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National Parks of Costa Rica

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2012 - December 31st, 2012 Last Updated: March 7, 2012
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Introduction

What better way to see a country famous for its nature than to visit some of its greatest national parks? Get to know the most pristine nature Costa Rica has to offer, from mangroves and rivers to volcanoes, cloud forests and tropical jungles filled with monkeys and protected beaches. Over these two weeks, you will experience some of the most beautiful and fascinating natural settings in the world.

  • San José
  • Tortugero National Park
  • La Fortuna
  • Arenal Volcano
  • Rincon de la Vieja National Park
  • Monteverde
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
Duration: 14 days
Start/Finish City: San Jose to San Jose
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Independent
If you prefer to experience the world on your own terms or as an extension to your group tour—this is your trip style. You’re free to mix and match modules and local staff members are on standby to make sure your adventure goes off without a hitch. They’ll take care of the details—but the adventure is all yours.
Trip Type: Independent Travel
Independent trips are either entire trips you take privately or solo extensions to a group tour. Local staff are available on standby 24/7.

Itinerary

Route map for National Parks of Costa Rica (TCRNPC)

Day 1 San Jose

You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for overnight. If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head into the city to visit a museum, shop or people-watch in the main plaza. As it is located in the central highlands, San Jose enjoys a moderate climate. The heat and humidity of the coast and lowland areas may affect you, with a general sense of lethargy and/or loss of appetite. This is no cause for alarm, it is simply a reaction to the heat. Be sure to drink plenty of water (cold bottled water is available everywhere) and do not attempt too much in any given day. We prefer fan-cooled rather than air conditioned rooms to avoid having to acclimatize to the heat and humidity every time you go outside.

Like most cities, San Jose has its good and bad sides. It is the centre of government, theater, and art, as well as of air pollution and congestion. It has beautiful parks and museums, and a few beggars on the streets. It is big and often noisy, but even from its crowded downtown streets, you'll often enjoy a view of the surrounding lush mountains.

Probably the hardest thing you will do in San Jose, other than get safely across busy streets, is keep the street numbering systems straight. Street and avenue numbers are posted on buildings at the corners of some intersections. Keep looking as you walk, and you will eventually find one.

The plaza is a good place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere.

A source of pride for the Ticos (Costa Ricans) is the National Theatre. Inaugurated in 1897, the building was paid for by coffee growers through a voluntary tax on every bag of coffee exported. The National Museum, housed in the Bellavista Fortress, offers exhibits on pre-Columbian art, colonial art and furniture and religious art within a 19th Century building that was converted from a military fortress after the army was abolished.
The Museum of Costa Rican Art, located in La Sabana Park used to be the international airport and is in the old terminal building. The Jade Museum is on the 11th floor of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros building. In addition to the marvellous collection of jade objects, there are pre-Columbian ceramic and stone works as well as displays with archaeological and ethnographic information. The Gold Museum is located underneath the Plaza de la Cultura. Its spectacular collection of indigenous gold art belongs to the Central Bank of Costa Rica.

The best and least expensive places to buy souvenirs in San Jose are the markets. The two main ones are in Plaza de la Cultura, which is an outdoor open market, and the Central Market, where handicrafts are sold along with boots, fish, flour, herbal remedies, shirts and everything else you can imagine. Always watch your belongings and be ready for crowds. If you plan on spending a few days in San Jose prior to or after your tour, there are a number of activities within the city and area that you can participate in, many of them outdoors.

Day 2 Tortuguero

Travel via bus and boat to your Lodge for two nights. Nestled deep in the rainforest canals of Tortuguero, the lodge lies at the threshold of the Tortugero National Park, home to the endangered green turtle.

The beaches around Tortuguero, a sleepy Afro-Caribbean town, host the nesting grounds of a variety of sea turtles. Walking paths extend through the village and into the national park. Tortuguero National Park was created in 1975 to protect the four species of sea turtles which nest along the beaches. Our three-hour boat ride along rivers and canals starts just outside the town of Limn and ends in the village of Tortuguero, near the park perimeter. We may see herons, egrets, spoonbills, as well as amphibians and reptiles like the Jesus Lizard (it walks on water) and caimans. The tropical rainforest gives way to prime beaches, ideal nesting grounds for Green, loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback Turtles. The latter nests from mid-March to May, the rest from July to September. The Caribbean Conservation Centre, just outside of town, is an excellent source of information about the turtles and their tropical habitat.

