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Costa Rica

Costa Rica at a Slower Pace: Natural Wonders by Water & Land

Program No. 17988RJ
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.”
Length
11 days
Rating (4.97)
Activity Level
Starts at
2,749
Flights start at
500

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 8 - Mar 18, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Mar 13 - Mar 23, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Mar 20 - Mar 30, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Apr 12 - Apr 22, 2023
Starting at
2,749
Apr 17 - Apr 27, 2023
Starting at
2,749
Apr 20 - Apr 30, 2023
Starting at
2,749
May 8 - May 18, 2023
Starting at
2,749
Sep 25 - Oct 5, 2023
Starting at
2,749
Oct 9 - Oct 19, 2023
Starting at
2,749
Oct 23 - Nov 2, 2023
Starting at
2,749
Nov 2 - Nov 12, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Nov 8 - Nov 18, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Dec 3 - Dec 13, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Dec 10 - Dec 20, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Jan 10 - Jan 20, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Jan 21 - Jan 31, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Jan 29 - Feb 8, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Feb 4 - Feb 14, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Feb 6 - Feb 16, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Feb 12 - Feb 22, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Feb 28 - Mar 9, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Mar 3 - Mar 13, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Mar 11 - Mar 21, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Mar 17 - Mar 27, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Apr 10 - Apr 20, 2024
Starting at
2,849
Apr 24 - May 4, 2024
Starting at
2,849
May 10 - May 20, 2024
Starting at
2,849
May 22 - Jun 1, 2024
Starting at
2,849
Aug 12 - Aug 22, 2024
Starting at
2,849
Sep 18 - Sep 28, 2024
Starting at
2,849
Oct 6 - Oct 16, 2024
Starting at
2,849
Oct 22 - Nov 1, 2024
Starting at
2,849
Nov 4 - Nov 14, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Nov 9 - Nov 19, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Dec 3 - Dec 13, 2024
Starting at
3,049
Dec 10 - Dec 20, 2024
Starting at
3,049
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 8 - Mar 18, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Mar 13 - Mar 23, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Mar 20 - Mar 30, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Apr 12 - Apr 22, 2023
Starting at
3,079
Apr 17 - Apr 27, 2023
Starting at
3,079
Apr 20 - Apr 30, 2023
Starting at
3,079
May 8 - May 18, 2023
Starting at
3,079
Sep 25 - Oct 5, 2023
Starting at
3,079
Oct 9 - Oct 19, 2023
Starting at
3,079
Oct 23 - Nov 2, 2023
Starting at
3,079
Nov 2 - Nov 12, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Nov 8 - Nov 18, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Dec 3 - Dec 13, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Dec 10 - Dec 20, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Jan 10 - Jan 20, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Jan 21 - Jan 31, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Jan 29 - Feb 8, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Feb 4 - Feb 14, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Feb 6 - Feb 16, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Feb 12 - Feb 22, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Feb 28 - Mar 9, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Mar 3 - Mar 13, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Mar 11 - Mar 21, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Mar 17 - Mar 27, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Apr 10 - Apr 20, 2024
Starting at
3,259
Apr 24 - May 4, 2024
Starting at
3,259
May 10 - May 20, 2024
Starting at
3,259
May 22 - Jun 1, 2024
Starting at
3,259
Aug 12 - Aug 22, 2024
Starting at
3,259
Sep 18 - Sep 28, 2024
Starting at
3,259
Oct 6 - Oct 16, 2024
Starting at
3,259
Oct 22 - Nov 1, 2024
Starting at
3,259
Nov 4 - Nov 14, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Nov 9 - Nov 19, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Dec 3 - Dec 13, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Dec 10 - Dec 20, 2024
Starting at
3,599

