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Intergenerational Costa Rica: Raft, Hike and Learn to Say ‘Vámonos!’

Program Number: 20291RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/16/2013 - 7/25/2013; 6/23/2015 - 7/2/2015; 7/7/2015 - 7/16/2015; 7/21/2015 - 7/30/2015;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: Costa Rica
Price starting at: $2,337.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational; Language Study
Intergenerational
Meals: 25; 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat    

Program intended for grandchildren from 12 - 15 years of age.

¿Habla Español? Learn Spanish with your grandchild while exploring the lush rainforests and pristine beaches of Costa Rica! With instruction from experienced teachers from San Jose’s Costa Rica Language Academy, perfect your Spanish speaking skills during hands-on, interactive sessions. Then, experience Costa Rica’s great outdoors with hikes in the rainforest, zip lining adventures, river rafting, beach explorations and more.




Highlights

• Join local rafting experts on a rafting adventure along the Sarapiqui River.
• Walk around the Arenal Volcano and experience the many layers of the rainforest at the Arenal Hanging Bridges.
• Thrill in a crocodile safari on the Tárcoles River and spot a variety of the nearly 400 birds that make this river region their home.



Activity Particulars

Walking on irregular terrain under varying weather conditions, zip lining, swimming activities and getting in/out of boats.



One youth per adult in shared accommodations. Adult is responsible for supervision of child at all times.




Date Specific Information

6-23-2015

Program intended for grandchildren from 9 - 11 years of age.



7-7-2015, 7-21-2015

Program intended for grandchildren from 12 - 15 years of age.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival San José, 1 night; coach to Sarapiqui, 3 nights; coach to Arenal Volcano National Park, 2 nights; coach to Punta Leona, 2 nights; coach to San José, 1 night; departure.



Arrival San Jose
1 night
Coach to Sarapiqui
3 nights

Meet your instructors at the Costa Rican Language Academy and begin your immersion into the Spanish language with daily workshops. Embark on a rafting excursion on the Sarapiqui River and learn the delicious history of chocolate at the Tirimbina Rainforest Center. Spot and identify a variety of mammals, birds, amphibians, insects and more during an expert-led rainforest walk.



Coach to Arenal Volcano
2 nights

Enjoy close-up views of the Arenal Volcano, and experience the many layers of the rainforest as you explore the Arenal Hanging Bridges — a network of bridges that crisscross the rainforest. Dine with local families in La Fortuna and practice your conversational Spanish.



Coach to Punta Leona
2 nights

Search for crocodiles and exotic birds during a safari along the Tárcoles River. In Punta Leona, enjoy the ocean’s pristine waters during an outrigger excursion and get a bird’s eye view of the rainforest canopy during a zip lining adventure.



Coach to San Jose for departure
1 night

Enjoy a final opportunity to practice your Spanish during morning activities at the beach and an excursion to a local shopping center.




Costa Rica

Hugged by two bodies of water and sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica’s topography, climate and geographical position are more than mere facts: they define this tiny country. Cloud rainforests, valleys of coffee and volcanic mountain peaks fill the land between Caribbean and Pacific beaches. This ecological Eden protects its natural treasures in acres of preserved land, and is the only country in the world without a standing army.



Accommodations
San Jose: Tropical boutique hotel. Sarapiqui: Nature lodge on the banks of the Sarapiqui River. Arenal Volcano: Comfortable hotel with volcano views. Punta Leona: Tropical rainforest and beach resort.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Boutique Jade
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
   Selva Verde Lodge
  Sarapiqui, Costa Rica 3 nights
   Arenal Paraiso
  Arenal Volcano., Costa Rica 2 nights
   Hotel Punta Leona
  Punta Leona, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center (previously a Ramada property)
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
 Hotel Boutique Jade
Type: Hotel
  Description: This charming hotel has 30 cozy rooms built around a tropical, peaceful indoor courtyard. Tico culture and their world-famous hospitality can be seen and felt at the Boutique Jade, from its warm and inviting rooms to its friendly staff.
  Contact info: 250 mts. North of Autos Subarú, Barrio Dent Los Yoses, San Pedro,
San José,  00000 Costa Rica
phone: +506-22242455
web: www.hotelboutiquejade.com/
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning, wireless Internet, mini-bar, safety deposit box, hair dryer, cable TV, spacious bathrooms, desk, and telephone.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, currency exchange, wireless Internet, meeting rooms, laundry service, coffee station, room service, swimming pool, and private transportation services.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Additional nights are subject to availability.

