Road Scholar : Home
A Taste of Costa Rica

Program Number: 8577RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/18/2014 - 8/26/2014; 2/28/2016 - 3/7/2016; 3/12/2016 - 3/20/2016; 3/29/2016 - 4/6/2016; 4/4/2016 - 4/12/2016; 4/11/2016 - 4/19/2016; 5/2/2016 - 5/10/2016; 5/18/2016 - 5/26/2016; 6/3/2016 - 6/11/2016; 7/6/2016 - 7/14/2016; 8/10/2016 - 8/18/2016; 9/14/2016 - 9/22/2016; 10/17/2016 - 10/25/2016; 11/3/2016 - 11/11/2016; 11/10/2016 - 11/18/2016; 12/4/2016 - 12/12/2016; 1/9/2017 - 1/17/2017; 1/13/2017 - 1/21/2017; 1/19/2017 - 1/27/2017; 1/23/2017 - 1/31/2017; 1/26/2017 - 2/3/2017; 2/4/2017 - 2/12/2017; 2/9/2017 - 2/17/2017; 2/16/2017 - 2/24/2017; 2/18/2017 - 2/26/2017; 2/23/2017 - 3/3/2017; 2/27/2017 - 3/7/2017; 3/3/2017 - 3/11/2017; 3/9/2017 - 3/17/2017; 3/15/2017 - 3/23/2017; 3/18/2017 - 3/26/2017; 4/1/2017 - 4/9/2017; 4/18/2017 - 4/26/2017; 5/13/2017 - 5/21/2017; 5/20/2017 - 5/28/2017;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Costa Rica
Price starting at: $1,550.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Natural History
Meals: 22; 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Low-level clouds drift through the sweet cedar and hanging moss. Even in dim sunlight, the orchid’s flowers brighten your path as you hike. In this interdisciplinary introduction to Costa Rica, learn about the nation’s rain and cloud forests and the inseparable bond between the people and the land. Explore volcanic terrain and tropical gardens, as well as culture and history. Meet residents in local communities for an intimate experience of this peaceful nation.


• Hike through the mystical cloud forest at Monteverde and experience the thrill of white water rafting at Sarapiqui.
• Enjoy scenic views of Arenal Volcano from up in the rainforest canopy during a walk on a combination of nature trails and hanging bridges.
• An interactive presentation introduces an important gourmet coffee roaster in Costa Rica.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to 1.5 hours a day over uneven trails in hot and humid conditions.

Date Specific Information

8-18-2014, 2-28-2016, 3-12-2016, 3-29-2016, 4-4-2016, 4-11-2016, 5-2-2016, 5-18-2016, 6-3-2016, 7-6-2016, 8-10-2016, 9-14-2016, 10-17-2016, 11-3-2016, 11-10-2016, 12-4-2016, 1-9-2017, 1-13-2017, 1-19-2017, 1-23-2017, 1-26-2017, 2-4-2017, 2-9-2017, 2-16-2017, 2-18-2017, 2-23-2017, 2-27-2017, 3-3-2017, 3-9-2017, 3-15-2017, 3-18-2017, 4-1-2017, 4-18-2017, 5-13-2017, 5-20-2017

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival San José, 1 night; coach to Sarapiquí, 2 nights; coach to Arenal, 2 nights; coach to Monteverde, 2 nights; coach to San José, 1 night; departure.

Arrival San Jose
1 night
Coach to Sarapiqui
2 nights

View thousands of different examples of gold artifacts and study the history of Pre-Columbian Costa Rica during a lecture at the Gold Museum. After a visit to a pineapple plantation, one of the nation’s cash crops, look for wildlife on the banks of the Sarapiqui River during a boat ride, and discuss life in modern-day rural Costa Rica with local residents at the Sarapiqui Learning and Conservation Center.

Coach to Arenal Volcano
2 nights

A lecture discussing local geology and the impact of the Arenal Volcano on the lives of the community at La Fortuna will help to frame local explorations. Bathe in thermal waters and learn about the tools scientists use when attempting to predict eruptions. Learn about rainforest stratification and biodiversity during walks in a nature reserve. Enjoy dinner in the rural village of La Fortuna for a taste of local specialties made with yucca, plantains and gallo pinto.

Coach to Monteverde
2 nights
Coach to San Jose for departure
1 night

Founded by American Quakers in 1951, Monteverde is nestled high along on the Continental Divide. Travel the Pan-American Highway and study the ecology of the Cloud Forest during on-site discussions. Discover the history of this Quaker settlement, which once served as both religious outpost and artisanal cheese producer. Continue to learn about the intersection of "Ecology and Economy in Costa Rica” during a lecture and in visits to a local handicraft market where local craftsmen create ox carts, furniture and other artifacts.

