Road Scholar : Home
Costa Rica’s Pura Vida: An Environmental Family Adventure

Program Number: 20797RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/22/2014 - 7/31/2014; 12/20/2014 - 12/29/2014; 12/23/2014 - 1/1/2015; 7/13/2015 - 7/22/2015; 7/23/2015 - 8/1/2015; 12/21/2015 - 12/30/2015; 12/23/2015 - 1/1/2016;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: Costa Rica
Price starting at: $1,998.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Family Programs; Intergenerational
Family
Meals: 25; 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 9 - 12 years of age.

Active. Unhurried. Environmentally aware. Live the Pura Vida — the “pure life” — of Costa Rica with three generations of your family. Explore a tropical paradise home to some of the world’s most pristine ecosystems from beautiful beaches to verdant rainforests to a living volcano. Encounter and learn about wildlife including crocodiles, turtles, macaws and more.




Highlights

• Explore the base of Arenal Volcano to learn about geothermal activity and swim in nearby hot springs.
• Join a turtle expert on an evening beach walk in search of nesting turtles.
• Zipline and walk through the jungle during an energizing waterfalls canopy tour and jungle challenge.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day over uneven terrain. Activities include swimming, zip lining and getting in and out of boats. Hot and humid conditions. This program includes a number of bus transfers. Stops are built into the schedule for every 1.5 - 2 hours of bus travel.



This Road Scholar program offers participants the chance to explore a number of Costa Rica’s iconic eco-systems within a relatively short period of time. Although bus travel is a necessity, it is also an opportunity to see and experience the country up close. En-route program activities help to break-up lengthier bus transfers and provide rewarding educational experiences. Local road conditions, weather, two-lane highways, winding roads, traffic, and elevation are bigger factors in determining the length of travel than actual distance.




Date Specific Information

7-22-2014

Program date intended for grandparents, their children and grandchildren ages 9 to 12. If you are a grandparent and traveling only with your granchildren, please refer to program # 3636
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



12-20-2014

Program date intended for grandparents, their children and grandchildren ages 9 and older. Please note that child discount applies for ages up to 15 (inclusive of 15). The order of the itinerary is different from summer dates. Please refer to detailed schedule for more information.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



12-23-2014

Program date intended for grandparents, their children and grandchildren ages 10-15. This order in which the program sites are visited during this holiday departure is slightly different from standard dates. Please refer to the daily schedule for details. Summary: San Jose, 1 night; coach to Pacific Coast, 2 nights; coach to Arenal, 2 nights; coach and boat to Tortuguero, 2 nights; coach to San Jose, 1 night; departures.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



7-13-2015, 7-23-2015, 12-23-2015

Program date intended for grandparents, their children and grandchildren ages 9 and up. Please note that child discount applies to participants ages between 9 and 15 (inclusive). If you are a grandparent and traveling only with your grandchildren, please refer to program # 3636.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



12-21-2015

Program date intended for grandparents, their children and grandchildren ages 9 and up. Please note that child discount applies to participants ages between 9 and 15 (inclusive). If you are a grandparent and traveling only with your grandchildren, please refer to program # 3636.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival San José, 2 nights; coach and boat to Tortuguero, 2 nights; boat and coach to Arenal Volcano, 2 nights; coach to Punta Leona, 2 nights; coach to San José, 1 night; departure.



Days 1-2
Arrival San José
2 nights

A visit to an interactive museum in the nation’s capital introduces young learners to art and science concepts. At INBIO Park, interpreted nature trails and multi-media exhibits showcase Costa Rica’s famed biodiversity and its conservation efforts. Lodging: Comfortable suburban hotel.



Days 3-4
Coach and boat to Tortuguero
2 nights

Get a taste of village life and observe coconut processing in Tortuguero Village. A safari boat ride and nature walks introduce the rich plant and animal life of the Caribbean lowlands. An expert-led evening walk on Tortuguero Beach offers the chance to spot nesting turtles. Lodging: River-front lodge located near Tortuguero Village.



