About Costa Rica Multi-Sport

Costa Rica: a bold adventure! Everyone seeking an adrenaline rush will find it in Costa Rica. The country’s laid-back pace also suits beach bums. Die-hard surfers will find their break in the ocean swells, and those searching for critters in the jungle will not be disappointed.

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PRIVATE, ALL SINGLES ADVENTURE IN 4 STAR HOTELS, ALL RATED EXCELLENT ON TRIP ADVISOR – NO HIDDEN EXPENSES FOR ADDITIONAL TOURS – EXPERT, LOCAL GUIDES VS. MASS TOUR.

Nowhere else in the world, are you able to experience such a variety of spectacular landscapes and activities in one trip than on our multi-sport adventure to Costa Rica. Explore wildlife-rich rain & cloud forests and national parks, Wildlife Refuge near Palo Verde National Park, feel the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean as you kayak to a remote beach and snorkel nearby. Warm up in mineral-rich waters of the Arenal Volcano hot springs and get your heart pumping on a Class IV, whitewater rafting trip on the Upper Tenorio River. Our 9-day adventure also includes zip lining in the rain forest with incomparable views of Arenal Lake and Volcano! Evenings feature social time amid peaceful and natural hideaways.

This trip has been created with plenty of flexibility to accommodate a wide range of individual interests and is designed to suit a range of abilities for active singles. So join us for a week of stimulating days and enchanting evenings that are sure to quench your appetite for adventure.

Inclusive Features of our Adventure:

  • 8 Nights DELUXE Accommodations – See Itinerary for Links
  • ALL MEALS from Dinner Day 1 through Breakfast on Day 8 (except 3 dinners in Tamarindo on Days 6, 7 & 8)
  • DAILY ADVENTURES – See Itinerary for Details: San Jose City Tour on foot, Private Visit to Espiritu Santo Coffee Plantation, Sky Walk & Sky Trek (hanging bridges and hipline), Jeep-Boat-Jeep to Monteverde, Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour, Tenorio River Rafting, Tamarindo Kayak Tour, Hot Springs at Tabacon.
  • Park Fees and Equipment Associated with Activities Listed in Itinerary
  • Professional, Experienced and Licensed, Eco-Adventure Specialist from the US
  • Bilingual Guide and Driver
  • Airport Transfers on Day 1 and Day 8 of the Tour
  • Private, ALL SINGLES, Transportation Throughout Our Tour
  • Private and Secure Chat Reserved Exclusively for Members on Your Vacation
  • Special Attention from our Experienced, Professional Singles Travel Concierge.
  • CAMARADERIE, TEAM WORK AND GREAT TIMES WITH OTHER ADVENTUROUS SINGLES

Inclusive features are subject to revision at the discretion of STI. Ages listed are not meant as a restriction, but are simply used as a guideline. Singles Travel International does not guarantee the number of guests, ages nor ratios.

 

Itinerary

Trip Departs from San Jose (SJO), Costa Rica: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Trip Ends in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, Airport Liberia (LIR): Sunday, March 26, 2017

Our itinerary is designed to accommodate different skill levels but members should be in relatively good physical condition with an active lifestyle (regularly go to the gym, dance, play a sport or participate in mobile activities). Alternatives may not be available.

Day 1 – Saturday – March 18
Arrival, Orientation Walk and Welcome Dinner (D)

Welcome to Costa Rica! A representative from our local tour operator, TO Costa Rica, will meet us upon arrival at Juan Santamaría International Airport outside the main terminal. We transfer to our hotel (approximately 30 minutes) in San Jose, conveniently located in the heart of downtown, within walking distance of most attractions and features an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, business center and a cozy bar.

This afternoon, explore the area, it’s safe to walk around and get a feel for Costa Rica. Meet your STI Concierge and enjoy a casual walking tour of San Jose’s pleasant parks, shopping district and some historical sites. Tonight we have a welcome orientation dinner with our Costa Rican hosts.

  • Introductory walk around is approximately 2-1/2 hours. Please schedule a flight that arrives by 1:00 p.m. on Day 1 in order to be able to attend the San Jose city tour at 3:00 p.m. Otherwise, you may join us later for the welcome dinner.

