Detailed Itinerary: The Heart of Costa Rica 10-Day Immersion Program

 

Program Fee Includes*:

•9 nights accommodations in well-appointed 4+ star hotels

•All breakfasts and some group lunches and evening appetizers

•All Spanish language courses and materials

•All group networking events   

•All entrance fees for group tours and cultural activities (including gratuities for guides and drivers)

•All expenses associated with social impact projects

•Daily private group transportation (including airport transfers)

*You are responsible for: airfare, visas (if applicable), optional recreational activities and incidentals. 

 

Activity Key:

·      Light: Less than 4 miles of easy walking. 

·      Moderate: 1 - 6 miles of walking with some hills. 

·      Strenuous: 1 - 6 miles of walking with many hills and possibly some uneven terrain. 

 

Day 1/10 Friday:  Welcome to Costa Rica!

All participants will arrive in San José, Costa Rica and complete hotel check-in anytime before 16:00.  Promptly at 17:00, we will depart for the language academy where we’ll take our Spanish classes next week.  Once there, we’ll have a quick tour, meet the key administrators and instructors and answer any questions regarding this week’s program.  We’ll then take a short Spanish placement test.  (No worries, no previous preparation required!)

Afterwards, we’ll transfer over to our networking event site where we’ll share appetizers and cocktails with our local colleagues and new friends.  After the event, you’re free to begin exploring the night scene of Costa Rica’s capital city.  (Heads up: we’re heading out early tomorrow morning.

 Group Transportation:  Private van/bus

Walking:  Light   

Dress:  Business casual

Meals included:  Some appetizers and cocktails   

 

Day 2/10 Saturday: Arenal Volcano, Adventurous Sports and Natural Hot Springs!

After your first official Costa Rican breakfast, we’ll check out of the hotel and depart for our 1.5 day excursion in La Fortuna de San Carlos (the once sleepy little farm village that sits at the base of one of the most perfectly formed active volcanoes in the world!)  Here you’ll learn the true meaning of the national saying pura vida!  

Our trip will be approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes (including one restroom break on the way.)  Once we reach La Fortuna, we’ll have lunch together.  Afterwards, we’ll get everyone checked into their hotel rooms and then it’s “FUN TIME” for those who signed up for the adventurous sports, “YUM TIME” for those who are participating in cooking classes and “OM TIME” for those who prefer to take yoga/meditation classes and/or just relax in the natural hot springs.  The rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to enjoy however you’d wish in this tropical oasis.  ¡Diviértete! (Have fun!)

 Group Transportation:  Private van/bus

Walking:  Depends on your activity  

Dress: Comfortable depending on your activity

Meals included:  Breakfast at hotel and lunch  

 

Day 3/10 Sunday: Arenal Volcano, Adventurous Sports and Natural Hot Springs Part 2!

Today you are free to continue enjoying this beautiful, relaxing (or thrilling) national park as you wish.  Please make sure that your activities end and you report back at the hotel by 16:00 this afternoon.  We’ll depart for San José promptly at 17:00.  Our trip back will be approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes (including one restroom break on the way.)  Upon return to the capital city, and completion of hotel check in, you are free to enjoy the evening as you wish!  (Heads up: tonight is officially a school night!) 

Group Transportation:  Private van/bus

Walking:  Depends on your activity  

Dress:  Comfortable depending on your activity

Meals included:  Breakfast at hotel

 

Day 4/10 Monday:  ¿Hablas español?  New friends, City tour & Microbreweries!   

Welcome to the first day of school!  Immediately after breakfast, we’ll transfer over to the language academy.  Today, with the help of our experienced teachers, we’ll begin our customized Spanish classes (remember the placement test from the other day?) 

We’ll have a 90-minute break for lunch and immediately afterwards, we’ll take a tour of San José with the help of our language instructors.  They’ll point out iconic and historic structures, traditional foods, local greetings and customs as well as banks with international ATMs and good eateries.  After a quick visit to El Museo Nacional (including an amazing photo op with the legendary blue morpho butterfly in the gardens), we’ll transition over to one of the City’s hippest microbreweries for a sample (or two…or three) of Costa Rica’s version of liquid gold.  We’ll have the chance to get to know a little about our new teachers (and each other) in this chill environment.  (Just like college, right?)  

Group Transportation:  Private van/bus

Walking:  Moderate    

Dress:  Smart tourist casual with comfortable walking shoes   

Meals included:  Breakfast at hotel and craft beer tasting

         

Day 5/10 Tuesday:  Español, Meet New People and Learn Something New!   

