Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cindy Costa Rica Adventure 2013

Picking Guest up in an Ox-Cart!
Day 1 ------ Arrive & Drive to La Condesa (La Condesa Hotel)

Today you will be met outside the airport by your private naturalist guide and driver. It will be a comfortable modern transportation. All luggage will be taken care. Your job is just to relax, enjoy the Pura Vida environment, and get to know your energetic guide and myself on day one!

This is a great first day and if you arrive on one of the earlier flights we will have time at the La Condesa to give you an orientation of the company, the country, and some fun idea for the week such as games and contests we have to keep everyone on the ball.

All travelers get a journal and booklet that has all the information you need for the week along with a number of games to keep you busy in the bus or just when you relax at the hotel. (Meals: Dinner)

Day 2 ------ Poas Volcano & Coffee Britt Tour (La Condesa Hotel)

Today we will be visiting one of the most scenic volcanos in all of Costa Rica. This is Poas Volcano and a very easy flat hike to the top of the crater where you can see breath-taking views of the Caribbean and Pacific as you look down into the active crater of Poas. This is a great chance to learn about the cloud-forest.

Coffee Tour
After the volcano tour we will make our way to the Cafe Britt Tour where you will get a full lesson on the golden bean of Costa Rica. This is a neat presentation and a very educational visit along with time in a shaded coffee plantation. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 3 ------ Nature Hike in Ecological Gardens (Sueno Azul)

Today we will be making some local stops and enjoying the authentic feel of Costa Rica. We will visit a local Ecological Garden that is the home of a man who has invited many different animal species to live in his backyard jungle. This is a bit off the main tourist attractions road and we like to visit interesting spots like this to not only help the local economy but also they often turn out to be some of the most memorable visits.

In the evening we will be arriving to the Sueno Azul Hotel which is a beautiful hotel surrounded by jungle and not a stair on the entire property making it very easy to navigate around. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 4 ------ Chocolate Tour (Sueno Azul)

Today we'll have more time in the jungle and learning about it. Not  only will you see monkeys, sloths, but we will also have the opportunity to learn about the cacao fruit which is made many of us the choco-holics we are.

In the afternoon you can relax at the hotel or we can take you out for some more optional adventures such as a night hike through the jungle! (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 5 ------ Travel to La Fortuna (Manoa Resort)

Today we will make our way to the world famous Arenal Volcano. Here is the perfectly cone-shaped volcano. We'll be staying at Manoa Resort where you will have beautiful luxurious rooms with views of the volcano. All the rooms are ground-level.
See you in Costa Rica Cindy!

There are hotsprings on the hotel grounds which are a welcome experience for travelling bones along with relaxing in the pool areas. (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 6 ------ Cano Negro (Manoa Resort)

One of our favorite tours is the Cano Negro boat float where you will have the chance to enjoy a easy ride through the wetlands of Cano Negro. If you have not had your full on wildlife yet you will surely enjoy the monkeys, sloths, lizards, birds, and so much more during the float.

In the afternoon you will have the option to enjoy dinner at the hotel or we will take you to  of La Fortuna town to dine at one of the many fine restaurants. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 7 ------ Hanging Bridges & Optional Zipline & Organic Farm Finca Don Juan (Manoa Resort)
Arenal Volcano

Today we will have the Hanging Bridges included with a guided hike. You will have the option to also venture into the zipline where you will be put in a harnass and zip through the rainforest canopy. The hanging bridges tour is a much more modified adventure of walking through the tree-tops.

In the evening we will have a very special farewell dinner planned for you as we take you to the finca of a very good friend of ours, Don Juan. Here we will have dinner after touring his farm and learning about the magic of organic farming. We guarantee it will be one of the best meals of the entire week in Costa Rica!

Day 8 ------ Fly Home!

