Costa Rica National Parks & Volcanoes

NOTE: Rates based on Triple & Quad occupancy for the students and double rooms for the teachers. No single rooms available unless a single supplement is paid.

DURATION: 9 Days / 8 Nights
CHAPERONES: One free ticket for every 20 students. Minimum 20 students.
INCLUDE: 8 nights lodging in high quality Hotels, all land transportation within Costa Rica, all airport/ hotel transfers on scheduled arrival/ departures dates only, specified meals, specified tours, private transportation and naturalist tour guide.
NOT INCLUDE: International air fare, airport departure taxes, meals not specified in the itinerary, alcoholic beverages, personal equipment, extras in hotels (laundry, phone calls, room service), gratuities, or costs associated with changes in your itinerary for reasons beyond our control.
WHAT´S TO BRING: Hiking Shoes, Bathing Suit, Binoculars, Camera, Beach Sandals, Suntan Lotion, Hat, Mosquito Repellent.
GROUP RATE: $1.295 Minimum 20 students.

EDUCATIONAL OBJETIVES: To learn about Rivers, Active Volcanoes, Rainforest, National Parks, Rain Forest, Dry Forest, Wildlife, Ecotourism and Tropical Beaches.

LETTER CODES: (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1. WELCOME TO COSTA RICA. Arrival to the International Airport Juan Santamaria. Upon arrival at the San Jose airport, you will be met by one of our representatives how will explain your itinerary, answer any questions and provide you with a packet of vouchers and information about your trip. Transfer to Hotel Park Inn and free time at leisure.

Optional and depending on arrival time: City Tour: Visiting: San Jose, University of Costa Rica, San Pedro, Principal buildings as National Museum, National Teather, Congress, Yellow House, Plaza de la Cultura, Gold Museum, etc. Residential areas and principal Malls. Dinner on your own.

Day 2. POAS VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK AND LA PAZ WATERFALLS (B, L, D) As we ascend towards the Poás Volcano we will notice the change in temperature and vegetation; we will see coffee plantations as well as fern, flower and strawberry farms along the way, creating a beautiful landscape. There are two crater lakes near the summit. The northern lake is known as the Laguna Caliente (“hot lagoon”) and is located at a height of 2,300 m in a crater approximately 1.7 km wide and 290–300 m deep. It is one of the world’s most acidic lakes. The acidity varies after rain and changes in volcanic activity, sometimes reaching a pH of almost 0; consequently, it supports little or no aquatic life. The bottom of this lake is covered with a layer of liquid Sulphur. Acid gases create acid rain and acid fog, causing damage to surrounding ecosystems and often irritation of eyes and lungs. Lake Botos, the southern lake, fills an inactive crater, which last erupted in 7500 BC. It is cold and clear, and is surrounded by a cloud forest located within the Poás Volcano National Park.

Once at the park, you will be able to admire the crater from a beautiful lookout point not too far from the main park’s entrance. The Visitors center offer a cafeteria, a souvenir store, a video room and a small museum regarding the volcano.

Following the visit to the volcano we will continue to La Paz Water Fall Garden for lunch and tour. On arrival to the La Paz, we will walk through a trail, leading to a spectacular waterfall in the middle of the rainforest. Inside the park we will also visit the hummingbird gallery, the Serpentarium, the bird house, the butterfly garden, the Monkeys, Felines and the frog’s exhibit. At La Paz Waterfalls Gardens, you will have a great time learning with our naturalist tour guide all about the rich Costa Rican biodiversity.

By the middle of the afternoon, you will return to the hotel.

Day 3. IRAZU VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK. (B, L, D). This popular tour starts with the pick up at your hotel. After it, one-hour transfer will take you to the summit of this beautiful volcano.

Irazú Volcano National Park is a National Park in the Central Volcanic Conservation Area of Costa Rica.  The volcano is still active although the last major eruptions were between 1963 and 1965, with occasional minor eruptions and some small lava flows since that time.

The Crater Principal lake has an unusual greenish yellow coloring caused by rainfall dissolving the minerals along the craters walls. It has also been known to change color to rust-red depending on the minerals present.

The name could come from either the combination of “ara” (point) and “tzu” (thunder) or a corruption of Iztarú, which was the name of an indigenous village on the flanks of the volcano. In Costa Rica, it is known by the name of “El Coloso” (The Colossus) due to the catastrophes that it has provoked in the past.

The volcano’s summit has several craters, one of which contains Diego de la Haya, a green crater lake of variable depth. At 11,260 feet (3,432 m), the Irazú Volcano is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. It is easily visited from San José, with a road leading right up to the summit craters. From the top, it is possible to see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on a clear day. However, such clear days are rare, and the volcano’s summit is usually cloud-covered.

