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Road Scholar
Program #17988RJ
11 Days | 10 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Easy
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
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 Dec 4 — Dec 14, 2013

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: Comfortable hotel located on the main walking boulevard in downtown San Jose. Within walking distance of the National Theater and Gold Museum.

Contact info:
Avenida Central
San Jose, 3344-1000 Costa Rica
phone: +506-22225022
web: www.balmoral.co.cr

Room amenities: Cable TV, air conditioning, and telephone.

Facility amenities: Conference rooms, restaurant, business center, gym, bar, and casino.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices starting at $75.
Additional nights are subject to hotel availability.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Wednesday, December 04 - Arrive to San José.
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. Please use the exit door on the right. 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: Hotel Balmoral

Type: Lodge

Description: Rainforest lodge built along the banks of the Sarapiqui River. Room modules are built on elevated platforms surrounded by tropical vegetation. A large tract of private primary and secondary rainforest is accessible via a hanging bridge.

Contact info:
Chilamate
Sarapiqui, 00000 Costa Rica
phone: +506 2-766-6800
web: www.selvaverde.com

Room amenities: Safety boxes, ceiling fans, phones, screened windows, and hair dryers.

Facility amenities: Meeting rooms, restaurant, and bar.

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


Day Two: Thursday, December 05 - Sarapiqui - Program Orientation/National Th...
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.


Morning: Program Orientation.
Lecture: An Overview of Costa Rica.
Excursion to the National Theater and Gold Museum with site lectures.

Just a short drive from the hotel is the historical National Theater and the Grand Hotel Costa Rica. The significance of coffee production on the history of Costa Rica will be explained during a visit to the National Theater, which was built during the coffee boom in the late 1800’s. There is ample seating in the plaza where people-watching will stimulate a discussion on demographics and the socio-economic distribution of the population. Scholars will understand what it means to be a ‘Tico.’

Adjacent to the National Theater is the Gold Museum; this unique underground museum showcases a large collection of pre-Colombian gold. The 2,000-pieces weigh over 20,000 troy ounces, making the museum one of the wealthiest spots in the nation. Visitors with an interest in stamp and/or coin collecting might appreciate the philatelic museum and the adjoining numismatic museum.

The visit to the Gold Museum will showcase a limited number of exhibits, thus reducing the amount of time participants will be required to remain standing (approx. 30 minutes).



Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.


Afternoon: Depart for Sarapiqui, situated in the Caribbean lowlands and 40 miles from San José.

Sarapiqui is one of the richest sites for birds in Middle America, with well over recorded 400 species. Nearby, the La Selva Protection Zone and the Braulio Carrillo National Park form the only significant corridor of forest on the Caribbean slope linking the highlands with the lowlands - a corridor crucial to birds and animals that undertake seasonal altitudinal migrations.

Arrive at the lodge.
Orientation to the lodge.

Brief introductory lecture on Sarapiqui's natural history.


Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.

Lodging: Selva Verde Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Rainforest lodge built along the banks of the Sarapiqui River. Room modules are built on elevated platforms surrounded by tropical vegetation. A large tract of private primary and secondary rainforest is accessible via a hanging bridge.

Contact info:
Chilamate
Sarapiqui, 00000 Costa Rica
phone: +506 2-766-6800
web: www.selvaverde.com

Room amenities: Safety boxes, ceiling fans, phones, screened windows, and hair dryers.

Facility amenities: Meeting rooms, restaurant, and bar.

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


Day Three: Friday, December 06 - Sarapiqui - Nature Walk/Cultural Interactio...
Sarapiqui -
Nature Walk/Cultural Interaction/Pineapple Plantation.


Breakfast: Early morning bird watching.

Breakfast at the lodge.


Morning: Enjoy a short walk in the grounds of the lodge to identify the characteristics of local and introduced plants.

Field trip to a local pineapple plantation to see first-hand the pineapple growing process. A site lecture will focus on the environmental and economic impact of growing pineapples in Costa Rica, one of the top ten producers of pineapples in the world.


Lunch: Lunch at the lodge.


Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to rest and enjoy the lodge's amenities.

Snacks on the patio with pre dinner table talk, a question and answer session dealing with topics relating to Costa Rica and an orientation session by the Sarapiqui Conservation & Learning Center.

The Sarapiqui Learning Center (SCLC), founded in the mid-1990s, is a registered non-profit organization whose mission is to link communities and conservation through education and ecotourism in the Sarapiqui region. Programs include environmental education, ecotourism activities, English classes, an ecology club, community outreach, a women’s group and many others.


Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.

Lodging: Selva Verde Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Rainforest lodge built along the banks of the Sarapiqui River. Room modules are built on elevated platforms surrounded by tropical vegetation. A large tract of private primary and secondary rainforest is accessible via a hanging bridge.

Contact info:
Chilamate
Sarapiqui, 00000 Costa Rica
phone: +506 2-766-6800
web: www.selvaverde.com

Room amenities: Safety boxes, ceiling fans, phones, screened windows, and hair dryers.

Facility amenities: Meeting rooms, restaurant, and bar.

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


Day Four: Saturday, December 07 - Sarapiqui - Nature Boat Ride/Community Proj...
Breakfast: Early morning bird watching.

Breakfast at the lodge.


Morning: Field trip: Nature boat ride on the Sarapiqui River, followed by time spent in the river frontier town of Puerto Viejo.

The boat ride will introduce the birds and animals that frequent the riverine vegetation, including caimans and a variety of water birds. A site lecture during the boat ride will draw attention to the land utilization on the river banks and the human impact on the ecology of the river system.

The lifestyle of those living in the frontier town of Pt Viejo will be part of a site lecture during a drive through town.

An interactive session with a member of the local community will provide insight into individual sustainable projects being undertaken in conjunction with tourism.


Lunch: Lunch at the lodge.


Afternoon: Time at leisure.

Enjoy a lecture on the importance of Selva Verde in the creation of a biological corridor between the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the Caribbean coast. This lecture will highlight the plants and animals found in and associated with the rainforest at Selva Verde.


Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.

Lodging: Selva Verde Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Arenal Manoa Hotel is a beautiful place to rest, relax and enjoy the marvelous view of Arenal Volcano. Surrounded by gardens, pastures and animals, our rooms have been designed so that each one offers you a panoramic view of the volcano. Our visitors can take advantage of our spacious gardens for walking and meditation as well as the opportunities to see the daily operations of a typical Costa Rican farm

Contact info:
7 kilometers west from La Fortuna and 800 meters from the main
Arenal, Costa Rica
phone: +(506) 24791111
web: www.arenalmanoa.com

Room amenities: Our rooms, have been designed to take advantage of the panoramic view of the Volcano from your own room. Also enjoy wide open spaces both inside and outside your room. Each room is equipped with: •Two queen sized beds •Air conditioning •Satellite television •Private Bath with hot water and a hair dryer •Telephone •Terrace with a view of the volcano •Refrigerator •Safe-Deposit Box •Coffee Maker Arenal Manoa is a destiny created for you to enjoy the combination of a high quality service and an exuberant nature beauty. Everything start with our rooms that combines a modern and rustic architecture, with plenty space for your comfort, where you can enjoy the view of the Arenal Volcano from your own bed, also a big bathroom with an little garden just to remember the natural beauties that surround us and the balcony where you can delight with the panoramic view and the gardens that are around the rooms, while you rest in a rocking chair.

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


Day Five: Sunday, December 08 - Arenal - Visit to Local Community/Introduct...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.


Morning: Field trip to a local village and a pepper plantation in the Sarapiqui region for a first-hand experiece of rural life in Costa Rica.

Transfer to La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano.


Lunch: Lunch en route.


Afternoon: Arrival at the hotel, in the vicinity of the Arenal Volcano.

After check-in, enjoy a brief orientation to the hotel.

The Arenal Volcano looks like it could have been imagined by Hollywood. A perfect conical shape, the active volcano provides frequent thrills and threatens danger, but its activity occurs at a distance from the people of nearby towns. This combination of geography, scenery, and activity, has drawn countless visitors.

