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At Your Pace: The Natural Wonders of Costa Rica

Program Number: 17988RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/13/2015 - 9/23/2015; 3/9/2016 - 3/19/2016; 4/15/2016 - 4/25/2016; 9/13/2016 - 9/23/2016; 10/14/2016 - 10/24/2016; 11/2/2016 - 11/12/2016; 12/4/2016 - 12/14/2016; 12/7/2016 - 12/17/2016; 1/10/2017 - 1/20/2017; 1/15/2017 - 1/25/2017; 1/22/2017 - 2/1/2017; 1/29/2017 - 2/8/2017; 2/1/2017 - 2/11/2017; 2/5/2017 - 2/15/2017; 2/14/2017 - 2/24/2017; 2/19/2017 - 3/1/2017; 2/28/2017 - 3/10/2017; 3/5/2017 - 3/15/2017; 3/12/2017 - 3/22/2017; 3/19/2017 - 3/29/2017; 4/17/2017 - 4/27/2017;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Costa Rica
Price starting at: $1,995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: ; Natural History
Meals: 28; 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Enjoy the natural history, biodiversity and friendly attitude of Costa Rica in a non-strenuous way that allows you to learn the true meaning of “pura vida.” Discover the rainforest, Arenal Volcano and the Pacific coastline. Interact with Costa Ricans from campesinos (farmers) to small business owners and American expatriates. Experience Costa Rica by water on boat excursions exploring the Sarapiqui and Tarcoles rivers and an ocean canoe ride. This program has been specially designed to minimize walking and travel time and maximize opportunities to connect with your surroundings.


• Observe the Arenal Volcano from two prime vantage points and learn how scientists monitor its activity.
• Encounter the mighty crocodile and other creatures of the mangroves on a Tarcoles River boat excursion.
• Enjoy several opportunities for informal conversations with Costa Rican people.

Activity Particulars

Walking distances the equivalent of a few blocks. As many of the activities as possible will be conducted in and around the lodges and hotels. Participants must be able to walk unassisted for short distances and climb a few steps as most of the program sites cannot accommodate wheelchairs or rollaters.

Date Specific Information

9-13-2015, 3-9-2016, 4-15-2016, 9-13-2016, 10-14-2016, 11-2-2016, 12-4-2016, 12-7-2016, 1-10-2017, 1-15-2017, 1-22-2017, 1-29-2017, 2-1-2017, 2-5-2017, 2-14-2017, 2-19-2017, 2-28-2017, 3-5-2017, 3-12-2017, 3-19-2017, 4-17-2017

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

Itinerary Summary

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

Arrival San José
1 night
Coach to Sarapiquí
3 nights

In San José, examine the superb collection of gold objects at the underground Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and step inside the grand National Theater. Journey into the Caribbean rainforest of Sarapiquí to an ecolodge that will be your base for field trips exploring this amazing natural environment. Learn about life in this area as you chat with community members at the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center. See colorful birds and caimans along the Sarapiquí River on a boat excursion.

Coach to Arenal
3 nights

En route to Arenal, discover a pepper plantation and visit with a rural community. In Arenal Volcano National Park, marvel at this “perfect” volcano and learn about its moods and impact on the surrounding environment. Enjoy lunch at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, where an expert teaches you how the volcano is monitored. Take a short walk on Arenal’s hanging bridges and absorb sweeping views of Lake Arenal.

Coach to Punta Leona
2 nights
Coach to San José for departure
1 night

In the mountain village of Sarchi, see colorful ox carts and furniture built by local artisans. Arrive at Punta Leona in time to see the sunset over the Pacific and enjoy a lecture on coastal biodiversity. Observe wildlife and the various geological formations on an outrigger canoe ride.

