Enjoy the best of Costa Rica, including the gorgeous southern Pacific coast, while learning about wilderness medicine and earning 20 CMEs. Includes double occupancy (single supplement available at additional cost) at our own rustic eco-lodge, with miles of empty Pacific Ocean beach, numerous jungle trails, and authentic Costa Rican cuisine. See and experience monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, iguanas, toucans, and the rich and diverse tropical rain forest. Enjoy whitewater rafting, guided natural history tours and night hikes, zip lining, and a free morning to kayak, bike, do a chocolate tour, horseback ride, or surf/take surfing lessons. Pura Vida!
This program is designed for health care professions alumni of the University of Colorado system including physicians, nurses, PAs, dentists, PTs, and others, as well as their family members and friends, including children 12 and older. The formal educational (CME) portions of the class are appropriate for any health care professional. Some adventure activities, all of which are optional, require moderate flexibility and vision, and ability to walk up to three miles on easy trails in hot conditions.
Description – Enjoy the best of Costa Rica, including the gorgeous southern Pacific coast, while learning about wilderness medicine and earning 20 CMEs. Includes double occupancy (single supplement available at additional cost) at our own rustic eco-lodge, with miles of empty Pacific Ocean beach, numerous jungle trails, and authentic Costa Rican cuisine. See and experience monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, iguanas, toucans, and the rich and diverse tropical rain forest. Enjoy whitewater rafting, guided natural history tours and night hikes, zip lining, and a free morning to kayak, bike, do a chocolate tour, horseback ride, or surf/take surfing lessons. Pura Vida!
Schedule – A more detailed schedule can be found in the next section. Please note that it is very subject to change, especially due to weather, but also to learning progression, local guide availability, local conditions, student/staff preferences (we try to be flexible), etc. We try to provide a two-hour siesta most days so participants can explore, nap, or just hang out and relax. There may be a few evening classes and most nights with dry skies, we will offer optional jungle night hikes.
Cost – The program price is $2475 with 20 CMEs and $2275 without CMEs. Costs includes CMEs (if paid for), scheduled land transport, shared accommodations, meals, tours, and tips for all group meals and activities. Cost does not include alcohol.
Participant Suitability – This program is designed for health care professions alumni of the University of Colorado system including physicians, nurses, PAs, dentists, PTs, and others, as well as their family members and friends, including children 12 and older. The formal educational (CME) portions of the class are appropriate for any health care professional. Some adventure activities, all of which are optional, require moderate flexibility and vision, and ability to walk up to three miles on easy trails in hot conditions.
Visas/Passports – US Citizens just need a passport to visit Costa Rica (no need for visa). For more detailed information please see the US State Department website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/Judicial-Assistance-Country-Information/CostaRica.html.
In country – In country we’ll travel via chartered bus or 15-passenger van, all of which we will arrange and cover. Taxis will be available for personal travel (cost on one’s own).
Departures – Our bus is scheduled to get you to the San Jose (CR) airport by 12 noon on the final day. Therefore, please feel free to book flights home anytime after 2 pm that day or to stay on and enjoy more of Costa Rica.
Clothing/Gear – In general, light is right. In terms of clothing you will most likely want to be in shorts and short-sleeved shirts most of the time. You’ll want light, loose clothing. Synthetics dry faster, though aren’t as comfortable as cotton. To travel light many folks wash their own clothes or have the lodge do so. See the clothing/gear list in the next section.
Accommodations – With the exception of the first night we will be staying at Hacienda Baru (www.HaciendaBaru.com), a rustic eco-lodge on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast, an hour south of Quepos and Manuel Antonio Nat’l Pk; two miles north of the small town of Dominical. Hacienda Baru has its own Pacific beach, swimming pool, zip line, kilometers of jungle trails, and restaurant/bar. Hacienda Baru is not Club Med –it is simple, low key, and lovely, but not luxurious. All rooms have fans but no AC and bathrooms are shared. Accommodations at both Hacienda Baru and Hotel Buena Vista are shared unless a single supplement upgrade is chosen.
