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COSTA RICA / PANAMA

Panama and Costa Rica: Canal to Rainforest

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Road Scholar
Program #20186RJ
14 Days | 13 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.
Elevation Note
Monteverde 4,662 ft

Itinerary for Feb 25 — Mar 10, 2013

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: Modern hotel located at Fort Amador, on the boardwalk overlooking the entrance to the Panama Canal and the Bridge of the Americas.

Contact info:
Amador Avenue & Pelicano Avenue
Panama City, 00000 Panama
phone: +507-2-114500
web: www.countryinns.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, balcony, cable TV, coffee maker, microwave oven, and WiFi.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, outdoor pool, jacuzzi, coin-operated laundry facilities, health club, spa services, meeting rooms, and tour desk. High-speed wireless Internet in all rooms, lobby and pool-side.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices subject to availability
Additional nights are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for current prices and assistance with reservations.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Monday, February 25 - Arrivals in Panama City, Panama.
Arrive To: Arrive at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama.

Participants arriving on the group flights will meet the local Road Scholar representative once they clear Customs and leave the airport's restricted arrivals area. The representative will be holding a Road Scholar sign.

Transfer to the hotel.

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 3 p.m.



Lodging: Amador Country Inn & Suites

Type: Hotel

Description: Modern hotel located at Fort Amador, on the boardwalk overlooking the entrance to the Panama Canal and the Bridge of the Americas.

Contact info:
Amador Avenue & Pelicano Avenue
Panama City, 00000 Panama
phone: +507-2-114500
web: www.countryinns.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, balcony, cable TV, coffee maker, microwave oven, and WiFi.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, outdoor pool, jacuzzi, coin-operated laundry facilities, health club, spa services, meeting rooms, and tour desk. High-speed wireless Internet in all rooms, lobby and pool-side.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices subject to availability
Additional nights are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for current prices and assistance with reservations.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Tuesday, February 26 - Panama City - Historic Casco Viejo/Introduc...
Panama City -
Historic Casco Viejo/Introduction to the Panama Canal


Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Program orientation.

Field trip to the Pacific Canal Commission Compound.

Excursion to Casco Viejo, the historic colonial center of the city of Panama, with site lecture.

Panama City's old historic quarter (a.k.a. Casco Viejo or Casco Antiguo) dates back to the 1670s, when the destruction of Panama Viejo made relocation a necessity. Casco Viejo’s parks and narrow streets are lined with colorful buildings representative of Spanish, French and early American architectural styles. This eclectic collection of architectural styles reflects the city's role as an international trade center and cultural melting pot that began well before the building of the Canal. Some of Casco Viejo's must-see sites include the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Municipal Palace, the National Theater, the Panama Canal Museum (originally the Grand Hotel), the French Embassy, and France Plaza.



Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Field trip to the Panama Canal Museum, which showcases the American era of the Panama Canal.

Excursion to the French Square, a monument to the French builders who began the Panama Canal.

Lecture: The Panama Canal in the New Millennium

Dinner: At the hotel.

Lodging: Amador Country Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Modern hotel located at Fort Amador, on the boardwalk overlooking the entrance to the Panama Canal and the Bridge of the Americas.

Contact info:
Amador Avenue & Pelicano Avenue
Panama City, 00000 Panama
phone: +507-2-114500
web: www.countryinns.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, balcony, cable TV, coffee maker, microwave oven, and WiFi.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, outdoor pool, jacuzzi, coin-operated laundry facilities, health club, spa services, meeting rooms, and tour desk. High-speed wireless Internet in all rooms, lobby and pool-side.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices subject to availability
Additional nights are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for current prices and assistance with reservations.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Wednesday, February 27 - Panama City - Miraflores Locks and Madden D...
Panama City -
Miraflores Locks and Madden Dam/Las Cruces Trail/French Cemetery


Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Field trip to Miraflores Locks to view ships passing through the first series of locks in the canal.

Visit the interpretive museum.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Field trip to the Chagres River and Las Cruces Trail.

Las Cruces Trail once served as the primary artery for sending most, if not all, of the gold brought from the Incan Empire to port for shipment back to Spain. Because so much gold traveled the same route, just about every enterprising pirate sought access to this trail. Today, Las Cruces Trail is the primary feature of a 4,000 hectare national park that provides an ecological corridor between two other national parks, the Metropolitan Nature Park and the Soberania National Park.

Visit the Lake Alajuela/Madden Dam.

Lake Alajuela was "created" in 1924 with the construction of the Madden Dam. The dam's reservoir maintains the water levels in Lake Gatun and provides primary supply of drinking water along the canal. Lake Alajuela is surrounded by a 129,000 hectare national park of primary rainforest.

