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

Program Number: 20797RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/13/2015 - 7/22/2015; 12/21/2015 - 12/30/2015; 12/23/2015 - 1/1/2016; 12/23/2015 - 1/1/2016; 6/29/2016 - 7/8/2016; 7/8/2016 - 7/17/2016; 7/14/2016 - 7/23/2016; 7/21/2016 - 7/30/2016; 7/27/2016 - 8/5/2016; 12/21/2016 - 12/30/2016; 12/23/2016 - 1/1/2017; 12/26/2016 - 1/4/2017;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: Costa Rica
Price starting at: $1,998.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Family Programs; Intergenerational
Meals: 25; 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

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


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

Activity Particulars

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

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

This is a family program for participants, their adult children and grandchildren ages 9 and up.

Date Specific Information

7-13-2015, 12-23-2015

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

12-21-2015, 12-23-2015

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

6-29-2016, 7-8-2016, 7-14-2016, 7-21-2016, 7-27-2016, 12-21-2016, 12-23-2016, 12-26-2016

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

Itinerary Summary

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

Days 1-2
Arrival San José
2 nights

A visit to a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center introduces young learners to animal conservation efforts in the country. At INBIO Park, interpreted nature trails and multi-media exhibits showcase Costa Rica’s famed biodiversity and its nature parks and reserves. Lodging: Comfortable suburban hotel.

Days 3-4
Coach and boat to Tortuguero
2 nights

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

Days 5-6
Coach to Arenal Volcano
2 nights

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

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

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

Costa Rica

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

Comfortable hotels, river front lodge.
Meals and Lodgings
   Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica
  San José, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Pachira Lodge
  Tortuguero, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Arenal Paraiso
  Arenal, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Hotel Punta Leona
  Punta Leona, Costa Rica 2 nights
   Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center
  San José, Costa Rica 1 night
 Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Radisson Hotel San José is conveniently situated in the commercial district near San José's historic center.
  Contact info: Calle Central y Tercera Av. 15
Calle Blancos
San José,   Costa Rica
phone: +506-20106000
  Room amenities: Private bathroom, hair dryer, air conditioning, alarm clock radio, Sleep Number® beds, Wi-Fi, in-room safe, iPod dock, coffee maker, mini bar/refrigerator, flat screen TV and cable channels, and two telephone lines.
  Facility amenities: Business center, Wi-Fi, fitness center, whirlpool and pool, executive lounge, on-site casino, spacious meeting rooms, laundry services, 24-hr room service, and two on-site restaurants. The hotel is able to offer airport shuttle services for an additional charge. This service must be booked in advance, directly through the hotel. Email requests can be sent to
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Please contact your program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or for questions about room availability and prices. Room types and rates are subject to availability.

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

 Arenal Paraiso
Type: Hotel
  Description: All rooms have views of the Arenal Volcano
  Contact info: n/a
Arenal,   Costa Rica
phone: +5062-460-5333
  Room amenities: Hair dryer, mini refrigerator, cable TV, and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, 3 pools, 14 hot-spring fed mineral pools, bar, zip line, and spa.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Hotel Punta Leona
Type: Resort
  Description: Tropical rainforest and beach resort located on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Part of the 750 acres is a nature reserve boasting 250 species of birds, a variety of monkeys, sloths, armadillos and a macaw breeding project.
  Contact info: Road to Tarcoles
Punta Leona,   Costa Rica
phone: +506-22313131
  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 Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. Hotel check-out by 11 a.m. You will be staying at Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Proof of vaccination is required from travelers arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic. If traveling with a child under 18, the adult companion/s should carry a notarized authorization letter from at least one parent or legal guardians showing that they are allowed to travel with the child and make decisions in the event of a medical emergency. It is always best to renew your passport before it reaches the six month validity date--especially if you plan on doing future travel. For more information about entry requirements please contact the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, DC at tel: (202) 234-2945/46 or visit
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  San José
  Nearest city or town:  San José
  Nearest airport:  Juan Santamaria International Airport
  Transportation to site: There are two types of taxi services available at the Juan Santamaria International Airport. The most reliable one is the Taxis Unidos Aeropuerto--the official airport taxi service. A Taxis Unidos kiosk is located at the airport exit. The drivers wear company uniforms and the orange taxis have the Taxis Unidos logo emblazoned on the driver's door and passenger's door. The taxis are metered and fares can be paid in dollars or colones. There are also regular metered taxis available outside the airport exit. These are typically red with medallions (yellow triangles containing numbers) painted on the side. Although these are usually a cheaper option, we suggest using the official taxis for the sake of safety and reliable fares.
  From End of Program
  Location: San José
  Transportation from site: Taxi services are available at the hotel. If you wish to hire a taxi, please ask for assistance at the hotel's front desk.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Elevation Note: Elevations up to 5,000 ft.