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. Sarapiqui: Ecolodge on Sarapiqui River. Arenal: Resort with volcano views. Punta Leona: Beach resort. San Jose: Comfortable hotel near airport.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Balmoral
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
   Sarapiquis Rainforest Lodge
  Sarapiqui, Costa Rica 3 nights
   Arenal Manoa Hotel
  Arenal, Costa Rica 3 nights
   Hotel Punta Leona
  Punta Leona, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
 Hotel Balmoral
Type: Hotel
  Description: Comfortable hotel located on the main pedestrian boulevard in downtown San Jose. Within walking distance of the National Theater and Gold Museum.
  Contact info: Avenida Central (between 7th & 9th Streets)
San Jose,  3344-1000 Costa Rica
phone: +506-22225022
  Room amenities: Private bathroom, hair dryer, air conditioning, cable TV, complimentary WiFi, minibar, safety deposit box, and telephone. Irons are not supplied in the rooms, but can be requested at the front desk. En suite bathrooms have a grab bar in the shower or bathtub/shower.
  Facility amenities: Conference rooms, restaurant, room service, complimentary WiFi, business center, gym, bar, casino, luggage storage, Concierge Desk, shops, and laundry services. Airport transfer services are available for an additional charge. This service can be booked directly through the hotel. Email requests should be sent to and should include pertinent flight information.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Room type and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider, Holbrook Travel, at 1-800-866-7111 or for assintance.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Sarapiquis Rainforest Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: This attractive lodge was built in a style reminiscent of a 15th century Pre-Columbian village, complete with circular buildings and thatched roofs. Rooms and common areas are furnished with handmade wood furniture and artisanal pieces that further complement the Hispanic Colonial and Indigenous atmosphere of this property.
  Contact info: La Virgen de Sarapiqui
Sarapiquí, Heredia,   Costa Rica
phone: +506-27611004
  Room amenities: Private bathroom, ceiling fans, safety deposit box, and porch.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, pool, travel desk, meeting rooms, gift shop, laundry services, rainforest trails, museum, botanical garden, archaeological park, library and an education center.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Arenal Manoa Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Arenal Manoa Hotel is a beautiful place in which to rest, relax and enjoy activities in the area. All rooms were designed to offer guests beautiful views of the volcano.
  Contact info: 7 kilometers west from La Fortuna and 800 meters from the main
Arenal,   Costa Rica
phone: +(506) 24791111
  Room amenities: Each room is equipped with: •Two queen sized beds •Air conditioning •Satellite television •Private bath with hot water and a hair dryer •Telephone •Terrace with a view of the volcano •Refrigerator •Safe-deposit Box •Coffee maker •Hair dryer En suite bathrooms have a grab bar in the shower.
  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: +5062-231-3131
  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 José, Costa Rica. Hotel check-in begins at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Hotel Balmoral that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José, 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 airport:  San José's International Airport
  Transportation to site: Taxi services are available at the Juan Santamaria International Airport.
  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)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive to San José
(Sunday, September 13)
 Arrive To: Arrive in San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport. Please use the exit door on the right. The Road Scholar representative will be waiting outside the exit door with a Road Scholar sign (only applies to Road Scholar group flights). Transfer to the hotel and check-in, followed by time at leisure.

Please note that this is an international travel day; no meals or program activities are scheduled on this day. Hotel check-in usually begins at 3PM.
Accommodations: Hotel Balmoral

Day 2: Orientation, National Theater and Gold Museum
(Monday, September 14)

Note: The bus transfer from San José to Sarapiqui in the Caribbean lowlands takes approximately 2 hours.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Program Orientation.

Meet 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.

After the program orientation, enjoy a field trip to the National Theater and Gold Museum. Lecture: An Overview of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica's historical National Theater and the Grand Hotel Costa Rica are just a short drive or walk from the hotel. The historical significance of coffee production will be discussed during the visit to the National Theater, which was built midst Costa Rica's coffee boom in the late 1800’s. There is ample seating in the plaza where people-watching will stimulate a discussion on demographics and the socio-economic distribution of the population. Participants will understand what it means to be a ‘Tico.’

The National Theater is conveniently located adjacent to the Gold Museum. This unique underground museum showcases a large collection of pre-Colombian gold. The 2,000-pieces weigh over 20,000 troy ounces, making the museum one of the wealthiest spots in the nation. Visitors with an interest in stamp and/or coin collecting might appreciate the philatelic museum and the adjoining numismatic museum.

