Monday, August 15, 2011

This Year's Favorite Costa Rica Student Adventure

Day 1 ------------ Arrive and drive to La Cusinga (La Cusinga Ecolodge)

Today we will meet you at the airport and take you to one of our favorite spots in all of Costa Rica. The name is La Cusinga and the area the southern Pacific. Here you will find a location that is unmatched by any other place in Costa Rica. This ecolodge sits on a point out over the Pacific that lends itself to the most amazing views you will find. That is why when we stay here with student groups we get the two top suites. They are actually bunks but there are two that fit 15 students each.

La Cusinga is 200 acres of primary rainforest and here we will be surrounded by nature for our stay and it lends itself for a real chance to have some full days of learning. (Meals: Dinner)

Day 2 ------------ Nature Hikes & Intro to Rainforest (La Cusinga Ecolodge)

Learning in the jungle
Today the entire day will be around the grounds of La Cusinga. We will do everything from visiting the different nature trails, the beaches, organic farms, and an evening of bonfire activities. Today is an excellent day to set up an intro of hands on activities and getting kids aware of the rainforest and the tropical region. We have a number of games, scavenger hunts, and activities we will be doing on the nature trails where each student will be spending time observing, noting, and later reflecting on the day in the jungle. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 3 ------------- Zipline, Banana Plantation, & Night Hike (La Cusinga Ecolodge)

We will start the day out with a little bit of adventure as we enjoy one of the best ziplines in Costa Rica. We will make our way into the mountains where we reach an elevation of 1,000ft and breath-taking views of the coastline below. This is full morning of zipping through the rainforest.

After the zipline we will make our way to the nearby banana plantation where we will get the kids running with over 25 hands of bananas. This will give them a feel for what the journey of banana goes through. We will also talk about the topic of local foods, large monocultures, and some of the difficulties of life on the workers of the plantation.

In the afternoon we will be doing a night hike where we will have the chance to learn about the rainforest during it's night hours. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 4 ------------ Enter Cave Hiking & Waterfall Rappel (Sleep Behind Waterfall)

Get ready for an adventure as we make our way to the base of a ridge where we will begin our hike into the cave. This is actually just a cavern that is tucked behind a waterfall but without question one of them most unique and beautiful places you will ever see in in your life. The hike is intense but worth it by all means. We will hike for around 2 hours as we make our way up the ridge and then down into the canyon. On our way to the waterfall we will pass by a permaculture garden where we can learn solutions to large monoculture plantations.

Upon arrival to the cavern we will have lunch and then get geared up for the 120ft waterfall rappel. This is a perfect rappel that literally ends right where you will be sleeping. After the rappel we will take one more small hike to the top of one of the tallest waterfall in all of Costa Rica measuring 600ft where we can watch the sunset over the pacific ocean. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 5 ------------ Leave Cave & Drive to Turrialba (Casa Turire)

You will wake up and the first thing you will see is three waterfalls forming a wall that flow over where we will be sleeping. There is nothing like this that we can compare it to. After breakfast we will then make another hike to some more waterfalls and pools. The kids will have a chance to jump off a 15 ft waterfall into a beautiful pristine pool. After the hike it is back down to the cavern for lunch and then time to hike out. After we hike out of the cave we will make our way to the area of Turrialba by way of the Paramo of Costa Rica which is one of the most unique areas of the tropics. The Paramo is what comes after the cloud-forest in high elevations of the tropics below the snow line.

When we arrive to Turrialba we have a real treat planned for everyone. You will be staying in the Casa Turire hotel. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

  Note: This itinerary would also have the option of doing two nights in the homestays if you wanted to add a night or remove the overnight river trip and just do a day river trip.

Day 6 ------------ Enter Pacuare River (River Tent-Camp)

After a delicious breakfast in your Casa Turire hotel you will make your way back to the jungle. This time your adventure will be by raft. The Pacuare River is listed as one of the top 5 on the planet. We will be starting our adventure in the entrance known as La Cruz and raft down for around two hours stopping for a river lunch along the way. After we finish our lunch we will make our way to the camp site. This is not roughing it by any means and all of your camping gear is set up and meals prepared for you. There are bathrooms and showers at the camp-site. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 7 ------------ Leave Pacuare & Drive to Airport Hotel (Airport Hotel)

Waking up in the jungle with the sound of the river and surrounded by primary rainforest is a morning you will never forget. We will get some breakfast and geared back up for the most intense two hours of rafting you will have on the river. Today we will take on the Pacuare Canyon which is filled with some of the best rapids in all of Costa Rica.

After we make our way out of the Pacuare canyon we will take out of the river and make the short drive to the area of San Jose putting us close to the airport for a day 8 departure. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 8 ------------ Fly Home!

Transfer to the airport and Fly Home! You can extend this itinerary more days and include the area of Sarapiqui which is lowland rainforest and the area of Arenal Volcano making it an 11 day trip.

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