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Costa Rica Educational Trip, Presented by Field Trips R Us Homeschooling and Memories Await Travel, an Affiliate of Classic Travel Connection (Birmingham, AL)

 

costa rica header

WHO: Public, private, homeschooled students ages 4 + (at the time of travel) and their friends and family. Suggested age is 8 +. This trip is ideal for high school students looking for a hands-on Spanish and or Geography experience. College students may be eligible for university credit. This trip also makes for a great family vacation. Students outside of the U.S. are welcome to join us as well.

WHAT: Guided educational trip to Costa Rica. Explore culture, geography and wildlife with excellent accommodations too!
( 2019 COSTA RICA HIGHLIGHTS )
Chocolate Rainforest Experience
Discover the ancient secrets of chocolate on a privately guided tour of the Cacao Rainforest.
Arenal Volcano National Park Zip Line
Take flight as you soar through the rainforest canopy on this thrilling and scenic ride.
Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort
Soothe mind, body and soul as you soak in natural hot springs heated by Arenal volcano.
Sarapiquí River’s Roaring Rapids
Grab an oar and shoot the rapids on a white water adventure down this scenic river.
Private Catamaran Excursion
Set sail for a morning of aquatic adventure and relaxation on a secluded beach.
Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Boat Tour
See the wonders of the rainforest on a guided boat tour of the local wildlife.
Rainforest Gondola Ride
Soar through the rainforest canopy to heights over 4,000 feet while enjoying unparalleled views.
Arenal Volcano
Enjoy epic views of Arenal Volcano, which dominates the lush landscape of this beautiful town.
Traditional Music & Folk Dancers
Cap off your adventure with a performance of Coast Rican dance and folk music

 

WHEN: August 10-16, 2019

WHERE: FLIGHT INFORMATION:
Arrive: San José International Airport (SJO)
Return: Liberia International Airport (LIR)

COST: Children ages 4-11 at the time of travel = $3,319. Students ages 12+ and adults = $3,499* Airfare is not included in the price of this trip.

*EARLY BIRD PROMO: We have several vouchers good for $500 off per person for this trip. You may use a voucher for everyone in your party so long as you book before we run out. The vouchers expire July 6, 2018. This means a family of four would save $2,000 off the cost of their trip. This would make a great Christmas gift or Graduation trip!

Deposit: Due at time of sign up, 10% down payment

Final Payment: April 12, 2019

WHAT’S INCLUDED: Gratuities for all services except tour guides, 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners, guides, transfers, hotel accommodations and complete itinerary

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED: Passport costs, travel insurance, some meals, airfare and tour guide gratuities are not included. These guides will be with us all week and will feel like family by the conclusion of our trip. Please budget accordingly for their wonderful services. You are going to have an unforgettable trip!

HOW TO SIGN UP: Email FTRU admin Clarissa Winchester at clarissa@classictravelconnection.com with your Costa Rica inquiry. You’ll then receive a reservation link to fill out with your information. Once that is received we’ll secure your deposit which you will see reflected immediately on your bank or credit statement. We’ll then get your travel documents squared away and get you set up on monthly payments if you wish or you have the option to pay the final balance on April 12, 2019.

 

costa rica map

 

DAY 1: San José

marriott san jose
Meal(s) Included:
None
Accommodations
Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San José
Arrive in San José
After you pass through customs, meet our representative who will assist with your
luggage. Relax as a driver whisks your family away to the nearby resort.
Costa Rica Marriott Hotel
Set on a 30-acre coffee plantation, this beautiful colonial hacienda hotel is brimming with luxury. Unwind in the grand courtyard or enjoy the hotel’s amenities, including a swimming pool, lounge and fitness center. If you wish to explore San José, our Adventure Guides can make suggestions.
Dinner On Your Own
Tonight, you and your family can enjoy a meal at one of the hotel’s excellent restaurants or ask your Adventure Guides to recommend nearby local dining. Tomorrow, begin the real exploration of this incredible country.

