Monteverde, Costa Rica

Tropical Biodiversity Conservation

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Information for term Tropical Biodiversity Conservation

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 17 – Jul 7, 2018 (3 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 8 – 28, 2018 (3 weeks)


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Get up close and personal with rare and endangered species in a range of exotic ecosystems. 

Hike through the rainforest to secret waterfalls, camp in national parks, and live on the edge of an amazing cloud forest. Climb to the canopy where the monkeys swing free. Watch sloths, sea turtles, wild cats, and other rare creatures. Your mission is to explore a range of ecosystems – from ocean, river, and wetlands to different types and elevations of tropical forest – while learning firsthand how species interact and how biodiversity impacts us all.

Butterflies, hummingbirds, and myriad creatures abound. Observe an array of animals while visiting 12 different habitats – from cloud forests and mountains to mangroves and coral reefs. Against a backdrop of spectacular beauty, conduct experiments, examine species interactions, collaborate with conservationists, and learn how locals pitch in to preserve biodiversity. As a team you’ll explore solutions to biodiversity loss while making daily discoveries in your “traveling laboratory.”

Eager to explore even more? Enroll in both Costa Rica programs consecutively to get a big-picture view of ecological problems and solutions. Take sessions 1 and 2 in any order to learn how protecting biodiversity is central to building a sustainable planet.

The Take-Aways

  • Education

    Biodiversity, conservation, and knowledge of tropical ecosystems and how they function

  • Field Work

    Spend time in the forest to learn more about biodiversity and how to protect it. Learn about key species, explore different ecosystems, perform experiments, and observe conservation in action.

  • Certification

    A Certificate of Learning in Biodiversity

Location & Culture

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Welcome to the jungle!

Zip line through the treetops, snorkel around a tropical island, and watch humpback whales and their babies. This program keeps you on the move as you study Costa Rica’s rich ecosystems.

Why do biologists from around the globe come to this tiny Central American country? Because it’s one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. Covering just 0.03% of the world's surface, it’s teeming with over 10,000 different types of tropical plants and animals – representing roughly 5% of the total species worldwide.

Costa Rica has a wealth of geographical features, from rugged mountains and volcanoes to both dry and lush forests with different microclimates. Along the warm Pacific coastline, you will see some of the most spectacular sunsets in your life.

Monteverde, your final destination, is famous for its misty cloud forests. From your home base at a biological station more than 4,500 feet above sea level, you can hike, walk canopy bridges, and visit butterfly, hummingbird and orchid gardens to view the natural splendor up close. The Monteverde Cloud Forest is home to a vast variety of plant and animal species, including jaguars, ocelots, and monkeys. 

Daily Life

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Daily Life

"What better way to start our time in Monteverde than with a hike into the famous, beautiful cloud forest?"...

Learn more about daily life on this program.


  • Housing

    Hotel rooms and dorms at biological stations

  • Local Support

    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members


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Sample Activities

  • Snorkel around Caño Island in the South Pacific.
  • Visit a wildcat rescue center and amazing butterfly and hummingbird sanctuaries.
  • Hike high above the tree line to a unique páramo habitat.
  • Travel by boat to explore rare mangrove forests along the coast.
  • Spot dolphins and humpback whales on your way to a tropical island.

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.
  • This program involves engaging in moderate to high intensity physical activities such as hiking, and extended observational time outdoors.

Application Fee



Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2018 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jun 17, 2018 Jul 7, 2018


Summer Session II 2018 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jul 8, 2018 Jul 28, 2018


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Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?