The visit to the Gold Museum will include a limited number of exhibits, thus reducing the amount of time participants will be required to remain standing (approx. 30 minutes).
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Depart for Sarapiqui, situated in the Caribbean lowlands and 40 miles from San José.

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

Arrive at the lodge and check-in.
Orientation to the lodge.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Time at leisure. Meet with new Road Scholar friends at the bar to enjoy a nightcap while relaxing to the sounds of the rainforest, or get a good night's sleep in preparation for the full day tomorrow.
Accommodations: Sarapiquis Rainforest Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Nature Walk, Cultural Interaction, Pineapple Plantation
(Tuesday, September 15)
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Enjoy a short walk in the grounds of the lodge to identify the characteristics of local and introduced plants.

Field trip to a local pineapple plantation to see first-hand the pineapple growing process. A site lecture will focus on the environmental and economic impact of growing pineapples in Costa Rica, one of the top ten producers of pineapples in the world.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to rest and enjoy the lodge's amenities.

Get together for a pre-dinner table talk; a question and answer session dealing with topics relating to Costa Rica and an orientation session by the Sarapiqui Conservation & Learning Center.

The Sarapiqui Learning Center (SCLC), founded in the mid-1990s, is a registered non-profit organization whose mission is to link communities and conservation through education and ecotourism in the Sarapiqui region. Programs include environmental education, ecotourism activities, English classes, an ecology club, community outreach, a women’s group and many others.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Free time.
Accommodations: Sarapiquis Rainforest Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Nature Boat Ride on Sarapiqui River, Community Projects
(Wednesday, September 16)
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Morning nature boat ride on the Sarapiqui River, followed by time spent in the river frontier town of Puerto Viejo.

The boat ride will introduce the birds and animals that frequent the riverine vegetation, including caimans and a variety of water birds. A site lecture during the boat ride will draw attention to the land utilization on the river banks and the human impact on the ecology of the river system.

The lifestyle of those living in the frontier town of Puerto Viejo will be part of a site lecture during a drive through town.

An interactive session with a member of the local community will provide insight into individual sustainable projects being undertaken in conjunction with tourism.

Before lunch, enjoy a talk on the cultivation of heart of palm (known locally as "palmito") and sample some snacks made from this mild and crunchy vegetable.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure.

Enjoy a lecture on the importance of creating a biological corridor between the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the Caribbean coast. This lecture will highlight the rainforest plants and animals found in this region.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
Accommodations: Sarapiquis Rainforest Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Local Community Visit, Transfer to Arenal, Arenal Intro.
(Thursday, September 17)

Note: Note: The bus transfer from Sarapiqui to Arenal takes approximately 2.5 hours.

 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Field trip to a local village and a pepper plantation in the Sarapiqui region for a first-hand experience of rural life in Costa Rica.

Transfer to the town of La Fortuna, located within the shadow of Arenal Volcano.

Arrive at the hotel in time for lunch.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: After check-in, enjoy a brief orientation to the hotel.

The Arenal Volcano looks like it could have been imagined by Hollywood. A perfect conical shape, the active volcano provides frequent thrills and threatens danger, but its activity occurs at a distance from the people of nearby towns. This combination of geography, scenery, and activity, has drawn countless visitors.

Time at leisure.
Lecture: The Arenal Volcano.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
Accommodations: Arenal Manoa Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna Town
(Friday, September 18)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning's field trip commences with a bus ride to the Arenal National Park's observation pavilion. For those who want to walk the short trail (half an hour) this will be done while the rest of the group remains in the area near the restrooms. We will discuss the moods of the volcano and the impact of its emissions on the human development and flora and fauna of the region.

Transfer to the Arenal Observatory Lodge for a self-directed stroll through their museum. Enjoy more close-up views of the volcano from the observation platform before breaking for lunch. Participants who would like a little added exercise are welcome to walk to the lodge dining room via one of two trails. The program bus will transport remaining participants to the lodge dining room.
 Lunch: At the Arenal Observatory Lodge.
 Afternoon: Take a little time to relax after your meal and enjoy the lodge's patio and its stunning views of Arenal Volcano.