 
DAY 2: Arenal Volcano National Park

arenal volcano

white water rafting

Meal(s) Included:
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodations
Hotel Arenal Manoa Or Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa*
Breakfast Buffet
Meet your fellow Adventurers over a delicious breakfast.
Welcome and Orientation
Your Adventure Guides greet you and discuss your vacation’s exciting itinerary.
Sarapiquí River White Water Rafting *(Guests must be at least 5 years old to participate. Size restrictions also apply.)
Shoot down the roaring rapids and bob over the gushing waters of the Sarapiquí River on this exciting adventure. You’ll also enjoy smooth waters that will allow you to take in the lush scenery as you glide by a forest full of exotic birds and animals. Enjoy a rafting adventure in Class I – Class III rapids. Or if you prefer, choose a
serene float trip on gentle waters.
Private Lunch in Aventuras del Sarapiquí
Enjoy a wonderful lunch amidst the lush surroundings and stunning scenery of a private area in Aventuras del Sarapiquí.
Arrive at the Hotel – and Exclusive Welcome Drink
Prepare yourself for the powerful sight of the Arenal volcano, looming over the verdant pastureland of the rolling hills—a dramatic backdrop to your hotel. Adventure Guides will check you in.
Welcome Dinner at the Hotel
After you spend the afternoon exploring your surroundings, celebrate your arrival in Arenal with a festive hotel welcome feast arranged especially for our Guests. As you dine, take in the panoramic view of the Arenal volcano, looming over the verdant pastureland of the rolling hills.
• Hotel Arenal Manoa

DAY 3: Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

cano negro

los chiles
Meal(s) Included:
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodations
Hotel Arenal Manoa
Breakfast at the Hotel
Start your day off with a delicious breakfast before heading out on an adventure-filled day.
Transfer to Caño Negro
Board a motor coach for your drive to Caño Negro.
Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Guided Tour
Board a boat from Los Chiles and head down stream on the Rio Frio (“Cold River”). Along the ride, your guide will point out the wonders of the rain forest and the richness of the flora and fauna of the area. Keep an eye out for rain forest wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, many species of birds, bats, crocodiles, lizards and many more.
Lunch at Hacienda in Caño Negro
Enjoy a delicious riverside lunch overlooking the Rio Frio at a Hacienda in Caño Negro.
Transfer Back to Arenal
Travel back to Arenal via motor coach.
On Your Own Time at the Hotel
Relax and enjoy the unparalleled view of Arenal Volcano as you enjoy some time to unwind and explore the beautiful hotel.
Dinner at the Hotel
Enjoy a lovely dinner at the hotel’s restaurant with your fellow Adventurers and other guests of the hotel.
• Hotel Arenal Manoa

DAY 4: Arenal

zipline
Meal(s) Included:
Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodations
Hotel Arenal Manoa
Sky Trek to Zip Lining
Enjoy a scenic bus ride to the Sky Tram, a gondola that carefully carries you through the rainforest canopy up
the mountain to heights of over 4,000 feet (1,250 meters). Be awed by the extraordinary views—and take note of changes in the vegetation as your gondola ascends.
Zip Line Adventure
Enjoy the adrenaline thrill of a lifetime! Strap on a harness that is clicked onto suspended wires and zip line above the treetops of the rainforest. For Adventurers who either don’t meet Zip Line Adventure requirements or don’t want to participate, a hanging bridges experience will be available as an alternative activity. *(To zip line, guests must be at least 5 years old and weigh no more than 300 lbs or 136kg).
Lunch On Your Own
After your thrilling high-speed ride, satisfy your hunger with a hearty meal of Costa Rican cuisine in the town of La Fortuna.
Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort
Enjoy a moment of pure relaxation. Immerse yourself in the soothing mineral water pools of a natural hot springs, which is heated by the Arenal volcano.
Private Dinner at Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort
Sit down for a delicious evening meal of traditional Costa Rican cuisine prepared in this local hot spring’s rustic restaurant.
• Hotel Arenal Manoa

