Itinerary

Located outside the Central Valley on your way to the town of Turrialba we will make our first stop at a small family-wned hotel. This hotel has been around for years and has just recently been re-furbished. It is not a 5-Star resort but very clean, amazingly friendly service, and has a 10-Star view. The view of the Orosi Valley down below is one that few tourist when visiting Costa Rica get the chance to see. I really feel this is a great treat to stay here and a perfect way to start off the trip. (Meals: Dinner)

MEET THE SITIO DE MATA FAMILIES

Today we will get an early start and put our hiking shoes on. Our first stop will be the Turrialba Voclano. This volcano happens to be one of the most interesting in the last couple of years. We'll take a nice hike to the crater where we will be able to see the active volcano smoking. This will be an excellent opporutunity for the students to learn about the different types of volcanoes in Costa Rica and Central America. It will also be time for their guide to explain the formation of Costa Rica and how it relates to the subduction of the tectonic plates. After visiting the volcano we will make our way to the village of Sitio de Mata. This village, in our opinion, is the true gem of Costa Rica. We will recieve a warm welcome from the family members and the students will meet their new families and go to their homes where they will enjoy their first real Costa Rican meal. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Today we will enjoy breakfast in the village as we say good morning to the Turrialba Volcano. After breakfast we will make our way to the Tapanti National Park. This happens to be one of the most scenic parks in all of the country and is an amazing area for our naturalist guide to give the students an introduction to the different ecosystems of Costa Rica. We will need to get an early start as Tapanti gets quite a bit of rain but no worries it is all part of being in the rainforest. After we visit the park we will head back to the village to enjoy some activities in the afternoon which will consist of dance classes or some local cooking classes. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

This happens to be my favorite day. We spend our day around the village. We will plan on visiting a school where we will have the chance to interact and play some games with the local kids. Many of these kids we might recognize from being in our family homestays. After school is out we will head home for some lunch and then get ready for the "Village Cup"! This always turns out to be one of the most memorable experiences of the trip. We will play play and play. Its amazing how almost the whole village ends up playing in the game from the mom's, dad's, & even little ones. After the soccer game in the village we'll go back to the homestays, put on our dancing shoes and get ready for the community party. This is the community's chance to show off their stalents as they put on their local dance, music, and feed us till we almost burst. An amazing party for an amazing three day stay! (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Today we will raft what National Geographic as listed as one of the top five senic rivers on the planet. The Pacuare River is filled with waterfalls and canyons from start to finish. We will be rafting for around three hours in class III & IV rapids which will keep everyone plenty wet. To our right will be the Cabecar Indian Tribe. These are one of the eight different Indian tribes that live in Costa Rica. The Pacuare River is also surrounded by virgin rainforest from the time we put in to the time we take out. We will make our way just under 1/2 way down the river where we will stop and camp. All the camping and gear will be set up for us and dinner will be prepared. This is a chance to be surrounded by jungle and nature for the night and sleep to the sound of the river. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

We will wake up in the rainforest and enjoy breakfast as we sit on the river bank and talk about what strange noises we heard in the night. After we fill up and pack up things we will head to the rafts and get ready for the big day of rafting. It is actually today that we hit the big class IV's and we get the full rafting adventure. After we get out of the river we will make our way to the Arenal Volcano. This happens to be a perfectly cone-shaped volcnao and one of the 10 most active volcanoes on Earth. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Today we will hike the Arenal National Park. If you have ever thought of what it is like to hike on the moon then this might be what you were thinking. We will get an upclose look at the volcano and it's activity. We will actually be able to see boulders rollling down its side as we hike through the park and hear the thunder of the Arenal Volcano. Don't worry we will stay behind the study station of the Smithsonian as they keep a close eye on how the volcano is acting. In the afternoon we will enjoy what we consider the best lunch in the country. We will first get a tour of Don Juan's organic farm and a hands-on experience for the kids as hey actually pick and pull the same food they will be eating for lunch. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Read more about the Don Juan Organic Farm

Today we will make the drive to the airport and catch the fight back home and start planning your next Costa Rica Vacation.