 Selva Verde Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Nature 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: +506-27611800
web: www.selvaverde.com
  Room amenities: Safety boxes, ceiling fans, phones, screened windows, and hair dryers.
  Facility amenities: Meeting rooms, restaurant, bar, and private rainforest reserve with trails.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Arenal Paraiso
Type: Hotel
  Description: All rooms have views of the Arenal Volcano.
  Contact info: No info.
Arenal,  000000 Costa Rica
phone: +506-24605333
web: www.arenalparaiso.com
  Room amenities: Hair dryer, mini refrigerator, cable TV, and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, 3 pools, bar, zip line, and spa.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Hotel Punta Leona
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: +506-22313131
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 allowed: Yes

 Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center (previously a Ramada property)
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: 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 allowed: No
  Elevators available: 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


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
All-day arrivals at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. Hotel check-in begins at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Hotel Boutique Jade that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. Hotel check-out by 11 a.m. You will be staying at Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center (previously a Ramada property) the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Each adult participant who is traveling with a minor will need to carry a notarized letter of consent (stating the child is allowed to travel with the designated adult/s) signed by the child's parents/legal guardians.
  Parking availability:
Not applicable.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  San José
  Nearest city or town:  San Jose
  Nearest airport:  Juan Santa Maria International Airport
  Transportation to site: Taxi services are available at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José. Taxis Unidos Aeropuerto is the official airport taxi company in San Jose. Their taxis are orange in color and have their company logo emblazoned on the driver and front passenger doors. Tel: (506) 2222-6865/www.taxisunidosaeropuerto.com.
  From End of Program
  Location: San José
  Transportation from site: Taxi services are available at the hotel. If you wish to hire a taxi, please ask for assistance at the hotel’s front desk.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Equipment Requirements: Although not required, participants might wish to bring a small notebook and pen/pencil to use for jotting down notes during Spanish lessons.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Flights from the U.S./Arrivals in San José, Costa Rica.
(Tuesday, July 16)
   
 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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Boutique Jade

Day 2: San José -
Orientation to Costa Rica Language Academy/Transfer to Sarapiqui.

(Wednesday, July 17)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Walk to the Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) for an orientation session introducing the language component of the program.

The CRLA is a privately owned language school with over 19 years of experience teaching Spanish to students from around the globe. The language academy has 35 classrooms, 2 computer rooms with internet access, 2 classrooms for Latin dance classes, a kitchen for cooking classes, a cafeteria, terraces, and gardens with sitting areas. The teaching staff at CRLA is accredited with the Costa Rican Department of Education and all hold degrees either from the University of Costa Rica or the Universidad Nacional.
 Lunch: At the Costa Rican Language Academy.
 Afternoon: Depart for Sarapiqui.

Sarapiqui is an area known for its natural beauty and biological diversity, nestled in the lush Caribbean lowlands of northeastern Costa Rica. Nature reserves such as those at La Selva Biological Station, Braulio Carrillo, Tirimbina and Selva Verde have greatly contributed to the preservation of the region’s rich plant and animal life by safeguarding large tracts of primary forest.

Arrive at the lodge and check-in.

Orientation to the lodge, followed by free time to relax in the pool or make use of other lodge amenities.

Enjoy a pre-dinner get together with CRLA instructors, to practice conversational Spanish.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Evening presentation: The Birds and Animals of Selva Verde.
   
Accommodations: Selva Verde Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Sarapiqui -
Spanish Classes/River Rafting/History of Chocolate/Dance Lesson.

(Thursday, July 18)
   
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: This morning, join the CRLA instructors for an hour of Spanish classes at the lodge.

Take a break from class to embark on an energizing river rafting excursion on the Sarapiqui River.

Return to the lodge.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Join the CRLA instructors for an hour of Spanish classes at the lodge.

