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COSTA RICA

The Best of Costa Rica: Exploring Natural Wonders

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Road Scholar
Program #11586RJ

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13 Days | 12 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
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.
Susan from Marinette, WI Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 03/15/15 - 03/27/15
This program exposed us the wonderful diversity of Costa Rica. Caribbean turtle nesting sites, volcanic mountains, Pacific beaches, coffee plantations, and the rain forest. The wildlife, especially birds, iguanas and monkeys, were everywhere!! The group leader and speakers were excellent. Costa Ricans welcome eco-tourists with open arms.

Doris from Uniontown, OH Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 03/17/15 - 03/29/15
I just returned from the 3/17-3/29 trip to Costa Rica. I cannot say enough good things about it. I know I learned so much about CR that it is difficult to choose one thing. The guide, Christian, was amazing in his knowledge of flora, fauna, birds, culture, history. The accommodations were at times like paradise and all were excellent. The lectures added to my understanding of the progress that CR has made in improving its ecology and how the citizens of the country have bought into the concept. I highly recommend this trip. The best I have ever been on.

Wayne from Ashland, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/17/15 - 03/29/15
This was an outstanding program with visits to five distinctly different areas of Costa Rica. Our Group Leader, Cristian Gamboa, shared his encyclopedic knowledge of the birds, flora, fauna, and natural history throughout the two weeks, and along with the other instructors, wonderful accommodations, good food, and congenial group of 17, this was a delightfully satisfying, educational travel experience.

Rita from Grass Valley, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/15/15 - 03/27/15
This Program provides a very good overview of Costa Rica. I got a much better understanding and appreciation of Biodiversity and Eco-tourism. Visited several different areas: The Rainforests of Tortuguero and Sarapique, the beauty of the Arenal volcano and the Hanging Bridges in the Canopy; the Central Pacific Region, and lastly, the Cloud Forest and mountains of Tallamanca. Lots of birds and other wildlife. Great Trip!

Cindy from Crystal Lake, IL Number of programs attended: 49
Date attended: 02/17/15 - 03/01/15
The program is beautifully designed to give a wonderful view and variety of Costa Rica. The emphasis on Costa Rica caring for the environment, preserving and helping the life of plants and animals was very apparent. Pedro Bosques, our Leader, did a wonderful job-thoughtful, extremely knowledgeable and capable. The variety of daily activities and moving basically every 2 days to a new location was interesting. Great accomodations and surroundings, healthy food,beautiful fruit and a very nice group of 18 Road Scholars.

James from Oak Lawn, IL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/17/15 - 03/01/15
This was our first trip with Road Scholar and was definitely a great experience. The itinerary, accommodations, tour guide, activities, and fellow participants were exactly what we had hoped for. The flora and fauna of Costa Rica were memorable. Been thumbing through the catalogue dreaming of our next trip.

Judith from Worthington, OH Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 02/03/15 - 02/15/15
I already wrote a review.

Thomas from Neenah, WI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/17/15 - 03/01/15
One of our best vacations ever. As we considered vacation plans, people we requested advice from asked if we were interested in the rain forest areas, inland, mountain/forest areas, beach or city. We had never been to Costa Rica, so we did not know. This Road Scholar program was so well organized and inclusive that we felt we experienced all of Costa Rica, including nature (animal and plants). Activities and plans flowed so well. Our guide was fantastic and put this vacation/program over the top. GREAT JOB!

Elizabeth from Panton, VT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/17/15 - 03/01/15
Just returned from THE BEST OF COSTA RICA: Exploring Natural Wonders and enjoyed a phenomenal trip with some friends. What a great trip that took into consideration body, mind and spirit! Our leader,Pedro, was excellent and the folks on the trip were enjoyable. Lots of interesting experiences in colorful Costa Rica! Pura Vida!

Linda from Neenah, WI Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/17/15 - 03/01/15
The Exploring Natural Wonders Costa Rica Road Scholar trip was the best vacation I have ever taken. Our leader was exceptional and I not only learned more than I ever expected, but also saw so many things that took my breath away.

