Sunday, December 22, 2013

Westminister Costa Rica Music Adventure




March 21st  ----- Arrive & Drive to Village of Sitio de Mata (Homestays)

Today you will be met outside the airport by your CRR private guide and driver. If you can show up on an early day flight it would be best. Jetblue offers an early arrival as does American from the Miami area. This will allow us to be out of  San Jose and make the 2 1/2 hour drive to the village of Sitio de Mata located in mountains of Turrialba before the city rush hour traffic. If your flight is early it would be great to stop at the National Theatre in the center of San Jose to show the kids where the National Symphony plays and a little history lesson on the coffee boom, arrival of Europeans, and construction of the National Theatre (including a quick history of music in the region).

We will arrive to Sitio de Mata in early afternoon where the homestay families will be waiting for us. We will gather as a group and assign the kids to their new families. We can have two or three kids to a homestay and the houses are so close together that it almost feels like one big home. The homestays are split up into two different extended families offering a real community feel to our stay.

Hanging with your new friends!
When we arrive we will take a quick tour of the village and have dinner with your families and get some rest for the next 6 days of service and fun. (Meals: Lunch & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Get situated in homestays and Reflection on first impressions. Journal topic is your first impressions.

March 22nd ----- Visit School with Music Introduction (Homestays)

Today we will get straight to work on making a difference in the community. After you confirmed that this trip was approved we had a meeting the day after and the school and community has had music on their wishlist for the kids for years now. With the excitement of the introduction of this program I will leave it to you and the kids to decide how you want to present it. We can divide the kids into small groups and give quick lessons on music? We can offer a small demonstration on playing music?  Maybe your kids could give a short backround/history lesson of music? There seems to be a number of ways I think we can do this to make it engaging for the local kids and  beneficial for the Miami Christian kids.

Recycled Crafts by Doña Fressy
After working with the kids we can spend the afternoon getting a local soccer game together or learning how to make tortillas or other cultural activities. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Reflection on the day. Journal on the topic of the experience of working with the kids.


March 23rd  ----- Music Activity & Evening Fiesta with Music Presentations for Local Village (Homestays)

Today we can continue the work we did at the school on the previous day. We can take a more advanced look into the music instruments or just polish our skills from the previous day.  In the evening we will have an organized event where the local kids will put on some of their school performances and Miami Christian kids are welcome to perform also. 

Evening Activity: Reflection on the day, souvenir shop at local recycled craft store by local moms, and local fiesta and performances.

March 24th ----- Enter Pacuare River (Pacuare Ecolodge)

Lets get wet!
Listed by National Geographic as one of the top 5 most scenic rivers on the planet is the Pacuare River. This is a great day of adventure and fun. We will make the 30 minute drive to where we will put in and start our day on the river rafting, walking to waterfalls, and having a lunch prepared for you on the side of the river bank. We will make our way down to an area of the river we will stop at and spend the night. This is the CRR Pacuare Ecolodge that will be your private lodge for the night with breath-taking views of the surrounding rainforest, mountains, and river.

In the evening we will get the bon-fire going and a chance to sit around, roast marshmallows, and tell some stories. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activities: Discuss Your Top 3 of the Homestay Experience, Journal Free Writing, Bon-fire & Marshmallows! 

The Scenic Pacuare River
March 25th  ----- River Rafting & Drive to Arenal Volcano (Los Lagos Hotel)

Today you will raft the most scenic part of the river. You will float past 150 foot waterfalls and through 300ft canyons making it an unforgettable experience for all. Once we finish the rafting we will take out of the river around noon and enjoy a hearty meal before we make the 3 hour drive to the Arenal Volcano.

The Arenal Volcano is one of the most picturesque volcanos on Earth. It is perfectly cone-shaped. Here  we will be staying at the Los Lagos Resort where the kids will have a chance to enjoy a large pool area and more of a deserved luxury feel after their three days in homestays and the ecolodge. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Journal Writing about being in Nature at the Ecolodge,  Discuss what you miss about the homestays, time in the pool area!
Arenal Volcano

March 26th ----- Zipline and Visit La Fortuna Waterfalls (Los Lagos Hotel)

Today is a great way to end an epic week. We will take you to the zipline adventure where you will zip across the rainforest on different cables with some of the finest views of the volcano and lake Arenal found anywhere. During your adventure the kids will also get a chance to learn about the rainforest and the wonders of it's incredible diversity.

