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Guatemala and Costa Rica: Countries in Contrast

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Road Scholar
Program #21201RJ

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14 Days | 13 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
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. 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.
Kathleen from Louisville, KY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/06/14 - 09/19/14
I enjoyed this program. In Guatemala, I liked learning about the Maya, both ancient and modern. Eli, our guide was wonderful. The women's weaving coop, the market at Chichi and the restaurant lecture with native cuisine. The textiles were remarkable. The Costa Rica portion was all about the natural world. Our guide, Jimmy, was very knowledgeable about the birds and animals as well as the history and current politics of Costa Rica. My favorites were the cloud forest, the kayaking on the Pacific and walking through the jungle in the national park ending up at the beach. We saw a green viper, sloths, lots of monkeys and many species of birds. I loved it. Our Costa Rica itinerary got a little screwed up, not Jimmy's fault. Hopefully they will iron this out.

Carole from Tempe, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/06/14 - 09/19/14
This is a program for people who want to appreciate the beauty of the natural environment of the Americas. A basic knowledge of Central American history and the Mayan culture make it much more meaningful.

Christine from Prairie Village, KS Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/01/14 - 03/14/14
This trip left me totally fascinated by Mayan history and the aspects of Mayan culture that survive. Some of the highlights were the school children doing math problems for my teacher husband, the woman demonstrating traditional Mayan dress on one of our group members, the massive markets, Tikal pyramids rising above the jungle, Costa Rica’s Monte Verde cloud forest, several of the local guides who generously shared their experiences with us, the Quetzals… The experience provided much deeper insights than we could have gained if we traveled on our own. I expected to be amazed by the birds and wildlife of Costa Rica but Guatemala was the highlight for me. We learned about the codexes and written language of the Mayan pyramid builders, the colonial capital of Antigua, the villages that preserve fiber arts and rituals, as well as more recent history. With only a few exceptions, I wished for more time in each location. I cannot promise you that there will be no glitches (there were a few) but if you can swing with it, you’ll be well rewarded.

Mary from Peterborough, NH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/01/14 - 03/14/14
Truly the best of two worlds on one trip - deep cultural and social history of the developing country of Guatemala and its indigenous Mayan population in contrast with the amazing flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Excellent local guides and lectures in both countries. Moderately active each day but also time for rest and relaxation.

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"Roseate spoonbill" Uploaded By: Kathleen
"Roseate spoonbill" Uploaded By: Kathleen

"Tikal, amazing" Uploaded By: Kathleen

"Delightful traditional Guatemalan cuisine" Uploaded By: Kathleen

"Sloth, Costa Rica" Uploaded By: Kathleen

"Howler Monkey, Costa Rica" Uploaded By: Kathleen

"Lady in Guatemala" Uploaded By: Kathleen

"Guatemal flowers" Uploaded By: Kathleen

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
13 nights of accommodations
34 meals: 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
15 Field trips
5 Flights during the program


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