Kenneth from Louisville, KY Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/15/15 - 02/27/15
This song is dedicated to our wonderful, talented Costa Rican guide, Erick Guzman, who led us on a marvelous tour of his country in a Road Scholar program, Natural Wonders of Costa Rica, Feb. 15-27, 2015. Because of his skills and enthusiasm, the group fell in love with Costa Rica, its diverse natural parks and especially birdwatching. Written by Road Scholar group member, Kenny Karem. Sung by group members Jackie, Doug, Joan, Elsa and Kenny—the “Sarapiqui Singers”. (The musical notes do not appear here). Copyright 2015 Kenny Karem, Sarapiqui Publishing Co. For Erick Viva Costa Rica! Purísima Vida! In Costa Rica, life is so much better. In Costa Rica, they treat you very well. In Costa Rica, the country is very lovely. In Costa Rica, life is very pure. Our Tico guide was Erick Guzman. He knows every natural thing. He names the birds, the planets and the mammals. To every bird, he sings its little song. In San Jose, the crazy traffic scared us. We drank coffee on the Dako farm. In Tortuguero, we floated by the caimans As fishing herons watched us all day. In Sarapiqui, we met Erick’s charming family And we rafted in the pouring rain. We finally saw the Arenal volcano While students danced the Costa Rican way. The River Narcoles had many crocodilos And pink spoonbills feeding by its banks. In Carara, we adored the loud macaws At the end, we spotted the grand quetzal! En Costa Rica, la vida es mas sabrosa. En Costa Rica, se quiere mucho mas. En Costa Rica, la vista es mas linda. En Costa Rica, todo es felicidad! PURA VIDA!

Robert from Worthington, OH Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 02/03/15 - 02/15/15
“The Best of Costa Rica” provided an exciting educational adventure for the enthusiastic learners in our group of fifteen. Our group leader, Cristian Gamboa, set the tone as we enjoyed exploring the natural wonders of Costa Rica’s tropical beauty. One of the many advantages traveling with Road Scholars is spending time with local people, allowing visitors to learn about the culture and change in Costa Rica. Learning about coffee production, biodiversity efforts in conservation, sea turtle conservancy and a visit to a local plantation to learn about agricultural practices were some of the things we learned from the locals. In Arenal, we learned about the Arenal Volcano and ended the day with a relaxing dip in the hotel’s thermal spring! Later, our group enjoyed soaking up the sunshine at the white sand and black sand beaches. Highlights of our trip included a guided rainforest hike, an exhilarating river rafting excursion, and being awakened in the early morning by the sounds of holler monkeys calling us to wake up. Wonderful were the new friendships, seeing a variety of birds, animals, crocodiles, butterflies, and gorgeous weather, good food and of course enjoying Pura Vida – the Pure Life! Judith and Bob Chosy 7th R.S. trip!

Charlotte from New Bern, NC Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/10/15 - 02/22/15
I am not prone to hyperbole, but I cannot accurately describe this wonderful adventure without sounding as if I am exaggerating. The itinerary was well planned and executed by what has to be one of the best guides in the world--Gloriana--who was very energetic, organized, knowledgeable, caring, and tremendously funny! The accommodations, although in some instances a bit rustic, were clean and comfortable and appropriate to their surroundings and the spirit of the tour. The meals were all well prepared and no one could go hungry traveling on this trip! At times the meals seemed a bit repetitious, but we ate what Costa Ricans eat--lots of rice, beans, fish, and chicken! We saw a tremendous amount of wildlife--over 90 different types of birds as well as sloths, an anteater, a coati, a pizote, monkeys, reptiles, and insects. The educational opportunities--lectures and visits to a coffee and a pineapple plantation as well as nature walks through various habitats--were informative and fun. We learned quite a bit about Costa Rica's intent to protect their natural resources; perhaps other countries should increase their efforts to model this behavior. This tour was well worth the money spent!!

Steve from Newtown Square, PA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 02/09/15 - 02/21/15
A well balanced program with enticing features directing your attention to a wide range of interests: birding, eco-diversity, volcano, ethnicity, dramatic fauna of all types, etc. Also, great exercise. The tour's value-add is worthy of the best RS has to offer. Bottom line- highly recommended - you will not get bored

Marcia from Sunderland, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/31/15 - 02/12/15
The program gave us a superb introduction to Costa Rica’s diversity, history, geography, volcanoes, ecological ethos and wondrous natural offerings. We experienced various zones and conditions, spending nights on the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the mountains and valleys between coasts as well as the major city, San Jose. William, our guide, was a gracious and amazingly knowledgeable host. As an additional bonus, the people in our group were lovely: interesting, interested, and pleasant every day. Loved the gorgeous orchids and rain forest plants, as well as the amazing macaws, lizards, frogs, crocodiles, sloths, and rascally monkeys!

Lois from Wanaque, NJ Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/03/15 - 02/15/15
Every RoadScholar program in which I've participated has exceeded my expectations - the itinerary, guides and fellow "scholars" all contributed to a fulfilling and joyful adventure in learning.

