Day 1 | Arrive San Jose
You will be picked up at the San Jose Airport and taken to Francisco's, a family-owned lodge about 20 minutes away. Get a good night's sleep to rest up for the fast paced tr
Day 2 | Drive to Osa Peninsula
After breakfast, you'll head to the South Pacific coast in a private vehicle (about a 5 hour drive). Along the way, you will stop for lunch and take in the beautiful views.
After settling in to your cabins, researchers from our partner Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) will give an orientation to the turtle research and train you in data collection techniques.
This evening, relax and get a good night’s sleep. Overnight at Delfines de Golfo, a simple family lodge with electricity, private bath with hot water, and tv’s.
Day 3 | Sea Turtle Research
Today is all about sea turtles. Head out in a shaded boat with researchers to help set nets in key turtle spots (timing dependent on the tide). Once caught, researchers will bring them to the beach where you will have the opportunity to help carry in the turtles, measure them, weight them, and perhaps even tag them.
You’ll be looking mainly for green turtles and hawksbills, which are both endangered. In between turtles, take a swim in the beautiful Golfo Dulce or explore the coastline to look for macaws and sloths.
Day 4 | Mangrove Restoration & Chocolate Tour
This morning, you will participate in LAST's mangrove reforestation program by working in the nursery and planting young trees. Mangroves are critical for sea turtles and other ocean life and this area has lost much of its forests over the past few decades. We will also work in their small turtle rescue center if there are turtles present.
In the afternoon, you'll learn about the origins of chocolate, which is native to this region. See a farm where cacao is grown and work through the process from seed to deliciousness. You'll also taste many other delicious fruits and learn how organic farming can help wildlife.
Day 5 | Sea Turtle Research
Head out on the water again to look for more sea turtles to study and release. Since these turtles don't nest in the area (we're not sure where they nest), catching them in the water is the only way to learn about these turtles and ensure their health.
Day 6 | Boruca Indigenous Reserve
After breakfast, we’ll board our bus and head to visit the Boruca, an indigenous community in the Talamanca mountains. There we will spend an hour in a mask-making workshop, painting your own traditional mask with the help of local artisans.
Enjoy lunch at a nearby home while your masks dry. In the afternoon, we head to Cedrela Ecolodge, a small lodge in the cloud forest.
Day 7 | Return to Central Valley
After breakfast, take a tour of the gardens around the hotel to learn about growing coffee, avocados, and other crops. Participants will also learn about the ecology and natural history of tropical forests. After lunch at the hotel, you’ll board the private vehicle for the 2-hour drive to San Jose.
We’ll have a celebratory dinner this evening. Overnight at Rosa del Paseo.
Day 8 | Return Home
Rosa del Paseo provides a delicious breakfast for your last morning. After, head out for the airport in time for your flight, taking along your memories, photos, souvenirs, and stories to tell friends!
You can also extend your stay and visit other parts of the country.