Today we'll drive back to the San Jose Airport for your flight back to Central Florida where you can start planning your next Costa Rica Adventure! (Meals: Breakfast)
Hanging Bridges

Costa Rica Teen Summer Camp CRR LEAD Adventure 2013

Preparing LEADers of all ages
Leadership: Our summer L.E.A.D. programs main focus is leadership. You will learn leadership skills everyday from meeting with local leaders (US Embassy, United Nation University of Peace), participating in adventures (whitewater rafting), and organizing and running a summer camp for local Costa Rican kids. You will return home with leadership skills and strategies you can directly apply to your life.
Experience: Every experience offers a lessons and this trip is full of experiences. You will experience first hand the natural beauty and diversity of Costa Rica- from the tropical forests to the beautiful beaches. During the trip you will also be fully immersed in the culture experiencing the local food, people and traditions. Everyday offers a new adventure and a lesson to be learned.
Awareness: Part of being a good leader is being aware. A secondary goal of our L.E.A.D program is to create awareness. Throughout the many activities you will develop a keen sense of environmental, cultural, social and self-awareness.  With such awareness the L.E.A.D. program creates a truly transformative learning environment.
Development: The ultimate goal of the L.E.A.D. program is to offer students leadership skills, experiences, and awareness that will help develop them into a better leader. Creating a better world for tomorrow.
Raft, Sleep Behind Waterfalls, Zipline, Organic Farm, Surf, Volcanoes, + 20 hours of Community Service, Team Building, and a Scavenger Hunt throughout the 10-day Adventure
LEADers Presented with Journals & Itinerary Books

July 22nd - Arrive and Stay in Central Valley (La Condesa Hotel)

Today you will be met by your CRR representative at the gateway airport in Orlando FL. From here it will be a three hour flight to the capital city of San Jose. When the group arrives at the airport they will be met by the rest of the CRR staff. At the first hotel we'll begin with ice-breakers to get to know everyone. Next we'll go over rules and regulations for the week and what kind of adventure and fun to expect during the next 10 days. The LEAD kids will also be given two different projects which they will begin working on. The first is their mini-camp with the local kids and the second is their visit to the orphanage. We will be participating in four different projects but these two will be developed and worked on each evening by the LEAD members where they will come up with activities for how they plan to operate the mini-camp and their visit to the orphanage.
Leadership Skills Applied - Public speaking, conversation, organization, planning, interpersonal
Transformative Learning Experiences - International travel, cultural experience
Become Aware of - Compare/Contrast Costa Rica vs US, interaction with other LEAD members
Relfection in order to Develop - Experiences of first day (travel, first impressions), expectations
Journal Topics - One page on First impressions of people & place and how it feels to be away from home.
Visit to University of Peace

July 23rd - Visit United Nations University of Peace & Travel to Pacific Coast (La Cusinga)

After a good night sleep and a hearty breakfast our Leadership group continue on to the United Nations University of Peace. Here the students will spend the morning getting a tour, history, and lectures from some of the UN professors from all over the world on an introduction to world issues and what leaders of the future can bring to the table to make the world a better place.
After our visit to the University we will be on our way to the southern Pacific and staying in one of Costa Rica's best ecolodges. The ecolodge is called La Cusinga and comes with a great story of a US man who moved down in 1972 and was able to pioneer much of the conservation projects that now make Costa Rica one of the epicenters of ecotourism on the planet. In the evening we will be spending time reflecting on the time spent at the university and each student will have time to journal. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Building a Compost
Leadership Skills Applied - Conflict Resolution.
Transformative Learning Experiences - World renowned United Nations University of Peace, Understanding of an Ecolodge
Become Aware of - World Issues, Cause and affect of Peace/Conflict, Conflict Resolutions, Environmental issues
Relfection in order to Develop - Leadership, Peace, Responsibility
Journal Topics - How you feel about the world issues we learned today. Do they make you sad, motivated, discouraged? How leaders can help?