Days 5-6
Coach to Arenal Volcano
2 nights

Experience a volcano in close proximity at the Arenal Volcano National Park and swim in natural pools heated by geothermal activity. A walk on nature trails and hanging bridges through the rainforest canopy introduces you to the unique flora and fauna of this environment. Lodging: Comfortable hotel with volcano views and three pools.



Days 7-10
Coach to Punta Leona
2 nights
Coach to San Jose
1 night
Departure

Explore a coastal nature reserve whose 750 acres of beaches and forest are home to 250 species of birds and a special macaw breeding project. A mangrove boat safari includes an investigation into crocodile behavior. Kayak to a secluded beach for swimming and shell collecting. Lodging: Private resort on the beach surrounded by rainforest. Comfortable suburban hotel.




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
Comfortable hotels, river front lodge.

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

Edwin Ramirez is a superior naturalist group leader with more than 20 years of experience in the field. As the son of a farmer, he spent his formative years working with the soil, cultivating coffee, tomatoes, cabbages and other crops while pursuing his education. After graduating from high school in 1982, he enrolled in the Universidad de Costa Rica in Heredia where he began working towards a degree in tropical biology. Edwin eventually transferred to the San Ramon branch of the Universidad de Costa Rica and decided to change his major to become an English teacher. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1990 and began teaching high school English. During his time teaching, he realized how much he missed the outdoors and decided to look for professional opportunities that would allow him to combine both his love for nature and teaching. In 1991, Edwin began working as a naturalist guide and has since become a much sought-after group leader, specializing in natural history and birding programs.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica
  San José, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Pachira Lodge
  Tortuguero, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Arenal Paraiso
  Arenal, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Hotel Punta Leona
  Punta Leona, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
 Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Radisson Hotel San José is conveniently situated in the commercial district near San José's historic center.
  Contact info: Calle Central y Tercera Av. 15, P.O. Box 538-2120, Calle Blancos
San José,   Costa Rica
phone: +506-20106000
web: www.radisson.com
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, alarm lock radio, Sleep Number® beds, hair dryer, Wi-Fi, in-room safe, iPod dock, mini bar/refrigerator, flat screen TV and cable channels, and two telephone lines.
  Facility amenities: Business center, Wi-Fi, fitness center, whirlpool and pool, executive lounge, on-site casino, spacious meeting rooms and two on-site restaurants. The hotel is able to offer airport shuttle services for an additional charge. This service must be booked in advance directly through the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Please contact your program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for questions about room availability and prices. Room types and rates are subject to availability.

 Pachira Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: The lodge is located on the banks of Tortuguero’s main canal, across from the local village and just five minutes from the national park.
  Contact info: On the banks of Tortuguero's main canal
Tortuguero, Limon,   Costa Rica
phone: +506-2256-7080
web: www.pachiralodge.com
  Room amenities: Private baths, high ceilings, large screened windows, and ceiling fans. Rooms are decorated with exotic bamboo furniture and local artwork.
  Facility amenities: Pool, restaurant and bar. No laundry services are available at this lodge.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Arenal Paraiso
Type: Hotel
  Description: All rooms have views of the Arenal Volcano
  Contact info: n/a
Arenal,   Costa Rica
phone: +5062-460-5333
web: www.arenalparaiso.com
  Room amenities: Hair dryer, mini refrigerator, cable TV, and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, 3 pools, 14 hot-spring fed mineral 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,   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
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: http://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 Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica 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 Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Proof of vaccination is required from travelers arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic. If traveling with a child under 18, the adult companion/s should carry a notarized authorization letter from the parents or legal guardians showing that they are allowed to travel with the child and make decisions in the event of a medical emergency. It is always best to renew your passport before it reaches the six month validity date—especially if you plan on doing future travel. For more information about entry requirements please contact the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, DC at tel: (202) 234-2945/46 or visit www.costarica-embassy.org.
  Parking availability:
NA
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  San José
  Nearest city or town:  San José
  Nearest airport:  Juan Santamaria 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. www.taxiaeropuerto.com 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 up to 5,000 ft.

