Adventure Camps in Costa Rica

Camp and become self-sufficient while practicing adventure activities in the outdoors such as surfing, sea kayaking, ropes, canyoning, climbing, inner tubing, rafting, hiking and more, and learn the elemental skills, values and concepts for a happy, healthy and successful life.

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Osa

Ages 13-16

Guanacaste

Ages 12+

OSA ADVENTURE

Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to explore some of Costa Rica’s best wilderness regions in National Parks and Conservation areas. Camp and climb on one of our highest peaks before surfing surreal waves in a National Park and paddling kayaks to remote nooks in the Golfo Dulce.

This ten-day adventure for 13-16 year olds begins with a campout in the high mountains of the Area de Conservación Central for an intro to wilderness camping and basic rope skills before we head to Osa. We continue onwards to the Parque Nacional Marino Ballena where we will set up for our three-day surf camp. We will learn the basics of surfing and surf protocol on a palm tree lined beach, the quintessential setting for a tropical surf lesson.

Downtime will be spent visiting other beaches of the National Park, waterfalls in the area, the local farmer’s market, and the reef on the “whale’s tail”. The final segment of our journey will take place in the Golfo Dulce, a magical area, where if we are lucky we could spot some of Costa Rica’s incredible wildlife such as whale sharks, humpback whales, jaguars, pumas, spider monkeys, sloths, tapirs and so much more. For four days we will paddle the smooth seas of the gulf stopping to camp at some of Costa Rica’s most remote beaches and coves. We will hold bonfires each night to celebrate our daily accomplishments and share time with our new friends.

Throughout this adventure, all trip participants will be expected to contribute and partake in all meal planning and prepping, as well as campsite set ups and breakdowns, overall gear care, and other details to ensure everyone enjoys a successful trip

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INCLUDES

• All transportation
• All lodging and camping fees
• All activities: all climbing and rappelling gear including helmets, harnesses, gloves, ropes, belay gear, etc; 4 days of sea kayak rentals with paddles, life jackets, and backrests; 2 days of surf lessons
• Support boat for the sea kayaking segment
• All National Park entrance fees
• All meals
• Camping gear (tents, kitchen mess, etc.)
• 2 Adventures Under the Sun trip leaders

DOES NOT INCLUDE

Personal clothes (once you sign up for the trip we will
send a recommended packing list)

Requirements

Minimum of 6 participants required.

9 Nights

10 Days

DAY ONE

Early departure from San Jose to Cerro de la Muerte where we will establish camp and begin a basic introductory lesson to ropes, knots, climbing gear and rappel gear. Stay overnight at Camp Cerro de la Muerte.

01

DAY TWO

We will spend the day learning the basic rope skills and practicing different climbing and rappelling techniques for beginners. There will be a short hike to the nearby peak for an incredible view of the Pacific Ocean and our next destination, Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. Stay overnight at Camp Cerro de la Muerte

02

DAY THREE

Today we break down camp, pack up and shift to our surf base camp on Playa Uvita. In route we will stop for lunch and a food shop for this next adventure. Once at Playa Uvita, we will have time to enjoy the beach and get ready for surf and fun under the sun! Stay overnight at Camp Playa Uvita.

03

DAY FOUR & Five

We will rise and shine early for the next two days to take full advantage of the early morning surf conditions. After the standard and well-deserved surfer’s special breakfast, days will be spent exploring the reef at the “whale’s tail”, the local farmer’s market, as well as nearby beaches and waterfalls. Camp overnight at Playa Uvita.

04 – 05

DAY Six

Today will be a busy day starting with camp break down. As we make our way to the Golfo Dulce we will stop in town for our last big food shop. Upon arrival at our overnight lodge, we will spend the afternoon packing and preparing for the sea kayaking sojourn, and a short paddle for an introduction to sea kayaking and safety. Lodging in Osa

06

DAY SEVEN to Nine

For the next three days, we will paddle the shoreline of most of this ancient fjord known as the Sweet Water Gulf. We will stop, pause, relax, and reflect on remote islands, sheltered bays, and jungle-lined beaches all while learning about the uniqueness of the area and what makes it so special for so much wildlife. Our campsites will vary as we go and our motorboat will accompany us the entire way to carry all our camping gear and food. On the last night, we will have a final ceremony to celebrate all our achievements and new friends we have made. Camping on private beaches.