Time at leisure.
Lecture: The Arenal Volcano.


Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Arenal Manoa Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Arenal Manoa Hotel is a beautiful place to rest, relax and enjoy the marvelous view of Arenal Volcano. Surrounded by gardens, pastures and animals, our rooms have been designed so that each one offers you a panoramic view of the volcano. Our visitors can take advantage of our spacious gardens for walking and meditation as well as the opportunities to see the daily operations of a typical Costa Rican farm

Contact info:
7 kilometers west from La Fortuna and 800 meters from the main
Arenal, Costa Rica
phone: +(506) 24791111
web: www.arenalmanoa.com

Room amenities: Our rooms, have been designed to take advantage of the panoramic view of the Volcano from your own room. Also enjoy wide open spaces both inside and outside your room. Each room is equipped with: •Two queen sized beds •Air conditioning •Satellite television •Private Bath with hot water and a hair dryer •Telephone •Terrace with a view of the volcano •Refrigerator •Safe-Deposit Box •Coffee Maker Arenal Manoa is a destiny created for you to enjoy the combination of a high quality service and an exuberant nature beauty. Everything start with our rooms that combines a modern and rustic architecture, with plenty space for your comfort, where you can enjoy the view of the Arenal Volcano from your own bed, also a big bathroom with an little garden just to remember the natural beauties that surround us and the balcony where you can delight with the panoramic view and the gardens that are around the rooms, while you rest in a rocking chair.

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


Day Six: Monday, December 09 - Arenal - Arenal Volcano National Park.
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.


Morning: This morning's field trip commences with a bus ride to the Arenal National Park observation point. While at the observation point, we will discuss the moods of the volcano and the impact of its emissions on the human development and flora and fauna of the region.

Continue to Arenal Observatory Lodge for a close-up view of the volcano. The lodge has facilitated a small research center that plays an important role in obtaining data about the volcano in an effort to predict its potential for activity. The gardens of the lodge are alive with butterflies and hummingbirds

The National Park is situated right in the vicinity of Arenal Volcano. Although clouds often obscure the peak of the volcano, during clear days it is possible to see gases and steam rising from the cone. It is interesting to see how the periodic lava flows have contributed to the erratic growth of vegetation in the areas around the volcano.


Lunch: Lunch at the Arenal Observatory Lodge.


Afternoon: Return to the hotel.
Time at leisure to enjoy the hotel's thermal hot springs and other amenities.


Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Lodging: Arenal Manoa Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Arenal Manoa Hotel is a beautiful place to rest, relax and enjoy the marvelous view of Arenal Volcano. Surrounded by gardens, pastures and animals, our rooms have been designed so that each one offers you a panoramic view of the volcano. Our visitors can take advantage of our spacious gardens for walking and meditation as well as the opportunities to see the daily operations of a typical Costa Rican farm

Contact info:
7 kilometers west from La Fortuna and 800 meters from the main
Arenal, Costa Rica
phone: +(506) 24791111
web: www.arenalmanoa.com

Room amenities: Our rooms, have been designed to take advantage of the panoramic view of the Volcano from your own room. Also enjoy wide open spaces both inside and outside your room. Each room is equipped with: •Two queen sized beds •Air conditioning •Satellite television •Private Bath with hot water and a hair dryer •Telephone •Terrace with a view of the volcano •Refrigerator •Safe-Deposit Box •Coffee Maker Arenal Manoa is a destiny created for you to enjoy the combination of a high quality service and an exuberant nature beauty. Everything start with our rooms that combines a modern and rustic architecture, with plenty space for your comfort, where you can enjoy the view of the Arenal Volcano from your own bed, also a big bathroom with an little garden just to remember the natural beauties that surround us and the balcony where you can delight with the panoramic view and the gardens that are around the rooms, while you rest in a rocking chair.

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


Day Seven: Tuesday, December 10 - Arenal - Suspension Bridges/Argricultural ...
Arenal -
Suspension Bridges/Argricultural Practices in the Region.


Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.


Morning: Excursion to the Arenal Hanging Bridges, for a commanding view of Lake Arenal and the volcano. Enjoy a short walk on the lower elevation bridges with a site lecture on the structure of a rainforest--from ground level to canopy.


Lunch: Lunch at hotel.


Afternoon: The small and painteresque town of Fortuna has changed quite a bit from the village that witnessed the eruptions of Arenal Volcano in 1968. Once a small agricultural community, Fortuna has grown in the shadow of the colossus that once burned and devastated large areas. Tourism is now the most important income for the region. Although on a second level of economic importance, many plantations in the surrounding areas still produce important amounts of papaya, sugar cane, tapioca and ornamental plants.

Field trip to a local farm to learn about the history of the farm and the agricultural practices of this fertile region.

Pre-dinner tortilla making activity at a local farm.


Dinner: Traditional dinner at the farm hosted by the family.

Lodging: Arenal Manoa Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: Tropical rainforest and beach resort located on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Part of the 750 acres is a nature reserve boasting 250 species of birds, a variety of monkeys, sloths, armadillos and a macaw breeding project.

Contact info:
Road to Tarcoles
Punta Leona, 000000 Costa Rica
phone: +5062-231-3131
web: www.hotelpuntaleona.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, cable TV, mini refrigerator, safety box, telephone, and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Pools, restaurants, bar, tennis court, disco, mini golf, and beach access.

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


Day Eight: Wednesday, December 11 - Punta Leona - Tárcoles River Boat Ride/Sca...
Punta Leona -
Tárcoles River Boat Ride/Scarlet Macaw Rehabilitation Projects.


Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.


Morning: Tranfer to Punta Leona.

Boating field trip on the Tárcoles River to view wildlife and investigate the mangrove forest.

Site lecture: The Life History of the Costa Rica Crocodile.


Lunch: Lunch en route.


Afternoon: Continue the transfer to Punta Leona.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in, followed by an orientation to the property and its amenities.

Time at leisure to enjoy the beach or hotel pools.

Lecture: Rehabilitating the Scarlet Macaw and Other Conservation Projects in the Region.


Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Punta Leona

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: Tropical rainforest and beach resort located on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Part of the 750 acres is a nature reserve boasting 250 species of birds, a variety of monkeys, sloths, armadillos and a macaw breeding project.

Contact info:
Road to Tarcoles
Punta Leona, 000000 Costa Rica
phone: +5062-231-3131
web: www.hotelpuntaleona.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, cable TV, mini refrigerator, safety box, telephone, and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Pools, restaurants, bar, tennis court, disco, mini golf, and beach access.

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


Day Nine: Thursday, December 12 - Punta Leona - Outrigger Activities at Pla...
Breakfast: Late breakfast at the hotel.


Morning: Excursion to Playa Agujas for an outrigger canoe ride along the coast. Enjoy the opportunity to observe wildlife and the various geological formations.

Return to the hotel.


Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.


Afternoon: Enjoy some time at leisure to relax and enjoy the many hotel amenities.

Later in the afternoon, transfer to Jaco Beach for a site lecture on the growth and development of the town and its reputation as a surfing mecca in Costa Rica.


Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant in Jaco Beach.

Lodging: Hotel Punta Leona

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 after: 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 out time: 11:00 AM

Day Ten: Friday, December 13 - San José - Sarchi Crafts/Return to San José
Breakfast: Late breakfast at the hotel.


Morning: Depart to San José via the crafts town of Sarchi where ox carts, traditional furniture and other artifacts are created and on display.


Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.


Afternoon: Continue the trasfer to San José

Arrive in San José and check-in at hotel.

Time at leisure. Optional visit to a local mall.


Dinner: Farewell dinner at hotel.

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

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Saturday, December 14 - Departures - International Flights to the ...
Depart From: Transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for flight to U.S.

Note: Participants with independent travel arrangements and/or scheduled on later flights can keep their hotel rooms until check-out time on this day. Except for breakfast, all other meals are on your own on this day.


Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel (dependent on flights).


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.

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
6 Expert-led lectures
15 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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