Road Scholar : Home
Rim to Shore: Costa Rica Multi-Sport Adventure

Program Number: 19243RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/6/2015 - 5/16/2015; 1/12/2016 - 1/22/2016; 1/18/2016 - 1/28/2016; 1/25/2016 - 2/4/2016; 2/10/2016 - 2/20/2016; 2/15/2016 - 2/25/2016; 2/22/2016 - 3/3/2016; 3/2/2016 - 3/12/2016; 3/7/2016 - 3/17/2016; 3/28/2016 - 4/7/2016; 4/11/2016 - 4/21/2016; 5/3/2016 - 5/13/2016; 9/13/2016 - 9/23/2016; 10/10/2016 - 10/20/2016; 11/2/2016 - 11/12/2016; 12/3/2016 - 12/13/2016; 1/10/2017 - 1/20/2017; 1/18/2017 - 1/28/2017; 1/25/2017 - 2/4/2017; 1/30/2017 - 2/9/2017; 2/8/2017 - 2/18/2017; 2/15/2017 - 2/25/2017; 2/22/2017 - 3/4/2017; 2/27/2017 - 3/9/2017; 3/8/2017 - 3/18/2017; 3/13/2017 - 3/23/2017; 3/22/2017 - 4/1/2017; 4/17/2017 - 4/27/2017; 4/24/2017 - 5/4/2017; 5/8/2017 - 5/18/2017;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Costa Rica
Price starting at: $1,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Sport Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 28; 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

The emerald Pacific waters, lush tropical rainforest and volcanic landscapes of Costa Rica are home to an array of plant and animal species as diverse as any on earth. To truly learn about this natural abundance and the rich human culture that has developed around it, you must be immersed in the environment. From hiking to river rafting, swimming to ocean kayaking, expand your mind on a quest to enliven your spirit amid Costa Rica’s tropical beauty, history and culture.


• Hike on cloud forest trails in Poas Volcano National Park, site of the world's largest active crater.
• Canoe on the waterways of Tortuguero and paddle outrigger canoes along the Pacific coastline.
• Sway your hips, as you exercise and learn the steps to authentic Latin dance.

Activity Particulars

Hikes on uneven terrain in tropical conditions; sea kayaking, swimming and rafting.

Date Specific Information


This date is during the nesting season for Green Sea Turtles in Tortuguero National Park and includes a guided nighttime beach walk for an opportunity to observe sea turtles as they come ashore to lay eggs.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival San Jose, 2 nights; coach and boat to Tortuguero, 2 nights; boat and coach to Sarapiqui, 2 nights; coach to Punta Leona, 3 nights; coach to San Jose, 1 night; departure.

Flight from the U.S.A.
Arrival San Jose
2 nights
Coach to Tortuguero
2 nights
Boat and coach to Sarapiquí
2 nights

Begin your discovery of Costa Rica in Poás National Park with an expert who leads you to the world’s largest active volcanic crater, Poás Volcano. Learn of the geothermal forces that formed Costa Rica as the crater’s rain-fed lake bubbles below before erupting in an 800-foot geyser of steam. In a coffee plantation, walk between rows of bushes with a worker and sample freshly ground coffee. In sleepy Tortuguero, where 30,000 green sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs each year from July to Sept., unravel the mysteries of the turtles’ navigation techniques with a naturalist. Canoe along the waterways of Tortuguero National Park, home to freshwater sharks, caimans and more, then move to Sarapiquí to learn the secrets of making chocolate during a visit to a local cacao plantation. Pay homage to El Ganador, a giant almond tree that was already mature when the Spanish first arrived, and raft the Sarapiquí River while watching for birds and learning about the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.

Coach to Punta Leona
3 nights
Coach to San Jose
1 night

Cross the Continental Divide to the Pacific coast and embark on a crocodile safari on the Tarcoles River to learn up-close about the enormous crocodiles that live on the river’s banks. Hike and walk through the rainforest on trails and hanging bridges to view the differences between tropical moist forest, dry forest, and transition zone. Off the coast of the small village of Agujas, paddle an outrigger canoe for a historical sense of how these crafts have been used for centuries as tools for survival and travel, their design basically unchanged after generations of refinement.

