Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Miami Country Day Costa Rica 2012

Arenal Volcano

Sunday ------- Arrive and Travel to Arenal (Arenal Hotel) 

Today we will meet you at the airport with your driver and guide. We'll stop for lunch then make the 2 1/2 hour drive to the famous Arenal Volcano. When we get to Arenal we'll be staying just in front of the volcano and each room will have a great view of the volcano. We'll have a short meeting in the evening after dinner to discuss some of the activities and standards for the week and we plan on the students learning during their adventure in Costa Rica. (Meals: Lunch & Dinner)

Monday ------- Zipline, National Park, & Organic Farm (Arenal Hotel) 

We'll to start the trip with some adventure today. The kids will get their first view of the rainforest of Costa Rica from a cable hanging 700ft above the rainforest floor. This is a chance to experience the best zipline in Costa Rica with amazing views of the Arenal Volcano. After the zipline we'll head to the National Park of Arenal. Here we will make a hike through the National Park and the kids will be doing some community service in the park. We plan on mixing some hiking with some work of getting dirty in the park. Every kid will get a rake or a shovel and it is time to get the trails ready for the upcoming high season. Trail working is fun and doing it next to the active volcano makes a nice backdrop for the community service pictures we send home. We will be eating lunch in the park and going back to the pool in the hotel to cool down. In the evening we will make the short drive to Don Juan's farm.  He's a master of Organic Farming and loves to share his knowledge and fare with students. We will arrive around 5pm which is nice as the sun is not as hot and the kids seem to get more involved. After a tour with Don Juan we will enjoy dinner at the farm. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Tuesday ------- Travel to Tirimbina Biological Reserve & Night Hike (Tirimbina) 

Pacuare Tent-Lodge
After breakfast we will make our way to the Tirimbina Biological Reserve. Here the kids get to experience the lowland tropical rainforest and one of the areas that biologist come from all over the world just to get to study the exhuberant biodiversity of this area of Costa Rica. We will be in the larger forest area of the famous Organization for Tropical Studies. OTS is world renown as one of the top scientific research locations in all of the tropics. We will arrive at the Reserve in time for lunch. Afterwards we'll go out into the jungle where we'll learn about different species and critters of the tropical rainforest. The afternoon will be spent doing activities and games that get the kids involved in the surroundings, making them observe the area as we play games that engage them with nature. In the evening it will be back to the jungle where we take the night hike. For this hike we will have two naturalist guides so and we will split up into two groups. This will allow the students to get more involved with their guide and what is being observed. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Wednesday ---- Enter River Rafting Adventure (River Camping Lodge) 

What has been considered by almost all our student groups as the best adventure in Costa Rica, is the overnight Pacuare Trip. It is an amazinzg adventure that offers you a night in the jungle on the banks of one of the planet's top rivers for whitewater rafting. We will get an early start and put in a little bit farther up stream than the last year's MCDS group. We will raft for around two hours today taking our time and stopping along the way for a river lunch. Then we will make our way to the Pacuare Tent-Lodge. This is a beautiful lodge that has a dining area, social area for relaxing in hammocks, bathrooms, showers, and above ground tents located on the river edge surrounded by pristine tropical rainforest. The evening will be spent doing activities at the lodge. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Thursday --- Leave River and travel to near Airport (La Condesa Hotel) 
Pacuare Canyon

Get ready for the best two hours of your week in Costa Rica. After breakfast in the jungle we will make head back to the rafts and get ready for the famous Pacuare Canyon. Here we will find some of the better class III & IV rapids and some of the best scenery in all of Costa Rica with beautiful canyons and waterfalls in the distance. After we make our way down the river for three hours we will go back to the San Jose area where we will be staying in a hotel located near the airport but still a beautiful area surrounded by nature. La Condesa Hotel is located at 6,000ft and will make for a cool last evening in Costa Rica. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Friday ---- Fly Home! B

You will be transfered to the airport today which is around a 30 minute drive. (Meals: Breakfast)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Curtis Eco-Adventure

Day 1 ------- Arrive & Drive to Dominical Area (Necochea Inn)


Today we will meet you at the airport with your private guide and driver. The first day we will make a complete travel day and it will help if you come in on an early flight. We will head to the Central Pacific where you will be staying in your own private Inn with amazing rooms and views of the Pacific. (Meals Included: None)


Day 2 ------- Zipline & Tarzan Swing (Necochea Inn)