DAY 5: Guanacaste

chocolate tour
Meal(s) Included:
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodations
El Mangroove Hotel
Breakfast at the Hotel
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before setting out on a day full of new adventures.
Transfer to Chocolate Rainforest
Board a motor coach for your drive to the Chocolate Rainforest.
Chocolate Rainforest Experience
With La Fortuna’s majestic Arenal Volcano as a backdrop, you’ll enjoy the sweetest rainforest experience as you take a privately guided tour of the Cacao Rainforest where you will discover the secrets and origins of the Cacao tree—and chocolate! Following the walk, enjoy a hands-on experience where you will learn the history of this world-renowned treat and its importance to the Costa Rican agriculture.
Lunch at Rincon Coribici Restaurant
Relax and partake in a pre-ordered, buffet-style lunch with a spectacular view that overlooks the Corobici River.
Departure Toward Guanacaste
Depart on a motor coach for breathtaking Guanacaste. Named after Costa Rica’s national tree that’s also known as the “elephant-ear tree,” this sun-kissed province is famous for its dry tropical forest, sparkling shorelines, exciting water sports and superb bird watching—with over 250 bird species!
Welcome Reception at El Mangroove Resort in Guanacaste
Take in the ocean views at Papagayo Bay as your Adventure Guides check you into this spectacular resort located on a natural mangrove and surrounded by luscious tropical scenery. Then join fellow Adventurers for a drink at a Welcome Reception.
Private Guaro Sour-Making Class
Learn how to make the delicious cocktail featuring the traditional liqueur of Costa Rica.
Adult Dinner in the Hotel
Dine at the hotel restaurant featuring creative contemporary cuisine made from fresh local ingredients.
Junior Adventurers Dinner and Movie Night
While the adults dine, Junior Adventurers can join Adventure Guides for their own meal of kid-friendly fare.
After dinner, Junior Adventurers can enjoy a private movie presentation at the hotel.

DAY 6: Guanacaste

snorkel

costa rica dance

 

Meal(s) Included:
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodations
El Mangroove Hotel
Private Catamaran Excursion
After breakfast at the resort, head down to the beach to begin your Catamaran adventure. The Catamaran will anchor in deep waters where you can snorkel, swim and sunbathe. Nibble on snacks prepared by the crew.
Lunch at the Hotel
Enjoy a light lunch at your leisure.
On Your Own Beach Time at the Hotel
Hit the sand with your fellow Adventurers and enjoy an afternoon of water sports. Or find your spot in the sun and just kick back while catching some Costa Rican rays.
Private Farewell Dinner and Entertainment at the Hotel
Before a festive dinner, enjoy traditional music and a folk dance performance as you celebrate the adventures of your trip. Toast your newfound friends and share the family memories you will cherish forever. Salud!

DAY 7: Liberia

el mangroove
Meal(s) Included:
Breakfast
Accommodations
None
Breakfast at El Mangroove Hotel
Enjoy an early breakfast in paradise and say goodbye to your fellow Adventurers.
Transfers to Liberia International Airport (LIR)
Board pre-arranged transportation to the airport and say “hasta luego” until you return to the tropics!

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OTHER:

COSTA RICA TRIP TIPS
PREPARING FOR YOUR ADVENTURE

passport
Required Travel Documentation
If you are a U. S. citizen, you will need a valid passport to enter Costa Rica and return to the United States.
Your passport must be valid 6 months beyond your intended stay and have 1-2 blank pages remaining. Allow yourself sufficient time to have your application processed if you are applying for a new passport or renewing an expired passport. Refer to the U.S. Department of State for further details.
As a general precaution, all travelers are advised to carry a photocopy of the photo/bio information page of their passport and keep it in a location
separate from the passport.
You do not need a visa to travel to Costa Rica.
In addition, Guests 17 years of age or younger may be required to show additional documentation when traveling with a single parent.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with the Costa Rica Consulate for information on documentation requirements.

