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NICARAGUA / COSTA RICA

Adventures Afloat: Volcanoes, Crocodiles and Coastlines of Costa Rica and Nicaragua

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Road Scholar
Program #19976RJ
11 Days | 10 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Feb 8 — Feb 18, 2013

Expand all
Type: Resort

Description: The Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel and Convention Center has 229 spacious rooms with modern conveniences and a long list of amenities that are meant to accommodate business travelers as well as vacationing families. It is conveniently located a short distance from San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport. The hotel has earned a Level 3 Certification for Sustainable Tourism by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.

Contact info:
General Cañas Highway
5 km. south from International Airport
San José, Costa Rica
phone: +506-22099800
web: http://www.wyndham.com/hotels/costa-rica/san-jose/wyndham-san-jose-herradura-hotel-convention-center/hotel-overview

Room amenities: The spacious, air conditioned rooms have private baths, hair dryers, satellite TVs, direct-dial phones, mini refrigerators, coffee makers, safety deposit boxes, and internet access.

Facility amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, three restaurants, three swimming pools, a wet bar, Jacuzzis, casino, fitness center, spa services, laundry service, souvenir shop, beauty salon, business center, conference center, money exchange, Internet access, travel agency, and a souvenir shop. Wheelchair acessible elevators and public areas. Free airport shuttle service from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Free hotel shuttle service to San José attractions.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices subject to availability
Rates and room types are subject to availability. Please contact your program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you need assistance with booking additional hotel nights.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Friday, February 08 - Arrivals in San José, Costa Rica.
Arrive To: Arrive in San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport. The Road Scholar representative will be waiting outside the exit door with a Road Scholar sign (only applies to Road Scholar group flights).

Transfer to the hotel and check-in, followed by time at leisure.

Please note that this is an international travel day; no meals or program activities are scheduled on this day. Hotel check-in usually begins at 3PM.

Lodging: Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center (previously a Ramada property)

Type: Hotel

Description: All rooms have views of the Arenal Volcano.

Contact info:
No info.
Arenal, 000000 Costa Rica
phone: +5062-460-5333
web: www.arenalparaiso.com

Room amenities: Hair dryer, mini refrigerator, cable TV, and air conditioning.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, 3 pools, bar, zip line, and spa.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Two: Saturday, February 09 - Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna - Arenal Susp...
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Orientation to the program.
Lecture: An Overview of Costa Rica.
Depart for the town of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano.

Arenal was once Costa Rica's most active volcano and a main draw to the town of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano National Park. The volcano lords over the countryside with its perfectly conical shape and occasional smoke and gas emissions. While minor activity excites visitors, they are rarely acknowledged by the locals who have learnt to accept the antics of the volcano as part of their daily lives. The thermal waters emanating from the volcano, the clean air and the energy associated with Arenal, makes this a favorite destination for health spa enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Lunch: En route, at local restaurant.

Afternoon: Excursion to the Arenal Suspension Bridges.

A series of suspension bridges enable visitors to experience the various layers of the tropical forest, right up into the canopy. A well constructed trail connects all the bridges. Be prepared for a leisurely-paced two hour activity in magnificent surroundings with information about the forest eco-system being provided by the group leader.

Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Lodging: Arenal Paraiso

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Description: The décor of Star Clipper and Star Flyer is reminiscent of the grand age of sail. Antique prints and paintings of famous sailing ships please the eye, while teak and gleaming mahogany rails are richly reminiscent of Star Clippers’ proud nautical heritage.

Ship Information: This authentic, traditionally rigged, tall ship is 360 feet long and can carry 170 passengers in comfort. It offers all the amenities of a modern cruise ship and boasts expansive teak decks, two swimming pools, an elegant dining room, piano bar, and library.

Contact info:
USA office: 760 NW 107th Avenue, Suite 100
Miami, FL 33172 USA
phone: 305-442-0550
web: www.starclippers.com

Room amenities: Porthole or window, carpeted floors, temperature control, closet, direct-dial phone, and TV.

Facility amenities: Indoor-outdoor Tropical Bar and Piano Bar, dining room, Edwardian-style library, laundry services (addional cost), and the Sloop Shop

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Sunday, February 10 - Arenal Volcano - Arenal Volcano National Pa...
Arenal Volcano -
Arenal Volcano National Park/Board the Star Flyer.


Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Lecture: The History and Moods of the Arenal Volcano.
Depart to the Arenal Volcano National Park for a walk along the base of the volcano.

Although clouds often obscure the peak of the volcano, if the weather is clear it is possible to see and hear the super-heated boulders cascade down the side of the 5,300 foot mountain. It is interesting to see how the periodic lava flows have contributed to the erratic growth of vegetation in the vicinity of the volcano.