Overnight at Aurola Holiday Inn (Don’t be fooled by the name, this is a very nice hotel in a great location!)

Day 2 – Sunday – March 19
Espiritu Santo Coffee Plantation & Arenal Hot Springs (B,L,D)

Enjoy breakfast at our hotel and then we’re off to begin our adventure! First stop along the way we’ll visit Espiritu Santo Coffee Plantation to learn all about growing, harvesting and marketing the rich coffee of Costa Rica.

We’ll see the coffee in making, starting with the seedlings station where we’ll see the veggies garden, continue to “La Casona” where the coffee plant resides in their first year of life, then actually walk through a coffee field! Finally, we stop by the roasting room and of course, the souvenir shop. Lunch will be served at the ranch.

  • The secrets of a real coffee cup are cheerfully shared at this fine plantation. This tour shows the remarkable tradition and history of coffee growing in Costa Rica.
  • On the way to La Fortuna, we’ll have the chance to buy craft works in one of the many art shops in the town of Sarchi.

We continue to La Fortuna and the Arenal National Park, near the border of Nicaragua, a region possessing beautiful and varied scenery. The lowlands host gushing rivers, hot springs, lagoons and plentiful wildlife. Check into our luxurious resort where we spend the next 2 days exploring and treating our bodies to the relaxing and invigorating powers of the Natural Hot Springs formed by the active, Arenal Volcano. The lake, canopy tours, hot springs, natural reserves and much more await us! If time permits, sneak in a swim in the thermal baths before dinner.

Meet the group for dinner at Ave Del Paraiso (in our hotel), once you are settled in your beautiful room overlooking the surrounding gardens.

Overnight at the 4 star Lost Iguana

Day 3 – Monday – March 20
Regular Sky Tram and Sky Trek Tour (zipline) (B,L,D)

Enjoy breakfast in tranquil surroundings before we depart for an adventurous day in the rain forest.

We start our day by walking on the hanging bridges of Arenal- five bridges in total, the longest is around 984 feet. The trails extend for slightly over 3.5 KM, making this tour extremely feasible for everyone.

Next, the slow paced Sky Tram gondolas, designed and built by Doppelmayr (Austria), is an aerial tram with 6 cabins offering a smooth ride through the rain forest, with endless views along the way, so we’re able to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us on our way to the top. Once at the at the observation deck (1050 meters), we’ll be able to enjoy the most magnificent views of rain forest, the peaceful lake, and the majestic volcano Arenal’s south face for as long as we’d like.

From there, you’ll have two options for returning to the base. The first option is to ride back down the same way you came up, on the Sky Tram. On the ride you will be able to notice how the vegetation varies as the altitude changes once again.The second and more exciting option is to zip your way to the bottom along a series of zip lines. The zip line descent is the best option for those seeking a rush of adrenaline.

Our operators use prestigious Pretzi brand harnesses; they are comfortable and adjustable at the waist and legs. All of the facilities were built and are supervised under strict safety measures. The Sky Trek pulleys were specially designed in hardened steel with two handles. They support 5.000 kilograms. The Sky Trek is a system of 11 cables that allows you to observe the rain forest and its landscape from many different views and positions while offering total security of its modern technology. The trek has 4.5 miles of cables ranging from 99 to 660 feet in length and 66 to 660 feet above ground. It is also comprised of several walking trails through the forest. All together, the Sky Trek tour takes approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Lunch, served at Sky Adventure restaurant and dinner at Ave del Paraiso are included in today’s agenda and there is plenty of time for spa activities and relaxing in the thermal hot springs!

Overnight at the 4 star Lost Iguana

Day 4- Tuesday – March 21
Arenal Lake Crossing – Monteverde (B,L,D)

Enjoy breakfast in tranquil surroundings before we depart for another adventurous day and the infinite beauty at Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Our journey leads us in the direction of Santa Elena & Monteverde area (which means “Green Mountain”). Our unique transfer will be a “lake crossing” form Arenal to Monteverde. We’ll be picked up by vans from our hotel to board a 40 minute boat ride in Lake Arenal. On the other side of the lake, we arrive at “Viejo Arenal” and ride for approximately 2.5 hours to our hotel in Monteverde.

