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COMMUNITY RURAL TOURISM

The SCLC's ecotourism and community tourism program helps get international visitors involved with local people while continuing to promote sustainable development and conservation. Through cooking and dance classes, conversations with locals, visits to schools and farms, and community service projects, visitors learn about local culture through direct contact with the community itself.

If you would like to make a reservation, review our policies or receive more information, please contact us at operations@learningcentercostarica.org.

Below you can find an overview of our current activities. If you are looking for a tailor-made itinerary, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

A Chat About Life in Sarapiqui

There’s no better way to learn about life in Sarapiquí than to listen and interact with a local community member! You will hear about work life in a rural environment, agricultural products in the region, family life, local arts & crafts and much more! At the end of the talk you will have the opportunity to ask questions about life here while enjoying delicious Costa Rican coffee, cheese or baked goods.

Recommended Time: Flexible

Duration: 1 hour

Rate: $15 per person

Restrictions: 5 persons minimum

Latin Dance Class

Dancing is the soul of Latin America! If you have always wanted to learn Latin dancing then this is the class for you! You are going to practice styles such as Merengue, Salsa, and Cumbia Criolla. The instructors are going to show you step by step. Watch in amazement as the instructors demonstrate how to really spice up your new moves! This activity is great fun, perfect for families, friends, and groups to kick off or end a tour.

Recommended Time: Evening

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Rate: $15 per person

Restrictions: Minimum 5 people

Community Service Projects

Community service projects provide visitors with an unforgettable opportunity to make a difference! Working alongside local community members, you directly support specific projects with your labor and supplies, which are purchased with group fees. Examples of projects would be painting a school, collaborating with the construction of a new classroom, or helping with the general maintenance of a rural school. Depending on the communities’ needs, we also work together with other types of institutions, such as, improving a community meeting space.

Duration: Half day 2 hours, Full day with lunch 4 hours

Rate: Half day $26 per person and Full day with lunch $36 per person

Restrictions: Any

Cooking Class

This class offers a fantastic opportunity to learn how to make traditional Costa Rican dishes. The classes are led by local community members and you participate in the preparation process. A typical menu consists of frescos (fruit juices), empanadas (turnovers filled with beans, cheese or anything really!), tortillas (flat bread), patacones (fried green plantains) or picadillo (chopped sautéed vegetables). Taste all your delicious culinary creations at the end of the class…¡qué rico!

Recommended Time: 2-4 PM

Duration: Approximately 1½ hours

Rate:  $15 per person; $22 per person with lunch or dinner

Restrictions: Minimum 5 people, Maximum 20 people

Local School Visit

Groups will either visit one of the local elementary schools or high schools. The tour will be led by a teacher and you will have the opportunity to interact with the students. A part of your fees will go directly to the school.

Recommended Time: 8-11 AM, Monday – Friday, mid-February to June & August to November, depending on the school calendar

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Rate: $20 per person

Restrictions: 5 persons minimum, 30 persons maximum

Reforestation Projects

Help us establish biological connectivity in the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor. Plant native trees on local farms, get involved in maintaining our greenhouse, or collect seeds and saplings of endangered species. This activity directly helps to preserve the tropical rainforest and a multitude of endangered animals. Enjoy working in a natural environment and learn more about the local flora and fauna. Note: In order to reforest critical areas that are difficult to reach with big vehicles, we also organize horseback riding tours to get to these places in an adventurous way.

Recommended Time: Mornings

Duration and Rate: 2 hours (short day) - $25 per person; 4 hours (long day) with lunch - $30 per person

Restrictions: 5 persons minimum

Arts and Crafts

Make your own souvenir! Enjoy a creative and educational class in which you learn how to make jewelry with rainforest seeds or create some other artisan product typical to this region. Take a new skill and memory home with you from Sarapiquí ! All materials needed for the class are provided.

Recommended Time: Flexible

Duration: 1 ½ hour

Rate: $15 per person

Restrictions: 5 persons minimum

Farm or Local Home Visit

Take the opportunity to visit a local family in their home. Participate in their everyday life, learn about family, history, community, and work. You will take a tour of the home and/or small farm, enjoy a casual cultural exchange and have a local snack.

Recommended Time: Mornings

Duration: Approximately 1½ hours

Rate: $15 per person

Restrictions: 5 persons minimum

Homestay With a Local Family

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to actually live in another country, as opposed to simply traveling through it? Stay with a local family. Our families offer visitors a rare opportunity to experience firsthand what it is like to live in rural Costa Rica. Share meals, conversation, and leisure time with a local family. This opportunity is sure to provide you with a unique cultural and linguistic experience.

Rate: $30 per person, per night including breakfast and dinner; $38 per person, per night including breakfast, lunch and dinner

Restrictions: Each family has a certain amount of beds available. Contact us for more information.

Natural Soap and Shampoo

Enjoy a visit with a group of local women from the Sarapiqui area who have extensive knowledge and experience in the use of medicinal plants. These knowledgeable women have decided to provide the benefits of nature through a collection of exquisite natural soaps and shampoo for all hair types.

Recommended Time: Flexible

Duration: Approximately 1 ½ hours

Rate: $15 per person

Restrictions: Minimum 5 people

Recycled Paper Chat

We invite you to learn from a local woman about the process of making recycled paper from natural materials found in the region such as chaff, coffee, pineapple crowns, roses and more.

Recommended Time: Flexible

Duration: Approximately 1 ½ hours

Rate: $15 per person

Restrictions: Minimum 5 people

Presentation About Biological Corridor

A SCLC representative will explain the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor Program. You will learn about Sarapiquí’s demographics, ecological connectivity, the Mixed National Reserve-Maquenque, the Great Green Macaw, and what the SCLC does to connect communities with conservation efforts.

Recommended Time: Flexible

Duration: 2 hours

Rate: $100 per presentation

Restrictions: Any

If you are an agency, please contact operations@learningcentercostarica.org to get the agency rates. To download a PDF of our community rural tourism activities: