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Walking & Wellness: Costa Rican Secrets of Longevity

Program Number: 21436RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/3/2015 - 11/9/2015; 12/1/2015 - 12/7/2015; 1/22/2016 - 1/28/2016; 2/4/2016 - 2/10/2016; 2/11/2016 - 2/17/2016; 3/3/2016 - 3/9/2016; 3/12/2016 - 3/18/2016; 4/28/2016 - 5/4/2016; 5/13/2016 - 5/19/2016; 9/23/2016 - 9/29/2016; 11/4/2016 - 11/10/2016; 12/2/2016 - 12/8/2016;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Costa Rica
Price starting at: $1,899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; Health & Fitness
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Throughout the world, demographers have identified six areas where the local populations live measurably longer lives. Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula is among them. Amid its beaches and nearby forests, waterfalls and an active volcano, learn about living longer and healthier lives. Cultivate your well being, as you take daily nature walks, relax in thermal pools and volcanic mud baths, and bask in the Pacific sunsets of nature’s paradise.




Highlights

• On energizing walks through various terrain, we will be conscious of trying to achieve 10,000 steps a day – a goal recommended for a healthy lifestyle.
• Learn about the local plant and animal life, comparing and contrasting the characteristics of the different ecosystems we’ll explore.
• Enjoy fresh, clean air, nutritious food, optional morning stretching sessions and multiple outdoor activities, all contributing to your personal wellbeing.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to five miles (about two hours) a day on irregular terrain including forest and beach trails. Hot and humid weather, wet rocks, muddy trails, and terrain incline can increase the level of difficulty. Program includes two moderately challenging activities.




Date Specific Information

1-22-2016

Can be taken in conjunction with #19243 – 01/12/16, Rim to Shore: Costa Rica Multi-Sport Adventure.



2-4-2016

Can be taken in conjunction with #19243 – 01/25/16, Rim to Shore: Costa Rica Multi-Sport Adventure.



3-3-2016

Can be taken in conjunction with #19243 – 02/22/16, Rim to Shore: Costa Rica Multi-Sport Adventure.



3-12-2016

Can be taken in conjunction with Program #19243 – 03/02/16, Rim to Shore: Costa Rica Multi-Sport Adventure.



5-13-2016

Can be taken in conjunction with #19243 – 05/03/2016, Rim to Shore: Costa Rica Multi-Sport Adventure.



9-23-2016

Can be taken in conjunction with #19243 –09/13/2016, Rim to Shore: Costa Rica Multi-Sport Adventure.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Liberia, coach to Rincon de la Vieja, 3 nights; coach to Playa Pan de Azucar, 3 nights; departure.



Arrival Liberia
Coach to Rincon de la Vieja
3 nights

Over four days in Rincon de la Vieja, enjoy four walks — through rainforest trails, to waterfalls, a transitional forest and even to a lookout point over the Pacific to watch the sunset. Local health experts and naturalists lead these sojourns and discuss the plant and animal life and their ecosystems encountered along the way. At waterfalls at the base of the volcano, learn about energy fields and their possible contribution to wellbeing. Soak in a thermal pool, and enjoy plenty of time for renewal and reflection.



Coach to Playa Pan de Azucar
3 nights

With the beautiful and secluded Playa Pan de Azucar beach as base, enjoy three walks through varied terrain — through the dry forest culminating at “La Casona,” the original hacienda and a Costa Rican historical landmark, in Santa Rosa National Park; and two along a tropical beach. Learn about the famous turtle nesting sites of this region, and take a boat ride along the coast for a snorkel culminating in a sundowner on board and a Pacific sunset.




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
Rincon de la Vieja: Charming mountain resort with bungalows and villas. Playa Pan de Azucar: Hotel on the beautiful, secluded Playa Pan de Azucar beach.
Meals and Lodgings
   Borinquen Mountain Resort & Spa
  Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica 3 nights
   Hotel Sugar Beach
  Playa Pan de Azucar, Costa Rica 3 nights
 Borinquen Mountain Resort & Spa
Type: Lodge
  Description: This charming mountain resort has the look and feel of a hacienda-- a feeling that is further enhanced by the property's large and well equiped horse stables. Accommodations are provided in bungalows and villas with views of the gardens and forested hillsides.
  Contact info: 9.7 miles from Cañas Dulces town
Rincon de la Vieja,   Costa Rica
phone: +506-2690-1900
web: www.borinquenresort.com
  Room amenities: Rooms are air conditioned and have private bathrooms, hair dryers, satelite TVs, telephones, mini-bars, coffee makers, in-room safes, and terra cotta floors.
  Facility amenities: Restaurants, outdoor swimming pool, hot springs, volcanic mud pots, steam rooms, spa services, canopy zip line, stables and horses, ATVs, and trails. Some amenities are provided as an extra service and will be subject to an additional cost.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Room type and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact your Road Scholar program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for assistance in booking additional nights.