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: Centrally located hotel and comfortable hotel near airport. Tortuguero: Riverfront rainforest lodge. Sarapiqui: Riverside lodge. Punta Leona: Rainforest resort in a nature preserve.

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

Costa Rica’s tropical rainforest with its glorious biodiversity was the childhood playground of Erick Guzman, who grew up in the country’s Caribbean lowlands. He enjoyed accompanying travelers on boat excursions during his post-high school years, assisting his father, and went on to work in the field of adventure travel, leading rafting, kayaking, horseback riding and hiking trips. Erick then worked at the La Selva field station of the Organization for Tropical Studies, interacting with scientists and deepening his knowledge of Costa Rica’s natural habitats.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Rincon del Valle
  San José, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Pachira Lodge
  Tortuguero, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Selva Verde Lodge
  Sarapiqui, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Hotel Punta Leona
  Punta Leona, Costa Rica 3 nights
   Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
 Hotel Rincon del Valle
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Rincon del Valle is located near Sabana Metropolitan Park, just 1.2 miles from downtown San José and 10 miles from the Juan Santamaria International Airport.
  Contact info: 50 meters East & 50 meters South of Colegio de Médicos
San José,   Costa Rica
phone: +506-22961001
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, T.V., alarm clock radio, telephone, electric room safe, coffee maker, minibar, hair dryer, and WiFi.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, meeting rooms, gym, spa services, and laundry service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Prices and room type subject to availability. Please contact the program provider, Holbrook Travel, at 1-800-866-7111 or for assistance with reservations and rates.

 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
  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

 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 box, ceiling fan, phone, screened windows, grab bar in the shower, and hair dryer. **For family or intergenerational programs: This property is able to provide a cot or rollaway to accommodate a third person in a double-occupancy room.
  Facility amenities: Meeting rooms, restaurant, bar, and private rainforest reserve with trails.
  Smoking allowed: No

 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
  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
  Room amenities: The spacious, air conditioned rooms have private baths, hair dryers, satellite TVs, direct-dial phones, mini refrigerators, coffee makers, safety deposit boxes, iron/ironing board, and complimentary Internet access. En suite bathrooms feature a grab bar in the shower or bathtub/shower.
  Facility amenities: Restaurants, swimming pools, a wet bar, Jacuzzis, casino, fitness center, spa services, laundry service, souvenir shop, beauty salon, business center, conference center, money exchange, travel agency, a souvenir shop, and WiFi in public areas. 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. Please call the hotel or check at the front desk if you would like to use this service.
  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 begins at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Hotel Rincon del Valle 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. 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
  Parking availability:
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. Travelers should use only licensed taxis, which are typically red with medallions (yellow triangles containing numbers) painted on the side.
  From End of Program
  Location: San José
  Transportation from site: The Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center, formerly known as the Ramada Plaza Herradura in San José, Costa Rica offers a complimentary airport shuttle service from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Please check at the hotel's front desk about scheduling this service. Taxi services are also available at the hotel.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
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: Arrival to San José
(Wednesday, May 6)

Note: This program includes a number of bus transfers. The air conditioned Road Scholar bus does not have a bathroom on board. However, the program includes stops for program activities, meals, and/or basic pit stops that help to break up longer travel times. Stops are built into the schedule for every 1.5 - 2 hours of bus travel.

 Arrive To: Arrive in San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport. Participants on the Road Scholar group flights should use the exit door on the right. The Road Scholar representative will be waiting outside the exit door with a Road Scholar sign.

Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

Note: If possible, participants should try to arrange flights that arrive in San Jose in the afternoon. Doing this will allow participants to get a full night's sleep in preparation for the next day's activities.

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 Rincon del Valle

Day 2: Hiking in Poas Volcano National Park/Coffee Plantation
(Thursday, May 7)

Note: Breakfast will begin at 7:00 am and departure from the hotel will be at 8:00 am.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Poas Volcano National Park. The program orientation will take place en route.