Waste no time as we get ready to get the kids in the jungle and let the adventure begin. We will start the day on one of the best ziplines in all the country. This zipline is located on a ridge that is 1,000ft above sea-level with breathtaking views of the Pacific coastline. One of the best parts about this zipline is the different zips, the tree rappels, and the famous Tarzan Swing. After the morning of adventure we'll visit the nearby beaches where you can get a feel for the water for your next day of surf classes! (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)
Surf Classes




Day 3 ------- Surf Classes (Necochea Inn)


Breakfast will be prepared for you at Necochea and then we are off to surf class. This is often one of the favorites of the kids and a chance to surf on the waves of the Pacific. We use larger soft boards on some of the smaller waves and usually the kids have no problem getting up. After a day of surfing, it is back to the Inn to enjoy another sunset on the Pacific. (Meals: Breakfast)




Day 4 ------- Enter Cavern & Waterfall Rappel (Sleep Behind Waterfalls)



Sunset from the Cavern

Today we will enter one of the most unique places in all of Costa Rica. Not only is it unique but also one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica. With this said it comes with a price. There is a hike to the Cavern that is about 1 1/2 hours through the jungle. There are quite a few stairs but well worth the sweat to make it to the top where you will be rappeling a 150ft waterfall. Here is where you will be sleeping at the bottom of your rappel which is behind three beautiful waterfalls. Although we will be much farther inland we will take another short hike and be at the top of a 600ft waterfall where you'll view your final Pacific sunset on your Costa Rica adventure. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)




Day 5 ------- Hike to Pools & Travel to Turrialba (Casa Turire)


When you wake up to the sound of the waterfalls you will then smell the brewing coffee which will be ready for you when you get up. We'll have a delicious breakfast and then make another hike to the pools which are located nearby. If you are up for it you can jump off a 15ft waterfall into a pristine pool. After lunch in the cavern we will head out and drive to Turrialba. Here we will be staying in the Casa Turire Hotel which is one of our favorite hotels in the country. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)
The Curtis River Lunch


Day 6 ------- Enter Pacuare River (Pacuare Tent Lodge)


Today we will enter the Pacaure River which happens to be one of the top five scenic rivers on the planet according to National Geographic. The river will be running low in January and is an easy run for younger crowds. We will spend the first day on the river, rafting some class I's & II rapids and as we make our way down you will enjoy a river lunch made by your CRR-chefs/river guides. Ok, they're not chefs but they try and they even have a river cheese-cake which is pretty good. We will then make our way to the camp lodge which will be located on the river banks with beautiful views down river. This is camping but it is not roughing it by any means. There are very nice bathrooms and showers and a social lounging area where you can relax and enjoy the evening on the river. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)




Day 7 ------- Raft Pacuare Canyon & Travel to San Jose (Grano de Oro)


After you wake up and spend a few moments on the river bank during the early morning we will enjoy a hearty breakfast and make our way down the Pacuare Canyon. The next two hours of the trip happen to be the best two hours I know of in Costa Rica. We will be running the class III & IV rapids of Pacuare River.  The scenery is unmatched by almost anywhere in Costa Rica. After our rafting down the Pacuare Canyon we will make our way just 1 1/2 hours back to the city of San Jose where you will be staying 20 minutes from the airport in another one of our favorite hotels, Grano de Oro. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)


Day 8 ------- Fly Home!


The Pacuare Canyon 
Today you driver and guide will transport you to the airport and we can start planning your next Costa Rica Adventure!

Friday, August 19, 2011

LEAD Program Costa Rica


LEAD--Leadership Experience Awareness Development 

Raft, Sleep Behind Waterfalls, Zipline, Organic Farm, Surf, Volcanoes, + 20 hours of Community Service, Team Building, and a Scavenger Hunt throughout the 10-day Adventure

July 16th --------- Arrive and Stay in Central Valley (La Condesa Hotel)

Today you will be met by your CRR representative at the gateway airport in Orlando FL. From here it will be a three hour flight to the capital city of San Jose. When the group arrives at the airport they will be met by the rest of the CRR staff. At the first hotel we'll begin with ice-breakers to get to know everyone. Next we'll go over rules and regulations for the week and what kind of adventure and fun to expect during the next 10 days. The LEAD kids will also be given two different projects which they will begin working on. The first is their mini-camp with the local kids and the second is their visit to the orphanage. We will be participating in four different projects but these two will be developed and worked on each evening by the LEAD members where they will come up with activities for how they plan to operate the mini-camp and their visit to the orphanage.