What to Pack:

back packPlease limit your baggage to one piece of luggage per person plus one carry-on. With frequent security changes, we recommend that you check with
your air carrier as well as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for current restrictions.
Since you will be visiting humid rainforests, attire for your adventure should be casual and comfortable, and you should bring at least one additional
change of clothes per day. However, you may wish to don business casual attire for dinner. The following is a list of clothing and other items you may
want to bring:
Clothing
• T-shirts (both short- and long-sleeved)
• Collared shirts
• Jeans or long pants
• Casual dress/skirt (optional)
• Shorts
• Lightweight rain jacket
• Hat
• Swimsuits
• Sturdy-soled walking shoes
• Sandals
• Passport
• Medication
• Camera/video camera
• Sunglasses
• Sunscreen
• Umbrella
• Binoculars
• Toiletries
• Insect repellant

Weather:
Visit weather.com for the most up to date weather information for your vacation dates and destinations.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: Please contact the Field Trips R Us Homeschooling office at 205-908-8332 or clarissa@classictravelconnection.com to get your travel insurance quote. You are eligible for Pre-existing Medical Conditions coverage if you purchase the plan within 21 days after your initial trip deposit.

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EN ROUTE

airplane
Arrival/Departure Information
Upon arrival at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), follow airport signage to the Immigration/ Passport Control area. Once you have gone through Passport Control, follow additional airport signage directing you to the baggage claim. Collect your luggage, pass through the Customs control area and into the public Arrival area. Then look for a representative holding our sign. This representative will assist you with your luggage and escort you to the pre-arranged ground transportation to your hotel. At the conclusion of your adventure, you will be escorted to the Liberia International Airport for your return flight home.
Day Airport Code Arrival/Departure Time
Arrival 1 SJO Anytime
Departure 8 LIR Anytime

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DURING YOUR ADVENTURE
Currency
The unit of currency in Costa Rica is officially the Colón (CRC). U.S. dollars, however, are widely accepted and available at ATM machines. Most hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards or single-use debit cards in addition to travelers’ checks.

Gratuities
Adventure Guide Gratuities
Gratuities for your Adventure Guides are not included. Based on the quality of service you have received, we suggest the following gratuity guidelines.
Please note that this is for each member of your traveling party, for each Adventure Guide and for each day.
Per Adult/Child/Per Adventure Guide/Per Day: $9 – $11 USD
Example:
•  For a 7-Night adventure, the Adventure Guide gratuity Per Guest/Per Adventure Guide is $63 – $77 USD.
•  For a family of 4 for a 7-Night adventure, the Adventure Guide gratuity Per Guest/Per Adventure Guide is: $252 – $308 USD. For 2 Adventure Guides,
this is a total of $504 – $616 USD.
The Adventure Guides gratuity can be paid in U.S dollars, local currency, travelers’ checks or PayPal. Please check with your Adventure Guide if they
accept PayPal.
All Other Gratuities
Gratuities have been taken care of on your behalf for all services included in the itinerary. There is no need for you to worry about tipping the bellmen,
housekeepers, waiters, drivers and local experts.

Transportation
On this adventure, our group will travel by motor coach.
When spending time on your own in Costa Rica, you may choose to visit a site that requires transportation. If this is the case, a convenient travel option is to request taxi service through the hotel.

Language
While the primary language of Costa Rica is Spanish, most Costa Ricans speak English.

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costa rica birds

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I send just my student or do I have to accompany him/ her?  FTRU policy states that all field trips require one guardian to attend said field trip with their student in case of emergencies.

Do I need vaccinations to travel to this country?
Vaccinations to travel to the areas of Costa Rica that are a part of this itinerary are not required if you are going to Costa Rica from the U.S.
Learn more if you want to extend your stay to other parts of Costa Rica.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check your local requirements on vaccinations for travel to Costa Rica.

What airport do I fly into and out of?
ARRIVAL: Our guides will pick you up at San José International Airport (SJO) in Costa Rica. You may arrive at any time.
DEPARTURE: At the end of the adventure, we will transfer you to the Liberia International Airport (LIR) for your return flight home. You may depart at
any time.

Are transfers included if I arrive or depart from different locations or at different times from the itinerary?
No. Transfers are only included from the specified arrival/departure airports and hotels. For Costa Rica, transfers are included from the San José International Airport (SJO) in Costa Rica to the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel on your arrival day. On your departure day, transfers are included from the El Mangroove back to the Liberia International Airport (LIR).