Return to the hotel.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Depart by bus for Puerto Caldera, adjacent to the city of Puntarenas, on the Pacific coast. Late afternoon embarkation on the Star Flyer.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Lodging: Star Flyer

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Description: The décor of Star Clipper and Star Flyer is reminiscent of the grand age of sail. Antique prints and paintings of famous sailing ships please the eye, while teak and gleaming mahogany rails are richly reminiscent of Star Clippers’ proud nautical heritage.

Ship Information: This authentic, traditionally rigged, tall ship is 360 feet long and can carry 170 passengers in comfort. It offers all the amenities of a modern cruise ship and boasts expansive teak decks, two swimming pools, an elegant dining room, piano bar, and library.

Contact info:
USA office: 760 NW 107th Avenue, Suite 100
Miami, FL 33172 USA
phone: 305-442-0550
web: www.starclippers.com

Room amenities: Porthole or window, carpeted floors, temperature control, closet, direct-dial phone, and TV.

Facility amenities: Indoor-outdoor Tropical Bar and Piano Bar, dining room, Edwardian-style library, laundry services (addional cost), and the Sloop Shop

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Monday, February 11 - At Sea - Lecture and Ship Activities.
Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Lecture: The National Parks and Biodiversity of Costa Rica.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Time at leisure to enjoy on board amenities.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Lodging: Star Flyer

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Description: The décor of Star Clipper and Star Flyer is reminiscent of the grand age of sail. Antique prints and paintings of famous sailing ships please the eye, while teak and gleaming mahogany rails are richly reminiscent of Star Clippers’ proud nautical heritage.

Ship Information: This authentic, traditionally rigged, tall ship is 360 feet long and can carry 170 passengers in comfort. It offers all the amenities of a modern cruise ship and boasts expansive teak decks, two swimming pools, an elegant dining room, piano bar, and library.

Contact info:
USA office: 760 NW 107th Avenue, Suite 100
Miami, FL 33172 USA
phone: 305-442-0550
web: www.starclippers.com

Room amenities: Porthole or window, carpeted floors, temperature control, closet, direct-dial phone, and TV.

Facility amenities: Indoor-outdoor Tropical Bar and Piano Bar, dining room, Edwardian-style library, laundry services (addional cost), and the Sloop Shop

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Tuesday, February 12 - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua - Mombacho, Mas...
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua -
Mombacho, Masaya and Concepción Volcanoes/Masaya Market.


Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Wet landing at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

Visit three of Nicaragua's impressive dormant and active volcanoes surrounding Granada. Board your air-conditioned transportation for the one-hour-and-45 minute guided drive to the colonial town of Granada.

Granada is one of the oldest cities in Central America. In the nineteenth century, Granada played host to the likes of William Walker and others intent on taking control of the nation. Decades later, Granada seemed a perfect location for the terminus of the canal that would link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Today, its turbulent history has faded into the past and Granada offers its visitors copious amounts of charm and an excellent view of Central America?s colonial past.

Stop for photo opportunities just outside Granada, at the base of the Mombacho Volcano.
Continue through Granada's historic downtown en route to the Masaya Volcano National Park.

The Masaya Volcano National Park is located inside an extinct crater (Ventarr? just ten minutes outside the town of Masaya, and includes a crater lake, two active volcanoes, and five craters. Hiking trails wind their way through the moonlike landscape, offering visitors views of fumaroles, lava flows, the smoking Masaya Volcano, craters, caves, and Lake Masaya. Despite the inhospitable environment, a number of plant and animal life can be found thriving in the park.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will continue our exploration of Nicaragua with a visit to the well-known Masaya Handicrafts Market.

Masaya, also known as the “City of Flowers,’ is Nicaragua’s folk culture and artisan center. It is a hot plains city that lies on the Masaya Volcano slope. The Chortegas, who most Masayan inhabitants today trace their ancestry back to, feared the volcano and understood the grumbling eruptions to be signs of anger that required sacrifices, often human. The Masaya handicraft market is the real deal. Locals, as well as visitors, frequent the market that sells everything from hammocks to beef livers.

Journey to the Apoyo Crater, which is now an enormous lagoon. At the crater's edge, marvel at the unbelievable view of Mombacho Volcano, the steeples and rooftops of Granada, and Lake Nicaragua.

On the way back to the ship, a brief stop will be made to photograph the perfect cone-shaped Maderas and Concepción volcanoes located on Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Lodging: Star Flyer

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Description: The décor of Star Clipper and Star Flyer is reminiscent of the grand age of sail. Antique prints and paintings of famous sailing ships please the eye, while teak and gleaming mahogany rails are richly reminiscent of Star Clippers’ proud nautical heritage.

