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COSTA RICA / PANAMA

Adventures Afloat: Navigating Costa Rica: Arenal Volcano and the Pacific Coast

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Road Scholar
Program #19524RJ
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 Jan 17 — Jan 27, 2014

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, January 17 - Arrive in San José, Costa Rica.
Arrive To: Evening arrival in San José.

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.

Transfer to hotel and check-in.

Note: This is an international travel day; there are no meals or activities included on this day. Hotel check-in starts at 3 p.m.

Lodging: Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center

Type: Hotel

Description: The Arenals Springs Hotel is located just a few from La Fortuna town and near the Arenal Volcano National Park. Accommodations are housed in small casitas--all with views of the famous volcano. Landscaped grounds feature lush tropical vegetation that provides both privacy and visual interest.

Contact info:
No info.
Arenal, 000000 Costa Rica
phone: +506-24791100
web: www.arenalparaiso.com

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

Facility amenities: Restaurant, 3 pools, bar, zip line, conference room, laundry services, and spa.

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


Day Two: Saturday, January 18 - Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna - Arenal Susp...
Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna -
Arenal Suspension Bridges Nature Excursion


Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.



Morning: Orientation to the program.
Lecture: An Overview of Costa Rica.
Depart for La Fortuna and 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: At hotel restaurant.



Afternoon: Excursion to the Arenal Suspension Bridges.

The series of bridges at the Arenal Suspension Bridges park enables visitors to experience the various layers of the tropical forest--right up into the canopy. A well constructed trail connects all the bridges. Enjoy a leisurely nature walk in magnificent surroundings while learning about the forest eco-system from your group leader.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.



Dinner: At hotel restaurant.

Lodging: Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa

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, January 19 - Arenal - Arenal Volcano National Park/Embar...
Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.



Morning: Lecture: The History and Moods of the Arenal Volcano.

Walk in the Arenal Volcano National Park along one portion of the volcano's base.

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 past lava flows have contributed to the erratic growth of vegetation in the areas around the volcano.

Return to the hotel.



Lunch: At the hotel restaurant.



Afternoon: Depart by bus for Puerto Caldera, adjacent to the city of Puntarenas, on the Pacific Coast.

Board 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, January 20 - At Sea - Lecture and Free Time
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, January 21 - Gamez Island, Panama - Beach Barbecue/Wate...
Breakfast: On board the ship.



Morning: Wet landing at Gamez Island.

The uninhabited islands of Chiriqui's Gulf National Marine Park boast 36,000 acres. This proteced area serves as a refuge for howler monkeys, leatherback and hawksbill turtles, tiger-herons, white-tipped sharks and scores of colorful exotic fish.



Lunch: Beach barbecue on Gamez Island.



Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon at your leisure. Take advantage of the beautiful beach for swimming and water sports.

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 Six: Wednesday, January 22 - Golfito, Costa Rica - Field trip to Piedras...
Golfito, Costa Rica -
Field trip to Piedras Blancas National Park and La Gamba Biological Station


Breakfast: On board the ship.



Morning: After a dry landing at Golfito, transfer by bus to Piedras Blancas National Park and La Gamba Biological Station.

Upon arrival at the field station, participants will take part in a guided hike in Piedras Blancas National Park. This hike will be followed by a tour of the field station and gardens.

In 1991, the Esquinas forest, one of the last unprotected lowland tropical rainforests on the Pacific coast of Central America, was declared Piedras Blancas National Park. However, since all land was in private hands, it could only be catalogued as a "paper park" until it was owned by the Costa Rican national park service. Michael Schnitzler, a well-known classical violinist from Vienna and part-time resident of Costa Rica, founded a non-profit organization called Rainforest of the Austrians with the goal of raising funds to buy property in the Esquinas forest. This continued support by the Austrians and with assistance from the Nature Conservancy, today the park is thriving.



Lunch: At Esquinas Rainforest Lodge.



Afternoon: 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 Seven: Thursday, January 23 - Drake Bay - Hiking in Corcovado National P...
Breakfast: On board the ship.



Morning: Board zodiacs for a short ride to Drake Bay (wet landing).

Just a 20 minute ride by boat from Drake Bay; explore the immense biodiversity of one of Costa Rica's crown jewels, Corcovado National Park. Upon arrival at the beach continue to the Ranger Station via a wet landing. Then hike approximately 3 hours through the primary and secondary forest, to experience the rainforest wildlife and flora. The rich biological diversity of the Corcovado National Park is astounding, and sightings may include as many as 4 types of monkeys, as well as coatis, sloths, anteaters, and much more. Bird lovers will be enchanted by a wide variety of birds, including tanagers, flycatchers, kingfishers, manakins, trogons, crested guans, and spectacular scarlet macaws and toucans.



Lunch: On board the ship.



Afternoon: Sailing around Caño Island.

Caño Island is located less than 15 miles offshore from Drake’s Bay in the Osa Peninsula. Despite its tropical beauty and attractive vistas, Caño Island’s true biological diversity is not found on its land, but in its rich underwater environment. Good water visibility, coral reefs, and colorful marine life have served to make this one of Costa Rica’s best scuba and snorkeling destinations. The island is also an important cultural and historical site, and a place where visitors can view the enigmatic stone spheres left behind by Caño Island’s pre-Columbian residents.

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, January 24 - Quepos - Field Trip to Manuel Antonio Natio...
Breakfast: On board the ship.



Morning: Cruising along Costa Rica's Pacific coastline on your way to Quepos.

Time at leisure to enjoy ship amenities.



Lunch: On board the ship.



Afternoon: Arrive in Quepos and disembark (dry landing) for a field trip to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Manuel Antonio National Park is probably the most popular destination for travelers to Costa Rica and is a must on anyone?s itinerary. From sloths to monkeys, the park encompasses an amazing range of biodiversity. Despite the park's fairly small size (about 1,700 acres) visitors can enter in a rainforest and walk straight to a white sand beach. Some of the park's more notable residents include the Crab-eating Raccoon, Green Iguana, White-headed Capuchin and the endangered Squirrel Monkey (also known as the Titi Monkey).



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, January 25 - Nicoya Peninsula - Curu National Wildlife R...
Breakfast: On board the ship.



Morning: Wet landing in the Nicoya Peninsula.

Disembark for a morning at the Curu National Wildlife Refuge for 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, with a wet landing, for an afternoon of beach activities. Participate in water sports, walk on a short island trail, and relax on the beach.

Despite its misleading name, Tortuga Island is actually composed of two uninhabited islands. Postcard-perfect white sand beaches and clear waters make this a perfect tropical spot for snorkeling and swimming. The islands are located in the Gulf of Nicoya, across from the Curu National Wildlife Refuge and just a few miles southwest of the Negritos Islands.

Return to the ship.



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, January 26 - San José - Disembark Star Flyer/Tárcoles Ri...
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

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Monday, January 27 - Depart for the U.S. - Transfer to the airpo...
Breakfast: Light snack or breakfast at hotel (dependent on flight times).



Morning: Transfer to the international airport to check-in for the return flight to the U.S.

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.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Jan 17 — Jan 27, 2014 waitlist only  

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
10 Field trips

Ratings

4.6
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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