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Permaculture Design Course in Monteverde, Costa Rica

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Valle Escondido Preserve, Monteverde, central Costa Rica. Permaculture Design Course June 16th-June 30th, 2018

Fees: $1875 (inclusive of meals and camping)


Enjoy your permaculture studies at Valle Escondido Preserve, a 40-acre nature preserve which hosts both primary and secondary forest, waterfalls and private hiking trails. Winding their way through a natural wildlife corridor, the trails of the preserve are a great way to experience the flora and fauna that Costa Rica is famous for.  The owner, Jonah Chaffee, took his first permaculture design course through Permaculture Institute in 2012.  Within Valle Escondido Preserve is a small hotel called Monteverde Inn.  All profit generated from the hotel is reinvested into sustainable and regenerative design and green technology.  Part of the mission of the hotel is to introduce guests to permaculture and to promote global and local awareness towards conservation and preservation.


The Valle Escondido Preserve offers a rich learning setting with its bio-intensive gardens, protected primary rainforest, young tropical orchards, water management systems, and soil building projects.  Course participants join daily activities of the Preserve, helping with gardening, harvest, and erosion control projects. They receive an immense amount of practical knowledge, and the internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate.  Course syllabus is found here. Email us with questions here.

Course material is universal to every ecosystem, and knowledge acquired in this class is easily applied in other locations and settings. Participants of a wide range of ages and backgrounds are attracted to this class, making it a rich and life-changing experience for everyone.

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Life at Valle Escondido Preserve  (Hidden Valley) is exuberant, with daily visitations from monkeys, Coatis, Olingos, Agutis, Bellbirds, Tucans, and exotic insects and reptiles.  Course participants will enjoy free access to over 4 kilometers of trails in protected land with waterfalls and viewing platforms and a hammock garden within the forest.
Participants have two days off, and can choose to visit numerous local attractions, including a must-do visit to the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest. The Cloud Forest shelters countless wildlife species, including jaguars, ocelots and the colorfully plumed resplendent quetzal. The reserve’s marked trails cut through ferns and orchids, and way overhead, suspended bridges allow walks above the forest canopy.

DATES: Course: June 16th-June 30th, 2018 (for travel planning, please see detailed itinerary below!)

TRAVEL/BUDGETING: Due to travel distances and timing, we recommend the following itinerary. All travel fees are paid by class attendance and are not part of the class fees.

  • Arrive to San Jose, Costa Rica two days before class, June 14th. We recommend Margarita’s Guest House for your stay, inexpensive, simple, safe and charming. Cost is $35-55/night
  • We engage services of a tourist van driver, departing 9am on the day before class, June 15th. We arrive to class location mid-afternoon. Van fees are $45-50 one way, travel on your own via public bus is possible, and will cost the same or more due to having engage taxis. We can assist with pick up from the bus station in Monteverde.
  • Days off: TBA. Participants explore the area’s attractions. No meals are provided at the Inn during days off.
  • Class ends late in the day, June 30th. Departure is early morning on July 1st, on your own or via chartered tourist van.


  • Camping (with your own camping gear) is included in the cost of this class. If transporting camping gear via air is problematic, please consider the indoor accommodation option.
  • Indoor accommodations choices include 2 double occupancy rooms for couples ($320 total), two double occupancy rooms with separate beds ($180 each) and 3 shared rooms for 3 guests each ($180 each).

CLASS LOGISTICS: Permaculture classes are held for six hours every day. There is ample midday siesta time to allow for reading, garden work, exploring the rainforests, and rest. There are two days off in the middle of the class (TBA); no meals are offered on the days off. There are multiple local attractions to visit.

There are evening gatherings, inspirational movies and conversation time. This course is attended by adult participants of all ages. Please contact us if potential participant is younger than 18.


Three ample meals are included in the course fee and are offered on all class days. There are no included meals on the days off. Poultry and fish are served, and course participants are included in harvest and garden work. Reasonable accommodation for food allergies can be made, but please contact us in advance.  Within the hotel is a small cafe that that has snacks, treats and espresso for sale with free internet harvest cooking copy


Scott Pittman, Larry Santoyo, and local guests. Read about the instructors here.

sign up hereYour payment + essay are your registration. Course non-refundable deposit of $300 secures your space in class. Full payment is due one month before class starts. QUESTIONS? Contact us for help planning your course attendance.