Costa Rica San Joaquin de Flores Arenal Volcano Hero

San Joaquín de Flores is a charming, colorful and quaint colonial town located ten miles from San José. It is surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of Costa Rica. The small setting and slower pace of life allow for exceptional opportunities for linguistic and cultural integration. Leisurely strolls through the streets lead to encounters with friendly people, young and old. Everything can be reached on foot and along the way students can visit historic landmarks and buildings from the 18th century. It is easy to explore the Costa Rican flora and fauna outside of San Joaquín de Flores. Costa Rica boasts thirteen national parks and six biological preserves where an amazing number of species of plants, animals, birds and butterflies can be observed. API students have the opportunity to explore volcanoes, beaches, rain and cloud forests.

API students who study abroad in San Joaquín de Flores with API will take classes at The Instituto San Joaquín de Flores. The Instituto San Joaquín de Flores affords students in both semester and summer programs the ability to take courses taught by Costa Rican faculty from local universities. All coursework has been specifically designed for American students with the goal of maximizing their linguistic and cultural exposure. The location of the Instituto takes advantage of the beautiful natural environment, with picturesque views of distant mountains and volcanoes. Small class sizes and attentive professors, combined with the incredible beauty and tranquility of the grounds of the Instituto, create an unparalleled environment for learning. Transcripts for courses completed at the Instituto are issued by U.S.-accredited Fairfield University.

“I am really grateful to have had this experience. I wanted to grow and learn not only about the world, but about myself, and I feel as though I have done that. I'm going back a changed person thanks to API, and I cannot express my gratitude properly."

Christa C. University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Joaquin Extra

    Cultural Activities

    • Art walking tour
    • Coffee plantation tour
    • Movie nights
    • Art festivals
    • Costa Rica soccer league game
    • Symphonic Thursdays
  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Joaquin Staff

    API Gives Back

    API students in San Joaquín de Flores have the opportunity to give back to their local community through various volunteer projects, including working with orphanages and senior centers, participating in beach and river cleanups, and working with other underprivileged populations.

  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Joaquin To Do

    Things to Do

    See sloths and other amazing jungle creatures!

    Zip-lining through the jungle

    Hike among rainforests, beaches, and volcanoes

    Whitewater rafting

  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Joaquin Food


    Arroz con Leche (rice pudding)

    Sopa Negra (black soup)

    Gallo Pinto (rice and beans)

  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Joaquin Festival

    Festivals & Holidays

    Semana Santa (March)

    Virgin de Los Angeles Day (August)

    Juan Santamaria Day (April)

  • Discover More Small Costa Rica San Joaquin University

    University Highlights

    The Instituto San Joaquín de Flores offers Costa Rican and Latin American culture, Spanish language, environmental studies, medical studies, and more in a quaint, small-town village just outside of San José. Service-learning programs an opportunities are also available.

    The Instituto is housed in a colonial-style building purpose-built for academic pursuits.

U.S. Staff

On-Site Staff