For budding nature & biology students it would be hard to beat the National Parks and reserves of Costa Rica. From our well-appointed lodges, campsites and hotels our experienced guides leads us on day walks and night excursions through pristine rainforests and cloud canopy's to view the pristine biological diversity that calls Costa Rica home. Expect to view scarlet macaws and howler monkeys ,hummingbirds, toucans and birds of prey to name a few. The Monteverde cloud forest alone boasts and incredible biodiversity with 400 species of birds, 2500 species of plants, 120 species of amphibians and 100 species of mammals. With almost 3 kms of treetop walkways through primary cloud forest and 8 suspension bridges, our time spent in the cloud forest is exhilarating. Our trip includes a visit to the Pacuare Turtle Project and the National Biodiversity Institute (INBio) to further enhance our education outside of the classroom. The trip includes loads of time for adventure with activities such as whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River with an overnight stop at El Nido del Tigre and Sea Kayaking at Manuel Antonio.
THIS IS JUST A SAMPLE ITINERARY - IT CAN BE TAILORED TO YOUR SCHOOL'S REQUIREMENTS.
You will meet at the airport for your flight to San Jose. Upon arrival in Costa Rica you will be met by a representative of World Youth Adventures, and taken to the group hotel in San José. There will be time to relax and shower before dinner in the evening, when the guide will also hold a trip briefing on the forthcoming days activities.
After breakfast we will transfer early in the morning to the National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica, or ‘INBio–park’. The National Biodiversity Institute (INBio) of Costa Rica is a private research and biodiversity management center, established in 1989 to support efforts to gather knowledge on the country’s biological diversity and promote its sustainable use. The institute works under the premise that the best way to conserve biodiversity is to study it, value it, and utilize the opportunities it offers to improve the quality of life of human being.The visit here will provide some good background knowledge of Costa Rica’s ecosystems and biodiversity for the rest of the trip.
Afterward our visit we will head towards the river for our white water rafting on the Pacuare River. The rafting will consist of Class II and III rapids, finishing at the camp in the heart of the rainforest - El Nido del Tigre. Before we raft there will be a safety talk and instructions. In the afternoon you will have the chance to hike through the rainforest to nearby waterfalls and swimming holes, and swing high in the trees on the zip lines.
After a wonderful sleep and a hearty breakfast we will hike from the camp through the rainforest to visit a local butterfly farm. There are approx 1,251 species in Costa Rica including the Swallowtail and Glass-wing, many of which have adapted to ingenious ways to their environment. Our visit here will be followed by lunch taken along a quiet section of the Pacuare River, before continuing on with our hike through the Rain Forest. Keep your eyes open for unique flora and fauna that can found here. Our vehicles will be waiting for us at the end of our hike to transfer us to the port. Here we will meet our boat to take us to the Pacuare Reserve where we will spend the night.
We will depart early by boat to the Turtle Project. The Reserve is located in 800 hectares of lowland tropical rainforest and six KMs of deserted beach on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. Under the supervision of a Marine Biologist, the group will patrol the beach for turtles, tagging, measuring and examining them for special marks and injuries. Disguising the nests or taking the eggs to more secure locations are other tasks in which the group can be involved. At the reserve the you will also receive lessons on environmentalism and sustainability. We will spend the day in this unique environment here before returning to our accommodation in the late afternoon.
The day’s activities start with a transfer to Arenal, with a visit to Project Asis Wild Animal Rescue Center. Here you will tour the facilities and interact with diverse animals such as the Spider Monkeys, Kinkajous (rainforest mammals related to raccoons), white lipped Peccaries, parrots, and scarlet macaws. An organic lunch will be served at the Shelter. The rest of the afternoon is free time as in the evening we have a night-time tour to Danaus Eco-Center. Here we will have the opportunity to see the nocturnal inhabitants of the rainforest.
Today we will transfer to the amazing Venado Caves, which feature wonderful limestone rocks, stalactites, stalagmites, and corals. Whimsical stone formations are shaped by the forces of an underground river. The caves were first formed during the Miocene Period, about 15 to 20 million years ago. After their formation, they remained below sea level for an extended period of time, before tectonic movements brought them to the surface and the Guatuzos aborigines became the first people to discover them. Following this you will be able to relax in the pool of Hot Springs located nearby that are heated by the lava form the surrounding mountains.
We make our way to Monteverde this morning where we will walk for approximately 1 hour walk to El Bosque Eterno de los Niños, Costa Rica’s largest private reserve. Here you will find 40 thousand acres of tropical ecosystems. This area is protected by the Monteverde Conservation League , an independent non-profit association that is dedicated to the conservation, preservation and rehabilitation of the tropical ecosystems and their biodiversity. The reserve has 60 species of amphibians, 101 reptiles, 425 birds and 121 mammals and protects the jaguars, “pájaros campana” and “pájaro sombrilla” habitats. We will have a talk on the area and then continue our trek through the park to the Park Station where we will spend the night.
The morning begins with a diurnal trek through the forest that surrounds us. Along the way our guide will give us a talk on the natural Bird life found here and a natural history talk to give you a full understanding of the unique area you are trekking through . In the evening our diurnal activity will be a bat encounter as we study these remarkable animals in their natural habitat.
You will notice a difference today as you trek out from the Tropical Cloud Forest and head towards the Pacific Coast. Along the way you will experience a vast range of scenery as we drive to our next destination in Manuel Antonio, Quepos. Our trek will take approximately 1 - 2 hours and we should arrive into Manuel Antonio around mid afternoon.
An exciting morning awaits us as we will prepare to Sea Kayak at Isla Damas. This area is particularly noted for its estuaries lined with mangroves. Paddling silently in the kayaks, we will have a great opportunity to enjoy this magical ecosystem and observe the fascinating wildlife that inhabits it. White-faced monkeys, sloths, green iguanas, spectacles caimans, boas, crab-eating raccoons, silky anteaters, crabs as well as numerous bird species, are just some of the fauna found in the aquatic forests and island channels of the Mangroves.
Leaving the coast we will head back to the city of San Jose, stopping on the way to experience Costa Rica’s coffee tradition: 640 acres of prime coffee plantation where the secrets of a real coffee cup are carefully held and shared with the group. You will be instructed on the climate, topography, location and history of the Hacienda, sample prime gourmet coffee, and experience first hand each of the processes involved in growing and producing Costa Rican coffee. On arrival in San Jose you will be taken to your hotel for your final night and celebration dinner.
After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight home.
Per Person, Twin Share