Costa Rica

From Monkeys to Macaws: Colorful Costa Rica With Your Grandchild

Fly a little south of the U.S. to discover a world of chatty macaws, playful monkeys, towering waterfalls and gentle sea turtles as you explore exciting Costa Rica with your grandchild.
Rating (5)
Program No. 3636RJ
10 days
Starts at
2,449 / ADULT
1,999 / CHILD
Flights start at

At a Glance

A scarlet macaw swooping overhead. A trek through the green rainforest. A baby Hawksbill sea turtle skitters toward the ocean. Postcards simply won’t do Costa Rica justice – you have to experience it for yourself! Alongside your grandchild, search for truly amazing animals, like sloths and howler monkeys, as you march through the rainforest, sail along the rivers, kayak the warm waters and zipline over the jungle on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure together. On this week-long journey, you’ll learn about all the colorful landscapes on walks through nature and across hanging bridges as you both go wild in Costa Rica.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to 1.5 hours a day over uneven trails in hot and humid conditions, zip lining, swimming activities, and getting in and out of boats. Elevations up to 5,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Keep your eyes peeled for sloths, iguanas, monkeys, crocs and more as you float along the Sarapiqui and Tarcoles Rivers with an expert naturalist.
  • Hold onto your helmets as you zipline over the jungle and walk over hanging bridges to amazing waterfalls.
  • Polly want a cracker? Explore a local farm where silly macaws fly about and learn how the locals are trying to protect them.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 9-11 or 12-14 or 15-17, depending on the date. This program allows participants to explore a number of Costa Rica’s eco-systems in a relatively short amount of time. Bus travel is a necessity for an up-close experience, but program activities help to break up travel time. Local road conditions, weather, traffic and elevation are factors in determining time of travel.
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.
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.
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 Sea Turtle, So Excellent a Fishe
by Archie Carr
An appreciative and informative account of the sea turtle, its ecology and field work in Costa Rica by the man who did so much to promote sea turtle research and conservation, first published in 1967. Karen Bjorndal, director of the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, brings the story up to date in a new foreword.
The Field Guide to Rain Forest Animals
by Nancy Honovich
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.
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.
Costa Rica Adventure Map
by National Geographic
A double-sided map at a scale of 1:500,000.
Into The Volcano
by Donna O'Meara
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.
The Most Beautiful Roof in the World
by Kathryn Lasky, Christopher Knight (Photographer)
A tropical botanist and her sons climb among the ropes and walkways of a rainforest canopy in this photographic odyssey. For ages 9-12.
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.
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.
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.
Monkeys are Made of Chocolate, Exotic and Unseen Costa Rica
by Jack Ewing
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
by Carolyn Keene
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eyewitness Jungle
by Theresa Greenaway, Geoff Dann (Photographer)
Geared for ages 9 to 12, the hundreds of eye-popping photographs of birds, monkeys, towering trees, orchids and all manner of rainforest life will also appeal to the whole family.
Costa Rican Spanish
by Lonely Planet
A pocket guide to understanding idioms, slang and Spanish as it is spoken by the Ticos.
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.

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