Breathtaking view of the Gulf of Nicoya and the islands below will accompany us while ascending the hills. The Monteverde reserve was founded in 1951 by a group of North American (Quakers) who live in a secluded on 1400 meter high plateau. Although some of the original virgin forest was cleared for dairy and coffee farming, the founders’ environmental consciousness, together with help from private organizations, founded a biological reserve that hosts one of the richest ecological systems in the country.

Lunch and dinner will be served at our hotel. Our STI Concierge has prepared some fun activities for our group.

Overnight at the El Establo.

Day 5 – Wednesday – March 22
Monteverde Cloud Forest (B,L,D)

The Monteverde cloud forest tour will give us the opportunity to learn about the Monteverde rain forest’s magnificent ecosystem. A walk through a cloud forest reveals a lush green garden of mosses, ferns, flowers and epiphytes growing thickly on every tree. Clouds drift in and settle among the slopes, giving the continuous moisture required for such exuberant plant growth. Dangling roots and vines sweep across the trails. The air is rich with the sounds of birds and the occasional scurrying of small mammals on the forest floor and from time to time with a howler monkey roar.

Lunch and dinner will be served at our hotel. Our STI Concierge has prepared some fun activities for our group.

Overnight at the El Establo.

Day 6 – Thursday – March 23
White Water River Rafting at Rio Tenorio – Tamarindo (B,L)

Enjoy an early, mountain air breakfast at our hotel this morning.

READY for a huge adventure? We’ll give you a chance to test your courage on the rollicking rapids of the upper Tenorio River in Guanacaste. Plenty of excitement awaits us as we plunge through twists, turns and drops down 8 miles of intense, challenging rapids. The Tenorio River has everything a rafter desires, including a one-of-a-kind Class V 12-foot drop! For rafters, this is a must-run river. The Guanacaste region features a distinctive dry tropical climate and remains largely undiscovered by most visitors. Yet it offers stunning natural treasures—including seven national parks and three wildlife reserves that make this region a magical place to enjoy the wildlife and scenery of the Tenorio.

Lunch is provided at the end of our tour before we continue to Tamarindo.

Guanacaste’s sun-kissed coastline is home of Tamarindo, the most developed beach on the Nicoya Peninsula and one of Costa Rica’s best-known surf spots. The surfer Mecca in the bay of Tamarindo has a funky bohemian vibe and offers one of the best nightlife scenes and international quality restaurants; Located only 1-hour drive away from the international airport of Liberia, Tamarindo is also easily accessible from North American and European cities. With an assortment of excellent beaches extending to both sides of Tamarindo, the bustling beach town is a strategic location. Called by Forbes magazine, Costa Rica’s most popular beach, the town has a mixture of high-end shopping, dining, and nightlife opportunities combined with Costa Rican flavor.

 

NOTE: Our estimated driving time is 4 hours (not including the tour time).

Dinner this evening is on our own. Now that we’ve become well acquainted, let’s hit he town for dinner and perhaps a bit of salsa! Our STI Concierge is ready and willing to teach us the steps.

Overnight at the Tamarindo Diria Hotel & Beach Resort

Day 7 – Friday – March 24
Day at leisure to enjoy the beach and surroundings Tamarindo (B)

Fresh and varied choices are endless at the multi-station buffet in the Diria Restaurant at our hotel.

Today is he perfect day for the beach, learn to surf, try horseback riding on the beach or shop! Our STI Concierge is filled with ideas for filling your day.

Return to the hotel for dinner with friends (at our own expense). Maybe just a pizza at Nari or gourmet fare at Matapalo, dining as the sun sets over the west. Whatever your desire, Tamarindo awaits us.

Overnight at the Tamarindo Diria Hotel & Beach Resort

Day 8 – Saturday – March 25

Tamarindo – Kayak Tour – Optional Farewell Sunset Cruise/Dinner/Drinks (B,L,)

Fresh and varied choices are endless at the multi-station buffet in the Diria Restaurant at our hotel.

Our kayak tour is a 2-hour excursion in the Las Baulas National Estuary with a naturalist and bilingual guide. We enter the estuary one hour before high tide and return about one hour after it for the most comfortable ride. Silently gliding through the shade of the mangrove trees in your kayak is the best way to experience the mangrove forest and the abundant wildlife that awaits you.