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.

San Jose: City center hotel. Sarapiqui: Rainforest eco-lodge. Arenal Volcano: Comfortable hotel with volcano views. Monteverde: Quiet, family-run hotel.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Gloriana Sanchez

Gloriana Sanchez liked swimming and snorkeling on Costa Rica’s beaches from an early age and became interested in marine biology. She earned her bachelor’s degree in that field from Costa Rica’s national university, where she also pursued graduate studies. She has been involved in projects studying caiman, sea turtles, the green iguana and edible snails. Outgoing by nature, Gloriana enjoys sharing her biological knowledge with lifelong learners. She has traveled extensively in the U.S.A., Central America and Africa.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Balmoral
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
   Selva Verde Lodge
  Sarapiqui, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa
  Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Hotel Montaña Monteverde
  Monteverde, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
 Hotel Balmoral
Type: Hotel
  Description: Comfortable hotel located on the main walking boulevard in downtown San José. Within walking distance of the National Theater and Gold Museum.
  Contact info: Avenida Central (between 7th & 9th Streets)
San José,  3344-1000 Costa Rica
phone: +(506) 22225022
  Room amenities: Private bath, cable TV, air conditioning, and telephone.
  Facility amenities: Conference rooms, restaurant, business center, gym, bar, and casino.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Prices subject to availability Additional nights and room types are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or for more information.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 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: +506-2-27611800
  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 Hotel Resort & Spa
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Arenal Paraiso Hotel is located just a few minutes from La Fortuna town and near the Arenal Volcano National Park. Accommodations are provided in small casitas--all with views of the famous volcano. Landscaped grounds feature lush tropical vegetation that provides both privacy and visual interest.
  Contact info: From the Catholic Church in town of La Fortuna 7 km road to the volcano
Arenal,  000000 Costa Rica
phone: +506-24791100
  Room amenities: Hair dryer, mini refrigerator, porch, cable TV, safety deposit box, coffee maker, and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, 3 pools, bar, zip line, conference room, laundry services, and spa.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Hotel Montaña Monteverde
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel is located in the Pacific highlands of Costa Rica (approx. 4,500 ft above sea level), just a few minutes from the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
  Contact info: P.O. Box 07-5655
Monteverde,   Costa Rica
phone: +(506) 26455046
  Room amenities: Each room has a private bath, telephone, and safety deposit box.
  Facility amenities: Private forest reserve with trails, conference room, bar and restaurant, jacuzzi, and sauna.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
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
  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 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 starts at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Hotel Balmoral 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 the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Proof of vaccination is required from travelers arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic. For more information about entry requirements please contact the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, DC at tel: (202) 234-2945/46 or visit
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: There are two types of taxi services available at the Juan Santamaria International Airport. The most reliable one is the Taxis Unidos Aeropuerto--the official airport taxi service. A Taxis Unidos kiosk is located at the airport exit. The drivers wear company uniforms and the orange taxis have the Taxis Unidos logo emblazoned on the driver's door and passenger's door. The taxis are metered and fares can be paid in dollars or colones. There are also regular metered taxis available outside the airport exit. These are typically red with medallions (yellow triangles containing numbers) painted on the side. Although these are usually a cheaper option, we suggest using the official taxis for the sake of safety and reliable fares.
  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)
Elevation Note: Elevations of up to 6,000 feet.

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: Arrive to San José
(Monday, August 18)
 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 the Road Scholar 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 3 p.m.
Accommodations: Hotel Balmoral

Day 2: San José & Depart for Sarapiqui -
Gold Museum/The Mesoamerican Biological Corridor

(Tuesday, August 19)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Orientation to the program.

Get to know your group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Lecture: An Overview of Costa Rica.

Excursion to the Gold Museum with a site lecture.

This unique underground museum showcases an impressive collection of Pre-Colombian gold. The 2,000-piece collection weighs over 20,000 troy ounces making it one of the wealthiest spots in the nation. For the stamp collector, the complex also contains a philatelic museum, and coin collectors might be interested in the adjoining numismatic museum.

Transfer to Sarapiqui in Costa Rica's Caribbean lowlands.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant en route.
 Afternoon: Continue with transfer to Sarapiqui.

Continue with transfer to Sarapiqui.

Sarapiqui is one of the richest sites for birds in Middle America with well over 400 species recorded. Nearby, the La Selva Protection Zone and the Braulio Carrillo National Park form the only significant corridor of forest on the Caribbean slope linking the highlands with the lowlands, a corridor crucial to birds and animals that undertake seasonal altitudinal migrations.

Orientation to the lodge.

Welcome to Sarapiqui with snacks and local music on the patio.