Judy from Bethany Beach, DE Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 02/03/15 - 02/15/15
We had a delightful group of 15 participants who truly seemed to enjoy each other and our guide, Cristian, shared interesting and diverse information with a good sense of humor. The activities such as visits to coffee and pineapple plantations, white water rafting, hikes on suspension bridges, relaxing in natural hot spring pools while looking at an active volcano, and birding hikes highlighted the uniqueness of Costa Rica.

Nancy from Mesa, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/03/15 - 02/15/15
If you love nature, birds, turtles, biodiversity and biological preserves, this is the trip for you. Be sure you understand the activity level. It was not very hard, but it seems important to have good balance. Our tour guide was just fantastic.

John from Columbus, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/31/15 - 02/12/15
The trip was exceptional. It provided a great overview of Costa Rica and how important it is to the biodiversity of our world.

Verne from Lakewood, CO Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/17/15 - 01/29/15
Wonderful experience that totally exceeded all my expectations! Ignacio was the best guide possible and taught us so many new, exciting things about biodiversity, and the natural world in Costa Rica. I could not have been better!

Cheryl from Calgary, AB Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/19/15 - 01/31/15
We recently returned from The Best of Costa Rica trip and have not stopped talking about it since. The experience far exceeded our expectations with not only the accommodation, the learning and the visual delights but teverything about the trip from start to finish.

Margaret from Sweet Briar, VA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 01/10/15 - 01/22/15
The Exploring Natural Wonders trip to Costa Rica is fantastic! It encompasses a wide section of Costa Rica from east coast to west coast to central valley. The variety of flora and fauna is overwhelming, and the boat rides and walks immerse you in the midst of it all. I hope you go with the outstanding guide Erick Guzman and driver Frank Alpizar—they will make it a trip you won't forget! Pura Vida!

Dorothy from New York, NY Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 01/10/15 - 01/22/15
Costa Rica is a fascinating and enjoyable place for those interested in nature, ecology and biodiversity. Its beauty and variety will remain with me forever. Erick Guzman, our superb guide, provided a comprehensive, organized and delightful tour. Frank, our excellent driver, kept us safe and on schedule. My fellow travelers were interesting and fun. Take the trip. You won't be sorry.

Deborah from Plano, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/03/15 - 01/15/15
Our guide, Roger, our driver Alvaro and our boat captain, Ronnie did a fantastic job spotting and identifying the fauna and flora- not to mention great driving skill. Sloths, peccary, white faced capuchin, caiman, crocodile, green iguana, green parrot snake, eyelash pit viper, strawberry poison dart frog, Delicious pineapple and papaya and gallo pinto. Refresco welcomed us at nearly every stop. Pura Vida!

Shieky from London, ON Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/03/15 - 01/15/15
This is an amazing tour - the natural beauty, the educational value with regards to the environment, viewing and identifying the great variety of flora and fauna,expert and entertaining talks,comfortable and clean accomodations and bus,delicious meals.Roger Melendez,our tour leader was exceptional in his encylopaedic knowledge and his ability to transmit this in a passionate and clear fashion as well as being sensitive to the needs of each individual in the group, a model of patience and an infectious sense of humour.Alvaro Montero was our skilled and humourous bus driver.Cheers to all our group of motivated, concerned,inquisitive,adventurous,happy individuals!

Judith from Plymouth, MI Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 01/03/15 - 01/15/15
I highly recommend this trip for a good overview of the natural history of Costa Rica. Our field trip leader, Roger, was patient and made sure everyone got to see what animal he was discussing. I really enjoyed myself and learned a lot of new information.

Sandra from London, ON Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/03/15 - 01/15/15
I can't imagine having had a better holiday than my 12 day guided tour o Costa Rica. I learned so much and had a wonderful time! Every day was a new adventure. The accommodations, food and guide were just outstanding, and the country is so beautiful!

Grant from Saint Paul, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/03/15 - 01/15/15
If you've ever dreamed of visiting Costa Rica, this trip is an excellent way to get to know the beauty of this remarkable country. The trip is well-organized and led with excellent accommodations and good food. You'll probably see more, learn more, and enjoy more biodiversity than you've ever experienced before.

Elaine from Saint Paul, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/03/15 - 01/15/15
Change your whole perspective on our relationship to the natural world! This tour is life-changing.

Anne from Davis, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/03/15 - 01/15/15
I just completed this program, and I recommend it highly. Descriptions of where you will go and what each activity and hotel is like are accurate. Our guide Roger was competent, patient and polite no matter the circumstances. When it came to seeing wildlife, birds and plants, Roger was enthusiastic and informed. I am not good at spotting, and I saw most of what was there to see because Roger took the time to point each one out and even helped capture a few outstanding pictures. Our bus was roomy and our driver very skilled on some difficult roads. Do it!