After zipping through the rainforest we will make our way to one of the most scenic waterfalls in Costa Rica where the kids will hike on 500 steps that will take them to a beautiful swimming hole at the bottom of the La Fortuna Waterfall. 
La Fortuna Falls

In the evening we will have a farewell activity and a chance to reflect about the last seven days. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Journal writing about your top 3 moments of the week, Reflect on top 3 events of the week in an open discussion.

March 27th ----- Fly Home!

Today we will make the drive to the San Jose Airport (SJO) which is 2 1/2 hours from the hotel. Take into account when making your flight reservation that you will want to arrive 2 hours before the flight. It will be ideal to have a flight that is not very early in the morning for this itinerary. (Meals: Breakfast)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Jared Sample Costa Rica Itinerary June 2014




Day 1 -- Arrive & Travel to Arenal (Arenal Hotel)
Arenal Volcano

Today you will be met by your CRR staff and transported to your first hotel in the province of San Carlos on the fertile northern plains of Costa Rica. Here you will be staying at the base of the active Arenal Volcano. This is a travel day but will consist of an orientation to get teachers and students aquainted with staff members and an idea of what to expect during the week. (Meals: Dinner)

Day 2 -- Arenal (Don Juan, Ziplining, National Park)

Today we will start with a little adventure as we make our way to the ziplines that hang 700ft above the rainforest floor. This will be the kids first introduction to the primary rainforest. The students will also get to use their Spanish in an adrenaline-pumping situation. We'll give them a list of words to use such as TUANIS! PURA VIDA! BUENAZO! and many more local favorite phrases The zipline guides will surely be impressed with their bi-lingual guests.

After the zipline we will make our way to the Arenal Volcano National Park. Here the kids will hike on old lava
Zipline Adventure
rock and get to the closest possible point of the volcano. This is a great lesson on not only the origins of the volcano but this area of Costa Rica.

After the hike we will stop for lunch in town and then the kids can have some time to walk around the small little town of La Fortuna. Later we will be heading to the organic farm of Don Juan where the kids will taste, see, smell, and feel the different stages of organic farming from one of Costa Rica's most respected farmers. This will be followed by a delicious dinner prepared from all the things grown on the farm.

Then it's back to the hotel where we will have our first official reflection, getting the kids together and talking about the experience so far. Since this is a Spanish focused trip we could have them journal in Spanish just to keep the writing skills prime during their week away from school. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 3 -- Travel to Sitio de Mata (Sitio de Mata)

CLICK HERE TO VISIT HOMESTAYS SITIO DE MATA

Today we will say good-bye to the volcano and make the drive to Sitio de Mata where you will be saying "hola!" to
your new families. This is the part of the trip where the kids will be immersed with some of the greatest families for homestays you will find anywhere. You will be taken in as family and have the chance to communicate in Spanish from start to finish. Every day will be filled with activities and things to keep us busy, building new friendships, learning about the culture, and understanding the importance of family values.

When we arrive we will meet in a little ranchito where all the moms will be present and we will introduce all of you to your new families. Although not everyone will be in the same house, this is a small village and houses are close together. Everything is in a very short walking distance. 

In the evening we will meet as a group in one of the ranchitos where the kids will have time to journal and reflect on the homestay arrival. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 4 -- Culture Activities (Sitio de Mata)
Time with the families


Today is a day of cultural activities in the village. We like making this the first day activity so you can learn about the many different norms of the village. We will learn how to dance, cook, and even take a ride into the larger nearby town of Turrialba.  We'll have a lesson in shopping for the village since we will be responsible for cooking a meal for our homestays!

This is an excellent day for plenty of time with your families, a chance to get to know the kids, and get your bearings in the village. 

After dinner, as we do every evening, we will have a reflection where the kids will meet with their guides as a group and go over their experiences. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 5 -- Attend School (Sitio de Mata)

Well you might think you had the week off from school but guess what?! We found a school for you to attend in Costa Rica!Back to School, kids and it is a full day of learning. This is a day of being in class with local
students. It would be great to have a notebook of interview questions for the CR kids to answer throughout the day keeping everyone engaged and attentive. They will surely make a lot of new friends and maybe even get some homework.

Day 6 -- Community Service (Sitio de Mata)

Today we will have a service project set up so the students from Utah can give back to the community that in just two days has given back so much to them already. Depending on the type of project we come up with or ideas you and the kids back home might have, will depend on the type of work we do doing your stay. 

In the afternoon we will again meet as a group and reflect on the day of work. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 7 -- Visit Nearby Canyon, Soccer Game with Locals, & Farewell Fiesta! (Sitio de Mata)

Rafting Pacuare River
Today we will take the kids to a nearby canyon where they can rappell down different waterfalls. This is a fun adventure getting everyone wet and enjoying some outside time with the local kids. After the morning in the canyon we will head back to our homestays and have lunch and some down time with our families. 

Then it will be time for the soccer game that is always requested by the local kids and a crucial part of getting the full culture experience. This is a great way to enjoy what the local kids love doing with their spare time. Once the soccer game is over we will head back to our homestays and great ready for the final evening fiesta. This is a show you can not miss and in our opinion is on par with Cirque du Sole! (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 8 -- Enter Pacuare & Stay at River Lodge (River Lodge)

Today we will spend the morning saying good-bye to our Sitio de Mata families. This will not be an easy
Morning in the Jungle
departure after five days of being with the families I get choked up just writing about the departure. Once we give our final hugs, good-byes or "until next time", we'll head to what National Geographic has listed as one of the top five most scenic rivers in the world. In the morning we'll raft some small class II & III rapids then have lunch right on the river followed by a little hiking to some waterfalls.

Then it's back in our rafts to get to our final river destination, our beautiful river lodge that has breath-taking views of the Pacuare Canyon and lush green mountains as far as the eye can see. In the evening we will have activities planned for everyone as we experience living in the jungle for a night. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Coffee Makes a good souvenir!
Day 9 -- Travel to San Jose & Souvenir Shop (San Jose Hotel)

Today we will get breakfast and begin our final raft. This is the most scenic part of the river with the most adventurous rapids. We will deftly make our way down the class III & IV section passing beautiful canyon walls that rise 300ft high, primary rainforests from start to finish, and hundred foot waterfalls that drop into the banks of the river.

Back on dry land and in the bus, we will make the two hour drive back to San Jose leaving us enough time to stop at some souvenir spots. At the hotel, we'll have our final evening reflection and farewell dinner. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 10 -- Fly Home!

Today we will make the drive to the San Jose Airport where you will catch your flight home! (Meals: Breakfast)

Lisa Costa Rica Sample Adventure 2014




Day 1  - Arrive & Drive to Arenal Volcano (Los Lagos Resort)
Arenal Volcano
 

Today we will meet you outside the airport with your CRR driver and guide. We will make the drive to the Arenal Volcano. Here you will be staying in the beautiful Los Lagos Resort where you will have breath-taking views of the Arenal Volcano.

During the first night we will have dinner at the hotel and a brief orientation getting the kids ready for their 7 day Educational adventure. (Meals: Dinner)

Day 2 - Zipline, National Park Hike, & Don Juan (Los Lagos Resort)

This is a full day of activities. We will start with a hike through the Arenal National Park where the kids will get a lesson in learning about the volcano. They will walk on the old lava flow and get amazing pictures of the massive volcano.

After the Volcano hike we will make our way to the zipline where we will enjoy zipping through the jungle on
Zipline
cables that run 700ft high and half a mile long. This is an adventure that the kids will love and also get a chance to learn about the canopy of the rainforest during the gandola ride. 

After the zipline adventure it will be over to Don Juan's farm where you will get the chance to take a walk through his small farm and learn about the production of his organic farming feeding over 20 families on less than 2 acres. We will also get a chance to pick different vegetables and use them in the meal we will be enjoying at Don Juan's. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)



Day 3 - Drive to Sitio de Mata (Homestays)
Today we will say good-bye to the Arenal Volcano and make our way to the area of Turrialba. CLICK HERE TO SEE HOMESTAYS.  This is  actually  home to another smoking volcano called Turrialba. On the other side of the valley from where the Volcano Turrialba is located sits a small rural village up in the mountains. This village is Sitio de Mata and is where we will be enjoying our homestays. Here the kids will have the chance to live with local families and enjoy the rural lifestyle.

During the evening we will be enjoy a presentation from the local kids in the village on traditional song and dance as we eat another very tasty meal. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 4 - Morning Activities in the Village and Drive to Pacuare Ecolodge (Pacuare Ecolodge)

Today we will spend some time in the morning in the village learning different cultural activities or a community service project. 


