Costa Rica Discovery!
It’s more than the quintessential slogan for Costa Rica – it’s a way of embracing the day and living life to the fullest.
Here, among the lush rainforest canopies, pebbled beaches and gaze-worthy waterfalls, students and teachers will channel their inner adrenaline junky while connecting with a culture that’s warm and welcoming.
Join Quo for an incredible 8-day adventure, packed with cultural immersion, language exposure, connection to nature and educational experiences that will have an enduring impact.
Program Snap Shot
- Arenal Volcano Hiking
- White Water Rafting
- Wildlife: Abandoned & Injured Animal Rescue
- Chocolate, Coffee & Sugar Plantation
- Focus on Reforestation & Conservation
- Volunteer at a Local School
- Authentic Local Craft Markets
- Aerial Rainforest Gondola
- Canyoneering and Waterfall Rappels
- Volcanic Hot Springs
- Monteverde Cloud Forest
- Hands-On Service-Learning Project
- Hummingbird Colony
- Zipline Canopy Adventure
- Outrigger Canoes & Kayaks at Jaco Beach
- Pacific Snorkel Adventure
- Relax for an afternoon at the BEACH!
Full Program Itinerary
Costa Rica: literally, a tropical paradise.
The country is covered by lush rainforests and beautiful cloud forests.
Five percent of our entire planet’s biodiversity lives here!
Prepare for a journey into biological reserves and spectacular national parks…
that will forever change how you view (and value) our planet’s threatened ecosystems.
Plus, eco warrior, you’ll roll up your sleeves and help restore Costa Rica’s “Green Highway”
Best of all, you’re about to have a ton of adrenaline-fueled fun!
Welcome to pura vida paradise!
Day One – Journey to Costa Rica
Today we will fly to San José, Costa Rica.
Upon arrival we will be met by our expert naturalist guide who will accompany us to our hotel in San José. It’s late and we’re bushed, so we’ll enjoy a late dinner before getting a good night’s rest.
|Day Two – White Water Rafting|
After a morning briefing on the bus, our Costa Rica adventure begins with adrenaline!
Later, we’ll begin our journey north to Arenal. The 3-hour drive is beautiful and our guide will make good use of the journey by helping us discover a lot about Costa Rica along the way.
We’ll take a break and explore the globally-adored village of La Fortuna de San Carlos, or just “La Fortuna.”
You’re sure to dig out a little of your spending money at La Fortuna’s incredible local market.
Tonight, you may be a little bushed after a big day of shooting the rapids. If there’s time & if you have the energy, maybe you’ll want to hit the pool?
We’ll enjoy a great family-style dinner as we download about our adventure, and soon we’ll turn in for a well-earned sleep in the shadow of Arenal Volcano.
|Day Three – Wildlife, Zipline & Hot Springs|
Our day begins with an introduction to Arenal Volcano National Park.
Next, we’ll visit to a rescue center for orphaned and injured animals.
This is not only a great opportunity to learn first-hand about the fauna of Costa Rica, but it’s also a chance to perform some memorable service with a worthy organization.
We’ll have a lunch & learn with the wildlife biologists, where we can ask questions and engage with the pros while we fuel up for an exciting afternoon.
Our next stop is a uniquely unforgettable tour of the rainforest canopy. The adventure begins on the Sky Tram, an open-air gondola which transports us to one of the highest points in the forest.
From the top, we’ll ZIPLINE through the rainforest canopy!
After a pulse-pounding adventure, we’ll head back to the hotel to clean up before hitting the hot water!
This evening, we’ll step into an exotic setting at La Fortuna’s favorite Hot Springs.
Later, we’ll enjoy a feast of Costa Rican specialties as we dine in an open-air restaurant among the trees in the rainforest. It’s a perfect way to unwind after a busy and challenging day!
|Day Four – Canyoning & Waterfall Rappels|
This morning, we don our safety helmets and trek through the forest to some of the most exciting waterfalls in Costa Rica. This is a place few people endeavor to experience.
And soon we will encounter our first waterfall! Time to harness up & rappel into the beautiful, pristine canyon below.
At the market on Day 2, we saw examples of the foods common in the local diet, which partially reflects what can be grown in this climate and at this altitude. When it’s time for lunch today, we’ll pause to ponder where our food comes from both here and at home, and we’ll learn a bit more about what foods are grown locally for consumption and export.
After a hearty meal, we’ll visit a modern pineapple plantation and see how this popular delicacy is grown, harvested… and yes, we’ll enjoy some fresh cut pineapple right from the field!