Katharine from Salt Lake City, UT Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 12/07/14 - 12/19/14
I'm not even a "birder" but it was a great trip! Everything went like clockwork, everyone got along with each other, we were on time, the accommodations were great and the rain was warm! Our guide, Edwin, was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic. It's only my second Road Scholar experience but I'm sold! Kay Howells, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Marion from Portland, CT Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 12/07/14 - 12/19/14
This program is for people who are interested in nature and ecology, particularly of tropical areas. A sense of adventure and receptiveness to new learning is crucial.

Shirley from Cloverdale, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 12/07/14 - 12/19/14
It was not just a walk in the forest or a ride on a river. Our program guide brought our attention to the different species of plants, birds, animals, insects, and how they all work together to make the ecosystem sustainable. He made what would have been a black and white walk in the forest to a full Technicolor picture.

Naomi from Chevy Chase, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/02/14 - 12/14/14
Great trip - I especially appreciated that even in less than ideal weather our guide Javier had excursions to offer us, even if it was just a nature walk around hotel grounds. The trip was packed with fascinating animals, birds, scenery, plants, butterflies, and an amazingly efficient use of time. Some places I was glad to see but probably wouldn't go back to, but others call for a return to savor the variety and beauty. The lectures were interesting and provided an ongoing context for what we were seeing.

Donald from Barboursville, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/02/14 - 12/14/14
The itinerery was well planned thus enabling our group to experience the distictly different regions of Costa Rica. The guides were very helpful in pointing out wildlife that we would have missed on our own. The lectures, for the most part, were very informative and presented in an interesting way.

Yvonne from Globe, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/02/14 - 12/14/14
I just returned from the trip, The Best of Costa Rica. The trip was well planned, and organized by Road Scholar. It is a 12 day trip that provided interesting lectures by local people who have lived and worked in the areas we visited. So we learned about the history, economics, science as well as, the people of the areas we visited. I enjoyed our traveling partners, guide and bus driver. In addition, I enjoyed the wild life, rain forest, rivers and the local people. I never felt unsafe from the time I entered the country. Suggestions bring quality rain gear, good walking shoes and shoes you can get wet, a lot. Bring clothes that dry easily, you will get wet and not much dries out quickly, we wore hiking clothes 95 % of the time. Leave the dress clothes home. We did laundry on about the 5th day through the hotel service. The only reasonable priced opportunity, so plan your clothes around that fact. Pack light, you move suit cases every other day.

Philip from Miami, FL Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 12/02/14 - 12/14/14
Great for the ecologically minded participant that is not afraid to get wet or even soaked. The December tour date is considered a period of transitional weather, so there was daily rain with many tropical downpours-but very few mosquitos at that time of year. Verdant rain forest foliage and fabulous animals. Wonderful Tico people exemplified by our cherished tour leader, Javier Miranda. Thank you Javier and Pura Vida!

Alice from Racine, WI Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 11/11/14 - 11/23/14
The itinerary allowed us to see so much of the different life zones and in turn the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. We had so many opportunities for learning and fun. Our guide, Edwin, was just terrific. He was knowledgeable, funny and kind.

Julie from Cincinnati, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/11/14 - 11/23/14
An amazing learning adventure that includes a variety of Costa Rican Eco-systems that allows for viewing a huge number of various flora and fauna. The small group experience facilitates bonding and the guide stays with the group from beginning to end. I went as a single and made many friends as I was welcomed into my group of 14. Opportunities for beaching and zip lining are included in the itinerary. The expertise of the guide is outstanding (our guide was Edwin) , the food is delightful and so healthy and fresh, but this program is an example of how well RoadScholar provides value and learning in order to highlight the real star, Costa Rica itself.

Therese from Heber, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/11/14 - 11/23/14
The trip was very well organized and the guide made the trip a learning experience and fun at the same time. This was the best guided experience I have had in over 20 years traveling.

Nikki from Manhattan Beach, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/02/14 - 11/14/14
This was my first trip with Road Scholar and certainly not the last! Our guide, Luis Vargas is the best on the whole planet. He really cares about the environment and his country Costa Rica. It is a non-stop adventure trip. So much to see and do. I have returned to my home in California, a much more socially and environmentally educated person. Met some incredible people...friendships that will last a life time. I cannot wait to take another trip with this company.

Teddy from Berthoud, CO Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 11/02/14 - 11/14/14
This was a lovely program, so interesting, informative, and diverse. We saw so many things, covered so much territory, it will be hard to describe it all. Should have kept a journal! Met some truly wonderful people. We had a very small group and we really all became good friends during our time together.