Leadership Skills Applied - Public speaking, conversation, organization, planning, interpersonal 

Transformative Learning Experiences - International travel, cultural experience

Become Aware of - Compare/Contrast Costa Rica vs US,  interaction with other LEAD members

Relfection in order to Develop - Experiences of first day (travel, first impressions), expectations

Journal Topics - One page on First impressions of people & place and how it feels to be away from home. 


July 17th --------- Visit University of Peace & Travel to Pacific Coast (La Cusinga)

After a good night sleep and a hearty breakfast our Leadership group continue on to the United Nations University of Peace. Here the students will spend the morning getting a tour, history, and lectures from some of the  UN professors from all over the world on an introduction to world issues and what leaders of the future can bring to the table to make the world a better place. 

After our visit to the University we will be on our way to the southern Pacific and staying in one of Costa Rica's best ecolodges. The ecolodge is called La Cusinga and comes with a great story of a US man who moved down in 1972 and was able to pioneer much of the conservation projects that now make Costa Rica one of the epicenters of ecotourism on the planet. In the evening we will be spending time reflecting on the time spent at the university and each student will have time to journal. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Conflict Resolution, 

Transformative Learning Experiences - World renowned United Nations University of Peace, Understanding of an Ecolodge

Become Aware of - World Issues, Cause and affect of Peace/Conflict, Conflict Resolutions, Environmental issues

Relfection in order to Develop - Leadership, Peace, Responsibility

Journal Topics - How you feel about the world issues we learned today. Do they make you sad, motivated, discouraged? How leaders can help?


July 18th --------- Community Service & Surf Classes (La Cusinga) (4-hours Service)

We will wake up to the sounds of the waves of the Pacific crashing just below. When staying at La Cusinga you have some of the best views of the Pacific you can find. With 200 acres of primary rainforest, it is where the jungle meets the sea. In the morning we will be taking part in our first community service project which will be a total of 4 hours. Each child will be making a biodigester food bin for a local family or school. We'll present them and then teach the importance of what can be done by composting food scraps.

In the afternoon we'll hit the beaches of the Pacific and partake in a surfing class done by the local experts. Surfing will be the beginning of the adventure side of the trip. We'll finish our day on the beach, with a Sunset Dinner right on the Pacific. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Service, Public Speaking, Teamwork, Organization, Self-confidence 

Transformative Learning Experiences - Serving the community, learning a new skill(surfing), appreciation nature(sunset).

Become Aware of - Importance of composting, local school environment, fun in the outdoors.

Relfection in order to Develop - Service, living sustainably, compare/contrast CR schools to US

Journal Topics - Free writing and difficulties of surfing. What was it that motivated you to get up after falling down so many times or what is it that made you get up so many times. Ways you can use the community service project to help back home?

July 19th --------- Hike to Cave & Waterfall Rappel include Team Building (Sleep Behind Waterfalls)

After two days on the beautiful Pacific we will make our way inland. We'll drive for one hour and then it is the end of the road. The hiking will begin. This is an intense hike that puts everyone to the test. We'll hike for around 2 1/2 hours in the morning to reach a beautiful organic garden. Here the feast will begin with some of the best tasting fruits in the tropics and we'll learn some great lessons on organic farming. After our short rest in the organic garden we will continue to one of the most beautiful places you will find in all of the tropics. Here the students will be sleeping behind three beautiful waterfalls tucked away in one of Costa Rica's most hidden canyons. The real adventure will begin when we take on the 150ft waterfall. This is a rappel that again will put the kids to the test when they are asked to walk off the edge. It is an amazing experience that builds confidence like no other adventure we have. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Leadership Skills Applied - Motivation, teamwork, self-confidence, fortitude, commitment, and diligence 

Transformative Learning Experiences - Completing the hike, rappelling

Become Aware of - your strength of mind, character and resilience; permaculture

Relfection in order to Develop - Teamwork, fears, strengths and weakness

Journal Topics - Free Writing...

July 20th --------- Hike to Pools & Travel to Turrialba (Espino Blanco Lodge)

Today we will head out of the Cavern but we will first visit some more waterfalls. These are some of the best waterfalls in the area because they are home to pristine swimming holes where everyone can just relax for awhile after a few days of hiking. 