Ship Information: This authentic, traditionally rigged, tall ship is 360 feet long and can carry 170 passengers in comfort. It offers all the amenities of a modern cruise ship and boasts expansive teak decks, two swimming pools, an elegant dining room, piano bar, and library.

Contact info:
USA office: 760 NW 107th Avenue, Suite 100
Miami, FL 33172 USA
phone: 305-442-0550
web: www.starclippers.com

Room amenities: Porthole or window, carpeted floors, temperature control, closet, direct-dial phone, and TV.

Facility amenities: Indoor-outdoor Tropical Bar and Piano Bar, dining room, Edwardian-style library, laundry services (addional cost), and the Sloop Shop

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Wednesday, February 13 - Playa del Coco, Costa Rica - Orientation to...
Playa del Coco, Costa Rica -
Orientation to Liberia, the "White City."


Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: After a wet landing at Playa del Coco, travel to Liberia for a city orientation.

Explore the historic Calle Real lined with colonial, whitewashed houses; admire the unique, hand painted roof at Casa Zuñiga Clachar; learn about Guanacaste's late colonial architecture and religious artwork at Ermita de La Agonia church and museum; stop at the Rafael Angel Zuñiga Mendez House to view Guanacasteco antiques and hear about local traditions in poetry.



Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Return to the ship.

Time at leisure.


Dinner: On board the ship.

Lodging: Star Flyer

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Description: The décor of Star Clipper and Star Flyer is reminiscent of the grand age of sail. Antique prints and paintings of famous sailing ships please the eye, while teak and gleaming mahogany rails are richly reminiscent of Star Clippers’ proud nautical heritage.

Ship Information: This authentic, traditionally rigged, tall ship is 360 feet long and can carry 170 passengers in comfort. It offers all the amenities of a modern cruise ship and boasts expansive teak decks, two swimming pools, an elegant dining room, piano bar, and library.

Contact info:
USA office: 760 NW 107th Avenue, Suite 100
Miami, FL 33172 USA
phone: 305-442-0550
web: www.starclippers.com

Room amenities: Porthole or window, carpeted floors, temperature control, closet, direct-dial phone, and TV.

Facility amenities: Indoor-outdoor Tropical Bar and Piano Bar, dining room, Edwardian-style library, laundry services (addional cost), and the Sloop Shop

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Thursday, February 14 - Golfo de Papagayo - Santa Rosa National Par...
Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Wet landing in Costa Rica's Golfo de Papagayo for a field trip to Santa Rosa National Park.

Santa Rosa National Park is located along the country's northwestern coast in the Peninsula Santa Elena. The park owes its name to a famous battle that took place in the area during the mid 1800s. Although the park was initially created in an effort to honor and protect the historical battle grounds, the national park has played an important role in helping to safeguard important habitats and endangered species.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Lodging: Star Flyer

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Description: The décor of Star Clipper and Star Flyer is reminiscent of the grand age of sail. Antique prints and paintings of famous sailing ships please the eye, while teak and gleaming mahogany rails are richly reminiscent of Star Clippers’ proud nautical heritage.

Ship Information: This authentic, traditionally rigged, tall ship is 360 feet long and can carry 170 passengers in comfort. It offers all the amenities of a modern cruise ship and boasts expansive teak decks, two swimming pools, an elegant dining room, piano bar, and library.

Contact info:
USA office: 760 NW 107th Avenue, Suite 100
Miami, FL 33172 USA
phone: 305-442-0550
web: www.starclippers.com

Room amenities: Porthole or window, carpeted floors, temperature control, closet, direct-dial phone, and TV.

Facility amenities: Indoor-outdoor Tropical Bar and Piano Bar, dining room, Edwardian-style library, laundry services (addional cost), and the Sloop Shop

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Friday, February 15 - Bahia Potrero - Tempisque River Nature Boat...
Bahia Potrero -
Tempisque River Nature Boat Ride/Visit La Casona.


Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: After breakfast, disembark (wet landing) and travel to the Bolson area. Enjoy a morning nature boat ride on the Tempisque River. After the river safari, continue to the small community of Santa Barbara, well known as the cradle of the Marimba, a typical instrument of Costa Rica.



Lunch: At La Casona.

Afternoon: The ranch house "La Casona" is located within Santa Rosa National park and is a replica of the colonial homestead that once stood at that site. The house overlooks a stone corral where the historic Battle of Santa Rosa took place against the forces of William Walker and his mercenary army (1856). The old ranch has been restored to give a glimpse of rural life in the 19th century and contains a small ecological museum and a restaurant.