Who would believe it’s our last night in Costa Rica, what an exhilarating vacation! Gaze off the bow of our private catamaran with a cold tropical drink as you scan the seas for dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish or even a breaching whale. Stop in a tranquil bay, drop anchor and frolic in the blue Pacific. Snorkel in the bay or run down the deserted white sand beach while the crew prepares a feast (BBQ chicken, pasta salad, fruit, chips, pico de gallo, guacamole, homemade chocolate chip cookies, local beers, tequila, whiskey, smoothies, juice, Pepsi). Listen to the waves slide along the giant catamaran as the sun sets, illuminating the clouds left in the sky. Bring your camera and capture the moment with your new friends.

SUNSET CRUISE WITH BBQ DINNER AND OPEN BAR – $99

 

The sun sets early in Guanacaste, let’s make the most of our last night in Costa Rica!

Overnight at the Tamarindo Diria Hotel & Beach Resort

Day 9 – Sunday – March 26
Tamarindo – Liberia International Airport Transfer, Trip Conclusion (B)

This morning after breakfast, we will provide a local transfer to the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport for your flight back to the US. Say “hasta luego”, until we meet again on another incredible Singles Travel International Adventure!

Note: Make your return flight departure after 1:30 p.m. to take advantage of our group transfer.

Itinerary and hotels are subject to change at the discretion of our local operators without compensation. Singles Travel International is not responsible for the consequences of any changes made for operational improvements or local infrastructure, events requiring reroutes.

FAQs

Once you make your online reservation, an STI reservation specialist will contact you to review and recommend additional services. Depend on them for assistance with airfare, proper protection, pre and post tour services. Once that step is complete, you will receive a final invoice from us confirming your reservation details.

READ your invoice and the FAQ page very carefully and advise if any changes need to be made.

**UPLOAD** a COLOR copy of your passport to us within 7 days of your reservation (within 24 hours if reserved after DECEMBER 19).

Click here to upload to our secure folder.

Next, say hello to your fellow travelers on the chat!

Click Here! for your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group. Questions? Email us at service@singlestravelintl.com.

Our adventure vacations are designed for all abilities and are intimate groups of all singles who love nature and have an active lifestyle. Many of the activities (hike, rafting, zip lining, kayaking) require that you have the ability to participate. Please tell us if you have any physical limitations before you make a reservation.

Our Concierge is on site to make the experience unique for all participants and her duties limit her ability to a member one-on-one for extended periods of time.

Fast Facts & Information:
Population: 4.6 million
Area: 19,730 sq. miles (51,100 km)
Capital: San Jose
Language: Spanish
Religion: Roman Catholic (80% of the population)
Currency: 1 colon = 100 centimos
Electrical Current: 110 volts
Government: Constitutional, Democratic Republic, 4 yr. Elections
Highest Point: Mt. Chirripo, 12,529 ft. (3,819 m)
Seasons: Rainy (May – November), Dry (December-April)
Exports: Coffee, bananas, beef, sugar, cocoa, textiles, timber

The tour begins in San Jose (SJO), Costa Rica at 1:00 p.m. on March 18, 2017 and ends on the morning of March 26, 2017 in Tamarindo (LIR), Costa Rica. Therefore the trip is 8 nights/9 days.

A deposit is due at time of reservation. Refer to the Price and Options tab for the amount. Final payment is due in our office by December 16, 2017. A reminder will be emailed to you 7 days prior to due date and your card will automatically be charged. If you make a reservation after December 16, full payment will be automatically charged at time of reservation and penalties will apply.

Yes. All cancellations must be made in writing to Singles Travel International and are subject to per person penalties as follows:

– After deposit and at anytime of cancellation, a minimum charge of $300.00 plus credit card charges will apply in addition to other penalties listed below.
– Between December 16, 2016 and January 13, 2017 – 60% penalty applies.
– After January 13, 2017- 100% penalty applies.

Note that if you elect to take a roommate and he/she cancels after our cut off date, we will do everything to find a new match. However, if no match is found, the difference in cost for a single cabin/room is the responsibility of the guest who cancels. No refund will be given to the guest who cancels, regardless of cruise or tour company policy as stated above. Singles Travel International is not responsible for costs related to cancellations after our cut off date.

