PACUARE RIVER OVERNIGHT RAFTING TOUR (July 2nd & 3rd)
The Pacuare River is the most famous river rafting destination in all of Costa Rica, or Central America for that matter. It combines adventurous and challenging class III and IV rapids with some of the most breathtaking views of untouched rainforest in all of Costa Rica. Once we arrive at the river Saturday morning, we will get all of the equipment out and the guides will take the students through all of the safety and rafting techniques necessary for student safety. We will then embark on a day of rafting, hiking and canyoning. As the river snakes its way out of the mountains on the Atlantic slope, making its way down to the Caribbean students will raft down the white water while periodically stopping to do side hikes to nearby waterfalls. After lunch on the river, followed by more rafting we will arrive at our destination for the night, which is a riverside eco lodge. Here we will have dinner and free time before lights out. The next morning we will wake up to have a tropical breakfast followed by more rafting. We will then reach the end of the rafting in the early afternoon and have lunch at a local restaurant. Students will have access to bathrooms with showers and clean clothes so they can change out of their wet swimsuits. After lunch we will head back to camp by private vans.
CLOUD FOREST ADVENTURE WEEKEND (July 9th & 10th)
Costa Rica has numerous different types of tropical forests. One of the most rare and unique is the Tropical Cloud Forest. Named for the mists that blanket these high mountains much of the year, they have a unique and diverse ecosystem. This is the domain of the resplendent Quetzal, considered by many to be the most beautiful bird in the world. They are very rare and the Cerro de la Muerte Mountains are one of the few places in all of Central America where they can still be seen in the wild. Saturday morning we will make our way by private van up the mountains. We will check into our nature lodge near the cloud forest preserve. The weather will be cool, even cold at night, quite a change from the more common tropical lowland forest. We will have lunch before setting out to a nearby adventure park. Here we will do canyoning, view wild life as well as participate in other adventure activities. The next morning we will wake up and have breakfast before departing on a trek through the surrounding forest. This is the best time of day to see many different types of birds and animals only found at this elevation. After having seen many wild animals and the Quetzal, we will have lunch before heading back to camp in private vans.
TURRIALBA WEEKEND VOLCANO AND CANYONING TOUR (July 16th & 17th)
The final weekend tour of the summer is to the mountain valley town of Turrialba. Located at the base of the Turrialba volcano this town and valley are typically Costa Rican. Students will be transported to Turrialba on Friday afternoon by private van. They will arrive there in the evening and check into the hotel where they will have a chance to relax before meeting up for dinner at a local restaurant. The next morning they will travel just outside of town to a nearby ropes course where they will do canyoning through the forest using zip lines, hanging bridges and repelling down waterfalls. It is an exciting and physical way to experience the rainforest canopy. After lunch, they will head up into the mountains for a mountain biking trip. Students will be outfitted with bikes, helmets and equipment and will go through safety instructions that will help to make the tour fun and safe. After the tour they will return to town for a little free time before dinner at a local Costa Rican restaurant. In the morning they will wake up for breakfast at the hotel. They will then head up to the Turrialba volcano where they will do a nature hike. Students will be able to observe the dormant crater as well as check out the spectacular views all the way to the Caribbean coast. The hike will take them down through hidden canyons with secluded waterfalls ending at a swimming hole where they will have a picnic lunch. They will then be picked up by a private bus that will transport them all back to San Jose.
PLAYA JACO/PLAYA HERMOSA BEACH TOUR (July 23rd & 24th)
This is the northernmost region of Pacific rainforest remaining in Costa Rica and is the beginning of the transition zone into the tropical dry forests of the northwest. Carara is one of Costa Rica's most popular National Parks. We will hike along the numerous trails and dense forest. Reptiles and amphibians are well-represented in Carara along with numerous monkeys and sloths. Of the numerous frog species, the Harlequin Poison-dart Frog is a handsome creature that is charcoal black with fluorescent green markings. On sunny mornings, whiptail lizards are frequently seen along the forest trails basking in the sun. Carara is also one of the few places left where you can see the giant scarlet macaws. The Crocodile tour is specially designed for adventurers and bird watchers. The adventure takes place on the Tárcoles River, one of four rivers flowing out into the Nicoya Peninsula and home to one of the world’s largest crocodile populations in the wild with some growing as large as fifteen feet. In addition to the crocodiles, over fifty different kinds of birds can be seen on site, including the very rare scarlet macaw and a variety of resident and migrant waterfowl. Iguanas and Jesus Christ lizards are very common, as well. We will stay overnight at a beachfront hotel at picturesque Playa Hermosa.
Playa Dominical, where year-round good surf and double overheads are the norm.
Surfing in the waters off Costa Rica's "Endless Summer" beaches is most definitely world class. Both coasts offer the international surfer an abundance of different types of conditions from one of the longest left-hand breaks in the world at Pavones to the quadruple overheads of Salsa Brava. The only problem with these and other incredible surfing spots is the fact that they are seasonal, only going off a couple of months a year. This however is not a problem at Playa Dominical, where year-round good surf and double overheads are the norm.
''Discovered' in the early seventies by a group of intrepid and dedicated surfers, Dominical has steadily gained in popularity over the last 30 plus years. The town has become a haven for surfers with local restaurants offering 'Starving Surfer' food specials and nonstop surf videos. This relaxed and laid back atmosphere combines with inexpensive accommodations and great surf to draw thousands of surfers a year like a giant magnet.
The unusual conditions of the beach are what give its surf size and dependability. The wave is a beach break with a twist, that twist being the mouth of the Rio Baru to the north. The river empties out of the mountains to the east and deposits sediments that form into a sandbar that spreads like a pair of lazy rabbit ears north and south of the mouth. As the swell approaches the beach and forms into a wave, it's wave to depth ratio is the universal 2 to 3. Meaning the size of the wave is directly proportional to the amount of water it is in. The reason this is important is that once this wave meets the sandbar it peals down the length of the bar creating a beautiful left hand break. The best time to surf is from an hour before high tide to an hour after when the sandbar is furthest out and has the greatest effect on the waves break.
Dominical is the perfect home base for surfers that want to make the most of their time in Costa Rica. It has year-round good surf plus, a central location on the Pacific which allows them to get to other surf spots with relative ease when they are going off. With the weather conditions of area and the relatively small size of the country, it is truly possible for surfers to have an endless summer.
The Dominical Surf School, owned and operated by local Costa Rican surf professionals has a great deal of experience instructing first time surfers as well as those that just need a tune up. Boards are supplied so you do not need to bring your own, unless you have your own and are an experienced surfer. All instructors are trained as lifeguards and are surfers themselves with many years of experience.