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Trip Type : N/A
Costa Rica: Leaving My Footprint tour

Costa Rica: Leaving My Footprint

Great Value Vacations
4.3 . Great
93%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 1,782 $ 223 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Volunteer at a wildlife rescue center! Feed animals and learn all about local animal behavior.
  • Enjoy the best of both worlds: the lush jungle and the buzzing city! Enjoy stays in the capital city of San Jose, then stay near majestic Arenal Volcano.
  • Visit the indigenous Maleku Tribe and immerse yourself in authentic culture!
  • Hike through Arenal Vida Campesina, where you'll partake in traditional activities such as milking cows, making tortillas, and learning dances.
  • Spend time with at-risk youth at a non-profit organization that focuses on health, education, homelessness, and other hardships.

Short Description

So, you want to experience the picture-perfect splendors of Costa Rica, but you've also been looking for an opportunity to volunteer and give back? Good news - this is the trip for you. Dance down the streets of bustling San Jose, hike through jungle grounds, and take tons of photos of Arenal Volcano. Volunteer at a wildlife rescue center, spend a day among the indigenous Maleku tribe, and visit at-risk youth at a local non-profit organization. Experience beauty in every sense of the word and embark on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure that is so much more than "just" a vacation.

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Airfare included
Start City San Jose
End City San Jose

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip economy class airfare to San Jose (SJO)
  • Round-trip airport transfers
  • 2 nights in San Jose at the Crowne Plaza San Jose Corobici or similar
  • Visit to Obras del Espiritu Santo
  • Transfer from San Jose hotel to Arenal Volcano area
  • 4 nights in the Arenal Volcano area at the Arenal Springs Resort & Spa, or similar
  • Arenal Vida Campesina Tour
  • Full-day Maleku Reserve Tour
  • Volunteer Program Tour at Proyecto Asis
  • Transfer from Arenal Volcano to San Jose hotel
  • 1 night in San Jose at the Crowne Plaza San Jose Corobici or similar
  • Daily breakfast and 3 lunches

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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to San Jose!

Arrive in the sunny city of San Jose! Upon arrival at SJO International Airport, you'll be greeted by a Swiss Travel representative who will provide you with all the documentation you'll need during your Costa Rican adventure. Enjoy a comfortable transfer to your first accommodation, then settle in and get to know San Jose!

Spend the afternoon strolling through beautiful La Sabana Park. Smell the freshness of eucalyptus trees, see your reflection in the lake, or wander around the art museum. Treat yourself to dinner in neighboring Sabana Norte or Sabana Sur, two bustling neighborhoods filled with nightlife, restaurants, theaters, and much more.

Transfer to San Jose hotel

Day 2: San Jose

Energize with a rejuvenating breakfast, then enjoy your visit to Obras Del Espiritu Santo. Cherish your time at this wonderful non-profit organization that focuses on diverse social aspects such as health, education, and at-risk youth. Spend quality time with amazing youngsters and enjoy learning about each other from a cultural and humanistic standpoint. At the conclusion of the visit, enjoy lunch, then spend your afternoon at leisure in San Jose.

This evening, be sure to check out the renowned National Theater of Costa Rica! See what's showing, or simply marvel at its magnificent architecture. Walk around this buzzing central area and dance the night away in a local bar!

Visit to Obras del Espiritu Santo

Visit this non-profit organization, founded by the priest Sergio Valverde, who started feeding homeless people fifteen years ago, and since that moment, people began to join this project, which is now a very well-known organization. Nowadays, the organization has 38 different ministries focused on diverse social aspects such as health, education, and teenagers and children at social risk. This institution also provides counseling and motivational programs to homeless people and to individuals who are currently in prison, among other groups of interest.

Every year around Christmas time, they organize a fun party at the National Stadium in San Jose for approximately 30,000 children! This project does not receive any financial help from the government; all that is achieved is thanks to the contribution of people who want to give an opportunity to children and people at social risk.

During your visit, you will share special time with children and you will also visit the small zoo that priest Sergio has created in the community. You will also have the opportunity to teach these children about your culture and language, as you will always be accompanied by a bilingual guide, who will ensure a great experience for you and for all your new friends who will never forget you. Even though you are on vacation, it's important to treat these children the same way you'd treat your own. Please refrain from any language unsuitable for little ones. Tour includes transportation, guide & lunch.

Day 3: San Jose - Arenal Volcano

After breakfast, embark on your journey toward the northern lowlands of Costa Rica, home of the majestic Arenal Volcano. Climb up the central volcanic mountain range and see agricultural plantations, vibrant plants, and vast cattle ranges. Then, come face-to-face with the mighty Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna! Check-in to your luxurious Arenal hotel, then enjoy the leisure facilities of your hotel and explore the dramatic landscapes of the area.

