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Costa Rica

Turtle Conservation + Cloud Forest Adventure


Itinerary Options

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Looking for something more flexible? Get in touch and we'll chat through options more suited to you.

Discover Costa Rica

Get ready to protect the turtles...

This MidLifer takes in a spectacular bucket list moment...yep, you are going to focus on turtle conservation and, fingers crossed, will see a few babies doing their first 'run for the sea'.

But, in addition to the turtle excitement, we will also take you inland to explore the famous cloud forests and the flora and fauna within. Be prepared for a hearty trek - first one to see a sloth gets a prize - before throwing yourself down the longest jungle zip-wire in the world, embracing the ‘pura vida’ of this stunning and friendly country.

But to make it a perfect MidLifer we will include some gentle yoga or adrenaline surfing at the hip beach-side town of Santa Teresa.

Venture off the beaten track to help with turtle conservation, explore the famous cloud forests and help local kids to surf on one of the best surf beaches in the world.

Trip Itinerary

During a 8-day/9-night itinerary you will explore the cloud forests and contribute to invaluable turtle conservation and a community surf day.

Day 1 + 2

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Welcome to Costa Rica and the cloud forest

Depending on our time of arrival you will either stay in San José or start the drive to up into the cloud forest.

Brace yourself for a 4 hour journey into the heart of Costa Rica where you will work your way up to about 4,662 ft (1,440 m) to find Monteverde, an area famous for its cloud forests, coffee plantations, monkeys, mist and friendly locals.

Here you will stay in the town of Santa Elena which is small, filled with hip restaurants and folksy artisan shops, and from here dive into the cloud forest...

The following morning you will be up bright and early with the trusty guide to take you to the hanging bridges of the Monteverde Reserve - utterly stunning and provides a birds eye view of what lives within.

Just so you know, the cloud forest is home to more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, tens of thousands of insect species, and over 2,500 varieties of plants, 420 of which are orchids alone. Simply stunning, so get your binos ready.

Hot and sweaty, but so worth it.


Here we will stay at the St Elena Hostel, in dorm style, delux rooms. Bathrooms, with hot showers.


Breakfast only.

Day 3

Highlands of Monteverde Adventure Day

Adrenaline day...

A day to test your bravery radar in the 'adventure capital' of Costa Rica.

Brace yourself - today is the day to link up and head out on the longest zip wires in the world...scary BUT utterly exhilarating. We all managed it last year as the guides are so kind and supportive. Exit points throughout... just in case!


St Elena Hostel, in dorm style, delux rooms. Bathrooms, with hot showers.


Breakfast only.

Day 4 + 5 + 6

Cirenas Turtle Conservation

A bucket list moment...

Cirenas is a local NGO that works in a number of areas around Costa Rica to protect beaches, turtles, forests and rural communities. They would love us to help at their Sea Turtle Conservation Project just along the coast from Santa Teresa.

Protect and conserve
Your time here will be spent helping protect the eggs and hatchlings of the Olive Ridley, Black Turtle, Hawksbill and Leatherback species, who visit this ‘semi-intensive’ nesting beach at night to nest. Typical jobs will include hatchery maintenance, beach cleaning and night patrols to look for turtle activity.


Here we stay at the Cirenas' volunteer house which is basic, but stunning. Amazing views. Expect flushing loos and cold showers.


3 meals a day provided.

Day 7

Santa Teresa Surfing with the kids

Community Surf lessons

Our host in Costa Rica lives in Santa Teresa and is very involved with the immigrant children from Guatemala who live opposite him and the main volunteer base he runs.

Every week he gets the kids to come to his house where the gappie volunteers teach them to read, write and swim. Once a month he organises a surf fun day for these kids where he gets the local surf instructors to help teach them to surf safely so they can take advantage of beaches on their door step. This involves a beach picnic, games and crashing waves. A great community activity, which you will love being part of.

Polished off with ...
Chris's famous coconut sundowners. Got to be done.


Tropico Latino Hotel or similar.


Breakfast only.

Day 8

Playa Carmen Explore + adventure

Day of rest

Morning Yoga
Santa Teresa is the coolest hangout for yoga, healthy living and surfing - seriously, there are more smoothy bars on the beach strip then you can shake a stick at. So - to fully embrace the beach vibe we have arranged for you to nip down to the yoga beach to stretch it all out with the sound of crashing waves around you. Utter heaven. There are advanced and beginner daily classes, as well as some speciality classes, offered by their certified instructors, and for those in the know, it is predominately Vinyasa yoga.

So much you can do, such as a quad bike tour, horse riding along the beach, spa treatments, great shopping or of course it is possible to do absolutely nothing ...


