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Costa Rica (9 Day) Trip Details

Introduction

Time Magazine calls Costa Rica the happiest nation in the world.

Costa Rica is a hub for sustainability and green lifestyle for both expats and locals.

Get to explore Costa Rica’s diversity as we venture deep into the rainforest around Arenal Volcano followed by adventure and relaxation at the beautiful beaches in Manuel Antonio, home to the country's most popular national park.

Duration: 9 days/8 nights

Start: Juan Santamaria international airport (SJO)
To ensure shuttle service: plan to arrive Day 1 by 1:00 PM

Finish: Juan Santamaria international airport (SJO)
To ensure shuttle service: plan to depart Day 9 after 1:30 PM

**This trip may run in reverse order Beach/Rainforest or Rainforest/Beach. Arrival/departure is always SJO**

Airfare booking details will be sent after registration – please wait to book your flight until you receive further instructions

What's Included

-9 days / 8 nights in Villas with roommates
-8 Breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 8 dinners
-Airport transportation to and from San Jose Airport (SJO)
-3 roundtrip shuttles to La Fortuna
-Tour of permaculture farm
-Cocal community cooking experience
-Under30Experiences staff members

-The chance to meet some kick-ass people

*Attendees are responsible for their own airfares

Highlights

-Sunset dinner at Playa Hermosa
-Cocal community cooking experience
-Enjoy the beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast
-Get hooked on some of the best coffee in the world
-Get a taste of the local culture in Manuel Antonio/Quepos
-Make your own adventure with other optional activities like surfing, yoga, canyoning, rafting, etc.
-Tour of permaculture farm
-Uncover the mysteries of Costa Rican rainforest while hiking
-Get hooked on some of the best coffee in the world
-Get a taste of the local culture in La Fortuna
-Explore local waterfalls in La Fortuna
-Sunset over the lake at the Lake Arenal Dam
-Relax at local hot springs

Plus, make your own adventure with other optional activities: ziplining, kayaking, rafting, hanging bridges park, arenal observatory hike, etc.

Is this Trip for You?

-Age requirement: 21+
-Group size: 18 max, average 15
-Mix of private and public transportation: Private shuttle to and from the airport; local bus and taxis around Manuel Antonio/Quepos (not included); private shuttle from the eco-lodge to La Fortuna (roundtrip).
-Physical rating: 2 - Average. Some activities might include moderate physical activity like hiking, walking, etc.
-Accommodations: Hotel Villas (4 nights) with roommate(s) and Hotel Bungalows (4 nights) with roommate(s).

Community

Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.

Whether you have joined us on a trip or are looking for a group of like-minded people, we welcome you to our travel community.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Meals

Meals in Manuel Antonio:

-Sample Breakfast Menu:

  • Local, fresh, gallo pinto, eggs, bacon, coffee, tea

-Sample Dinner Menu: 

  • Night 1: casados, tuna poki
  • Night 2: casados (Casado is a typical Costa Rican lunch consisting of: rice, beans, plantains, veggies or salad and chicken, fish, beef or pork)
  • Night 3: rice & chicken, pasta (pesto or bolognese) 
  • Night 4: local fish (mahi mahi, snapper)

Breakfasts and dinners can be modified to accommodate any dietary restriction

Meals at Eco-Lodge:

Grown on the permaculture farm and prepared right on site, eat like a local with delicious Costa Rican dishes like gallo pinto and some of the best fruit in the world. 

-Sample Breakfast Menu:

  • Gallo pinto, eggs, local fruits, homemade jams, fresh orange juice, coffee, tea

-Sample Dinner Menu:

  • Delicious and healthy foods prepared with the organic greens, vegetables, tubers, fruits, herbs, and dairy from the ecolodge
  • Menu varies depending on the weekly harvest

Breakfasts and dinners can be modified to accommodate dietary restrictions

Transport

Shared, comfortable, safe, air-conditioned private shuttle to and from the airport for your convenience

We will also provide comfortable, safe, air-conditioned transportation to La Fortuna and back to the ecolodge

Public bus and taxis around Manuel Antonio/Quepos (not included)

Accommodation

Boutique hotel rooms & bungalows for duration of trip

Single travelers are paired with someone of the same sex

*Private room options available upon request subject to hotel availability (for an extra charge)

Laundry available at hotel (inquire with front desk)
*Accommodations can vary but will be the same quality.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate on any of our trips.