After lunch we will make our way on to the nearby Pacuare Ecolodge where we will get a bonfire going and get ready for the night in the jungle with great views of the Pacuare River. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Pacuare River


Day 5  - Raft Pacuare River & Travel to Caribbean (Villas Caribe)

Today we will be rafting the Pacuare River. This is rated by National Geographic as one of the top 3 most scenic rivers on the planet and surrounded by primary rainforest for start to finish.

When we are done with the rafting adventure we will drive out to the Caribbean coast where we will be staying on the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 6 - Beach Day & Nature Hike (Villas Caribe)



See you on the Nature Hike!
Today we will take one of the best nature hikes in all of Costa Rica. Here you will have the chance to see a number of different species along with expansive views of the Caribbean sea. In the afternoon the kids will have some time to sit with their feet in the sand or play in the waves. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

 Day 7 - Fly Home

Today we will make the drive back to the SJO San Jose Airport. Having an afternoon flight would be best as we will have a 3 1/2 hour drive from the Caribbean to the airport. (Meals: Breakfast)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Susy: Option 2 Costa Rica Sample Adventure 2014




Day 1  - Arrive & Drive to Arenal Volcano (Los Lagos Resort)
Arenal Volcano

Today we will meet you outside the airport with your CRR driver and guide. We will make the drive to the Arenal Volcano. Here you will be staying in the beautiful Los Lagos Resort where you will have breath-taking views of the Arenal Volcano.

During the first night we will have dinner at the hotel and a brief orientation getting the kids ready for their 7 day Educational adventure. (Meals: Dinner)

Day 2 - Zipline, National Park Hike, & Don Juan (Los Lagos Resort)

This is a full day of activities. We will start with a hike through the Arenal National Park where the kids will get a lesson in learning about the volcano. They will walk on the old lava flow and get amazing pictures of the massive volcano.

After the Volcano hike we will make our way to the zipline where we will enjoy zipping through the jungle on 
Zipline
cables that run 700ft high and half a mile long. This is an adventure that the kids will love and also get a chance to learn about the canopy of the rainforest during the gandola ride. 

After the zipline adventure it will be over to Don Juan's farm where you will get the chance to take a walk through his small farm and learn about the production of his organic farming feeding over 20 families on less than 2 acres. We will also get a chance to pick different vegetables and use them in the meal we will be enjoying at Don Juan's. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)



Day 3 - Drive to Sitio de Mata (Homestays)

Today we will say good-bye to the Arenal Volcano and make our way to the area of Turrialba. This is actually home to another smoking volcano called Turrialba. On the other side of the valley from where the Volcano Turrialba is located sits a small rural village up in the mountains. This village is Sitio de Mata and is where we will be enjoying our homestays. Here the kids will have the chance to live with local families and enjoy the rural lifestyle.

During the evening we will be enjoy a presentation from the local kids in the village on traditional song and dance as we eat another very tasty meal. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 4 - Morning Activities in the Village and Drive to Pacuare Ecolodge (Pacuare Ecolodge)

Today we will spend some time in the morning in the village learning different cultural activities or a community 
Pacuare River
service project. 

After lunch we will make our way on to the nearby Pacuare Ecolodge where we will get a bonfire going and get ready for the night in the jungle with great views of the Pacuare River. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)



Day 5  - Raft Pacuare River & Travel to Caribbean (Villas Caribe)

Today we will be rafting the Pacuare River. This is rated by National Geographic as one of the top 3 most scenic rivers on the planet and surrounded by primary rainforest for start to finish.

See you on the Nature Hike!
When we are done with the rafting adventure we will drive out to the Caribbean coast where we will be staying on the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 6 - Beach Day & Nature Hike (Villas Caribe)

Today we will take one of the best nature hikes in all of Costa Rica. Here you will have the chance to see a number of different species along with expansive views of the Caribbean sea. In the afternoon the kids will have some time to sit with their feet in the sand or play in the waves. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 7 - Fly Home


Today we will make the drive back to the SJO San Jose Airport. Having an afternoon flight would be best as we will have a 3 1/2 hour drive from the Caribbean to the airport. (Meals: Breakfast)

Susy: Option 1 Costa Rica Sample Adventure 2014




Day 1: Arrive and Drive to Sitio de Mata, Costa Rica (Homestay) 

