Wildlife, Culture, Food: Sustainable Tourism Experiential Learning Tour in Costa Rica


About this trip

Oregon State University Extension tourism program in Partnership with Holbrook Travel is offering an 8-day travel program in Costa Rica. Explore the Caribbean coast parks, beaches, lowland forests, farms, and rivers on this fully guided experience. We welcome any adult interested in exploring Costa Rica.

Led by Miles Phillips, an Oregon State University Sea Grant Extension Professor for Sustainable Tourism, this experience will provide participants the chance to gain an understanding of best practices in sustainable tourism, including agritourism, wildlife viewing, and cultural tourism through direct interactive experiences. We will visit public parks, private farms and private land wildlife conservation forests.

Experience it all in a country recognized for being an international leader for conservation, agritourism, and sustainable tourism overall. For birders, you will likely add many species to your life list! You will experience the benefits of incredible naturalist guides and gain insights into how to enhance your future travels or your own tourist destination.

Miles Phillips has led many trips to Costa Rica. He, along with our local full-time professional guide and local activity guides, will provide participants an excellent learning experience.

To sign up for this experience CLICK HERE



  • Incredible bird and wildlife observation in one of the great birding/wildlife hotspots of the world, including opportunities to see monkeys, toucans, sloths and much, much more.
  • Night beach walks in search of nesting sea turtles during core nesting season in Tortuguero National Park.
  • Adventure experiences like zip lines and rafting, guided private forest hikes at night and during the day.
  • Visits to chocolate and coffee farms to see, taste, and learn about the history and practices of cultivation and use in Costa Rica.
  • Lessons in cooking and dancing Costa Rican style.
  • Visit to the Costa Rica Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in San José showing a large collection of indigenous gold art.

Meet your leader

Miles Phillips

Mr. Miles Phillips is an Associate Professor for Sustainable Tourism with OSU Oregon Sea Grant Extension and the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. 

His work as Extension faculty involves responding to local needs through an applied research and outreach-based approach. His work involves the many facets of tourism including economic development, wildlife conservation, and outdoor recreation into a working relationship that informs sustainable management and community vitality.

He has published numerous articles and is a published photographer, and group travel leader. He currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon. Before coming to Oregon, he lived and worked in Texas where he was Associate Department Head for Extension Recreation Park Tourism Dept. Before that he lived and worked in South Carolina, West Virginia, New York, Illinois, and Minnesota. His work has also included Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Africa and more.  

To sign up for this experience CLICK HERE

ORR worked closely with the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to release the fifth consecutive year of
data from the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account showcasing the size and impact of our sector at the
national and state levels. The new numbers – the largest ever – show that in 2021, the outdoor recreation
economy grew three times the rate of the national economy. ORR’s webinar releasing the data featured
White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory, as well as industry CEOs, Department of Commerce officials, state Office of Outdoor Recreation directors, and more. See full OOR Report at https://recreationroundtable.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/ORR020_2022AnnualRpt_Rd6.pdf

STAKEHOLDER ANNOUNCEMENT USDA to Create Plan to Expand Recreation Economies and Help People Thrive Across Rural America Rural Development, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and U.S. Forest Service Partner to Create New Tools and Resources WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2023

– The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it will create a plan to expand recreation economies to help people thrive across rural America. 

Through a Memorandum of Understanding, USDA Rural Development, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the U.S. Forest Service will partner to develop an annual plan to expand economic opportunities related to recreation in communities surrounding America’s national forests.

The annual plan will outline the ways the agencies will partner to conduct program outreach, host informational sessions and workshops, and develop toolkits to help people access the resources they need to thrive in recreation economies. To learn more, read the full Stakeholder Announcement