When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Trip Leader Expectations

All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced trip leaders and community managers.

The goal of the trip leaders is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Packing List

Passport & Visas

Passports and Visas (Guidelines for US passport holders)

  • Make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for 60 days after your trip. Under30Experiences recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip.  Please consult the US Embassy with any more questions.
  • Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.

Health & Insurance

  • Please bring a sustainable water bottle to refill from the faucet; the water is safe to drink.  Join us in our effort to be environmentally friendly and keep Costa Rica beautiful.
  • Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads and has a minimum of $200,000 coverage.
  • Please consult with your doctor before traveling in regards to physical activity and vaccinations.
  • No innoculations are required to enter Costa Rica from the United States but the Center for Disease Control suggests vaccinating for Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
  • If you are traveling to Costa Rica from South America you will be required to present proof of Yellow Fever Vaccine.
  • Mosquito born viruses exist in most of Latin America.  Please cover exposed skin and use mosquito repellent.
  • Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.

Money & Currency

  • Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping.
  • Remember to call your bank and credit card company and let them know you will be traveling overseas.
  • Bring cash with you!  It will be helpful to have at least $200 USD cash on you during the trip for lunches, snacks, optional activities, souvenirs, etc.
  • Please be advised that slightly torn US dollar notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
  • All places accept USD so you do not need to convert to the local currency Colones.
  • If you’d like a better exchange rate call your bank and order Colones before your trip.
  • In Costa Rica, a 23% charge is added on to almost every meal (13% tax, 10% tip). Further tipping for wait staff is appropriate in the case of excellent service. When in doubt, ask your trip leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
  • Basic exchange rate is 500 colones to 1 dollar.  If a meal is 5,000 colones you can give them $10.
  • For an up-to-date exchange rate, dowload the app XE.

Safety & Security

  • Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance and passport with you.
  • Keep your passport and any valuables locked in the safe at the hotel.
  • Don’t leave valuables unattended on the beach.
  • Leave flashy jewelry at home.
  • US Citizens please register with US State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” who can contact your family in case of emergency: http://travelregistration.state.gov
  • Uber works at the San Jose Airport and is the safest way to call a taxi.  If you miss the shuttle, use the free-wifi to call an Uber.
  • Although Manuel Antonio/Quepos and La Fortuna area are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any town at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time activities, as they are the safest and easiest way to avoid any issues one might encounter on the streets after dark.
  • Taxis can be organized from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.

Weather

Average temperature in Manuel Antonio is 80-90 degrees fahrenheit during the day and 75-80 at night

Please expect showers and thunderstorms during certain times of the year that pass through the tropical forest

The Average temperature in around the Eco-Lodge is 75-85 degrees fahrenheit during the day and 65-75 at night

Please expect showers and thunderstorms most days that pass through the rainforest.

Key Phrases

Here are some key phrases you can use in Costa Rica:

  • Hello-- Hola
  • Excuse me-- Perdon 
  • How are you?--¿Como esta?
  • Thank you-- Gracias
  • Please-- Por favor
  • A beer please-- Una cerveza por favor
  • Pura Vida-- Pure Life (Costa Rica mantra)

Optional Activities

***While your trip leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time.***

Manuel Antonio optional activities

Quepo Canyoning - $80/pax

This tour combines all the BEST elements of the most exciting adventure tours in Costa Rica: Skilled Suspension Bridges, Waterfall Rappelling, The Famous “Monkey Drop”, Inclined Rappel, Tree Climbing Ladders, Canopy Tour Zip Lines, and Tree-Top Rappelling.

Includes: round-trip transportation from hotel, water, snacks, typical Costa Rican lunch.