07 – 09

DAY Ten

Today we will break down camp before the crack of dawn and paddle across the gulf with the sunrise. On the other side we will indulge in a well-deserved enormous breakfast before heading back to San Jose.

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GUANACASTE ADVENTURE

Come explore the best of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province. We will explore rivers, beaches and islands on our Guanacaste Adventure for students ages 12 to 14.

Our adventure begins with a sea kayaking trip along the shorelines and islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. We will camp on the islands for three days, paddle the serene seas and explore remote bays. Our paddling sojourn will include a day at the Isla San Lucas National Park to explore the ancient penitentiary and the cool island trails. Experiencing the coastal bioluminescence at night will no doubt be one of the many highlights of this trip.

Continuing onwards, we will set up camp on Playa Coyote where our surf instructors will show us the basics of surfing and surf etiquette for the next three days. Downtime will be spent playing soccer matches on the beach, hiking the coast, and fishing with our local host.

Before we move on to the final leg of our journey, we will explore the caves at Barra Honda National Park, a seldomly visited area of Costa Rica. Lastly, we will camp on the upper banks of the gorgeous Corobici River and spend the days learning all about rivers, river safety, how to build a raft, inner tubing and enjoying all kinds of fun and games in the enormous swimming holes. We will hold bonfires each night to celebrate our daily accomplishments and share time with our new friends.

Throughout this adventure, all trip participants will be expected to contribute and partake in all meal planning and prepping, as well as campsite set ups and breakdowns, overall gear care, and other details to ensure everyone enjoys a successful trip.

9 Nights

10 Days

R

INCLUDES

All transportation
• All lodging and camping fees during the adventure segment
• All activities during the adventure segment: 3 days of sea kayak rentals with paddles, life jackets, backrests, and sea kayak guide; 2 days of surf lessons; coastal hike; fishing with locals; day hikes; inner tubing; river safety lectures with life jackets, helmets, and other river safety equipment, and river activities
• Support boat for the sea kayaking segment
• All National Park entrance fees
• All meals
• Camping gear (tents, kitchen mess, etc.)
• 2 Adventures Under the Sun trip leaders

DOES NOT INCLUDE

Personal clothes (once you sign up for the trip we will
send a recommended packing list)

Requirements

Minimum of 6 participants required.

DAY ONE

Early departure from San Jose to the ferry landing in the port town of Puntarenas. Upon arrival on the Peninsula our sea kayaking instructor and our boat captain will meet us on the beach for a safety talk and review of paddling techniques before we begin our first paddle to Isla Jesusita to set up camp for the next three nights. Stay overnight at Camp Isla Jesusita.

01

DAY TWO

We will spend the day exploring the bays and inlets of Cedros Island by kayak and relaxing in the sea. Tonight, we will go for a short paddle just offshore to check out the magical bioluminescence. Stay overnight at Camp Isla Jesusita.

02

DAY THREE

A full day of adventure awaits as we make our way to the Isla San Lucas National Park. We will take some time to explore the prisons cells and dungeons of the historical penitentiary and walk the island trails to where our boat will meet us for a picnic lunch and paddle back to camp. Stay overnight at Camp Isla Jesusita.

03

DAY FOUR

Today we break down camp, pack up and shift to our surf base camp on Playa Coyote. In route we will stop in a local pueblo Guanacasteco for lunch and a food shop for this next adventure. Once at Playa Coyote, we will have time to enjoy the beach and get ready for surf and fun under the sun! Stay overnight at Camp Playa Coyote.

04

DAY FIVE & SIX

We will rise and shine early for the next two days to take full advantage of the early morning surf conditions. After the standard and well-deserved surfer’s special breakfast, days will be spent exploring the coastline, fishing and playing games on the beach before heading out for afternoon surf sessions. Stay overnight at Camp Playa Coyote.

05 – 06

DAY SEVEN

After our last surf session, we will break down and pack up camp once again to head off to the Barra Honda National Park. Here we will explore the Terciopelo Cavern, hike to the lookout with expansive views of the Peninsula and continue to the town of Cañas for yet another food shop before heading to our final campsite on the upper banks of the Corobici River. Stay overnight at Corobici River.