Day 3 Tortugero

Today you will traverse the waterways this area is famous for on a boat tour followed by a short jungle walk, accompanied by specialist guides.

Day 4-5 La Fortuna/Arenal

This morning travel to La Fortuna at the Arenal Volcano—one of Costa Rica's most impressive volcanoes that can be viewed from many vantage points. On Day 5 we enjoy a walking tour to see the volcano up close. Later, enjoy an included visit to the hot springs to relax and soak in the revitalizing waters.

Set on the northern plains of Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano is on the shores of Lake Arenal, (77 square kilometres, or 48 square miles), created by a hydroelectric project. Winds sweeping off the Caribbean Sea reach speeds of 48 to 72 km/hr (30 to 45 mph), making Arenal one of the best sail boarding locations in the world. The lake actually separates the mountain ranges of Guanacaste and Tilarn. The volcano is set on the lake's southeast end. The volcano, once quite active, has been in a dormant state since the beginning of 2011 but still is a dramatic backdrop to the town of La Fortuna. During the day, its reflection on Lake Arenal is truly enchanting. There are several attractions in the area aside from the lake and volcano. It is a birders' paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents, and is inhabited by numerous species of frogs. You can also enjoy hiking the area's nature trails, or if you're more daring, you can opt to climb a ladder to participate in one of the canopy tours and catch a fresh glimpse of the forest greenery. After a long day of exploring, the local Hot Springs might just be the answer to your tired muscles. Soak in one of the natural thermal baths under the shade of the surrounding canopy.

Note: If space is unavailable at the Tabacon Hot Springs, you will visit the equally lovely and relaxing Baldi Hot Springs for dinner and leisure time in the hot pools.

Day 6 Rincon de la Vieja National Park

You will be transferred from La Fortuna to Liberia and then on to a Hacienda, a simple working farm on the slopes of the Rincon de la Viejo volcano. Enjoy lunch at the hotel before your exhilarating canyoning tour that includes a rappel, hanging bridges and a Tarzan swing.

Rincon de la Vieja translates as "the old woman's corner." According to locals, the indigenous people of the Guatuso tribe named the volcano for one of two reasons. Either there was an old witch on top of the mountain who sent columns of smoke into the air when she was angry, or there was a kindly old woman occupying the same nook, and the smoke was from her cooking fire as she prepared meals for weary travellers. Perhaps both are appropriate: the Rincon de la Vieja crater has had at least eight periods of intense volcanic activity, and still bubbles and steams.

The park contains hot springs which give rise to very hot mountain streams; sulphuric ponds with small mud-filled depressions which bubble continuously; geysers releasing jets of stream, particularly during the rainy season; and mud cones in all shapes and sizes. Waterfalls dot the park, and there is a small freshwater lake which lies south of the main crater. In addition, Rincon de la Vieja contains what is probably the largest existing growth of the national flower-"guaria morada" (purple orchid) found in the wild in Costa Rica.

Horseback riding, mountain biking, bubbling mud pits, geysers of sulphur dioxide and hydrogen are just a few of the unique optional attractions at Rincon de la Vieja. One of the most unique sights in the park is the Blue Lagoon: approximately 30 minutes from the park headquarters, this small lagoon is blue as a result of special minerals in the lagoon's underlying stones. A large waterfall constantly replenishes the lagoon while a small hot spring to its left provides a warm welcome relief. The colour of the lagoon is at its bluest during the dry season, as the volume of rainfall is at its lowest level.

Day 7 Rincon de la Vieja National Park

This morning you will enjoy a guided tour of the national park, followed by lunch and a chance to relax. Dinner and overnight at the hacienda.

Day 8 Monteverde

Depart to Monteverde via Liberia. After the hotel check-in explore the beautiful cloud forest town.

Monteverde or "Green Mountain", when translated into English, is exactly what you will find at the end of the long, rutted dirt road we travel to get to this area. The surrounding pastures were once covered with dense forest, but only a small piece of it now remains. That piece of forest has been preserved as the Reserva Biologica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. A cloud forest is much like a rainforest, but much of the moisture comes not from falling rain but from the condensation left by the nearly constant cloud cover that blankets the tops of mountains in many parts of the tropics. Monteverde Reserve covers 1600 hectares of forest and is home to a great variety of wildlife. More than 2000 species of plants, 320 birds species, and 100 different species of mammals inhabit this small area.

