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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 Nov 11 — Nov 21, 2014

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: Tuesday, November 11 - Arrive to San José.
Note: Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

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: Wednesday, November 12 - Sarapiqui - Program Orientation/National The...
Note: The drive from San José to Sarapiqui, in the Caribbean lowlands, takes approximately 2 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: Program Orientation.
Get to know your group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

After the program orientation, enjoy a field trip to the National Theater and Gold Museum.

Costa Rica's historical National Theater and the Grand Hotel Costa Rica are just a short drive or walk from the hotel. The historical significance of coffee production will be discussed during the visit to the National Theater, which was built midst Costa Rica's 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. Participants will understand what it means to be a ‘Tico.’

The National Theater is conveniently located adjacent to 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 include a limited number of exhibits, thus reducing the amount of time participants will be required to remain standing (approx. 30 minutes).


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.


Dinner: At the lodge.


Evening: Time at leisure.

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: Thursday, November 13 - Sarapiqui - Nature Walk/Cultural Interaction...
Sarapiqui -
Nature Walk/Cultural Interaction/Visit to Local Pineapple Plantation.


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: 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: At the lodge.


Evening: Time at leisure at the lodge.

After sunset, the rainforest comes alive with the calls of its nocturnal inhabitants. Listen to the sounds--try to distinguish one from another as you relax in your hammock. Frogs, owls, bats, tepezquintles (pacas), moths, and various other creatures come out at night as most of us get ready for bed.


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: Friday, November 14 - Sarapiqui - Nature Boat Ride on Sarapiqui Ri...
Sarapiqui -
Nature Boat Ride on Sarapiqui River/Community Projects.


Breakfast: At the lodge.


Morning: Morning 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 Puerto 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.

Before lunch, enjoy a talk on the cultivation of heart of palm (known locally as "palmito") and sample some snacks made from this mild and crunchy vegetable.


Lunch: At a local restaurant.


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: At the lodge.


Evening: Time at leisure at the lodge.

Meet with new Road Scholar friends on the porch, enjoy a nightcap while relaxing to the sounds of the rainforest, or get a good night's sleep in preparation for the full day tomorrow.

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: Saturday, November 15 - Arenal - Visit to Local Community/Introducti...
Note: Bus drive from Sarapiqui to Arenal takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours

Breakfast: At the lodge.


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

Transfer to the town of La Fortuna, located within the shadow of Arenal Volcano.

Arrive at the hotel in time for lunch.


Lunch: At the hotel.


Afternoon: 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: At the hotel.


Evening: Free time 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: Sunday, November 16 - Arenal - Arenal Volcano National Park/La For...
Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: This morning's field trip commences with a bus ride to the Arenal National Park's observation pavillion. For those who want to walk the short trail (half an hour) this will be done while the rest of the group remains in the area near the restrooms. 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.

Transfer to Arenal Observatory Lodge for a self-directed stroll through their museum. Enjoy more close-up views of the volcano from the observation platform before breaking for lunch. Participants who would like a little added exercise are welcome to walk to the lodge dining room via one of two trails. The program bus will transport remaining participants to the lodge dining room.


Lunch: At the Arenal Observatory Lodge.


Afternoon: Take a little time to relax after your meal and enjoy the lodge's patio and its stunning views of Arenal Volcano.

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

Excursion to the town of La Fortuna for happy hour. Interact with some of the locals at one of their favorite "after work" establishments.

Meet with some members of this community that has undergone a dramatic transformation from a sleepy rural town to a bustling resort town as a result of tourism associated with the volcano. The plaza is still the central point of the town and participants will have the opportunity visit some of the meeting spots recommended by the locals.

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.


Dinner: At a local restaurant.


Evening: Return to the hotel.

Time at leisure.

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: Monday, November 17 - Arenal - Visit to Local Farm/Agricultural P...
Arenal -
Visit to Local Farm/Agricultural Practices in the Region.


Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: Transfer to a local farm to learn about the history of the estate and discuss some of the agricultural practices in this fertile region.

Visit the farm's sugar cane mill for a lesson in traditional methods sugar cane processing.

Before lunch, wake-up your inner chef (and your appetite!) by joining in a tortilla making activity. Learn how to make fresh tortillas and cook them on a wood stove.


Lunch: Traditional meal at the farm hosted by the family.


Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a folkloric dance presentation held by local school children.

Return to the hotel.

The rest of the afternoon will be at your leisure. Enjoy a swim in the pool, soak tired muscles in the invigorating thermal spring, pamper yourself with some spa treatments (additional cost), or maybe just sit back and lose yourself in the pages of a good book.


Dinner: At the hotel.


Evening: Free time.

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: Tuesday, November 18 - Punta Leona - Tárcoles River Boat Ride/Scar...
Punta Leona -
Tárcoles River Boat Ride/Scarlet Macaw Rehabilitation Projects.


Note: Bus drive from Arenal to the Punta Leona/Pacific Coast takes approximately 4 to 4.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: Transfer to Costa Rica's Central Pacific Region.

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

Group leader discussion on the life history of Costa Rica's crocodiles.


Lunch: At a local restaurant en route.


Afternoon: 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: At the hotel.


Evening: Free time.

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: Wednesday, November 19 - Punta Leona - Outrigger Activities at Play...
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: 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 a local restaurant in Jaco Beach.
Our bus transfer back to the hotel will include a leisurely drive along Jaco's main strip.


Evening: Time at leisure at the hotel.

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: Thursday, November 20 - San José - Sarchi Crafts/Return to San José.
Note: Bus drive from the Pacific Coast to San José takes approximately 2 hours.

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: At local restaurant.


Afternoon: Continue the transfer 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.


Evening: Enjoy your last evening in Costa Rica at your leisure, among your new Road Scholar friends.

Lodging: Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Friday, November 21 - Departures - International Flights to the ...
Depart From: Transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for flight to U.S.

This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.

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 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
4 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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