CCS staff will take your group on a tour of Cartago, pointing out sites of interest from the famous, like the Basilica, to the practical, like banks, and the just plain zany, like a restaurant known for its cone-shaped pizza. You’ll also learn the path to the market and how to ride the bus; skills you’ll put to use as you begin to explore your new neighborhood on your own.
Summit an active Volcano
Journey to the Irazú volcano (Irazú translates to “thundering mountain”). The volcano is broken into five craters; from the top, you’ll look down into one enormous volcanic crater, which is almost 3,500 feet wide. The last time Irazú erupted was in 1963, when JFK was visiting Costa Rica!
TRAVERSE THE RAINFOREST
When you think of Costa Rica, imagine a lush and secluded paradise with towering trees and curling vines. The Costa Rican national authorities protect their rain-forests, so these treasured lands are filled with life: they’re home to two-thirds of Earth’s plant and animal species.You’ll hike through the forest floors—hearing strange sounds from wild animals and smelling exotic flowers. Then you’ll cross the tree canopies on suspension bridges and glide amongst the trees on a zipline.
Practice Your Spanish
Whether your knowledge of the Spanish language starts and ends with "hola" or you're a fluent speaker, there’s a twice-weekly Spanish lesson that's right for you! Taught by our CCS staff at the Home-Base, each level targets specific language goals based on your abilities. Whether you're looking for the basics - donde esta el baño? - or local Costa Rican slang to help you connect with the neighborhood kids, we've got you covered.
HIKE OROSI VALLEY
Hike through one of the first settled places in Costa Rica. Here you’ll tour the mountain valley—relaxing and bonding with other volunteers, meeting farmers and artisans, visiting very old churches, and maybe sampling guava, a tropical fruit with a fusion of tastes like pear and strawberry.
Cook Costa Rican Cuisine
At weekly cooking classes, choose from a list of mouth-watering Costa Rican recipes to prepare alongside our amazing CCS cooks. Lessons are held in Spanish so that you can practice your new language skills -- and your rice and beans -- while you do a bit of culinary bonding with the CCS cooks. With your new Spanish vocab and a tasty plate of homemade gallo pinto -- traditional Costa Rican rice and black beans -- you'll have plenty to bond over.