After lunch and exploration of the museum, meet artisans from the nearby town of Guatil, known for their beautiful hand-thrown pottery. The ancient pottery techniques which continue to be used in Guatil hail back to the Chorotega tribes that lived in the area long before the Spanish conquest.

Return to the ship.



Dinner: On board the ship.

Lodging: Star Flyer

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Description: The décor of Star Clipper and Star Flyer is reminiscent of the grand age of sail. Antique prints and paintings of famous sailing ships please the eye, while teak and gleaming mahogany rails are richly reminiscent of Star Clippers’ proud nautical heritage.

Ship Information: This authentic, traditionally rigged, tall ship is 360 feet long and can carry 170 passengers in comfort. It offers all the amenities of a modern cruise ship and boasts expansive teak decks, two swimming pools, an elegant dining room, piano bar, and library.

Contact info:
USA office: 760 NW 107th Avenue, Suite 100
Miami, FL 33172 USA
phone: 305-442-0550
web: www.starclippers.com

Room amenities: Porthole or window, carpeted floors, temperature control, closet, direct-dial phone, and TV.

Facility amenities: Indoor-outdoor Tropical Bar and Piano Bar, dining room, Edwardian-style library, laundry services (addional cost), and the Sloop Shop

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Saturday, February 16 - Nicoya Peninsula - Curu National Wildlife R...
Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Wet landing at the Curu National Wildlife Refuge followed by a nature walk and beach activities.

In 1983 this large property was designated a Private National Wildlife Reserve in order to preserve the natural habitat along the fringes of one of the most beautiful beaches in the Nicoya Peninsula. The refuge is a haven for tropical and migratory birds, and two species of monkeys. The five different species of mangroves found in Costa Rica are represented in the inlets that are washed by the gulf waters.

Return to the ship.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Sail across the Bay of Nicoya to Tortuga Island for an afternoon of beach activities. After a wet landing, participate in water sports, walk on a short island trail, and relax on the beach.

Tortuga Island has a very Caribbean flavor, with a postcard-perfect white sand beach lined with coconut palms. This is a fitting and fun way to end your Pacific cruise.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Lodging: Star Flyer

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: The Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel and Convention Center has 229 spacious rooms with modern conveniences and a long list of amenities that are meant to accommodate business travelers as well as vacationing families. It is conveniently located a short distance from San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport. The hotel has earned a Level 3 Certification for Sustainable Tourism by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.

Contact info:
General Cañas Highway
5 km. south from International Airport
San José, Costa Rica
phone: +506-22099800
web: http://www.wyndham.com/hotels/costa-rica/san-jose/wyndham-san-jose-herradura-hotel-convention-center/hotel-overview

Room amenities: The spacious, air conditioned rooms have private baths, hair dryers, satellite TVs, direct-dial phones, mini refrigerators, coffee makers, safety deposit boxes, and internet access.

Facility amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, three restaurants, three swimming pools, a wet bar, Jacuzzis, casino, fitness center, spa services, laundry service, souvenir shop, beauty salon, business center, conference center, money exchange, Internet access, travel agency, and a souvenir shop. Wheelchair acessible elevators and public areas. Free airport shuttle service from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Free hotel shuttle service to San José attractions.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices subject to availability
Rates and room types are subject to availability. Please contact your program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you need assistance with booking additional hotel nights.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Ten: Sunday, February 17 - San José - Disembark Star Flyer/Tárcoles Riv...
San José -
Disembark Star Flyer/Tárcoles River Crocodile Safari/Farewell Dinner.


Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Say farewell to the Star Flyer and board a bus to Tárcoles. Embark on a Crocodile Safari on the Tárcoles River.

This boat adventure on the Tarcoles River takes visitors past mangrove forests and the Carara National Park--a good place to spot Scarlet Macaws. However, the highlight of this river safari is having the opportunity to observe the large population of crocodiles that call this area home. Some of these prehistoric-looking reptiles have been found to reach lengths in excess of fifteen-feet!

After your river adventure, board a bus to San José.

Lunch: En route to San José.

Afternoon: Arrive in San José and check-in at your hotel.
The rest of your afternoon will be free of activities. Relax and enjoy the hotel amenities, finish packing, or take the opportunity to explore San José on your own.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center (previously a Ramada property)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Monday, February 18 - Depart for the U.S. - Transfer to the Airpo...
Depart From: Transfer to San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport to catch your return flight to the U.S.

Note: Participants booked on late morning or afternoon flights on this day, can keep their hotel rooms until the standard check-out time. Except for breakfast this morning, all meals on this day are on your own.

Breakfast: Light snack or breakfast at the hotel (dependent on flight times).

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
10 nights of accommodations
28 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips

Ratings

3.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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