Costa Rica Itinerary

Trip Type A: 11 days based in Osa Peninsula at Neotropica’s center

Trip Type B: forthcoming

Trip Type A Itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to Costa Rica! Upon arrival, we will be transferred to a local Hotel in San Jose. Group will be formally introduced with an overview of the program, analyzing and discussing student’s expectations. Dinner will be enjoyed in a typical restaurant downtown San José.

Night at Hotel in San Jose.


Day 2:

7:30 am Breakfast at hotel.

9:00 am Transfer to Osa Peninsula: the group will be transferred to the Osa Peninsula, where the beautiful CEEC AWT station is located (Center for Education and Community Empowerment- Alvaro Wille Trejos). A box lunch will be provided on the way.

3:00 pm Arrival to CEEC AWT: Upon arrival at the CEEC AWT we will leave our bags and will have time to rest from the trip and set up.

6:00 pm Welcome and Security Talk at CEEC AWT: After dinner, there will be a presentation about the precautions each participant should take while being in the tropical rain forest

7:00 pm Dinner.


Day 3:

7:00 am Breakfast at CEEC

8:00 am Departure to Kayak Tour to the Mangroves: Enjoy kayaking in the mangrove region of the Dulce Gulf. In this unique tropical fjord if we are lucky we may spot dolphins and other marine fauna.

10:30 am Service Project. Beach clean-up with community members at Playa Blanca.

11:30 am Departure to Palo Seco

12:00 pm Lunch at Finca Kobo

2:00 pm Visit to Finca Kobo. After lunch, we will pack our bags and visit an organic agriculture farm called Köbö, where cacao production is the main economic crop. First we will visit the area of the “traditional cacao plantation”. This is an untouched and mystical area, where we will be introduced to the “cacao forest”, the flowers, and fruit. The history and culture of this tropical crop is highly interesting. As part of the tour you will be informed about the origin of the cacao tree, its history, the first contact with Europeans, and the principal disease called “Monilia”. On the way to the organic cacao plantation we will also pass the secondary forest with its pioneer plants and can see its typical flora and fauna.

6:30 pm Dinner at CEEC

7:30 pm Community Blue Carbon Program Lecture: After dinner, the group will receive a lecture on the mangrove ecosystem and the mangrove conservation program that Fundación Neotropica develops with local communities. The lecture will be given by Ebenezer Houndjinou, the technical leader of this program.


Day 4:

6:00 am Breakfast at CEEC

7:00 am Departure to Playa Conte

8:00 am Blue Carbon Visit the Blue Carbon Project at Playa Conte: Here the group will visit the nurseries and reforestation sites of the mangrove project. This program seeks to undertake conservation work on mangroves in the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. In partnership with local organizations, it is helping to strengthen this important coastal ecosystem. Coastal ecosystems are known to capture large amounts of CO2, both from plants that compose them and from their sediments. These ecosystems store up to five times more carbon than tropical forests, so they are of great significance in the fight against climate change.

11:00 am Return to CEEC: Time to clean up and rest.

12:00 pm Lunch at CEEC

2:00 pm Departure to La Palma

2:30 pm Cooking Lesson: We will visit a heart of Palm farm where we learn how to cultivate it and crop it. The heart of palm is a vegetable known for being low calorie product and easy digestion, we will learn a few recipes and enjoy eating this delicious vegetable from the tropics. This is a great opportunity to know and appreciate the local culture.

6:00 pm Educational Video “Cracking the Golden Eggs”: This impressive video is a ‘must see’ for all concerned and seeking real perspective on the impacts of the explosive, often out-of-control, tourism related development occurring on Costa Rica’s pristine Pacific Coast / Gold Coast.

7:00 pm Dinner at CEEC


Day 5:

7:00 am Breakfast at CEEC

7:30 am Departure to La Tarde: This farm is located on a pristine area near to one of the entrances of the Corcovado National Park, therefore we will take a truck with benches to take us just to the entrance of La Tarde Farm.

8:30 am Visit to La Tarde: We will visit an Agroforestry farm, where we will learn about sustainable farming systems, natural regeneration and organic cocoa production. Then we continue with a walk through the primary forest, where you can see trees of imposing size and source of precious woods and vegetation of great importance to the rain forest, which provide home and food for the fauna. This project also has a butterfly garden where you can see different species of butterflies as Morpho and learn about the life cycle of this insect. The tour ends with refreshments at the home of the hosts.

12:30 pm Lunch at Osa Palmas

2:00 pm Osa Palmas: The Canopy Adventure. To begin the adventure in the Osa Peninsula, we will visit a local farm where we´ll enjoy adrenaline filled zip lining adventures while observing the biodiversity of the flora and fauna in the forest canopy.

6:30 pm Dinner at CEEC

7:30 pm Lecture Biodiversity in Costa Rica and the Osa Peninsula. In this talk students will learn about the biodiversity of the place that they are visiting, described by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on earth”.


Day 6:

7:00 am Breakfast at CEEC

8:00 am Departure to Alto Laguna

8:30 am Visit to Alto Laguna Indigenous Community: after breakfast, in the morning we will visit an Indigenous Reserve. This cultural activity allows the interaction between Ngobe Indigenous Group and all participants of the tour group. They will give us an introduction to their way of living, show us the textiles they produce, the medicinal plants they use, and their typical food. We will have lunch here and during the afternoon we will visit the community surroundings, the school, and we will take a time to get to know the locals.

