AORE Abroad 2023 - Costa Rica

Dates: May 20-27, 2023

Cost: Depends on the number of tours participants choose. Prices range from $1,700-1,850 for AORE members, or $1,900-2,050 for non-AORE members

Itinerary: Five days of outdoor adventure across two destinations, plus an international outdoor recreation summit in San Jose on the last day. See details below. 

Travel is back on the calendar and it’s time to return to Costa Rica! In partnership with ExplorNatura, this immersive experience offers an opportunity to personally and professionally recharge as you engage in carefully curated adventure activities across two of the country’s distinct outdoor recreation hubs. Adventure will be interspersed with interactive activities that empower participants to share and learn with outdoor recreation industry leaders and academics as this field rapidly matures in Costa Rica. This 2023 event builds from last year’s initiation of the Asociación de Educación y Recreación al Aire Libre (AERA) – comparable to AORE for Costa Ricans – with a strategy to bring together the Costa Rican outdoor recreation community to advance the field, its practices, and position within society. New experiences and connections will be the event’s focus. Program leaders can build their next international opportunity. Students can explore the global context of outdoor recreation and launch themselves into the increasingly connected international field. 

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Get $125 off Registration with the Early Bird Special available until March 1, 2023. Confirm with a deposit.

It can be challenging to separate outdoor recreation from adventure tourism in any context, and Costa Rica makes that very clear. That is one reason AERA began its work – to create more recognition and respect for an inclusive and accessible outdoor recreation industry in Costa Rica. 

As part of this experience, you will network with local tour companies, entrepreneurs, and university professors working at the interface of travel and outdoor recreation. Together, you will  explore what it means to work in outdoor recreation and how we can best shape its future from local to global scales. The event will culminate with a first-ever Costa Rica Outdoor Recreation Summit that will bring together audiences for a rich learning and networking experience across cultures, perspectives, and experiences.

Why Should You Come? 

If you’re an educational or program director  

  • Develop new relationships and strategic connections for future international programs or research
  • Learn about key considerations for international collaborations post-COVID
  • Explore best practices in partnerships, program development and evaluation, industry trends, and the future of outdoor recreation with an international lens 

If you’re a student

  • Develop new skills and knowledge through sessions and field activities
  • Learn how the practices, priorities, and potential of outdoor recreation compares and contrasts with your own context and experience 
  • Explore potential career opportunities that either involve an international component or fully immerse you in working abroad

When Is It? 

Experience Start Date: May 20

Experience End Date: May 27

Price: Anywhere from $1,575 to $2,050 depending on when you sign up and how many activities you choose to participate in.

*Price does not include flights. 

**Based on Double Occupancy and Group Transport


Day 1 San José

Arrive as you can and a transfer to the hotel will be provided.

Meals Included: Welcome Dinner

Day 2 Turrialba

Drive from the Central Valley toward Turrialba with its lush wild and agricultural landscapes, where you’ll find the original adventure capital of Costa Rica. You will have the opportunity to choose between several activities for the day, such as rappelling down waterfalls, hiking through a botanical garden, or birdwatching. The day will allow you to dive into the tropical scenery and outdoor pursuits it can offer.

Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch during activity, and Dinner with participants

Day 3 Turrialba

Continue your Turrialba adventure with another full day of exploration and cultural exchange. Again, you will be able to choose what you get into. Today, you may decide to go mountain biking, hiking, or visit a local coffee or chocolate farm and production facility. There will also be an opportunity for you to visit the Universidad de Costa Rica and engage with local professors and experts to discuss the ins and outs of what it means to pursue outdoor recreation and have a positive impact. After exploring the outdoors and having some deep discussions, we’ll gather with some of the industry leaders in outdoor recreation for an interactive dinner. 

Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch during activity, and Networking Dinner

Day 4 Turrialba/Sarapiqui

We encourage you to test the waters of the Pacuare on this final day in Turrialba before traveling to Sarapiqui. The Pacuare River offers a setting to immerse yourself in the epitome of what Costa Rica offers for outdoor recreation and adventure travel. Rafting 19 miles of Class II to IV whitewater will take you from the mountains to the Caribbean lowlands and prepare you for the next step of the journey. Of course, you may choose other activities that day before heading out of the valley and over to our next destination, Sarapiqui. 

Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch during activity, and Dinner with participants

Day 5 Sarapiqui 

While in this second destination, you will have the opportunity to pick from a nature walk, river float, or a trip on horseback. Want more? You can also get outdoors at night with a one-of-a-kind night walk to encounter wildlife not often seen in the daytime, like frogs, snakes, and bats. Anyone can choose to visit Universidad Nacional to engage more local academics before heading off to a dinner where we will all be joined by Sarapiqui’s leaders in outdoor recreation. 

Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch during activity, and Networking Dinner 

Day 6 Sarapiqui/San Jose

Wake up in Sarapiqui and then journey back towards San Jose. On the way, we will stop at Poas Volcano National Park for a hike to reflect on the events and connections over the last few days and to take in some fresh air and stunning high-mountain scenery.  

Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch during activity, and Dinner with participants

Day 7 San José

The grand finale will be a Costa Rica Outdoor Recreation Summit that joins the established AORE and newly formed AERA communities for a formal opportunity to learn, share, and network with colleagues, new and old. This event will involve educational sessions along with creative networking components to cultivate interactions in this unique cross-cultural setting.

Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch at conference, and Networking Dinner 

Day 8 Return Home

 Depart as you are able with transport provided. 


  • Accommodations: Hotel (7 nights)
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Transportation: Private vehicles, walking as required.
  • Staff & experts: AORE facilitator, local guides, and drivers throughout 

Additional AORE Inclusions for this program:

Field Guide: Workbook style material that includes the following:

  • A Global Framework for Outdoor Recreation visual
  • Short descriptions of AORE’s and AERA’s vision and strategy, Costa Rica’s outdoor recreation history and context, global lens for outdoor recreation, and more
  • An Event Outline
  • Daily reflection questions 
  • Space for thoughts, reflections, notes
  • Pre and post-prompts via a group chat forum


  • International airfare (also applies to trans-border flights)
  • Applicable tourist visas (*these are now included in international roundtrip flights to Costa Rica)
  • Incidentals
  • Mandatory Travel Insurance
  • Airport taxes
  • Tips or gratuities
  • Beverages
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Optional tour or optional admissions

Register Now button

Get $125 off Registration with the Early Bird Special available until March 1, 2023. Confirm with a deposit.