 Hotel Sugar Beach
Type: Hotel
  Description: Hotel Sugar Beach is located on the beautiful, secluded Playa Pan de Azucar Beach on Costa Rica's nothern Pacific coast. The property can accommodate up to 80 guests in comfortable lodgings including rooms, suites and beach casitas. Guests arriving or departing from the international airport in Liberia can drive to and from the hotel within 1.5 hours (San Jose is approximately 5 hours).
  Contact info: 0000000000000000000
Playa Pan de Azucar,   Costa Rica
phone: +506-2654-4242
web: www.sugar-beach.com
  Room amenities: All rooms are air conditioned and have private bathrooms, ceiling fans, tiled floors, televisions, in-room safe, large picture windows, veranda, and garden or ocean views.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, swimming pool, beach access, gift shop, laundry service, and massage services.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights after: Prices subject to availability Room types and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact your program provider at 1-800-866-7111 for assistance in reserving additional hotel nights.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals at Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia. Orientation at 5pm at the program hotel. You will be staying at Borinquen Mountain Resort & Spa that night.
  End of Program:
Afternoon departures from Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia. Flights as of 12pm. You will be staying at Hotel Sugar Beach the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. N/A
  Required innoculations:
Yes: No vaccinations are required to enter Costa Rica, unless arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic. Please consult with the Centers for Disease Control for their latest recommendations. Participants can call 800-CDC-INFO for more information or visit their website at: www.cdc.gov/travel/
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Rincon de la Vieja
  Nearest airport:  Liberia International Airport
  Transportation to site: The first program site, in Rincon de la Vieja, is located approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes minutes by car from Liberia. The Borinquen Mountain Resort and Spa provides transportation services to and from the international airport (additional costs apply). http://borinquenresort.com/ Taxi services are also available at the international airport in Liberia.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Playa Pan de Azucar
  Nearest airport:  Liberia International Airport
  Transportation from site: After an early breakfast on Day 7, participants will be transferred from Playa Pan de Azucar to the international airport in Liberia.


Required innoculations:

Yes: No vaccinations are required to enter Costa Rica, unless arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic. Please consult with the Centers for Disease Control for their latest recommendations. Participants can call 800-CDC-INFO for more information or visit their website at: www.cdc.gov/travel/

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 Liberia, Transfer to Rincon de la Vieja
(Tuesday, November 3)

Note: The transfer from Liberia's international airport to the hotel in Rincon de la Vieja takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Unforeseen traffic and road conditions could affect the driving time. A final portion of the journey includes travel over a well-maintained gravel road.



   
 Arrive To: Arrivals at the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport. The Road Scholar representative will be waiting outside the exit door with a Road Scholar sign (only applies to Road Scholar group flights).
 Lunch: At a local restaurant in Liberia.
 Afternoon: Depart for your hotel in Rincon de la Vieja (the drive takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes).

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.
4:30 pm - Program Orientation at the hotel.

First Ramble (2,000 steps): Exploratory walk on forest trails in hotel environs. At the completion of your walk, enjoy a rejuvenating dip in the thermal pools.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Meals are prepared with fresh, locally grown, farmed or caught products from the areas where you will be staying. The fruit and vegetable selections are seasonal, and also produced within the regions where the hotels are located, in some cases, from the hotels’ gardens.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Borinquen Mountain Resort & Spa
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Interpretive Walk, Thermal Pools, Pacific Sunset
(Wednesday, November 4)

Note: Your morning walk will cover a distance of approximately 2 miles and includes a segement with a small slope.



   
 Breakfast: Optional early morning stretching exercises and dip in the thermal pools.

Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Board an open vehicle and take a short drive to the start of a local trail in preparation for this morning's ramble.

Second Ramble (4,500 steps): Interpretive walk through a transitional forest with a local naturalist. Walk along a mostly flat forest trail with slight undulations.

Return to the hotel.

Following your morning ramble, enjoy an on-site talk ("The Healthful Properties of Volcanic Mud, Thermal Sauna, and Thermal Waters.") with practical demonstrations and individual participation.
 Lunch: Enjoy a casual meal at the hotel's freshwater and thermal pool complex.
 Afternoon: After lunch you will have some free time to relax before your next program activity.

Third Ramble (1,500 steps): Enjoy a walk along gently undulating trails to experience the magnificence of a Pacific sunset from a mirador (lookout point).

Time for refreshments and reflection.

Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Meals are prepared with fresh, locally grown, farmed or caught products from the areas where you will be staying. The fruit and vegetable selections are seasonal, and also produced within the regions where the hotels are located, in some cases, from the hotels’ gardens.
 Evening: Free time.
   
Accommodations: Borinquen Mountain Resort & Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Stretching Exercises, Waterfalls, Optional Activities
(Thursday, November 5)

Note: The moderately challenging walk to the waterfalls covers approximately 3 miles. Participants should wear hiking footwear as the trail is rugged and on an incline. Wear a bathing suit under your clothes so that you can enjoy a refreshing dip during your ramble to the local waterfalls. Participants interested in enjoying spa treatments at the hotel during free time should make advance appointments. Spa services are at an additional cost.



   
 Breakfast: Optional early morning stretching exercises and dip in the thermal pools.

Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Fourth Ramble (6,500 - 7,000 steps): Scenic walk along an uphill trail to reach two local waterfalls. The experience culminates with swimming opportunities.

Participants wishing to skip this activity are welcome to remain at the hotel to enjoy a relaxing morning before rejoining the group for lunch.

Return to the hotel.
 Lunch: At the hotel restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon will be at your leisure for independent explorations (at own expense). Optional activities include horseback riding, canopy zip line, forest exploration on ATVs or off road vehicles, and spa treatments.

Join your group leader and fellow participants for a pre-dinner presentation by a local speaker with a sundowner and reflections. Lecture: The Borinquen Project.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Meals are prepared with fresh, locally grown, farmed or caught products from the areas where you will be staying. The fruit and vegetable selections are seasonal, and also produced within the regions where the hotels are located, in some cases, from the hotels’ gardens.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Borinquen Mountain Resort & Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Santa Rosa Natl. Park, Playa Pan de Azucar, Tamarindo Town
(Friday, November 6)
   
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: After breakfast, check-out of the hotel and depart for Santa Rosa National Park. Upon arrival, enjoy an interpretive drive into one of the last tropical dry forests in the world.

Santa Rosa National Park is located along the country's northwestern coast in the Santa Elena Peninsula. The park owes its name to a famous battle that took place in the area during the mid 1800s. Although the park was initially created in an effort to honor and protect the historical battle grounds, the national park has played an important role in helping to safeguard important habitats and endangered species.

Fifth Ramble (5,000 steps): Take part in an interpretive walk along trails in the dry forest. Your walk will culminate at "La Casona," a historic hacienda with ties to the country's fight for independence. A site lecture will recount the three battles that were fought in and around La Casona and review their contribution to the independence of Costa Rica.

Depart for Playa Pan de Azucar.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant en route.
 Afternoon: Arrive at Playa Pan de Azucar and check-in at hotel.

Sixth Ramble (1,500 steps): Stretch your legs during a short ramble along the beautiful crescent beach in front of the hotel.

Return to the hotel to change and freshen-up before driving to nearby Tamarindo town for dinner. The drive usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour.
 Dinner: On your own to explore dining opportunities at Tamarindo. Transportation to a selection of restaurants will be provided for your convenience.

The laidback beach town on Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula is a popular destination for beach goers, nature lovers, and surfers from around the globe. Tamarindo offers a wide range of dining options, from small cafés and casual seafood joints, to restaurants featuring sophisticated international cuisine.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sugar Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Beach Walk, Longevity & Blue Zones, Boat Ride & Snorkeling
(Saturday, November 7)

Note: The beach walk will cover a distance of approximately 3 miles. Please remember to stay hydrated, wear lightweight/loose clothing, apply sunscreen, and wear a hat. Wear a bathing suit under your clothes in case you wish to take a swim at the beach after your morning walk.



   
 Breakfast: Optional early morning stretching exercises and dip in the thermal pools.

Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Transfer to Brasilito Beach in preparation for this morning's walk.

Seventh Ramble (6,000 steps): Enjoy an energizing morning walk along the beach. A site lecture will address the human and natural history of the region and its record as a Blue Zone for longevity.

Return to the hotel to change clothes and freshen up.
 Lunch: At the hotel restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the Flamingo area.

Enjoy an afternoon boat ride along the coast with snorkeling, culminating with a sundowner on the water.

Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sugar Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Free Day - Select Your Own Activities
(Sunday, November 8)

Note: Choose from a variety of optional activities to create your dream day. Lunch options and activities on this day are at your own cost.

Try to total at least 10,000 steps on your own today!



   
 Breakfast: At your leisure at the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: This day you will have free time to select your own activities and meals. Your goal should be to total 10,000 steps on your own this day.

Select from a variety of optional activities (at your own cost) such as hiking on local trails, deep sea fishing excursions, surfing, sea kayaking, paddle boarding lessons, mountain biking on coastal trails, golfing at Playa Conchal, beach activities, and relaxing.
 Lunch: On your own to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Continue with optional, free time activities.

Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: Celebrate the end of your Costa Rican journey with a farewell BBQ dinner at the hotel with musical entertainment.
 Evening: Time at leisure to enjoy your last night among your new Road Scholar friends or get a good night’s rest in preparation for your international travel next day.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sugar Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Transfer to Liberia Intl. Airport, Program Concludes
(Monday, November 9)

Note: The drive from Playa Pan de Azucar to the international airport in Liberia takes approximately 90 minutes.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel (dependent on flight times).
 Morning: Transfer to the international airport in Liberia to check-in for flights back 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.
   
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


A Brief History of Central America


Author: Hector Perez-Brignoll


Description: A good overview of the region’s economic, political and social history through the 1980s by a professor at the University of Costa Rica. Well-written, informative and concise.



Costa Rica Adventure Map


Author: National Geographic


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



Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics


Author: Steven Palmer (Editor), Ivan Molina (Editor)


Description: A lively, literate sourcebook on the politics, economy and society of Costa Rica



Costa Rica, A Journey Through Nature


Author: Adrian Hepworth


Description: Dividing the book by ecosystem and geographic area, BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Hepworth's color photographs showcase the diversity of Costa Rica's wildlife and habitats.



Costa Rica, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Barbara Ras


Description: These 26 well-chosen stories by Costa Rican writers introduce the people, culture and land.



Costa Rica, The Complete Guide


Author: James Kaiser


Description: From pristine beaches and jungle waterfalls to high-altitude coffee plantations, award-winning author and photographer Kaiser shows readers the best of Costa Rica, including the country's stunning collection of national parks.



Costa Rican Spanish


Author: Lonely Planet


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



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. We also carry plastic cards for Costa Rica Birds (Item CRC56) and Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths (Item CRC57), $5.95 each.



Culture Smart! Costa Rica


Author: Jane Koutnik


Description: History, religion, daily life, food, health and safety are all covered in this accessible pocket guide to Costa Rican customs, etiquette and culture.



Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die, Outdoor Experts Share the World's Greatest Destinations


Author: Chris Santella


Description: Santella (Once in a Lifetime Trips) includes insider tips, color illustrations and concise descriptions of 50 hikes from the Lunana Snowman Trek in Bhutan to the Amalfi Coast.



National Geographic Costa Rica


Author: Christopher P. Baker


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



Nature of the Rainforest, Costa Rica and Beyond


Author: Adrian Forsyth, E.O. Wilson (Introduction), Michael Fogden (Photographer)


Description: Our favorite biologist-writer returns to the Neotropics in this beautifully illustrated, oversized overview of the rainforest. With chapters on Monteverde and Guanacaste, plants, frogs and snakes, birds, monkeys and jaguars, the sloth, peculiar insects and biodioversity; A marvelous, anecdotal introduction to ecology, evolution and conservation.



The Birds of Costa Rica


Author: Richard Garrigues, Robert Dean (Illustrator)


Description: This new edition covers 903 species of birds with hundreds of new, supplemental or revised color illustrations by Robert Dean and revised color-coded range maps.



The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People


Author: Dan Buettner


Description: Buettner explores the lifestyle habits that promote the longest, healthiest and happiest communities, including Nicoya Peninsula, Ikaria and Okinawa, and offers recipes and suggestions on how to cultivate your own Blue Zone.



The Monkey's Bridge, Mysteries of Evolution in Central America


Author: David Rains Wallace


Description: Opening this absorbing account of the history and biogeography of the Central American isthmus with the tale of Columbus, Wallace often weaves his own travels in the region with a crisp overview of exploration, nature and evolution. Natural history buffs and ecologically minded travelers will appreciate this valuable resource.



The Wildlife of Costa Rica, A Field Guide


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


Description: This guide includes 450 of the most common, interesting and charismatic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods that you are likely to encounter. Each has exquisite full-color illustrations.



Thrive, Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way


Author: Dan Buettner


Description: National Geographic explorer Buettner reveals happiness spots on four continents in his latest research, dispelling many myths and concluding with the six lessons in thriving (he calculates 40% may be under your control, not bad).



Tropical Nature


Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata


Description: Two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists offer a lucid portrait of the tropics through 17 marvelous essays that introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforests.



Volcanoes, Crucibles of Change


Author: Richard Fisher


Description: A complete primer for the volcano lover, this heavily illustrated book covers types of volcanoes and eruptions, worldwide distribution and the physics of their formation.



Wild Costa Rica


Author: Adrian Hepworth


Description: This beautiful, informative survey of the habitats, wildlife and protected areas of Costa Rica features 200 color photographs and chapters on natural history and conservation.





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