Our travelers loved this trip! Definitely be prepared for some rustic/authentic hotels - not what you're used to in the US. But also be prepared for some awesome adventures - whitewater rafting on the Sarapiqui River, exploring the quaint Tortuguero Village, ziplining through the jungle, hiking to the breathtaking La Fortuna waterfall, interacting with friendly locals, seeing colorful fish and manta rays while snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean, and letting every muscle in your body relax in the AMAZING hot springs!
- Pack sports sandals (Tevas, Chacos, etc.); we needed them on many excursions.
- You can't pack too much Dramamine! Lots of long bus rides on this trip.
- Make your students wear sunscreen, even if they don't usually wear it!
- Putting two washcloths in my suitcase was a good idea; all hotels only included towels.
- Bring the money you plan to spend; not many ATM opportunities.
- Lock your suitcase - hotels did not have safes, and you'll want the peace of mind.
If you and your students are up for an authentic experience with plenty of adventure and beautiful sightseeing, you'll love this trip!
OBXtraveler / Group leader Kill Devil Hills, NC / Posted on July 25, 2017
Costa Rican Expedition
It was a wonderful trip for my students! Our tour guide and driver made us feel safe and very welcome, this allowed the students to enjoy the experience to the fullest.
/ Group leader Caledonia, NY / Posted on July 19, 2017
Coast to Coast fun!
We had an excellent Tour Director who was perfect for our group of 35 fourteen to fifteen year olds! Would love to have info on the optional tours sooner as collecting money during the trip is difficult, when it is included the kids are fine with the activities. Would have loved to add the night visit to sea turtle nesting grounds while in Tortuguero, but at $21 per person and no guarantee of seeing turtles, it did not seem very practical. We were the only guests at our Tortuguero hotel (Ilan-Ilan), which was nice for us. The pool was somewhat small, but the staff were very accommodating of dietary needs and the food was excellent! They sold popcorn, slushies and freezer pops and soda at the pool. The red "paint" used on the bathroom and shower floor will stain the towels and they will charge you - I assume it is a mildew prevention. No AC but slept comfortably with fan and you can hear the howler monkeys in the morning. Kids enjoyed visiting the village and shopping, but keeping them out of the ocean was problematic - "look but don't touch" is hard with an ocean! The next hotel (Hotel Gavilán) did not have AC but fan again. The rooms are hand painted in very cute colors, the adult rooms had small bathrooms, but the kids rooms had huge bathrooms. No pool, an empty Jacuzzi but plenty of outdoor areas to congregate, and an open area for a game of Ultimate Frisbee. From here we went ziplining-it was great! We traveled the next morning to our whitewater rafting on the Sarapiquí with Aventuras del Sarapiquí - I think they are the best for student groups! Everyone had a blast! We added the chocolate tour on our way to Arenal, collecting money for it on trip was a hassle, but I thinks most kids enjoyed it, we had a great guide who got the kids involved in many ways. Then 2 nights at Arenal Vista Lodge - where we did our kayaking on Lake Arenal, our visit to the La Fortuna Waterfall (500 steps!) and then our visit to Baldi Hot Springs was perfect after two days of paddling activities. From there we headed to Guanacaste and Rincón de la Vieja National Park, the kids enjoyed seeing the bubbling muds and to think they were walking on a Volcano. 2 nights at Hotel los Boyeros , the next day we went snorkeling at Playa Panamá - a great experience for first time snorkelers, a little tame if you are experienced, the reef is bleached, but several types of fish and sea urchins and many of of us saw an octopus. From snorkeling we went to lunch on a Costa Rican ranch/farm - our state is a farm state so the animals were not necessarily new but most of our group is city kids, so they seemed to enjoy it. First chance to buy handmade Choroteaga pottery! Then we traveled to Palo Verde National Park with local guides and took a boat tour - made up for the Tortuguero boat tour in the rain that we started the week with - here we saw many different birds, iguanas, basilisks, crocodiles and howler monkeys in action - howling and flying from tree to tree! The next day was time to head home, several in the group begged to stay longer! While we traveled from Coast to Coast, I don't think we ever had over a 3 hour bus ride per day, and there were always bathroom breaks planned for every 1 to 1.5 hours of travel time. Tortuguero was a bit slow and laid back, the kids might have enjoyed more activity, but it gave the teacher chaperones some time to rest from the day long travel trip down - meeting at 6:15 am and getting into CR about 8:00 pm, and being the only group at the hotel helped our group get to bond a bit more for the start of the trip.
/ Group leader Madison, WI / Posted on July 18, 2017
A wonderful educational experience about ecotourism. Very knowledgeable guides about all aspects of Costa Rica.
Beautiful sites even with long travel days to see this amazing country.
HeartinCostaRica / Adult traveler Fort Wayne, IN / Posted on July 16, 2017
The trip was truly and amazing and an informative experience. Thanks to expert guides and a knowledgeable tour director the trip was simply amazing. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone looking for fun, adventure, and a new outlook on the world.
JM061799 / Student traveler Cincinnati , Ohio / Posted on July 06, 2017
The trip was absolutely amazing! I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is considering! I didn't not have a single complaint about the tour guide she was amazing! However I think they could put into better consideration he flight times/layovers but the vacation itself was perfect!
Ggjayne / Student traveler Crandon, Wisconsin / Posted on July 03, 2017
karkar / Student traveler Posted on July 03, 2017
FUN FUN FUN
Wonderful trip in a beautiful country with lots of good food, rafting, hiking and español!
TengaPAZ / Group leader Media, PA / Posted on July 01, 2017
Best time of my life
Going into this tour, I did not know what to expect and was honestly scared going to a foreign country. However all of the excursions that I participated in were tons of fun and the tour director was very knowledgeable about his home country of Costa Rica. This tour was definitely memorable and makes me want to travel more.
Brownsugar / Student traveler Perris, California / Posted on June 30, 2017
Fun & Awsome
The rip to Costa Rica gave us more than what we expected. The hospitality of the Costaricans is great. Their food, beaches, volcanoes, waterfalls all together made this trip a memory for the rest of our lives.
Tamarindo / Group leader Morgantown ,WV / Posted on June 29, 2017