Tropico Latino Hotel or similar.


Breakfast only.

Day 9

Departure Day Head home

After an action packed 9 days it will time to head home. The plan is to fly out on a little plane from Santa Teresa straight to San Jose. It's a stunning flight and a great way to end the journey.


Breakfast only.

Trip Details & Costs

This MidLifer to Costa Rica is for 8 nights, 9 days.

We can only take 12, so I am afraid it will be on a first come, first served book away...see the big book button.

Any questions email me at:

Jan, Nov & Sept

2020: 4 Nov

2021: 11 Jan, 13 Sep


Single room
Cloud Forest + Turtles
2020: £21502021: £2250

Double Room
Cloud Forest + Turtles
2020: £19502021: £2150

Beach bliss

Bliss. We will start our journey on one of the world's best surf beaches.

Turtle conservation

Be part of the conservation effort to protect the turtles of Costa Rica.

Cloud forest exploration

Experience exploring one of the world's greatest eco-systems.

Surfing & yoga

Big part of the lifestyle here. Got to try both.

Time in, Time out

The itinerary will follow its plan but we promise there will be time for you to chill and do your own thing.

MidLifer Favourites

  • Surfing
  • Whale and dolphin watching.
  • Horse riding through the forest or along the beach.
  • Coastal quad bike tours.

Jakera, Costa Rica

Our Costa Rica trip is coordinated by the dynamic Chris Patterson who together with his wife, family and team have created the Jakera Jungle Surf Camp on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Chris has run travel and Spanish courses since the 1990s and has become increasingly passionate about the crisis of plastic waste in our waters and the damage it is doing. Seeing dolphins and turtles time and time again, washed up on the shoreline wrapped up in discarded fishing nets was enough for him to jump into action.

Chris now welcomes volunteers (gappers) into his home and MidLifers into the hotel next door, who will help him with his ongoing conservation and community projects.

He has set up village recycling stations and organises rubbish collections. He encourages supermarkets to stop using plastic bags and the local beach bars to not use plastic drinking straws. These simple initiatives will help enforce the message and give a practical meaning to the bigger picture. Community beach clean-ups are also now part of everyday life and blue flag awards are being handed out.

Chris has also built a great relationship with Cirenas – one of the leading NGOs tackling the plight of the turtles on the Pacific coast. They now welcome our volunteers into their program as they consistently turn up and enthusiastically get stuck in.

Chris will deliver us a brilliant off-grid trip, using his inside knowledge.

Leaper's Highlights

Have a read of what our Leapers have been getting up to...

Painting signs, recycling and turtles Lucy Dickens

Turtle hatcheries, surfing, yoga and more Emily Dinovo

Tyre garden, hot springs and reforestation Maya Sanden

Watch our videos

Costa Rica

Beating the plastic in Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Permaculture in Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Jackera Surfing Project

"How we laughed .. I felt reinvigorated"

It was all I had hoped for and with much more. I felt I had a glimpse of a gap year which was exactly what I had wanted. I loved staying in the hostel at Monteverde, testing my nerve on the zip wires and finding I could do it. A great mix of fun and learning.

Throughout we were looked after with kindness and thought. Gently pushing us out of our comfort zones from where I feel we all flew away from our cosy safe nests! In all this I think the Midlife Leap is very clever. We were able to experience a country, get under the skin of it and see it properly, feel comfortable without it seeming we were on a ‘holiday’. Which we weren’t . Volunteering and meeting locals and having Chris guiding us through it all made the ordinary extraordinary . Milly you are brilliant and cajoled and encouraged us keeping up any flagging spirit.

- Nicola Hussey

"Quality time with girlfriends, old and new. "

Having not been backpacking at the traditional backpacking age this MidLife Leapers' trip was an opportunity too good to pass up. It was a chance to leave the husband and kids behind, to experience a little bit of what kids do while travelling and to spend quality time with girlfriends, old and new.

I was initially attracted by the opportunity to help conserve the turtles and, despite being there in the turtle ‘low season’, we were exceptionally lucky to be involved in locating and moving a nest of recently laid eggs and to watch newly hatched turtles being released into the ocean. A totally unforgettable experience. At Cirenas we met some inspiring young Ticos and I would love to go back in a year or two to see where their vision and hard work has got them.

Thank you Milly, and Chris on the ground, for organising such a fabulous trip for us. We loved it all - the zip wire, the cloud forest, the baby sloths and the anteater, the turtles, the absolutely delicious food wherever we went, and the scary light aircraft to get us home. An amazing trip.

- LIza Curtis

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