Costa Rica

Agriculture, Small Business and Environmental Practices

Basic Information:

Costa Rica

– Agriculture, Local Businesses and Environmental Causes
*December 13-22

*$3850 airfare included

Contact Faculty Leader: Charlie Mitsdarfer

Tenative Schedule:

DAY 1 – DEPARTURE – Friday, December 13

Depart Home for San Jose’, Costa Rica Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica

Hotel Check-In & On-Ground Briefing Lunch Break

Cigar Factory Tour-Learn about the production process of premium cigars in this factory. The tour starts with a welcome from one of the experts and a general explanation about cigar making and the history of the factory. Later you will be explained the stages of the cigar adventure.

Welcome Dinner – The group will be taken for an authentic dinner with a wide variety of menu options to cater all diets.

DAY 2 – SAN JOSE/SARAPIQUI – Saturday, December 14

Breakfast & Day Briefing

Palmitour Visit – The group will travel over road 32 for about 2 hours to visit Palmitour, which is an incredible an unique experience. We will learn all about Heart of Palm. Besides learning about this interesting crop, we are going to have the chance to taste some dishes prepared from Palmito.

Lunch break

Pineapple Farm – After lunch, we will drive for approx. 30 minutes to an organic pineapple farm. Our goal is to learn about sustainable farming, and this farm allows us to do so. They are one of the few Costa Rican producers to export organic pineapple to North America and Europe.

Group Dinner – Included

DAY 3 – SARAPIQUI/JUANILAMA – Sunday, December 15

Breakfast & Day Briefing

Juanilanima Visit( approx 2hrs)-Travel Day to Juanilama Homestay Located at Santa Rosa de Pocosol. Juanilama Proyecto Rural, is a community that is doing its best to preserve the Costa Rican culture, thanks to this they are able to welcome visitors from all over the world and share their warmth and authenticity.

Lunch Break

Afternoon – This afternoon we are going to have the chance to meet the women and men that started this interesting project. Mainly ran by women.

Dancing Lessons

Group Dinner – Included at the community hall.

Overnight at the homestay with the families of the community

DAY 4 – JUANILAMA – Monday, December 16

Breakfast & Day Briefing

Yamilleth’s Farm Visit – The group are going to learn the concept farm to table. We will visit Yamilleth’s farm; she and her family were one of the original settlers that move to Juanilama. They have been sharing their knowledge about farming generation after generation. We are going to have some fresh made chocolate, coffee, and sugarcane juice.

Cooking Class & Lunch Included – Lunch is going to be different today. We are going to take a cooking class! We will learn how to prepare a good Casado (Costa Rican dish). Each student is going to take place in the kitchen and will learn how to make a delicious Costa Rican dish, with fresh ingredients and all the love that the families at Juanilama are going to share with us. After an authentic lunch we will walk into the Juanilama reserve – a 19 hectare protected section of forest where we will able to observe some wildlife. At the end of the trail you will see a waterfall. Monkeys, poison dart frogs, toucans, parrots are some of the species typically found in the area.

Free afternoon

Group Dinner – Included

DAY 5 – JUANILAMA/LA FORTUNA – Tuesday, December 17

Breakfast & Day Briefing

Travel to La Fortuna ( approx 2 hrs)– After a farewell to Juanilama community, the group will continue the journey to La Fortuna. Lunch Break

North Fields Coffee Plantation The group will visit North Fields coffee farm. A small family business that grows coffee at the base of the famous Arenal Volcano. The area of La Fortuna is blessed with rich soils, and coffee, sugar cane and cacao is just one of many other crops grown in the area.

Group Dinner – Included



DAY 6 – LA FORTUNA – Wednesday, December 18

Breakfast & Day Briefing

Two Little Monkeys Chocolate Tour– Today the group will have a sweet morning – after breakfast we will head to Two Little Monkeys chocolate tour. This is a small family project that focuses its business in sustainability. Besides having Cacao trees, they have learn that having a multi-crop farm increases the richness of the soil and the production of their crops. Making our own chocolate is part of the experience, and this is exactly what we are going to do today!

Lunch Break

Afternoon in La Fortuna – This afternoon the group will have the opportunity to learn about the local development association of La Fortuna. We will learn about the different projects they support in the town. Music, art, culture, sports, education are part of the programs they are involved in and take care of. Besides, we will also learn about BAE, the Blue Flag Program. One of the most successful projects the Costa Rican government has in place, which teached and encourages individuals, companies, and communities to preserve and work in a friendly way with the environment, but most importantly to ensure a safe environment for our next generations.

Dinner– Included – Is going to take place at Papa’s place, a small family business that keeps the tradition of having a culinary authentic experience.



DAY 7 – LA FORTUNA – Thursday, December 19

Breakfast & Day Briefing

Mistico Hanging Bridges – Experience the Tropical Rainforest from a different perspective, you are going to explore the forest from ground level to the tree tops, trying to spot as much wildlife as possible. The guide will explain along the trail about the interactions that occur between the flora & fauna.

Lunch break

Hot Springs – After a long day of walking and exploring the rainforest we will finish enjoying some amazing hot springs 36°C-37.5°C (96.8 -99.5 °f) to Average temperature: 38° C – 39° C (100.4°F – 102.5 ° F)

Dinner at La Fortuna Downtown – Included



DAY 8 – LA FORTUNA – Friday, December 20

Breakfast & Day Briefing

Free Day to Relax and Explore

Optional Activities: Ziplining, Night Walk, Safari Flow

DAY 9 – LA FORTUNA – Saturday, December 21

Breakfast & Day Briefing

Travel to Tenorio Volcano (approx. 1:30 hr) – After enjoying the Tropical Rainforest, the group will drive in to the base of Tenorio Volcano, which is still active

Lunch Break

Rio Celeste – The group will visit a waterfall of turquoise color, which is formed by the union of two rivers having different PH. This is what makes the river particles larger, which in turn forms the aluminosilicates reflecting the turquoise color. We will be able to swim in the river.

Malekus Indigenous Community – We will learn about the culture and tradition


DAY 10 – DEPARTURE – Sunday, December 22

Breakfast & Day Briefing

Airport Transfer Depart San Jose, Costa Rica for Home


  • Cigar Factory Tour
  • Palmitour Visit
  • Pineapple Farm
  • Juamilanima Visit & Dancing Lessons
  • Yamilleth’s Farm Visit
  • North Fields Plantation
  • Two little monkey’s `Chocolate Tour
  • Mistico Hanging Bridges
  • Hot springs
  • Tenorio Volcano
  • Rio Celeste
  • Malekus indigenous Community


  • Roundtrip airfare
  • 9 Nights of Accommodation
    • 2-6 people per room for participants, each with their own bed and ensuite bathroom
    • Free wifi and daily continental breakfast
  • All Ground Transportation in Costa Rica
  • Welcome & Farewell Dinners and other meals where stated
  • Historical & Cultural Walking Tours
  • Full Time On Site Program Director Available 24/7 in case of Emergencies
  • 24/7 On-Ground Emergency Support
  • SAA’s Mandatory Health Insurance*
  • SAA’s $5m Liability Insurance (COI available upon request)



*Created by Study Abroad Association

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