Nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica possesses a wealth of natural beauty and a variety of wildlife that belies its diminutive size. Join our small group tour (limited to just 18 travelers!) for an exciting adventure as you enjoy pristine landscapes and learn about exotic flora and fauna and the unique environments of cloud forest and rain forest. You’ll skim the treetops from hanging bridges in the rain forest canopy, float along the Tempisque River to view birds and wildlife from below, and much more.
During guided walks, witness the variety of wildlife at Monteverde’s biological reserve, renowned for the dramatic but elusive resplendent quetzal, as well as a spectacular hummingbird gallery and butterfly garden. You’ll enjoy excursions to Poas Volcano, Arenal Volcano, the Luna Nueva private rain forest reserve, and a special orchid botanical garden. Plus, learn about Costa Rica’s coffee production and handicrafts, take part in a private cooking class, and visit with students at an elementary school. Conclude your tropical journey at a secluded Pacific beach resort to relax on exotic black-sand beaches or engage in more active pursuits.
This tour is specially designed for a small group of 14 to 18 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.
Throughout this tour, travel in the company of an exceptional Smithsonian Study Leader. Don Wilson is Curator Emeritus of Mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and was named senior scientist in January 2000. He was also director of the Smithsonian’s Biodiversity Programs for ten years. Don will lead the November 2013 and February 2014 departures. Bob Szaro grew up fascinated by nature and started bird-watching while in grade school. His love of birds has led to travels and research around the world including many trips to Central and South America. Bob will be on the January 6 departure. A popular and respected naturalist, Patricia Hostiuck has led over 50 trips with Smithsonian Journeys. Patty will lead the March 2014 departure.
Learn about Costa Rica's volcanoes during an excursion to Poas Volcano and night viewing of Arenal Volcano.
Enjoy the natural wonders of Monteverde Cloud Forest as you experience the forest from the ground as well as high up in the canopy along the Hanging Bridges Sky Walk. Other highlights here include the stunning Butterfly Garden and Hummingbird Gallery.
Learn about Costa Rica's economy, educational system, and crafts during excursions to the Doka Coffee Estate, an elementary school, and a traditional mask-maker's studio.
Enjoy active adventures such as a float trip on the Tempisque River in Palo Verde National Park and a tamale cooking class in Guanacaste, as well as opportunities for optional activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, and swimming.
Spend three nights at a secluded Pacific beach resort and stays in eco-friendly hotels suited to the natural environment.