July 24th - Community Service & Surf Classes (La Cusinga) (4-hours Service)

We will wake up to the sounds of the waves of the Pacific crashing just below. When staying at La Cusinga you have some of the best views of the Pacific you can find. With 200 acres of primary rainforest, it is where the jungle meets the sea. In the morning we will be taking part in our first community service project which will be a total of 4 hours. Each child will be making a biodigester food bin for a local family or school. We'll present them and then teach the importance of what can be done by composting food scraps.
Surf Classes
In the afternoon we'll hit the beaches of the Pacific and partake in a surfing class done by the local experts. Surfing will be the beginning of the adventure side of the trip. We'll finish our day on the beach, with a Sunset Dinner right on the Pacific. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Leadership Skills Applied - Service, Public Speaking, Teamwork, Organization, Self-confidence
Transformative Learning Experiences - Serving the community, learning a new skill(surfing), appreciation nature(sunset).
Become Aware of - Importance of composting, local school environment, fun in the outdoors.
Relfection in order to Develop - Service, living sustainably, compare/contrast CR schools to US
Journal Topics - Free writing and difficulties of surfing. What was it that motivated you to get up after falling down so many times or what is it that made you get up so many times. Ways you can use the community service project to help back home?

July 25th - Zipline Osa Canopy & Hike into Cave (Sleep Behind Waterfall)

Today we will have breath-taking views of the Pacific coast line from a hipline. We will be zipping through the rainforest canopy at 300 ft high off the ground. This particular zipline is one of our favorites because it offers a Tarzan Swing at the end that is one of the shortest but most fun adventures you will find in all of Costa Rica!

After the zipline we will get some lunch and then begin a hike into the magical land of waterfalls. We will reach an organic garden at the half way point where we will have an afternoon snack and then continue the final leg of the hike into the area where we will have dinner and sleep behind the waterfalls. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Waterfall Jump

July 26th - Hike to Cave & Waterfall Rappel include Team Building (Sleep Behind Waterfalls)

Today is full day of fun and adventure in the land of waterfalls. We will start by having breakfast and then make a short hike to an area where we will have the chance to jump off different waterfalls into pristine pools and enjoy the morning swimming in the pools.
The real adventure will begin when we take on the 150ft waterfall. This is a rappel that again will put the kids to the test when they are asked to walk off the edge. It is an amazing experience that builds confidence like no other adventure we have. 
In the afternoon we will visit more waterfalls and arrive at an area that is atop a 600ft waterfall where we will be able to watch the sunset over the Pacific. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Leadership Skills Applied - Motivation, teamwork, self-confidence, fortitude, commitment, and diligence
Transformative Learning Experiences - Completing the hike, rappelling
Sleeping Behind Waterfalls
Become Aware of - your strength of mind, character and resilience; permaculture
Relfection in order to Develop - Teamwork, fears, strengths and weakness
Journal Topics - Free Writing...

July 27th - Hike to Pools & Travel to Turrialba (Sitio de Mata Homestays)

Today we will head out of the Cavern but we will first visit some more waterfalls. These are some of the best waterfalls in the area because they are home to pristine swimming holes where everyone can just relax for awhile after a few days of hiking.
Here at the waterfall we will be doing different activities to get the kids involved and observing the natural world around them. After the morning in the jungle we will hike out and make the drive to the Turrialba area where we will be staying in the Espino Blanco Lodge which happens to be another eco-lodge surrounded by nature. Some people call this place very luxurious camping which is why the kids love it so much. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Leadership Skills Applied - Organization, Planning, Creativity
Transformative Learning Experiences - Being in touch with the natural world
Become Aware of - Nature
Relfection in order to Develop - Nature and expectations for summer camp
Journal Topics - No journal today just briefing on how each member felt before and after the jungle experience. Recap on trip.
Summer Camp for Kids

July 28th - Full Day Summer Camp Service For Locals (Sitio de Mata Homestays) (8-hours Service)

Today is where community service meets FUN! We will be hosting a summer camps for locals kids in a village called Sitio de Mata. We will get to the village in the early morning and the day will be spent at the local soccer field and community center. The campers will be the younger kids of the village and they'll be doing games and educational activities designed by the LEAD kids. This mini-camp happens to always be the highlight of the trip for many students and without question a highlight of the summer for the local kids.
In the evening we will have a camp fiesta with games and competitions for the campers. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Leadership Skills Applied - Organization, communication, time management, team work, execution of a plan, interpersonal skills, and enthusiasm.
Transformative Learning Experiences - connecting with children from Costa Rica
Become Aware of - lives of the locals
Relfection in order to Develop - thoughts, feelings of the day and the process
Journal Topics - Highlight of the day, how did local kids benefit, what could have been done more efficiently next time?