The national park contains both primary and secondary montane forests and is home to armadillos, owls, rabbits, foxes, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds. Temperatures at its summit vary between 3 and 17 °C (37 and 63 °F)

Irazu volcano is a stratovolcano with a summit elevation of 3,432 meters (11,260 ft). Its five craters are easily differentiated. The most important ones, because of their activity, are The Main Crater and the Diego de la Haya crater. The Main Crater is almost circular, has very inclined walls and it measures 1,050 meters (3,440 ft) in diameter and 300 meters (980 ft) deep. The Diego de la Haya crater is 600 meters (2,000 ft) in diameter and 100 meters (330 ft) deep. Other craters are Playa Hermosa, La Laguna, and El Pyroclastic.

After an exciting tour at the volcano, we will descend to the historical city of Cartago. Here you will visit the mysterious ruins of the old Parish and view the beautiful Basilica of our “Virgen de los Angeles” with rich displays of carvings, statues and art.

Lunch in Cartago and dinner in San Jose in a close restaurant to the hotel.

Day 4. SARAPIQUI COMMUNITY PROJECT AND ARENAL VOLCANO (B, L, D).  Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Sarapiqui region located in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. Drive though the Braulio Carrillo National Park and rainforest. Once in Sarapiqui area, visit to Calle La Lucha school. This is a typical rural and very poor school that Greenway Tours has been supporting for the last 5 years. At the school, the group will develop a small social program in order to help the students and the institution. During this visit the students will be able to learn more about a rural school in CR and their necessities. The activity will be lead by the school principal and all the students will be able to interact each other. During the activity, local and foreign will develop a project for clean the school, painting, fixing broken items and reforestation in the surrenders. This is a 3 hours activity.

Lunch at a La Tirimbina Reserve and after lunch, the group will continue to Arenal Volcano area. Upon arrival, check in at Hotel Arenal Country Inn. Free time at leisure. Dinner in La Fortuna Town.

Day 5. LA FORTUNA WATERFALL AND BALDI HOT SPRINGS. (B, L, D). Breakfast at the Hotel and departure to La Fortuna Waterfall. Located just 6 km outside the town of La Fortuna, this stunning waterfall provides visitors with a wonderful place to swim and relax. Situated at the base of the dormant Chato volcano amidst a thriving rain forest, the location for this waterfall couldn’t get any better. The hike to the waterfall takes about 20 minutes and leads through lush tropical forest. The waterfall itself is about 75 meters high, and plummets into a natural pool of water that is perfect for swimming. Splash about with friends, take pictures, and enjoy one of nature’s finest sights. After this Eco Experience, the group will visit the famous Baldi Hot Springs. Baldi Hot Springs. This water park is great experience, where the students will enjoy several waterslides, multiple thermal pools, giant steam room and exuberant gardens all around the complex. Buffet lunch and dinner will be serve at this complex in order to maximize the experience at this unique place.

Day 6. MANUEL ANTONIO  PARK (B, L, D) Say good by to Arenal and enjoy the journey to the Central Pacific Coast until the arrival to Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. Lunch in the middle of the way. Once at Manuel Antonio, check in at Hotel Verde Mar or similar. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 7. MANUEL ANTONIO  PARK TOUR (B, L, D) With only 900 hectares, including 12 islands in its vicinity, Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest and yet the most visited park in the country. This is a guided walk where we will appreciate the park’s importance as a transition zone where the tropical dry forest and rainforest meet. In a relatively short distance, we can appreciate the mangrove wetlands and visit one of the most beautiful beaches on the Pacific coast.

The walk in the park starts on the “The Sloth Trail” walking about 40 minutes will be waiting for us “Playa Manuel Antonio” where we will have refreshments and rest to enjoy this beautiful beach. After crossing the “The Trap trail” will continue our destination in “Playa Espadilla Sur” known as the “Tombolo” (in Spanish) that is an isthmus formed by the accumulation of sediment between the mainland and Punta Catedral, which in the past was an island.

Wildlife in the park is abundant, and is likely to have a chance to see sloths, raccoons or any of the three types of monkeys (capuchin, squirrel and howler monkeys). Have reported more than 350 species of birds in the park and surrounding areas is common to see agoutis, armadillos, iguanas and raccoons.

Free time is included for the enjoyment of the beach, considered as one of the top 20 beaches in the world.

Day 8. MANUEL ANTONIO  PARK – SAN JOSE. (B, L, D) Morning breakfast at the hotel and free time for enjoy the beautiful beach. By Noon, hotel check out and return to San Jose. Stop for lunch on route. Upon arrival to San Jose, Check In at Hotel Park Inn. Evening, farewell dinner in San Jose.

Day 9. TRANSFER OUT (B). Transfer to the International Airport according with your scheduled flight and good bye.

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