After the afternoon session of Spanish class today, we’ll meet with some of the administrators and volunteers who are organizing our social impact project.  They’ll give us valuable insight on what to expect later this week.  Immediately following, we’ll have an informal chat with one of the University of Costa Rica’s most acclaimed historians about….you guessed it….. the history of Costa Rica!  This will be a fun and enlightening afternoon as we get to know more about how our young host country came to be (presented by one of the nation’s academic rockstars!)  Lite snacks and refreshments available

Group Transportation:  Private van/bus

Walking:  Moderate    

Dress:  Smart tourist casual

Meals included:  Breakfast at hotel and lite snacks and refreshments  

 

Day 6/10 Wednesday:  Español, Do Good and Have Fun!  

Immediately after lunch today, we’ll transfer over to our social impact project site.  We’ll spend the afternoon meeting and helping our new friends at this local animal rescue center.  Make sure you dress appropriately and get ready to fall in love with baby sloths, energetic monkeys, exotic birds and much more!  (If you’ve previous purchased any of the supplies from the non-profit's “wish list”, please bring them with you today.)   

Group Transportation:  Private van/bus

Walking:  Moderate    

Dress:  Smart tourist casual for class and comfortable clothing for the social impact project

Meals included:  Breakfast at hotel

 

Day 7/10 Thursday:  Español + Tiempo Libre = ¡Pura Vida!   

Today after our afternoon Spanish session, you’re free to enjoy the City as you wish!

Group Transportation:  Private van/bus

Walking:  Light    

Dress:  Smart tourist casual  

Meals included:  Breakfast at hotel

  

Day 8/10 Friday: “Graduation day” & Networking Event!  

We did it!  Today’s the last day of school!  ¡Felicidades!  After the afternoon session, there will be a small intimate ceremony where you’ll receive your diplomas (aka. certificates of completion) and the opportunity to say “¡muchisimas gracias!” to your teachers.  Immediately afterwards, we’ll transfer over to meet up with our local friends and colleagues for a celebratory cocktail and appetizers!  Afterwards you’re free to enjoy the evening however you wish!  (Heads up: tomorrow morning we’re up really early!)          

Group Transportation:  Private van/bus

Walking:  Light    

Dress:  Business casual   

Meals included:  Breakfast at hotel and some appetizers and cocktails

  

Day 9/10 Saturday: Volcanoes, Coffee Plantations & Bon Voyage Lunch, oh my!

Today starts really early in order to see the majestic, yet sometimes elusive, Poas Volcano.  After a brisk 30-minute hike up to the mile-wide crater (make sure to bring a jacket because it gets cold!) we’ll forget all about the early start as we find ourselves in awe as we stare into world’s largest active volcanic crater.  After this magical encounter, we’ll take a picturesque drive through valleys and cloud forests to our next destination: A functioning coffee plantation.  Today we'll learn the ins and outs of how the grano de oro (golden bean) played such an important role in Costa Rica’s economy, society and politics.

After enjoying a professional “cupping” with coffee connoisseurs we’ll transition over to our Bon Voyage Lunch at a typical countryside restaurant that specializes in local dishes.  After lunch, we’ll visit a strawberry and dairy farm were we’ll taste one of the area’s most sought-after strawberry milkshakes.  Late afternoon we’ll return to San José where you are free to spend the last evening in our beautiful host country as you wish.  ¡Diviértete!   

Group Transportation:  Private van/bus

Walking:  Strenuous   

Dress:  Comfortable for hiking.  Bring jacket for volcano visit.   

Meals included:  Breakfast at hotel and lunch.  

 

Day 10/10 Sunday:  End of Program.  Departure for USA.

After breakfast, transportation to Juan Santamaria International Airport is available.  Prior to departing, confirm that your Costa Rican Departure Tax was included with the purchase of your flight.  (Some airlines automatically include it, some do not.)  If not, prepare to leave an extra 30-45 minutes early to purchase this at the airport.  Cash only (USD or CRC or a combination of both). 

 The program officially ends today after breakfast.  ¡Hasta luego y buen viaje!

This itinerary is subject to change. 

 

Important Details about the Complete Immersion Programs:

Physical Demands of Immersa Global’s Complete Immersion Programs – The main purpose of our programs is to help you immerse in the local cultural and feel comfortable exploring the host cities and towns as quickly as possible.  Therefore on the 10-Day Complete Costa Rican Immersion Program, you will need to:

1.    Be on your feet for hours, walking and standing, indoors and outdoors in various weather conditions.  Some activities are more physically demanding than others.  If you have any questions or concerns, please inquire. 

2.    Be able to move around San José on your own.  After the initial orientation to San José, you will be responsible for arriving on time to different meeting places around the City.

3.    Be able to carry your own luggage short distances.  The majority of the time, our hotels will have porters and our private transportation operators to manage the luggage.  However, be prepared, in the event of a shortage of help, to carry and lift your own bags short distances. 

4.    Be flexible, enjoy and have a great attitude.  No further explanation needed!

 If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.  We know our programs and host countries extremely well.  So ask away!  We love what we do and we’re here to help!