From pristine cloud forests to the Pacific coast’s famous surf, experience some of the world’s most incredible scenery and exotic wildlife—and make a lasting impact while you’re there. Spend five days volunteering with a sea turtle project to help ensure these endearing creatures are around for future generations to admire. Then, hike through misty cloud forests and get your heart racing on optional activities in the lush wilderness. Give some of your time to this beautiful country and a worthy cause, and you’ll be rewarded with an experience you can really treasure. Gain a real sense of accomplishment and take home more than photographs.
Hands-On: El Trapiche Tour, Monteverde. Volunteering at a sea turtle conservation project (Montezuma, 5-day). Sugar cane and coffee plantation guided tour (Monteverde). Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve guided tour. La Fortuna stay. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Patrol for sea turtles laying their eggs, chill out on the beach and watch the waves lap at the coast, search for the elusive quetzal bird, take the opportunity to go whitewater rafting
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1) Costa Rica will not be allowing anyone to enter the country without proof of a departure ticket (bus, airplane, boat, etc.). If you are travelling through a few countries in Central America, you will need to show proof of your itinerary and a departure ticket from your last destination. Please print the itinerary and voucher and bring it with you.
2) Be prepared for rain and lower temperatures during the winter season (June-November), especially in Costa Rica’s central valley.
3) There is no guarantee that you will see turtles coming onshore to lay eggs. This is a natural occurrence and as such it is not possible to schedule sightings.
4) Food and accommodation is quite basic at the Montezuma Turtle Project.
5) For the nighttime beach patrols at the Montezuma Turtle Project, dark clothes are a requirement. These patrols are approx 12km in length and can be quite physically demanding.
6) The Montezuma Turtle Project has a strict no alcohol policy. While staying at the project on Days 2-7, G Adventures volunteers must abide by this.
7) Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Theme Packs! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Theme Packs must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales CEO.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12
6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Public bus, boat, private van, walking.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Simple hotels (8 nts), basic lodges (6 nts, multi-share).
My Own Room Exceptions
Nights 2-7 in Playa Montezuma during the volunteer stay.
Please note if you are a single traveller, you can expect to share accommodation with one or two other travelers of the same sex for the duration of your trip. Using multi-share accommodation when available helps us to keep our operating cost down, and these savings are passed onto you. If you are traveling with a friend or companion, we will attempt to keep your accommodation on a twin or double basis, however, ask you to be open to the idea of occasional multi-share rooms.
While volunteering, your accommodation will be in a basic, large, multi-share room.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.
If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer, look for the driver holding a G Adventures sign in the arrivals hall. Please approach them, and ask them who they are supposed to be picking up (do not tell them your name, they should have this information already). Once they give you the correct name, have your passport ready to show them and you will be on your way!
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica
During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 2224 5560
After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
- USD cash
- Credit and/or debit card (see spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film
- Reading/writing material
- Plastic bags or cover for backpacks
- Fleece top /long sleeve top (for hikes, jungle treks etc..)
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swim wear
- 5 shirts/t-shirts
- Sun hat
- 2 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals (suitable for water if you are planning on rafting and/or waterfall rappelling/abseiling)
- Rain poncho/umbrella
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Insect repellent for mosquitos and sand flies
- Mosquito Net (optional)
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Sleep Sheet
- Travel Pillow
- First-aid kit(should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
For volunteer portion of this tour:
Dark colored clothing for the turtle walks is necessary, no white or bright colours. Purchasing a red filter for your flashlight or buying a headlamp with a red light setting is recommended for the night beach patrols. Mosquito repellent, towel and sturdy walking shoes are also recommended.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards with travellers cheques as backup is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
Please be advised that it may be difficult to exchange travellers’ cheques during the first week, as the group will be travelling in remote locations. Bringing enough cash is recommended.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Costa Rica airport exit tax: $29USD
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Please note that in Costa Rica, a 23% charge is added on to almost every meal (13% tax, 10% tip). Further tipping for wait staff is appropriate in the case of excellent service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON TOUR
