See the world with the Natural Resources Foundation

International Field Trip to Costa Rica with NRF

International trip to Costa Rica with the Foundation

Join us for one of our many international field trips as we partner with travel experts to explore natural wonders across the world. By traveling with the Natural Resources Foundation, you’ll have an intimate, unique experiences abroad, focused on nature, wildlife, and the conservation efforts of other organizations.

Both our international field trips as well as our domestic adventures are led by local guides and naturalists. You will travel with Foundation staff and other NRF members interested in conservation. Also, by traveling with the Foundation, you help support our most important work to protect Wisconsin’s lands, waters and wildlife–part of the trip cost includes a tax-deductible donation to the Natural Resources Foundation, and also to support on-the-ground conservation organizations.

Since 2006, we’ve led dozens of trips across the globe. From the mountains of Patagonia to birding hotspots in Costa Rica, from the glaciers of Iceland to savannas of Tanzania, we want to explore the world with you. To get the latest on our upcoming international field trips, become a member of the Natural Resources Foundation today.


Upcoming Trips 


February 2018: Baja Penninsula, Mexico

February 2018: Yellowstone National Park (FULL)

March 2018: Costa Rica, Bird Conservation Boot Camp (research field station, inland mountains) (FULL)

November 2018: New Zealand



Baja Peninsula, Mexico

February 18-26, 2018

Baja gray whales trip with Natural Resources Foundation

From left: Espiritu Santo (Tim Buss), petting gray whale (Holbrook Travel), Mexican art (Holbrook Travel), gray whale (Gilad Rom)

Join us on a tour to explore the best of Baja from land to sea! Each year, gray whales travel thousands of miles from the Arctic Ocean to the warm waters of Baja California’s lagoons to court, mate, give birth and care for their young. Visit the peninsula’s whale sanctuaries to encounter these giant mammals, then head inland, where towering cardón cactuses, contorted elephant trees, and unusual boojum trees dominate the landscape. Plus, explore salt plants, mining towns, and missions as you learn about some of the region’s earliest settlements.

Trip Highlights

  • Encounter gray whales up-close. Enjoy multiple opportunities for arm’s length encounters with gray whales during boat rides to sanctuary waters.
  • Snorkel with the wildlife. Snorkel with seas lions and tropical fish in crystal clear water at the protected island and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Espiritu Santo.
  • Get hands on with your food. Stop at a goat ranch to learn about life on a ranch and the process of making goat cheese. Practice your tortilla-making skills with local chefs.
  • Immerse yourself in the Baja Peninsula. Explore the desert vegetation, unspoiled beaches, hidden coves, and cones of red lava rock as you watch for the wildlife and birds that make the Baja Peninsula so special.


The base trip cost is $3,500 per person. Cost includes accommodations, meals including non-alcoholic beverages, entrance fees and activities as indicated in the itinerary, private vehicle transportation, full-time guide for duration of program, donation to NRF, and carbon offset. Cost does not include gratuities or $550 estimated airfare from Madison.

Registration and Questions

View a complete tour itinerary and register online HERE.

For more information, contact Debbie Sturdivant Jordan at [email protected] or (866) 748-6146.

Deadline to register is November 1, 2017.

Yellowstone National Park: Winter Hotspots and Western Wildlife (FULL)

February 26 – March 4, 2018

See Yellowstone in Winter with Door County Tours and the Natural Resources Foundation

Photos by Paul Regnier, Door County Tours.

Led by naturalist Paul Regnier and wildlife specialist Scott Craven, experience the dramatic natural world of Yellowstone National Park in winter—considered by many to be the best time of the year to visit. Yellowstone is nearly 3,500 square miles of wilderness atop a volcanic hot spot. The park features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers. It’s also home to hundreds of animal species including bears, wolves, bison, elk, and antelope. With relatively few park visitors in the winter months, wildlife viewing is enhanced with animals in their lower wintering ranges and more observable for visitors. From frosted landscapes to frozen waterfalls, this is truly a magical season in our country’s first national park.

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy multiple guided explorations. Travel by minibus, snowcoach, and on foot with professional guides, whose immense knowledge of the ecology, geothermal features and wildlife of Yellowstone is unmatched.
  • Search for wolves. Head out with a Yellowstone Forever naturalist guide to search for Yellowstone’s elusive wolves and other wildlife.
  • Observe wildlife at every turn. Throughout the trip, we will observe wildlife including big horn sheep, bison, elk, and native birds.
  • Visit Old Faithful. Stand next to billowing geysers including the famous cone geyser, Old Faithful—the first geyser in the park to receive a name.


The base trip cost is $2699, double occupancy, with $700 single supplement. Cost includes 6 nights lodging (including 2 nights in the famed Snow Lodge at Old Faithful and 2 nights in the historic Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel), most meals (breakfasts and lunches), guided tours, two all-day snow coach tours to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Old Faithful and Norris Geyser Basin, $200 donation to the Natural Resources Foundation and ground transportation after meeting in Bozeman. Cost does not include flights and transportation to Bozeman.

Registration and Questions

For more information about Yellowstone National Park: Winter Hotspots & Western Wildlife, contact Paul Regnier at [email protected] or call 920-493-1572.

