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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

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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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Maurice Edwards Apr 11, 2015 at 06:05 PM

I was on this same trip in February this year, 2015. CR is not Mexico or West Africa. There were 18 on my trip. To my knowledge no one had any unusual gastritis. The one ER visit was from a person who fainted, most likely from dehydration. RS staff and medical services received high marks from all I heard. I'd be more concerned about drinking restaurant or hotel water in a large US city. Yes, I've experienced the undesirable aspects of travel in Mexico, plus I lived for two years in Nigeria. Need I say more. Maurice E. Edwards, Ph.D. In Cellular Physiology, Professor emeritus

Donna Cover Apr 11, 2015 at 05:42 PM

My husband and I went on this trip in February. We are very cautious, so we made sure we were up-to-date as far as vaccinations and shots recommended by the CDC were concerned. Our guide always let us know whether or not we could safely drink the water in the hotels and restaurants, and bottled water was available on the bus as needed to fill up our water bottles. I was careful to drink only the water that he said was potable, and I had no problems. A few people on our trip did have gastric issues that were quickly resolved with immodium. Do what makes you feel comfortable. Have a great trip--we did!

Jean Gilman Apr 11, 2015 at 04:38 PM

I have two friends with family who live in CR. They were not quite so cavalier about health safety as some of the responses. They said definitely get a Hep A vaccination and to drink bottled water whenever possible. The latter simply because strange water (and food), even if clean, can cause gastric upset. When traveling long distances without a bathroom, it seems like this makes sense.

Jean Gilman Apr 04, 2015 at 07:10 PM

Cassie, I'm leaving in two weeks for this program. Did something on the trip make you ill?
Cassie Witteborg-Wallace Apr 04, 2015 at 08:01 PM

I had a gatroenteriris which then progressed to a hypertensive crisis. It was the hypertension issues that resulted in emergency room care, and return home. The attentiveness from the RS staff was superb, and the medical care was the best I've ever received. My career was in health care, so I believe I could assess it accurately.
Cassie Witteborg-Wallace Apr 04, 2015 at 08:02 PM

Marilee Henneberger Apr 05, 2015 at 09:44 AM

Jean, cleanliness standards in CR are as high as in the USA. Food, water, etc are all safe to consume. The lodgings are very clean. There are no particular health dangers in CR, though of course, one is on vacation in a warm humid climate and many activities are outdoors, so use the same precautions [for sun, bugs, dietary] as you would on any similar trip anywhere.
Larry Buege Apr 11, 2015 at 09:58 AM

Costa Rica is a nation in transition. Prior to 1977 sewage pipes were only two inches in diameter and not the normal four inches found in more developed countries. Consequently, some places request that you place used toilet paper in a plastic bag found next to the toilet. Whenever people manipulate feces, the door is opened for gastrointestinal infections. According to our guide a few sewage systems were grandfathered in that empty raw sewage into rivers. Do not worry. This is rare. You will see none of this and sanitation should not be your concern. The hotels you will stay in are modern with good plumbing and sanitation. Our native guide thought all hotels were capable of handling toilet paper and the disposal bags were more tradition than necessary. At only one stop were we unable to drink the water, and then plenty of bottled water was provided. That being said, our bus did stop at a Mom and Pop restaurant on the way to one of our hotels and both my wife and I ended up with diarrhea. The developed lot on which the restaurant stood was too small to have a well and drain field sufficiently separated. We still had a great time and highly recommend this trip.

Sharon Michaels Apr 03, 2015 at 10:17 PM

Some in our group were bothered a lot by bugs and others little or not at all. Good to have DEET and milder non-DEET with you.
Cassie Witteborg-Wallace Apr 03, 2015 at 10:31 PM

I wore SPF shirts and pants. Bugs were not a problem. I became ill, and left the trip early.

Premium Email Subscriber Apr 03, 2015 at 03:10 PM

Can anyone recommend the best clothing for this trip? I know it will be hot and humid, but what about bugs?
Mary Mura Apr 03, 2015 at 05:21 PM

Long sleeved SPF shirts protect against bugs & sunburn! Long, light weight pants. Bug lotion with DEET good, if bugs bother you at home. I wasn't bothered much in CR, but others were.
Elaine W Apr 03, 2015 at 06:35 PM

I have some shirts that had been treated to repel bugs. I ride in the woods and am seldom bothered. Sierra Trading post often has some good deals.
Cassie Witteborg-Wallace Apr 04, 2015 at 08:03 PM

amazon.com also carries them.

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
Jean Gilman Apr 20, 2015 at 10:32 AM

Leslie, would've enjoyed meeting you, but my husband's illness has forced me to cancel for this date. Hope to reschedule for next Feb. Enjoy

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.

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Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Mar 10 — Mar 22, 2013 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
19 Field trips


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