We take the environment seriously, and plan our trips in accordance with the guidelines of eco-tourism: minimizing environmental damage through low impact travel, supporting local environmental projects and indigenous communities, and learning about the culture and natural environment of the places visited.
Everything listed below is included in our trip. These adventures are paid for already – just imagine that! You may, but you do not need to spend another dollar on an adventure – it’s all priced into our packaged tour. For more info, click the itinerary tab.
- Transportation and transfers to and from all locations in Costa Rica by a bilingual guide/driver.
- Full accompaniment by an experienced local guide as well as a Greener Travel staff person.
- 8 nights of double occupancy accommodations in hotels and lodges (9 days for Friday arrival).
- Meals included in trip: 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 7 dinners!
- Over 12 adventure and cultural activities!
- All activities and all meals during our 3 nights at the Finca Luna Nueva eco-lodge.
- Canal Tour, nature hike and tour of village in Tortuguero
- One day of amazing whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River (including breakfast/lunch)
- Gandoca –Manzanillo Wildlife Hike
- Caribbean kosher-style cooking class!
- Service project in the Talamanca Region
- Chocolate making workshop and demonstration with the BriBri indigenous community
- Jungle Canopy / Zipline Adventure
- Sacred Seeds tour + Rainforest hike on Finca Luna Nueva
- Hot Springs visit in Arenal
Please note that if you do not wish to partake in the rafting or canopy tours, you may opt out and we will reduce the cost of your trip accordingly.
- Optional arrival on Friday, August 5 ($115)
- Traveler insurance
- Some meals on the Caribbean coast and in San Jose
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tips and gratuities
Our tours are organized by Greener Travel Company, LLC. The company was founded by Ami Greener, an experienced and enthusiastic environmentalist that has been captivated by the unique beauty of Costa Rica. By forming personal relationships with local providers in Costa Rica (hotel owners, activity outfitters and more), we are able to offer a tailored experience to both individuals and couples traveling alone and looking to explore the area, as well as group tours which a member of our staff or local Costa Rican associates will guide.
Though the dates for this trip are set, if you want to join and cannot take the whole week off from work, we could accommodate you for part of the trip, and price it differently as well.
If you cannot make it on these dates, but would like to plan a visit alone, with a small group of friends or a romantic getaway with a significant other - we can help you plan that trip as well with some of these amazing adventures – we regularly send couples, families and small groups of friends on a tailored Caribbean Experience!
For further information and questions, please contact us at:
Greener Travel LLC
Friday, August 5, 2016
Early arrival option!
Arrive today and visit San Jose and spend Shabbat with the local Jewish Community.
Saturday, August 6
Sunday, August 7
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!
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…
Accommodation: Banana Azul Beachfront Hotel
Monday, August 8
Today we have a free morning, right near the amazing Caribbean beach. Options include:
Afternoon : We will head to the mountains to visit the Indigenous BriBri Tribal Area, and learn about the history of the native people of Costa Rica, the medicinal plants they use, and more! We will also learn about the history and production of chocolate in the area– including tasting! Our visit is coordinated by the Talamancan Association of Ecotourism and Conservation (ATEC)
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!
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.
Accommodation: Banana Azul Beachfront Hotel
Tuesday, August 9
Morning: half day hike in the amazing Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge– one of the best trips for jungle wildlife viewing in all of Costa Rica!
Lunch at Maxi’s Restaurant, considered by many to be the best seafood restaurant in the Caribbean
Free afternoon on the tranquil beaches of Manzanillo, with optional snorkeling and water activities.
Dinner at the Israeli owned Pita Bonita restaurant, serving some of the best Hummus outside of the Holy Land!
Accommodation: Banana Azul Beachfront Hotel
Wednesday, August 10
This morning we take a ride to Siquirres, the heart of Banana and Pineapple land, where we will have lunch. We will head to the dock at Pavona, where we will take a boat ride on a canal, bringing us to the tiny island village of Tortuguero, and the nearby national park.
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 - but the seas is rough - no swimming here!
Tonight: green turtle nesting excursion along the beach!
Accommodation – Laguna Lodge
Thursday, August 11
Early morning: We will join a canal boat tour of Tortuguero National Park- experience the awakening jungle up close!
This afternoon we head to the town of La Fortuna, near the majestic Arenal Volcano, with a possible stop at a traditional coffee plantation along the way. We will check into the Finca Luna Nueva Farm which offers an intimate experience of primary rainforest together with a certified organic biodynamic farm. Here, you will experience the Costa Rican rainforest, learn about the farm's sustainable practices - its 240 acres offer many opportunities to view its natural beauty- and just to relax!