This is a small group tour limited to 13 travelers. To register, send your deposit of $500 per person to Door County Tours (address below). Along with the payment please include the trip you wish to attend, the names of your travelers and contact information—mailing address, phone and email.

Door County Tours
PO Box 136
Bailey’s Harbor, WI 54202

Deadline to register is December 1, 2017.


San Luis Valley, Costa Rica: Bird Conservation Boot Camp (FULL)

March 11-17, 2018

Take a birding course in Costa Rica with the Natural Resources Foundation

From left: Golden-winged warbler (Dennis Malueg), cabina view (Craig Thompson), Baltimore oriole (Dave Frericks)

More than half of Wisconsin’s 235 species of breeding birds spend the winter in Latin America. All are entirely dependent on the availability of tropical habitats for survival. Many of our most beloved species are declining as habitats on both ends of their hemispheric ranges are lost or degraded. Protecting birds with far flung geographies requires strategies that span continents. This trip is an educational course focused on migratory bird ecology and conservation, with special emphasis on Wisconsin’s migratory birds in Costa Rica.

Led by conservation biologist Craig Thompson, this week-long adventure will prepare you to join a growing army of bird conservationists. Craig Thompson is passionate about birds and bird conservation. As a professional conservation biologist, he is involved with state, national and international bird conservation efforts. A seasoned tropical traveler, Craig has been leading conservation birding trips throughout Latin American for more than 20 years. He holds adjunct faculty positions in the biology departments of University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo University where he has taught rainforest ecology and conservation biology.

Course Overview

Participants will stay at the beautiful University of Georgia at Athens field station nestled in the San Luis Valley at the foot of the Tiliran Mountains. The surrounding area is exceptionally bird rich. Course topics include basic identification and taxonomy, migration fundamentals, breeding and wintering habitat ecology, factors influencing bird populations and conservation strategies. Mornings will be spent in the field exploring local habitats for migratory and resident birds.

Afternoons will include a mix of lectures and fun, interactive activities designed to enhance participant’s understanding of bird ecology and conservation. Participants will learn how to census and band birds. Night hikes, a shade coffee plantation tour (including tasting!) and exploration of the world-renowned Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve will also be included. All bird lovers are welcome. No expertise needed!


The base trip cost is $1195. Cost includes accommodations, meals, activities, lectures, in-country transportation, and a full-time course instructor for the duration of the program. Price also includes donations to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and local Bellbird Biological Corridor project. Cost does not include gratuities or airfare to Costa Rica.

Registration and Questions

Contact Michelle Milford, NRF outreach coordinator, at [email protected] or 608-261-4392.

Deadline to register is September 1, 2017.


New Zealand: Natural Wonders North & South

November 3-19, 2018

Travel to New Zealand with the Natural Resources Foundation

Photos courtesy of OAT Travel.

A country on nearly every traveler’s bucket list, New Zealand is a confluence of natural splendor and dynamic adventure that leaves lasting impressions long after you’ve crossed back over the International Date Line. During this trip, we’ll explore both the  North and South islands, hiking through the untouched forests and cerulean bays of Abel Tasman National Park and experiencing the mud pools, hot springs, and geysers of a thermal reserve in Taupo. With Maori legend and Kiwi culture woven into this journey, you’ll discover a New Zealand that is nothing short of memorable.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore Maungatautari. Maungatautari (Sanctuary Mountain) is an ancient forest surrounded by the world’s longest predator-proof fence. Explore the ecological sanctuary on a guided bush walk, keeping our eyes peeled for native species of birds including the Takahe bird and the nation’s beloved kiwi.
  • Cruise Milford Sound. Aboard a catamaran built for navigating the fjord and enjoy panoramic views with lush forest and sheer cliffs rising on either side.
  • Visit the ‘City of Sails’. Tour Auckland by motorcoach, spend time on the waterfront, and visit one of the city’s green parks.
  • Discover the scenic Queenstown. Take an optional Queenstown Scenic Helicopter Flight for an aerial view of the area’s dramatic mountain scenery. Take a gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak for breathtaking views. Or visit a local wine shop for samples.


The base trip cost is $5395 per person. Cost includes accommodations, activities outlined in itinerary, in-country transportation including internal flights, most meals including non-alcoholic beverages, and a full-time guide for duration of program.

Cost does not include a $300 per person tax-deductible donation to the Natural Resources Foundation, items of a personal nature, or international airfare, estimated at $1680 per person from Madison, WI. Other departure cities are available.  Optional Sydney and Great Barrier Reef post-trip is available at an additional $2445 per person.

More Info

For additional information and a complete tour itinerary visit:

To Register

  1. Call OAT Reservations (800) 353-6262; select option #2.
  2. Mention group code G8-22754.
  3. Tell the travel counselor that you want to reserve New Zealand: Natural Wonders North & South with the Natural Resources Foundation group.
  4. Deposit is $350 per person.

Deadline to register is February 28, 2018.

Past Travel Destinations with the Natural Resources Foundation

Costa Rica
New Zealand

Is your dream destination not on our list? Let us know where you long to travel!
Email our trip coordinator [email protected].