Next, we’ll motor around the stunning and picturesque Lake Arenal, en route to Monteverde, where we will spend two nights at a beautiful stone lodge high in the Costa Rican Cloud Forest!
When we arrive late this afternoon, we’ll enjoy an informative briefing from our expert guide. He will help us orient to this new climate, altitude and environment. The cloud forest is distinctively different from the rainforest, in terms of temperature, elevation, humidity, topography, microclimates and the rivers that run through each.
Dinner tonight will be a homestyle buffet at our lodge, highlighting many of the foods and ingredients we learned about today.
Timing, weather and temperatures will dictate whether you’ll hit the pool before bed tonight!
|Day Five – Cloud Forest, Coffee & Sugar Cane|
Today is all about discovering the fascinating and exciting Cloud Forest biome.
You’ll appreciate diversity in a whole new way when we enter the incredible world of hummingbirds at the simple but breathtaking Hummingbird Gallery!
Pause to take in the beauty and complexity of this incredible habitat and the reserve that surrounds you.
Today is about finding an appreciation for nature’s spectacle. You just might find some excellent essay topics for next year…
This afternoon, we will head into the countryside to visit a modern Coffee, Sugar Cane & Chocolate “Plantation!”
Lunch will be served at the plantation before we head back to the lodge for a little down time. Pool time, anyone?
Soon, we’ll head into town to explore and learn about the community before we enjoy a fun and festive dinner in a very typical local restaurant.
You’ve seen the cloud forest by day, but it’s a totally different world at night. After dark, we’ll don our coats and grab our flashlights. We’re headed into the inky darkness of the forest for an exciting Night Hike! The nocturnal animals, insects and even the plants and fungus are unlike anything you’ve seen by daylight!
|Day Six – Service & Sustainability|
We’ll get an early start this morning as we descend from the Cloud Forest all the way to the Central Pacific Coast.
One of the greatest aspects of international travel is the opportunity to interact with people whose lives are entirely unlike our own and learn about their experiences. Quo programs always look for opportunities to give back to our hosts and participate in sustainability projects. Today ticks all the boxes!
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY PROJECT:
Once upon a time, nearly all of Costa Rica was covered by a lush & dense forest canopy. Over time, vast regions were cleared to make way for agriculture and development, resulting in massive habitat loss for Costa Rica’s indigenous species.
Today, deforestation means wildlife is unable to migrate outside their small home areas, leading to disease, inbreeding and the extinction of entire species.
Costa Rica has now set a goal of “rebuilding the Green Highway.”
Down the road a few minutes, this morning’s hard work will be rewarded with a wonderful, hearty meal at a non-profit café that benefits the local community.
Next, let’s go on an exploratory River Cruise!
We’ll board a river boat to sail upstream through the mangroves and into the “jungle.”
This afternoon we’re driving back to San José… with luck we’ll have a few minutes to hit the pool before dinner.
Dinner tonight will be at the hotel, followed by a special treat: Salsa Dancing!
Bring your moves & loosen up your hips. A group of nationally-ranked, professional, competitive salsa dancers will show us how it’s done. Who better to teach us some moves? You don’t want to be sporting flip-flops for this activity! When you get back home, your friends & family will be blown away by your caliente new moves.
|Day Seven – Jaco Beach, Outrigger Canoes & Snorkeling|
BIG FINISH: adventure activities always create an opportunity for personal growth and making memories. By now you know that Costa Rica is packed with adventure!
This morning, be sure to pack your swimsuit & sunscreen – we’re making our way back to the Central Pacific Coast. From the city to the sea, the landscape again transforms completely as we get closer to the ocean.
Once we arrive at Jaco Beach, the fun begins! Welcome to your outrigger canoe expedition!
After a nice lunch by the ocean, you’ll have time to snorkel from the beach (as long as conditions permit). At last, BEACH TIME!
This afternoon, we’ll rinse the sand out of our hair and head back toward San Jose.
We’ll stop at the world famous Tarcoles Bridge, home to – literally – hundreds and hundreds of hungry crocodiles.
This is also a great time to do a little last-minute shopping for souvenirs and gifts at one of Costa Rica’s most fantastic arts & crafts markets.
Back at the hotel, we’ll have time to freshen up, dress up and make ourselves ready for a fun and fabulous farewell pizza party!
|Day Eight – Adios, amigos!|
Today we’re homeward bound!
It’s an early start this morning, we we’ll take our final breakfast to go.
It’s a short drive to the airport for our flight back to the USA.