For all air-inclusive packages cancelled after airline tickets have been issued, tickets are non-refundable and often times unusable.

Our itinerary is designed to accommodate different skill levels but members should be in relatively good physical condition with an active lifestyle (regularly go to the gym, dance, play a sport or participate in mobile activities).

STI wishes to make this vacation a unique and life changing experience for all members, which requires 100% participation in the activities on our tour. Please discuss any limitations before making your reservation.

While you don’t have to be an “athlete” to enjoy a Singles Travel International adventure trip, you will get the most enjoyment from your trip if you are reasonably fit. We encourage you to engage in some sort of aerobic activity three times a week and to slowly increase the distance and difficulty of this activity. A week or two before the trip you should be comfortable walking, hiking or kayaking. We also recommend that you get comfortable training up to several days “back-to-back” as we typically are active for at least 5 consecutive days on our tours.

You will be picked up at Juan Santamaria International Airport upon your arrival. You must arrive by 1 p.m. on Day 1 of the itinerary in order to participate in the City Tour/Transfer at 2:00 p.m. Note that you will be responsible for lunch or snacks to hold you over until dinner.

Singles Travel International is a vacation event company that plans singles events and markets our events at our expense to create a “singles only” experience. We do not allow guests to join the group unless the reservation has been made by STI. Our policy is firm for tours and cruises, as well as pre and post trip hotel stays. Members and friends that “show up” will not be allowed to participate without paying an equivalent fee to the rest of the group that made the reservation with STI. Your credit card on file will automatically be charged.

In order to accommodate singles from all over the world, our tours and cruises are priced as land/cruise only. Therefore, airfare is additional. Singles Travel International is a licensed ticketing agency and oftentimes has low negotiated fares.

Be sure to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) before 1 p.m. on March 18 and depart from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) after 1:30 p.m. on March 26.

We recommend flying into Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) before 1 p.m. on March 18 and depart from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) after 1:30 p.m. on March 26.

Airport transfers on the first and last days of the tour are included in trip costs. Please notify us 60 days prior to departure of your flight arrival and departure times. Prior to Day 1, a transfer to San Jose area accommodations can be arranged through our office. Email us at service@singlestravelintl.com.

Be sure to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) before 1 p.m. on March 18 and depart from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) after 1:30 p.m. on March 26.

Independent transfers in San Jose are approximately $25-$30 USD from the airport to city center and our hotel. US dollars are accepted and taxis are available outside the terminal.

Independent transfers from Tamarindo to the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) are approximately $180 USD once way.

Our tour does not include international airfare, air tax, departure tax (approximately $29 US per person), transfers for arrivals before day 1 and departures after day 8 and extra hotel nights before and after the tour. You are responsible for alcoholic beverages (except when included in STI events), incidentals such as laundry and phone calls, plus gratuities to the guide ($8-10 per day), driver ($5-7 per day) and gratuities to your Singles Travel International Concierge ($10-$15 per day). Expect to tip $1 per bag in and out at each hotel. Gratuities are at your discretion and a gesture for a job well done. Above are recommendations only and not a mandatory fee.

The currency used in Costa Rica is the US Dollar.

Credit Cards: Your credit card will be accepted to settle your incidentals bill at all hotels and in major shops and restaurants, but we highly recommend small bills for markets and souvenir shopping. You may also use a credit card to pay for any optional tours that you add to our tour once in Costa Rica. Most of our hotels do not have a safe in the room, but the front desk will safeguard your personal items.

Absolutely. Our site is so popular that we guarantee to find a roommate for you or the single room is on us! In order to take advantage of our offer, you must be paid in full by January 13, 2017. Of course, single accommodations are available at an additional rate assessed by the hotel.

Roommate matches are based on the same sex, general age range and smoking preference whenever possible, but not guaranteed. STI reserves the right to make any match up until day of departure, including roommate changes once on tour for members who select the Share & Save option.