Enjoy a visit to the French Cemetery that honors the many lives lost during the construction of the Panama Canal.

Dinner: At a restaurant in Miraflores, with views of passing ships in the Canal.

Lodging: Amador Country Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Modern hotel located on Gatun Lake, just 10 minutes from the city of Colón.

Contact info:
Espinar Colón
Former Las Americas Military School
Lago Gatun, 000000 Panama
phone: +(507) 4701100
web: www.meliapanamacanal.solmelia.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, cable TV, hair dryer, safe, direct dial phone, and mini refrigerator.

Facility amenities: Restaurants, bar, pool, meeting rooms, spa services, laundry services, gym, and tennis courts.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Four: Thursday, February 28 - Colon - Transiting the Panama Canal
Breakfast: Early morning transfer to the port. Board the boat that will take you on a full transit of the Panama Canal.

Breakfast on board the boat.

Morning: Full day transit through the Panama Canal.

This transit leaves at 7:30 a.m. through the Pacific entrance of the Canal, just outside Flamenco Island. Here you will wait for the Panama Canal Commission Pilot who will guide you through the transit. Follow your companion vessel for the transit of the Miraflores locks (by Canal standards, we are a small vessel, so we rarely transit the locks alone).

The transit will take you through Miraflores Lake, Pedro Miguel Locks, Gailard Cut, Gamboa, and Gatun Lake. You will exit the canal on the Atlantic side and dock at Cristobal.

Throughout the transit there are numerous opportunities to see dolphins, birds, monkeys and crocodiles. The whole experience will take about 10 hours.

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: Continue with the Canal transit.
Disembark in Colon.

Colon was originally an island, separated from the mainland until 1852 when the U.S. began building a railroad across the isthmus. Contemporary Colon is known for its status as a Zona Libre, a free trade zone. Next to Hong Kong, Colon is the largest free-trade zone and marks the northern terminus of the Panama Canal.

Transfer to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Lodging: Sol Melia Panama Canal

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Modern hotel located approximately 2 miles from downtown Panama City.

Contact info:
Ave Manuel Espinosa Batista
Panama City, 000000 Panama
phone: +507-2065500
web: www.crowneplaza.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, cable/satellite TV, coffee maker, hair dryer, mini refrigerator, iron/ironing board, and Internet access.

Facility amenities: Pool, restaurant, tour desk, Internet cafe, business center, fitness center, laundry/dry cleaning services, and gift shop.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Five: Friday, March 01 - Panama City - New Locks Visitor Center/Train...
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast depart to New Locks Visitor Center to learn about the new canal expansion, including a video on the expansion program and new locks construction in addition to pictures of development at various stages. After a nature hike, the visit will end at the view point to observe the work being done at the new lock from afar.

Return to the hotel.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Free time at the hotel to enjoy the amenities. The rooms will be available until the transfer time to the train station.

Train ride excursion to Panama City via the isthmus.

Arrive in Panama City and check-in at hotel.

Dinner: Farewell dinner with Panamanian music.

Lodging: Crowne Plaza Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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) 2222-5022
web: www.balmoral.co.cr

Room amenities: Cable TV, air conditioning, minibar, alarm clock, flat screen TV, safety deposit box, internet, air conditioning, hairdryer, 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


Day Six: Saturday, March 02 - San José - Fly from Panama to Costa Rica/Th...
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to the airport for flight to San José, Costa Rica.

Upon arrival in Costa Rica it will be necessary to proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport. When exiting the restricted arrivals area, please leave through the door on the right. The local program representative will be waiting outside the exit door, holding up a Road Scholar sign.

Transfer to the hotel.

Enjoy a brief program orientation followed by a lecture. Lecture: An Overview of Costa Rica.


Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Excursion to the Gold Museum with a site lecture.

This interesting museum has a large collection of Pre-Columbian gold artifacts (approximately 1,600 pieces) dating from 500 A.D. to 1500 A.D. The first section of the museum presents an introduction to the Pre-Columbian cultures of Costa Rica; their social and cultural evolution and their progress in metallurgy. The second section contains beautiful displays showcasing the museum’s collection of gold artifacts. Accompanying descriptions explain the meaning and use of each piece.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Balmoral

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Nature 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) 227611800
web: www.selvaverde.com

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

Facility amenities: Meeting rooms, restaurant, bar, and private rainforest reserve with trails.

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


Day Seven: Sunday, March 03 - Sarapiqui - Pineapple Plantation/Introducti...
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to Sarapiqui.

Situated in the Caribbean lowlands, 40 miles from San José, Sarapiquí 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 in Sarapiqui and check-in at the lodge.

