the Pacific Coast

  • Travel to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais for an epic view across the entire Bay Area

  • Return to the city and experience tea time at the Japanese Gardens of Golden Gate State Park

  • Return to campus to prepare for final Shabbat

  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat service at local synagogue in Berkeley

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Berkeley

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch

  • Explore the town of Berkeley, including its festive farmers market

  • Guided tour of the University of California Berkeley campus

  • Group evening out on Berkeley’s Telegraph Street

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #20 | Sunday | San Francisco

  • Travel by boat to explore Alcatraz Prison in the middle of the San Francisco Bay

  • Shopping, lunch and wild sea-lion viewing at Fisherman’s Wharf  

  • Ride San Francisco’s traditional cable cars and zig-zag down Lombard Street

  • Jewish San Francisco – Tour of historic Congregation Sherith Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in America dating back to the California Gold Rush

  • Visit Alamo Park to see the iconic “Painted Ladies” homes

  • Evening: Closing dinner and ice cream at Fenton’s Ice Cream

  • Overnight: UC Berkeley Dormitories – Berkeley, California

DAY #21 | Monday | Farewell!

  • Travel day – flight flying from San Francisco to San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #22 | 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 ice breakers

  • Overnight: Best Western Irazu – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #23 | Wednesday | Into the Costa Rican Highlands

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Alajuela Central Market, an enourmous farmers market with delicious fruits, vegetables, cheeses, desserts, breads, drinks and more!

  • Travel northwards through the lush green forests and banana plantations into the highlands to Sarapiqui

  • Costa Rican Adventure Race and reforestation project that includes rafting down a river!

  • Put your dancing shoes on as you learn how to dance the Salsa!

  • Overnight: Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve – Chilamate, Costa Rica

DAY #24 | Thursday | Cross-Cultural Exchange

  • Discover the Rainforest at Tirimbina, explore the trails and understand the rainforest habitat

  • Find out the secrets of chocolate! See the process from cocoa plant to chocolate bar

  • Search for rainforest wildlife in the darkness of night

  • Overnight: Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve – Chilamate, Costa Rica

DAY #25 | Friday | Adventures in Baldi

  • Relax at the Baldi Hot Springs Resort, the most expansive hot spring facility in the area

  • Depart to Rancho Margot, orientation to the eco-lodge Ranch and everything it has to offer

  • Afternoon activity – your choice of horseback riding or kayaking!

  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner at Rancho Margot

  • Overnight: Rancho Margot – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Ranch

  • Start Shabbat with a relaxing morning yoga class followed by Shabbat services

  • Tour Rancho Margot and its beautiful nature trails

  • Spend Shabbat afternoon at the Ranch with yoga, soccer, pool and relaxation time

  • Overnight: Rancho Margot – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

DAY #27 | Sunday | Costa Rican Approach to Sustainability

  • Explore Arenal National Park – Hike to the base of an active volcano for a stunning view!

  • Descend to the base of La Fortuna waterfalls and cool-off in the river

  • Travel to the misty cloud forest community of Monteverde

  • Nighttime walking safari in the Monteverde Biological Reserve

  • Overnight: Hotel Montana – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #28 | Monday | Monteverde Cloud Forest

  • Hike through the cloud-covered Santa Elena reserve and plant trees

  • Dine in “downtown” Monteverde and then depart to Selvatura Park

  • Fly high above the cloud forest canopy on a zip-lining and hanging bridge course

  • Walk through a colorful Butterfly garden

  • Overnight: Hotel Montana – Monteverde, Costa Rica

DAY #29 | Tuesday | Along the Pacific Coast

  • Descend from the mountains and travel south along the Pacific Coast

  • Volunteer activity at the Senior Citizens Home in Quebrada Ganado

  • Get up-close with crocodiles, iguanas, lizards and more on a boat tour on the Tarcoles River

  • Help keep the Tarcoles community beautiful with a beach clean up project

  • Lecture from turtle hatchery expert – end your day with a short night walk on the beach

  • Overnight: Hotel Doce Lunas – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #30 | Wednesday | 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

  • Playa Hermosa Turtle Reserve – see the beachfront where turtles come to lay their eggs!

  • Evening: Relax after a long day with a delicious Kosher BBQ dinner back at the hotel

  • Overnight: Hotel Doce Lunas – Jaco, Costa Rica

DAY #31 | Thursday | Beach Day!

  • Wake up with the sun and hike up to Mirros Mountain

  • Kayak and canoe on the Pacific Ocean then catch your breath and eat lunch on Jaco beach

  • Descend the mossy, stone steps of the Bijagual Rainforest to hear the roar of the Waterfall

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #32 | Friday | San Jose – Capital of Costa Rica

  • Ascend to the top of the Poaz Volcano National Park, overlooking San Jose

  • Shopping in Alajuela, one of the largest cities in Costa Rica

  • Return to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat in Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose

  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at San Jose’s Shaare Zion Congregation

  • Shabbat dinner at the Jewish Community Center

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #33 | Saturday | Community Shabbat

  • Enjoy a leisurely Shabbat morning at the hotel facilities along with Shabbat programming

  • Lunch at Aish HaTorah with the local rabbi

  • Afternoon relaxation at the hotel – hang out with your friends, play sports, and more

  • Overnight: Costa Rica Hotel & Tennis Club – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #34 | Sunday | Rafting on Pacuare River

  • Wake up early and travel through Turialba en route to the Pacuare River

  • Begin a full-day of white water rafting on the rushing rapids of the Pacuare River

  • Evening: Farewell dinner party and bowling!

  • Overnight: Best Western Irazu – San Jose, Costa Rica

DAY #35 | 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?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated chaperoned flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is chaperoned by our staff.  Learn more about our group flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
We stay in several different kinds of lodgings, ranging from 3-star hotels to rustic eco-lodges in the jungle. Each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations.

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 posted approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, and you can expect a staff welcome call in the lead up to summer. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter during a summer in the American West. Daytime temperatures range from the 80s to 100s. The clothing that you pack should be light weight and comfortable in hot temperatures. Whenever we plan to be outside for an extended period of time, participants will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen and water. These rules are strictly enforced because over exposure to the sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration and sunburns. The good news is that the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity. So the higher temperatures may feel more comfortable than what you are used to at home.
 
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. Finally, June and July fall within the Costa Rica’s rainy season. What this means is that rain is common, although it’s often brief 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’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in the American West is 30 teens and in Costa Rica is 25 teens.

What’s the food like?
Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds.  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 the 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.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
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