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 

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

September 2018: Isle Royale: Wildlife Tour (FULL)*

November 2018: New Zealand: Natural Wonders North and South

December 2018: Belize and Guatemala: Nature, Conservation, and Neotropical Birds



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.


Isle Royale: Wilderness Tour (FULL)*

September 3-9, 2018

From left: Fox (Paul Regnier), Lookout Louise (Paul Regnier), Northern Lights (Greg Hottman), Common Loon (Paul Regnier)

Join naturalist Paul Regnier of Door County Tours and other members of the Natural Resources Foundation as we explore the pristine beauty of the largest island in Lake Superior, located just 18 miles off the coast of Ontario, Canada. Accessible only by boat or float plane, the 210-square-mile island is relatively untouched by outside influences. Exploring Isle Royale is a unique experience that many are drawn to for the solitude, wilderness, and the lush splendor of this little-known gem in the Midwest.

Trip Highlights

  • Travel with a small group. We limit our travel groups to just 15 – 20 travelers. We think the small-group atmosphere allows you to get closer to your guide, each other, and, most importantly, nature.
  • Observe wildlife. Designed for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, we will have multiple opportunities for wildlife viewing. You can see everything from a 1,000-pound bull moose to a fox family.
  • Bird with the best. Harboring numerous nesting and migrating birds like bald eagles, peregrine falcons, ospreys, loons, and numerous ducks, the island provides excellent birding.
  • Enjoy unique excursions. Explore the wonders of the island by land and water on hiking and boats trips. One boat trip will take you to visit the historic Rock Harbor lighthouse.
  • View the Northern Lights. Enjoy the colorful, late night display of the northern lights while learning about the history of wolves on Isle Royale.


The base cost is $2,175 per person. Cost includes 6 nights of lodging, all meals on the island, two boating excursions, park fees, services of a naturalist guide, round-trip transportation between Houghton and Isle Royale, $200 tax-deductible donation to the Natural Resources Foundation, and more.

Registration and Questions

For more information about Isle Royale: Wildlife Tour, contact Paul Regnier at [email protected] or call 920-493-1572.
This is a small group tour limited to 20 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

*This trip is full for 2018, but we will be running it again in September 2019. If you’d like to be put on the contact list for the 2019 trip, please email Paul Regnier at [email protected].

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

  • Travel with a small group. We limit our travel groups to just 15 – 20 travelers. We think the small-group atmosphere allows you to get closer to your guide, each other, and, most importantly, nature.
  • 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.


Belize and Guatemala: Nature, Conservation, and Neotropical Birds

December 1-8, 2018Travel to Belize and Guatamala with the Natural Resources Foundation and Holbrook Travel

Within the Mayan ruins, fertile lagoons, and mountainous terrain of Belize and Guatemala, more than 1,300 birds can be found in protected areas of these two neotropical countries. The ancient civilizations that once thrived here may no longer be present today, but an abundance of vibrant wildlife still remains. On this exciting eight-day expedition to Belize and Guatemala, look for hundreds of neotropical species with the help of expert guides. Taste wonderful Belizean food, discover the country’s rich culture and learn about current conservation efforts through talks with the local community. This trip is ideal for new and experienced birding enthusiasts alike. This trip is limited to 12 travelers.

Trip Highlights

  • Bird in multiple habitats. Enjoy birding from the pine savannas and wetland habitats of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary to the mountainous terrain and Caribbean pine forests of Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve.
  • Cross unique birds off your list! Sightings include the orange-breasted falcon, stygian owl, ocellated turkey, king vulture, black-collared hawks, and jabiru.
  • Explore Mayan ruins. Explore the ancient temples, altars, ball courts and residential buildings of the Cahal Pech Mayan ruins in search of resident wildlife.
  • Visit the Belize Zoo. Experience up-close encounters with some of the country’s native fauna, including a pair of harpy eagles.
  • Travel up to Tikal National Park. The 54,610 acres of rain forest protects a wide range of wildlife including spider monkeys, margays, ocelots, jaguarundis, tapirs, howler monkeys, coatis, and giant anteaters.


The base trip cost is $2,725 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 $975 estimated airfare from Madison.

Registration and Questions

View a complete tour itinerary and register online at Holbrook Travel.

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

Deadline to register is July 20, 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].