Orientation to the lodge.


Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: Field trip to a local pineapple plantation.

Examine the environmental and economic impact of growing pineapples in Costa Rica, one of the top ten producers of pineapples in the world.

Return to the lodge.

Snacks and local music on the patio.

Lecture: Introduction to the Rainforest.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Lodging: Selva Verde Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Nature 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) 227611800
web: www.selvaverde.com

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

Facility amenities: Meeting rooms, restaurant, bar, and private rainforest reserve with trails.

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


Day Eight: Monday, March 04 - Sarapiqui - Sarapiqui River Boat Ride/Cultu...
Breakfast: Early morning bird walk around the lodge.
Breakfast at the lodge.

Morning: Enjoy a boat ride on the Sarapiqui River in search of local wildlife.

Return to the lodge.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: Visit to Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center (SCLC) to meet with locals and Charla.

In Spanish "charla" means "chat." During this informative session led by a local community member, you will learn about life in Sarapiqui. Topics include local ecosystems, immigration, domestic life, and local artisan work. A question and answer session concludes the activity, fostering international communication and understanding.

The Sarapiqui Learning Center (SCLC) is a registered non-profit organization whose mission is to help communities and local conservation efforts 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.

The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure. Take this opportunity to cool off in the lodge's pool, go birdwatching, or indulge in the sounds of the rainforest from the comfort of your hammock.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: Dance presentation by local school kids.

Lodging: Selva Verde Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel Arenal Paraiso is located just a short drive from the picturesque town of La Fortuna. Accommodations are provided in individual casitas surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, with views of the Arenal Volcano. All rooms have views of the volcano.

Contact info:
No info.
Arenal, 00000 Costa Rica
phone: +506-2460-5333
web: www.arenalparaiso.com

Room amenities: Hair dryer, mini refrigerator, safety deposit box, cable TV, air conditioning, and front porch with sitting area.

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 Nine: Tuesday, March 05 - Arenal - River Rafting/Introduction to Aren...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.

Morning: River rafting excursion on the Sarapiqui River.

Return to the lodge.



Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: Transfer to Arenal.

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.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Time at leisure.

Lecture: The Arenal Volcano.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Arenal Paraiso

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel Arenal Paraiso is located just a short drive from the picturesque town of La Fortuna. Accommodations are provided in individual casitas surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, with views of the Arenal Volcano. All rooms have views of the volcano.

Contact info:
No info.
Arenal, 00000 Costa Rica
phone: +506-2460-5333
web: www.arenalparaiso.com

Room amenities: Hair dryer, mini refrigerator, safety deposit box, cable TV, air conditioning, and front porch with sitting area.

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 Ten: Wednesday, March 06 - Arenal - Arenal Volcano National Park/Hangi...
Arenal -
Arenal Volcano National Park/Hanging Bridges/La Fortuna Town


Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Field trip to Arenal Volcano National Park with site lecture.

The Arenal Volcano National Park, located in the central region of the country, protects a number of important life zones. The park also encompases the Arenal Volcano and the extinct Chato 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. The hilly terrain is littered with volcanic rocks. Park trails traverse old lava fields and secondary forest.

Excursion to Arenal Hanging Bridges.

Arenal Hanging Bridges is a private nature reserve in La Fortuna de San Carlos. The site features a network of standing bridges, hanging bridges, and trails that crisscross 250 hectares of tropical rainforest. The park’s mission is to provide natural history education in a responsible and sustainable way. Visitors are able to view the rainforest from different angles and heights, from ground level to canopy level, learning firsthand about this fascinating and biologically diverse environment.



Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Time at leisure to enjoy the hotel's hot springs.

Early evening excursion to the town of La Fortuna.

The small and painteresque town of Fortuna has changed quite a bit from the village that witnessed the eruptions of Arenal Volcano in 1968.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Arenal Paraiso

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The hotel is located in the Pacific highlands of Costa Rica (approx. 4,500 ft above sea level), just a few minutes from the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Contact info:
P.O. Box 07-5655
Monteverde, Costa Rica
phone: +(506) 26455046
web: www.monteverdemountainhotel.com

Room amenities: Each room has a private bath, telephone, and safety deposit box.

Facility amenities: Private forest reserve with trails, conference room, bar and restaurant, jacuzzi, and sauna.

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


Day Eleven: Thursday, March 07 - Monteverde - Crossing the Arenal Lake/Coffe...
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to Monteverde.

Enjoy a scenic boat ride across Arenal Lake (45 min - 1 hour) before boarding vans to complete the final stage of your transfer, driving uphill to Monteverde (1 hour).

Lunch: At a local coffee plantation.