Here at the waterfall we will be doing different activities to get the kids involved and observing the natural world around them. After the morning in the jungle we will hike out and make the drive to the Turrialba area where we will be staying in the Espino Blanco Lodge which happens to be another eco-lodge surrounded by nature. Some people call this place very luxurious camping which is why the kids love it so much. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Organization, Planning, Creativity

Transformative Learning Experiences - Being in touch with the natural world

Become Aware of - Nature

Relfection in order to Develop - Nature and expectations for summer camp

Journal Topics - No journal today just briefing on how each member felt before and after the jungle experience. Recap on trip.


July 21st --------- Full Day Summer Camp Service For Locals (Espino Blanco) (8-hours Service)

Today is where community service meets FUN! We will be hosting a summer camps for locals kids in a village called Sitio de Mata. We will get to the village in the early morning and the day will be spent at the local soccer field and community center. The campers will be the younger kids of the village and they'll be doing games and educational activities designed by the LEAD kids. This mini-camp happens to always be the highlight of the trip for many students and without question a highlight of the summer for the local kids. 

In the evening we will have a camp fiesta with games and competitions for the campers. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Organization, communication, time management, team work, execution of a plan, interpersonal skills, and enthusiasm.

Transformative Learning Experiences - connecting with children from Costa Rica

Become Aware of - lives of the locals

Relfection in order to Develop - thoughts, feelings of the day and the process

Journal Topics - Highlight of the day, how did local kids benefit, what could have been done more efficiently next time?


July 22st --------- Enter River Pacuare for full two day Team Building (Pacuare Tent Camp)

After a full day at camp it will be a full day on the river today. The Pacuare River is known by National Geographic as one of the top five commercially rafted rivers on the planet for it's scenery. Today the kids will begin from early morning learning about teamwork. We'll be sleeping overnight in the jungle giving us the opportunity to take our time on the river and focus on different life skills and team building topics. 

The evening will include different activities, plus our CRR story teller will induldge us with some of the ancient myths of the nearby indigenous Bribri and Cabecar Tribes. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Teamwork, communication, motivation

Transformative Learning Experiences - The River

Become Aware of - What nature has to offer; the indigenous tribes

Relfection in order to Develop - Teamwork, indigenous lifestyle

Journal Topics - What does it mean to be a team member on a raft? How can this relate to the world working as a team to help with some basic problems of today?

July 23nd -------- Leave Pacuare & Travel to Arenal Volcano (Casa Luna Lodge)

Today you will wake up surrounded by tropical lush primary rainforest and the sounds of the Pacuare River. The topics of learning about today will involve the different environmental issues of the tropics and how it can affect the entire life system of Earth. The topics which seem much more real on the river are: Fresh water, soil degradation, climate change, and the amazing wonder of Biomimicry, getting kids excited to learn from nature and not just learn about nature. 

The group will be faced with a mock challenge today that will call for leaders to stand up and make decisions in order for the trip on the river to continue. This is a mock excercise that is run during rescue training. It helps find the leader in all of us who can make decisions when the pressure is on. 

In the evening we will be traveling to the Arenal Volcano.  We'll have a hearty meal with excellent views of the volcano. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Teamwork, facing adversity/challenges, decision making

Transformative Learning Experiences - The River; Learning from nature not just about nature

Become Aware of - Biomimicry, challenges for leaders

Relfection in order to Develop - Types of leaders and challenges

Journal Topics - How do you feel that nature knows a lot about things that we have yet to figure out? Have you always respected nature? Can you describe the affect of different everyday things back home that might affect nature in a positive or negative way?



July 24rd --------- Service Project on Organic Farm & Zipline (Casa Luna Lodge)

The community service today will be a project geared towards reforestation. Not only will we be planting trees but also learning about the carbon cycle and the role trees in the tropics play in regulating climate. The project will be held at an organic farm where we will also learn about our food supply looking at it from a global point of view.

After the morning of working on the farm we will make our way to Costa Rica's top zipline. This is one with eight different cables that run 1km long and are strung 700ft above the rainforest floor. This is one of the top adventures that will put the kids to the test and challenge their fears. 

Leadership Skills Applied - Serving, Organization, Courage, Advocating

Transformative Learning Experiences - Reforestation and Zipline

Become Aware of - Importance of Trees, climate, food supply

Relfection in order to Develop - Advocate, Making a difference

Journal Topics - Were you talking a lot or staying quiet before the zipline?  


