Road Scholar : Home
A Taste of Costa Rica

Program Number: 8577RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/6/2014 - 10/14/2014; 11/3/2014 - 11/11/2014; 12/1/2014 - 12/9/2014; 1/10/2015 - 1/18/2015; 1/16/2015 - 1/24/2015; 1/23/2015 - 1/31/2015; 2/5/2015 - 2/13/2015; 2/11/2015 - 2/19/2015; 2/19/2015 - 2/27/2015; 3/3/2015 - 3/11/2015; 3/12/2015 - 3/20/2015; 4/16/2015 - 4/24/2015; 5/2/2015 - 5/10/2015; 5/13/2015 - 5/21/2015; 6/10/2015 - 6/18/2015; 7/2/2015 - 7/10/2015; 8/22/2015 - 8/30/2015; 9/23/2015 - 10/1/2015; 10/10/2015 - 10/18/2015; 11/3/2015 - 11/11/2015; 12/1/2015 - 12/9/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Costa Rica
Price starting at: $1,598.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Natural History
Meals: 22; 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

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




Highlights

• Hike through the mystical cloud forest on a combination of nature trails and hanging bridges.
• Walk on lava fields and search for resident wildlife at Arenal Volcano National Park.
• An interactive presentation introduces one of the most important gourmet coffee roasters in Costa Rica.



Activity Particulars

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




Date Specific Information

10-6-2014, 11-3-2014, 12-1-2014, 1-16-2015, 1-23-2015, 2-5-2015, 2-11-2015, 3-3-2015, 5-2-2015, 6-10-2015, 7-2-2015, 8-22-2015, 9-23-2015, 11-3-2015

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



1-10-2015

Can be taken in conjuction with 18125-01/18/2015
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



2-19-2015

Can be taken in conjuction with 18125-02/13/2015
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



3-12-2015

Can be taken in conjuction with 18125-03/06/2015
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



4-16-2015

Can be taken in conjunction with #20774-04/24/2015
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



5-13-2015

Can be taken in conjunction with 20774-05/21/2015
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



10-10-2015

Can be taken in conjunction with #20774-10/18/2015
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



12-1-2015

Can be taken in conjunction with #20774-12/09/2015
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

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



Arrival San Jose
1 night
Coach to Sarapiqui
2 nights

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



Coach to Arenal Volcano
2 nights

A lecture discussing vulcanology precedes a walk in the Arenal Volcano National Park to witness the impact of past eruptions and explore the region’s geography and wildlife. Bathe in its thermal waters and learn about the tools scientists use when attempting to predict eruptions. Enjoy dinner in the rural village of La Fortuna for a taste of local specialties made with yucca, plantains and gallo pinto.



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

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




Costa Rica

Hugged by two bodies of water and sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica’s topography, climate and geographical position are more than mere facts: they define this tiny country. Cloud rainforests, valleys of coffee and volcanic mountain peaks fill the land between Caribbean and Pacific beaches. This ecological Eden protects its natural treasures in acres of preserved land, and is the only country in the world without a standing army.



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

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

A Rockefeller Foundation scholarship recipient, Dr. Sherman Thomas has degrees from the Universities of Costa Rica and University of Minnesota. In addition to teaching at the Universidad de Costa Rica for 30 years, he is one of the founders of the Renovación Costarricense political party and was selected to run for President of Costa Rica in 1998. Sherman has also been on the staff of Universidad Latina, Universidad Autonoma de Centro America, and Universidad del Turismo, and his publications can be found in chemistry journals and chemistry textbooks. He is highly regarded for his professional achievements in chemistry, as well as his social and political commitment to improve the quality of life for all citizens of his country.
 
Willy Pineda

A native of Costa Rica, Willy Pineda studied biology at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and worked as an assistant in the Museum of Zoology. It was while working at the museum that Willy discovered his passion for mammalian studies. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he remained at UCR to complete a master’s degree in zoology. His graduate studies focused on the relationship of the wing morphology (size and shape) of Neotropical bats with their diet, feeding guilds, and foraging behavior. Since then, Willy has published several scientific papers, participated in research projects, consultant work and various teaching positions. Currently, he lives with his family in the verdant Caribbean Lowlands of Costa Rica, at Sarapiqui, and is working toward his Ph.D.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Balmoral
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
   Selva Verde Lodge
  Sarapiqui, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa
  Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Hotel Montaña Monteverde
  Monteverde, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
 Hotel Balmoral
Type: Hotel
  Description: Comfortable hotel located on the main walking boulevard in downtown San José. Within walking distance of the National Theater and Gold Museum.
  Contact info: Avenida Central (between 7th & 9th Streets)
San José,  3344-1000 Costa Rica
phone: +(506) 22225022
web: www.balmoral.co.cr
  Room amenities: Private bath, cable TV, air conditioning, and telephone.
  Facility amenities: Conference rooms, restaurant, business center, gym, bar, and casino.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Prices subject to availability Additional nights and room types are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for more information.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Selva Verde Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Nature Lodge built along the banks of the Sarapiqui River. Room modules are built on elevated platforms, surrounded by tropical vegetation. A large tract of private primary and secondary rainforest is accessible via a hanging bridge.
  Contact info: Chilamate
Sarapiqui,  00000 Costa Rica
phone: +506-2-27611800
web: www.selvaverde.com
  Room amenities: Safety boxes, ceiling fans, phones, screened windows, and hair dryers.
  Facility amenities: Meeting rooms, restaurant, bar, and private rainforest reserve with trails.
  Smoking allowed: No

