Monday, April 4, 2011

Pat McCool Sample 9-Day

Some Local Dance to break the ice
Day 1 ------ Arrive & Drive to Turrialba Area (Casa Turire)

Today we will drive outside of the Central Valley and stay in the Turrialba area. Here you will get the chance to stay at a great place which will be important that everyone gets some rest after a long day of traveling. Lunch will be included at the hotel. The hotel has a great view of the smoking Turrialba volcano. After a siesta we will take everyone to a nearby village where we will have a dinner for everyone in our Sitio de Mata Project which is amazing food, great people, and a chance to learn about the culture of Costa Rica.
Drive time from airport to hotel: 2 hours
(Meals: Lunch & Dinner)

Day 2 ------- Raft Pacuare River (Casa Luna Lodge)

Today is a travel day but the best part is we will be doing a good portion of it on one of the planets most scenic rivers. The Pacuare river is listed by National Geographic as one of the top five in the world for scenery. This is a great day of rafting through the primary rainforest and we will see large canyons and beautiful waterfalls from start to finish. CRR outfits the rafting which allows for our river trips to be private and go at our own pace. When we get out of the river everyone will change to dry clothes and then we will make the drive to the Arenal area. The hotel where we will be staying at has great views of the Arenal Volcano and will have dinner for us when we arrive. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Pacuare River
Travel Times: The drive time from Casa Turire hotel to river Pacuare is 20 minutes and the drive from the take out of Pacuare to Arenal volcano is 3 1/2 hours which will be your longest time on the bus but it works out nice because everyone always sleeps after rowing on the river. The river run is also 3 1/2 hours.

Day 3 -------- Zipline & Visit town of La Fortuna (Casa Luna Lodge)

Today you will do what we consider the best zipline in the country. There are over 100 different companies that have a zipline now and this is by far the best. Not only does it have the best view of the Arenal volcano and lake but it is also the highest, fastest, and safest. We ride up to the top on a gandola ride which is a great tour of the top layers of the rainforest and gives everyone a chance to see up close the different epiphytes that populate the upper layers of the neo-tropics. After we do the zipline we will make our way over to the town of La Fortuna where we will visit a local place for lunch and the kids can enjoy some time walking around town visiting some shops. It is a great town for walking around and let the kids get some time to explore. After the time in town we will head to the hotel where they can enjoy the pool. In the evening we will take the kids out for dinner. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Travel time: Casa Luna Lodge to Zipline is 20 minutes and to town is only 5 minutes.

Day 4 ---------- Danaus Reserve, Visit La Fortuna Waterfall, & Organic Farm (Casa Luna Lodge)

Arenal Volcano
Today we will visit one of my most favorite spots. It does not have the adrenaline of river rafting or the beauty of a huge waterfall but it is a small private reserve of just over 6 acres that is now reforested for only the past eleven years. It is amazing to show the kids what nature can do in such a short amount of time. There is much biodiversity here from sloths, poisonous dart frogs, butterflies, and much more. It is a perfect place to spend a morning concentrating on science as is much of this itinerary. After the reserve we will make our way to La Fortuna Falls which is a nice little hike of 532 stairs. These are not your average house stairs but it worth it for the swimming hole at the bottom. In the evening we can do dinner at an organic farm which is a great experience and very educational as we walk through the farm. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Travel Time: 15 minutes to all places today everything is very close.

Day 5 ------------ Ride Boat to Monteverde Cloud-forest (Monteverde Hotel)

Today we will leave early and make the drive to the Monteverde area. We will be at a much higher elevation and give the students a chance to see the different types of flor and fauna with the change of altitude. This area is known as the cloud-forest. When we arrive there will be a number of optional things for the kids to visit that run in the area of $10's as you mentioned would be nice to offer. They range from cheese factory, amphibian area, night hike, and much more. Dinner will be at the hotel. We use a number of different hotels in the area from Heliconia, El Sapo Dorado, Belmar, Poco a Poco all nice places. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Travel time to Monteverde: 2 hours but 45 minutes is a boat ride with views of the volcano.

Day 6 ------------ Visit Monteverde Reserve & Drive to Manuel Antonio (Villa Bosque)

Game on Pat!
Today we will visit the Monteverde Reserve which is a hike through the cloud-forest and a must see for any science class visiting the area. We will spend the morning in the reserve and then back in the bus  and drive to Manuel Antonio. We will plan on leaving just after lunch and arriving to Manuel Antonio before dinner where we will eat at the hotel. They will be staying in Villa Bosque in Manuel Antonio which is a great place because of it's location. It gives everyone the chance to walk everywhere and also it right at the entrance of the National Park on one end and the public beaches on the other which makes for the perfect location. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Travel Time: 3 hours & 20 minutes from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio

Day 7 ------------ Tour the National Park of Manuel Antonio (Villa Bosque)

Manuel Antonio National Park
Today we will be up and ready to go after breakfast. It is good to get into the park early so you can beat the crowds. The park is closed on Mondays but I dont think with the Frontier flight this day is a Monday. Here the kids will get their fill of seeing monkeys. There area plenty of monkeys and actually everyday at 4pm the endemic squirrel monkey passes through the hotel grounds on it's way into the park. This is nice hike very educational and then a very nice treat of the nicest beaches in all of Costa Rica at the end of the hike which are found inside the park. When we leave the park we will head to the hotel for lunch (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Travel Time: 2 minute walk to park & 1 1/2 hour hike in park slow pace

Day 8 ------------ Beach Day or Optional Tours (Villa Bosque)

Today is there day to relax. They can enjoy the pool at the hotel or they can do what most do and enjoy the public beach which happens to be one of the nicest in the country. There are a number of optional tours from a rainforest spice tour, sea-kayaks, or snorkeling (these tours are going to be high priced around $50's or more. They can rent surf boards for $10's or rent the sea-kayaks for $15/hour and not do the guided tour it is a calm beach and safe waters so I often let them rent by the hour and row around in the bay with a kayak & lifevest)  We will plan on having a farewell dinner and this meal will be included.  If you decide to go with the early morning flight on day 9 we will just drive back to the airport area on this day in the afternoon. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 9 ------------- Drive to the airport and fly home!

Today we will drive to the San Jose airport. Dont forget the exit tax of $26's. (Meals: Breakfast)
Travel Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes from hotel to San Jose airport.

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