Return to the hotel.
Time at leisure to enjoy the hotel's thermal hot springs and other amenities.

Excursion to the town of La Fortuna for happy hour. Interact with some of the locals at one of their favorite "after work" establishments.

Meet with some members of this community that has undergone a dramatic transformation from a sleepy rural town to a bustling resort town as a result of tourism associated with the volcano. The plaza is still the central point of the town and participants will have the opportunity visit some of the meeting spots recommended by the locals.

The small and painteresque town of Fortuna has changed quite a bit from the village that witnessed the eruptions of Arenal Volcano in 1968. Once a small agricultural community, Fortuna has grown in the shadow of the colossus that once burned and devastated large areas. Tourism is now the most important income for the region. Although 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.
 Dinner: At local restaurant.
 Evening: Return to the hotel and free time.
Accommodations: Arenal Manoa Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Visit to Local Farm, Agricultural Practices in the Region
(Saturday, September 19)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to a local farm to learn about the history of the estate and discuss some of the agricultural practices in this fertile region.

Visit the farm's sugar cane mill for a lesson in traditional methods sugar cane processing.

Before lunch, wake-up your inner chef (and your appetite!) by joining in a tortilla making activity. Learn how to make fresh tortillas and cook them on a wood stove.
 Lunch: Traditional meal at the farm hosted by the family.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a folkloric dance presentation held by local school children.

Return to the hotel.

The rest of the afternoon will be at your leisure. Enjoy a swim in the pool, soak tired muscles in the invigorating thermal spring, and pamper yourself with some spa treatments (additional cost), or maybe just sit back and lose yourself in the pages of a good book.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Free time.
Accommodations: Arenal Manoa Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Transfer to Punta Leona, Tárcoles River, Macaw Rehab
(Sunday, September 20)

Note: The bus transfer from Arenal to the Punta Leona takes approximately 4 hours. Travel is broken up by en route stops for program activities and lunch.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Costa Rica's Central Pacific Region.

Boating field trip on the Tárcoles River to view wildlife and investigate the mangrove forest.

Group leader discussion on the life history of Costa Rica's crocodiles.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Arrive at the hotel and check-in, followed by an orientation to the property and its amenities.

Time at leisure to enjoy the beach or hotel pools.

Lecture: Rehabilitating the Scarlet Macaw and Other Conservation Projects in the Region.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Punta Leona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Outrigger Activities at Playa Agujas, Jaco Beach
(Monday, September 21)
 Breakfast: Late breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Excursion to Playa Agujas for an outrigger canoe ride (approximately 1 hour) along the coast. Enjoy the opportunity to observe wildlife and the various geological formations.

Return to the hotel.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some time at leisure to relax and enjoy the many hotel amenities.

Later in the afternoon, transfer to Jaco Beach for a site lecture on the growth and development of the town and its reputation as a surfing mecca in Costa Rica.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant in Jaco Beach.
 Evening: Our bus transfer back to the hotel will include a leisurely drive along Jaco's main strip.
Accommodations: Hotel Punta Leona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Sarchi Crafts, Transfer to San José
(Tuesday, September 22)

Note: The bus transfer from Punta Leona to San José takes approximately 2 hours. Travel is broken up by en route stops for program activities and lunch.

 Breakfast: Late breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart to San José via the crafts town of Sarchi where ox carts, traditional furniture and other artifacts are created and on display.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue the transfer to San José.

Arrive in San José and check-in at hotel.

Time at leisure. Optional visit to a local mall.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at hotel.
 Evening: 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.
Accommodations: Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Program Concludes
(Wednesday, September 23)
 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: At the hotel (dependent on flights).
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 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.

Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A Field Guide

Author: L.H. Emmons

Description: Compact enough to slip into your daypack, this field guide to the mammals of Central and South American features 29 color plates of more than 200 species.

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 Green Republic: A Conservation History of Costa Rica

Author: Sterling Evans

Description: For the serious reader, this book offers a vivid synopsis of the founding and expansion of Costa Rica’s National Park system, including portraits of the local heroes and institutions that fought for conservation.

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 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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