Costa Rica AgricULTURE, Business and Environment Tour

Adventure awaits as you explore beautiful Costa Rica! During this 10-day program, students will become familiar with major agriculture exports and the businesses behind them, discover environmental practices and enjoy nature in a tropical paradise.  The program includes hands-on activities and lots of intercultural interactions that will enrich the educational content of this program, and that will create unforgettable memories along with priceless learning experiences.

Program Highlights include.... 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

Courses Offered

Students will earn credit in AGB 106 International Agricultural Field Experience (2 credit hours). 

Day by Day Agenda

DAY 1 - Departure: Friday, December 13 

Depart home for San José, Costa Rica 

Cigar Factory Tour: Learn about the production process of premium cigars in this factory. The tour starts with a welcome from one of their experts and a general explanation about cigar making and the history of the factory. As the tour continues, you'll explore all 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 José and Sarapiqui: Saturday, December 14 

Breakfast and Palmitour Visit: The group will travel over Road 32 for about two hours to visit Palmitour, which is an incredible and unique experience to 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 and Pineapple Farm: After lunch, we will drive for approximately 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. 

The day will conclude with an included group dinner. 

DAY 3 - Sarapiqui and Juanilama: Sunday, December 15 

Breakfast and Juanilanima Visit: Travel Day to Juanilama Homestay, located at Santa Rosa de Pocosol. Juanilama Proyecto Rural is a community that is working to preserve Costa Rican culture and welcome visitors from all over the world and share their warmth and authenticity. 

Lunch: Over lunch, you'll have the chance to meet the majority-women team that started this interesting project.

The day will conclude with dancing lessons and a group dinner at the community hall, followed by an overnight homestay with the families of the community.

DAY 4 - Juanilama: Monday, December 16 

Breakfast and Yamilleth’s Farm Visit: Today the group will learn about the concept of "farm to table". We will visit a farm belonging to Yamilleth; her family was among the original settlers of Juanilama. They have been sharing their knowledge about farming generation after generation. Here, we will enjoy fresh made chocolate, coffee, and sugarcane juice. 

Cooking Class Lunch: You'll be preparing today's lunch in a cooking class! Our group will learn how to prepare Casado, a Costa Rican dish, 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 and a waterfall. Monkeys, poison dart frogs, toucans, parrots are some of the species typically found in the area. 

Students may enjoy a free afternoon and then partake in an included group dinner in the evening.

DAY 5 - Juanilama and La Fortuna: Tuesday, December 17 

Breakfast and travel to La Fortuna: After a farewell to Juanilama community, the group will take a two-hour journey to La Fortuna. 

Lunch Break and North Fields Coffee: 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 are some of the many other crops grown in the area. 

The evening will conclude with an included group dinner. 

DAY 6 - La Fortuna: Wednesday, December 18

Breakfast and 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. There's more than just cacao trees here, as we'll learn how having a multi-crop farm increases the richness of the soil and the production of crops. At the end, you'll even get to make your own chocolate!

Lunch Break Afternoon in La Fortuna: This afternoon, the group will have an opportunity to learn about the local development association of La Fortuna including music, arts, culture, sports, and education. We will also learn about the Blue Flag Program, one of the most successful projects the Costa Rican government has in place, which teaches the community to preserve the environment for the next generation. 

For dinner, we'll visit Papa’s Place, a small family business that provides an authentic culinary experience. 

DAY 7 - La Fortuna: Thursday, December 19 

Breakfast and Místico Hanging Bridges: Experience the tropical rainforest from a different perspective! At the Místico Hanging Bridges, you can explore the forest from ground level to the tree tops, all while trying to spot as much wildlife as possible. Our guide will explain the interaction between the flora and fauna as we explore the trail.

Lunch and Hot Springs: After a long day of walking and exploring the rainforest, we enjoy some amazing hot springs, which average 100° Fahrenheit!

The evening will end with an included dinner in downtown La Fortuna.

DAY 8 - La Fortuna: Friday, December 20 

Breakfast included, and then the day is free to relax and explore! 

Optional activities include zip-lining and a night safari walk.

DAY 9 - La Fortuna: Saturday, December 21

Breakfast and travel to Tenorio Volcano: After enjoying the tropical rainforest, the group will drive an hour and a half to the base of Tenorio Volcano, an active volcano!

Lunch Break and Rio Celeste: The group will visit a beautiful turquoise waterfall, which is formed by the union of two rivers with a different pH. We'll learn about the science behind the waterfall, and then enjoy swimming in the river.

In the afternoon, we'll visit the Malekus Indigenous Community to learn about their culture and tradition.

DAY 10 - DEPARTURE: Sunday, December 22

After breakfast, we'll head to the airport to come back home!

Included in Program Cost

Your $3,850 program cost includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare 
  • 9 nights of accommodation
    • 2–6 people per room, each with their own bed and ensuite bathroom 
    • Free wi-fi
    • Daily continental breakfast
  • All ground transportation in Costa Rica
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners, other meals where stated
  • Historical and cultural walking tours
  • Full-time, on-site Program Director available 24/7 in case of emergencies 
  • Health Insurance    

Not included: 

  • Meals where not specified
  • Passport and Visa Fees (if applicable)
  • Upgrade cost for single room
  • Transportation to and from home airport
  • Optional Travelers Insurance and/or CFAR/IFAR
  • Personal expenses
  • Tuition for AGB-106

Financial aid does apply to this program. Please check with Parkland's Financial Aid office for more information.

$500 Honors Stipend Available to Honors Program Students who complete an Honors Project. For information on how to join the Honors program contact Marsh Jones at

To apply, or for more information, please contact:

Charlie Mitsdarfer, trip leader, Office: W102,, 217/353-3386

Jody Littleton, Study Abroad Coordinator, Office: D175,, 217/351-2532