Afternoon: Field trip to local coffee farm with site lecture.

Learn the about harvesting and processing of coffee as well as the history of this crop from its beginning in the Arabic countries and Ethiopia. Discover the importance of the golden bean ¨grano de oro¨ and its impact on the social, cultural, and economic development of Costa Rica.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Time at leisure.

Lecture: The Quaker Story.


Dinner: At a local home - Quaker style.

Lodging: Hotel Montaña Monteverde

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The hotel is located in the Pacific highlands of Costa Rica (approx. 4,500 ft above sea level), just a few minutes from the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Contact info:
P.O. Box 07-5655
Monteverde, Costa Rica
phone: +(506) 26455046
web: www.monteverdemountainhotel.com

Room amenities: Each room has a private bath, telephone, and safety deposit box.

Facility amenities: Private forest reserve with trails, conference room, bar and restaurant, jacuzzi, and sauna.

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


Day Twelve: Friday, March 08 - Monteverde - Cloud Forest Reserve at Montev...
Monteverde -
Cloud Forest Reserve at Monteverde/Local Cheese Factory & Bakery/The Quakers of Monteverde


Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Field trip to a cloud forest reserve at Monteverde with site lecture.

The edges of this rich forest system, often cloaked in clouds and blowing mist, are home to more than 350 avian species and a myriad of other creatures and critters. The Monteverde area is perhaps most famous for breeding Resplendent Quetzals, Three-wattled Bellbird, and Bare-necked Umbrellabird. While these charismatic species can be elusive, a host of other cloud forest birds and amphibians are found in the area.

Return to the hotel to change and freshen-up.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, visit a local cheese factory, bakery and the cooperative of artisan women's shop.

In 1951, a group of American Quakers, fearful of their nation’s growing militarism, fled the United States. The Quakers found Costa Rica, a nation without a military, to be the most inviting nation for their pacifist beliefs. This group settled Monteverde and intended to transform the area into profitable farmland. The Quakers developed a fairly successful cheese industry but they also recognized the delicate nature of the land and helped establish the area’s first wildlife sanctuary.

Return to the hotel.

Lecture: Conservation and Development of the Monteverde Area.


Dinner: At the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Montaña Monteverde

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: 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 Thirteen: Saturday, March 09 - San José - Butterfly Garden/Sarchi Handicra...
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Morning visit to the Monteverde Butterfly Garden and Arthropod Education Center.

Jim Wolfe and his wife Marta Iris opened the Monteverde Butterfly Garden in 1989. The couple has been hand raising butterflies for many years and has come to learn their individual preferences and habits. These fragile creatures require extreme care as they develop and every species feeds on a different variety of plants. Unlike most butterfly gardens, which buy their butterflies as chrysalides, all the butterflies you will see here were bred and raised on the premises.

Transfer to San José.

Lunch: At a local restaurant en route to San José.

Afternoon: Excursion to the crafts town of Sarchi where ox carts, traditional furniture, and other handmade artifacts are created.

The town of Sarchi, just a few miles from Grecia, is well known for its centuries-old tradition of making oxcarts. The brightly colored and intricately decorated carts are a national symbol and can still be seen in use in rural communities. Sarchi is also known for its handcrafted furniture and wood housewares.

Arrive in San José and check-in at the hotel.

Time at leisure.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

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

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Fourteen: Sunday, March 10 - Depart from San José - Flights to the U.S. A...
Depart From: Transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for flight to the 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: At the hotel (dependent on flight times).

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Arenal
Canopy zip line, horseback riding, hiking and spa activitiesHitch your self to a zip line for an adrenaline rush through the forest canopy. Spot animals while gliding through the forest. Horseback ride within the vicinity of the volcano. Spa options provide Swedish massage, reflexology and skin treatments.
For additional information, visit: www.arenal.net/lake-arenal.htm
Explore the town of La FortunaWalk around the town after dinner with the opportunity to interact with the locals.
For additional information, visit: www.lafortunacostarica.com
Horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, safari float, boat ride on Lake Arenal or windsurfingHorseback ride and hike to La Fortuna Waterfalls or through pastures and hilly terrain. Kayaking on Lake Arenal not only offers the opportunity to spot a variety of birds, but also the stunning backdrop of the volcano. A boat ride on Lake Arenal provides great opportunities to photograph the volcano and to enjoy the water birds frequenting the edge of the lake. The wind on Lake Arenal usually offers a great opportunity to windsurf.
For additional information, visit: www.arenaltours.com

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 ...
13 nights of accommodations
37 meals: 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 12 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
24 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
2 Performances
1 Flights during the program

Ratings

4.5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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