The village of Monteverde was founded in the 1950s by Quakers from the United States. They wished to leave behind the constant fear of war and the obligation to support continued militarism through U.S. taxes and chose Costa Rica because it was committed to a non-militaristic economic path. Since its founding, Monteverde has grown slowly as other people, who shared the original Quaker founders' ideals, moved to the area. Although the Quakers came here to farm the land, they recognized the need to preserve the rare cloud forest that covers the mountain slopes above their fields. The community is very different from those on the coast, and offers several souvenir shops and the Quaker cheese factory, which is definitely worth a visit. The Santa Elena Reserve, is another park in this area that is less well known and visited, but also worth seeing. All proceeds from this park profit the local community.

Day 9 Monteverde

Walk across a jungle canopy on a series of suspended bridges for a birds-eye view of the cloud forest.

Day 10 Manuel Antonio/Quepos Area

Arrive to Manuel Antonio National Park, perched on the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy this beach paradise for three nights.

Day 11-12 Manuel Antonio/Quepos Area

Spend your days at leisure. There are ample optional activities to choose from in town and the national park. The white sand beaches and warm Pacific waters near the tiny town of Quepos provide the ideal atmosphere to relax at the end of your adventure. Enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking, horseback riding, boogie boarding, sailing or surfing. Not far away, Manuel Antonio offers excellent hiking and wildlife viewing. Like monkeys? This is the spot for you. Finally, you can snorkel, swim and try to spot dolphins or relax while enjoying the sunset.

Manuel Antonio sits on the outskirts of the Manuel Antonio National Park and is a great introduction to the laid back Tico lifestyle. This town is very popular with the younger set of international travellers and has a good beach for those who want to get a little sun and swim. If you have the jungle in mind, then we recommend that you head into the national park. Although this is Costa Rica's smallest national park, it is also one of the most popular and it won't take you long to see why. This park has fabulous beaches, abundant wildlife, and a great trail system for those who want to spend the day hiking. Look for monkeys, armadillos, coatimundis, sloths and some 350 species of birds that are present in the park.

Day 13 San José

Today you will be transferred to San José, where you will check-in to your hotel for the night.

Day 14 San José

Today you’ll be picked up at your hotel for your airport transfer.

What's Included

Boat tour followed by a guided jungle walk in Tortuguero, walking tour to Arenal Volcano, Hot springs, guided tour of Rincon de La Vieja Volcano and National Park, Canopy tour

Highlights

San José, Tortugero National Park, La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio National Park,

Dossier Disclaimer

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.

Itinerary Disclaimer

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.

Important Notes

Entrance fee to Rincon de la Vieja National Park is not included.

Group Leader Description

Chief Experience Officer (CEO)/ Local Guides

Group Size Notes

No Minimum

Meals Included

13 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners.

Meals

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 group leader will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On truck trips in Africa, aboard the expedition ship Explorer or our Galapagos yachts, while trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets

Meal Budget

Allow USD145-190 for meals not included.

Transport

Tourist shuttle, bus, boat

About our Transportation

Land Transfers & Included Tours/activities: Some of the included tours will be by private van, car or taxi, while others may be shared with other travellers depending on availability, nature of the activity and destination. For transfers, you may have a local non English-speaking driver only, for included tours, you will be accompanied by an English speaking local guide.

Local Flights

Local flights may be included in the cost of your tour, please see the itinerary. If they are included or if you book any additional flights, it is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

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.

Accommodation

Comfort hotel (11 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts)

About Accommodation

A variety of accommodation standards are available for Independent tours, see your dossier for the accommodation class specific to your tour. Please remember that hotel/lodge/resort standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel . Porterage is not included, but can be arranged directly at most hotels.

Joining Hotel

Please see your tour voucher for specific name and address of your joining hotel for day 1 of this tour.

Joining Instructions

Arrival Instructions: On arrival at the San Jose Airport (Juan Santamaria) you will be transfered from the airport to your hotel, one of our representative will accompany you to the hotel and once you arrive he/she will provide you all information and program details you may need during your stay (including schedule of pick-up times, vouchers and any additional documentation necessary). While fairly small, the San Jose airport is very busy and if for some reason you cannot find your transfer or are not met at the airport, please phone the contact number below in Costa Rica.