We highly recommend that our guests contact their roommates in advance. Booked members have access to our private online chat. Meet your roommate as well as the other members on your vacation. Singles Travel International makes every effort to accommodate requests, but does not guarantee the satisfaction or success of a roommate match. It’s the responsibility of the guest to contact his/her roommate and ask the appropriate questions.

Optional pre and post cruise/tour stays are not eligible for the guarantee. Chances are excellent that we’ll find you a match, but if no match found by 30 days prior to departure, member pays the single supplement.

Read more about Roommate Matching on our Frequently Asked Questions found at the Help Center.

Please contact your preferred carrier directly to make your reservation. If Singles Travel International issues a promotional economy fare, granting of frequent flyer credit is entirely at the airline’s discretion. If the flights are eligible, to ensure you earn frequent flyer credit from the airline, give your frequent flyer account number when you check in for your flights. In addition, save your boarding passes and the passenger receipt from your airline ticket. You may need to submit these to the airline (not to Singles Travel International) to claim any credit allowed.

We use the best possible accommodations for the area and have chosen hotels that offer comfort, variety and are in ideal locations. See the itinerary tab for links to each property. All our hotels are 4-5 star according to international standards.

• 1 night at hotel Aurola Holiday Inn – standard room
• 2 nights at hotel Lost Iguana – standard deluxe
• 2 nights at hotel El Establo – deluxe room
• 3 nights at hotel Tamarindo Diria – sunset ocean view room

Of course not. You will be pleased to find out that nearly 90% of our guests on every trip sign up and have never met anyone before joining the group. In 22 years, we have perfected the singles vacation experience. It is paramount that our guests meet each other right away and have opportunities to mingle every day. From the moment you join our tour , our STI Concierge will be waiting to meet you. Our first day begins with an orientation and the camaraderie builds as we go along. The nature of the trip is trying something new, challenging yourself and motivating those around you. The bonds that develop on our adventure tours are by far the strongest and longest lasting.

Our “All Ages” vacations cater to 40+ and our average age range is 45-65. We generally have a ratio of 60/40, women to men. As a travel club, matchmaking is not our focus. Ages listed on our page are not restricted. They are simply used as a guideline. We offer an opportunity for single travelers to see the world in the company of other singles and do not guarantee the ages or ratios.

Be prepared for sunshine, rain, cool mountain breezes, and muggy jungle mists depending on where and when you visit. Rugged topography results in amazing biodiversity and a wide variety of microclimates. As you ascend or descend in altitude, or move from one province to another, the weather changes drastically.

The rainy or “green season,” which typically brings sunny mornings and afternoon showers, lasts from May to November, but it’s best to be prepared for rain at any time of the year. In rain forests and cloud forests, it rains almost every day, sometimes several times per day.

In the Central Valley, year-round daytime temperatures are in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit (20-24 degrees C). At night, expect temperatures in the 50s and 60s. (17-20 C). Costa Rica’s beaches are hot and humid, except for the northwestern province of Guanacaste, which tends to be dry and breezy. Temperatures will be in the 80s and 90s (24-32 C) at the beach. Remember you are only 8 degrees from the equator, so use plenty of sunscreen and a hat. Expect windy weather and temperatures in the 50s and 60s (10-15 C) at Costa Rica’s highest altitudes.

Currently, most airlines will allow you to check one bag, weighing 50 pounds each, for a fee. In addition you may carry-on one bag plus a personal item such as a purse or briefcase. Please check with your air carrier for up-to-the minute regulations and fees for checked baggage. As we are traveling in vans and much of the time is on the road, we kindly request that you limit your luggage to one large duffel bag in addition to any hand carry items.

The following checklist has been prepared in order to assure you of having the proper equipment and clothing needed to make your trip an enjoyable and comfortable backcountry experience. Please check your equipment carefully to make sure that it provides a comfortable fit and is in good working condition before arriving for your trip. If you have any questions about any of the items on this list, please don’t hesitate to call us at (877) SOLO-TRIP (765-6874)

**How To Pack**
All of your clothing and belongings should preferably be packed into one durable piece of soft-sided luggage such as a duffel bag or backpack. Each morning put everything that you will need during the day in a separate daypack. Your Trip Leader will advise you well in advance of each day’s activities and particular needs. It is a good idea to bring stuff sacks or plastic bags (ziplocks) to keep dirty clothes, wet swimsuits, camera, tickets, etc. compartmentalized. Make sure all your gear is labeled.