Meet your group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session. 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.

Walk on trails in the Poas National Park, the oldest designated National Park in Costa Rica. View the world’s largest active crater and a crater lake while encountering four different habitats, including a tropical forest.

The Poás Volcano, is an active stratovolcano in central Costa Rica which has erupted 39 times since 1828. Poás volcano is a powerful symbol of the geothermal forces that formed Costa Rica. When the mist and clouds part you'll see the sulfuric, bubbling, green rain fed lake at the bottom, surrounded by smoke and steam rising from fumaroles. Water from the lake is constantly seeping through cracks in the hot rock, evaporating and building pockets of steam. When the pressure in these pockets exceeds the weight of the water above, the steam breaks through in geysers that rocket up to 820 feet (250 meters) high. Don't worry about getting a shower though, the crater is 1,050 feet (320 meters) deep. At almost a mile (1.6 km) across it's also the largest active crater in the world. The most recent period of eruptive activity ended in 1954. The last major activity was in 1910 when nearly a million tons of ash was ejected along with an immense column of smoke and steam.
 Lunch: Lunch at a typical rural restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the clean, crisp air at a coffee plantation perched on the slopes of the Central Valley. Walk between the rows of the coffee bushes in a symbolic coffee picking exercise and sample the freshly ground coffee - after exploring the plantation.

During your visit experience first-hand the production, harvesting, processes of the plant and roasting of the bean. The program begins in the seedbed. There you will observe the development processing of the plant. Also learn about the history of the estate, its owners, the production and varieties of plants, the geography of the area and the traditional ways of cultivating the grain.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Lecture on Blue Zones: Lifestyles and Longevity.
Accommodations: Hotel Rincon del Valle
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Boat Transfer to Tortuguero/Kayaking Across the Channel & Walking in Tortuguero Village
(Friday, May 8)

Note: Bus drive from San José to boat dock is 3.5 hours. The bus drive includes an en route stop for breakfast at a local restaurant. River boat ride to Tortuguero is 1.5 hours.

 Breakfast: Breakfast en route.
 Morning: Leave San José and travel in a northeasterly direction towards the Caribbean lowlands. Board a covered motorboat at the dock and begin your river transfer to Tortuguero. This approximately 2-hour river journey offers a great opportunity to view riverine wildlife and local communities.

Arrive at the lodge and check-in.
 Lunch: Lunch at the lodge.
 Afternoon: Afternoon paddle to Tortuguero Village.

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 region is known for its network of canals and waterways and luxuriant forests that are home to a variety of exotic wildlife and is an important sea turtle nesting site. Paddle across the canal to the village and then visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy to learn about sea turtle conservation efforts in this region. Continue with a walking exploration of the small village.

Paddle back to the lodge.

The paddling distance will be approximately 20 minutes one way, for a total of approximately 40 minutes round trip. The total distance is approximately one mile.

Lecture: The History of Tortuguero.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
Accommodations: Pachira Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Tortuguero -
Exploring the Waterways of Tortuguero on Kayak/Hiking Forest Trails

(Saturday, May 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: Silently paddle along the waterways of Tortuguero, optimizing the opportunity to view the wildlife in their natural habitat with minimum disturbance to the environment.

Study the gallery forest along the edge of Tortuguero National Park in search birds, monkeys, and lizards. This area is also home to an abundance of underwater wildlife including fresh water sharks, caimans and hundreds of amphibians and reptiles.
 Lunch: Lunch at the lodge.
 Afternoon: Afternoon hike on local nature trails. In addition to enjoying some good outdoor exercise, take the opportunity to search for local birds, monkeys and other wildlife that inhabit this region.

Return to the lodge.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
Accommodations: Pachira Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Sarapiqui -
Transfer to Sarapiqui/Hanging Bridges at Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve & Cacao Plantation/Latin Dancing

(Sunday, May 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: Transfer by motorized boat and bus from Tortuguero to Sarapiqui in the Chilamate Valley.