July 25th --------- Travel to San Jose and visit orphanage  (Airport Hotel) (4-hours Service)

Today we drive back to the Central Valley, San Jose area where we'll make one last stop at what makes Costa Rica so special- the people. The visit will be to a local orphanage that is home to teenage kids. This is a chance to stop-by and execute the second project the LEAD kids plan. We will are partake in activities, games, songs, ideas for education and ways they can help all planned by throughout the trip by the LEAD kids. We (the CRR team) take a step back in this event as the LEAD kids become incharge and orchestrate this event. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Teamwork, organization, communication, public speaking, execution of a plan, interpersonal skills, and enthusiasm

Transformative Learning Experiences - Connecting with the kids from the Orphanage

Become Aware of - The less fortunate, ways to help others

Relfection in order to Develop - The whole thing!

Journal Topics - Sum it up for us!

July 26th --------- Fly Home!

L.E.A.D.

Leadership Experience Awareness Development

Raft, Sleep Behind Waterfalls, Zipline, Organic Farm, Surf, Volcanoes, + 20 hours of Community Service, Team Building, and a full on Scavenger Hunt throughout the 10-day adventure

July 16th --------- Arrive and Stay in Central Valley (La Condesa Hotel)

Today you will be met by your CRR representative at the gateway airport in Orlando FL. From here it will be a 3 hour flight to the capital city of San Jose. When the group arrives to San Jose the group will be met by the rest of the CRR staff. When you arrive to the first hotel the group will begin with ice-breakers to get to know everyone and rules and regulations of the week and what to expect during the next 10 days of adventure and fun. The LEAD kids will also be given two different projects which they will begin working on. The first is their mini-camp with the local kids and the second is their visit to the orphanage. We will be participating in 4 different projects but these two will be developed and worked on each evening by the LEAD members where they will come up with activities for how they plan to operate the mini-camp and the visit to the orphanage.


Leadership Skills Applied -

Transformative Learning Experiences -

Become Aware of -

Relfection in order to Develop -

Briefing & Journal Topics -


July 17th --------- Visit University of Peace & Travel to Pacific Coast (La Cusinga)

After a good night sleep and a hearty breakfast our Leadership program will make it's way to the United Nations Unviversity of Peace. Here the students will spend the morning getting a tour, history, and lectures from some of the top UN proffessors from all over the world on an introduction to world issues and what leaders of the future can bring to the table to make the world a better place.

After our visit to the University we will make our way to the southern Pacific where we will be staying in one of Costa Rica's best ecolodges. The ecolodge is called La Cusinga and comes with a great story of a US man who moved down in 1972 and was able to pioneer much of the conservation projects that now make Costa Rica one of the epicenters of ecotourism on the planet. In the evening we will be spending time reflecting on the time spent at the UN university and each child will have time to journal. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Leadership Skills Applied - 

Transformative Learning Experiences - 

Become Aware of -

Relfection in order to Develop - 

Briefing & Journal Topics - 



July 18th --------- Community Service & Surf Classes (La Cusinga) (4-hours Service)

We will wake up to the sounds of the waves of the Pacific crashing just below. Staying at La Cusinga ecolodges is home to some of the best views of the Pacific you can find with 200 acres of primary rainforest it is where the jungle meets the sea. In the morning we will be taking part in our first community service project which will be a total of 4 hours. Each child will be making a biodigester food bin for local families and schools where we will present them and then teach the importance of what can be done by composting food scraps.

In the afternoon we will make our way to the beaches of the Pacific and enjoy a surfing class done by the local experts. The surfing will be a chance for the kids to begin to enjoy the adventure side of this trip and along with hours on the beach we will stay and enjoy a sunset meal on the Pacific ocean. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Leadership Skills Applied - 

Transformative Learning Experiences - 

Become Aware of -

Relfection in order to Develop - 

Briefing & Journal Topics -


July 19th --------- Hike to Cave & Waterfall Rappel include Team Building (Sleep Behind Waterfalls)


After two days on the beautiful pacific we will begin to make our way inland. Today we will drive for one hour and then it is the end of the road. The hiking will begin. This is an intense hike that puts everyone to the test. We will make the morning hiking for around 2 1/2 hours as we arrive to a beautiful organic garden. Here the feast will begin with some of the best tasting fruits in the tropics. After our short rest in the organic garden we will continue to one of the most beautiful places you will find in all of the tropics. Here the students will be sleeping behind 3 beautiful waterfalls tucked away in one of Costa Rica's most hidden canyons. The real adventure will begin when we take on the 150ft waterfall. This will be a rappel that again will put the kids to the test when they are asked to walk off the edge. It is an amazing experience that builds confidence like no other adventure we have. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)





