Four years ago Journeys inaugurated this new concept in family travel: a week-long adventure program, with a range of hands-on activities and excursions suitable for ages 4-84, based in a gorgeous and comfortable setting. The response has been enthusiastic. Enjoy the ease of an all-inclusive holiday, the fun of a family summer camp, and the amenities and privacy of three-star accommodations in a lush and intimate environment around the Sarapiqui River, just a beautiful two-hour drive north of Costa Rica’s capital of San Jose. All of us at Journeys are excited to offer travel to Costa Rica more easily and more affordably than ever before, with the same energy, professionalism, and personal attention that has built our reputation over 30 years.
Journeys Rainforest Adventure Camp is based at La Quinta Country Inn, which is part of the homestead and farm of the Gamez-Jenkins family. The grounds are charming. Comfortable guest rooms have air conditioning and ceiling fans as well as private tile bathrooms and private porches with hammocks. Red ginger plants and banana trees bloom right outside the doorways; gardens full of colorful frogs, butterflies, and tropical birds are just footsteps away; and the open air dining room overlooks a swimming pool nestled in the trees.
An array of activities – all fascinating, but none required – will begin before breakfast and last well into the evening. Search for bugs and animals at Tirimbina Reserve and La Selva Biological Station, both of which are world-class nature preserves; interact with schoolchildren and their parents in the intimate town of Puerto Viejo; and enjoy La Quinta’s own activities and grounds. The rainforest ecosystem is a nature enthusiast’s delight, and lovers of crafts, soccer, swimming, cooking, Spanish language, singing, and dancing will all have opportunities to engage their passions. The more adventurous travelers can choose to go whitewater rafting and ziplining over the rainforest canopy. The itinerary that follows is a sample of how the days may play out; however, this base camp model allows us flexibility to update our schedule when new information and opportunities become available, in order to offer you the very best options throughout the week.
Participate as a family or as a multi-generational group of friends. The flexibility, ease, comfort, and range of activities are all perfect for ages 4-84. Come learn and laugh together!
Read more about the family camp philosophy on the Journeys Blog.
- Day 1: arrive san joseBe ready for the exotic and the beautiful. Above, a chestnut-mandibled toucan.
Families arrive throughout the day on flights into San Jose's international airport. (Fly direct from, or connect via, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Newark, or New York.)
A driver will greet you on arrival and bring you from the airport to first-night accommodations at a comfortable hotel outside San Jose. Program activities begin the next morning. Meanwhile, settle in, rest up, and enjoy the beautiful, extensive gardens.
- Hotel Bougainvillea
- Day 2: poas volcanoSettle into La Quinta Country Inn. Enjoy the gardens, swimming pool and wildlife.
Meet your fellow participants, and get acquainted during the morning’s drive through multiple climate zones and corresponding diversity of scenery. Costa Rica is home to several spectacular volcanoes, and Poas is one of the most accessible. On our way to our camp at La Quinta, http://www.laquintasarapiqui.com/, we will stop to learn about the tectonic landscape. If we are lucky, when we stand at the volcano's lip, we'll have a cloud-free view across the mile-wide crater.
Then, we will continue on to La Quinta, our base camp for the week’s adventures. A group orientation will introduce the lay of the land and the activities that will be available throughout the program – some at fixed times, and others whenever the notion strikes you. See the frog walk, butterfly house, caiman pond, herb and vegetable gardens, swimming pool, game room, and cozy areas to read, write, or watch tropical birds.
After a traditional Costa Rican dinner cooked with ingredients grown in La Quinta’s garden, you can choose how to spend your evening. Late-night options throughout the trip may include a “critters of the night” hike, late-night swim, and singing, dancing, and language activities.
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- La Quinta
- Day 3: welcome to the jungleExperience the dense tropical rain forest from the understory to the canopy.
After breakfast, venture to La Selva Biological Station, a world-class preserve run by the Organization for Tropical Studies. Part of central Costa Rica’s continuous greenbelt of connected parks, this is the best spot in the region to spot a wealth of bird, mammal, insect, and reptile species. Learn about the scientific endeavors of student groups who travel here to conduct research.