Deborah from Naperville, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/09/14 - 09/21/14
I thought about visiting Costa Rica for twenty years. I really had no expectations other than seeing beautiful birds. What a revelation! The guide Edwin Ramirez was excellent, both knowledgeable and personable. The diversity of flora, fauna and geography was amazing, and lecturers and tours were great. We accidentally arrived in La Fortuna during the Independence Day parade and the locals were so welcoming. I have no favorite experience of the trip, because each day was was wonderful.

bev from Jamestown, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/09/14 - 09/21/14
I just recently returned from the Best of Costa Rica--what an awesome experience! It truly was mind changing. We had rains and sun but we just got out and enjoyed it all. Our guide, Edwin Ramirez, was the best ever. His enthusiasm and love of his country was so evident! Totally a beautiful time!!

Beverly from Plano, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/09/14 - 09/21/14
The Best of Costa Rica: Exploring Natural Wonders was everything I hoped for in my first Road Scholars experience and so much more. The experiences with all animals, birds and other creatures in the rainforest were incredible and only enhanced by our knowledgeable and enthusiastic group leader, presenters and fellow participants. Beverly Carpenter

Diane from Santa Clara, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 09/09/14 - 09/21/14
This program was a great opportunity to enjoy the amazing biodiversity of Costa Rica and to learn from so many who are dedicated to preserving and enjoying their unique country. I so enjoyed our guide Edwin Ramirez and his knowledge, sense of humor, and command of the English language! Beautiful people, beautiful country! My life and my love of our planet has been enriched by this experience. Pura Vida!

Patricia from Green Valley, AZ Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/09/14 - 09/21/14
Far better than I ever expected. We were welcomed warmly by everyone and learned so much. This trip taught me Costa Rican "Pura Vida"-- living life joyously in harmony with our beautiful earth.

Sherry from Kirkland, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/09/14 - 09/21/14
Visiting during the green season, we were incredibly lucky in the number of birds and animals we saw. The worst downpours kindly saved themselves for lunchtime or nights. I'm glad I took the trip during the less busy time. FYI, the program in terms of walking is not particularly active; however the heat and humidity are difficult for those not used to it. You do not need hiking boots, but you do need thick-soled, supportive shoes for the Arenal Hanging Bridges walk. Part of the walkway at Carara was paved but extremely slippery. Hiking boots would be no use for some of the mud walks, but there are not always rubber boots in the needed sizes.

Onnafay from Calico Rock, AR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/09/14 - 09/21/14
This was my first Road Scholar trip and it was fantastic. Loved Costa Rica and enjoyed quality time with my new familia. Edwin was our guide and he made it incredible. Everything that I expected and more.

Dorothy from Monmouth, OR Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 09/09/14 - 09/21/14
This is the most outstanding/memorable trip I have ever experienced(and I have been on all seven continents)The guide, Edwin Ramirez,the experiences,the accommodations,the food, the field trips/lectures,transportation~everything was of the highest quality. It gets 7 stars!

Alan from Tucson, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 08/05/14 - 08/17/14
We in the USA have so much to learn from Costa Ricans about true commitment to ecosystems protection - and this trip is a perfect way to experience and see it in beautiful, developing action!

Terry from Reading, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/15/14 - 07/27/14
I took a what I thought would be a once in a lifetime trip and my first one with Road Scholar “The Best of Costa Rica: Exploring the Natural Wonders” during the “green” season. I was wrong about this being once in in a lifetime. Its only been three days home and I want to go back! I thought that the flowers, birds, animals and scenery would be the highlights but I was wrong about that too. All of that was spectacular and the Road Scholar program is as close to perfection as one could hope for with preparing you, arrangements and accommodations, but the greatest gift this Country has to offer is truly its people. I traveled alone and met some wonderful people and felt completely safe. We had some last minute changes with our guide and I suspect it may have been some type of divine intervention, because we got the best of the best with our guide- Edwin Ramirez who was AMAZING - if you go - ask for Edwin.

Marilee from Palm Beach Gardens, FL Number of programs attended: 30
Date attended: 07/15/14 - 07/27/14
I completely agree with Lois, a fellow traveler on our just completed trip. It was spectacular! Our accommodations were attractive and comfortable, our excursions interesting and educational… and a lot of fun too. We saw so many birds and animals despite the rain, none of us felt the least deprived. We just pulled out our ponchos and carried on. Climb a volcano? Of course. Crocs? Yes. White water rafting? Why not? Nesting turtles? 3 species of monkey? At least a dozen or more hummingbird species? The resplendent Quetzel? 3 of them. Sloths? yes, yes, yes and yes. I simply cannot give too much praise to Edwin. He had to step in at the last minute when the scheduled guide was unable to be with us due to health issues, but Edwin's high levels of knowledge, organization [thanks also to the CR coordinator's efforts as well], kindness and enthusiasm were all that could be desired… and more. Oh, and kudos to our superbly capable driver, Frank. He got us through a few [not of his making] roadway pickles a lesser driver might not have maneuvered so well, including partly flooded roads at Torteguero. Pura Vida!