What to look for: When you arrival, please proceed through customs/immigration and collect your baggage. Upon exiting the customs area, please look for our representative who will be holding a G Adventures sign or sign with your name. As it is usually busy, if you do not see our representative immediately, please take some time to look around the concourse.

Viajes Sin Fronteras (VSF)
Mon-Fri (8am to 8pm) and Sat, Sun & holidays (9am to 5pm): +506 2253 2412
Outside these hours: +506 8340 7203
"(506) is the country code, use it if you are out of Costa Rica."

The cellular emergency number is available 24 hours/day and the representatives speak fluent English, answering the phone as "Viajes sin Fronteras Good Morning/afternoon" However, due to Costa Rica's celular network, sometimes there may not be a receiving signal - please see below for further emergency contact details, should you not be able to access the cell.

Arrival Complications

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 trip leader (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.

Emergency Contact

CONTACT IN COSTA RICA
Viajes Sin Fronteras (VSF)
24-hour telephone: +506 8696-0836

Emergency Contact: Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local operator as mentioned above, or our local office in San José, Costa Rica. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so we may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

G Adventures San José, Costa Rica
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm local time (GMT –6).
Tel: Int. Dialing Code +506 2224-5560.

Costa Rica Emergency Cell Phone: +506 8322 9140 (after office hours).

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office in Costa Rica, we have a toll-free line within North America (or our regular direct line), which will connect you directly with our Toronto office.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 
Outside North America, Australia and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack (whatever you find easiest to carry) however suitcases are acceptable for this style of tour. A good size daypack is also essential

Checklist

- USD cash
- Credit and/or debit card (see spending money)
- Travellers cheques (optional to bring a small amount as backup, though they are sometimes difficult to cash and usually at a fee)
- 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, binoculars, cover for backpacks
• Fleece top
• Windproof/waterproof jacket or poncho
• Small towel and swim wear
• 4 shirts/t-shirts
• Sun hat
• 2 pair of shorts
• 2 pairs of long trousers
• 1 pair of hiking pants/track pants
• Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
• Sport sandals
• Sunblock
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (biodegradable)
• Watch or alarm clock
• Pocketknife
• Insect repellant
• Flashlight
• First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, and any extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

Laundry

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.

Visas

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.

Spending Money

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.

Money Exchange

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.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

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!

Departure Tax

Costa Rica airport exit tax: $28USD

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the 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.

If you feel your Local Representatives/Guides and drivers did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated

Optional Activities

Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all activities listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions.

All prices are per person, estimates in USD amount and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

San Jose

Arenal and Hot Springs $99
The Best of the Pacific $88
San Jose City Tour $29
Irazu Volcano $37
Irazu, Orosi & Lankester Gardens $62
Poas Volcano & La Paz Waterfall $79
Poas Volcano $37
Poas, Grecia & Sarchi $56
Canopy tour San Lorenzo $80
White Water Rafting $95
Pueblo Antiguo Show Day $45
Ram Luna (Typical night) $55

La Fortuna

Arenal hanging bridges tour $47
Arenal Volcano hiking $35
Cano Negro Wilderness Refuge by boat with lunch $52
Horseback riding to Fortuna Waterfalls $39
Combo tour Waterfall & hiking with lunch $100
Kayaking at the Arenal Lake $50
Canopy tour $42
Rafting trip at Sarapiqui River (full day) $78
Safari float at Penas Blancas River $42
Sunset boat trip at the Arenal Lake $47

Monteverde

Canopy Tour $45
Walkways at Monteverde $25
Natural History Walks at Monteverde Biological Reserve $50
Package (Walk ways/Butterly/Hummingbird Garden with lunch) $50
Hummingbird garden at Monteverde $6

Manuel Antonio

Damas Island Boat Tour $55
Coastal Kayak $60
Manuel Antonio National Park Tour $45
Nauyaca Waterfalls Tour $90
Rafting Savegre River $90
Sunset Catamaran Sail $80

Health

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 local Guides 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. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our local office/Guides they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or others.

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. 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. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. 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. Although the cities visited on tour 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.

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:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

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.

Medical Form

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.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

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: 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

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

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 customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

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.

Special Comments

Black-out dates: Apr.17-24, 2011.