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Friday, August 9
Early arrival option: Welcome to Costa Rica!
Arrive today and visit San Jose and spend Shabbat with the local Jewish Community.
Saturday, August 10
If you arrived on Friday: participate in synagogue morning services at the central synagogue, followed by a communal lunch with the community. Explore Downtown San Jose on a walking tour: Plaza De La Cultura, the National Theater and the National Museum.
Sunday, August 11
Today we will be heading south to the coast, and on the way go on a rafting adventure on the mighty Pacuare River, known as one of the top five rafting rivers in the world for its scenery and rapids (Class III-IV).
Late afternoon: we will arrive at Puerto Viejo on the southern Caribbean coast - one of the most happening places in Costa Rica - a place the international crowd blend with the local Latino, Afro-Caribbean and Bribri indigenous cultures, with its pristine coastline acting as a backdrop!
Tonight, we will participate in a kosher style Caribbean cooking lesson: using fruits and veggies typical to Coastal Talamanca, you’ll learn to cook in the traditional Caribbean way from some of the local matriarchs - and enjoy a great meal afterwords.
After dinner, enjoy live Reggae music with moijtos, daiquiris or fresh Pina Colada!
Monday, August 12
Punta Uva beach
Today we have a free morning on the amazing Caribbean beach. Options include:
Afternoon : we will be participating in a service project with one of the indigenous communities living in the area: this could be helping to build a local school, working in a vegetable garden or tree nursery, or working with the folks from the Ara Project, the Great Green Macaw reintroduction team with the school kids. We are working with the Talamancan Association of Ecotourism and Conservation (ATEC) on the service project, and will have specifics as we get closer to the date of travel. During our time volunteering, we will learn about the Indigenous BriBri Tribal Area and the history of the native people of Costa Rica, the medicinal plants they use. We will end the day learning about the history and production of chocolate in the area– including tasting!
Late afternoon: Time permitting, we will enjoy a sunset swim along the magnificent Punta Uva beach, thought by many as the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica!
Night : explore the town– all while taking in the special and laid back ambiance of Puerto Viejo. We may hit one of the bars, clubs, or live music venues that dot the town…
Tuesday, August 13
Wednesday, August 14
Thursday, August 15
- Early morning: Join a canal boat tour of Tortuguero National Park- experience the awakening jungle up close!
- After breakfast, hike Tortuguero Hill, the highest point on the Caribbean side of the country (approximately 119 meters), and learn about the unique flora of the jungle from an experience naturalist. On a clear day a view of Tortuguero and the surrounding areas can rally capture you!
-Afternoon visit the local village - a chance to interact, shop, and experience this secluded community. During this time you can also head to the beach and enjoy the Caribbean sands at sunset!
- Optional: late night green turtle nesting excursion along the beach!
Friday, August 16
Fresh Challah is baked on the farm!
Time to get on a boat for a last trip though the canals to the village of Pavona, from where we will head up to Finca Rio Perla, A Jewish owned eco-farm up in the Caribbean Highlands. This is where we will spend Shabbat, and our last two nights in Costa Rica. After eating a delicious vegetarian lunch, today’s activities will include:
- Farm tour and orientation
- Horseback ride , followed by macadamia picking, fresh sugarcane tasting, a view of the big waterfall (over 100 ft!), and a hike to another waterfall where we will take a swim in the cool water and enjoy the rainforest around us.
- Tilapia fishing (tonight’s dinner- depending on fish availability)
- Festive Shabbat meal
- After dinner: Social activity and games - or just feel the serenity while lounging on the hammocks!
Saturday, August 17
Good morning Finca Rio Perla!
Today is Shabbat, and a day of rest – and depending on what you are up to or your level of Shabbat observance, you can chill during the day, explore the area and/or partake in some farm activities:
Later in the day....
Sunday, August 18
Time to say goodbye! We will leave Finca Rio Perla by 7:30 am, in time to make our flights back home.
***Please note that the time and location of an activity might change due to unexpected circumstances, such as inclement weather and hazardous road conditions.
The Caribbean Experience trip will take place from Saturday, August 10th to August 18th, 2013 (8 nights in total; 9 nights for those wishing to arrive on Friday). We will be meeting at and leaving the San Jose (the capital) international airport (SJO).
We ask that you plan to be on a flight that will land in San Jose by 4 pm on August 10th. If you decide to arrive a day earlier, please arrive by 3 pm on Friday, August 9th so we can prepare for Shabbat. Your flight home should be no earlier than noon on Sunday, August 18th.
If you observe the Sabbath you have an option of arriving on Friday and spending the weekend in San Jose, attending services in the Jewish community – or arriving Sunday and joining the group in Puerto Viejo.
If you want to arrive a day or two earlier, or choose to leave later, please let us know how we can help you experience more of this magnificent country. We can arrange for a pick-up or drop-off in another part of San Jose at the beginning or end of the trip. Day trips from San Jose include the nearby volcanoes of Poas and Irazu. If you are interested in this option, please let us know!
- In San Jose, you will stay in Christina Suites, a comfortable hotel which is walking distance from the Synagogue and a short ride from downtown, .
- On the Finca Rio Perla farm, guests will stay in rustic but comfortable rooms, with shared bathrooms and toilets.
- For our time in Turtuguero, we will be staying at the tranquil Rana Roja, set in the rainforest right outside the National Park.
- On the southern Caribbean coast we will be staying in a comfortable yet exotic Caribe Town resort.
For your Costa Rica Experience, Greener Travel will provide you with an experienced group leader that will escort you for the length of your trip. In various activities, we use the best local specialty guides with years of expertise in introducing tourists to the natural beauty of Costa Rica. We work mostly with local guides as well as with tourism non-profit organizations such as ATEC, which make sure that the local indigenous communities benefit from tourism revenues while protecting the environment and the traditional way of life.
We provide all transfers during the week using an air conditioned van or minibus, driven by a bilingual driver / guide.
Before departing, you will receive a comprehensive list of suggested things to bring on the trip.