Leadership Skills Applied - 

Transformative Learning Experiences - 

Become Aware of -

Relfection in order to Develop - 

Briefing & Journal Topics -



July 20th --------- Hike to Pools & Travel to Turrialba (Espino Blanco Lodge)


Today we will make our way out of the Cavern but we will first visit some more waterfalls. These are some of the best waterfalls in the area because they are home to the pristine swimming holes where everyone can just relax for awhile after a few days of hiking.

Here at the waterfall we will be doing different activities to get the kids involved and observing the natural world around them. After the morning in the jungle we will hike out and make the drive to the Turrialba area where we will be staying in the Espino Blanco Lodge which happens to be another eco-lodge surrounded by nature. Some people call this place very luxurious camping which is why the kids love it so much. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)



Leadership Skills Applied - 

Transformative Learning Experiences - 

Become Aware of -

Relfection in order to Develop - 

Briefing & Journal Topics - 




July 21st --------- Full Day Summer Camp Service For Locals (Espino Blanco) (8-hours Service)


Today is where community service meets FUN! We will be hosting a summer camps for locals kids in a village called Sitio de Mata. We will arrive to the village in the early morning and the day will be spent at the local soccer field and community center. We will be hosting the camp for small kids of the village with games and educational activities. This mini-camp happens to always be the highlight of the trip for many kids and without question a highlight of the summer for the local kids.

In the evening we will have a camp fiesta with a games and competitions for the campers. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Leadership Skills Applied - 

Transformative Learning Experiences - 

Become Aware of -

Relfection in order to Develop - 

Briefing & Journal Topics - 




July 22st --------- Enter River Pacuare for full two day Team Building (Pacuare Tent Camp)


After a full day at camp it will be a full day on the river today. The Pacuare River is known by National Geographic as one of the top 5 commercially rafted rivers on the planet for it's scenery. Today the kids will begin from early morning learning about team building. We operate the rafting trip sleeping overnight in the jungle offering the opportunity for us to take our time on the river and focus on different life skills and team building topics.

The evening will include different activities where our CRR story teller will induldge us on some of the ancient myths of the nearby indigenous tribes of Bribri and Cabecar. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Leadership Skills Applied -

Transformative Learning Experiences - 

Become Aware of -

Relfection in order to Develop - 

Briefing & Journal Topics -



July 23nd -------- Leave Pacuare & Travel to Arenal Volcano (Casa Luna Lodge)


Today you will wake up surrounded by tropical lush primary rainforest and the sounds of the Pacuare River. The topics of learning about today will involve the different environmental issues of the tropics and how it can affect the entire life system of Earth. The topics which always seem fitting are Fresh water, soil degradation, climate change, and the amazing wonder of Biomimicry getting kids excited to learn from nature and not just learn about nature.

The group will be faced with a mock challenge today that will call for leaders to stand up and make decisions in order for the trip on the river to continue. This is a mock excercise that is run during rescue training as a mental growth in finding the leader in all of us to make decisions when the pressure is on.

In the evening we will be traveling to the Arenal volcano where we will enjoy a very hearty meal with excellent views of the Arenal Volcano. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Leadership Skills Applied -

Transformative Learning Experiences - 

Become Aware of -

Relfection in order to Develop - 

Briefing & Journal Topics -





July 24rd --------- Service on Organic Farm & Zipline (Casa Luna Lodge) (4-hours Service)


The community service today will be a project geared towards reforestation. Not only will we be planting trees but also learning about he carbon cycle and role trees in the tropics play in regulating climate. The project will be held at an organic farm where we will also learn about our food supply looking at it from a global point of view.

After the morning of working on the farm we will make our way to Costa Rica's top zipline. This is one with 8 different cables that run 1km long and are strung 700ft above the rainforest floor. This is one of the top adventures that will put the kids to the test and challenge their fears.


