Costa Rica Reflections

student travel, educational tours, travel to Costa Rica

Student travel to Costa Rica with Gtrek: Science and Adventure.

Combine one of our most-preferred student travel destinations, Costa Rica, with Gtrek and you have an adventure and memories that will last a lifetime.

We had the honor of traveling with Mr. Elder and his student group from Montana last Spring to this exotic, educational, and extremely biological part of the planet. He wrote a trip journal about his daily experience, which you can read about on his blog. The final entry is one that tells what each traveler will remember most about Costa Rica ten years from now. This is what they said:

Jason Welnel

Everything went very well; it was smooth and everything went great – Daniel did an excellent job!

Shannon Welnel

First night at the beach baiting Howler Monkeys…and my husband used an escape plan to get into the safety of our room ASAP.

Trevor Welnel

Getting to see all the different wildlife and comparing it to Montana. Squirrel Monkies, the mini-deer (agouti), iguanas, and animals like that.

Daniel GTA Guide

When Trevor jumped off the catamaran and ‘splatted’ onto the water with his shoulder. And then, later in the trip, he came up from changing, patted himself down, and proclaimed, “Oh my goodness, I forgot my underwear!”

Miss Pancich

Daniel’s ability to spot everything, know everything, and sound like everything.


The bus driver liked the children’s behavior (and after 25 years of driving, he has had many student groups, Daniel said) and he liked talking with Jason – who was his co-pilot for the whole week. “He talks mucho,” said Gererdo.

Mr. Elder

Trying to get both good photos of our travel party and of the land and animals of Costa Rica. My favorite part was as we all – as one big family – swam in the pools below the waterfall near the Arenal Volcano.

Caelan Cummings

The zip-lining was fun and exciting. I thought it was going to be scary, but it was fast and really a lot of fun.

Christine Trefzger

The night hike and how the pouring rain just unleashed upon us…and all the spiders, snakes, and animals…and the Red-eyed Tree Frog. I also loved watching Jake, Jack, and the girls pass the snake from one person to the next…the sharing of the snake!

Jack Trefzger

Early in the week at the family farm when we saw the “Penguin Rooster” – the rooster that waddled instead of walking like you would expect. Daniel said the rooster was about to die, and so the lady at the farm got gasoline and rubbed it on him. And, somehow, the rooster lived…but now walks a little differently!

Bill Ballinger

The rainforest hike at night and how the guides and Costa Ricans didn’t use rain jackets…and so neither did we.

Jake Ballinger

The humidity – lot’s of it, especially at the beach!

Travis Elder

My wife’s astonishment at discovering how to tell the sex of the monkeys. Also amazing was my son’s independence – we never had to check up on him. He was always prepared and where he needed to be. Did you brush your teeth on this trip son? Kellan replied yes!

Kelly Elder

All of the creatures – reptiles and otherwise – that come out at night. The crabs that were everywhere, moving sideways. There was a big toad right outside our door all night, and lizards were everywhere. Shannon got attacked by that huge flying bug (we named it the flying hermit crab). And then there were the two raccoons that came to visit us in the restaurant!

Kellan Elder

The monkeys were funny and how small the roads are.

Jennifer Brundsen

Playing cards in the rainforest at the dining hall…the lady there was packing up, and we wanted to know if we had to leave. The gestures, the communication without our knowing Spanish or her knowing English – well, you can get a lot done with gestures! It was really amazing. Also, ‘wipe out’ is the same in Spanish and in English.

Bridget Powers

I liked visiting the family farm at the beginning, especially when we all ate the termites.

Fiona Powers

During the night hike, when I saw Mr. Elder doing that funny dance behind the group and I didn’t know why (but I do now – Mr. E had to go to the bathroom really bad)!

Thanks again to the crew at Global Travel Alliance (especially Paul in Montana and Daniel here in Costa Rica) for providing a most excellent adventure for our middle-schoolers!

Mr. Elder and Miss Pancich, Tour Leaders

For more information, read the blog of Mr. Elder, browse our student travel Destinations and educational tour Programs, plan your own trip, read more about why safety is the top priority on any Global Travel Alliance educational tour, or simply Get Started Online.