Transfer to the Tirimbina Rainforest Center. Embark on a delicious exploration of chocolate--from its history as a Maya and Aztec beverage, to its arrival in Europe, and its transformation into the current product we know and love. During an interactive walk through a former cacao plantation, examine traditional methods of cacao cultivation and the processing of the beans into chocolate.

Return to the lodge.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: After dinner activity: Join in a dance lesson with locals.
   
Accommodations: Selva Verde Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Sarapiqui -
Spanish Classes/Making Tortillas/Rainforest Hike.

(Friday, July 19)
   
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: This morning, join the CRLA instructors for an hour of Spanish classes at the lodge.

Give your brain a rest from morning Spanish sessions and lace-up your tennis shoes to embark on an energizing rainforest walk. A guided hike through old and new growth forests will expose you to the unique flora and fauna of this biologically diverse habitat.

The rainforest surrounding the lodge provides habitat for over 300 bird species, 120 species of mammals, 48 amphibian species, 89 reptile species, more than 10,000 species of insects, 330 species of trees, and countless plant species.

Return to the lodge in time for lunch.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Join the CRLA instructors for an hour of practical Spanish classes at the lodge.

Time at leisure for swimming and/or bird watching.

Casual pre-dinner get together to learn how to make tortillas and for Spanish conversation with CRLA instructors.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
   
Accommodations: Selva Verde Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Arenal -
Spanish Classes/Swimming in Thermal Pools.

(Saturday, July 20)
   
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Join the CRLA instructors for an hour of Spanish classes at the lodge.

Check out of the lodge and transfer to Arenal.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a swim in the lodge's thermal pools.

Take part in an hour of Spanish instruction given by CRLA teachers at the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Arenal Paraiso
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Arenal -
Arenal Hanging Bridges/Spanish Classes/Scavenger Hunt.

(Sunday, July 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a walk around the Arenal Volcano.

Arenal was once Costa Rica's most active volcano and a main draw to the town of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano National Park. The volcano lords over the countryside with its perfectly conical shape and occasional smoke and gas emissions. While minor activity excites visitors, they are rarely acknowledged by the locals who have learnt to accept the antics of the volcano as part of their daily lives. The thermal waters emanating from the volcano, the clean air and the energy associated with Arenal, makes this a favorite destination for health spa enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Transfer to the Arenal Hanging Bridges for a chance to experience all the layers of a rainforest.

This private nature reserve in La Fortuna de San Carlos features a network of standing bridges, hanging bridges, and trails that crisscross 250 hectares of tropical rainforest. The park's mission is to provide natural history education in a responsible and sustainable way. Visitors are able to view the rainforest from different angles and heights, from ground level to canopy level, learning firsthand about this fascinating and biologically diverse environment.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel for leisure time.

Attend a Spanish class.

Enjoy a window shopping scavenger hunt in La Fortuna.

The community of La Fortuna, in the province of Alajuela, is the nearest to the Arenal Volcano. The town's proximity to the volcano makes it a perfect vantage point from which to admire Arenal's perfect cone. Although increased revenue from tourism led to improvements in La Fortuna's infrastructure and the emergence of hotels, it has managed to retain its local flavor and overall small town feel.
 Dinner: Dinner in La Fortuna with local families.
   
Accommodations: Arenal Paraiso
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Punta Leona-
Tarcoles River Crocodile Safari/Beach Activity/ Pool Activity.

(Monday, July 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Attend a Spanish class, then transfer to Punta Leona.

After your morning lessons, begin the transfer to Punta Leona on the Pacific coast.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant en route.
 Afternoon: Before reaching Punta Leona, take part in a crocodile safari on the Tárcoles River.

Over 400 bird species make their homes along the Tárcoles River and its accompanying estuary. The river is also well-known for its abundant crocodile population. American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) are frequently spotted sunning their large scaly bodies on the muddy riverbanks. Some of these prehistoric reptiles can reach lengths of up to 20 ft! Continue the transfer to Punta Leona.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

A local beach will serve as our interactive classroom this afternoon. Put on your flip flops and join in on a fun Spanish language beach activity.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Swimming pool activity.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Punta Leona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Punta Leona -
Final Spanish Lessons/Ocean Outrigger Activity.

(Tuesday, July 23)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Join the CRLA intstructors for one hour of Spanish instruction.

Depart from the hotel for an invigorating excursion on ocean outriggers.

