An environment and cloud forest adventure combo
If time is short, or you are just travelling through this tropical sun drenched country, and fancy doing more than hostel hopping then this 3 week gap year program to Costa Rica might be just what is needed.
Head to our base on the stunning pacific coast to join a team of volunteers where you will contribute to local conservation projects before heading off inland to explore the heady heights of Monteverde’s stunning cloud forest.
Zip wiring through the canopy and safaring through the heart of this cloud forest, to seek out Costa Rica’s extraordinary wildlife and fauna, will be just one of the many highlights.
Get your binoculars ready.
Your main base will be at the Jakera Jungle Surf Camp, based in the lively beach town of Santa Teresa, world famous for surf breaks across beaches so pristine, uncrowded and seemingly endless that they are regularly listed in the ‘World’s 10 Best Beaches’.
They have created a jungle paradise, overlooked by a rich tropical forest bursting with wildlife including capuchin and howler monkeys.
After a day of volunteering and optional Spanish lessons you’ll have time to explore the town which comes alive with funky surf shops, cafes, restaurants and nightspots for every taste and budget.
Beach Conservation – Santa Teresa
Having been introduced to the amazing beaches of Santa Teresa, and adjoining Playa Hermosa and Playa Carmen, the recreational opportunities are clear. However, beaches need to be maintained to keep them clear of debris that not only looks unsightly but can cause harm to people and wildlife.
Formed in response to water and beach pollution, this government-backed initiative aims to reward communities that adhere to their guidelines on conservation practice. By awarding the Blue Flag, the communities gain international recognition for their beach and can attract more tourists and investment. Rubbish is recycled at a local plant.
But, like all good things, it’s an on-going battle and Leap volunteers are needed to keep up the good work with weekly beach clean-ups.
Tropical Forest Conservation– Santa Teresa
Here you will help with the upkeep of Santa Teresa’s neighbouring tropical forest whilst learning about the biodiversity of flora and fauna in this special part of the world.
Jobs here will include:
- Cleaning debris from streams.
- Maintaining the trails and keeping the signage clear,
- Forest nursery maintenance – planting trees, collecting saplings, helping to dispose of rubbish.
These will take place during the day and at night, when you’ll go in search of daytime and nocturnal wildlife in the tropical forest.
You will also have the chance to get involved with various community projects which focus on helping local children with extracurricular activities and sports clubs, like the swimming classes, football and English classes at the school. The swimming lessons involve a 1-week program which aims to get beginners swimming a width, unaided, in a week.
Optional Spanish Lessons
During these two weeks it is possible to take part in the Spanish lessons which are tailored to suit all levels, from beginner to intermediate, and are designed to help you interact with the local community.
Monteverde – Your Cloud Forest Adventure
Set on top of the spine of Costa Rica’s continental divide, Monteverde is a world above the coastal towns that dot the country’s famous shoreline. It is a place of cloud forests, coffee plantations, monkeys, mist, and friendly locals. The town of Santa Elena is small and quaint, filled with tasty restaurants and folksy artisan shops, while the nearby rainforest hosts a remarkable amount of biodiversity.
Due to its high altitude – some 4,662 ft (1,440 m) above sea level – Monteverde is privileged to receive a steady supply of clouds and the life-giving moisture that they contain. This moisture, often in the form of fog, catches on the branches of the tallest trees and drips down to the other organisms below. This helps to support a complex and far-reaching ecosystem, one that harbours over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, tens of thousands of insect species, and over 2,500 varieties of plants, 420 of which are orchids alone.
Here you will be able explore this internationally recognised environment from trails and trams, along canopy tours or inside museums. There are also some amazing optional extra activities like their famous zip wire, horse riding (helmets mandatory!) and a coffee tour.
We have 3 departures a year in February, May and October – get in touch for more details.