Surf Lessons - $55/pax

This is a “must do.” Learn the Art of Surfing in one of the most popular surf towns of the Central Pacific Coast. Surfing lessons take place on the Manuel Antonio main beach every day. Our surf lessons are for people looking to develop their surf skills and those who just want to have fun.

Tour times: 9am and 2:00pm. (3 hours lessons).

Includes: Transportation, local instructors, Rash guards,  Fruits, Boards

Salsa Lessons - $10/pax (cash)

Learn the art of latin dancing as your private group instructor takes you step-by-step on mastering the latin rhythm while enjoying great music.

La Ceiba Waterfall Hike and Swim - $25/pax (cash)

Hike to the La Ceiba Waterfall. It is a 3.5 mile hike in to the famous falls one way, and the way back we will be picked up.  

La Ceiba Waterfalls in Costa Rica is the ideal place for lovers of nature and adventure where the tourist can expand the cavalcade, walk, swim, climb, jump, take pictures and enjoy a wonderful day, in one of the most beautiful places beautiful of the pacific south of Costa Rica.

Includes: Transportation and entrance fee.

Yoga - $10/pax (cash)

Take a relaxing yoga class with Under30’s very own private yoga instructor. Listen to the sounds of the jungle as you stretch out your body after the weeks adventures. This is a class for all levels, beginners and advanced yogis are welcome!

Includes: yoga instructor, mat

Secret Beach - Free

Hike 1.5 miles one-way to Under30’s favorite secret beach. Enjoy a half day adventure swimming and sunbathing in an untouched jungle paradise.

La Feria in Quepos (Farmer's market)

Throughout the year, a Farmers’ Market is held in Quepos along the waterfront. You’ll find an abundance of fresh, local produce for at good prices. You’ll also find free-range eggs, cheese, and freshly-baked breads and cakes.

Farmers set up every Friday mid-afternoon and sell their products until noon on Saturday.

Sunset Catamaran - $80/pax

Spend the afternoon on a boat checking out Costa Rica’s stunning coastline. Watch for dolphins and other marine life as you hang out with your new friends. Jump off the boat or ride down the slides.

Includes: Free drinks, appetizers, transportation

La Fortuna optional activities

Sky Trek – Ultimate Zip Lines - $81/pax

Sky Trek is a thrilling zip line circuit that’s located in both of our parks, Monteverde and La Fortuna. Your tour will start riding an open-air gondola from the ground to the heights where you’ll be dropped off at an observation area for fantastic views. From this area, you will start riding down on a zip line track stretching across canyons and in between treetops, the exhilarating adventure of zip lining down the mountainside begins; ultimately returning you to the starting point at the main building. This is the most thrilling zip line in the country.

Horseback Tour - $55/pax

Depart on horseback from our stables and behold unforgettable views of over 60,000 hectares of rainforest, Lake Arenal, Arenal Volcano, Cerro Chato, Volcan Tenorio, Miravalles and Rincon de La Vieja. This is a great way to take in the Ranch and our neighbourhood!

OPTIONS: Lake Arenal / El Mirador View Point

Lake Arenal Kayak Tour - $55/pax

Head out to the shores of Lake Arenal where adventure and relaxation await! Kayak towards Arenal Volcano, explore the abundance of life within the many inlets you pass along the way, and feel refreshed as you jump into the lake for a swim.

Hot springs - $8/pax

Thanks to the Arenal Volcano’s geothermal activity, there is a number of natural hot springs throughout the area. Warm and soothing, these springs offer visitors an ideal way to relax after a day spent exploring Arenal.

Hiking in Arenal Observatory Lodge - $10/pax

Explore rainforest, waterfalls, streams, 11 kilometers (7 miles) of trails, and see an amazing wealth of wildlife. Arenal Observatory Lodge is a renowned destination for bird watching in Costa Rica, with more than 500 species of birds noted so far in our forest.