Lois from San Diego, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/15/14 - 07/27/14
My Natural Wonders of Costa Rica program (July 15-July 27) was amazing. The guide, Edwin Ramirez, was wonderful. His knowledge, information, enthusiasm,and anecdotes greatly enhanced an already-terrific program. Yes, there was a lot of rain, but I knew that rain was to be expected during a "green season" trip. All activities took place despite the rain, though they sometimes required minor modifications to the planned schedule.

Janice from Massapequa Pk, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/03/14 - 06/15/14
THIS TRIP MET ALL MY EXPECTATIONS. GOING FROM THE ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. TRAVELING OVER AND THROUGH THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE IN THE MOUNTAINS WAS SEENIC,INFORMATIVE AND IMPRESSIVE.I CAME HOME COMPLETELY HAPPY AND INFORMED. PURA VIDA!

Gail from Austin, TX Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/13/14 - 05/25/14
Wonderful adventure and Edwin Ramirez (our guide) could not have done anything else to make this a more perfect trip - Have fun - Pura Vita

Kathleen from Bigfork, MT Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/13/14 - 05/25/14
If you are sitting on the fence about doing this program sign up. It was amazing and was an experience not to be missed.

Helen from Alameda, CA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 04/15/14 - 04/27/14
What a trip! Eden! Being in Costa Rice with such knowledgeable guides and such a varied itinerary has changed me: why are my environs so relatively denuded, and where are the tunnels under our freeways to let the wild cats, the snakes, and the monkeys get to others of their kind?!!! Thank you!

Judith from Rockford, IL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/15/14 - 04/27/14
This was my first Road Scholar adventure and my first international travel experience. I enjoyed every minute of the trip. As a single female participant, I felt totally safe and welcome the whole time. I thought the guides were great and the presenters of educational topics imparted just the right amount of information. I would recommend this tour to anyone who is interested in an active, varied travel experience that is also educational.

Sharon from Monterey, CA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 04/15/14 - 04/27/14
My husband and I just returned last week from this trip and we had a wonderful experience. We saw more animals and birds than I'd even hoped for, including 4 Resplendent Quetzals (and my personal goal was to see at least one!) I felt we were given a great overview of Costa Rica and of its biodiversity and offered a wealth of valuable information and experiences. Yes, there is a lot of bus travel, but how else could we cover 6 locations in 12 days, including both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, the rain forest, cloud forest, transitional forest and mountains without all of those travel hours? I found the guides to be friendly, supportive, very helpful and knowledgeable and I left with lifelong good memories!

Laura from Eureka, CA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 01/14/14 - 01/26/14
this is a wonderful trip, full of adventure and interest! The lectures were well presented, the tour guide was knowledgeable and very personable! It was just a pleasure-one of the best Road Scholar trips we have experienced.

George from Saint Cloud, MN Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 03/25/14 - 04/06/14
I recommend the Costa Rica "Exploring Natural Wonders" program for anyone who wishes to visit all the diverse ecological zones of Central America, learn about culture and economy and discover an abundance of birds species. If your program guide is Erick Guzman the experience will be unforgettable.

Sharon from Livingston, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/25/14 - 04/06/14
This was our first Road Scholar trip but it made us want to go on more! Costa Rica is beautiful and our guide, Eric, was outstanding. We saw 3 of the 4 species of monkeys in Costa Rica, two species of sloths, caimans, alligators, an eyelash viper, and over 150 species of birds, including spectacular species like Blue-crowned Motmots, Scarlet Macaws, and Fiery-throated Hummingbirds. Our accomodations were even better than I expected and the Costa Rican people were all helpful and friendly. I highly recommend this experience.

Linda from Arlington, VA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 03/25/14 - 04/06/14
This is a great overview of the natural environments in Costa Rica. The scenery, the birds, and the lodges are magnificent. But, you must spend many hours traveling by bus on sometimes mountainous, sometimes unpaved roads, Be prepared for high humidity in the coastal regions and bring your favorite remedy for stomach upset. Enjoy!

Ann from Williamsburg, VA Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 03/16/14 - 03/28/14
My husband and I would put this program at the top of the list. Planning was meticulous. I'm very happy I had my hiking boots. One detail that eluded me was the degree of humidity in the rain forest areas (I know, silly me.) However, it was not really possible to wash out shirts along the way and expect them to dry.