Today we will meet you outside of the airport. Your driver and guide will take you through the capital city and then out into the rural mountains of Turrialba. Here you will be introduced to your family for the next four days in a village called Sitio de Mata. This village is home to some of the most spectacular views anad unbelievalbe people. (Meals: Dinner)

Evening Activity: Journal & Reflection Time

Day 2: Homestay Activities & Scavenger Hunt (Homestay) 

You'll have to put your Spanish skills to the test today. We will be living the life of rural Costa Rica. We'll leave the village as a group in the public bus accompanied by many folks from our homestay families. This is a very intense and competitive scavenger hunt in the city of Turrialba. Everyone will meet in the Central Park with a list of things they need to buy for their homestays. The first team back to the Central Park after a few hours of using their Spanish in full immersion will win ICE CREAM sandwiches! In the evening it is back to the village to enjoy some more homestay activities. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activities: Journal & Relfection along with dance classes

Day 3: Enter Pacuare (CRR Ecolodge) 
After breakfast in the homestays, we'll head to the Pacuare River. This is one of our favorite adventures surrounded by virgin tropical rainforest from start to finish. We will be spending the night on the river staying at a tent-camp with a chance to enjoy the sounds of the jungle all night. The first day of rafting is made up of mostly class II  rapids and the next day we'll raft the most scenic and adventurous part of the river. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activities: Journal & Bonfire

Day 4: Leave Pacuare & Return to Sitio (Homestay) 

Today is two hours of rafting you'll never forget. The best part about today is without a doubt, the scenery. From start to finish, it'll be large canyons and waterfalls surrounded by more virgin tropical rainforest. In the afternoon we will go back to Sitio de Mata. We'll have the Annual Cedaredge/Sitio Soccer Game with the local kids and then after getting cleaned-up, have the final Farewell Fiesta with our homestay families. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Journal, shop at souvenir village shop, and FIESTA!

Day 5: Cloud Forest (Trogon Lodge & Quetzals) 

Today we will leave the homestay after breakfast and make our way to a very different ecosystem. Here you will have the chance to enjoy the highlands of Costa Rica and be amongst the cloud-forest. Once we're in the mountains, the climate can be pretty chilly, especially at night. One of the highlights about being in this area is the chance to see the most beautiful bird in all of the America's--the Quetzal. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Journal & Reflection

Day 6: Drive to Cavern & Hike in during afternoon (Sleep Behind Waterfall) 
Today we will spend the morning in and around the cloud-forest doing different hikes that will give us a chance to see beautiful forests and the Quetzal. After lunch we'll  drive to the entrance of where we will begin our hike to the cavern where we'll sleep behind the waterfall. This is a fun day but involves some hiking. Reaching one of the most scenic places in all of Costa Rica makes it well worth it! (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Bonfire

Day 7: Rappel Waterfall, Visit Pools, & Travel to Beach Ecolodge (La Cusinga) 

Today you will wake up behind a waterfall and have a full day activities of fun and adventure in the land of the waterfalls. We will first hike to the upper pools where the kids can have the chance to swim in pristine pools and jump off a 15 ft waterfall. We'll then go back down to have lunch behind the waterfalls.

Then it will be time for a little adrenaline rush as we get ready to rappel a 120ft waterfall. After the rappel we will get some snacks and make a hike to the top of the Diamante Waterfall, the highest waterfall in all of Costa Rica.

After a day in the jungle we will visit what might arguably be the best view in all of Costa Rica. Sitting on the edge of the Pacific coast where the mountain meets the sea is the La Cusinga Ecolodge. Here you will enjoy excellent local grown meals with breath-taking views of the pacific. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Journal & Reflection

Pacific Costa Rica
Day 8: Travel 30 minutes to Beach (La Cusinga) 

Today we will hike out of the cavern and make the 30 minute drive to the Pacific Coast. We'll arrive to the ocean around lunch time and the kids will have a chance to enjoy the waves in the warm tropical waters of the Pacific. (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Journal & Reflection

Day 9: Beach Day! (La Cusinga) 

Saying Until next time to the Pacific!
This is a full day of fun and reflection on the trip. We will make it a beach day and the kids will have the chance to rent some surf boards if they would like and then in the evening we will have a recap of the amazing adventure as we get ready for the farewell dinner and your travels back home! (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Journal & Reflection

Day 10: Fly Home! 

Today, with lots of great memories of Costa Rica and its people packed in our minds,  we'll drive to the airport and get ready for next years trip!!! (Meals: Breakfast)
Pura Vida!!!