White Water Rafting Class 3-4 - $80/pax

Bring on the adrenaline on the class 3-4 rafting trip on the Sarapiqui “Jungle Run!” This is the perfect Costa Rica rafting trip for adventurous paddlers! Whether you are a first-timer or a rafting expert, this rafting trip will guarantee to get your adrenaline pumping! Costa Rica Whitewater Rafting Sarapiqui class III-IV is one of the best adventure tours in Costa Rica!

You’ll experience over 30 continuous rapids with names like “The Terminator” and “Dos Locos” while surrounded by deep, lush jungle. That’s why we call it the Jungle Run!

Rafting is one of the most popular activities to do in Costa Rica and runs rain or shine just about EVERY day of the year. You are going to get wet anyway!

One of our friendly (and handsome) professional river guides will come by your hotel to pick you up. Be sure to be waiting in the lobby about 5 minutes prior to the established pick up time just in case he gets there a little early. He will check to make sure you have secure shoes, clothes to get wet in and that you have a day sack to bring along a change of clothes for after the tour. We sell dry bags and Chum sunglass holders, river shoes and commemorative souvenir Rio Sarapiqui t-shirts at our office in our EGO Store in case you need any last-minute supplies.

During your decent down the river, you will experience over 40 exciting rapids along 12 km of lush, vibrant rainforest. As you make your way through exciting rapids, we’ll be sure to get your adrenaline pumping! About half way down the river, you’ll stop and watch the rapids from the shore, while enjoying refreshing tropical fruit and relaxing with the rest of the group. Take a swim and enjoy the rushing waters around you!

Then, after the second leg of your rafting journey, you’ll finish the day with a delicious traditional lunch before heading back to your hotel on our comfortable air-conditioned van with FREE WiFi so be sure to post your photos to FaceBook and Instagram! You’ll sleep well after so much adventure!

General Rules

Illegal drugs or any illegal activity will not be tolerated on the trip. Possessing or using drugs puts the rest of the group at risk. Our trip leaders have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or any other illegal activity like prostitution.

Staying longer or arriving early?

-Check out Alajuela Backpackers Hostel for accommodations near the San Jose airport. Clean, friendly, affordable. They also provide free transportation to and from the airport.

-Visit the Cloud Forest of Monteverde

-Extend your stay in Manuel Antonio at Costa Verde Hotel or Selina’s Hostel.

Still need to book your flight?

Check out this article on Travel Hacking

Read our Ultimate Guide to Traveling Abroad

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Calendar

**This trip may run in reverse order Beach/Rainforest or Rainforest/Beach. Arrival/departure is always SJO**

2018 Dates

March 10-18, 2018 - Sold Out!
March 17-25, 2018 - Sold Out!
March 24 - April 1, 2018 - Sold Out!
March 31 - April 8, 2018 - Sold Out!
April 7-15, 2018 - Sold Out!
April 14-22, 2018 - Sold Out!
April 21-29, 2018 - Sold Out!
May 19-27, 2018 - Sold Out!
May 26 - June 3, 2018 - Sold Out!
June 9-17, 2018 
June 16-24, 2018
June 23 - July 1, 2018 
June 30 - July 8, 2018
July 21-29, 2018
July 28 - August 5, 2018
August 4-12, 2018
August 11-19, 2018
September 12-20, 2018
October 6-14, 2018
November 3-11, 2018
November 10-18, 2018
November 17-25, 2018
November 24 - December 2, 2018
December 1-9, 2018
December 8-16, 2018
December 15-23, 2018
December 29, 2018 - January 6, 2019

2019 Dates

December 29, 2018 - January 6, 2019
January 5-13, 2019
January 12-20, 2019
January 19-27, 2019
January 26 - February 3, 2019
February 2-10, 2019
February 9-17, 2019
February 16-24, 2019
February 23 - March 3, 2019
March 2-10, 2019
March 9-17, 2019
March 16-24, 2019
March 23-31, 2019
April 6-14, 2019
April 13-21, 2019

**This trip may run in reverse order Beach/Rainforest or Rainforest/Beach. Arrival/departure is always SJO**