We’ll spend our first night at Hotel Buena Vista (www.hotelbuenavista.com), a lovely property situated in an old coffee plantation, with beautiful views of the Central Valley, gorgeous grounds, a pool, and a restaurant and bar.
Meals – The program provides rich, hearty, traditional Costa Rican cuisine, three meals a day. There will always be a selection of vegetarian options. We’ll do our best to accommodate any special dietary needs. All meals are covered between dinner on the first day and breakfast on the final day. Any alcohol is on one’s own.
CMEs – The program offers up to 20 AMA PRA Category 1 credits. PAs, Nurses, EMS professionals, etc. should check with their national board to determine suitability for their professions. (these credits are the “gold standard” for physicians; other health care professions generally honor them).
Health and Safety – This is an adventure CME and by definition it includes some risk. You will be required to sign a waiver that will describe in more detail what these risks are. We have run dozens of programs to Central America and have yet to experience a single medical issue beyond what a band-aid, ibuprofen, or antacid wouldn’t fix. However, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t carefully consider inherent risks of tropical travel.
Like most of the Caribbean, Central and South America, Costa Rica has experienced Zika cases. If you are pregnant, or planning on having children in the next six months, we would advise you not to travel to Costa Rica. The majority of cases of Zika in adults are low risk, resulting in no symptoms. For adults who do develop symptoms, most people experience a mild flu like illness associated with a rash and red eyes. We advise you to talk to your physician or health care provider prior to international travel and please look to the Center for Disease Control’s web site at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/costa-rica. There you will find the most recent and authoritative information on health issues and risks related to travel to Costa Rica.
You will be sent a list of emergency contacts for your own use and to share with loved ones shortly before the program begins.
Evacuation Insurance – Due to School of Medicine policy (and general good practice!) we recommend travel/evacuation insurance. These kinds of policies could save you many tens of thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses if, after a serious accident (as rare as they may be) you had to be flown home in an air ambulance. We recommend GeoBlue/HTH Worldwide insurance (https://tripinsurancezone.com/geoblue2.html), which costs around $20 for the week, but you are free to choose your own.
Activities – In addition to the core learning content we will be leading a number of fun, classic Costa Rica adventures including whitewater rafting (Class II-III on the Rio Savagre), zip lining, natural history tours, night hikes, and a number of individual activities from which to choose. All of these activities are optional and run with a “challenge by choice” philosophy. Individual activities include surf lessons, surfing, kayaking, chocolate tour, and more.
Activities do not require particular strength or fitness level; general flexibility and ability to walk several miles on easy trails is adequate for most everything except perhaps the optional surfing or surf lessons.
Money – You will not need much in the way of spending money except for souvenirs, alcohol, and any individual tips you wish to leave (we’ll handle tips for our drivers, group guides, etc.). And in spending money the US Dollar and credit cards are accepted at almost all tourist locations including Hacienda Baru and most places in the nearest town, Dominical. However, picking up a small amount of Colones, the Costa Rican currency, is recommended. The best way to do so is to, before exiting the airport, get a small amount of Colones either from an ATM (usually better rate) or at a cambio (foreign exchange booth). You won’t need much more than $20 or $30 worth (about 10-15,000 Colones). It is also helpful to have small denomination US bills (1s and 5s) for small purchases or tipping.
Connectivity – Hacienda Baru usually has decent wi-fi at the restaurant/bar. Cell phone coverage is highly variable depending on carrier. You can purchase a SIM card or most carriers have international calling plans for around $10/day. There is no wi-fi in the rooms. Hotel Buena Vista has good internet and cell phone coverage.