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 in San José, Costa Rica.
(Tuesday, July 22)
   
 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: Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica

Day 2: San José -
INBio Park and Children's Museum.

(Wednesday, July 23)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Orientation meeting.

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.

Field trip to INBIO Park to view animals and wildlife

The National Institute for Biodiversity (INBio Parkque) provides a sensory experience combining interpreted nature trails with multimedia technology in its bio-exhibits. Visitors learn about Costa Rica's biodiversity and the efforts in conservation through establishment of protected areas. As example of sustainable use of biodiversity, visitors will learn about medicinal, aromatic and ornamental plants, fruit trees and agricultural products.
 Lunch: At INBIO Park.
 Afternoon: Excursion to the Children's Museum.

The museum allows children to touch and experience exhibits dedicated to the universe, space technology, the Earth and its ecosystems, living animals, and the land and people of Costa Rica.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Movie and popcorn at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Tortuguero -
Tortuguero Village and Evening Turtle Walk.

(Thursday, July 24)

Note: Bus drive from San José to boat dock: 3.5 hours. There will be an en route stop for breakfast at a local restaurant. River boat ride to Tortuguero: 1.5 hours. Participants will need to wear dark colored clothes and closed-toed shoes during the nighttime walk. No flash photography or flashlights allowed during this activity as they may disorient or scare off nesting turtles.



   
 Breakfast: Early morning transfer to Tortuguero.
Breakfast en route.
 Morning: Continue with transfer. Board a boat to Tortuguero and enjoy a wildlife safari on your way to the lodge.

The sleepy little coastal village of Tortuguero is situated on the southern end of a 6-km-long sandspit that is sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea to the East and the Laguna del Tortuguero to the West. The three hour motorized boat ride through the waterways is just an appetizer for the avid naturalist.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Afternoon visit to Tortuguero village to explore village life and learn about coconut processing.
Time at leisure for pool games.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Evening turtle walk. Please note that dark clothes and sturdy closed-toed shoes are required for this walk.

While the maize of canals and waterways fringed by luxuriant jungle boast a variety of exotic wildlife, the Green Sea Turtle is the star of the show at Tortuguero (late June-late October). Other turtles like the hawksbill and the giant leatherback frequent the region in lesser numbers, but Tortuguero is the most important Green Sea Turtle hatchery in the western Caribbean. Here an estimated 30,000 turtles come ashore annually. While scientist have gathered significant information about the land habits of the green turtle, very little is known about their migratory routes in the oceans, where they spend over 90% of their time. During our visit to Tortuguero we will try to unravel some of these mysteries.
   
Accommodations: Pachira Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Tortuguero-
Tortuguero National Park and Boat Safari.

(Friday, July 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: Early morning canal safari.
 Lunch: Lunch at the lodge.
 Afternoon: Guided walk in Tortuguero National Park.
Time at leisure for pool games.
 Dinner: Dinner at lodge.
 Evening: Nocturnal walk in search of frogs and insects.
   
Accommodations: Pachira Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Arenal -
Introduction to Volcanoes.

(Saturday, July 26)

Note: River boat ride from Tortuguero to boat dock: 1.5 hours. The transfer from the dock to Arenal takes approximately 3 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Optional early morning birding.
Breakfast at lodge.
 Morning: Boat transfer to Caño Blanco Dock and continue by bus to Arenal.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant, en route.
 Afternoon: Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Free time for pool games.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Lecture: Arenal Volcano.
Nighttime observation of the volcano (weather dependent).
   
Accommodations: Arenal Paraiso
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Arenal -
Arenal National Park/Arenal Hanging Bridges.

(Sunday, July 27)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Arenal Volcano National Park with a walk around the base of the 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.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Field trip to Arenal Hanging Bridges, a combination of natural trails and hanging bridges, through the rainforest canopy.

