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Costa Rica

BIOL 195

Exploring Tropical Biodiversity

May Term: May 5 to May 15, 2025

Course meets the throughout the entire spring 2025 semester.

Visit Costa Rica and explore the incredible diversity of life in tropical environments. This course is open to students from any major. We will experience the culture of Costa Rica as we study tropical ecology in the world’s third largest biodiversity hotspot. Activities include hiking in tropical rainforests, visiting National Parks, participating in field research, enjoying local foods, and engaging with members of the local and indigenous communities.

Faculty Facilitator

Dr. Daniel Proud

Biological Sciences

Madi Trautman

Biological Sciences


  • Self-Pay Total Cost: $2,600
  • Your Out-Of-Pocket Cost After Elevate Credit has been Applied (Valued at $2,600 for eligible students): $0
  • For all travelers:
    • Insurance Fee: $90 charged directly to your Student Account
    • Baggage Fees: Paid by traveler; cost varies.
    • Recommended for Personal Funds: $300
    • Tuition: None, if taken in spring semester course load.

Quick Facts

  • Application Deadline:  November 15, 2024
  • Program Length:  10 Days
  • Credits:  1 Unit (Built into Spring 2024 Tuition)
  • Eligibility:  Moravian student, 2.0 GPA or higher, ability to walk 5+ miles per day, meet with the professor or attend info session before signing Travel Agreement.
  • Language:  English (An understanding of Spanish will help, but is not required).

All the landmarks mentioned in this itinerary will be visited. Some changes may be made in the order they will be visited depending upon the weather.

Day 1: Fly to San José, Costa Rica, lunch at Cocina de Doña Lela, travel by bus to Camaquiri Conservation Initiative (CCI), receive room assignments and a CCI introduction and safety recommendations. Dinner and lodging at CCI. 

Days 2 to 4: Explore the biodiversity of Camaquiri Conservation Initiative field station, a lowland tropical rainforest in northeastern Costa Rica; birding, night-hikes, camera traps for large mammals, conducting group research projects. All meals and lodging at CCI.

Day 5: Travel to Hotel Villa Lapas, stop at Tarcoles River to see the crocodiles and explore the Villa Lapas hanging bridges. Lodging and meals at Villa Lapas.

Day 6: Travel to Casa Gratitude at Rio del Sueños and visit the Tres Rios Waterfall. Lodging and meals at Rio Sueños.

Day 7: Day visit to Boruca indigenous community to learn about their culture, enjoy their cultural presentation, participate in the Boruca mask workshop and visit the museum. 

Day 8: Day trip to Sirena Ranger Station in Corcovado National Park. Corcovado host 2.5% of the planet’s biodiversity and 50% of the species in Costa Rica, It has 42,570 hectares of land and 5,375 hectares of sea, including coral reefs, mangroves and freshwater swamps. The park has been also recognized by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on Earth."

Day 9: Day trip to Marino Ballena National Park. Marino Ballena National Park is located in the south pacific coast at the footsteps of the community’s of Uvita. The park pertains to the Area of Conservation for the Osa region and was officially declared as a Marine National Park in 1989. The park covers a terrestrial extension of 171 hectares and a marine extension of 5,375 hectares.

Day 10: Transfer from Rio de Sueños to Hotel Aeropuerto (Travel time 4 hours). Lodging and goodbye dinner at Hotel Aeropuerto.

Day 11: Breakfast and transfer to the airport to return to the US. 

COVID-19 Disclaimer

Due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic we cannot guarantee travel or entrance into a destination or a program because of COVID-19 related delays and /or closures.  In addition, should travel occur outside of the United States or between States, we cannot guarantee re-entry with or without vaccine requirement and/or quarantine as determined by the intended destination and return location. Moravian University encourages travelers to comply with the COVID vaccine entry/exit requirements as detailed by their intended destination and/or program.  Please see the complete COVID-19 disclaimer here.