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 for 2017

Cordova, Alaska (This trip is FULL)

August 5-13, 2017

Travel to Alaska with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and Holbrook Travel

From left: Puffin (Holbrook Travel), sea kayaking Alaska (Jason Carter), grizzly bear (Holbrook Travel), Chugach National Forest (Lisa Matlock)

This nine-day trip invites visitors to discover the natural wonders of the last American frontier. Cordova is home to the Eyak Indian Tribe

and Prince William Sound and surrounded by Chugach National Forest—the second largest national forest in the United States. Immerse yourself in the country’s most picturesque classroom through engaging forest hikes, wildlife observation, glacier excursions, data collection and more.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit multiple glaciers. Gain an up-close perspective on glaciology when crossing the Copper River Delta to visit the Child’s Glacier, walking the Million Dollar Bridge for amazing views of Miles Glacier and flying over the Bering Glacier, North America’s largest glacier.
  • Explore the rainforest. Hike through three complete ecosystems on the Heney Ridge Trail’s 7 mile route within the Chugach National Forest.
  • Meet the local wildlife. Guided by a local researcher with 20 years of sea otter knowledge, boat to Orca Inlet where the world’s largest population of sea otters lives. Also, observe a nesting kittiwake colony.
  • Participate in an ongoing study with a local biologist. Fly to Egg Island which hosts a wide variety of bird species, including the largest population of Glaucous-winged Gulls. Help a local biologist gather data on the Gull’s nests.
  • Immerse yourself in Alaska’s natural wonders. Numerous opportunities to learn from local conservation organizations about the rich diversity of flora and fauna in the area as well as view abundant wildlife.
  • An additional excursion to Denali National Park and Preserve will be available as an add-on after the trip.


The base trip cost is $3,325 per person. Cost includes a full time guide for duration of program, accommodations, meals and non-alcoholic beverages, entrance fees, activities listed in itinerary, regional flights and a $300 donation to the Natural Resources Foundation as well as a $50 donation to a local conservation organization. Price is based on double occupancy. Price does not include airfare to Alaska but options are available through Holbrook Travel.

An add-on to Denali National Park and Preserve is available at an extra cost.


View a complete tour itinerary and register online HERE.


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


Experiencing the Northern Rockies of Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks

September 1-7, 2017 (Closed)

Travel to the Northern Rocky Mountains with the Natural Resources Foundation and Door County Nature and Travel

Photos by Paul Regnier

Delight in experiencing two of the most heralded continental parks in the world and the first of its kind as The United States’ Glacier National Park and Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park combine to form the International Peace Park!

Join Paul Regnier, tour leader and naturalist; Nora Simmons, communications director with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and other Foundation members in a very special tour of geologically carved, mountain encrusted and biologically diverse landscapes of the Northern Rocky Mountains. The wilderness aesthetics alone can give any visitor sensory overload. It’s no wonder that both areas are designated as World Heritage Sites and International Biosphere Reserves.

Trip Highlights

  • Stay in historic lodges. We will call the rustic comfort of Lake McDonald Lodge, Many Glacier Lodge and Prince of Wales Hotel home for five nights. These are the same lodges that housed American travelers for over 100 years. They reflect western mindsets of the early 1900’s, when large timber created folk heroes and the idea of the National Parks was born.
  • Get ready for memorable experiences. Traverse the continental divide via the gorgeous Going to the Sun Road aboard a historic reconditioned red antique “jammer” bus. This route is one of the country’s most beautiful mountain roadways, offering views of rugged McDonald Valley complete with jagged mountain peaks, glacial lakes and deep green pine forests.
  • Explore Logan Pass with us. Stop for lunch during our Red Bus tour with an optional hike in an alpine meadow with wildlife viewing opportunities for marmots, pikas, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, rosy finches, and more.
  • Connect with a Blackfeet Nation guide. You will have the unique and powerful opportunity to learn about the Blackfeet history and culture directly from a Blackfeet Native.
  • Enjoy the northern Rockies via boat! Explore the mountain lakes at Many Glacier Lodge and Waterton Lakes Park via scenic boat tours with stops to walking paths and international borders.
  • Embark on a guided hike with Glacier Institute Naturalists. At the beginning of our trip, we will hike with Glacier Institute Naturalists to learn about the geology, botany, and natural history of Glacier National Park.


The base trip cost is $2,875 per person. Cost includes six nights accommodation, (five nights in historic lodges), ground transportation (Red Bus and coach), luggage transport, boat tours, entrance and park fees, most meals, and a $200 donation to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Tour price does not include airfare. Cost is based on double occupancy, for a single add $750.

To Register

To register, send your deposit of $500 per person to:

Door County Tours
P.O. Box 136
Bailey’s Harbor, WI 54202

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.


For more information about, Experiencing the Northern Rockies of Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks,
contact Paul Regnier at [email protected] or 920-493-1572.


 Upcoming Trips for 2018

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

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

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.


Costa Rica: Preserving Paradise

April 13-22, 2018

Travel to Costa Rica with Natural Resources Foundation and Holbrook Travel

Photos courtesy of Holbrook Travel.

On this 10-day expedition to Costa Rica, get ready to see it all. Whether in the cloud forest, Caribbean lowland rainforest, arid mountain peaks, dry Pacific forests, mangroves or coral reefs, the beauty of Costa Rica is authentic and accessible.  You’ll learn about ongoing conservation efforts to protect the unique birds, butterflies, amphibians, and other wildlife that call Costa Rica home. Discover the splendor of the rainforest at Selva Verde Lodge and the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center. Spend time birding on the forest trails, learn about commercial crops at an area chocolate farm, experience the Pacific Coast at Manuel Antonio National Park, and much more!

Trip Highlights

  • Look for rare birds in cloud forests. Spend a day in the tropical cloud forests seeking out one of Costa Rica’s treasures, the Resplendent Quetzal, a bird admired for its colorful plumage.
  • Tour a working chocolate farm. Through an enriching, hands-on activity at the Tirimbina Reserve’s chocolate farm, learn about indigenous traditions and sustainable farming practices.
  • Hike among waterfalls and hummingbirds. At La Paz Waterfall Gardens, get a chance to see dazzling waterfalls, lush botanicals, and a stunning hummingbird garden, including hiking trails.
  • Boat down the Sarapiquí River. Spy the birds and animals that frequent the riverside vegetation, including caimans and a variety of water birds. Learn about land use on the river banks and the human impact on the ecology of the river system.
  • Visit the home of American crocodiles. Get up close and personal with American crocodiles on the famous Tárcoles River.


The base trip cost is $2,745 per person. Cost includes accommodations, activities and in-country transportation as mentioned in the itinerary, entrance fees, meals including non-alcoholic beverages, full-time guide for duration of program, $350 donation to NRF, and carbon offset.
Cost does not include international airfare (estimated at $775 from Madison, WI), gratuities, alcoholic beverages, or personal items. Other departure cities are available.

Registration and Questions

View a complete tour itinerary and register online HERE.

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

Deadline to register is December 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 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 November 1, 2017.

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].