5:30 pm Nocturnal Insects Tour: this is a night tour across a secondary forest path to observe insects in their natural habitat. The group will be guided to where blankets have been provided with a special light to attract insects. Visitors will enjoy an introductory lecture in a classroom equipped with visual aid material. The tour will be run by a guide with extensive experience as an entomologist, and so will provide interesting information about these amazing species.

7:30 pm Dinner at CEEC


Day 7:

7:00 am Breakfast at CEEC

8:00 am Departure to Rancho Quemado

9:00 am Artisanal Gold Tour: The community Rancho Quemado was founded by gold miners around the 1940s. They used the leaves of a local plant to make their roofs, which ended up being called “Ranchos”. From this comes the name of the community and this Artisanal Gold Tour. During this tour, you will be able to better understand the history of the community and where it got its name. You will also learn and use the tools that the gold miners have used for years. Every visitor has the opportunity to “try their luck” and work with the miner to find the prized “little golden nuggets or mosquito eyes” as they are known, and to understand the process of separating the gold found from other metals to obtain the clean gold of 24 carats.

11:30 am Lunch at Organic Farm Jaguarundi. We will visit Cambronero Family, where they will show how they grow different vegetables, fruits and cacao in an organic and sustainable way. All this product will be used to prepare us a delicious and traditional lunch.

2: 00 pm Tour at Chocuaco Lagoon: We will walk through the forest and cattle fields to reach the lagoon, where we will take a boat and while navigating through the canals will have the opportunity to hear interesting sounds: birds, reptiles, amphibians and lots of insects. We will also enjoy a beautiful sunset from the lagoon.

7:00 pm Dinner at CEEC


Day 8:

6:00 AM Breakfast at CEEC

7:00 AM Departure to Corcovado National Park – Los Patos Ranger Station –

8:00 AM Visit to Corcovado National Park: after an early breakfast, we will leave towards Corcovado National Park. The trip to and from the Park will be on wagon pulled by a tractor. This park protects the last remnant of tropical rain forest on the Pacific coast of Central America. It covers over 40.000 hectares of primary forest, home for a great variety of species of flora and fauna; including heliconias, frogs, butterflies, small mammals, snakes, fig trees. This will be the only time during the program when you will be in a primary forest. We will cross Rincón River several times during the wagon ride and will follow its bank for approximately an hour, until you reach the trail to “Los Patos” ranger station inside the park. The station has bathroom facilities. Wood slabs have been dug into the trail at intervals to offer foothold, making the 5-kilometer walk to the station (2-hour) less exhausting. Once we arrive, we’ll have a snack. After the snack, we’ll hike on a trail that leads to a waterfall where you can bathe and will enjoy your lunch. During the ride and walks there will be natural trails interpretation, mainly on the primary forest.

1:00 PM Hike back to Los Patos Time to return from the waterfall to the Ranger Station, the group will arrive a Los Patos Ranger Station approximately at 3:30 pm, where the truck will be waiting to pick up the group.

4:30 PM Approximately arrival time to CEEC

7:00 PM Dinner at CEEC


Day 9:

7:00 am Breakfast at CEEC

8:00 am Visit to the Dulce Gulf: The Dulce Gulf is known for its rich biodiversity; whales, dolphins, whale sharks and many other marine species use this site for feeding and breeding. In this stop we will be introduced to this special place by learning about and from the local fisherman association. We will learn about their oysters reproduction project and then afterwards will explore the gulf by boat. Maybe we can see some of the marine fauna that often visit this site!

12:00 pm Lunch at CEEC

2:00 pm Visit to Arboretum. An Arboretum is place in which a live collection of trees is established, with scientific, educational and recreational purpose. The Arboretum of the Golfo Dulce Reserve was created with the goal to provide a public space to the neighboring communities, visitors, students and researchers to access to the tree species more emblematic of Osa Peninsula. During the visit the group will learn to differentiate the features, families and species more representative of the area. Then we will plant a tree to contribute with the conservation of the Golfo Dulce Reserve and the nearby communities. Each participant will become the sponsor of the tree and they will be personalized with the personal data of the student.

4:00 pm Return to CEEC

6:30 pm Dinner at CEEC

7:30 pm Quest for bats. We will learn more about of the bats and their importance in the ecosystem. Costa Rica has 107 different species of bats. During this activity we will install a special net on the garden to catch some of these amazing animals to see them closely, in order to learn about their characteristics. This activity is conducted for a trained person in order to assure the safety of the bat.


Day 10:

7:00 am Breakfast at CEEC

8:00 am Depart for San Jose.

5:00 pm Approximately arrival time to the hotel in San Jose.

7:00 pm Farewell Dinner: at night, we’ll celebrate the closing for the program and give out their certificates.

Night in Hotel in San Jose


Day 11:

Good-bye Costa Rica! After an exciting program full of environmental education and adventure, we will return to our homes.

Transfer to Airport, departure from Costa Rica