Lecture: The Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Time at leisure. Meet with new Road Scholar friends on the porch, enjoy a nightcap while relaxing to the sounds of the rainforest, or get a good night's sleep in preparation for the full day tomorrow.
Accommodations: Selva Verde Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Sarapiqui -
River Boat Excursion/Cultural Interaction/Visit a Local Plantation/Latin Dance

(Wednesday, August 20)
 Breakfast: Early morning bird walk.

Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: Boat ride excursion on the Sarapiqui River to look for wildlife.

Field trip to a local plantation. Examine the environmental and economic impacts of agriculture in Costa Rica.

Return to the lodge.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Visit the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center (SCLC) to meet with locals for a "charla."

In Spanish "charla" means "chat." During this informative session, led by a local community member, you will learn about life in Sarapiqui. Topics include local ecosystems, immigration, domestic life, and local artisan work. A Q&A session concludes the activity, fostering international communication and understanding.

The Sarapiqui Learning Center (SCLC). Founded by Giovanna Holbrook in the mid-1990s, the SCLC is a registered non-profit organization whose mission is to link communities and conservation through education and ecotourism in the Sarapiqui region. Programs include environmental education, ecotourism activities, English classes, an ecology club, community outreach, a women's group and many others.

Time at leisure to enjoy the lodge grounds. Settle into one of the lodge's comfy hammocks, cool off in the pool, practice your photography skills, or use this opportunity to do some bird watching.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Latin dance lessons with locals.

Participants learn three styles of Latin dance: Meringue, Salsa, and Cumbia. Local dancers first demonstrate the style of dancing, then lead the group through the dance step by step, and finally have a chance to practice with a partner.
Accommodations: Selva Verde Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Arenal - River Rafting/Introduction to Arenal Volcano
(Thursday, August 21)
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Embark on an exhilarating river rafting excursion on the Sarapiqui River.

Return to the lodge to change clothes and get ready for lunch.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Transfer to Arenal.

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.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Time at leisure.

Lecture: The Arenal Volcano.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Free time at the hotel. Gather around for a friendly game of cards, get a good night's rest in preparation for tomorrow's activities, or observe Arenal Volcano by night from the comfort of your porch. On clear nights, it is sometimes possible to see the reddish orange glow of lava on the rim of the volcano and hear distant popping sounds as rocks are ejected from the crater.
Accommodations: Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Arenal -
Arenal Volcano National Park/Arenal Hanging Bridges/Dinner with Local Family

(Friday, August 22)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Arenal Volcano National Park with site lecture.

The National Park is situated right in the vicinity of Arenal Volcano. Although clouds often obscure the peak of the volcano, during clear days it is possible to see gases and steam rising from the cone. It is interesting to see how the periodic lava flows have contributed to the erratic growth of vegetation in the areas around the volcano.

Excursion to Arenal Hanging Bridges.

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: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to enjoy the hotel's hot springs.

Field trip to a local farm to learn about the history of the farm and the agricultural practices of this fertile region.

The small and painteresque town of Fortuna has changed quite a bit from the village that witnessed the eruptions of Arenal Volcano in 1968. Once a small agricultural community, Fortuna has grown in the shadow of the colossus that once burned and devastated large areas. Tourism is precisely the most important income for the region. Although now on a second level of economic importance, many plantations in the surrounding areas still produce important amounts of papaya, sugar cane, tapioca and ornamental plants.

Before dinner, work-up an appetite during a tortilla making activity. Learn how to prepare tortillas and cook them on a traditional wood stove.
 Dinner: Enjoy a traditional Costa Rican dinner hosted by the farm owner's family.

Dance presentation by local school children.
 Evening: Return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Accommodations: Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Monteverde -
Crossing Arenal Lake/Local Coffee Plantation

(Saturday, August 23)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Monteverde. Enjoy a boat ride across Arenal Lake (45 minutes to one hour), followed by an uphill drive on scenic back roads up to Monteverde (about one hour). Bathroom stops will be made along the way.

Arrive in Monteverde and transfer to a local coffee plantation.
 Lunch: At the coffee plantation.
 Afternoon: Field trip to coffee farm with site lecture.

Learn about the harvesting and processing of coffee as well as the history of this crop from its beginning in the Arabic countries and Ethiopia. Discover the importance of the golden bean ¨grano de oro¨ and its impact in the social, cultural, and economic development of Costa Rica.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Informal gathering at the hotel bar to watch the sunset.

Lecture: Conservation and Development of the Monteverde Area.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Free time at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Montaña Monteverde
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Monteverde -
Cloud Forest Reserve at Monteverde/Cheese Factory/The Quaker Story

(Sunday, August 24)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to a cloud forest reserve at Monteverde with site lecture. The edges of this rich forest system, often cloaked in clouds and blowing mist, are home to more than 350 avian species and a myriad of other creatures and critters. The Monteverde area is perhaps most famous for breeding Resplendent Quetzals, Three-wattled Bellbird, and Bare-necked Umbrellabird. While these charismatic species can be elusive, a host of other cloud forest birds and amphibians are found in the area.