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

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

 Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
Type: Resort
  Description: The Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel and Convention Center has 229 spacious rooms with modern conveniences, and a long list of amenities that are meant to accommodate business travelers as well as vacationing families. It is conveniently located a short distance from San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport. The hotel has earned a Level 3 Certification for Sustainable Tourism by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.
  Contact info: General Cañas Highway
5 km south from International Airport
San José,   Costa Rica
phone: +506-22099800
web: http://www.wyndham.com/hotels/costa-rica/san-jose/wyndham-san-jose-herradura-hotel-convention-center/hotel-overview
  Room amenities: The spacious, air conditioned rooms have private baths, hair dryers, satellite TVs, direct-dial phones, mini refrigerators, coffee makers, safety deposit boxes, and internet access.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, three restaurants, three swimming pools, a wet bar, Jacuzzis, casino, fitness center, spa services, laundry service, souvenir shop, beauty salon, business center, conference center, money exchange, Internet access, travel agency, and a souvenir shop. Wheelchair acessible elevators and public areas. Free airport shuttle service from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Free hotel shuttle service to San José attractions.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Prices subject to availability Rates and room types are subject to availability. Please contact your program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you need assistance with booking additional hotel nights.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
All-day arrivals at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José, Costa Rica. Hotel check-in starts at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Hotel Balmoral that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San 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 Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Proof of vaccination is required from travelers arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic. For more information about entry requirements please contact the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, DC at tel: (202) 234-2945/46 or visit www.costarica-embassy.org.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  San José
  Nearest city or town:  San Jose
  Nearest airport:  Juan Santa Maria International Airport
  Transportation to site: There are two types of taxi services available at the Juan Santamaria International Airport. The most reliable one is the Taxis Unidos Aeropuerto--the official airport taxi service. A Taxis Unidos kiosk is located at the airport exit. The drivers wear company uniforms and the orange taxis have the Taxis Unidos logo emblazoned on the driver's door and passenger's door. The taxis are metered and fares can be paid in dollars or colones. www.taxiaeropuerto.com There are also regular metered taxis available outside the airport exit. These are typically red with medallions (yellow triangles containing numbers) painted on the side. Although these are usually a cheaper option, we suggest using the official taxis for the sake of safety and reliable fares.
  From End of Program
  Location: San José
  Transportation from site: Taxi services are available at the hotel. If you wish to hire a taxi, please ask for assistance at the hotel's front desk.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Elevation Note: Elevations of up to 6,000 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive to San José/Transfer to the hotel.
(Thursday, July 2)
   
 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 3 p.m.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Balmoral

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

(Friday, July 3)

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



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Orientation to the program.

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.

Lecture: An Overview of Costa Rica.

Excursion to the Gold Museum with a site lecture.

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

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

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

Orientation to the lodge.

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

Day 3: Sarapiqui -
River Rafting/Cultural Interaction/Latin Dance.

(Saturday, July 4)
   
 Breakfast: Early morning bird walk.

Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: Grab a paddle and embark on an exhilarating river rafting excursion on the Sarapiqui River.

After breakfast, transfer to a rafting drop-off site along the shores of the Sarapiqui. Once on site, put on your assigned gear and listen to a safety orientation before getting started. A rafting expert will sit at the back of the raft and navigate. Participants will be invited to assist with paddling at various stretches along the river. Warning--this activity is guaranteed to give you an upper body workout, get you wet, and make you laugh out loud!

Return to the lodge.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to enjoy the lodge grounds. Settle into one of the lodge's comfy hammocks, cool off in the pool, practice your photography skills, or use this opportunity to do some bird watching.

This afternoon, visit the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center (SCLC) to meet with locals for a "charla."

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

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

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

Day 4: Arenal - Sarapiqui River Boat Excursion/Visit to a Local Plantation/Introduction to Arenal Volcano.
(Sunday, July 5)

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



   
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: After breakfast we will check out from the lodge and transfer to the Puerto Viejo dock for our next adventure.

Board a river boat and enjoy a leisurely journey on the Sarapiqui River looking for wildlife.

After your boat safari, transfer to a local plantation to examine the environmental and economic impacts of agriculture in Costa Rica.

Begin transfering to the Arenal area.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant en route.
 Afternoon: After lunch continue transfering to Arenal.

Arenal was once Costa Rica's most active volcano and a main draw to the town of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano National Park. The volcano lords over the countryside with its perfectly conical shape and occasional smoke and gas emissions. While minor activity excites visitors, they are rarely acknowledged by the locals who have learnt to accept the antics of the volcano as part of their daily lives. The thermal waters emanating from the volcano, the clean air and the energy associated with Arenal, makes this a favorite destination for health spa enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Time at leisure.