Costa Rica Wilderness Medicine
University of Colorado Alumni Expedition Schedule
|1||-Alumni Fly-in to or meet in San Jose and are picked up at airport|
-Introductions and orientation to program at Hotel Buena Vista
– Spend night, Hotel Buena Vista (https://www.hotelbuenavistacr.com)
|2||– Bus to Hacienda Baru, with stop for crocodiles at Rio Tarcoles|
-Optional Night Hike
– Spend night Hacienda Baru (www.haciendabaru.com)
|3||– Lowland Jungle Natural History Tour|
-Optional Night Hike
-Spend night Hacienda Baru
|4||– Flight of the Toucan Tree Top Zipline|
– Optional Night Hike
– Spend night Hacienda Baru
|5||– Whitewater Raft the Rio Savagre (Class II & III)|
– Optional Night Hike
-Spend night Hacienda Baru
|6||– Chocolate Tour, Surf Lessons, Biking, Horseback riding, or Kayaking|
– Spend night Hacienda Baru
|7||-Fly home or stay in Costa Rica for more adventures|
Clothing and Gear List
t-shirts or short sleeve shirts (4-5)
long sleeve shirt for blocking sun (cotton or nylon)
waterproof rain/wind coat, with hood
shorts with pockets (2-3 pairs)
skirt or dress
light weight long pants
bandana (to wipe sweat, cool head, etc
sun hat, baseball cap or other wide-brimmed hat for sun protection
socks (3-4 pairs)
tennis shoes, sturdy ones good for hiking muddy and rocky trails
sandals with heel straps; Teva or Chaco types
(2nd pair of tennis shoes or closed toe sandals will protect toes better when whitewater rafting)
medium to large day pack (~30 liters or 2000 cubic inches)
reusable water bottles or water bladder (Camelback)
headlamp and extra batteries
lighter and/or matches
Watch with second hand
sunglasses and strap
pen/pencil and notebook
Personal Maintenance Kit
sunblock (at least 30 spf)
small personal 1st aid kit (band-aids, ibuprofen, tums, antibiotic cream, etc.)
chapstick (at least 15 spf)
contacts & solution and/or extra glasses and strap
insect repellent (30% DEET)
toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, razor, brush/comb, etc.
travel size laundry detergent
binoculars (very highly recommended!)
small sized dry bag, stuff sacks, or multiple sizes zip locks to protect/organize gear
camera, extra batteries, and memory
book, journal, field guides, writing instrument, small musical instrument
You have the option to register and reserve a spot in the class with a non-refundable $500 USD partial payment. Please note that refunds are NOT granted for partial payments. The remaining balance will automatically be charged to your credit card 45 days prior to the start of the class. If payment is not received 45 days prior to the start of class, you will be charged a $100 late fee and will eventually be dropped from the course without refund. If you register for a class fewer than 45 days prior to its start date, you are expected to pay in full on the day of registration. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at EMEDWilderness@UCDenver.edu or at +1.303.724.2057.
The University of Colorado reserves the right to make international cancellations up to 6 weeks and domestic cancellations up to 4 weeks prior to the course start date, in which case a full refund will be provided. The University of Colorado will not be held liable for any travel expenses or any other loss of funds the participants may incur due to the cancellation of the course. Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.
Refunds of FULL PAYMENTS, minus a 15% administrative fee, will be granted 60 days or more prior to start of the program.
Between 45 and 59 days prior to the start of the program, a 50% refund of the full payment will be granted.
No refunds will be granted for cancellations made 44 days or fewer prior to the start of the program. Please note that partial payments and deposits are not eligible for refunds.
Participants are allowed to transfer to a different course 45 days or more prior to the start of the original registered course. There is a one-time transfer fee of $50. No transfers will be granted 44 days or fewer prior to the start of the original registered course. Only one transfer is allowed per registration and absolutely no refunds will be granted after the transfer. Participants will not be granted any refund if the course transferred to has a lower cost than the original course registered for. If the course transferred to has a higher cost, the participant is liable to pay the remaining balance.
Full payment is expected 45 days prior to the start of the course. Lack of full payment within 45 days of course’s start date will result in $100 late fee and possible dropping from the course without refund.
Voluntary, involuntary, or medical separation
Should a participant choose to leave the class early, or need to leave due to medical issues, s/he will be responsible for her/his own travel home and for any associated costs.
Questions? Reach out to us today!
New Dates Coming Soon!