Afternoon: Visit the Baldi Hot Springs, Mother Nature's enormous hot tub – including an extensive lunch buffet. The hot springs are fed by an underground river heated naturally by the Arenal Volcano to the perfect temperature of 101 degrees!
Tonight, enjoy an amazing organic meal, soak in the ozonated, solar powered hot tub, and take a short guided nightwalk in the surrounding rainforest!
Accommodation: Finca Luna Nueva
Fresh Challah is baked on the farm!
Friday, August 12
Morning: an amazing Jungle Canopy Tour near Arenal, where we will literally fly through the rainforest by zipline!
Time at leisure at La Fortuna Town to walk around and have lunch (not included).
Afternoon: Farm tour of Finca Luna Nueva.
Night: Festive Shabbat meal !
After dinner: Social activity and games - or just feel the serenity while lounging on the hammocks and listening to the rainforest!
Accommodation: Finca Luna Nueva
Saturday, August 13
Good morning Finca Luna Nueva!
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 activities:
Morning: We will take a tour of the Sacred Seeds Sanctuary at Luna Nueva, a dynamic collection of medicinal plants that protects and celebrates not only biological diversity in Costa Rica and the tropics, but also the diversity of cultural knowledge related to these plants worldwide. Housing over 275 tropical plants, this collection is a delight for anyone interested in botany, herbal medicine, or indigenous culture.
The tour will be followed by some chill time - to relax in the ozonated swimming pool or solar powered hot-tub, to drink an amazing, locally sourced ginger smoothie, or to practice some yoga.
Afternoon: Time to put on your rubber boots, and head on the Cavalonga Trail hike, through amazing primary rainforest. The experienced guide will take you through the trails, which are connect to the 50,000 acre Children's Eternal Rainforest via a biological corridor. On your way, you will see many animals, and learn about the various trees and plants.
We will return to the farm, and learn about what keeps the crops healthy, from the happy water buffalo to the wiggling worms in the compost. We will stroll through the biointensive garden, where we will taste numerous plants and herbs, the same ones served daily in the farm's restaurant.
Afternoon option: Arenal Volcano Tour Hike – we will enjoy a gentle hike along the base of this marvelous “Mountain of Fire”, climbing close to the crater of the volcano, which has been pretty active since 1968.
We will end the day feasting poolside on an amazing Costa Rica/Asian fusion style dinner, all organic and locally produced - followed by Havdallah under the stars!
Accommodation: Finca Luna Nueva
Sunday, August 9
Time to say goodbye! We will leave Finca Luna Nueva by 7:00 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.
Practical travel details
The Costa Rica Experience trip will take place from Saturday, August 6 to Sunday, August 14, 2015 (8 nights in total; 9 nights for those wishing to arrive on Friday, August 5). 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 5 pm on August 6th. If you decide to arrive a day earlier, please arrive by 3 pm on Friday, August 5th. Your flight home should be no earlier than noon on Sunday, August 14th.
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 Hotel Palma Real, a comfortable 3 star hotel which is walking distance from the Synagogue and a short ride from downtown.
- On Finca Luna Nueva, guests will stay in rustic but comfortable rooms - right in the rainforest!
- For our time in Turtuguero, we will be staying at the tranquil Laguna Lodge, set in the rainforest right outside the National Park.
- On the southern Caribbean coast we will be staying in a comfortable yet exotic beachfront lodge Escape Caribeño
For your Costa Rica Experience, will provide you with an experienced Costa Rican guide throughout the trip, as well a Greener Travel 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.
Pricing & Terms
Looks like an amazing Trip! How much does it cost?
We have extended the early bird price of the trip! Put your deposit down by May 10th and join for $2250! After this price will be going up to $2450.
Cost is for participant sharing a double room. A single supplement is available, based on availability, for an additional fee of $450. Full payment for the trip is due by June 23rd.
Great! How do I sign up?
First, please fill out our trip registration form!
Second, to reserve your spot on the trip, click on the shopping link to the right to make your secure deposit of $300 via our secure Stripe payment system.
Our trip will have a maximum of 24 participants.
Since this trip has been called, the $300 deposit is non-refundable - we need to enforce this policy in order to cover loss from last-minute cancellations. Closer to the date of departure we will provide you with the link to make the rest of your payment.
For more details on our cancellation policies, please see info below.
For general questions about the trip, please write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to forward this info to any friends of yours that might be interested in joining us for this week - ask us about our special registration price for groups of two or more that register together!
