Alumnae Travel Program

Costa Rica: A World of Nature  
featuring Tortuguero National Park, Sarapiquí Rainforest & Manuel Antonio National Park Itinerary
More details here.

Day 1: Sunday, May 17, 2015 San Jose, Costa Rica
Tour Begins  Journey to Costa Rica and discover the fascinating tropical eco-systems of Tortuguero National Park, Sarapiquí Rainforest and Manuel Antonio National Park. Embark on many exclusive explorations of the country’s natural gems. Take time for independent personal discovery  

Day 2: Monday, May 18, 2015 San Jose - Tortuguero National Park 
Begin the day surrounded by dormant volcanos and crater lakes as you journey through Braulio Carrillo National Park en route to the Caribbean low lands. Along the way, take in the mountain vistas and Caribbean-style villages. Later, discover the natural wonders of the rainforest of Tortuguero National Park as you cruise the rivers and canals with your guide. Enjoy a two-night stay at your eco-lodge surrounded by the beauty of a tropical forest and an array of wildlife. Learn more about your surroundings with a visit to the world’s first Green Turtle Research Station. Discover how to protect the turtle’s nesting habitat and eggs. Join your fellow travelers this evening for a welcome reception followed by dinner. (B, L, D)  

Day 3: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 Tortuguero National Park 
Set out on an early morning bird watching excursion* that explores the variety of local species and migratory birds that flock to this area. Find yourself surrounded by wildlife as you embark on a cruise through the park – keep an eye out for howler monkeys, sloths, toucans and caimans, as well as exotic flora. Tortuguero National Park, a study in rainforest, freshwater and marine biology, protects over 350 species of birds and mammals. Savor time to explore and seek out green macaws; 57 species of amphibians; 111 species of reptiles; and 60 mammal species, including 13 of Costa Rica’s endangered animals including jaguars, tapirs, ocelots, cougars, river otters and manatees. (B, L, D)  

Day 4: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Tortuguero National Park
Sarapiquí  Embark on a leisurely boat ride to the mainland as you travel to the fascinating Sarapiquí region. Make a stop at an organic pineapple plantation to learn about the various types of this exotic fruit and taste why Costa Rican pineapples are among the world’s best. Join a local expert at La Tirimbina Biological Reserve for a fascinating presentation on bats, explaining the biological importance of these flying mammals. (B, L, D)  

Day 5: Thursday, May 21, 2015 Sarapiquí 
At a cacao plantation, discover the history and continuing importance of cacao to Central America’s economy. Observe the process of producing chocolate from the cacao bean and sample the delicious finished product. Add some zest to your life with an exhilarating Sarapiquí River rafting adventure. Before tonight’s dinner, enjoy a culinary demonstration by a Costa Rican chef and learn how to cook palmito (Hearts of Palm) picadillo, tortillas, plantains and refried beans. (B, D)  

Day 6: Friday, May 22, 2015 Sarapiquí - Arenal 
Begin the day engulfed in nature with an early morning bird watching tour along the natural forest trails and nearby stream. Later, behold the spectacular views of Arenal Volcano and absorb the tranquility of your surroundings in Arenal. (B, D)  

Day 7: Saturday, May 23, 2015 Arenal 
Today you will visit a family-owned farm and experience the life of a Costa Rican farmer. Grasp some of the knowledge and learn techniques that have been passed down for generations. Visit gardens of native and exotic medicinal plants and oversee the caretaking of edible crops. Learn about biodiversity on the farm, sustainability, and Costa Rican folklore among many other things. Enjoy a lunch at the farm with a selection of Costa Rican favorites. Spend the afternoon at leisure and enjoy the lodge’s amenities, relax in a hot spring or explore nature trails. (B, L)  

Day 8: Sunday, May 24, 2015 Arenal
Hanging Bridges Tour, Arenal Canopy Zip-Line or Hot Springs  Today you get to choose** from 3 amazing experiences! Perhaps you will experience a one-of-a-kind combination of pure air and rainforest on a delightful "hanging bridges" tour. Or, you may choose to soar through the Arenal Volcano Rainforest on an amazing zip-line canopy tour to gain a bird’s-eye-view of the endless primary forest, Lake Arenal and the majestic Arenal Volcano. Maybe your choice will be to simply relax and soak away your worries in the luxurious soothing waters of one of the region’s famous hot springs. (B, D)  

Day 9: Monday, May 25, 2015 Arenal-Tárcoles
Sunset Jungle Crocodile Safari & Bird Watching by Boat  Travel the beautiful checkered landscape surrounding Lake Arenal while en route to the Pacific coast. Explore the natural surroundings and exotic wildlife of Tárcoles River during a sunset jungle crocodile safari and bird watching boat excursion. See the awesome mangrove ecosystem and one of the world's largest crocodile populations in the wild. View resident and migrant waterfowl, iguanas and over fifty different kinds of birds, including the very rare scarlet macaw. Enjoy a wonderful “dinner under the stars” featuring tasty local cuisine and lively tropical music. (B, D)  

Day 10: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 Tárcoles
Manuel Antonio National Park - Tárcoles  Explore spectacular Manuel Antonio National Park, known for its pristine beaches and primary forest. Spend the morning leisurely walking the forest trails in search of native inhabitants like the three-toed sloth, agoutis, squirrel monkeys and iguanas. Take a swim in the inviting blue waters of its beaches. Relax for the rest of the day by the pool and absorb the natural beauty of your surroundings. This evening, enjoy dinner by the beach, overlooking the Pacific Ocean (weather permitting). (B, D)  

Day 11: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Tárcoles - Sarchí - San Jose 
After breakfast, travel to Sarchí, an important crafts center. Learn about the traditional crafts of this region and witness local artisans creating colorful oxcarts. Discover the history and cultivation techniques of coffee and its importance to the Costa Rican economy on a tour of the Espiritu Santo Coffee Plantation. Journey back to San Jose for your farewell dinner and overnight stay. (B, D)  

Day 12: Thursday, May 28, 2015 San Jose  
Tour Ends  Your tour ends today. (B)