Lecture: History of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Arenal -
Arenal Hanging Bridges/Dinner with Local Family.

(Monday, July 6)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast, spend a full morning exploring the nature trails at Arenal Hanging Bridges and enjoying scenic views of the Arenal Volcano from one of the reserve's many bridges.

This private nature reserve in La Fortuna de San Carlos features a network of standing bridges, hanging bridges, and trails that crisscross 250 hectares of tropical rainforest. The park’s mission is to provide natural history education in a responsible and sustainable way. Visitors are able to view the rainforest from different angles and heights, from ground level to canopy level, learning firsthand about this fascinating and biologically diverse environment.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to enjoy the hotel's hot springs.

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

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

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

Dance presentation by local school children.
 Evening: Return to the hotel and free time.
   
Accommodations: Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

(Tuesday, July 7)

Note: Participants will transfer to Monteverde via a boat ride across Arenal Lake followed by a scenic uphill drive on back roads. The Road Scholar bus will travel separately to Monteverde with the group's luggage. Please ensure you have all you need for this day before the bus leaves.



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

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

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

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Informal gathering at the hotel bar to watch the sunset.

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

Day 7: Monteverde -
Cloud Forest Reserve at Monteverde/Bat Jungle/The Quaker Story.

(Wednesday, July 8)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to a cloud forest reserve at Monteverde with site lecture. The edges of this rich forest system, often cloaked in clouds and blowing mist, are home to more than 350 avian species and a myriad of other creatures and critters. The Monteverde area is perhaps most famous for breeding Resplendent Quetzals, Three-wattled Bellbird, and Bare-necked Umbrellabird. While these charismatic species can be elusive, a host of other cloud forest birds and amphibians are found in the area.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch visit Bat Jungle.

The Bat Jungle is an educational space designed and managed by respected U.S. bat biologist Dr. Richard LaVal. Informative displays help to explain about bat biology, bat diversity, and their crucial role in nature as pollinators. The Bat Jungle also has more than 90 bats, representing 8 different species, housed in a recreated nighttime cloud forest environment. Glass windows give visitors the rare opportunity to look inside the forest enclosure and observe bats feeding, flying, and socializing. Special microphones capture the high pitched bat vocalizations and broadcast them through loudspeakers in the bat viewing area.

Return to the hotel to change and freshen-up.

Transfer to a local home in preparation for a lecture and dinner.

Lecture: The Quaker Story.

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

Day 8: Return to San José - Butterfly Garden/Excursion to Sarchi/Farewell to Costa Rica.
(Thursday, July 9)

Note: The transfer from Monteverde to San José takes approximately 3.5 hours. Travel is broken up by en route stops for program activities and lunch.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Morning visit to the Monteverde Butterfly Garden and Arthropod Education Center.

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

Begin transfer to San José.
 Lunch: En route to San José.
 Afternoon: Transfer to San José via the town of Sarchi.

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

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

Time at leisure to start packing, enjoy hotel amenities, or just relax before meeting your group for dinner.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: 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 9: Depart to U.S.
(Friday, July 10)
   
 Depart From: Transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for flight to U.S.

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.

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.
 Breakfast: At the hotel (depending on flight schedule).
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Lonely Planet Phrasebooks: Latin American Spanish


Author: Roberto Esposto


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



Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide


Author: Louise H. Emmons & François Feer


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



A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica


Author: Gary Stiles and Alexander Skutch


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



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


Author: Jeffery M. Paige


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



Costa Rica Adventure Map


Author: National Geographic


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



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


Author: Joseph Franke and Joseph Dimijian


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



Costa Rica, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Barbara Ras


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



Costa Rican Wildlife


Author: Pocket Naturalist


Description: Put it in your pocket! This handy, fold-up card includes color illustrations of dozens of typical birds, mammals and reptiles.



Culture Smart! Costa Rica


Author: Jane Koutnik


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



Lonely Planet Costa Rica Country Guide


Author: Lonely Planet


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



Lonely Planet Costa Rican Spanish


Author: Lonely Planet


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



Mammals of Costa Rica


Author: Fiona Reid


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



National Geographic Costa Rica


Author: Christopher P. Baker


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



The Birds of Costa Rica


Author: Richard Garrigues, Robert Dean (Illustrator)


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



The Penguin History of Latin America


Author: Edwin Williamson


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



The Ticos


Author: Richard Biesanz


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



The Wildlife of Costa Rica, A Field Guide


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


Description: Designed to take along on a walk in the forest, this latest compact Zona Tropical guide includes 450 of the most common, interesting and charismatic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods that you are likely to encounter in the field. Each gets an exquisite full color illustration.



Tropical Nature


Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata


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



Tropical Plants of Costa Rica


Author: Willow Zuchowski


Description: Organized by habitat, this photo guide to 400 species has chapters on popular destinations, including Monteverde and Tortuguero.





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