With 800 miles of coastline, Costa Rica is gap-year heaven. This is a beach paradise, and one with plant life in super-abundance and the highest density of wildlife in the world. The country has been careful to make the most of it all, too, and has become a leader in ecotourism, with more protected land areas than anywhere else.
Costa Rica’s breathtaking natural assets make it a perfect adventure travel destination. Some of the most popular activities are surfing, white water rafting and kite surfing, while Cocos Island is a renowned diving area, with a sizeable population of hammerhead sharks, manta rays and dolphins. Back on dry land, there are more than 100 volcanoes to explore.
Considered the safest country in Latin America, Costa Rica is an excellent venue for student travel. Along with its impressive ecotourism credentials and natural attractions, the country scores high on standard of living, and lives up to the national motto of “Pura vida”.
There are many volunteer work programmes that will help you get more deeply immersed in the culture of Costa Rica. These include conservation work with turtles, rescue projects for the jungle sloth, house building and working with vulnerable children.