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family adventure travel trip to Costa Rica
This is an activity-packed week of learning about the tropical rain forest and about Costa RIca.
  • Dec 27-Jan 2, 2015
  • Jul 4-10, 2015
  • Aug 1-7, 2015
  • Duration 7 days
    Group Size 16-22
    Land Cost $1,275-$2,275 Details
    Single Supplement $500
    Lodging 2 stars-3 stars
    Grade I-II
    Best Time

    Costa Rica Rainforest Adventure for Families

    Animals, ecology, crafts, cross-cultural friendships, and wild fun for ages 4-84

    Day 1      Arrive San Jose

    Bienvenidos, welcome!

    Families arrive throughout the day on flights into San Jose's international airport. (Fly direct from, or connect via, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Newark, or New York.)

    A driver will greet you on arrival and bring you from the airport to first-night accommodations at a comfortable hotel outside San Jose.  Program activities begin the next morning.  Meanwhile, settle in, rest up, and enjoy the beautiful, extensive gardens.

    Lodging: Hotel Bougainvillea

    Be ready for the exotic and the beautiful. Above, a chestnut-mandibled toucan.
    Day 2      Poas Volcano

    Meet your fellow participants, and get acquainted during the morning’s drive through multiple climate zones and corresponding diversity of scenery.  Costa Rica is home to several spectacular volcanoes, and Poas is one of the most accessible.  On our way to our camp at La Quinta,, we will stop to learn about the tectonic landscape. If we are lucky, when we stand at the volcano's lip, we'll have a cloud-free view across the mile-wide crater.

    Then, we will continue on to La Quinta, our base camp for the week’s adventures.  A group orientation will introduce the lay of the land and the activities that will be available throughout the program – some at fixed times, and others whenever the notion strikes you.  See the frog walk, butterfly house, caiman pond, herb and vegetable gardens, swimming pool, game room, and cozy areas to read, write, or watch tropical birds.

    After a traditional Costa Rican dinner cooked with ingredients grown in La Quinta’s garden, you can choose how to spend your evening. Late-night options throughout the trip may include a “critters of the night” hike, late-night swim, and singing, dancing, and language activities.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: La Quinta

    Settle into La Quinta Country Inn. Enjoy the gardens, swimming pool and wildlife.
    Day 3      Welcome to the Jungle

    After breakfast, venture to La Selva Biological Station, a world-class preserve run by the Organization for Tropical Studies.  Part of central Costa Rica’s continuous greenbelt of connected parks, this is the best spot in the region to spot a wealth of bird, mammal, insect, and reptile species.  Learn about the scientific endeavors of student groups who travel here to conduct research.

    In the afternoon, set out on a scouting walk around the La Quinta grounds.  Those interested in helping to prepare lunch can join a cooking class that includes harvesting ingredients from the garden.

    Prepare for tomorrow’s visit to a local school by planning activities and learning a few Spanish words, then take a night-swim bed. 

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: La Quinta

    Experience the dense tropical rain forest from the understory to the canopy.
    Day 4      School Visit and River Safari

    This morning early risers will have the opportunity to take a pre-breakfast bird walk with one of the region’s bird experts.

    After breakfast, visit a local school where cross-cultural activities will help you connect with Costa Rican kids, irrespective of the extent of your Spanish repertoire.  The morning may culminate in a game of fútbol (soccer, for us Americans). 

    Throughout the week, young trip participants can check off their nature finds and activities to become camper-naturalists.  In the afternoon, a riverboat safari will help young spotters with their checklists.  Many birds and monkeys live on the edges of the forest that are exposed to the water, and if we’re lucky (and quiet), we can find large reptiles.

    Enjoy a pizza dinner in the town of Puerto Viejo and free time for wandering the shops. Then, head back to camp.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, DInner
    Lodging: La Quinta

    You may see three or four different kinds of monkeys. Here's the white-faced capuchin.
    Day 5      Chocolate Tour and Bat Encounter

    This morning set out to visit the property of a local conservation activist whose efforts have rehabilitated the local green macaw population. Afterward, select from optional activities. Take a sustainable crafts class, making artistic creations out of recycled local materials like pineapple husks and used containers.  Play games  on the La Quinta grounds. Or, choose an off-camp activity like a horseback trail ride through the forest. (Extra fees may apply for off-camp options.)

    Then, in the late afternoon, head to Tirimbina Nature Preserve for an interactive demonstration of chocolate-making using rainforest-grown cacao.  Before heading back to camp for the night, an interactive bat program will introduce you to some of the dozens of species of bats that live in Costa Rica’s rainforest.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: La Quinta

    Sing or play soccer with the local schoolkids.
    Day 6      Choose Your Own Adventure!

    Some campers may choose to partake of adventure activities, such as whitewater rafting, rainforest canopy ziplines, or horseback riding (additional fees will apply).  For those who prefer a morning around camp, you can enjoy a massage, try to spot additional creatures from your naturalist checklist, or laze by the poolside. 

    We will end our week of Adventure Camp with a fiesta!  We'll begin by making an authentic Costa Rican ice cream treat.  We'll enjoy a local-style BBQ party, a special closing circle, Latin dancing, and party activities into the night!

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: La Quinta

    Thrill-seekers can choose to go whitewater rafting or ziplining over the rainforest canopy.
    Day 7      Goodbye / Onward

    The time has come to say goodbye to La Quinta.  Swap e-mail addresses with your new camp friends to share photos once you’re home … and to make plans together to come to JOURNEYS’ family camp again next summer, in another new country! Hasta luego ... Until next time ... !

    Consider extending your trip through the weekend with an extension to Tortuguero National Park, a remote wildlife haven and home to nesting sea turtles. Tourists can often witness egg-laying during summer months.

    Meals: Breakfast

    At our closing fiesta, local dancers show off folk traditions and contemporary Latin numbers.

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