Can I extend my vacation beyond this itinerary?
Yes! You may absolutely stay in Costa Rica before or after our itinerary. Extended stays are available at special rates if booked through us in conjunction with a land package and cannot be combined with any other offer. Please contact Clarissa at clarissa@classictravelconnection.com for further information.

How strenuous are the activities?
While this adventure is not considered physically strenuous, most days will include one or more hours of walking and/or gentle hiking, often in a rainforest environment. Guests should feel comfortable spending time exploring the outdoors. This adventure includes a Sky Tram ride through the forest, a whitewater rafting activity (Class II-III), and a canopy zip lining experience. Please note that there is a minimum age of 6 years old for the
whitewater rafting activity and a minimum age of 5 years old for the zip lining experience. Additionally, there is a maximum weight restriction of 300 lbs. / 136 kg (No minimum weight) and Guests must fit comfortably in the harness for the zip lining experience. Temperatures may be hot and humid in Arenal, so wear cool clothing and a hat, and drink plenty of water. While nearly all of the trip’s featured activities are gentle if examined separately, the full range of activities requires a moderate amount of stamina in order to get the most of your vacation.

What ages are appropriate for this adventure?
While we welcome children ages 4 and up at the time of travel to discover the stories of the world with us, we recommend that children be at least 8 years old at the time of travel on our Costa Rica trip. This is based on several factors, such as high altitude at destination, number of internal transports between experiences, potential for extreme temperatures in the summer months, and amount of physical activity (e.g., hiking, riding zip lines, white-water rafting) involved. Because each child is different, contact Clarissa at clarissa@classictravelconnection.com to discuss whether this is the right trip for
your little ones.
What types of meals are served on this trip?
Typically, breakfast is served each morning in buffet style and offers a variety of dishes. Dinners and lunches usually include fish, meat, and pasta or rice entrées; vegetables and salad; and desserts and fruit. Some included meals on this trip are served buffet style while others offer a limited-choice menu. Given the nature of group travel, we regret that á la carte menu choices may not always be available. Children-friendly choices are available at all meals. Menu items are subject to change due to the availability and seasonality of foods. In order to allow you and your family time to enjoy meals
by yourselves, there are a few meals that are not included in the itinerary. These meals have been planned in locations where you have many dining options available. If you have any questions or concerns about dining at any time during your vacation, your Adventure Guides will be happy to assist you.

Is alcohol included with meals?
Alcoholic beverages are typically not included with your scheduled meals; however, you may purchase them at your own expense.

Can you accommodate special dietary needs?
We will make a reasonable effort to accommodate some special dietary needs at no additional charge. Unfortunately, we may not be able to accommodate all special dietary needs requested. Please contact Clarissa at clarissa@classictravelconnection.com in advance of your departure to advise us of your needs.

Is this itinerary appropriate for travelers with special needs?
Please note that this vacation includes multiple activities that present certain challenges to Guests with special needs. We are not able to physically lift or assist Guests onto transportation vehicles. It is strongly recommended that persons requiring assistance be
accompanied by a companion who is capable of and solely responsible for providing assistance. Contact Clarissa at clarissa@classictravelconnection.com to discuss your needs.

