Length: 7 Days. Group educational tour to Costa Rica for 12 or more students or adults. Self-designed custom tours typically led by teachers of high school juniors and seniors.
Highlights: San José City Tour, Sarchi, Tabacon Hot Springs, Arenal Volcano, Butterfly Farm, Santa Elena Reserve Nature Hike, Carrara National Park, Full Day Manuel Antonio National Park, Moravia
OPTIONS: Tortuga Island Cruise, Canopy Tour, Crocodile Safari Tour, Dinner with a Costa Rican Family
Itinerary: San José (1), Arenal (1), Monteverde (1), Punta Leona (3), San José (1)
Day 1 – San José
Journey to spectacular Costa Rica! You’ll arrive in the capital city of San José, where your private bus and guide will escort you to your downtown hotel.
Day 2 – Arenal
Discover this bustling, energetic city on a San José City Tour. See Rohrmoser, a charming residential area and home to many embassies; The Teatro Nacional, built in 1897 with funds raised from a self-imposed coffee tax; and the Museo Nacional. En route to Arenal, travel through coffee and sugar cane plantations to Sarchi, site of the famous Oxcart Factory, where artisans handpaint the oxcarts. These highly skilled craftsmen also produce beautiful bowls, plates, furniture and walking sticks. Tonight, luxuriate in the clear, thermal water of Tabacon Hot Springs.
Day 3 – Monte Verde
Transfer by way of the spectacular Butterfly Farm, featuring thousands of brightly colored butterflies in all stages of their life cycle. Visit Santa Elena Reserve and hike a trail to a lookout point over Volcán Arenal. View rare species like toucans, jaguars, pumas and peccaries in this community-run reserve.
Day 4 – Punta Leona
Transfer with a stop at Carara National Park. Walk through the trails of this transitional forest, a cross between a dry tropical forest and humid jungle. Carara is the home of many mammals, hundreds of birds and a vast number of species of plants and trees. Arrive in Punta Leona, a wildlife preserve graced with giant tropical trees and hundreds of fascinating plant species.
Day 5 – Punta Leona
Enjoy a free day surrounded by 750 acres of lush tropical rainforest, pristine white and gold sand beaches and the deep blue waters of the Pacific. Option: Cruise to the island of Tortuga in the Gulf of Nicoya for snorkeling, swimming, shell-gathering and volleyball, with a buffet lunch, snorkeling gear and live music included in the day’s fun.
Day 6 – Punta Leona
Take a full day tour to Manuel Antonio National Park. Watch out for scarlet macaws, crocodiles, monkeys and iguanas. Relax in the tropical splendor, or explore the park’s trails leading to scenic lookouts.
Day 7 – San José
Options: (1) The Canopy Tour, (2) A Crocodile Safari Cruise takes you up the Tarcoles River into the heart of crocodile country. You will also have time for some last minute shopping and practicing your Spanish in Moravia, a small village famous for fine leather craftsmanship, ceramics, wooden salad bowls and other handicrafts. Evening option: Share ideas and culture at dinner with a Costa Rican family in their home—an excellent way to end your stay!
Day 8 – Depart
Jet home with excellent memories of all the butterflies, birds, waterfalls and orchids seen during your week as an eco-tourist in Nature’s Costa Rica!