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

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive in San José, Costa Rica.
(Monday, July 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: Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica

Day 2: San José -
INBio Park and Toucan Rescue Ranch.

(Tuesday, July 14)

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.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Orientation meeting followed by an introductory Spanish lesson by your group leader.

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.

Field trip to INBIO Park to view animals and wildlife.

The National Institute for Biodiversity (INBio Parkque) provides a sensory experience combining interpreted nature trails with multimedia technology in its bio-exhibits. Visitors learn about Costa Rica's biodiversity and the efforts in conservation through establishment of protected areas. As example of sustainable use of biodiversity, visitors will learn about medicinal, aromatic and ornamental plants, fruit trees and agricultural products.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch we will enjoy an excursion to the Toucan Rescue Ranch to learn about wildlife conservation.

The Toucan Rescue Ranch is a licensed wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center located just outside San José. The facility takes in confiscated, injured, and sick animals and rehabilitates them in preparation for release back to the wild. The ranch is also the home of many rescued animals that could not be returned safely to their natural environment.

Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Movie and popcorn at the hotel.
Accommodations: Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

(Wednesday, July 15)

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

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

The sleepy little coastal village of Tortuguero is situated on the southern end of a 6-km-long sandspit that is sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea to the East and the Laguna del Tortuguero to the West. The motorized boat ride through the waterways is just an appetizer for the avid naturalist.

Arrive at the lodge and check-in.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Afternoon visit to Tortuguero village to explore village life and learn about coconut processing.

Return to the lodge.
Time at leisure for pool games.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Evening turtle walk. Please note that dark clothes and sturdy closed-toed shoes are required for this walk.

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

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

(Thursday, July 16)

Note: Walking on unpaved, and potentially muddy, forest trails.

 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Early morning canal safari.

Look for endemic and migrant birds as well as howler monkeys, caimans, bats, turtles, and more! Although wildlife observation tends to take the front seat during these activities, do not ignore the unique flora of this lush region. Some of the important trees and plants found here include the kativo, almendro, sangrillo, and pachira.

Return to the lodge.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Guided walk in Tortuguero National Park.

Tortuguero National Park is located in one of the rainiest regions of Costa Rica. It is also an area of incredible biological diversity, with at least eleven identified habitats. A scenic natural channel and navigable river mouths form the park from the southwest to the northeast. These riverways and swamps are the habitat of species of land tortoises, which can be seen sunning themselves on drifting logs or in the floating islands formed by vegetation. The canals also provide shelter to a variety of species in danger of extinction and are excellent locations to observe the different species of aquatic birds.

Return to the lodge.
Time at leisure for pool games.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Nocturnal walk in search of frogs and insects.
Accommodations: Pachira Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Arenal -
Introduction to Volcanoes.

(Friday, July 17)

Note: River boat ride from Tortuguero to the dock: 1.5 hours. Bus transfer to Arenal takes approximately 3.5 hours.

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

Lecture: Arenal Volcano.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
Accommodations: Arenal Paraiso
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

(Saturday, July 18)

Note: Walking on unpaved forest trails and volcanic rocks.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Arenal Volcano National Park with a walk around the base of the volcano.

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

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

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

The small and charming town of Fortuna has changed quite a bit from the village that witnessed the eruptions of Arenal Volcano in 1968. Once a small agricultural community, Fortuna has grown in the shadow of the colossus that once burned and devastated large areas. Tourism is now the most important income for the region. Although now on a second level of economic importance, many plantations in the surrounding areas still produce important amounts of papaya, sugar cane, tapioca and ornamental plants.
 Evening: Enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Accommodations: Arenal Paraiso
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Pacific Coast -
Tarcoles Crocodile Safari.