What if FTRU cancels the adventure prior to departure?
We will make every reasonable effort to operate vacations as advertised; however, we reserve the right to curtail or modify the itinerary or to substitute activities, hotels, meals or transportation as we deem necessary. We further reserve the right to reduce the number of Adventure Guides to one and to modify other services to accommodate a smaller group, if a minimum number of Guests is not reached. Similarly, we may marginally exceed the stated group’s maximum size, if necessary to accommodate a family. Please also note that during certain holidays and peak periods, some
activities may be disrupted or unavailable. None of these modifications or changes shall affect the land package price. We reserve the right to cancel a trip at any time prior to its commencement for any reason, such as if there are too few Guests, or if the quality of the trip or the safety of the Guests would, in our opinion, be compromised, such as may result from unforeseen circumstances (acts of God) or other circumstances beyond our reasonable control. If we cancel your trip prior to its commencement because there are too few Guests: (i) We will attempt to rebook you on another departure of the same itinerary, subject to availability, and we will bear any reasonable airline rebooking charges; however, if we are unable to rebook you, we will issue a full refund of your land package price and plan (unless you have filed a claim); and (ii) if you booked airfare through us, we will issue a full refund of your airfare; and (iii) if you did not book airfare through us, we will reimburse you for your reasonable out-of-pocket (subject to proof) airline cancellation charges or, in the case of bookings using frequent flier miles, a reasonable cancellation service fee, provided you have exercised best efforts to mitigate such charges/fees; and (iv) the aforesaid payments and/or rebooking by us shall constitute a full settlement.

What is the refund policy for this trip?

The Deposit is refundable for 14 calendar days after original booking and thereafter becomes nonrefundable. Unless stated otherwise in your Guest Confirmation, full payment shall be due 120 calendar days prior to the vacation commencement date (the “final payment date”), unless the reservation is made after the final payment date, in which case full payment will be due on the date reservation is made. Payment(s) must be in U.S. dollars and received in our office on the date(s) set forth in the Guest Confirmation or vacation packages will be deemed cancelled by you. Failure to strictly comply with the deposit and final payment schedules, or any other applicable policies and procedures, will result in the automatic cancellation of pending reservations and applicable fees will be assessed.
NAME CHANGES/GUEST CANCELLATIONS/REFUNDS: Reservations and package components are non-transferable. We will make a reasonable effort to accommodate changes to Guest names prior to departure provided that at least one member of the originally-booked party travels; however, we reserve the right to pass on to you any third party costs (such as from airlines or Suppliers (as defined herein)) we incur in so doing. You may cancel by telephone or in writing. The time of cancellation will be the date upon which we receive notice from you. If you fail to execute and return the Travel Agreement to us no later than 14 calendar days after booking, it will be deemed a cancellation by you. If you make changes to the vacation commencement date or chosen vacation, it will be deemed a cancellation by you. If you cancel, amounts paid, minus cancellation fees and nonrefundable amounts, will be promptly refunded. No refunds will be made in the event of interruption or cancellation by you after the vacation start date. All appropriate refunds will be made in U.S. dollars directly to your credit card, via check or through your travel agent (if applicable). We will not be responsible for the receipt of refund monies by you from your travel agent, some of whom may withhold an agency cancellation fee.
CANCELLATION FEES:
Unless stated otherwise in your Guest Confirmation, the following cancellation policy shall apply:

Days Prior to Vacation Commencement Date         Fee Amount

120 days or more                                                      Deposit per Guest
119-90 days                                                                    50% of vacation package price per Guest
89-46 days                                                                      75% of vacation package price per Guest
45 days or less                                                            100% of vacation package price per Guest

The cancellation fees set forth above shall apply irrespective of resale by us. In addition to the cancellation fees stated above, the cancellation fees that will apply if you cancel a pre- or post-stay hotel night booked through us (please see Arrive Early or Stay Late below) will follow the schedule above for cancelled vacation packages: 119-90 days: 50% of the total hotel cost for all nights reserved; 89-46 days: 75% of the total hotel cost for all nights reserved; 45 days or less: 100% of the total hotel cost for all nights reserved. Notwithstanding the above cancellation fee schedule, regardless of when you book, the Deposit is refundable for 14 calendar days after original booking. Cancellation policy for group travel may vary. Please contact us or your travel agent, if applicable, for complete details. The cancellation terms above apply only to the vacation package price and pre-/post-stay hotel night add-ons, and exclude, among other things, cancellation charges from air carriers. Please see Vacation Protection Plan and Adventure Travel Agreement.

 

We hope you will consider joining us! Homeschoolers just like you are what makes homeschool travel rock!

~Clarissa Winchester, FTRU admin

Memories Await Travel, affiliate of Classic Travel Connection, Birmingham, Alabama

join us

 

 

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