Costa Rica and Nicaragua is the world’s most biologically diverse region. It offers spectacular wildlife, volcanoes, cloudforest, a rugged mountainous interior, lush coastal rainforest and huge stretches of both Caribbean and Pacific coasts. With the chance to trek on the volcanoes of Nicaragua or in the pristine jungle of Costa Rica, this expedition has it all!

There are also some fantastic community and conservation projects that will see you working closely with locals allowing you to gain an amazing insight into their culture and way of life.


Here are just some of the incredible experiences you can choose from for your Costa Rica & Nicaragua expedition:


Explore the beautiful and pristine Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve, home to red frogs, sapphire quetzals, orchids, hummingbirds and thousands of other species of plants and animals. There are a large number of excellent routes into the cloudforest to choose from.

Alternatively, acclimatise to the heat and the tropical climate by trekking on Ometepe Island, formed from two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua. You get to experience local traditions kept alive by the islanders, and a variety of exotic vegetation and wildlife including white-faced capuchin and mantled howler monkeys.

Community & Conservation Projects

Making a Difference

Teams carry out project work in rural communities in either Costa Rica or Nicaragua. This includes maintenance work or painting murals in schools with plenty of opportunity to meet local villagers and children.

Teams may also have the chance to help out with turtle conservation work at the Ostional Turtle Reserve on the Pacific coast. Tasks can include helping carry out night patrols to help to protect sea turtles from poachers.

Nicaragua Project Case Study –

La Esperanza

The project phase is often one of the most rewarding aspects of an expedition. Here in Nicaragua you work with rural communities in the city of Granada. It’s a fascinating place, and working with the local people allows you to become familiar with their way of life and the problems they face. Nicaragua is still a developing country, and poor compared to its neighbours.

Costa Rica Project Case Study –

Sea Turtle Project

In 2013, a World Challenge team worked on the Nicoya Peninsula to help with the turtle hatcheries. It is one of Costa Rica’s most important turtle nesting sites protecting  millions of turtles that nest here every year, and also safeguarding the marine wildlife and birds in the area as well. Activities included cleaning debris from the beaches and assisting in beach patrols to prevent theft.


There are a range of fantastic treks available to teams, including hiking through the isolated, pristine rainforests of Costa Rica. Other options include climbing one of Costa Rica’s many volcanoes, Cerro Ena (3,126m). This trek passes through amazing cloud forest. It’s a real challenge, but from the summit, you are rewarded with amazing views!

For the ultimate challenge though, it’s hard to go past Nicaragua’s 5 volcanoes in 5 days! The Maribios volcano range features 21 volcanoes offering perfect trekking opportunities. Hardy trekkers can take on reaching the summit of 5 of these volcanoes in a 5 day period.

Rest & Relaxation

After climbing all those volcanoes and helping out with some valuable project work, you’ll need a little rest and relaxation. Where better than at Nicaragua’s surf town, San Juan del Sur. Here you can explore the charming fishing town and its markets, or enjoy a cup of Nicaraguan coffee while taking in the stunning beach views. In Costa Rica you can also choose from miles of Pacific and Caribbean beaches to relax on, and some fantastic thermal hot springs and waterfalls to experience.

For those looking for an adrenalin rush, try white water rafting or whizz through the Monteverde cloud forest on a zip-wire!


Costa Rica & Nicaragua Expedition Factfile

  • Costa Rica & Nicaragua, Central America.
  • Languages spoken: Spanish.
  • Time zone: GMT -6.
  • Terrain: Rain, tropical dry and cloudforest, mountain, altitude, jungle and coast.
  • When can I travel there?: Expeditions possible all year round.
  • Climate: Costa Rica and Nicaragua both experience average year-round temperatures of between 21°-27°C. The coolest months are from Nov-Jan, and the warmest from Mar-May. Their climate is classically divided into rainy and dry. The dry season runs from Jan-May and the rainy season from May-Nov and December.
  • Expedition Physical Rating: Medium.
  • Expedition Duration: 21 to 28 days.
  • Culture Shock: Medium.
  • Typical accommodation: Local hostels and tents.
  • Ideal for: Those with an interest in biology, geography or conservation and great volcanic and jungle trekking.

Things to Know

  • Away from main tourist areas few people speak English so you should learn as much Spanish as you can before you go. The locals really appreciate it and you’ll get so much more out of your expedition.
  • Colonised by Spain, the west of Nicaragua is home to people of mixed Spanish and Native American blood. On the eastern seaboard, there is a more Caribbean culture and English and Jamaican patois are spoken.
  • Costa Rica has 615 species of birds and mammals per square kilometre – more than any other country in the world.
  • National Parks and Environmental Protection Areas make up 25% (one quarter) of the total land in Costa Rica.
  • The national dish of Nicaragua is Nacatamal, Bao and Indio Viejo, which are like rice and beans but a bit spicy!
  • Costa Rica has 800 miles of coastline, between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts
  • León is the young capital of Nicaragua. It is a university town with street festivals almost every week!

In-Country Agents

Costa Rica – Javier Cano

Your In-Country Agent, Javier Cano, will be on-hand throughout your expedition. He runs his own outdoor-education company and has worked with us since 2003.

Nicaragua – Guillermo (Memo) Bobadilla

Our In-Country Agent for Nicaragua is Memo. He runs a volcano trekking company in León. He’ll be on hand to ensure you get the very best from your expedition..


Click here to contact us or
call 1300 728 568.


Your students choose activities from any of the following phases:
Rest & Relaxation


Every World Challenge starts long before your students step on a plane. With our support, develop life skills and take ownership of:

  • Destination and itinerary planning
  • Fundraising ideas and events
  • Budgeting and money management
  • Preparation, fitness and nutrition
More about our school expeditions

Get in touch with one of our consultants to start planning your overseas school expedition today!

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