The most common way to travel to Costa Rica is through San Jose, Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). More info about how to get to Finca Tierra go to our Contact page.



Design Course

Check-in is on Sunday at 2 pm, followed by a brief orientation and dinner. The course starts on Monday at 8am. All coursework ends on the second Saturday. Check-out is on Sunday at 11 am, following breakfast. For more info about how to get to Finca Tierra go to our Contact page.


  • You must have a return ticket leaving Costa Rica, your airline or immigration may ask to see this information.

A visa is not a requirement for North American or European students. If you travel from Asia or Africa, you might need a visa to go through the USA or Europe. To check if you need a visa to enter Costa Rica go to www.migracion.go.cr



  • The location is a humid tropical forest, where it can rain at any time.

  • Temperatures range from a nighttime low of 24°C (75°F) to a daytime high of 30°C(85°F)

  • Be prepared for these conditions: hot, humid, rainy and muddy.

  • During times of extreme rain/humidity things can grow mold, especially leather but potentially anything, so avoid bringing items with fabrics/surfaces that are difficult to clean easily.



  • Rubber Boots ( or let us know your size, minimum of 3 weeks before the course starts. The price is $20)

  • Sunscreen

  • Bug repellent

  • Tall socks (half calf or above are ideal, like football/soccer socks)

  • Lightweight working pants and shirts

  • Sandals

  • Bathing suit

  • Umbrella

  • Notebook and pen

  • Gardening gloves

  • Personal medical supplies

  • Flashlight or headlamp, for off-farm use (solar lamps are provided for on-farm use)

  • Beach towel (We supply towels for showering on the farm only)


  • A device to read PDF files (we have an extensive digital library)

  • Binoculars

  • Camera

  • Portable speakers

  • Laptop

  • Musical instrument(s)

  • Raincoat (for travel)

  • Snorkel mask and fins

  • Water bottle(s)



Wireless internet is available in the common area. You must bring your device to access the internet. Please note that internet access in Costa Rica and especially in the jungle can be very slow or sporadic during peak times of day and peak weeks or weekends.

Finca Tierra's electricity comes from an off-grid solar system. This means that as the sun shines we have plenty of power and outside of daylight hours we try to limit our power usage as much as possible. So, while it is possible to recharge your electrical items, please keep in mind that if it is overcast, or night-time, there will be no power available to recharge. Laptops, mobile devices, cameras, and backup batteries may be charged during the hours of 9 am to 3 pm. They must be unplugged before and after these hours.



A typical hand washing station and sizeable solar dryer are available for washing and drying clothes. The farm provides fresh towels and sheets. Local wash and dry services are available on the weekend in the local town.

The farm is located about a mile and a half from the beach and public transport. Taxis cost about $12 to Puerto Viejo center. Typically students prefer to walk to the beach and share a taxi to town.



 For more info of how to get to Costa Rica, our village of Puerto Viejo and Finca Tierra please, click on our Contact page.



Final payments are due two weeks before course commencement. Tuition is refundable until 30 days before the course start date.

Sometimes circumstances change, and you may be unable to attend a course. If so, there are a few options available;

If you notify us at least 30 days before the course commencement, Finca Tierra will refund your course without reservation deposit but will deduct an administration fee of 10% OR you can apply the full amount as credit towards a future course.

If you notify us less than 30 days before the course commencement, Finca Tierra cannot provide a refund, OR you can send someone else in your place, OR you can join one of the next four courses within one year of your first-course registration. In this case, you will need to place a deposit to reserve a space in the new course you wish to attend. All final payment will transfer.

The USD $400 deposit required to reserve your space is non-refundable.

If Finca Tierra is forced to cancel an event due to unforeseen circumstances, you will immediately receive a full refund. All other refunds can take between 7-30 days to process.

Please note, that travel to and from Finca Tierra is the attendee’s responsibility. Finca Tierra is not responsible for any loss or travel reimbursement, should the course be canceled or other circumstance. We Recommend Travel Insurance. Please purchase ASAP so that you can be refunded if you must cancel.

Guests can be asked to leave for any reason that is disruptive to the operation of the courses.



We have had quite a few students who received grants from universities, Many of which cover our course fees but not airfare. You should meet with a professor, academic advisor, study abroad office or the department chair and explain what you what to do and check to what grants you can apply.

Here is some info a past student wrote about her grant experience to share with future students.

"I received a grant to do a PDC through applying to one of the many grants that my university offers to undergraduates for experiential learning opportunities. I searched through my university's website, chose the grant that fit my project the best, and applied in the spring semester hoping to do the course in the summer. In the application, I wrote a proposal of what I intended to use the money for and needed a letter of recommendation from a professor supporting my proposal. An essential part of my application was emphasizing how the PDC applies to my educational and professional goals, and how I could bring back what I learned to the greater student and local community. "

Academic credit depends on your school and program. We have had participants receive four credit hours. This could be internship credit, independent study credit or study abroad credit. To start, meet with a professor or academic advisor to see what options are available to you in your field of study. We are happy to provide a program syllabus to present or answer any questions.