Sarapiquí is one of the richest sites for birds in Middle America with well over 400 recorded species. The Selva Verde Rainforest Reserve, 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 and part of the larger Mesoamerican Biological Corridor stretching from Mexico through most of Central America.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: After lunch, continue with the transfer to Sarapiqui and check into the lodge.

This afternoon, visit a local cacao plantation at Tirimbina Rainforest Center for an up-close look at local agricultural practices and the making of artisanal chocolate. Explore the center's nature reserve through walks along hanging bridges and forest trails.

Tirimbina is a nature center located in the La Tirimbina community, in the northeastern lowlands of Costa Rica. Their primary mission is to provide environmental education and promote research opportunities that will eventually lead to conservation. The organization works closely with schools in the region (4th - 6th grades), offering inquiry-based learning activities that help to raise environmental awareness and appreciation within the local communities.

Return to the lodge.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
 Evening: Latin dancing is recognized as an exemplary form of cardio exercise. Laugh, dance and socialize while learning the basics during a Latin dance class.
Accommodations: Selva Verde Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Sarapiqui -
Hiking in the Rainforest/White Water Rafting

(Monday, May 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: The main purpose of our morning hike into the heart of the rainforest is to pay homage to El Ganador, a giant almond tree that towers above the canopy. What life secrets would you ask a 600 year old tree that is still standing strong?

El Ganador was already a mature tree when the Spanish came to the Americas in the late 1400s. This enormous tree stands 54 meters (177 feet) high and 14 meters (46 feet) in circumference and in 2007 was recognized as a natural and national treasure of Costa Rica. It won the 2007 Exceptional Tree award from INBio Park, the National Institute for biodiversity in Costa Rica. Almendro trees, or Dipteryx panamensis, are considered guardians of the tropical rainforest and a symbol for the region. They are also a critical part of the endangered Great Green Macaw’s habitat. This award-winning tree should live for another 100 to 200 years.

The group normally begins the hike at approximately 8AM and finishes at approximately 11AM. This a 3 hour hike and the total trail is 2 miles round trip.
 Lunch: Lunch at the lodge.
 Afternoon: Afternoon white water rafting on Class I and Class II rapids.

Winding through the region of the "Eternal Spring," the Sarapiquí River offers some of Costa Rica's most enjoyable white water river rafting amidst lush and vibrant scenery. The free-flowing river has its origins in clear mountain streams that tumble down through thick rain forest to merge with the crystal waters of the beautiful Sarapiquí. Verdant forest reaches right up to the river's sun-basked banks. This narrow waterway is ideal for white water novices, whom will enjoy its moderately flowing rapids, interspersed with tranquil stretches. The journey is also excellent for bird-watchers and other nature lovers. The river stretches its way through lush vegetation that is home to hummingbirds, toucans, woodpeckers and scores of other native bird species.

Lecture: The Sarapiqui Biological Corridor.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.
Accommodations: Selva Verde Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Central Pacific -
Tarcoles River Crocodile Safari/Free Time - Punta Leona Beach

(Tuesday, May 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: Transfer from the Caribbean lowlands to the Pacific Coast.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant en route.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a boating field trip on the Tarcoles River in search of resident wildlife including a large population of American crocodiles often seen sunning themselves on the river banks.

The Tarcoles river basin is one of the most important in the Pacific coastal region virtually draining the entire western side of the Central Valley. Tarcoles hosts an amazing diversity of wildlife along its banks and on the extensive mangrove areas near its estuary. Perhaps the most famous of all its 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 National Geographic TV specials.

Continue with transfer to the Punta Leona area.

Arrival at Punta Leona, a resort incorporating coastal jungle and two beaches - jewels along this Pacific coastline.

Orientation to the resort, followed by free time to take a stroll on the beach or enjoy the swimming pools.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Punta Leona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Central Pacific -
Hiking at Carrara National Park/Free Time - Swimming and/or Walking on Beach

(Wednesday, May 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Carara National Park.