July 29th - Enter River Pacuare for full two day Team Building (Pacuare Tent Camp)

LEADers Rafting Pacuare River
After a full day at camp it will be a full day on the river today. The Pacuare River is known by National Geographic as one of the top five commercially rafted rivers on the planet for it's scenery. Today the kids will begin from early morning learning about teamwork. We'll be sleeping overnight in the jungle giving us the opportunity to take our time on the river and focus on different life skills and team building topics.
The evening will include different activities, plus our CRR story teller will induldge us with some of the ancient myths of the nearby indigenous Bribri and Cabecar Tribes. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Leadership Skills Applied - Teamwork, communication, motivation
Transformative Learning Experiences - The River
Become Aware of - What nature has to offer; the indigenous tribes
Relfection in order to Develop - Teamwork, indigenous lifestyle
Visiting the Indigenous Communities
Journal Topics - What does it mean to be a team member on a raft? How can this relate to the world working as a team to help with some basic problems of today?

July 30th - Hike to Indigenous Village (Pacuare Camp) (4-Hours Community Service)

Today you will wake up surrounded by tropical lush primary rainforest and the sounds of the Pacuare River. The topics of learning about today will involve the different environmental issues of the tropics and how it can affect the entire life system of Earth. The topics which seem much more real on the river are: Fresh water, soil degradation, climate change, and the amazing wonder of Biomimicry, getting kids excited to learn from nature and not just learn about nature.
Pacuare Tent Lodge
Today is a unique day as we will venture into the lives of an ancient culture as we join the Cabecar Indigenous families deep in their reserve. A local guide and member of the Cabecar community will arrive to our camp and join us as we hike into the nearby community and see and learn what true sustainable living off the Earth looks like for these ancient cultures. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Leadership Skills Applied - Teamwork, facing adversity/challenges, decision making
Transformative Learning Experiences - The River; Learning from nature not just about nature
Become Aware of - Biomimicry, challenges for leaders
Relfection in order to Develop - Types of leaders and challenges
Journal Topics - How do you feel that nature knows a lot about things that we have yet to figure out? Have you always respected nature? Can you describe the affect of different everyday things back home that might affect nature in a positive or negative way?
Happy Future LEADers writing in Journals

July 31st - Raft Out Pacuare, Visit Orphanage, & Travel to San Jose (La Condesa)

Today we will be rafitng the most adventurous part of the Pacuare River as we enjoy some great class III & IV rapids. We will make our way also through the most scenic part of the Pacuare and enjoy some hikes around the river bank. We will also be teaching the kids a few of our wilderness survival skills as we show them the basics to getting by in the jungle!
After we take out of the river we will be visiting an orphanage in Guapiles where the kids will have a chance to exchange gifts and spend some quality time as they will surely be remembered. This is a special visit and usually has the largest impact on all of our LEAD Members and a great motivation to try and work to conserve the planet for future generations. 
We will then make our way back to San Jose where we will be staying at La Condesa Hotel and have a very exciting last night graduation planned for all of our New LEAD Members! (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Leadership Skills Applied - Serving, Organization, Courage, Advocating
Transformative Learning Experiences - Reforestation and Zipline
Become Aware of - Importance of Trees, climate, food supply
Relfection in order to Develop - Advocate, Making a difference
Journal Topics - Were you talking a lot or staying quiet before the zipline?

Trip Leader: Tom Ranieri
Environmentalist, dog lover, 12 years owner and operator of Costa Rican Resource

Price: $1778 / student

Includes: Double occupancy lodging, All meals included, all lodging, All LEAD program materials, Emergency care insurance.

Not Included: International Airfare & Exit Tax from Costa Rica $26's