If you have a discount code, you will be asked to provide it while registering or before submitting a payment via our secure Stripe payment tool.
Note: at checkout the banner will say"August 2014 Trip" - this is a minor glitch, and has nothing to do with the trip you are booking!
Greener Travel Company, LLC Policies for Costa Rica group tours
RESERVATION AND BOOKING
Reservation and Deposit: To reserve your spot in one of our group tours, you must pay your deposit in full. Until you have paid your deposit, your spot may be given away to another traveler. Since our trips are generally limited to 18 participants or less, they do fill up.
Airfare; “Calling” of Trip: Greener Travel generally “calls” our Group Trips after at least 8 people have registered for the trip. At that time, it sends an email to all travelers who have registered, informing them that they can purchase their airfare. This trip has been called, and has a guaranteed departure.
Possible Delays and Trip Insurance: We strongly encourage all of our travelers to purchase trip insurance. Greener Travel is not responsible for airline delays and cancellations and in most cases will NOT be able to offer any refunds for travelers who miss all or part of their tour due to airline delays and cancellations. Some suggestions are Travelex and Travel Guard.
Full Payment: Full payment must be made at least 5 weeks prior to the trip departure date or your spot is subject to forfeit to another traveler. Ask us about “early bird” discount for travelers who pay the full amount of a trip prior to the “call” date.
Method of Payment: We accept payment by check or Stripe (available on our website). We are offering an additional discount of $50 for payment by check for travelers registering sufficiently in advance of the departure date. Please make checks payable to:
Greener Travel LLC.
1742 Kalorama Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20009
Combination of Discounts: From time to time, Greener Travel may offer certain discounts or coupon codes. Those codes can NEVER be combined. All discounts are always applied to the full price trip (and not the discounted or early bird price).
Bring a Friend Policy: If you and up to three friends register together, Greener Travel will rebate you $100 and each of your friends $50 after the trip has been completed.
CANCELLATION AND REFUND
Cancellation by You and Refunds: Up until the trip has been “called”, you may cancel your trip at any time for any reason, and Greener Travel will refund the full amount of your payment, less a $15 processing fee. After a trip has been “called,” your deposit will not be refunded for any reason, including if your spot is forfeited to another traveler. If you cancel your trip more than 4 weeks prior to the departure date, your cancellation fee shall be $550, and any amount paid in excess of that amount shall be refunded. If you cancel your trip less than 4 weeks or less prior to the departure date, your cancellation fee shall be $800, and any amount paid in excess of that amount shall be refunded. If you cancel your trip less than 2 weeks prior to the departure date, none of your trip is refundable. For this reason, we STRONGLY encourage you to purchase travel insurance: some suggestions for such insurance are Travelex and Travel Guard.
Cancellation by Greener Travel: We may cancel the trip for any reason prior to “calling” the trip. If we do so, we will refund the entire amount that you have paid, without applying any processing charges or other fees. We will not be responsible for any travel arrangements you have made, such as airfare, purchased before the “call” date. In the extremely unlikely event that we have to cancel a trip after it has been called, we will refund all amounts paid to you, but cannot be responsible for any other amounts, such as airfare.
MEALS AND ITINERARY CHANGES
Meals: All meals provided on our group trips are kosher-style and vegetarian friendly, however, most are prepared in kitchens that prepare non-kosher foods. We might be able to accommodate travelers who keep strictly kosher on our group trips – please contact us for information about such possibilities.
Itinerary changes: We will make our best efforts to maintain the itinerary as advertised, however, a variety of reasons, including the number of trip participants, availability of vendors and providers, and other factors, may cause us to need to change our final itinerary. In the very unlikely event we have to cancel a tour in its entirety due to factors beyond our control, we will refund the full amount paid not be liable for any other costs beyond the amount that you have paid.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK; WAIVER OF LIABILITY
Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risk; Waiver of Liability: You acknowledge that travel includes a variety of known and unanticipated risks, which could result in injury, paralysis, or death, or damage to property. You acknowledge that those risks may be created by negligence of Greener Travel, its owners, employees, contractors, and agents, other travelers of Greener Travel, and third party providers over whom Greener Travel has no control, as well as weather and natural disasters. You agree to accept and assume all risks existing in this activity, and to release, forever discharge, and agree to indemnify and hold harmless Greener Travel from any and all claims, demands, or causes of action, which are in any way connected with my participation in our trips, including any such Claims which allege negligent acts or omissions of Greener Travel. Should Greener Travel or anyone acting on their behalf be required to incur attorney’s fees and cost to enforce this agreement, you agree to indemnify and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs.