**Clothing and Footwear:**
*Raingear: Lightweight rain jacket and pants
*Changes of clothes for the evening (casual dress is the norm)
*Thermal insulating shirt (great for cool evening temperatures and water activities, optional)
*Shirts: a combination of mostly short and one or two long sleeve shirts is preferred
*Light-weight sweater, jacket, or polar fleece top (optional)
*Hiking shorts (pants may be preferred due to insects)
*Light-weight trousers: cotton or nylon hiking pants for bug protection (jeans are not recommended as they take a long time to dry if they get wet)
*Hiking socks – quick drying, non cotton
*Swimsuit
*Hat with visor for rain & sun protection
*Light weight hiking boots and/ or cross-training shoes that can also be used for biking
*Sandals (Closed toe – Keen, Tevas or Chacos – to be worn on the river)
*Dry shoes for evenings

**Equipment, etc.**
*Sunglasses with UV protection
*Sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
*Camera & film (with extra batteries)
*Alarm clock
*Insect repellent (with Deet, buy in the US)
*Lip balm/moisturizer with UV protection
*Toiletries kit (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, brush, etc…)
*Hand lotion/skin moisturizer
*Personal first aid kit (aspirin, Band-Aids, personal medications, eye drops, tampons, etc…)
*Foot care kit: moleskin, molefoam, or spenco second skin, athletic tape, and a pair of small scissors
*Binoculars (very helpful for viewing wildlife)
*Guidebooks, novels, journal…
*Water bottles or CamelBack hydration system
*Flashlight and batteries
*Extra prescription glasses (if applicable)
*A strap (such as Croakies) to secure glasses to your head
*Earplugs for light sleepers
*Money belt

On almost any trip to Costa Rica, you will visit mountains, the beach, and the temperate Central Valley. You need to be prepared for temperatures from the low 50s to the low 90s, and everything in between. Your comfort is of utmost importance to us, and we offer the following suggestions to help ensure your maximum enjoyment during a tour. Our clothing list recommendations are designed to cover the wide range in possible weather conditions.

Rapid and numerous changes in temperature and the probability of rain mean you should come prepared with appropriate clothing. Dress in layers, and try to bring lightweight, fast drying clothing. Wearing layers of clothing is one of the best ways to regulate body temperatures and conserve energy. Polypropylene, capilene, or similar synthetic fabrics work best to wick moisture away from your skin and keep you dry. Moisture causes you to feel colder if it is cold outside, and hotter if it is hot. Trapped moisture also causes friction, chafing and blisters. For the most part the tropical climate on this trip, however, will be pleasant.

For our hiking trips, shoes with good ankle support and a gripping sole are necessary. Soft-soled, smooth bottom tennis shoes are uncomfortable and are not recommended.

Please consult the above “Equipment And Clothing List” for a complete checklist of necessary items to bring for the trip. Please call us if you have any questions regarding personal equipment needs, purchasing recommendations, or rental equipment.

Evening Attire: Casual dress is the standard in all of our destinations.

As we will be on our feet each day, it is extremely important that you take the necessary precautions in caring for your feet.

To prevent injury and discomfort, here are some guidelines:

-Wear comfortable, well fitting shoes.
-Always wear socks. We recommend two pair: a thin polypropylene under layer and wool over layer. This should prevent blisters.
-Keep you feet clean and dry.
-If you start to notice irritation or start to feel pain or a “hot spot” forming on your feet, this is usually an indication that a blister is forming. It is best to treat a problem area before blisters form and increased pain develops. Depending on the severity and type of irritation, you can:
-Cover the entire irritated area with moleskin; make sure the moleskin lies flat on your foot.
-Cut a doughnut out of the moleskin and place it around a blister that is forming.
-Use a piece of second skin to cover the problem area.

Other things to consider before leaving:

-Contact lenses: If you wear them, you may want to bring prescription glasses as they may become more convenient to wear.
-Prescription glasses: If you wear them, bring an extra pair.
-Prescription medicines: Bring an adequate supply in the original container.

