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The Best of Costa Rica: Exploring Natural Wonders

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Natural History

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Road Scholar
Program #11586RJ
13 Days | 12 Nights
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.
Discussion Board

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Jean Gilman Feb 24, 2015 at 04:14 PM

I am taking the April 22 trip and arriving San Jose around noon. Is anyone else arriving that early and going directly to the hotel so we could share a cab?
Leslie Christiansen Mar 11, 2015 at 05:36 PM

Leslie Christiansen Mar 11, 2015 at 05:42 PM

I am on the same trip but won't be arrivinginto San Jose until 8:30 PM. I would like to find someone to share a cab, too

Carole Sklar Feb 17, 2015 at 11:57 AM

How thorough Mary is!
I took same trip Sept.'14. Our guide, Edwin
was a gem, so I conclude RS hires terrific guides.I found no need for a walking stick, it's an individual thing, but hats are essential, as well as other gear mentioned by Mary.

Mary Mura Feb 17, 2015 at 11:13 AM

We took the trip 1/31 to 2/12. It was wonderful, partly due to great leader, William, very experienced, knowlegeable, & attuned to our needs.
Bugs-seems to be an individual thing. They don't bother me at home & I stopped putting bug lotion on in CR. But a couple people who always get bitten at home, got bites in CR, even with spray.
If you like to use a wash cloth, bring one in ziplock bag. Most lodges didn't supply & I like to use them.
Grab the shampoo, etc. from hotel in San Jose, the lodges have liquid soap on wall.
Shower floors slippery, bring cheap flipflops.
Due to rain & heat, bus driver had to keep AC pretty low, so I was cold on the bus: sweater/scarf handy.
Fabulous that you can drink any water in CR, it's that clean!
I wished I had a walking stick to help with balance. Very rocky trails & some steep.
Have laundry done early, rather than late in trip if possible; gets more expensive as you go-I am cheapskate.
Someone usually took bags to & from rooms, so I wish I had packed larger bag!
Rain poncho essential; small backpack or string bag handy to carry stuff on walks. I wore hat every day for sun or rain.

Clara McCall Feb 13, 2015 at 09:59 AM

We just registered for the November 4 program. Looking forward to hearing from other participants for that date. We will be traveling from Chicago. And regarding the used TP, we have a cabin in Northern Wisconsin with a mound septic system. No TP in the toilet for the past 10 years. Our tank is inspected every 3 years (by local ordinance) and we've never needed it pumped. Our neighbor has to pump his every two years. You get accustomed to disposing TP into a dedicated receptacle.

Carole Sklar Feb 05, 2015 at 08:13 AM

I travel light. No poles were necessary. Walking behind those with poles is a hazard.

Michael Hafner Feb 04, 2015 at 05:06 PM

Anyone out there going on the upcoming March 1st departure? Can't come soon enough to leave winter in the NE behind!
Mary Mura Feb 17, 2015 at 11:18 AM

No kidding. We were sad that we couldn't stay an extra couple weeks instead of coming home to snow & subzero temps!!
Michael Hafner Feb 17, 2015 at 10:15 PM

Mary...thanks for sharing your insights from so recently taking the trip! Presumably you are also somewhere here in the NorthEast?
Mary Mura Feb 18, 2015 at 10:11 AM

No, OH, not as much snow, but just as cold & windy!!

Karen France Feb 04, 2015 at 03:30 PM

We did not take our hiking poles and were just fine with the few places they might have been helpful. We are very steady on our feet and experienced hikers so maybe that made the difference.
Judith Prager Feb 04, 2015 at 06:17 PM

Thanks Karen- more good info! it all helps!

Judith Prager Feb 03, 2015 at 10:23 PM

Hi Guys, Any thoughts on hiking poles, which have been suggested? It doesn't sound like the hikes are that rough, but I know they're good for balance, like crossing a river...Maybe one pole? Thanks!
Judith Kelly Feb 04, 2015 at 07:18 AM

I used two poles when hiking the steep and roughArenal hanging bridges trail and I'm glad I did. I highly recommend hiking poles for this trip
Judith Prager Feb 04, 2015 at 08:46 AM

Thanks Judith- very helpful!
Larry Buege Feb 04, 2015 at 05:50 PM

I will be bringing my monopod. For those unfamiliar with monopods, they are like a one-legged tripod. You can attach a camera on the top for dim light pictures such as in a rain forest or you can use it as a walking stick. It telescopes down to about 18 inches for traveling. I don’t know if I will need the walking stick, but I do plan on taking lots of pictures. My wife and I will be on the March 17th tour.
Judith Prager Feb 04, 2015 at 06:16 PM

Thanks Larry- I plan on taking lots of pictures also. I'm a painter and plan on doing some paintings when i get back, partially from the photos. Also hope to do a little painting and drawing when I'm there. Where are you coming from?
Larry Buege Feb 04, 2015 at 06:38 PM

We are coming from Marquette, Michigan right on Lake Superior. We found it will be cheaper and faster to drive to Ft. Lauderdale and flying from there. That seems strange but it is true.
Judith Prager Feb 04, 2015 at 06:43 PM


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Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Jan 12 — Jan 24, 2014 waitlist only  

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
12 nights of accommodations
34 meals: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners
7 Expert-led lectures
23 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances


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