Insider's Costa Rica

  • 9 Days
  • Most Inclusive
  • Most Popular V2 Created with Sketch. Most Popular

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Insider's Costa Rica Get Started

Map & Route

Depart

San Jose

1 1 Night

San Carlos

2 2 Nights

Monteverde

2 2 Nights

Puntarenas Region

2 2 Nights

San Jose

1 1 Night
Return
map Insider's Costa Rica

What's Included

Our itineraries reflect 40 years of experience in crafting exceptional educational tours. That means we know exactly how to make the best of your time abroad—incredible destinations, immersive activities, centrally located hotels, and smart, well-traveled tour managers who ensure your educational goals are met. Here are some of the exceptional features of this tour.

ACIS Guarantees

We have high standards, which is why we take care to include these features in every tour.

Round-Trip Flights

Leave the airlines to us.

3- or 4-Star Hotels

After a busy day, comfort is key.

Centrally Located Hotels

Save the commuting time, beat the morning crowds and keep right on exploring after dark when your hotel is in the heart of the city.

Daily Breakfast and Dinner (unless otherwise noted)

Delicious, authentic, multi-course dinners at local restaurants with meal times tailored to maximize your experience.

24-Hour Tour Manager

Part guide, part educator, part engineer, part mind-reader, part magician—ACIS Tour Managers are your travel partner.

Start Exploring

Never wait hours at the airport to share a transfer with other later groups.

Service Guarantee

We're so sure you're going to love your tour, we guarantee it!

Global Network

24/7 on the ground support whenever and wherever you need it.

All Local Transportation

Urban transportation is on us, allowing you to explore each destination with ease.

Exceptional Experiences

Our tours are designed to help you and your students be in the moment and experience everything the world has to offer.

Craft Workshop in Sarchí

Craft Workshop in Sarchí

As the most famous crafts center in Costa Rica, Sarchí has more than 200 stores selling intricately decorated artisan creations. Tap into the area's history of creating brightly colored ox-carts and other furniture items during a craft workshop. A local artisan will teach you traditional skills, techniques and designs as you craft your own small souvenir to take home.

Learn More

As the most famous crafts center in Costa Rica, Sarchí has more than 200 stores selling intricately decorated artisan creations. Tap into the area's history of creating brightly colored ox-carts and other furniture items during a craft workshop. A local artisan will teach you traditional skills, techniques and designs as you craft your own small souvenir to take home.

Visit with Local Students in San Carlos

Visit with Local Students in San Carlos

Visit with the local students at a San Carlos school. As you participate in a joint activity, sharing stories and laughs, you'll gain an understanding of their daily lives and studies and have the opportunity to contrast what you learn and experience with your own lifestyle and educational system at home.

Learn More

Visit with the local students at a San Carlos school. As you participate in a joint activity, sharing stories and laughs, you'll gain an understanding of their daily lives and studies and have the opportunity to contrast what you learn and experience with your own lifestyle and educational system at home.

Horseback Ride in Monteverde

Horseback Ride in Monteverde

Explore part of Monteverde Cloud Forest as generations of the native populations have done: on horseback. Experience the variety in Costa Rica's landscape as you ride along a trail that promises breathtaking views, traditional farms and lush jungle as well as observations of the local birds and animals.

Learn More

Explore part of Monteverde Cloud Forest as generations of the native populations have done: on horseback. Experience the variety in Costa Rica's landscape as you ride along a trail that promises breathtaking views, traditional farms and lush jungle as well as observations of the local birds and animals.

Monteverde Canopy Tour and Hanging Bridges

Monteverde Canopy Tour and Hanging Bridges

Founded in the 1970s to protect the region's biodiversity, the high-altitude Monteverde Cloud Forest is home to more than 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals and 2,500 species of plants within a reserve comprising 6 distinct ecological zones. Gain a bird's-eye perspective on this important wildlife refuge as you cross tree-top suspended hanging bridges and zip-line through the canopy.

Learn More

Founded in the 1970s to protect the region's biodiversity, the high-altitude Monteverde Cloud Forest is home to more than 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals and 2,500 species of plants within a reserve comprising 6 distinct ecological zones. Gain a bird's-eye perspective on this important wildlife refuge as you cross tree-top suspended hanging bridges and zip-line through the canopy.

Costa Rican Cooking Lesson

Costa Rican Cooking Lesson

Explore the secrets of flavorful Costa Rican cuisine during your cooking lesson. After an introduction to traditional Costa Rican food and techniques, join the chef in the kitchen where you will help prepare the ingredients for your meal, assist the chef with cooking and learn to properly garnish each dish. Then enjoy the fruits of your labor! You'll leave with recipes that you can put to use impressing friends and family back home.

Learn More

Explore the secrets of flavorful Costa Rican cuisine during your cooking lesson. After an introduction to traditional Costa Rican food and techniques, join the chef in the kitchen where you will help prepare the ingredients for your meal, assist the chef with cooking and learn to properly garnish each dish. Then enjoy the fruits of your labor! You'll leave with recipes that you can put to use impressing friends and family back home.