Costa Rica's Central Pacific Region is one the most ecologically diverse areas of the country. The intersection of the Northwestern Tropical Dry Forest habitats with the Humid Rain Forests of the South Pacific region, in a relatively small area, produces a very interesting combination of species from both ecosystems. In addition, the mountain ranges are very close to the coast resulting in an array of elevations and some peculiar climatic conditions that contribute to the abundance of wildlife.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to enjoy the beach, private reserve, pools, and to take advantage of services provided by the resort.

The Hotel Punta Leona is a 750 acres beach resort and wildlife reserve inhabited by hundreds of indigenous flora and fauna species. What really makes Punta Leona a special place is its waterfront location with two beach options to choose from, one with white sand and the other with gray sand both with crystal clear Pacific water. They are also the only beaches in Costa Rica with 3 Blue Flags & Triple A Rating for their outstanding water quality, cleanliness and level of safety for swimmers.

Lecture: Crocodiles & Caimans of Tarcoles River.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Punta Leona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Central Pacific -
Outrigger Canoeing & Sea Kayaking on Pacific Ocean/Free Time - Swimming and/or Walking on the Beach

(Thursday, May 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the small coastal village of Agujas for a sea kayak and outrigger canoe paddling adventure.

Kayaks and canoes have been plying the oceans of the world for centuries. They were created as tools for survival and travel. Their design remains basically unchanged after generations of refinement. Their beauty lies in their simplicity and functionality. The canoes are now built of fiberglass and they have been working well for us for years, we use an outrigger on each side to ensure safety and give peace of mind to our clients. When you put that paddle in the water, think of the ancient traditions, and knowledge and skill that went into the canoe and it will make your experience with us even more enjoyable.

Return to the hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the amenities of the hotel, take a stroll on the beach or enjoy the swimming pools. For those participants who would like to enjoy another guided hike, our group leader will be available to take you on an excursion at the lodge’s private reserve.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Punta Leona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Return to San José -
Canopy Zipline/Farewell Dinner

(Friday, May 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning participate in an energizing zipline canopy adventure.

The Vista Los Suenos Canopy is located in Herradura, next to Jaco Beach on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Experience breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the Pacific Ocean during this zipline adventure through the forest canopy set on approximately 222 acres of lushly forested lands. Approximately 50% of the area is made up of transitional forest--a blend of dry forest and rainforest habitats.

Transfer back to the hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Transfer to San José.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Free time. Spend your last evening in Costa Rica with your new Road Scholar friends, finish your packing, or get a good night's sleep in preparation for international departures tomorrow.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Depart to U.S.
(Saturday, May 16)
 Depart From: 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.
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel (dependent on flight times).
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
  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

Costa Rica Adventure Map

Author: National Geographic

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

Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths

Author: James Kavanagh

Description: A handy, laminated fold-up card with color illustrations of Costa Rica’s more visible species of butterflies and moths. Includes the distinguishing markings or behaviors of each species.

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 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.

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.

Sea Kayaking, The Classic Manual for Touring, from Day Trips to Major Expeditions

Author: Freya Hoffmeister (Foreword), John Dowd

Description: Once again fully updated, this 'kayaking bible' covers every known kayaking query, from essentials to advanced hazards. The expert advice is supplemented by black-and-white photos and some classic kayaking stories.

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 Chocolate Tree, A Natural History of Cacao

Author: Allen M. Young

Description: A rich concoction of cultural and natural history, archaeological evidence, botanical research, environmental activism and lush descriptions of the author's own adventures, The Chocolate Tree offers an appreciation of the plant and the environment that provide us with this Maya food of the gods.

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 Sea Turtle, So Excellent a Fishe

Author: Archie Carr

Description: An appreciative and informative account of the sea turtle, its ecology and field work in Costa Rica by the man who did so much to promote sea turtle research and conservation, first published in 1967. Karen Bjorndal, director of the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, brings the story up to date in a new foreword.

The Ticos

Author: Richard Biesanz

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

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.

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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