So, you want to get away with your teenager(s), and it has to be a dynamic itinerary packed with loads of activities in order to hold their interest. At JOURNEYS, we have teenagers of our own, so we understand precisely how to design a trip that will appeal to yours. Our 8-day Costa Rica Adventure with Teens takes you to a steaming volcano, through exotic rainforest, across zip-lines, in jungle boats, to beautiful beaches and out on the ocean. Learn about sustainable Costa Rican agriculture, visit a school, and enjoy lunch in the home of a local family! This is a seriously action-packed trip that comes to a nice, relaxing close at a favorite Costa Rican beach location.
JOURNEYS INTERNATIONAL is a 35-year old family-owned award-winning eco and adventure travel company based in Ann Arbor. Costa Rica for Teens will be led by superb nature guides and accompanied in 2015 by JOURNEYS' senior destination specialist Kerina Rowley and her son, Adam. Designed to mark the occasion of Adam's high school graduation, this experience can be your family's trip of a lifetime as well!
- Day 1: Arrive San JoseWelcome to Costa Rica! (Photo credit: Wayde Carroll)
On arrival at the San Jose Airport, after clearing customs and immigration, we'll exit the airport terminal and meet our local representative who will assist with our transfer to the hotel. Later, we'll join our guide for an overview of tomorrow's activities. This will be a good time to ask any questions you might have.
*Note - A passport valid for 6 months after your return from Costa Rica is required for entry.
- Dinner available for purchase
- Hotel Country Inn & Suites
- Day 2: Tortuguero National ParkExplore the canals of Tortuguero
Today we'll make our way to the Tortuguero National Park area where we will spend the next several days. Tortuguero N.P. is known as Costa Rica's "Little Amazon". There are no roads - travel is by boat along a series of rivers and canals or by foot on forest paths. This is one of the best places to observe wildlife in Costa Rica and we'll have a good chance of spotting several species of monkeys, iguanas, crested basilisk lizards, sloths, caiman and colorful tropical birds. We'll start out with an estimated one hour drive through the beautiful Braulio Carrillo National Park before arriving at the canals lining the Atlantic Coast. We'll then board a boat for the trip to Tortugeuero, a spectacular 30 mile ride through tropical rainforest.
Upon arrival at the Mawamba Lodge, we'll have time to get settled before heading out on a visit to Tortuguero Village and taking a walk through the private forest trails of our lodge. The Mawamba Lodge is located on a sand bar between the Tortugeuero Canals and the Caribbean Sea on 15 acre beach front property. The lodge offers a swimming pool, frog garden, iguana farm, aquarium, two butterfly farms, and much more.
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Mawamba Lodge
- Day 3: Boat ToursSee hundreds of animals from the comfort of your boat. (Photo credit: Wayde Carroll)
We'll have the morning at our leisure to relax by the pool, hike the forest trails, or just sleep in. After lunch, we'll set off to spot the rich wildlife, navigating the rainforest canals by boat. Get your camera ready for numerous bird species, monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, iguanas, and more. Be sure to bring along your water shoes, insect repellent, sunscreen and a light rain jacket !
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Mawamba Lodge
- Day 4: To the Volcanic HighlandsBeautiful view of Arenal Volcano from your hotel.
After breakfast, we'll board our boat for the estimated one and a half hour ride to the river port at Guapiles where we meet our bus for the rest of today's journey. We drive about an hour through the jungles, wetlands, and rainforests of the lowlands to the town of El Roble where we have lunch at the home of a local family. Then we continue approximately two hours into the scenic highlands, offering spectacular views, where Arenal Volcano is located.
The volcano is a beautiful steaming cone covered in cloud forest full of wildlife. We'll settle into our beautiful resort for two nights.
- Breakfast, Lunch
- Arenal Manoa
- Day 5: Arenal Volcano, Zip-line & Hot SpringsHave fun zip-lining through Arenal N.P.
Following breakfast, we'll start off the day on a "high note" by riding the Sky Tram, a 20 minute gondola ride up the mountain offering incredible views of Arenal Lake, mountains covered by rainforests, and, of course, Arenal Volcano. We'll come back down via the Sky Trek, a 3,280 foot long zip line system for an exhilarating ride through the rainforest.
Later we'll visit Arenal Vida Campesina, a self-sufficient farm and learning center. Here we'll learn about newer sustainable agricultural techniques, life as a Costa Rican farmer, and common Costa Rican crops such as coffee, bananas, plantains, sugar cane, etc. We'll also see various animals on the farm, which provide organic waste that is converted into fertilizer. At the end of the tour, we'll enjoy a traditional lunch with freshly harvested vegetables and a hands-on demonstration of tortilla making.
We then move on to Jauuri School, a local school that is integrated with 42 rural families. The school works alongside Arenal Vida Campesina to teach students the importance of sustainable development and organic agriculture.
To finish the day, we'll visit the Ecotemales Hot Springs. This is a family-run hot springs resort featuring four volcanically heated pools ranging from 91 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Family members personally attend to the needs of visiting guests. After we're done soaking and relaxed, we'll head back to the Arenal resort for some shuteye.
- Breakfast, Lunch
- Arenal Manoa
- Day 6: Tamarindo on the Pacific CoastEnjoy the fantastic Costa Rican beach life.
Today we'll leave Arenal and travel approximately four to five hours to the Pacific Coast. Our destination is Tamarindo, one of Costa Rica's most popular beach destinations. We'll be staying at the amazing Tamarindo Diria Resort with its multiple swimming pools and fountains. There are lots of fun activities here including swimming, fishing, snorkeling, and watching for seabirds.
- Tamarindo Diria
- Day 7: Tamarindo Free DaySunset in Tamarindo.
We'll enjoy our final full day in Costa Rica at our leisure. There are many optional activites available to choose from such as surfing, sailing, sports fishing, snorkeling, horseback riding, 4-wheeling, zip-lining, or river rafting. Or you can choose to just spend time just sunning on the beautiful beach, or lounging by the pools.
- Tamarindo Diria
- Day 8: San JoseSay farewell, or hang around for more time on the beach!
In the morning, we'll transfer to the San Jose Airport (approx. 4.5 hours plus stops along the way) and check-in for our flight back to the U.S. Goodbye, Costa Rica!
Consider adding a few additional days at the beach for more time to relax and enjoy this beautiful country.
Price and Date Details
Need to Know
Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.
Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in JOURNEYS Terms & Conditions.
Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure. Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.
Air fares: JOURNEYS can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.
Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.
Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.
There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.