Biodiversity, Peace, & Wellness

This spring break, students will travel to Central America to experience the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica. Through scientific observation, outdoor adventure, and immersion in place, students will spend time near the ocean, mountains, volcanos and national parks of Costa Rica to deepen their understanding of flora and fauna of this region and how it relates to human and global wellbeing. 

Beginning in the capital city of San José, students will build a contextual understanding of how culture and biodiversity intersect in the country with visits to local farms, markets, and gardens.  They will then travel to the coast with a stop at Poas volcano, before traveling down the coast, visiting a number of national parks to hike, observe tidal pools, snorkel, swim, and practice beach yoga. Their journey will culminate in an experience at Campanario Research Station where they will be introduced to a number of science research projects designed to explore and catalog the biodiversity of the fauna of the Osa region. Throughout the trip, students will capture their observations and impressions with a field journal, and return to Deerfield having grappled with the meaning and value of biodiversity, conservation, and the role students can and should play as travelers, students, and global citizens.

Program Notes

  • Please note: This program conflicts with the March 11 SAT test date.
  • Families are responsible for transportation from U.S.-based airport to the student’s destination for the remainder of March break.
  • This is an “unplugged” trip where students will not have access to cell phones or internet for the duration of their time in Costa Rica. Students and faculty leaders will update families and friends at home through our Notes From The Field blog
  • During this trip, students will stay in hotels, inns, cabins, and lodges. Many of the accommodations will be rustic. At the research station, students will stay in bunk rooms or cabins, with limited electricity and no AC. They will be asked to be mindful of conserving both power and water during their stay. Meals will be shared at accommodations and restaurants.

Program Dates

March 4 – March 12, 2023

Program Eligibility

This trip is open to all students, with preference given to students who have a demonstrated interest in scientific inquiry and are excited for outdoor adventure, including hiking, swimming, snorkeling, and staying in rustic accommodations. All interested students are encouraged to apply by November 6. Financial aid is available to all qualifying students. 

faculty trip leaders

Heidi Valk; Liz Washburn


Deerfield Academy’s Center for Service and Global Citizenship strives to make all of our travel programs affordable and accessible for all students while ensuring a high quality global education experience. While the costs of travel around the world have been rising steadily over the past several years, all of our trips are subsidized, and thanks to the generosity of many we are able to provide robust financial aid for qualifying students.


Helpful links

2023 Preliminary Itinerary

* Itinerary subject to change

March 4: Travel to Costa Rica

March 5: Ciudad Colon

  • Breakfast at Feria del Agricultor
  • Explore the Market, transfer to Ciudad Colon
  • Visit to University for Peace Gardens

March 6: Poas and Quepos

  • Transport to Volcan Poas for Volcano crater viewing
  • Drive to Bajos del Toro for a hike
  • Transport to Quepos

March 7: Manuel Antonio and Campanario

  • Early visit to Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Boat transport to Campanario Research Station

March 8 – 10: Stay at Campanario Biological Station

  • Participate in ongoing science research projects, including cataloging flora and fauna through animal cameras, insect captures, data collection and entry, and daily debriefs
  • Group building and games on the beach
  • Boat ride to Isla Caño for snorkeling 

March 11: Travel to San Jose with stops at the following:

  • Uvita Waterfall for a hike 
  • Marino Ballena National Park for program closing

March 12 : Travel back to NY based airport**

**Families are responsible for transportation from U.S.-based airport to the student’s destination for the remainder of March break.