Transfer from San Jose hotel to Arenal Volcano area

Day 4: Arenal Volcano

Grab your camera and get ready for a guided journey through Arenal Vida Campesina, a self-sustained cultural area, where you'll partake in activities such as milking cows, making tortillas, gathering vegetables, learning traditional dances, and more! Enjoy a day filled with cultural immersion, friendly locals, tasty food, and beautiful scenery.

Day 5: Arenal Volcano

Become part of the history and culture of the Maleku Tribe today! Visit the beautiful natural reserve of these indigenous people and get a taste of their daily lifestyle. Learn about authentic Costa Rican culture, stroll through a medicinal plant garden, and enjoy some local snacks and foods along the way.

Full-day Maleku Reserve Tour

Become part of the history, culture and traditions of “The Maleku” Tribe. The Maleku indigenous people are very open to visitors and enjoy sharing with tourists a piece of their cultural roots, and main traditions, letting you learn about and experience some of the authentic Costa Rican heritage.

Although most Malekus speak Spanish, they hold their native “Maleku Jaica” language near to their hearts, teaching young children this language even at elementary school. You will be also delighted by a fresh glass of “chicha,” a lesson on Maleku history, a language class, and a tour through a medicinal plant garden to learn about the close interaction between the members of the tribe and their surrounding ecosystem.

Before enjoying lunch, you will have the opportunity to participate in an arrow making lesson. A theatrical representation that shows some Malekus’ ancient customs, such as weddings or duels will be the conclusion of the visit.

Day 6: Arenal Volcano

Unleash your wild side at Proyecto Asis, a wild animal rescue center! Enjoy a guided tour that takes you through different enclosures and habitats. Once you learn all about the animals, you'll be able to interact with them! Prepare food, feed the animals, and more.

After an awesome animal-filled day, explore the Arenal area. You might want to check out La Fortuna Waterfall, various local hot springs, and hanging bridges!

Volunteer Program Tour at Proyecto Asis

Visit Proyecto Asis “Wild Animal Rescue Center, Volunteer Programs and Spanish School” for a tour that will allow you to experience a unique opportunity to not only be near wild animals, but also help in their rehabilitation! During the tour, you will walk around the property, accompanied by a tour guide, to visit each of the enclosures. You will learn important information of every specie: the habitat in which they live, their source of food, their social behavior, as well as information about if the animal is listed as endangered (national and international) and why.

When this activity ends, enjoy a refreshment break, including coffee, natural juice and tropical fruits. After that, you'll begin volunteering! Prepare food, feed the animals, and more.

Day 7: Arenal Volcano - San Jose

Snap your last photos in the Arenal area, then wave goodbye to the colorful jungle and head back to city life. Enjoy a scenic ride to capital San Jose, where you will spend your last night in Costa Rica. During the drive, gaze out the window at rolling agricultural plantations, vibrant plants, cattle ranches, mountains, and more. Spend your last night soaking up the lively culture of the city!

Transfer from Arenal Volcano to San Jose hotel

Day 8: Depart Costa Rica

Squeeze all your souvenirs into your luggage and enjoy a convenient transfer to SJO International Airport. On your relaxing flight home, reflect on the unforgettable cultural experiences you've had and the differences you've made.

Transfer from San Jose hotel to SJO Int'l Airport

Fly home!

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Price From $ 1,782
Price Per Day: $ 223 per day
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6,665 Great Value Vacations Travel Reviews & Ratings

93%
4.3 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,962
Great 1,549
Average 688
Disappointing 255
Terrible 210
Value
4.3
Guide
4.3
Activities
4.3
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4.3
Transportation
4.3
Meals
4.3

Costa Rica: Leaving My Footprint

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The customer service was excellent

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
When I booked with Great Value I was nervous because it seemed too good to be true. Nope, just a really great deal. I was able to take my dream trip to Ireland and Scotland and it was within my budget. Everything was covered, my lodging, flights, and rental car. There was no hidden fees, or fine print that would nickel and dime me later on, as "good deals" usually have. I also had to change the date of my trip and the customer service was excellent and this change was simple. Thank you Great Value, I'll be using you every time I travel from now on
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Everything on the trip was excellent.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Everything on the trip was excellent. The only concern with any services from GVV was initial communications ahead of the trip regarding when and how we'd receive all our travel vouchers, as some were available online, and some were to be picked up in country upon arrival. It took no less than 5 phone calls to learn some vouchers would be picked up in country. The trip was outstanding, exhausting, but gloriously beautiful. It was exhausting from the perspective of moving around the country and only a few places were 2 nights. But, we knew that going in, and we wanted to see ALL of Switzerland and this certainly checked those boxes. We saw majestic mountains, we saw countless waterfalls and glaciers. The trains in Switzerland were all clean and we felt safe. The hotels were good with delicious breakfasts each morning. Overall, I would recommend GVV to a friend or family member and I would personally book another vacation with GVV.
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Our trip was amazing!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was my first time planning a trip out of the country. I read previous reviews who had a good experience with Great Value Vacation. Our trip was amazing! The booking and reservations were easy to use with the vouchers provided. The staff was helpful. The only downside was I upgraded to have an automatic vehicle and they gave me a stick shift. It took a while to get sorted out but other than that I loved my trip! I will definitely use great value vacations again when I book my next trip. I opted for the additional wine tasting package and I did not regret it! I recommend adding those additional tours to get a more complete experience.
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Great customer service