Costa Rica, Lonely Planet, by Rob Rachowiecki: Travel guidebook

The Quetzal and the Macaw by David Rains Wallace: Wallace gives an historical perspective of the formation and development of the national park system.

The Costa Ricans by Richard Biesanz: Reviews the history and politics of this tropical country.

Costa Rica -A Traveler’s Literary Companion edited by Barbara Ras: This is a collection of short stories by Costa Rican writers.

There Never Was a Once Upon a Time, by Carmen Naranjo: This book contains short stories by a major Costa Rican writer.

Tropical Nature, by Adrian Forsyth and Ken Miyata: A lively picture of American rain forests — as seen by two observant and thoughtful field biologists. Written for the curious traveler, its 17 essays introduce the lowland forests of Central and South America. If you read one book before the trip, this is the one.
Inside Costa Rica, by Sylvia Lara: This book is a succinct overview of the history, culture and economics of Costa Rica. Published by a non-profit organization with a left-leaning perspective, it is a well-researched and up-to-date portrait of the country and U.S. policy for those who prefer facts and figures to glossy photographs.

Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion, by Barbara Ras: This well-chosen anthology brings together 26 modern stories by Costa Rican writers. It’s a wonderful introduction to the character of the people, culture and land.

Costa Rica: The Ecotravellers’ Wildlife Guide: A field guide to the most commonly encountered and spectacular birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles of Costa Rica with 80 color plates. Out- standing introductory chapters cover habitats, conservation efforts and attractions of the country.

Costa Rica Map, by International Travel Maps: This attractive map of Costa Rica, designed for the traveler, features topographic detail at a scale of 1:500,000.

Travel Insurance is available through Travel Guard and in addition to direct access immediately upon completing your purchase, you will receive a quote from Travel Guard regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation.  If you have any questions, Travel Guard professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   Call us, if you have not received your quote within 3 days.

Your Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information document, posted to the FAQ tab 14 days prior to departure, will include phone contact numbers for our hotels. We suggest you leave a copy of this with your family.

You may be able to use your own phone plan, generally .99-1.99 per minute (check before departure).

Our office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In an emergency after hours, please contact Tammy Weiler at 815-715-6998.

All countries you will visit have laws against the purchase and export of certain items, including antiquities, national cultural property and certain animal products, especially endangered species (ivory, rhino horn, tortoise shell, coral, feathers, etc.). Additionally, the United States has laws prohibiting the import of certain items, which include many of the same things. You face having your purchase confiscated and/or heavy fines for exporting or importing prohibited items.

On return to the U.S., your baggage is subject to search by U.S. Customs. Currently, you are permitted to bring back $800 of goods duty free. Persons aged 21 or over may also bring in one liter of liquor and one carton of cigarettes. If you plan to purchase a lot of souvenirs or expensive items, it is important to retain all purchase receipts. However, please note that U.S. Customs may not accept a receipt as true cost if it seems unusually low for the estimated value of the item. You may access the regulations and restrictions governing US Customs on their official website, click here to learn more.

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What Our Members Are Saying

What a FABULOUS bunch of people. Sometimes we meet up with friends we've made during our previous travels which makes it even more special and always making new friends! There are always exciting excursions and fun things planned for the group and a great Concierge Team! Ever so grateful I found STI.

Fotolia_58389435_Subscription_Monthly_M_04    Linda D, Wallingford, CT
    

Mary and Matt were fantastic Tour Directors! Not only was Mary excellent at organizing everyone, listing to complaints (always with a happy smile), and moving everyone along, she was a joy to travel with, in fact, I can’t wait to share a room with her for the New Year’s Cruise. Mary not only made sure everyone was included, she made sure that everyone was happy. I have traveled around the world on escorted tours and have never felt as welcomed. I really don’t know how she did it all, considering she probably slept perhaps 4 hours a night and always on call. Touché Mary! Matt was a blast! As a new Tour Director he brought energy to the group (which some of the older people needed), and didn’t have any problems joining in on the fun. I spent the last day with Doug, Shelley, and Matt sitting by the pool, waiting for our late flights, talking about the fun we had (what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas), and planning our next trip together.

Fotolia_58389435_Subscription_Monthly_M_04    Amy B.
    Sunnyvale, CA