(Sunday, July 19)

Note: Bus drive to Pacific Coast takes approximately 4 hours. The hotel at this site is not able to accommodate triples by providing a rollaway or cot. If you are three people rooming together you will be expected to share beds at this property. Participants who prefer to reserve an extra room for these two nights can do so for an additional, non-refundable, fee of $75. Please call the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 to reserve and pay for this additional service.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the Pacific Coast.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Crocodile Safari boat ride (approx. 1.5 hours) on the Tarcoles River.

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

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

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

Day 8: Pacific Coast -
Swimming and Kayaking Activities.

(Monday, July 20)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Sea kayaking from the mouth of the Agujas River to Limones Beach. Opportunity for swimming.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the beaches and pools.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Free time.
Accommodations: Hotel Punta Leona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

(Tuesday, July 21)

Note: Please wear comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes for the zip line activity. Bus drive from the Pacific Coast to San José takes approximately 2 hours.

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

Canopy Vista Los Suenos is situated in Herradura, on Costa Rica's Central Pacific Coast. Adventurers come here to enjoy the thrill of whizzing through the forest canopy on zip lines while nature lovers rejoice in the sights and sounds of the forest. The experience begins with a leisurely tractor ride up the mountain followed by a heart-pumping descent via a network of zip lines and platforms. Enjoy beautiful views of the Gulf of Nicoya and Herradura Bay and learn about the unique flora and fauna of the park's transitional forest.

Return to the hotel and freshen-up before checking out.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Transfer to San José.
Arrive at the hotel and check-in.
Final briefing with local coordinator.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Spend your last evening in Costa Rica chatting 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 10: Depart from San José-
Arrive in the U.S.

(Wednesday, July 22)
 Breakfast: At the hotel (dependent on flight times).
 Morning: Transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for flight to U.S.

This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.

Note: Participants with independent travel arrangements and/or scheduled on later flights can keep their hotel rooms until check-out time on this day. Except for breakfast, all other meals are on your own on this day.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Tortuguero Beach walk, kayak canals, boat ride, fish, hike to Tortuguero Hill, or take a canopy tour.
The beach walk is famed as the nesting site of the largest population of sea turtles in the Caribbean. The turtles lay their eggs between June and September. Kayaking the canals provides the best opportunity to get close to the wildlife and is also good exercise. Boat rides are available to explore the rivers and canals. Fishing can be organized by contacting the local fishing guides. Hiking to the top of Tortuguero Hill has become a popular activity for those looking for exercise and the opportunity to get a bird's-eye view of the national park. For additional information, visit
  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

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, 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.

Into The Volcano

Author: Donna O'Meara

Description: O'Meara's lively, illustrated eyewitness accounts of adventures in volcanology include Arenal in Costa Rica, Kilauea in Hawaii and Stromboli off the coast of Italy. Geared for grades 5 to 8, this is a great introduction to volcanoes for the whole family.

Monkeys are Made of Chocolate, Exotic and Unseen Costa Rica

Author: Jack Ewing

Description: Ewing, founder of Hacienda Baru in southern Costa Rica, weaves tales of the rainforest, wildlife, ecology and conservation in these 32 marvelous essays for the whole family.

Nancy Drew, The Scarlet Macaw Scandal

Author: Carolyn Keene

Description: Nancy and her friends head for Costa Rica's Corcovado National Park to relax and study monkeys when they stumble upon, naturally, a mystery to be solved.

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.

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 Field Guide to Rain Forest Animals

Author: Nancy Honovich

Description: A unique children's guide to eight Amazon animals that includes photographs, illustrations, maps, fascinating facts and a diorama activity. Written for ages eight and up.

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 Most Beautiful Roof in the World

Author: Kathryn Lasky, Christopher Knight (Photographer)

Description: A tropical botanist and her sons climb among the ropes and walkways of a rainforest canopy in this photographic odyssey. For ages 9-12.

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.

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

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

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

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