Janel from Eugene, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/16/14 - 03/28/14
Fantastic tour of Costa Rica - lots of beautiful vistas, exciting wildlife, adventurous outings, great food and excellent tour guide, Javier Miranda. I would go again!

Nancy from Endwell, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/23/14 - 03/07/14
If you love the outdoors, and seeing unusual birds, flowers, and animals everyday, then this is the trip for you. Also if you live in the NE, February is a great time to visit Costa Rica. The weather was wonderful. Even when it was hot, there always seemed to be a breeze,

Carol from Nevada City, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/02/14 - 03/14/14
This is a GREAT trip -- I hope you get Roger as your instructor and Alvaro as your driver; they are both wonderful and work well together. Just bring something for diarrea, because you are likely to get it near the end of the trip -- all of us did (17 pp.)

Richard from Kingsport, TN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/23/14 - 03/07/14
Jean and I agree with Nelda's assessment of our Costa Rica adventure. The group of traveling companions were great and we made many new friends. Chito our Group Leader, Guide, Teacher, and Wilson our Coach driver did an outstanding job. Here is a sampling of the wildlife we recorded: over 130 bird and waterfowl, 4 bat species, three toed sloths, 3 monkey species, several frog species and two poison dart frogs, crocodiles, several lizards including the Jesus Christ lizard, two types of iguana, many butterflies, river turtles, rabbits, and insects including the rhinoceros beetle. We will try to post some pictures we took along the way.

Nelda from Glendale, AZ Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 02/23/14 - 03/07/14
This trip is a must-do for anyone who enjoys nature and wants to learn about Costa Rica. It covers a wide area of the country and includes some fascinating story tellers who add an important dimension to the trip. You will see birds you never thought you would see and plants you can only imagine. The lodgings are unique -- some spartan, some luxurious, all in beautiful settings. You come away with new knowledge about ecology and admiration for the country that is quickly learning how to manage its natural resources.

Roberta from Sunnyvale, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/04/14 - 02/16/14
If you like seeing monkeys, many beautiful birds, frogs, butterflies, and beautiful flowers and interesting vegetation and Volcanos then Costa Rica is the country to visit for you!

Maureen from Virginia Beach, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/04/14 - 02/16/14
This program gave us a real sense of the biodiversity and beauty of Costa Rica. We experienced the rainforest by boat and on foot, climbed as high as we dared on Arenal, learned about coffee, pineapple and banana production, sun bathed on a warm Pacific beach and traveled to the highest Costa Rican peak. We saw an incredible display of wildlife - mammals, reptiles and amphibians - and counted over 50 species of birds along the way. The Costa Rican people are warm and welcoming. A wonderful experience we'll always remember.

Marilyn from Mukilteo, WA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/28/14 - 02/09/14
This tour was fabulous! My husband is the nature lover and I wanted to hear Spanish....however, by the end of the tour I was converted to a birdwatcher! - the last thing I would have expected. Very well paced and variety of activities. Marilyn

Karen from Eagle River, WI Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 01/18/14 - 01/30/14
We loved every aspect of this program! All the places we visited were very interesting, as were the speakers, and activities. We loved our guide Pedro Bosques--he was extremely knowledgeable about everything: birds, flowers, history, etc. We would highly recommend this program.

David from Joseph, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/28/14 - 02/09/14
After I arranged for my own air transportation, I received Road Scholar brochures showing some very attractive air fares and will certainly look at the apparent bargain deals on future trips. As we arrived a week early and stayed a day longer, making our own travel arrangements may have been required any how.

Lois from Jupiter, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/25/14 - 02/06/14
We really enjoyed everything about our first experience with Road Scholar. Our small group of 18 was just the right size. We got to know everyone and the whole group got along very well. The group leader was wonderful. The trip memorable!

Virginia from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/18/14 - 01/30/14
This is a fabulous trip for active people who love flora, fauna, and natural history. Costa Rica is a small country leading the way toward restoring and preserving its ecosystem and natural habitat for a huge array of species that call it home. We all fell in love with our guide and would follow him anywhere. Take this trip -- you won't regret it!

William from Lexington, VA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/21/14 - 02/02/14
Excellent guide and driver, beautiful scenery and exotic fauna all made this a trip worth taking. I could have used more walking and less bus travel, but enjoyed the various sites.

Leah from Stoddard, WI Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/21/14 - 02/02/14
Although this trip was less active than I anticipated, it was overall a wonderful experience. I seldom repeat trips, but this is one I'd do again.

