20797
Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Pura Vida: An Environmental Family Adventure
Discover the natural wonders of Costa Rica with your family as you learn about an active volcano, search for wildlife walk with turtle expert and kayak along the Pacific Coast.
Rating (4.8)
Program No. 20797RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
1,899
Flights start at
455
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
10 days
9 nights
26 meals
9 B 8 L 9 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Arrive in San José, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
San José
D
Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica

Activity note: Participants must book flights that arrive into San José, Costa Rica no later than 4:30 p.m. on this day if they plan on attending the program orientation. Please note that some Road Scholar gateways will require the use of overnight flights in order to get participants to San José by the suggested time.

Afternoon: 6 p.m. program orientation at the hotel. 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.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
2
Doka Plantation, Poas Volcano National Park
San José
B,L,D
Radisson Hotel San José - Costa Rica

Activity 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: Introductory Spanish Lesson by Group Leader – common words. Enjoy a lecture on History of Costa Rica at the hotel. Field trip to the Doka Coffee Plantation to learn how coffee is grown, harvested, and processed. The Doka Coffee Estate is owned by the Vargas Ruiz family and is located in Sabanilla, Alajuela near the Poás Volcano. The estate welcomes visitors to learn more about the rich dark brew that is loved by millions of people around the world. Here, visitors experience the subject of coffee from seedling to the cup through a hands-on walk through the plantation, processing plant, and roasting plant. If you are a coffee lover, you will enjoy plenty of opportunities to sample the finished product.

Lunch: At the Doka Coffee Plantation.

Afternoon: Excursion to Poás Volcano National Park. The 1,600 acres that comprise the Poás Volcano National Park, include winding trails that traverse cloud forest habitats; this alone is worth the journey. However, what truly makes the site so memorable is the view that few other volcano parks can offer. At Poás, visitors have the opportunity to literally walk to the edge of the active volcano. From the top of the viewing platform it is possible to look into the flooded volcano crater. Although Poás has not erupted since 1950, the constant release of steam provides a reminder of its potential. Return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Time at leisure.

DAY
3
Los Sueños Canopy Adventure
Punta Leona
B,L,D
Hotel Punta Leona

Activity note: Bus drive to Pacific Coast takes approximately 2 hours. If you are three people rooming together, you'll be expected to share beds at this hotel (room has 2 double beds/bed size 4'6" x 6'3"). The hotel at this site is unable to provide a rollaway or cot as a third bed. Those who don't wish to share a bed can reserve an extra room for these two nights for an additional, non-refundable, fee of $75. Please call the program provider at 1-800-8667111 to reserve and pay for this additional service.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to the Pacific Coast. Departure for the Canopy Vista Los Sueños for a zip lining adventure. Canopy Vista Los Sueños 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.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue with the transfer to the Pacific Coast. Arrive at the hotel and check-in. Free time to enjoy the hotel amenities.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Time at leisure.

DAY
4
Swimming & Kayaking Activities
Punta Leona
B,L,D
Hotel Punta Leona

Breakfast: At the hotel.

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

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the hotel's beaches and pools.

Dinner: Christmas Eve dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Time at leisure.

DAY
5
Crocodile Safari, Transfer to Sarapiqui.
Sarapiqui
B,L,D
Selva Verde Lodge

Activity note: Bus drive from Pacific Coast to Sarapiqui takes approximately 3.5 to 4 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning we’ll check out of our hotel and enjoy the Crocodile Safari boat ride on the Tarcoles River (approx. 1.5 hours). **Note: this activity is tide dependent and may need to be offered at a different time of day. If necessary, the Crocodile Safari and the Los Sueños Canopy Adventure will switch places on your itinerary. 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. Continue with transfer to Sarapiqui, in Costa Rica's Caribbean lowlands.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, en route.

Afternoon: Arrive at hotel and check-in. Sarapiquí 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. Free time for pool games. Before dinner enjoy a lecture on Costa Rica's Biodiversity.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: Nocturnal walk along the lodge trails in search of frogs and insects.

DAY
6
Sarapiqui, Rafting, Hanging Bridges, Cacao, Latin Dancing
Sarapiqui
B,L,D
Selva Verde Lodge

Breakfast: At the lodge.

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

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: This afternoon, visit a local cacao plantation at Tirimbina Rainforest Center for an up-close look at local agricultural practices and the making of artisanal chocolate. Explore the center's nature reserve through walks along hanging bridges and forest trails. Tirimbina is a nature center located in the La Tirimbina community, in the northeastern lowlands of Costa Rica. Their primary mission is to provide environmental education and promote research opportunities that will eventually lead to conservation. The organization works closely with schools in the region (4th - 6th grades), offering inquiry-based learning activities that help to raise environmental awareness and appreciation within the local communities. Return to the lodge.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: Latin dancing is recognized as an exemplary form of cardio exercise. Laugh, dance and socialize while learning the basics during a Latin dance class.

DAY
7
Tortuguero Village, Nighttime Nature Walk
Tortuguero
B,L,D
Pachira Lodge

Activity note: The bus drive from Sarapiqui to the dock to takes approximately 2.5 hours. There will be an en route stop for breakfast at a local restaurant. River boat ride to Tortuguero takes approximately 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: Early morning transfer to Tortuguero. Breakfast at a local restaurant, 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.

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 lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Expert Led Walk in Tortuguero National Park, Boat Safari
Tortuguero
B,L,D
Pachira Lodge

Activity 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 is located on the Caribbean coast, south of Nicaragua, and fifty miles north of Limon. The Tortuguero National Park embodies Caribbean beaches, with a surprising array of plant associations, including swamp forest, lowland rainforest and a picturesque network of natural waterways. Navigating through the river and canals of Tortuguero reveals an incredible diversity of plant and animal life including more than 100 reptiles, 60 mammal species, and hundreds of bird species. Return to the lodge. Time at leisure for pool games.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: Nocturnal walk in search of frogs and insects.

DAY
9
Morning Birding, Return to San Jose, Farewell Dinner
San José
B,L,D
Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel & Convention Center

Activity note: River boat ride from Tortuguero to boat dock: 1.5 hours. The bus drive to San José takes approximately 3 hours.

Breakfast: Optional early morning birding. Breakfast at the lodge.

Morning: Boat transfer to Caño Blanco dock and continue by bus to San José.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Arrive at the hotel and check-in. Final briefing with the 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.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Breakfast: At the hotel (dependent on flight times).

Morning: Transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for international flights to the U.S. Departure flight times are dependent on airlines and routes used. Participants must vacate their hotel rooms by the property's stipulated check-out time. 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.






Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback