Visit Costa Rica
Costa Rica
June 20–June 28, 2020
Take your family on an enlightening exploration of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica.

SHARE THIS TRIP:

$2,785
double occupancy
$215
single supplement

Join the San Diego Zoo on a family adventure in Costa Rica! This special trip is full of experiences unique to this region of Costa Rica that are sure to inspire young conservationists. Learn about the endangered green sea turtle and go on night walks along the beach in search of turtle nests. Enjoy opportunities to spot spider monkeys, crocodiles, three-toed sloths, wading birds, manatees, and caimans in their natural environments while on a canal safari. Discover the intricacies of plant and animal conservation in the region through three educational, hands-on workshops. All of this, combined with hikes, a visit to the Toucan Rescue Ranch, a zip line canopy tour, a white water rafting expedition, and much more will create memories to enjoy and share for a lifetime.

Turtles in Costa Rica

JUNE 20

SAN JOSÉ/SANTO DOMINGO

Upon arrival at the San José International Airport, after clearing customs and collecting your luggage, you will be greeted by your guide and driver. On the short ride to your hotel, your guide will let you know what time to be ready to depart the next day and answer any questions you might have. Upon arrival at the hotel, you will be served dinner at the restaurant (assuming you arrive before 9:30 p.m.), and if not, you will be given a boxed dinner to enjoy in your room. Get a good night's rest in preparation for your early start tomorrow. (D)

JUNE 21

TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK – BOAT RIDE, VILLAGE, GUIDED SEA TURTLE NEST WALK

This morning check out early and journey to Guápiles. Along the way admire the beauty and biodiversity of the cloud forest while driving through Braulio Carrillo National Park. Stop for a hearty, tropical breakfast buffet, then continue to the dock and board a private boat for the water transfer to Pachira Lodge, which borders the Tortugero National Park. Tortuguero consists of a series of natural interconnecting canals and provides a unique opportunity to observe wildlife by boat. Along the inland waterways you may see spider monkeys, crocodiles, three-toed sloths, wading birds, manatees, and caimans. From late June through late October, Tortuguero is the most important nesting site in the western Caribbean for the endangered green sea turtle. Upon arrival at the lodge, relax with a juice beverage and lunch. Afterward attend an  orientation for your program. This afternoon walk down to the Tortuguero Village and visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy museum to learn about sea turtle conservation. Take a walk on the beach, explore the town, and then meet with a resident of Tortuguero who will give an interactive presentation on the importance of coconuts in the village. Return to the lodge for dinner. This evening, meet with your guide for a sea turtle nest walk along the beach. (B,L,D)

JUNE 22

TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK – CANAL SAFARI, GUIDED RESERVE WALK, SEA TURTLE NEST WALK

Have breakfast at the lodge and then experience the flora and fauna of Tortuguero National Park on a canal safari tour. This area is home to seven species of river turtles, spectacled caimans, southern river otters, many crustaceans, and more than 50 species of freshwater fish. Be on the lookout for spider, howler, and white-faced capuchin monkeys, and expect to see several species of birds. If lucky, you might even spot an endangered West Indian manatee! Return to the lodge for lunch. This afternoon, have a guided walk in the lodge's reserve. This evening, after dinner, meet with your guide for another sea turtle nest walk. (B,L,D)

JUNE 23

SARAPIQUÍ VALLEY – CHOCOLATE TOUR, GUIDED NIGHTTIME WALK

This morning transfer by boat and coach to the lush lowlands of north-central Costa Rica, with lunch en route. After checking in, take a chocolate tour with a local expert. Learn about the history of cocoa and chocolate production, from past to present. Enjoy opportunities to see, taste, drink, and feel all the stages of the chocolate process with expert naturalist guides. This evening have dinner at the lodge, followed by a nighttime guided hike in search of nocturnal creatures such as amphibians, mammals, owls, and insects. Be sure to bring your flashlight! (B,L,D)

JUNE 24

SARAPIQUÍ VALLEY – CANOPY TOUR ZIP LINE, JARDÍN DE SERPIENTES, NIGHT WALK

This morning after breakfast, check out and begin the day with a thrilling zip line canopy tour, where you'll glide through tropical rain forest and over the magnificent Sarapiquí River, which you cross two times during the trip. Before starting the tour, you'll receive a thorough safety lesson and quality gear that the guides will adjust to you perfectly. During the trip through the canopy, you will have time to rest and enjoy snacks and water along with the sounds and sights of the forest. Afterward return to the lodge for lunch and then visit the Jardín de Serpientes, which houses 50 species of lizards, frogs, and snakes. The owners of this establishment teach the local and tourist population how reptiles are vital to the ecosystem of the rain forest. Through conservation and education, they dispel a lot of the fears and myths surrounding these creatures and create an environment where people come to appreciate them. This is a great opportunity to get photos of some species that are hard to spot in the wild. There is also a butterfly display that allows for a closeup view of many types of butterflies. Before dinner this evening, meet with your guide in the open-air conference room for a 30-minute discussion on the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. Learn about the efforts being made by the various reserves in the Sarapiquí Valley as well as  on private farms whose gracious owners give sections of their land for use as safe corridors for animals to travel along in this region. After dinner, your guide will be available for an optional night walk on the trails in the secondary forest. (B,L,D)

JUNE 25

SARAPIQUÍ VALLEY – BIRD WALK, COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT, CAMP WORKSHOP, BATS

For those who wish, meet your guide early this morning for a pre-breakfast bird walk. Have breakfast, then meet with the director or a staff member of the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center, a nonprofit  organization that is located on the grounds of Selva Verde. The SCLC focuses its efforts in four areas---environmental education, community development, conservation, and tourism---in order to help educate and inspire  future environmental leaders, raise the organizational capacity of local communities, promote sustainable land use, and connect tourists to the local community. Their programs are run by international volunteers and community members and serve hundreds of local people and thousands of ecotourists  each year. A special community service project has been arranged for your group. As there are different needs that arise at different times of the year, just exactly what is arranged is not known until very close to your arrival; however, you will be advised by your guide what the project will be at the beginning of the tour so you will know what to expect. Back at Selva Verde, participate in a "Forest, Trees & Plants" camp session. Activities will focus on sustainable growth and reforestation, understanding biological corridors, and the importance of helping with tree plantings. Tonight after dinner meet with your guide for a discussion about the incredible world of bats, and then set out to find them sleeping on the grounds and perhaps see them set off into the night at dusk. (B,L,D)

JUNE 26

SARAPIQUÍ VALLEY – CAMP WORKSHOPS, HIKE, WHITE WATER RAFTING

Following breakfast, participate in a "Tools-of- the-Trade" camp session. This will consist of hands-on field training using your senses as well as tools such as microscopes, field guides, and gadgets for finding and catching insects. Next, meet your guide at the suspension bridge and embark on a hike within Selva Verde Reserve, home to over 500 acres of primary and secondary rain forest. Learn about rain forest ecosystems and witness firsthand the amazing flora and fauna of this beautiful area. While in the forest do some collecting and bring a few finds back to the lab for further investigation. After lunch, venture on a white water rafting expedition (Class II-III) on Rio Sarapiquí! The tour goes through a beautiful part of the river filled with exciting rapids and tranquil ponds, all surrounded by wonderful natural scenery. This is a great tour for both new and experienced rafters. During the ride get a firsthand look at fascinating wildlife and water fowl, with time for dip netting to learn about what lives below the surface. On the way back to the lodge discuss why some animals are seen on the river, and where they go when they are not around. What did you spot? Return to the lodge to participate in a "Wonderful Water" Bioblitz. Take a closer look at the fish, aquatic invertebrates, and plants in nearby streams, and use dip nets, field tools, microscopes, and small tanks of water to get a closer look at these hard-to-see but important organisms. This evening enjoy a pizza dinner at La Terrazza restaurant below the dining room. (B,L,D)

JUNE 27

SANTO DOMINGO – TOUCAN RESCUE RANCH

This morning bid farewell to Selva Verde and depart for the Toucan Rescue Ranch, stopping en route for lunch at a typical "tico" restaurant. At Toucan Rescue Ranch, you can witness birds and other animals like  toucans, a variety of parrots, macaws, owls, two-toed and three-toed sloths, and kinkajous, all of which have been rescued from the wild and brought to the clinic for life-saving procedures. This is a unique opportunity to see conservation and rehabilitation of rain forest animals up close and personal. Whenever possible, the owners of the ranch release the birds and animals back into the wild on a large reserve in the Sarapiquí Valley. After your time there, head to the nearby Hotel Bougainvillea for a delicious farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

JUNE 28

SAN JOSÉ - DEPART

Early breakfast and check-out, then transfer to San José International Airport for your flights back to the U.S. (B)

Included

  • Accommodations, meals, entrance fees, and activities listed in itinerary
  • Private vehicle transportation unless otherwise noted in itinerary
  • Non-alcoholic beverages with meals
  • Full-time guide for duration of program
  • Bottled water on the bus

Excluded

  • Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone, fax, internet, etc.
  • Highly recommended travel insurance
  • Any other services not mentioned in price inclusions
  • Airfare from gateway city to San José
  • Airfare from San José to gateway city

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BOOK YOUR TRIP?

Please contact our tour operator,
HOLBROOK TRAVEL,
at

1-800-866-7111 ext. 322

OR

becker@holbrooktravel.com

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