Return to the hotel to change and freshen-up.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Afternoon visit to the local cheese factory, the bakery and the cooperative of artisan women's.

Lecture: The Quaker Story.

In 1951 a group of American Quakers, fearful of their nation’s growing militarism, fled the United States. The Quakers found Costa Rica, a nation without a military, to be the most inviting nation for their pacifist beliefs. This group settled Monteverde and intended to transform the area into profitable farmland. The Quakers developed a fairly successful cheese industry but they also recognized the delicate nature of the land and helped establish the area's first wildlife sanctuary.
 Dinner: At a local home - Quaker style.
 Evening: Return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Montaña Monteverde
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Return to San José - Butterfly Garden/Excursion to Sarchi/Farewell to Costa Rica.
(Monday, August 25)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Morning visit to the Monteverde Butterfly Garden and Arthropod Education Center.

Jim Wolfe and his wife, Marta Iris, opened the Monteverde Butterfly Garden in 1989. The couple has been hand-raising butterflies for more than 15 years and knows their preferences and habits. These fragile creatures require extreme care as they develop and grow. Every species feeds on a different variety of plants. Unlike most butterfly gardens, which buy their butterflies as chrysalides, all the butterflies you will see here were bred and raised on the premises.

Begin transfer to San José.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant en route to San José.
 Afternoon: Transfer to San José via the town of Sarchi.

The crafts town of Sarchi, just a few miles from Grecia, is well known for its centuries-old tradition of making oxcarts. The brightly colored and intricately decorated carts are a national symbol and can still be seen in use in rural communities. Sarchi is also known for its handcrafted furniture and wood housewares.

Arrive in San José and check-in at your hotel.

Time at leisure to start packing, enjoy hotel amenities, or just relax before meeting your group for dinner.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Enjoy your last evening in Costa Rica at your leisure, among your new Road Scholar friends. Check out some of the hotel amenities and evening entertainment options, finish your packing, or perhaps make it an early night in preparation for international departures tomorrow.
Accommodations: Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Depart to U.S.
(Tuesday, August 26)
 Depart From: Transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for Road Scholar flights to the U.S.

This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.

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 (depending on flight schedule).
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

Lonely Planet Phrasebooks: Latin American Spanish

Author: Roberto Esposto

Description: This portable phrasebook provides a useful mix of everyday phrases, words and expressions used in different Spanish speaking countries in Latin America. Learn the nuances of the Spanish language as it is spoken in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.

Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide

Author: Louise H. Emmons & François Feer

Description: This beautifully illustrated field guide contains all you need to know about rainforest mammals in Central and South America. It has color plates, range maps and detailed descriptions of each animal, including information about their biology, behavior and natural habitats.

A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica

Author: Gary Stiles and Alexander Skutch

Description: Illustrated descriptions of the major habitats, color plates and maps, help to identify more than 850 species of birds in Costa Rica.

Coffee and Power, Revolution and the Rise of Democracy in Central America

Author: Jeffery M. Paige

Description: Panoramic in scope, this scholarly history examines the emerging democracies of Central America and especially the political impact on powerful families who control coffee production.

Costa Rica Adventure Map

Author: National Geographic

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

Costa Rica's National Parks and Preserves: A Visitor's Guide

Author: Joseph Franke and Joseph Dimijian

Description: A first-rate source for the Costa Rican park system. Profiles 40 parks and preserves and their distinct tropical habitats. Franke provides regional history as well as tips on what to pack.

Costa Rica, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Author: Barbara Ras

Description: A wonderful introduction to the character of the people, culture and land, this anthology brings together 26 stories by Costa Rican writers.

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.

Lonely Planet Costa Rica Country Guide

Author: Lonely Planet

Description: Regional maps, detailed site information and general tips will be useful to travelers of all budgets and interests.

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.

Mammals of Costa Rica

Author: Fiona Reid

Description: A palm-sized guide to 65 native mammals with handsome full-color illustrations and helpful descriptions. Includes a map, viewing tips and a checklist.

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 Birds of Costa Rica

Author: Richard Garrigues, Robert Dean (Illustrator)

Description: Built for the field, this great guide includes multiple illustrations for 820 species of birds.

The Penguin History of Latin America

Author: Edwin Williamson

Description: Williamson traces 500 years of history from the time of Columbus and the Spanish Conquest to the present day. An excellent and very readable history in a compact size.

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 Nature

Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata

Description: A lively, lucid portrait of the tropics as seen by two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists. Its 17 marvelous essays introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforest

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.

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