Return to the hotel.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Trade your pens and notepaper for bathing suits and sunscreen. Head to the beach for a bit of outdoor fun.

Before dinner, gather around for a final Spanish language session with your CRLA instructors.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Punta Leona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: San José -
Los Sueños Zip Line/Shopping Mall.

(Wednesday, July 24)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning take part in a zip line canopy adventure. After reviewing proper zip lining techniques and double-checking the equipment, delight in a heart-pumping ride through the forest canopy.

Check-out of the hotel and begin your transfer back to San José.
 Lunch: Farewell lunch celebration at the Costa Rica Language Academy.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a visit to a local shopping mall. During this excursion participants will have the opportunity to see what a Costa Rican shopping center looks like, use their learned Spanish while exploring local shops, and make any needed last minute purchases.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center (previously a Ramada property)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: San José -
Departures/Transfer to the International Airport.

(Thursday, July 25)
   
 Depart From: Transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for flight to U.S.

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 the hotel (dependent on flight times).
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Costa Rica Adventure Map


Author: National Geographic


Description: A double-sided map at a scale of 1:500,000.



Costa Rica, Enchantment of the World


Author: Marion Morrison


Description: Published for the library market, this comprehensive overview of the geography and people of Costa Rica for children ages 9-12 has much to offer the traveler, including illustrated descriptions of the nature, history, religion and economy of the country.



Costa Rican Wildlife


Author: Pocket Naturalist


Description: Put it in your pocket! This handy, fold-up card includes color illustrations of dozens of typical birds, mammals and reptiles.



Culture Smart! Costa Rica


Author: Jane Koutnik


Description: A guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.



Eyewitness Jungle


Author: Theresa Greenaway, Geoff Dann


Description: Geared for ages 9 to 12, the hundreds of eye-popping photographs of birds, monkeys, towering trees, orchids and all manner of rain forest life will appeal to the whole family.



Journey Into the Rainforest


Author: Tim Knight


Description: For this illustrated adventure, Knight takes middle school readers into the forest at night, down a river and up in the trees, introducing flora, fauna, bugs, ecology and conservation.



Lonely Planet Costa Rican Spanish


Author: Lonely Planet


Description: A pocket guide to understanding idioms, slang and Spanish as it is spoken by the Ticos.



Nancy Drew, The Scarlet Macaw Scandal


Author: Carolyn Keene


Description: Nancy and her friends head for Costa Rica's Corcovado National Park to relax and study monkeys when they stumble upon, naturally, a mystery to be solved.



National Geographic Costa Rica


Author: Christopher P. Baker


Description: This stylish, informative and up-to-date travel resource features 200 photographs, many maps and good information on the country's history, nature and culture.



The Bug Scientists


Author: Donna Jackson


Description: Budding scientists and bug lovers take note! In this ‘Scientists in the Field’ entry, Jackson profiles three entomologists and their work, interweaving lively text with plenty of science. He includes Ted Schultz's innovative study of farmer ants in Costa Rica, illustrated with crisp color photographs.



The Most Beautiful Roof in the World, Exploring the Rainforest Canopy


Author: Kathryn Lasky, Christopher Knight


Description: A tropical botanist and her sons climb among the ropes and walkways of a rainforest canopy in this photographic tour of Central American wildlife. For ages 9-12.



The Ticos


Author: Richard Biesanz


Description: This insightful, fact-filled portrait of the Costa Rican people accessibly explores their culture, history and society.



The Wildlife of Costa Rica, A Field Guide


Author: Fiona Reid, Twan Leenders, Jim Zook, Robert Dean


Description: Designed to take along on a walk in the forest, this latest compact Zona Tropical guide includes 450 of the most common, interesting and charismatic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods that you are likely to encounter in the field. Each gets an exquisite full color illustration.



Tropical Plants of Costa Rica


Author: Willow Zuchowski


Description: Organized by habitat, this photo guide to 400 species has chapters on popular destinations, including Monteverde and Tortuguero.



Usborne Flashcard Spanish


Author: Jo Litchfield


Description: A standard playing card-size deck of 50 nicely illustrated flashcards geared for younger children. Each card features a colorful illustration with the Spanish word on the reverse.





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