07

DAY EIGHT & NINE

We will spend the days learning about rivers and river safety, how to build rafts, inner tubing and participate in some fun challenges and games in the many swimming holes. Downtime will be spent soaking in the sun and energy from the exuberant surrounding forests and enjoying the last few days with our new friends. On the last night we will hike to the nearby mirador for a final ceremony to celebrate all the accomplishments of this incredible adventure as tomorrow we return to civilization. Stay overnight at Camp Corobici River.

08 – 09

DAY TEN

Today we will break down camp for the last time and head back to San Jose.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Quick answers to your questions. Start your journey today!

Q: Why Costa Rica?

A: Aside from being an exotic, biodiverse destination, Costa Rica is also very safe. Costa Rica boasts a great variety of tropical landscapes and biomass, all of which are readily accessible and within a relatively short distance of travel. Costa Rica is also a democratic republic with no internal political strife.

Q: Where is Costa Rica and how big is it?

A: Costa Rica is located in the isthmus of Central America. It is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. Costa Rica is exactly 51,100 square kilometers (31,937 square miles). Virtually, you could fit 10 Costa Rica’s in to the state of California.

Q: Is Costa Rica safe?

A: Costa Rica is is a peaceful democratic republic with no military. As with anywhere you travel, petty thievery can happen; therefore, it is important to keep a low profile, avoid temptations for thieves and keep your personal belongings close or leave them at the hotel.

Q: Do I need to speak Spanish?

A: Although Spanish is the national language of Costa Rica, if you do not speak it you can get by easily. Most “ticos” (Costa Ricans) speak some English and are very willing to learn. They also love to teach Spanish to foreigners.

Q: How do I know which Adventure Camp is right for me?

A: Generally we will recommend a camp according to your age. However, we do make exceptions. To find the right trip, consider what activities you like or would like to accomplish. Next, please let us know what time frame works best for your schedule so we can match you with the best options.

Q: What travel documents do we need? Do we need a visa?

A: IMPORTANT FOR MINORS UNDER 18 We ask that all participants bring a copy of our Permission to Travel Letter signed by his or her parents. This form is included in the Trip Forms and Information Folder that is sent once your deposit is received. You must be sure to have a valid passport to travel to Costa Rica. It must have at least six months validity before expiring or you may not be allowed to enter or depart Costa Rica. Be sure your passport will not expire while traveling because it will be difficult to renew in Costa Rica, especially as a minor. Some airlines may require minors traveling alone be assisted by an airline representative. Generally this has an extra fee. Visas are NOT required for those traveling from the following countries: European Union, United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. If the country you are coming from is not listed here, please contact the Costa Rican consulate in your area. If you have any difficulties, AUSun may assist you as well.

Q: What is AUSun’s insurance policy?

A: AUSun follows safety standards and regulations established by leading outdoor adventure tourism operators in the US and Costa Rica. We are covered by a Comprehensive Commercial General Liability policy with the Costa Rican National Insurance Institute. All participants must be covered by medical insurance. We recommend that each participant checks with their insurance carrier as to whether they will be covered for a trip of this nature. If not, we request they purchase medical insurance specifically for this trip with AUSun. AUSun insurance covers theft, loss or damage of basic personal property and equipment like clothes, shoes, backpacks, and suitcases. We suggest participants confirm that their insurance coverage includes more expensive items like electronic equipment.

Q: Are there any required vaccinations I must have before going to Costa Rica?

A: AUSun recommends that you have updated Tetanus, Tuberculosis and COVID shots before traveling to Costa Rica. The CDC recommends that those traveling to Costa Rica be inoculated for malaria and hepatitis. These inoculations are not required by AUSun; this is left to your discretion. Should you choose to be inoculated for these diseases, please be aware of the side effects. If possible, administer the inoculations well in advance so that side effects will not affect you during your travels. Costa Rica is listed as a country with Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya, therefore, please consider bringing plenty of mosquito repellent and attire to protect yourself from mosquito bites throughout your travels.

Q: What is AUSun’s policy regarding students’ electronic devices?

A: AUSun Adventure Camps are experiences created for students to disconnect from their daily routines and devices, and to reconnect with themselves, nature, and their new friends in a healthy, outdoor environment. We therefore request you leave these devices at home. This will also avoid loss, theft, or damage of these expensive items. Our staff will carry cel phones, and a communications system will be established to keep parents informed throughout the trip. We realize that this many participants may suffer from FOMO, however our experience is that the results far out way the challenge of a journey without screen time.