All prices are per person, in USD amounts and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
San José to Arenal by rafting the class 3-4 Sarapiqui River Also available: Rafting class 2-3; or Safari Float 1-2; or Serpentarium & Birdwatching $68-$87
Stand Up Paddling on Lake Arenal (Lesson & Tour) Walk on water in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano. $59
Lost Canyon Adventures Canyoneering Rappel, downclimb, & river trace along our exclusive canyon. $86
Whitewater Rafting Class 3-4 Río Sarapiquí Jungle Run Adrenaline-pumping action on a raging river $77
Whitewater Rafting Class 2-3 Río Balsa Whitewater & Wildlife Rolling rapids & plenty of flora & fauna $62
Mountain Bike Rides: - Single-track Madness (challenging) - Hills, Pueblos & Swimming Holes (challenging) – Volcano+Lake (Moderate) Great views of Arenal $62
Cultour Tortilla-making + Sugar Mill + Dinner $28
One Day Combo Tours in La Fortuna
Mambo Combo Rappel & Raft! Rappel the Lost Canyon & Raft the Río Balsa (Class 2-3) for a full day of pure adrenaline near the Arenal Volcano. $135
Extreme Mambo Combo Rappel & Raft! Rappel the Lost Canyon & Raft the Río Sarapiquí for two days of full-on adventure at a great price! $149
Combo Lost Canyon+Horseback: Rappel the Lost Canyon & then ride to the La Fortuna Waterfall $135
Combo Pedal + Paddle: Bike along the base of the Arenal Volcano, have a snack & finish the day Stand Up Paddling on the beautiful Lake Arenal $122
Hanging bridges $25
Horseback riding ($25 for 1 ½ hours, $30 for 2 hours, $45 for 3 hours)
Butterfly garden $12
Frog Pond $12
ATV $50 for a single, $75 for a double
Night Walk $22
Orchid Garden $10
Cheese Factory $10
Bat Jungle $10
Adventure Combo (Canopy & Horseback Riding) (L) $107
Adventure Combo (Canopy & Rafting) (L) $107
Combo Tour ( Doka – Poas – Cataratas) (B,L) $96
La Paz Waterfall Gardens (Late departure) $75
Poas Volcano ( Half Day ) $46
San Jose City Tour $39
The Best of the Pacific ( Punta Leona) (B)(L) $115
Rafting Class IV Pacuare (B)(L) $99
Irazu, Orosi and Lankaster Gardens(L) $81
RAM LUNA ( Show and Dinner) $69
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
As of November 1st, 2007, the Costa Rica government, requires those entering Costa Rica from certain countries in South America and Sub-Sahara Africa, to have an International Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever. Those affected countries are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guiana and Venezuela.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure.
Petty theft, bag snatching and muggings have been on the rise in San Jose. Though not common, there are certain precautions you should take when visiting the city. Although the cities visited on our tours are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions, as they are the safest and easiest way to avoid any issues one might encounter on the streets after dark. In addition, always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), credit cards and money that you won’t be using in the hotel. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes in the room, or a general one at reception, this is always the safest method of storing your valuables. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc . A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organized from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Like any city where tourism is on the increase, crime also tends to increase and while San José is not a noticeably dangerous city, there are certain precautions you should take. Make sure that you are aware of your things at all times and don’t go out carrying expensive gear or jewellery.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
Sea Turtle Project – Montezuma Beach
The Playa Montezuma Sea Turtle project is a science based conservation program which was created with the purpose of protecting female sea turtles, their nests and hatchlings laid on Montezuma beach against poachers and natural and introduced predators. Using a man-made shelter called a “vivero” to protect the eggs of this endangered species, the program has ensured the survival of the sea turtles and increased number of sea turtle hatchlings in the area. Local staff and volunteers also collect information about nesting activity which is shared with the community and local and regional authorities.
General Volunteer Duties may include:
- Evening/night beach patrol (12 km)
- Hatchery surveillance to watch for hatching turtles
- General infrastructure maintenance
- Hatchery building
- Counting baby turtles and releasing them
- Making Information signs
- Beach clean-up
The tasks described above will vary and depend on what stage the turtle eggs and hatchlings are at when each volunteer group arrives.
1) Be prepared for rain and lower temperatures in the evenings
2) There is no guarantee that you will see turtles coming onshore to lay eggs. This is a natural occurrence and as such it is not possible to schedule sightings.
Accommodation is a simple hotel. Rooms are multi-share.
Meal: All meals are provided during our stay and are typical Costa Rican dishes including rice, beans, pastas and grains, meat, fruits and vegetables.
Is this trip for you? Participants on this tour are generally conservation minded-people looking for an exciting vacation after contributing some hard core man hours to saving turtles on endangered public beaches.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: CRPJ, ID: 22837