• Costa Rica

Overview

The wonders of the rainforest are at your fingertips. Enjoy exciting nature tours by day & under the moonlight. Visit local farms & volunteer at a local school. Learn about organic & sustainable agriculture, plant biodiversity, & ecosystem processes. See fascinating wildlife & participate in hands-on activities. 

Highlights

  • Veragua Rainforest Research & Adventure Park – Features a tour with a local naturalist guide to learn about conservation efforts & field works & a tree-top ride on the aerial tram.
  • Community Volunteering – Visit a local school. Activities include teaching English & constructing & restoring buildings.
  • Tirimbina Biological Reserve – Home to 300 different species of birds & over five miles of hiking trails. See a chocolate making demo, participate in hands-on ecology activities, & explore the rainforest at night.
  • Coffee farm – Learn about sustainable agriculture & the practice of fair trade.
  • Organic farm – Learn the traditional method for extracting sugar cane & enjoy prepared meals that feature products grown on the farm.
  • Monteverde – Explore two cloud forest ecosystems which feature a diverse variety of flora & fauna.
  • Manuel Antonio National Park – Features white sand beaches, coral reefs, forests, swamps, lagoons, & a diverse selection of wildlife.
  • Optional Activities – Enjoy bird-watching at the Tirimbina Reserve & a boat trip on the Sarapiquí River.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: San José

Arrive in sunny San José & transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Learn about Costa Rica’s history & culture at the National Museum, stroll through the Central Market, or take a walk in one of the city’s beautiful parks.

Day 2: San José – Limón

Depart San José early this morning & head for the Veragua Rainforest Research & Adventure Park in the province of Limón. Enjoy taking the Guápiles Highway route, which runs through Braulio Carrillo National Park, a protected natural area consisting of several volcanoes & about 6,000 plant species. Upon arrival at the adventure park, take a tour with a local naturalist guide to learn about conservation efforts & field works that monitor the population of species who call the rainforest home. Next, grab your binoculars for a tree-top ride on the aerial tram. Learn about the symbiotic relationship between the animals & plants of the forest. 

Day 3: Limón – La Virgen de Sarapiquí

Volunteer at a local school this morning. Activities include teaching English & constructing & restoring buildings. Afterward, travel to La Virgen de Sarapiquí to visit the Tirimbina Biological Reserve, home to 300 different species of birds. Enjoy a guided natural history walk along the Reserve’s trails & a chocolate tour, which includes a demonstration on the process of making chocolate from the cacao plant. Later this evening, view a film on the history & life cycle of bats & get a close-up look at these unique creatures of the night. 

Day 4: La Virgen de Sarapiquí

Enjoy other fascinating activities at the Tirimbina Reserve today. Participate in an ecology education program. Enjoy hands-on activities while learning about aquatic ecosystems & how to analyze water quality. Visit a local coffee farm to learn about sustainable agriculture & the practice of fair trade. This evening, take a walk through the rainforest on the frog tour & discover many amphibian species native to Costa Rica. 

Day 5: La Virgen de Sarapiquí - La Fortuna

Participate in an educational activity on plant biodiversity before leaving the Tirimbina Reserve. This afternoon, travel to La Fortuna, the city that was renamed in honor of its survival from the devastating eruption of the Arenal Volcano in 1968. 

Day 6: La Fortuna

Visit a local farm today & discover the world of organic agriculture. Help work on the farm using diverse agricultural techniques. Learn the traditional method for extracting sugar cane. Explore the lush vegetation on the Costa Rican “Finca” & enjoy prepared meals that feature products grown on the farm.  

Day 7: La Fortuna – Monteverde

Journey to Monteverde, known for its cloud forest ecosystems which provide natural habitats for numerous species, including the jaguar & the quetzal bird. Spend the afternoon at leisure. Relax, hike a trail at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, enjoy the thrills of the zip-line canopy tour, or head for the Monteverde Orchid Garden, which features over 425 species of beautiful orchids.

Day 8: Monteverde – Manuel Antonio

Take a hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve of Monteverde. This community-managed area is home to a diverse variety of flora & fauna, including the three-toed sloth, the mantled howler monkey, & the spiny green lizard. Afterward, depart for Manuel Antonio, a paradise for the environmental enthusiast, located in Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Region.

Day 9: Manuel Antonio

Spend the day exploring the wonders of Manuel Antonio National Park. The park features white sand beaches, coral reefs, forests, swamps, lagoons, & a diverse selection of wildlife. Relax on the beach, walk along the trails, or go for a swim in the serene waters of the Pacific Ocean.  

Day 10: Manuel Antonio – San José – U.S.

Transfer to the airport in San José & board return flight home.