Also, there is always an AUSun representative in the office in Costa Rica that knows the exact location of all participants while on their adventures. In case of an emergency, parents can call the office or trip cell phone at any time, day or night, and the representative will get them in touch with the group as soon as possible. Participants are also scheduled to call their parents upon arrival to the country, and on specific days during their travels. Parents will be made aware of these days prior trip departure.

Q: Where do the Adventure Camp participants come from?

A: AUSun is definitely a multicultural program. We get people from all over the world coming together on our different programs. Most of the participants for our Adventure Camps, however, are from Costa Rica and the United States. Many of our national participants from Costa Rica are international emigrants from different countries that have come to Costa Rica due to their parent’s work. This brings some incredible diversity into our expeditions. We have had participants come from South America, Caribbean Islands, Asia, and Europe.

Q: Can friends come together on a trip?

A: Of course, however, it is not necessary. The relationships fostered from a group having to work together through thick or thin are something quite astonishing. You will be surprised by the new friends you can make on an adventure far away from home.

Q: Do the students need previous experience in outdoor skills? Do they need to be in good shape?

A: NO. All of the outdoor activities of our Summer Expeditions are scheduled to suit all levels of experience. Beginners do not need any previous experience for any activity. Your enthusiasm will guarantee a positive experience throughout the adventure.

Q: What will I see?

A: Costa Rica holds 5% of the world’s biodiversity within its relatively small area. As long as you keep your eyes and ears open, we can guarantee that you will see an incredible number of creatures that you have never seen before. Depending on the area of your program you are likely to see toucans, herons, egrets, sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, dolphins, whales, turtles, lizards, insects, maybe even a jaguar and thousands of different plants. Landscapes and views can include a jungle lined coast, the vast ocean, erupting volcano, tropical waterways, white water rapids flowing through tropical rainforests, and views from the tree top canopy of lowland or dry tropical rainforests.

Q: What type of experience do your guides/trip leaders have?

A: AUSun trip leaders are required to carry a national guiding license which is awarded after completing an intense course on Costa Rican natural history, English language classes, tropical biology, CPR, first aid, etc. AUSun also requires trip leaders to partake in our week long staff training program held every year and in which we teach them the guidelines, policies, procedures and standards of all of our programs.

Q: Does AUSun offer Adventure Camps with home stay, language classes, cultural immersion, or community service components? And if so how do you select these?

A: Yes, AUSun we can include any or all the components to an adventure camp if it is not included already. Please be sure to request these activities upon requesting information so we can be sure to send you details. Costa Rican’s love to share their customs, traditions and language, and a “tico’s” hospitality is unmatched; therefore, we are always delighted when requests for such are made. Because we offer programs all over the country, Adventures Under the Sun has sought out various grassroots rural organizations and local non-profits in distinct communities, and the most dynamic language programs. We work closely with the members of these organizations to create the safest, most educational and ideal cultural experience for our visitors. Our outreach contacts are known members of the community and have ample historical knowledge of the families that provide home stays, and the locations in most need of help.

Q: What do we eat? What if some are vegetarians?

A: On back country adventure camps, participants will be expected to assist with some preparation and planning, as well as fulfilling various chores and activities required for a successful adventure. We believe in eating good, healthy meals while traveling, and all our trip leaders love to cook and eat. Therefore, get ready to get involved with the meal planning, cooking and clean up – fundamental experiences of an AUSun trip. We guarantee you will enjoy learning the skills and secrets of cooking fresh ceviche, gallo pinto, chicken fajitas, pizzas, couscous, baked desserts and more! On a front country summer expedition, participants will have the opportunity to enjoy the many varieties of meals, fresh fruits and vegetables of Costa Rica. The majority of all meals will be typically Costa Rican and include tropical fruits, vegetables, rice and beans, salads and usually the option of fish, chicken, beef or pork. Vegetarians need not to worry; the main staple of Costa Rican cuisine is rice and beans, which provides plenty of protein. We only ask that vegetarians notify us ahead of time so that we may be prepared.

Q: Will I be able to shower and do laundry?

A: All scheduled adventure camps provide places to shower. Laundry facilities are available upon returning to a city or community after being in the wilderness, but are always available on the front country trips.

Q: What is the male/female ratio on a trip?

A: We have had a diversity of male/female ratios on our trips. Some trips have been completely female, while others have had an even split. AUSun can let you know the ratio for the trip you are interested in upon request.

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