When you think of an internship, chances are you imagine a young collegiate making photocopies and going on coffee runs. But what about spending two weeks living large (while getting your hands dirty) at some of Costa Rica's best eco retreats, including Lapa Rios on the Osa Peninsula, the Fica Rosa Coffee Plantation & Inn, or the chic new Kura Design Villas (pictured) on the Costa Ballena?
Cayuga Collection, the company behind eight pioneering eco resorts in Costa Rica and Nicaragua (and 2010 Global Vision Award winner) is accepting applications for what it calls "The Best Internship in the World," open to anybody with extensive travel experience and interest in getting a behind-the-scenes look at how luxury and sustainability can be compatible. According to Cayuga cofounder Hans Pfister, the successful candidate will be "a well traveled person or couple who can put our blend of high end service and responsible tourism to the test." In other words: "age doesn’t matter, attitude does."
The selected interns will spend two weeks in at least two of Cayuga’s eight resorts, and will be charged with helping with recycling, energy efficiency, and community outreach. In addition, the eco-interns' tasks will include:
• Staying in the best categories of rooms, bungalows, or villas (to scope out room for improvement)
• Eating three meals a day in the hotels’ restaurants
• Experiencing Cayuga’s tours and activities, such as waterfall hikes, horseback riding, and surfing lessons
• Visiting the spa, plus taking cooking and dance classes
• Blogging about their experiences at the resort
And while a traditional guest would pay upwards of $10,000 for all these "responsibilities," the eco-intern must raise only $750 as a tax-deductible donation for any of Cayuga's community initiatives.
All candidates must apply by Earth Day, April 22, 2013. For more information, click here.
Peter Schlesinger is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.