19+ Summer Course: Hike, Scuba & Service in Costa Rica & Panama

General

Program Description

Adults ages 19 and up can discover Costa Rica and Panama in two action-packed weeks for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Our summer courses aren’t just for students, they’re for adults too! This is your opportunity to step away from your daily life and reflect on what’s important to you while scuba diving the tropical waters of Panama or trekking through the lush rainforests of Costa Rica.

Choose one of the courses below or combine them to build your ideal two-week summer adventure.


Panama – Week 1 (July 6 - 13)

Discover the natural wonders of Panama’s ecosystems and absorb the Panamanian way of life while learning to scuba dive and sea kayak. Begin your adventure with a sea kayaking expedition through the tropical islands of the Bocas del Toro archipelago. There, earn your NAUI scuba certification while diving among vibrant coral reefs, colorful fish, mangroves, and a sunken ship.

Itinerary

PLEASE NOTE: This is a sample itinerary. Details are subject to change.

  • DAY 1
    Fly to Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO) where you will be greeted by our staff and be driven to our rainforest base in San Ramón de Tres Ríos, Cartago Province. Meet your newfound friends and coursemates, instructors, and participate in a “duffle shuffle” to prepare all you need for the course. Overnight in furnished dorms.
  • DAY 2
    Wake early and enjoy a drive through the lush mountains and valleys of southern Costa Rica to cross the Panama border. Take a boat ride to your picturesque dock island home in the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro and begin the scuba phase of your course. Overnight at the home of our host family on Isla Solarte.
  • DAY 3
    Take a morning theory course and shallow water lesson on scuba diving to learn about the equipment, breathing techniques, and safety procedures. Take your first dive in deeper waters to explore the wildlife and colorful reefs that surround these Caribbean islands. Receive an orientation on your community service projects. Overnight at the home of our host family on Isla Solarte.
  • DAY 4-5Acclimate and practice your diving skills while discovering vibrant coral and spectacular shipwrecks beneath the sea. If you are already certified, earn your advanced certification on special dives including a compass navigation dive and a deep dive. Volunteer at a local indigenous school on community development projects and spend time with the students practicing your Spanish. In your downtime, learn how to or perfect your wakeboarding abilities as you carve through the islands of Bocas del Toro and visit Sloth Island for incredible wildlife sightings. Overnight at the home of our host family on Isla Solarte.
  • DAY 6
    Take a practical and written exam toward earning your scuba diving certification. Enjoy an afternoon of sea kayaking and a celebratory night dive—wave your hands and glide through the waters as thousands of magical bioluminescent lights illuminate your path. Overnight at the home of our host family on Isla Solarte.
  • DAY 7
    Wake up to begin the transport back to our Costa Rica rainforest base. Arrive back at the rainforest base in San Ramón de Tres Ríos for gear return, course reflection, and final dinner. Overnight in furnished dorms.
  • DAY 8
    Transition to your next course or transfer to the Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO) for departure. Say hasta luego to your friends and coursemates. Nos vemos pronto en Costa Rica!

Community Service

Earn 7 – 10 hours of community service that may include refurbishing or building recreational equipment for schools and spending time with local school children.

Costa Rica – Week 2 (July 13 - 20)

Begin with a rainforest trek that will bring you to the heart of Costa Rica’s landscape and its traditions. Learn backcountry skills as you navigate through dense tropical jungle to a series of rural homestays where you’ll discover the slower rhythm of living that inspires the “pura vida” lifestyle. Rappel an 80-foot waterfall, and harvest sugar cane from scratch before leaving the jungle and beginning your beach phase. While along the Pacific Coast, conclude your experience in Costa Rica at Manuel Antonio National Park by learning to surf or boogie board with our experienced instructors.

Itinerary

PLEASE NOTE: This is a sample itinerary. Details are subject to change.

  • DAY 1
    Fly to Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO) where you will be greeted by our staff and driven to our rainforest base in San Ramón de Tres Ríos, Cartago Province. Meet your coursemates, instructors, and participate in a “duffle shuffle” to prepare all you need for the course. Overnight in furnished dorms.
  • DAY 2
    Take off from our rainforest base for a fun-filled day trip of whitewater rafting on class II-III rapids. On your way back stop at a local cafe for a private Coffee Tour to warm up and get a taste of the local flavors and return to base. Overnight in furnished dorms.
  • DAY 3
    Depart early to your “far from the tourist route” trailhead. Hike through the spectacular mountainous rainforest and arrive at a homestay family’s home who will welcome you with coffee and a delicious home-cooked meal. Enjoy a beautiful open-air, sustainable rainforest home where you will learn to cook traditional food and share stories with family members. Overnight at a homestay.
  • DAY 4
    Continue rainforest trekking to your next homestay as your drop in elevation and notice the changes in the flora and fauna of the forest. Wake early one morning for a thrilling waterfall rappel challenge. Later, local host family members will teach you how to make sugar with a trapiche—a method used to traditionally process sugar cane. Overnight at a homestay.
  • DAY 5
    Hike to Rancho Tinamu Rainforest Eco Lodge where a breathtaking mountain view and local families welcome you. Meet your driver at the exit point for a short ride away to our Manuel Antonio beach base. Overnight in lofted rooms.
  • DAY 6
    Spend the day honing your boogie boarding skills, relaxing or playing games at the spectacular Pacific Ocean beach that has been named one of the top 10 tropical beaches in the world. Overnight in lofted rooms at Manuel Antonio Beach base.
  • DAY 7
    Wake up to explore Manuel Antonio National Park, where you may spot white-faced monkeys, howlers, sloths, parrots and more. In the early afternoon, begin the transport back to our Costa Rica rainforest base. Arrive back at the rainforest base in San Ramón de Tres Ríos. Overnight in furnished dorms. Spend your last evening on base with a course reflection and final dinner. Overnight in furnished dorms.
  • DAY 8
    Transfer to the Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO) for departure. Say hasta luego to your friends and coursemates. Nos vemos pronto en Costa Rica.

Community Service

Due to the short length of this course, any service projects will be determined during the hike.

Program Highlights

  • Get the chance to join deep dives and night dives, if you already have a scuba certification.
  • Gain firsthand experience way of life in a small island community in Panama or the remote rainforest communities in the mountains of Costa Rica.
  • Immerse in Caribbean traditions and culture in Panama or learn the pura vida way of life from homestay families in Costa Rica.
  • Earn a diver certification upon program completion.
  • Build a bond with coursemates from around the globe.

Last updated May 2019

About the School

Be. Out. There. Inspiring a lifetime of leadership, growth, and a commitment to serve through adventure-based learning. Outward Bound Costa Rica is an outdoor adventure school that promises challengi ... Read More

Be. Out. There. Inspiring a lifetime of leadership, growth, and a commitment to serve through adventure-based learning. Outward Bound Costa Rica is an outdoor adventure school that promises challenging physical activities across Costa Rica and Panama, with a focus on personal development, leadership, and cultural immersion. Read less