In the afternoon, set out on a scouting walk around the La Quinta grounds. Those interested in helping to prepare lunch can join a cooking class that includes harvesting ingredients from the garden.
Prepare for tomorrow’s visit to a local school by planning activities and learning a few Spanish words, then take a night-swim bed.
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- La Quinta
- Day 4: school visit and river safariYou may see three or four different kinds of monkeys. Here's the white-faced capuchin.
This morning early risers will have the opportunity to take a pre-breakfast bird walk with one of the region’s bird experts.
After breakfast, visit a local school where cross-cultural activities will help you connect with Costa Rican kids, irrespective of the extent of your Spanish repertoire. The morning may culminate in a game of fútbol (soccer, for us Americans).
Throughout the week, young trip participants can check off their nature finds and activities to become camper-naturalists. In the afternoon, a riverboat safari will help young spotters with their checklists. Many birds and monkeys live on the edges of the forest that are exposed to the water, and if we’re lucky (and quiet), we can find large reptiles.
Enjoy a pizza dinner in the town of Puerto Viejo and free time for wandering the shops. Then, head back to camp.
- Breakfast, Lunch, DInner
- La Quinta
- Day 5: chocolate tour and bat encounterSing or play soccer with the local schoolkids.
This morning set out to visit the property of a local conservation activist whose efforts have rehabilitated the local green macaw population. Afterward, select from optional activities. Take a sustainable crafts class, making artistic creations out of recycled local materials like pineapple husks and used containers. Play games on the La Quinta grounds. Or, choose an off-camp activity like a horseback trail ride through the forest. (Extra fees may apply for off-camp options.)
Then, in the late afternoon, head to Tirimbina Nature Preserve for an interactive demonstration of chocolate-making using rainforest-grown cacao. Before heading back to camp for the night, an interactive bat program will introduce you to some of the dozens of species of bats that live in Costa Rica’s rainforest.
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- La Quinta
- Day 6: choose your own adventure! Thrill-seekers can choose to go whitewater rafting or ziplining over the rainforest canopy.
Some campers may choose to partake of adventure activities, such as whitewater rafting, rainforest canopy ziplines, or horseback riding (additional fees will apply). For those who prefer a morning around camp, you can enjoy a massage, try to spot additional creatures from your naturalist checklist, or laze by the poolside.
We will end our week of Adventure Camp with a fiesta! We'll begin by making an authentic Costa Rican ice cream treat. We'll enjoy a local-style BBQ party, a special closing circle, Latin dancing, and party activities into the night!
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- La Quinta
- Day 7: goodbye / onward At our closing fiesta, local dancers show off folk traditions and contemporary Latin numbers.
The time has come to say goodbye to La Quinta. Swap e-mail addresses with your new camp friends to share photos once you’re home … and to make plans together to come to Journeys’ family camp again next summer, in another new country! Hasta luego ... Until next time ... !
Consider extending your trip through the weekend with an extension to Tortuguero National Park, a remote wildlife haven and home to nesting sea turtles. Tourists can often witness egg-laying during summer months.
Price and Date Details
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: Be the first family to sign up for this trip and save up to $1,000!
This $250 per person discount is valid when at least two people in your family are the first to register for this or another eligible 2016 pre-scheduled Journeys for Families group departure. (“First to register” means that a registration form and deposit have been received for each person who is eligible for the discount before a registration form and deposit are received from travelers in any other families.) At least two people from your family must register for the same trip together. Two to four people in your family each receive $250 off their registration, for a total discount of $500 (2 people), $750 (three people), or $1,000 (four people). Registration must be received at least 90 days prior to the trip’s departure date. The 5% alumni discount is calculated after the Early Bird Discount, not on the original cost. Discount not valid on private or custom trips, and only specified Journeys for Families trips are eligible for the discount.
Need to Know
Included in costs: All Meals, 6 nights accommodations, land transfers, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees as indicated, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation & check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.
Not included in costs: Optional adventure activities,gratuities, beverages (except juice, tea or coffee at meals), international airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.
Deposit and payment schedule: $1,200 per family deposit. A second deposit of $1500 per room is due four months prior to departure. Final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.
Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.
Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.
Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.
Duration: 3 days
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