Charity Challenge in Costa Rica Embark on a water-filled adventure challenge and raise vital funds to protect the Caribbean Rainforest, finishing by seeing your project in action at the Jalova research base
What is a Charity Challenge?
Our specially designed Charity Challenge programs are ideal for those looking to make a real difference, but want to enjoy a challenge while doing so! You will raise vital funds for aid-reliant projects by putting yourself through testing scenarios. In a unique experience, you will then visit the Charity project you are supporting and can see first hand how your help ensures our work can continue into the future.
Starting in one of Central America’s most well known adventure destinations, join this charity challenge in Costa Rica to raft and kayak the length of El Río Pacuare, approximately 108km, all while raising funds towards vital GVI Charitable Trust projects.
The Pacuare River is considered one of the world’s best due to the beautiful scenery along the way (in between negotiating the rapids!) and crystal clear water.
Starting in Turrialba, the white water rafting capital of central America, you will start an amazing water journey navigating all the way to where the river meets the Caribbean Sea. Four days after pushing off, you will finish at our wildlife conservation research base at Jalova, inside the stunning and biologically diverse Tortuguero National Park where you can find out all about the ongoing work conducted by our field teams that your funds will be supporting.
Our projects rely on volunteer funds and donations to run. In addition to the program cost, we will ask you to fundraise additionally for the project in Costa Rica. Upon acceptance, we will provide you with a fundraising manual with lots of different ideas on how to raise additional funds and provide you support from both the GVI and Charitable Trust teams.
Kayak and raft one of the most spectacular rivers in the world; enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting as you plunge through the rapids of the Pacuare River; discover the incredible Costa Rican Caribbean jungle; perhaps even chance upon the elusive jaguar and many other spectacular rainforest species; see firsthand the work that we do; be sent to sleep by the sound of the surrounding jungle environment; fundraise for one of GVI CT’s programs in Costa Rica; all in all, enjoy an action packed river and rainforest tour on this challenge!
The GVI Charitable Trust
Your contributions on this challenge will go towards an ongoing project of the Charitable Trust in Costa Rica. Please see the Project page for more information.
So what does life on the challenge actually involve? See below for an idea of what to expect…
Day 1: After being met by our staff in San Jose you will travel by bus to the mountain town of Turrialba in the late afternoon where we will have an introduction to the challenge and group dinner before settling into our hostel for the evening.
Day 2: The first activity of the day (and the challenge!) is a 1-hour walk to the source of the Pacuare River where you will join up with our experienced rafting guides who will take you through full health and safety guidelines for being on the water.
The next 5 hours will be spent descending the rapids of the Pacuare, stopping along the way for lunch at the river’s edge, group challenges and activities, and the chance to swim in the river and see some beautiful waterfalls.
Day 3: Wake up to the sounds of the jungle and an incredible view of the river for an early breakfast. Before continuing your river descent, take a hike through the jungle to the indigenous reserve of Cabecar.
You will arrive at the second camp mid-afternoon where you can relax for a few hours to prepare for the final day.
Day 4: On this day, summon all your remaining arm strength! From here you will swap the rafts for 2-person kayaks. Setting off early in the morning, you will negotiate a network of canals before reaching the mouth of the Pacuare and our camping ground, approximately 7 hours later.
Day 5: After a filling breakfast and the chance to regain some much needed energy, set off on our last day of kayaking before arriving at the final destination at Boca de Jalova in the Tortugeuro National Park on the Caribbean Sea! A short 20-minute walk will lead you to our isolated research base in Jalova, to await a rewarding evening meal and a restful sleep to the soothing sounds of the jungle.
Day 6: The Project! Enjoy dry land as you explore around our Jalova expedition base, meeting project staff, learning about the research conducted and how raised funds will be spent. Our activities here are engaged in a number of key areas, such as Jaguar tracking and prey monitoring, turtle nesting, and migratory/resident bird species long-term trend data. Our research has provided a huge amount of critical data to the Costa Rican government to help them make conservation-related decisions as well as ensuring the survival of the biodiversity of this unique area of the rainforest. For example, much of our volunteering effort has achieved massive reductions in sea turtle nest poaching.
Day 7: On this final day, you will journey back to San Jose with the afternoon to relax before a final meal together as a group to recount the tales of the river!
Your conditions throughout will vary from a comfortable private camp on the first night, to basic dormitory accommodation in Jalova. You should prepare for some early rises and long days out on the water, it’s not called a challenge for nothing!
We support a number of different projects through the Charitable Trust in Costa Rica. Your contribution will be used towards the support of protecting prime turtle nesting areas and critical jaguar habitats in the Caribbean, or improving resources in the community of Quepos to make education more accessible to children.
How this project makes a difference
In Tortuguero National Park, we have been successful in reducing poaching activity on a 3-mile section of beach to almost zero. This project will fund further patrol teams to protect this vital environment. Through this additional man power the canals, forests and beaches can be better protected and those conducting illegal practices apprehended. As a result, the animal populations of the national park can flourish as has been shown by existing monitoring practices.
In Quepos, working in partnership with the local school this project will improve facilities and the quality of education available to children in the community. Our goals include developing a long term sustainable English education program which will improve linguistic skills for both children and adults creating more opportunities for stable employment benefitting generations for years to come.
Costa Rica is an amazing country with an abundance of travel opportunities with the following just a snapshot of the many possibilities!
Admire the famous and active Volcan Arenal from a distance and relax in the natural hot springs; surf the Salsa Brava – a hotspot of the Caribbean for the advanced surfer; ride horseback on the beach in Puerto Viejo or simply enjoy miles and miles of beautiful beaches kissed by palm trees; spot migratory raptor birds in the Talamanca Mountains and visit indigenous villages to learn more about their amazing culture; discover the cloud forest at Monteverde, visit the hummingbird gallery, enjoy the locally made ice cream and other fresh dairy products or walk among the treetops on the hanging bridges; enjoy the organised wildlife tours of Braulio Carrillo National Park.
Travel across the country to discover the beautiful Pacific Coast with its hidden white sand beaches; visit Volcan Irazu and discover coffee farms on the way back to San Jose; back in the capital, visit the Gold Museum or the Jade Museum, attend a play in one of the numerous theatres or take in the Latin American vibe with its lively nightlife.
Applying is a simple process and our team are available to help every step of the way. To book this fantastic challenge, click on the visit GVI website button at the top and bottom of the page, which will take you through to the GVI website. On the right side of that page, you will see available dates and the Book Now tab. Here you will find the no obligation online application form.
- Application phone call - You will be contacted by GVI’s Country Experts within two working days to chat through your application. GVI’s specialists have a wide range of knowledge from their travels in our host countries.
- Securing your place – A deposit will be required in order to confirm your place. You will also receive pre-departure information and a fundraising manual for your challenge
- Pre-departure support – GVI have sent over 10,000 people away over the last 10 years, so they have a lot of experience in making sure you are ready.
- 29th June 2013
- 05th October 2013
- 25th January 2014
- 10th August 2014
- 4th October 2014
- GBP £695.00
- EUR €834.00
- US $1182.00
- AUS $1182.00
- Pre-departure support and discounted services
- 24-hour emergency phone
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- Arrival orientation
- Long term experienced staff
- Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
- All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
- Welcome meeting
- Location orientation
- All necessary challenge training and equipment
- 24-hour in-country support
What’s Not Included
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal kit
- Additional drinks and gratuities
- Extra local excursions
- International and domestic airport taxes