Wilderness First Responder + Herbal Acute Care Certificate Course – Costa Rica

Price $1800 per person
Number Of:
Trip Dates Mar 20, 2017 -
Mar 29, 2017
Activity Level Medium level of fitness

This course will be like no other, with a variety of perspectives and experiences, in a remote tropical location.


Cost: $1,800 USD
Ticos: 1,200 USD (With Valid ID)

WFR Bridge and Recert

Cost: $900 USD
Ticos: $600 USD (With Valid ID)

Included: Course Material, WFR Certificate (WMA) , Accommodations and Organic Vegetarian Food

Not Included: Airfare, ground transportation, or boat to Punta Mona.

Arrival: It is recommended that you are in Manzanillo on March 19th to be ready to transfer to the lodge on March 20th in the AM. Group will depart from Manzanillo at 9am. 

Additional Activities: yoga, beach time, kayaking, snorkeling, jungle hikes, chocolate making and a farm tour.

The Wilderness First Responder curriculum is written by Wilderness Medical Associates and their team of remote medical rescue researchers and professionals. Ongoing evidence based research and review contributes to a unique and innovative approach to patient care in backcountry and austere settings. The curriculum is comprehensive, complete, and kept current on an annual basis. This is the most current and cutting edge course of any first response medical training (urban or remote) in the world.

  • The General Principles of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine with an emphasis on the prevention and identification of medical emergencies, appropriate technology, and risk management.
  • Patient assessment and emergency care including CPR, basic Life support, and the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis and asthma.
  • Environmental Medicine including altitude illness, hypothermia and heat illness, frostbite and cold injury, lightning, submersion, and environmental toxins.
  • Backcountry Medicine including the assessment and treatment of common medical problems.
  • Musculoskeletal Problems including unstable and stable injuries overuse syndromes, and dislocations.
  • Wound management including open fractures, lacerations, burns and blisters.
  • Practical skills including splinting, bandaging, litter packaging and medical kit preparation.
  • WMA International Wilderness Protocols including wound cleaning and exploration, spine injury assessment, dislocation reduction, CPR in the remote setting, and anaphylaxis and asthma.
What To Expect

The definitive wilderness course in medical training, leadership, and critical thinking for outdoor, low-resource, and remote professionals and leaders.

This course is for anybody aged 18 and up who is physically active. You don’t need any medical experience. It is important that you have the discipline and learning style to complete the pre-course prep work.

The Wilderness First Responder program is the ideal medical training for leaders in remote areas including outdoor educators, guides, military, professional search and rescue teams, researchers, and those involved in disaster relief. The curriculum is comprehensive and practical. It includes the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments for days and weeks if necessary.

About Evolve Tours:

Over the past ten years Evolve Tours has been running adventure/educational trips around the globe. Evolve Tours is the premier educational tour and student travel company in Canada and United States. We plan and execute class trips for school groups, families and individual adult travelers.

About the instructor, Matt Howell:

When not instructing with WMA, Matt pursues any and all outdoors activities from leading whitewater canoe trips, to fly fishing, to ice and rock climbing, and surfing.  Matt uses his vast outdoors experience to customize the courses he instructs to the specific needs of each member of the class. Matt has been teaching with WMA for 7 years, has a background as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, spends on average about 100 days a year in the wilderness and is also a certified school teacher.

About Sarah Wu ~ Herbalist:

Sarah is a clinical herbalist of 15+ years, living off-the-grid in Costa Rica, she has dealt with a number of injuries, acute digestive disorders, trauma, wound care, weird rashes, staph infections and other tropical diseases.

Packing List:

  • Current certification cards (for Re-certification or WFR-Bridge students)
  • Notebook and pens
  • Day pack or backpack for storing your belongings during class
  • Sandals/flip flops
  • Personal medications, supplements and snacks
  • Personal hygiene products (shampoo and washing products must be biodegradable)
  • Sheets, bath and beach towels
  • Long, light weight clothing
  • Rain jacket and/or Umbrella
  • Knee socks
  • Old sneakers and/or Rubber Boots
  • Sun hat and swimsuit
  • A set of clothing that can be stained and cut during simulations (expect to throw these away)
  • Watch (for taking vital signs)
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Sunscreen and bug repellent (organic)
  • Headlamp with extra batteries (for WFR, WFR-Bridge, and Recertification courses)
  • Sunglasses (optional)
Educational Benefits

WFR: Successful completion with certification is based on 100% attendance, satisfactory performance on homework assignments and written quizzes, demonstrated proficiency with practical skills and a successful grade on a final written exam. Wilderness Medical Associates International is committed to making reasonable accommodation to any student with special needs.

Herbal Acute Care: Learn about the most effective herbal remedies for digestive upset, vector transmitted diseases, wound and trauma care, respiratory relief, and more. This two day portion of the training will include on the fly herbal formulation, med-kit preparation, common wilderness survival plants, plant classifications, common food remedies and herbal analogs.


As part of Wilderness Medical Associates International’s commitment to your medical rescue training, our instructors and management have designed a unique program based around its environmental setting. Simulations and hands-on activities will be realistic and relevant. Relevant adult education is incorporated directly into our curriculum to maximize learning of medical theory into practical skills.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival

Participants must be in Playa Manzanillo, Costa Rica, on the morning of March 20th at 8:00 am. It is recommended you arrive in the night before. There are several affordable places to stay in Puerto Viejo or guest houses in Manzanillo.

Transfer to our private Eco Lodge. On route we will get to see the countryside of Costa Rica.

Upon arrival we will start the WFR course.

Later in the day, we will unpack and settle in before a delicious organic dinner. We will have options for vegetarians and vegans.


Days 2 - 4 - WFR Course - Punta Mona, Costa Rica

The unique setting of the Eco-Lodge will allow participants to experience hands on situations in the ocean, beach and forest.

Over the next few days we will be focusing on:

  • Practical field drills and simulations, presentations, discussions and review exercises
  • Evenings will be spent relaxing with occasional workshops to compliment your learnings


Day 5 - WFR continues, Bridge and Recert Course Begins

On this day we will continue the WFR Course.

The WFR re-certification and Bridge course will begin today. If you are taking the bridge/recert course please be in Manzanillo on March 24 by 8am (or the day before) to transfer to the lodge. Accommodations in Manzanillo are not included.

Days 6 - 8 - Continue course

Continue with Wilderness Medicine portion



Day 9 -

Today we will begin the Herbal Acute Care Certificate Course.

Day 10 - Depart the lodge

Depart the lodge

  • Transportation
    Airfare, ground and water transportation not included in trip cost.
  • Eco Lodge
    85 acre off the grid, beachfront, family owned, environmental education center, botanical collection, permaculture farm and eco-lodge, dedicated to regenerative ways of living.
    Punta Mona’s mission is to provide an alternative to the destructive land use practices taking place throughout Costa Rica and the world.
    At Punta Mona we grow most of our own food organically, medicinal plants as well as bamboo and extensive native hardwood reforestation, use eco-technologies, create a sense of community and are dedicated to educating learners of all ages and from all walks of life.

Organic vegetarian meals: At Punta Mona we grow most of our own food organically, which includes hundreds of species of tropical fruits, vegetables, herbs, medicinal plants. 1 chicken dinner will also be included.


Places You’ll Visit

Punta Mona