Leadership Skills Applied -

Transformative Learning Experiences - 

Become Aware of -

Relfection in order to Develop - 

Briefing & Journal Topics -





July 25th --------- Travel to San Jose and visit orphanage  (Airport Hotel) (4-hours Service)


We will make our trip back to the Central Valley San Jose area where we will make one last stop at what makes Costa Rica so special and that is it's people. The visit will be to a local orphanage that is home to teenage kids. This is a chance to stop by and have different projects planned. During the LEAD stay one of the projects we have is that everynight the kids get together and plan their visit to the Orphanage with games, songs, ideas for education and ways they can help. We take a step back in this event as the LEAD kids become incharge and orchestrate this event. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Leadership Skills Applied -

Transformative Learning Experiences - 

Become Aware of -

Relfection in order to Develop - 

Briefing & Journal Topics -



July 26th --------- Fly Home!

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!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Michael Option 2

Villa Blanca Cloud-forest perfect for relaxing
Day 1 --------- Arrive and Drive to Villa Blanca or Monteverde (Villa Blanca or El Establo)

Today we will meet you at the airport with your naturalist guide. We often use Villa Blanca when guest are looking for the cloud-forest. It is similar to Monteverde and is a beautiful hotel. The other option would be to make the drive to Monteverde. Either option would work out fine. The Villa Blanca is 1 hour and 15 minutes from the airport while Monteverde is 3 hours.


Day 2 --------- Cloud-forest activities (Villa Blanca or El Establo)

Relax day and/or Nature Hike. If you wanted to just relax and kick back I would have to suggest the Villa Blanca. You can relax at Monteverde also but it would not make sense for the extra travel time just to relax. You will find at Villa Blanca much of the same with a lot less people. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 3 ---------- Travel to Arenal Volcano (Nayara Resort)


If you stay in Monteverde you can go on to Arenal via a small boat across Lake Arenal. If you stay at Villa Blanca it will be an hour drive. We will arrive with plenty of time to either do a half day activity or we can go directly to the Nayara Resort to relax and enjoy the grounds of the hotel. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 4 ---------- Zipline, Waterfall Hike, & Organic Farm (Nayara Resort)

This is the day where you ask yourself, 700ft? What are we doing?! Like I said Michael, it really isnt that bad but it is definitely something you will be talking about when you get back to England. After the zip we will go for the waterfall hike and then the organic farm. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 5 ---------- Canyoneering & HotSprings (Nayara Resort)

The kids will love this. As I explained in the last itinerary they might even like this more than rafting, well maybe not that much, rafting is our favorite gig but they will surely enjoy canyoneering. After the canyoneering it is time to relax in the hotsprings. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 6 ---------- Drive to Turrialba (Hacienda Tayutic)

Enjoy Our Duckies
This is about a 3 1/2 hour drive, really not that bad because much of it is on straight flat road. We can break up the drive with a chocolate tour where you learn about the cacao tree. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 7 ----------- Raft Pejibaye River in Duckies (Hacienda Tayutic)

Today you will have time to relax in the village of Sitio de Mata and we also plan on visiting the nearby river Pejibaye where we will go down in mini rafts. These are called duckies and they are a lot of fun as you feel you are actually in the river. The kids will be able to steer their own duckie for some of the rapids and you can take them all on. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 8 ----------- Enter Pacuare (Pacuare Lodge)


Get ready, it is the best two days of the trip. You know we love this river and if it was long enough we would do 3 and 4 day trips but I guess you will have to settle for just 1 or 2 days. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 9 ----------- Raft Pacuare Canyon & Travel to Tortuguero (Manatos Tortuguero)


We'll finish rafting the Pacuare River and travel to Tortuguero. This is a beautiful time to arrive by boat to Tortuguero in the afternoon. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 10 ---------- Boat Float in Canals (Manatos Tortuguero)



Don't expect any wild rapids on these canals, however, you'll see wildlife you will never see in the United Kingdom. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 11 ---------- Fly to Puerto Jimenez (Nicuesa Ecolodge)


From one coast to the next and you'll be staying at one of our favorite places -- Nicuesa Ecolodge. This is an outstanding place that you will have to share with howler monkeys and scarlett macaws. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 12 ---------- Sea-Kayak at Lodge (Nicuesa Ecolodge)


If you have had enough of all the monkeys then take a break and row around with the dolphins on the sea-kayaks. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)




Day 13 - 18 ---------- Fly to Tamarindo & Relax


Try some surf classes with the kids Tamarindo. It is a great place to learn to surf. (Meals: Breakfast)


Day 19 ---------- Fly Home!