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Costa Rica

From Monkeys to Macaws: Colorful Costa Rica With Your Grandchild

Program No. 3636RJ
Fly a little south of the U.S. to discover a world of chatty macaws, playful monkeys, industrious leaf cutter ants and butterflies as you explore Costa Rica with your grandchild.

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At a Glance

A scarlet macaw swooping overhead. A trek through the green rainforest. A large crocodile gliding unnoticed in the river. 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 and buses. 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 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • 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 view a large volcano.
  • 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.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
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Alex Ramirez
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.

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

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 Erick Guzman
Erick Guzman View biography
Costa Rica’s tropical rainforest with its glorious biodiversity was the childhood playground of Erick Guzman, who grew up in the country’s Caribbean lowlands. He enjoyed accompanying travelers on boat excursions during his post-high school years, assisting his father, and went on to work in the field of adventure travel, leading rafting, kayaking, horseback riding and hiking trips. Erick then worked at the La Selva field station of the Organization for Tropical Studies, interacting with scientists and deepening his knowledge of Costa Rica’s natural habitats.
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Erick Miranda View biography
Erick Miranda hails from Costa Rica’s historic Heredia, a region dotted with coffee plantations and forests. As a young boy, he dreamed of becoming a naturalist guide. He attended a prestigious research center where he studied natural history and honed his interpretive skills. Erick has been a licensed naturalist guide and group leader for more than a decade, as well as a personal cross-training fitness coach. He has traveled extensively within Costa Rica and wishes to start adding some international destinations to his travel list.
Profile Image of Fabián Salas
Fabián Salas View biography
Fabián Salas was born in Ciudad Quesada and moved to Sarapiquí when he was six days old. He was raised on a black pepper and cattle farm. In high school, he studied ecotourism and worked as a rafting guide on the weekends and during vacations. He graduated college in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Geography. He has been working full time as a group leader in Sarapiquí since 2012, leading rafting and floating trips as well as family trips in Costa Rica.
Profile Image of Andrés Ramirez
Andrés Ramirez View biography
Andrés Ramirez is a Costa Rican naturalist leader and wildlife photographer. The natural world has always been a part of his life, starting in his early years growing up in a rural town and visiting his grandfather's farm. Andrés has a degree in ecological tourism from the University of Costa Rica and trained at the National Learning Institute to become a certified guide. A love and talent for photography led him to study digital photography at Fundatec and turn a hobby into a career.
Profile Image of Lizeth Alfaro
Lizeth Alfaro View biography
Lizeth Alfaro is a Costa Rican naturalist expedition leader, flower therapist, and bee keeper. She earned her qualifications in sustainable tourism and became a national guide by the time she turned 18. Growing up among the rich biodiversity of the northern Caribbean lowlands gave her an early appreciation for nature and awareness of local conservation efforts. In her free time, Lizeth enjoys bee keeping, painting, and herbology.
Profile Image of Andrey Acosta
Andrey Acosta View biography
Andrey Acosta is a certified Costa Rican naturalist expedition leader and a birding and photography enthusiast. The ocean was his first love, and many childhood memories involve swimming and playing with friends at the beach in his hometown of Puntarenas. He discovered birdwatching and wildlife photography while studying ecotourism at the Universidad de Costa Rica. As cash-strapped students, Andrey and friends birded on a budget, assisting in bird counts and volunteering. He has led educational groups since 2015 and is also a licensed scuba diver.
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Willy Aguilar View biography
Willy Aguilar is a certified Costa Rican naturalist expedition leader with a background in tourism administration. After giving the office environment a try, he was disappointed to discover it was too sedentary to his liking. This valuable learning experience led him to pursue his studies and training to become an expedition leader. Willy enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, and kayaking, but his true passion is wildlife observation—especially birding. Willy speaks English and French in addition to his native Spanish.
Profile Image of Vinicio Viquez
Vinicio Viquez View biography
Vinicio “Vinny” Víquez grew up in Heredia province in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. He studied biology at university, and began working as a naturalist in the 1990s. He considers himself an ambassador of Costa Rica. Each visitor presents an opportunity – not just to share favorite birds and amphibians – but also to plant a seed to spread appreciation of his diverse homeland. Vinny and his family live on a small coffee plantation in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific highlands.
Profile Image of Randy Alvarado
Randy Alvarado View biography
Randy Alvarado hails from Costa Rica's Caribbean lowlands. Early on, he was inspired by his grandfather's work as a park ranger at La Selva Biological Research Station. He studied eco-tourism and earned his national certification under the encouragement of some uncles who are naturalists and birding expedition leaders. Randy has worked for nature reserves around the Sarapiqui region and as a freelance expedition leader. His favorite hobbies are wildlife photography and birding.
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