FITNESS FOR TRAVEL AND HEALTH INSURANCE
Fitness for Travel: It is your responsibility to determine that you are capable of participating in all of the activities offered on this trip and to opt out of any activities that you are not able to participate in due to your abilities (ie, ability to swim, etc.), disability, or any medical conditions.
Travel Health Insurance: We strongly encourage travelers to purchase travel health insurance to cover any medical events or emergencies that occur while you are on your trip. PLEASE NOTE THAT TRAVEL HEALTH INSURANCE AND TRAVEL INSURANCE ARE NOT THE SAME THING—Travel insurance covers the cost of your trip in the event of travel delays or your need to cancel the trip. Travel health insurance is a health insurance policy that covers your medical costs in the event of illness or injury overseas. Following is a suggested link that allows you to compare between different options and purchase the insurance online.
USE OF IMAGES
You agree that any images, including photographs and videos, of you taken during the trip may be used by Greener Travel at no charge for commercial purposes.
CONSENT TO JURISDICTION, WAIVER OF REMEDIES
You also agree that any dispute concerning Greener Travel’s services will be determined by the courts in the District of Columbia and consent to jurisdiction in those courts. You agree that if you have any dispute regarding Greener Travel’s services, you will present a claim to us in that regard within 2 months of travel, and will not file an action more than 9 months after the completion of travel. Should you accept a payment or refund of any amount in the event of a dispute, you agree to waive any other rights and remedies you may have under applicable law. In no event will Greener Travel be liable for any costs above the amount paid by you to Greener Travel.
FAQ: Jewish Group Tours to Costa Rica
Who comes on your trips? What is the age range? How religious is everyone?
Our trips are very diverse. Our last trip had travelers from more than 4 countries. For our young professionals’ trips, our age range is roughly late 20s to early 40s, with most participants in the middle of that range at roughly 25 to 35. Most participants are affiliated in some way with the Jewish community, whether they identify as Reform, Conservative, Traditional or Conservadox.
What makes your trips different from your competitors?
First, our trips focus on small, local hotels and providers. We do not use “all-inclusive” resorts, as we believe that they are not the best way to experience the culture of our destinations and to benefit the local community, one of the goals of eco-tourism. Second, we strive to make our group trips affordable while including as many items as possible. You might find a cheaper trip, but you will find that most of the activities are optional and at added cost. We believe it is better value to include those items and facilitates our primary goals of giving you a fun experience in a group setting where you can meet new people.
Why Costa Rica? Are you planning trips to other locations?
Costa Rica is one of the safest countries in Central America, has no military, and has taken significant actions to foster conservation. Accordingly, it is a country we can feel good about supporting through our travels. Accordingly, it is a country we can feel good about supporting through our travels. This and next year we are also offering a group trips to Alaska, Iceland and Greenland, Trinidad & Tobago, Baja California as well and a wilderness trip to upstate New York. If you have any suggestions of places you’d like to visit with Greener Travel, please let us know.
Do I have to do all the activities? Can I get a partial refund if I skip one of the activities?
We try to make our trips accessible for travelers of most abilities and encourage all travelers to fully participate in the activities unless a traveler is afraid of a particular activity or cannot participate due to a medical condition or ability level. However, if you do not want to do a particular activity, you can opt out for any reason. Because we make our best efforts to offer an alternative activity for opting out travelers for no additional cost, we cannot generally offer a partial refund for opting out travelers.
Who will I be rooming with if I chose double-occupancy?
If you are joining the trip with someone you know, we will honor your requests to room together if you wish. If you are joining the trip by yourself, we will match you up with another same-sex traveler to share a room. If during the trip, you meet someone with whom you want to share a room with, we will try to honor your request at that time.
How much is airfare to Costa Rica? Can you help me choose my ticket?
Airfare to Costa Rica from major metropolitan areas in the U.S. is generally roughly $400 to $600, however, that depends on your origin and travel dates. We advise travelers to check rates prior to booking a trip with us, however, you should not purchase your travel before the trip has been “called.” At that time, we would be glad to give you advice on which ticket to purchase.
Traveling in small groups lets us give you personal attention, leaving you to enjoy an amazing trip without having to worry about the planing, as well as to share the experiences and meet new friends at the same time.
At Greener Travel we believe in giving you your money's worth - and then some. That is why we decided early on to package our little pieces of paradise in a 9-day long trip that offers a diversity of memorable experiences and adventures - all with a unique Jewish perspective.
You might want to check out some of the testimonials from the people that traveled with us!