Announcing the 2008 Summer Adventure ...
A Costa Rican Expedition !!!
Day 1 San José
Flight to Costa Rica • Your adventure begins as you board your flight for Costa Rica. Arrival in San José • Touch down in San José, the country’s bustling capital and cultural center. Founded in 1737 as “Villa Nueva de la Boca del Monte del Valle de Abra,” the city’s name was later changed in honor of its patron saint, Saint Joseph.
Day 2 San José • Tortuguero
Transfer to Tortuguero via Braulio Carrillo National Park • En route to Tortuguero, make a photo stop at Braulio Carrillo National Park. The 109,000-acre park, named for Costa Rica’s third president, boasts majestic forests and a spectacular array of flora and fauna, including giant oaks, the Poás magnolia, howler monkeys, hummingbirds and the revered quetzal. You will also visit a banana plantation before continuing by boat to Tortuguero. Tour director-led sightseeing of Tortuguero Village • Your tour director shows you the unspoiled beauty of Tortuguero Village, gateway to the Parque Nacional Tortuguero. Founded in the 1930s by Colombians exporting sea turtles and coconuts, Tortuguero Village today is accessible only by boat and home to just 700 residents. The village retains its charm and breathtaking scenery, despite the tourists from around the world who flock to it every year.
Day 3 Tortuguero
Boat ride through the Tortuguero canals • Howler monkeys, toucans and caimans are waiting to meet you around every twist of the Tortuguero canals.
Day 4 Tortuguero • Arenal Region
Transfer to Arenal Volcano • Behold the Arenal Volcano, whose perfect conical shape emerges from the green hills of Alajuela. Overlooking the San Carlos plain and the Pacific lowlands, this mile-high volcano has been active for the last 4,000 years. Visit to the hot springs • Experience the relaxation properties of natural hot springs, filled with water heated by nearby volcanoes and channeled into pools. It’s an ideal way to soothe muscles after the day’s activities!
Day 5 Arenal Region • Monteverde
Transfer to Monteverde • Continue through the mountainous scenery to the Monteverde (Green Mountain) Reserve. The Reserve was settled in 1951 by a group of Alabama Quakers; attracted by the country’s pacifist history, they began dairy farming here. In 1972, the area became the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a private non-profit reserve with six distinct ecological zones containing a wide range of spectacular flora and fauna.
Optional transfer on horseback to Monteverde • Opt to explore Monteverde by horse! Your bus will head to La Cruz de Monteverde, where horses and guides will be awaiting your arrival. During your two-and-a-halfhour trip, you will visit a local school where you’ll interact with Costa Rican students and have the opportunity to sample homemade refreshments. Afterwards, the bus will take you to back your hotel in Monteverde.
Day 6 Monteverde Reserve
Half-day at Santa Elena Cloud Forest • Explore the spectacular Santa Elena Cloud Forest, a paradise rich in diverse plant and animal life and situated near the Continental Divide. Warm northeasterly trade winds, filled with moisture, blow in over the Atlantic. As the winds sweep up to the Continental Divide, they cool and condense to form clouds, bathing the forest in a constant soft mist. The cloud forest averages twelve feet of rain annually! Look for bromeliads and orchids as well as brightly colored quetzals among the lush flora. Until recently, the reserve was one of only two places in the world that was home to the now-extinct golden toad (sapo dorado).
Canopy tour • On our canopy tour, you will make like the birds and the monkeys that call the cloud forest home. Special trails, suspension footbridges and zip lines unveil one of the planet’s most fascinating ecological systems from a unique perspective—the tops of the trees. With local expert guides at your side, you can decide which view you prefer—from below or from above!
Day 7 Monteverde • Guanacaste
Butterfly Garden and Ecological Farm at Monteverde • At the Butterfly Garden, you’ll see 40 species of local butterflies in four habitat gardens. Track the “Zebra Longwing,” the “Owl” and the “Floating Tiger” as they flutter among the tropical leaves. Then visit an ecological farm, a protected area of forest covering 75 acres. As you hike trails past panoramic views and cascading waterfalls, look for monkeys, porcupines and sloths, as well as 150 species of birds.
Do your part save the rain forest. We will visit a reforestation project and you have the option of joining in on planting trees and making a lasting impact on the environment.
Transfer to Guanacaste • Make your way to the coastal paradise of Guanacaste.
Day 8 Guanacaste
Free time on Guanacaste Beach • Spend a relaxing day in the coastal paradise of Guanacaste. Miles of idyllic sandy beaches wind along the coastline not far from large cattle ranches. In pre-Columbian times, superior quality ceramics were the order of the day— archaeologists have found several priceless pieces in regional excavations. Today, outdoor active pursuits draw visitors from near and far. There’s diving, surfing, boating, fishing, hiking— all taking place amongst the semi-active volcanoes, marshes, tropical forests and rivers that make up this ecologically diverse region.
Day 9 Rincón de la Vieja • Guanacaste
Full-day excursion to Rincón de la Vieja National Park • Enjoy a special excursion today to Rincón de la Vieja National Park, a rain/cloud forest located high in the mountains. Visit geothermal hot springs reminiscent of those at Yellowstone National Park, and view a wide variety of plant, bird and animal species. The highlight is the Blue Lagoon; its color and name come from the minerals in the stones beneath the lagoon, which is fed by a giant waterfall.
Day 10 Guanacaste • San José
Free morning • This morning is free for more relaxation on the beach. Transfer to San José • Later today, travel back to San José for your last night in Costa Rica. • Join our Costa Rican Fiesta Night and learn about the rich cultural traditions of the region as you enjoy a traditional meal, marimba music and entertainment by a local dance troupe.
Day 11 Home
Return home • Your tour director assists with the transfer to the airport, where you’ll check in for your return flight home.
This 11-day Costa Rican experience is available at a price developed with struggling students in mind and all faculty, staff, and community members can travel under the same low fee schedule. The rates are well below the typical market value for such an excursion. A limited number of scholarships are available to students who qualify. Individuals interested in earning college credit can enroll for three hours of college credit at either an upper or lower division level.
This exciting opportunity is open not only to WVU Parkersburg students but the community as well. Special predeparture meetings will be held in the Spring to assist travelers with preparations and introduce them to Costa Rican culture. The predeparture sessions are coordinated by WVU Parkersburg Corporate and Community Education.
For more information and a cost quote, feel free to contact Gregg or Mary Beth Busch, Coordinators of International Travel and Education, 304-424-8000 ext. 409, or 304-424-8271 or email email@example.com.
Sign up now, space is limited, and join us on this fun and once-in-a-lifetime experience anticipated to depart July 13, 2008 (subject to change)!
To request more information about this exciting opportunity, click here!
Return to the International Education Homepage.