Pat from Farmington, MI Number of programs attended: 30
Date attended: 01/18/14 - 01/30/14
This program met ALL my expectations. I volunteer at a zoo and was excited to see animals I had only seen in captivity. (Although I would still like to see an anteater and a tapir!)

Eric from Ottawa, ON Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/05/14 - 01/17/14
We were pleased with the excellence of the value and breadth of our tour of Costa Rica. Our trip gave us a perspective of the country we could never have achieved traveling alone. The fellowship we enjoyed was exceptional and we have gained knowledge of how another part of the world lives. Overall, an excellent experience we would highly recommend!

Linda from Renton, WA Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 12/03/13 - 12/15/13
I've made 33 trips outside the United States to 29 different countries, and the most interesting were 1. Bhutan (with Road Scholar) 2. Costa Rica (with Road Scholar) 3. Turkey And of these three, Costa Rica is (obviously) the shortest flight. Linda W

Annette from Akron, OH Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 12/03/13 - 12/15/13
Wonderful opportunity to see diverse locations in this beautiful country. Come prepared for very hot and humid conditions, but bugs were never a problem. We were thrilled with the wildlife viewing and exciting experiences such as white-water rafting and swinging bridges. This was our 11th Road Scholar adventure and we keep coming back for more. This one exceeded all our expectations. Highly recommended!

Paula from Cotuit, MA Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 11/03/13 - 11/15/13
This was a wonderful introduction to that part of the world. we felt safe and welcome by the Costa Rican people. It was exciting to hear the enthusiasm they have for preserving their rich Bio diversity. The accomodations were great. the birs life spectacular and the howler monkeys a hoot. Do yourself a favor Check out Cost Rica soon

Colin from Geneva, IL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/12/13 - 11/24/13
We found this program tobe far more than just a tour. It was truly an education.

Judith from West Chester, PA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 11/03/13 - 11/15/13
Terrific program. I've never called myself a naturalist - but I found bird watching, animal and plant study all stimulating and engaging. We had a terrific leader - Luis Vargas - who ensured a successful 13 days. Accommodations everywhere were very good, food was enjoyable and the folks on my group were all compatible and collegial! Can't say enough good things about this program.

Joyce from Modesto, CA Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 08/06/13 - 08/18/13
This was a wonderful tour! We saw and learned so much, and it was a delight to see so many different parts of Costa Rica.

Lori from Yelm, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/16/13 - 07/28/13
My trip to Costa Rica was life changing in many ways. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with respect for all it's animals. plants and humans. This trip was, by far, the most educational and eye opening experience of my life.

Marie from Tucson, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/16/13 - 07/28/13
Natural Wonders of Costa Rica certainly lives up to its title. Having lived in San Jose for 4 years 20 years ago and visiting various regions, I still learned and had new experiences on this tour. It was outstanding!

Norma from Mount Pleasant, SC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/16/13 - 07/28/13
The lectures were awesome. The group leader, Javier, was so knowledgeable and open for questions. The entire trip was above and beyond anything I ever imagined. This trip will remain as one of the highlights of my travels.


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"Boa Constrictor: Three coils worth if you look closely" Uploaded By: Larry
"Boa Constrictor: Three coils worth if you look closely" Uploaded By: Larry

"Emerald Basilisk AKA Jesus Christ Lizard because it can run across water." Uploaded By: Larry

"Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica" Uploaded By: Nikki

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"It's not always about the birds and the animals. The flowers, the people and the passion of Costa Rica!" Uploaded By: Onnafay

"I got a great picture of this Quetzal pair thanks to Edwin" Uploaded By: Onnafay

"Thanks to Guide Edwin Ramirez I was able to not only see three Resplendent Quetzals I managed to get a few photos as keepsakes. " Uploaded By: Terry

"I loved the Hummingbirds!" Uploaded By: Terry

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"Hanging bridges at Volcano Arenal National Park" Uploaded By: Teresa Attended: 03/15/11 - 03/27/11

"Whitewater rafting at Selva Verde Lodge" Uploaded By: Teresa Attended: 03/15/11 - 03/27/11

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"Pachira blossom, Tortuguero National Park" Uploaded By: Teresa Attended: 03/15/11 - 03/27/11

"Anhinga Dryhing It's Feathers At Cano Negro" Uploaded By: Sonja Attended: 11/09/10 - 11/21/10

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"Green Iguana/Male Is Orange In Mating Season" Uploaded By: Sonja Attended: 11/09/10 - 11/21/10

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"Three toed sloth at Selva Verde" Uploaded By: Cindy Attended: 01/04/11 - 01/16/11

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May 13 — May 25, 2014 waitlist only  

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Included
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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