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
My wife and I recently booked our vacation through Great Value Vacations. We were a bit nervous to travel to Europe for the first time, but we are glad we did. Great Value Vacations took care of us. Great customer service. Seamless transactions. They booked the hotels and flights for us. All we had to worry about were the daily activities! I would highly recommended them. The hotels offered through the package were as advertised: nice and in great locations. The flights times were also convenient. The best part was the price. I am thankful for the experiences Great Value Vacation was able to provide for us!
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Really enjoyed both of my trips

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Really enjoyed both of my trips through Great Value Vacations. I went on one family trip to Ireland (Adare villa, rental car with trips out to Dublin, Cliffs of Moher and more) . The villa was very comfortable with a kitchen, three bedrooms, and proximity to the local shops /restaurants. We were able to upgrade to an automatic car and had fun navigating to each location on our itinerary. The trip as planned by the agency still leaves time for exploring on your own and since we picked a trip with our own transportation, we had flexibility on which tours we wanted to do and when.

My second trip was a solo trip to Scotland. I like to go on vacation by myself sometimes, but it can be hard to find ones where you aren’t penalized for being on your own. This train trip to Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow worked out really well for me. The hotels were all near the train stations and in safe areas (good lighting, plenty of people, etc.). I got a good mix of options for sightseeing in each city. The hop-on, hop-off bus circuit was especially useful for getting around Edinburgh. I also added an extra tour on in Glasgow to see nearby castles and a distillery and was very glad to have done so as the views of the countryside were amazing!

Summary: Have enjoyed my previous experiences and would definitely use again
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Above and beyond our expectations

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just got back from our trip to Italy booked through Great Value Vacations & was our dream come true! We could not have gone if it were not for their unbelievable rates. Each 4 Star Villa we stayed at was above and beyond our expectations...I cried after leaving each part of our journey. I am so glad I took a leap of faith and would HIGHLY RECOMMEND booking with them. Besides the Villas being beautiful, great locations, clean, and great staff; each place we arrived at actually said, "They said to give you a very nice room." (with a rate of just under $1,900 a piece for 9 nights not counting travel days at 4 stars Villas in Rome, Tuscany, & Venice including airfare and rent a car... a few friends told us to expect the worst rooms at the places we were staying ~ NOT the case! Our rooms had the best views...I could go on and on. Every step of the way was smooth with no worries whatsoever. Thanks again GVV! LOVED IT!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Airfare included

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Accomodations

Crowne Plaza San Jose Corobici

Kick back and relax at the contemporary Crowne Plaza San Jose Corobici! Feel your eyes widen as you walk through the atrium, which boasts sky-high ceilings, stylish seating areas, and flooding natural light. Check-in with the friendly reception team, then mosey through the halls and find your room. Open the door to plush beds, WiFi, flat-screen TV, sparkling bathrooms, and more. Take a quick nap, then unpack your swimsuit and head for the pool! Take a refreshing dip or lounge in the warm sun with a drink in-hand. Work all your stresses away at the on-site state-of-the-art fitness center, melt your worries away in the sauna, or sink into the steamy Jacuzzi.

When you work up an appetite, decide between El Tucan Restaurant, which serves sophisticated Costa Rican cuisine near the pool, or Fuji Restaurant, which serves traditional Japanese cuisine in a hibachi-table setting. After a delicious dinner, unwind with a drink at the lobby bar!

Hotel Arenal Springs

Hotel Arenal Springs is located near natural hot springs in Fortuna, a 20 minutes' drive from the Arenal Volcano site. Soak in rich mineral waters in the middle of Costa Rica's beautiful tropical rainforest! You'll never be bored because this hotel offers a wide variety of activities from zip lining to river rafting to mountain biking.

In addition to the hot springs, the hotel features three outdoor swimming pools including a children's pool. Unwind with a drink at one of the hotel's bars, including a poolside bar and a bar/lounge. Dine on international, Italian, and Japanese cuisine at three on-site restaurants. Bright and airy rooms feature flat-screen cable TV, air conditioning, terraces, private bathrooms and views of the garden and Arenal Volcano and the garden.

Trip ID#:

greatvaluevacations-PK-GC4P-SH-CRLF-SJO

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