Today we will meet you outside of the San Jose Airport. We'll drive 2 1/2 hour drive through the Central Valley of Costa Rica. We will be headed to Costa Rica's most well known volcano which is the perfectly cone-shaped Arenal Volcano. On our way we'll pass through many different ecosystems such as high elevation cloud-forest and then drop down into the lowlands of the northern plains. You will also get a chance to see much of the diary industry as we pass through the farms of the highlands. (Meals: Dinner)
Today we will start off with a little adventure and then make the entire afternoon educational. We will start with the zipline and if somebody does not want to zip they have the option of doing just the tram ride through a virgin rainforest canopy. The zipline will take you on cables almost 1km long and hanging 700ft above primary rainforest from start to finish with breath-taking views of the Arenal Volcano.
After the zipline we will spend the entire afternoon at the Don Juan Farm. Here we are going to take our time and get the full lesson on sustainable farming. We plan on having Don Juan do his in-depth tour emphazing sustainable agriculture. Then, of course, we'll have a delicious, very fresh, nutritious lunch there. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
We will leave the hotel after breakfast with our bags packed as we will make our way to the Village of Sitio de Mata. Before our arrival we will visit the EARTH University. This is an agriculture University known on a global level for it's efforts in teaching agriculture to students from around the world.
After our visit to the University we will make our way to the village of Sitio de Mata, located in a picturesque setting with fabulous views of the Turrialba Volcano which is constantly smoking for your cameras delight. The scenery is outstanding but not half as good as the people you will meet. It's village filled with smiling kids and parents, a world of simple living with happy minds! (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
This is the day that is filled with culture and fun and education. We will begin the day visiting one of the most important centers in all of the tropical region on a global level named CATIE. This is a center where students from all over the world come and learn and study different techniques of agriculture to help solve the poverty issues of the world through more sustainable agriculture. In the afternoon we will be back to the homestays and enjoying some more time with our new friends visiting the local organic compost system that the village uses for fertilizer.
The evening will be cultural fun which will include learning how to cook the local cuisine, a soccer game with the local kids, and a evening fiesta where you are introduced to the dance and music of the country. This is an evening that you will not forget and one of the true highlights of visiting Costa Rica. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
Listed by National Geographic as one of the top five commercially rafted rivers in the world, Pacuare lives up to every bit of the press it gets. The river is filled with canyons, waterfalls, and virgin rainforest as you get a true sense of what the miraculous wonders of nature can do when left alone. This is a class III & IV section and our age limit is 10 yr old. If smaller kids are on the tour we can offer an alternative option to rafting and the group will be reunited at the end of the rafting trip.
After a full day of rafting we plan on making this a relaxed day on the beach. You will have the chance to rent some surf-boards with the kids, visit some of the local shops, and just enjoy some fruity drinks with your toes in the sand. We will meet back up for dinner and go over day 7's adventure. (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)
Today is another beach day but we also plan on taking you to a nearby Permaculture Garden where you will see a different kind of organic farming. This is a real treat for a trip focusing on agriculture. A visit to this permaculture garden is a very interesting concept and much can be learned. This no doubt is a different concept and will be a nice comparison to the different ideas you have seen throughout the week. You will be enjoying a nature hike during your day through the low-land tropical rainforest and then the afternoon will be in the permaculture gardens.
In the afternoon it is some more beach time. You will have the option to finish the book you brought or maybe rent some surf boards and test your skills. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)
It would be ideal if you had a noon or later flight. We will make the drive back to the San Jose Airport where you will catch your flight home.