At a Glance

Enjoy the natural history, biodiversity and friendly attitude of Costa Rica at a leisurely pace 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.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Walking up to a few blocks unassisted and climbing stairs. Activities take place near the hotels. Program not recommended for participants with walkers/rollators or wheelchairs due to limited storage space on the bus and lack of handicap accessible locations.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • 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.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Pedro Bosques
Pedro Bosques is a veteran Road Scholar instructor and group leader, with approximately 20 years of experience in hosting lifelong learners in Costa Rica. Although born in Puntarenas, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, Pedro grew up in San José. His interest in conservation blossomed when he began working at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve as a field assistant. During this time he colaborated with researchers and biologists in projects including the study of the behavior and migration of the Three-wattled Bellbird and reforestation of the biological corridor in the Monteverde region. Pedro is a certified naturalist leader who enjoys sharing his knowledge with travelers from around the world. He looks forward to hosting you in this program and enhancing your journey in his beautiful country.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Pedro Bosques
Pedro Bosques View biography
Pedro Bosques is a veteran Road Scholar instructor and group leader, with approximately 20 years of experience in hosting lifelong learners in Costa Rica. Although born in Puntarenas, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, Pedro grew up in San José. His interest in conservation blossomed when he began working at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve as a field assistant. During this time he colaborated with researchers and biologists in projects including the study of the behavior and migration of the Three-wattled Bellbird and reforestation of the biological corridor in the Monteverde region. Pedro is a certified naturalist leader who enjoys sharing his knowledge with travelers from around the world. He looks forward to hosting you in this program and enhancing your journey in his beautiful country.
Profile Image of Alex Ramirez
Alex Ramirez View biography
Raised since age 5 in Chilamate, Costa Rica, Alex Ramirez developed a passion for nature working at a local rainforest lodge and nature reserve, showing a special interest in the gardens, butterflies, birds and frogs. Fluent in English, Alex has conducted important research at INBIO, Costa Rica's Institute for Biodiversity and Conservation Research.
Profile Image of Jorge Mario Carballo
Jorge Mario Carballo View biography
Jorgé was born in Golfito, a quaint Costa Rican port town, where he studied English from a young age. Empowered by his quick mastery of the language and inspired by his love of nature and his country, Jorgé decided to work in the educational travel industry. He graduated from a training program where he received both practical and theoretical training on the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. More than two decades later, Jorgé continues to lead visitors across Costa Rica, sharing his vast knowledge.
Profile Image of Ivan Castillo
Ivan Castillo View biography
Ivan Castillo — a Costa Rican naturalist and avid birder — trained as a naturalist at the Organization for Tropical Studies La Selva Biological Research Station. He has a degree in sustainable tourism management from Costa Rica’s state university system. While growing up in the lowland rainforests of Sarapiqui, Costa Rica, Ivan's passion for nature developed early. Neotropical fauna and flora are what he loves and knows best. He has spent more than a decade leading ecotourism travelers and educating them on the region’s ecosystems.
Profile Image of Jenny Oviedo
Jenny Oviedo View biography
Jenny Oviedo is a Costa Rican naturalist with an innate gift for communication. Before deciding to become a licensed naturalist, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English as a second language (ESL) from the University of Costa Rica and learned Portuguese at the Brazilian Center. Jenny’s work as a naturalist expedition leader has taken her all over her country as well as parts of Panama. She hopes to return to university in the near future to complete her biology degree.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Monkeys Are Made Of Chocolate: Exotic And Unseen Costa Rica
by Jack Ewing
When Jack Ewing moved his family to Costa Rica in 1970 and purchased a hacienda, he saw himself becoming a cattle rancher. He could never have anticipated that one day he would devote himself to reforesting the very land he had worked so hard to clear for farming. Hacienda Barú is now a popular nature wildlife refuge and a success story for proponents of biological corridors. Ewing's storytelling talents lend themselves well to this collection of essays on nature, biodiversity and cultural traditions in rural Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Adventure Map
by National Geographic
A double-sided map at a scale of 1:500,000.
The Ticos
by Richard Biesanz
This insightful, fact-filled portrait of the Costa Rican people details their culture, history and society.
Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A Field Guide
by L.H. Emmons
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.
National Geographic Costa Rica
by Christopher P. Baker
This stylish and informative travel resource features 200 photographs, many maps and good information on the country's history, nature and culture.
The Monkey's Bridge, Mysteries of Evolution in Central America
by David Rains Wallace
Opening this absorbing account of the history and biogeography of the Central American isthmus with the tale of Columbus, Wallace often weaves his own travels in the region with a crisp overview of exploration, nature and evolution. Natural history buffs and ecologically minded travelers will appreciate this valuable resource.
The Wildlife of Costa Rica, A Field Guide
by Twan Leenders, Robert Dean, Jim Zook, Fiona Reid
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.
Wild Costa Rica
by Adrian Hepworth
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.
Costa Rica, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Barbara Ras
These 26 well-chosen stories by Costa Rican writers introduce the people, culture and land.
The Birds of Costa Rica
by Richard Garrigues, Robert Dean (Illustrator)
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.
Costa Rican Spanish
by Lonely Planet
A pocket guide to understanding idioms, slang and Spanish as it is spoken by the Ticos.
Culture Smart! Costa Rica
by Jane Koutnik
History, religion, daily life, food, health and safety are all covered in this accessible pocket guide to Costa Rican customs, etiquette and culture.
The Green Republic: A Conservation History of Costa Rica
by Sterling Evans
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.
Costa Rican Wildlife
by Pocket Naturalist
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.
Tropical Nature
by Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata
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.
Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths
by James Kavanagh
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
by Steven Palmer (Editor), Ivan Molina (Editor)
A lively, literate sourcebook on the politics, economy and society of Costa Rica
A Brief History of Central America
by Hector Perez-Brignoll
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, A Journey Through Nature
by Adrian Hepworth
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.
Nature of the Rainforest, Costa Rica and Beyond
by Adrian Forsyth, E.O. Wilson (Introduction), Michael Fogden (Photographer)
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.
Volcanoes, Crucibles of Change
by Richard Fisher
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.





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