Rustic Pathways has been operating enriching programs in Central America for eight years. We offer twenty diverse programs in Costa Rica, which range from helping save sea turtles, to working with an indigenous tribe in the Caribbean and exploring the jungle in Corcovado National Park. Three years ago we began working with the Kuna Indians on the San Blas Archipelago in Panama. We are proud to continue our work with this welcoming community and to introduce our students to this beautiful destination through service and adventure.

Airline Information and Program Connectivity

All Costa Rica programs start and finish in San José, Costa Rica. Our Panama program starts and finishes in Panama City, Panama. Please visit or call us on 1800 321 435 for complete information about air travel. All of our Central America programs connect together seamlessly and can be connected directly to our Peru and USA programs.

Fact File

Population: Costa Rica - 4.2 million; Panama - 3.3 million
Capital City: San José, Costa Rica; Panama City, Panama
Currency: 1 Aussie dollar buys about 481 colones in Costa Rica or 0.98 US dollars in Panama (as of November 2010)
Languages: Spanish; plus Kuna, Nôbe-Buglé and Emberá in Panama

Well-Known Attractions

Arenal Volcano (Costa Rica): one of the most active volcanoes in the world
The Darién Wilderness: one of the last great untouched wilderness areas in the Americas

Local Lingo

Pura vida: Pura vida literally means "pure life," but more than anything, it's a way of life.
Ticos: A Costa Rican man is a Tico and a Costa Rican woman is a Tica.
Te qui te: Hello (Kuna)

Did You Know?

Less than one quarter the size of Victoria, Australia, Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse countries; it contains five percent of the world's biodiversity. Panama connects Central America to South America and, at its narrowest point, only about 80 kilometres separate the Atlantic from the Pacific. The earliest Spanish settlers first considered the idea of building a canal to connect the two oceans; in 1914 the Panama Canal was completed.

Rustic Pathways