Costa Rican Dance Lesson

Costa Rican Dance Lesson

The lively Ticos are lovers of an extensive variety of types of music and dancing styles, many of which have African, pre-Columbian or Spanish roots. Learn about the rich traditions of various Costa Rican folk dances from an expert. Then take on the dance floor as you're instructed in the basic steps of a classic dance before you try it out to the lively beat yourself.

Learn More

The lively Ticos are lovers of an extensive variety of types of music and dancing styles, many of which have African, pre-Columbian or Spanish roots. Learn about the rich traditions of various Costa Rican folk dances from an expert. Then take on the dance floor as you're instructed in the basic steps of a classic dance before you try it out to the lively beat yourself.

Río Frío Wildlife Boat Cruise

Río Frío Wildlife Boat Cruise

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park

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Costa Rica

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Itinerary

This itinerary is the starting point for your tour, but it’s not set in stone. If there are days you would like to change, or specific places you’d like to go, we can work with you to create a personalized program that fits the needs of you and your students.

Day 1: San Jose

Depart from the USA. Arrive in the Costa Rican capital of San José, where you'll meet your ACIS Tour Manager and begin to explore, discovering how history has shaped this vibrant city both architecturally and socially.

Day 2: San Carlos

Journey to Sarchí, the hub of Costa Rica’s arts and crafts trade, known for its ox-carts and leather rocking chairs. You’ll participate in a craft workshop, learning about the history and the methods of creating this brightly colored furniture before painting your own small souvenir to take home. Then continue to the San Carlos region in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano. In the afternoon visit a local school to practice your Spanish with the students, discovering the similarities and differences between their typical school day and yours at home. This evening view the Arenal Volcano, a perfect cone more than 5,000 feet high.

Day 3: San Carlos

Today travel north to the Río Frío. Enjoy a boat trip on the calm river while you share company with exotic creatures such as osprey, storks, caimans, monkeys and freshwater sharks. Lunch will be included today on the excursion instead of dinner. Return to San Carlos for the evening.

Day 4: Monteverde

This morning is something truly special: riding horseback from the Arenal area along the shores of Lake Arenal toward the lush cloud forest of Monteverde. Your bags will travel by bus and will meet you in Monteverde. If you choose not to ride, you may travel on the touring bus. Arrive at your destination with a new understanding of how the local native populations traveled and a deep appreciation of just how spectacularly beautiful Costa Rica can be.

Day 5: Monteverde

Today explore this important and fascinating cloud forest. Originally settled in the 1950s by a group of Quakers from Alabama, Monteverde Cloud Forest is home to more than 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals and 2,500 species of plants including the jaguar, ocelot, Baird's tapir, three-wattled bellbird, bare-necked umbrellabird, and the famously elusive resplendent quetzal. Get ready for a different perspective on the forest, as this afternoon you will swing far above the forest floor on the world famous Monteverde Canopy Tour and Hanging Bridges. You will have views from a series of platforms, suspension bridges and thrilling zip-lines. In the afternoon, you're back on solid ground with more earthly delights: a Costa Rican cooking lesson. Learn about the ingredients and techniques used in traditional meals before joining together to prepare a sample dish.

Day 6: Puntarenas Region

Observe the shift in landscape as you travel from the mountainous inland cloud forest to the beaches and Pacific breezes of the Puntarenas region on the Golfo de Nicoya. This area draws visitors from around the world, and, once you see the curving coastline dotted with bays and islands, you will understand why. Enjoy time to relax on the beach and settle in to your new neighborhood.

Day 7: Puntarenas Region

Although you may not want to leave, this morning's excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park brings you to one of the most stunning parks in Costa Rica. A series of small beaches with lush forests and well-maintained trails are yours to discover for the day. Explore the park and its wildlife (Capuchin monkeys play in trees just behind the beach) before returning to Puntarenas for the evening.

Day 8: San Jose

Say adiós to the coast and drive through lush vegetation back to San José. Celebrate the Tico culture of music and movement during a Costa Rican dance lesson with a local expert—a festive and fun way to spend your last night in this beautiful country.

Day 9: Departure

Depart for the USA.



Optional Extensions and Extra Nights:

Further immerse yourself in the culture and wonders of Costa Rica with an extra night in San José, including the services of your ACIS Tour Manager, at the beginning or end of your tour.

Price This Tour

Price This Tour

Optional Extras

Ultimate-Plus Protection Plan

Most Enhanced health coverage, program interruption, baggage delay/loss and travel delay protection while on tour. Plus, enhanced medical/job loss cancellation refund policy

Rate $405

Add to Tour

Ultimate Protection Plan

Enhanced health coverage, program interruption, baggage delay/loss and travel delay protection while on tour. Plus, enhanced medical/job loss cancellation refund policy

Rate $270

Add to Tour

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