The Hanging Bridges project consists of a system of trails covering a distance of about 2 miles, eight fixed bridges, and six hanging bridges all built with the latest techniques and designed with an eye for both beauty and safety. The entire project was designed to blend with the natural environment, leaving the forest virtually intact. The idea of the operation is to facilitate access, with the minimum possible impact, to one of the least explored parts of the rainforest: the canopy.

Return to the hotel for free time. Relax on your private porch, take a refreshing dip in the pool, or choose from the many amenities available the hotel.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant in La Fortuna.

The small and charming 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 now 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.
 Evening: Return to the hotel and free time.
   
Accommodations: Arenal Paraiso
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Pacific Coast -
Tarcoles Crocodile Safari.

(Monday, July 28)

Note: The hotel at this site is not able to accommodate triples by providing a rollaway or cot. If you are three people rooming together you will be expected to share beds at this property. Participants who prefer to reserve an extra room for these two nights can do so for an additional, non-refundable, fee of $75. Please call the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 to reserve and pay for this additional service.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the Pacific Coast.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Crocodile Safari boat ride on the Tarcoles River.

The Tarcoles River hosts an amazing diversity of wildlife along its banks and on the extensive mangrove areas near its estuary. Some of its most famous inhabitants are the enormous crocodiles that live on its banks. These crocodiles (Crocodilus acutus) have been studied by numerous local and foreign specialists and featured in natural history TV specials.

Lecture: Crocodiles.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Free time at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Punta Leona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Pacific Coast -
Swimming and Kayaking Activities.

(Tuesday, July 29)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Morning at leisure to enjoy the beaches and pools.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Sea kayaking from the mouth of the Agujas River to Limones Beach.

Opportunity for swimming.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Punta Leona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Pacific Coast-
Zipline Canopy Adventure/Return to San José.

(Wednesday, July 30)

Note: Bus drive from the Pacific Coast to San José takes approximately 2 hours.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Departure for the Canopy Vista Los Suenos for a zip lining adventure.

Canopy Vista Los Suenos is situated in Herradura, on Costa Rica's Central Pacific Coast. Adventurers come here to enjoy the thrill of whizzing through the forest canopy on zip lines while nature lovers rejoice in the sights and sounds of the forest. The experience begins with a leisurely tractor ride up the mountain followed by a heart-pumping descent via a network of zip lines and platforms. Enjoy beautiful views of the Gulf of Nicoya and Herradura Bay and learn about the unique flora and fauna of the park's transitional forest.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Transfer to San José.
Arrive at the hotel and check-in.
Final briefing with the local Road Scholar coordinator.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Time at leisure. Enjoy one final evening in Costa Rica among your new Road Scholar friends.
   
Accommodations: Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Depart from San José-
Arrive in the U.S.

(Thursday, July 31)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel (dependent on flight times).
 Morning: Transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for flight to 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.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Tortuguero Beach walk, kayak canals, boat ride, fish, hike to Tortuguero Hill, or take a canopy tour.
The beach walk is famed as the nesting site of the largest population of sea turtles in the Caribbean. The turtles lay their eggs between June and September. Kayaking the canals provides the best opportunity to get close to the wildlife and is also good exercise. Boat rides are available to explore the rivers and canals. Fishing can be organized by contacting the local fishing guides. Hiking to the top of Tortuguero Hill has become a popular activity for those looking for exercise and the opportunity to get a bird's-eye view of the national park. For additional information, visit www.tortuguero-info.com
  Socialize with the locals
Tortuguero is a small coastal fishing village. Visitors to the village at night are the exception rather than the rule and scholars will have the opportunity to meet some of the local people.
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


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.



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.



Culture Smart! Costa Rica


Author: Jane Koutnik


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



Insight Guide Costa Rica


Author: Paul Murphy


Description: Thoroughly illustrated, this sturdy and informative guide features short essays on the natural history, culture and attractions of Costa Rica, hundreds of photographs and excellent local maps.



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.



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 New Key to Costa Rica


Author: Beatrice Blake


Description: The original guide to Costa Rica, featuring up-to-date suggestions of hotels and lodges, outdoor adventures and excursions – and with a serious focus on sustainable travel.



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.





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768