Wednesday, August 17, 2011

July 2012 Summer Program

July 1st ------- Arrive (La Condesa)

Students will be met at the gateway airport by their Costa Rican Resource representative who will be with them on their flight and take them through Costa Rican customs and immigration. They will board  their awaiting transportation and make the 30 minute drive to the first hotel, La Condesa. Here the group will have their first briefing including ice-breakers with members of the group and CRR Team, plus go over the itinerary, rules and regulations for the two weeks ahead. (Meals: Dinner)

July 2nd ------ Visit United Nations University of Peace, Travel to Dominical (La Cusinga Ecolodge)

We will get a good night sleep and then head out after a hearty breakfast at La Condesa. On our way to Dominical we will stop at the University of Peace where the kids will get an introduction to Costa Rica's history as being a leader in social and environmental stability. Then it is on to the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, staying at one of the most renown ecolodges in the area. La Cusinga Ecolodge is not just any hotel. It is a hotel that dedicates its grounds to conservation. Since La Cusinga is completely surrounded by nature,  guests receive an education on ways to live more sustainably with the environment. The location is tough to beat and is just steps away from the Pacific Ocean. The Lodge is located on a ledge, with breath-taking views of the deep blue Pacific.

In the evening we will have a bonfire and games. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 3rd ------- Surf Classes (La Cusinga Ecolodge)

In the morning we will start with a short nature hike and explanation of the tropics and what role it plays globally. Then it is time to head to the beach. Here we will be taking a surf class, learning the basics of surfing. Everyone will have their own board and a chance to take on some waves.

In the evening it is back to La Cusinga.  We will get together and the kids can reflect and talk about their experience of being at the ecolodge for two days and their first adventure of surfing. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 4th ------- Hike to Cavern (Sleep Behind Waterfall)

Let the real adventure begin as we get ready for the big hike of the trip. This is around a two hour hike that is mostly pretty steep. We will be making our way inland where we will climb a ridge that is home to one of the most beautiful canyons in all of the tropics. In this remote canyon we will be going under, over, and behind numerous waterfalls. We will actually be spending the night sleeping behind three majestic waterfalls.

On the way to the waterfall we will be visiting a permaculture garden where the kids can get a quick lesson on the basics of organic farming and trying some of the most tasty fruits of the tropics. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 5th ------- Hike to Pools & Rappel Waterfall (Sleep Behind Waterfall)

Today we will enjoy some more hiking but the best part is when we get to the top of the hike we will be rappeling down a 150ft waterfall tucked into the jungle with a backdrop of lush tropical rainforest as far as the eye can see. In the evening after a morning full of rappeling, jumping into pools, and hiking we will relax amid a bonfire. We will also be reflecting getting the kids to talk about their experience so far. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 6th ------- Travel to Turrialba (Espino Blanco Lodge)

After breakfast in the cavern we will say good-bye to the three waterfalls we have lived with for the last two days. We'll head to the town of Turrialba where we will stay at another hotel that is surrounded by nature known as Espino Blanco Lodge. This is a beautiful area surrounded by hiking trails and built literally inside of a private reserve removing as few trees as possible. When we arrive for dinner we will have dinner in a restaurant that shares much of it's space with the trees that come up through the floor and have been incorporated into the design of the lodge. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 7th ------- Visit Rural Village & Community Service (Espino Blanco Lodge)

Today we will visit our Sitio de Mata Project. This is a small rural village that CRR has been working with for years in the form of community service projects. Sitio de Mata is also an excellent example of how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. We will be enjoying lunch and dinner in the village and seeing the local song and dance of the rural community. We will also be doing some community service which will give the students a chance to give back for the welcoming hospitality they receive. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 8th ------- Enter River Pacuare (Pacuare Tent Camp)

Get ready, it is back to the adventure part of the trip. We will enter the Pacuare River which National Geographic has listed as one of their top five rivers on the planet. Here the kids will be immersed in tropical scenery at it's finest. After two hours of rafting we will reach the Pacuare Tent-Camp which is above ground tents and a lodge area that has amazing views of the river downstream. In the evening we will have dinner and meet at the social area for more reflections on the trip. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 9th ------- Raft Pacuare Canyon & Drive to Caribbean Coast (Villas Caribe)

The next two hours of the trip everyone will remember. This is the Pacuare Canyon and it is filled with some of the most adventurous rapids of this river. You will raft for around 2 hours today and paddle your way down the class III & IV rapids of the Pacuare. Along with the most exciting rapids, it happens to be the most scenic part of the river.  You'll pass by gorges, primary rainforest, and waterfalls of over 150ft that fall into the river. After the rafting we will make the drive to the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica where we will begin to experience some of the most biodiverse marine life in all of Costa Rica. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 10th ------ Snorkel Caribbean (Villas Caribe)

Just steps away from the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean we will get geared for snorkeling. This is a great morning spent in the water looking at the 35 different species of corals that are offered on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. In the evening we will enjoy a short nature hike to see all the different monkeys and sloths, as your guide explains some of the natural history about Costa Rica. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 11th ------ Visit Bribri Indigenous Tribe (Villas Caribe)

Today we will be heading into the ancient lands of the Bribri Indians. This is a day of riding, floating on a boat crossing a river, and then a short hike as we make our way into the remote area where the Bribri Tribe will be waiting to welcome us and greet us with their traditional songs and dance. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 12th ------ Travel to Arenal Volcano (Casa Luna Lodge)

It is time to see volcanoes. We will travel for the better part of the morning and arrive to the Arenal Volcano around mid-afternoon. Here we will be staying at the Casa Luna Lodge which has excellent views of the volcano from every room. The evening will be a chance to do a group briefing and recap on the many different activities from the adventure. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 13th ------ Zipline & Organic Farm (Casa Luna Lodge)

Just when you think the adventure is over it is time for the zipline. With all the ziplines in the country this is still our favorite. The Skytrek Zipline at the Arenal Volcano is one of the highest and fastest yet well-known also as the safest. This is a zipline that will run us from mountain top to mountain top reaching heights of over 700ft above the rainforest floor. When we are finished with the zipline it will be time for one of the best lunches you can ever imagine. We will be visiting the Organic Farm of Don Juan where we hope to make one of your last meals in Costa Rica your favorite with a little splash of sustainable learning also. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 14th ------ Travel to San Jose (La Condesa)

Today we will travel back to the Central Valley. The kids will have a chance to visit local souvenir shops and get some gifts for family back home. We will be staying in La Condesa our final night and plan on having a farewell fiesta, recapping on the many memories of this amazing adventure. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

July 15th ------ Fly Home!

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