Pictures from Costa Rica

St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church

Youth Pilgrimage to Costa Rica

Led by

Mike Peterson, Director of Youth Ministries
St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church
Marietta, GA

May 25 – June 3, 2012

Costa Rica is one of the world’s best adventure travel destinations.  Rich in natural wonders, it has pristine beaches, rain forests, active volcanoes and beautiful gardens.  Our pilgrimage in Costa Rica will include all of the above, helping us to reflect on God’s Creation (Gn 1:1-2:4).

Trip map

DAY 1, Friday, May 25, 2012 - Depart from Atlanta Hartsfield Airport for our non-stop flight to San Jose, Costa Rica.  Upon arrival in San Jose we meet our escort, board our coach and transfer to our hotel.  We enjoy a late night dinner at Dennis Restaurant on our own.  Overnight Best Western Irazu, San Jose. F

DAY 2: Saturday, May 26, 2012 - After breakfast at our hotel, we travel the Pan-American Highway south, as we begin ascending the breathtaking summit of the Irazú Volcano.  The winding road travels through fertile lands cultivated with many kinds of vegetables.  At the top we observe the massive crater, and on a clear day, both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can be seen.  This volcano last erupted in 1963 and the landscape here is often described as looking like the moon.  As we descend to the historical city of Cartago, we stop at the mysterious ruins of the old parish and view the beautiful Basílica de Los Angeles that, according to religious custom, is a peregrination site for many believers.  We visit Lankester Gardens, a tropical paradise featuring over 800 varieties of exotic orchids, various tropical flowers and plant life.  We continue on through the Orosi Valley which the is noted for its rich soil abundant plant life and outstanding coffee plantations before returning to San Jose.  Dinner and overnight Best Western Irazu, San Jose. BLD

DAY 3: Sunday, May 27, 2012 - Today we transfer to the Limon area of Costa Rica.  Just offshore from Limon, Christopher Columbus is said to have anchored in 1502 on his fourth and final voyage to the New World.  Thinking that this was potentially a land full of riches, he christened it Costa Rica meaning “Rich Coast”.  We drive to the Sarapiqui area through the extraordinary rainforest of Braulio Carrillo National Park, one of the most important rainforest reserves of Costa Rica.  Upon arrival at Sarapiqui, a beautiful area known for its impressive natural richness, we board a boat for a relaxing ride on the Sarapiqui River where we feel in close contact with nature and admire the inspiring surroundings.  We continue with a walk on Selva Verde Eco Lodge’s private trails which are a heaven for nature enthusiasts, hikers and bird and wildlife watchers.  After lunch we visit the famous Rainforest Aerial Tram for a ride on a gondola through the tree canopy in the company of a naturalist guide that will talk to us about the rainforest.  Here you might see quetzals, toucans, trogons and eagles plus jaguars, ocelots and maybe even a gorilla.  There are many reptiles here including the bushmaster snake (“Matabuey”) and the feared fer-de-lance snake (“Terciopelo”).  Overnight Cariblue Hotel, Limon. BLD

DAY 4: Monday, May 28, 2012 - After breakfast in our hotel in Limon, we will travel to Cahuita National Park, known for its miles of pristine beaches.  This small lazy village traces its roots to Afro-Caribbean fishermen and laborers who settled here in the 1800’s.  Most of the inhabitants of Cahuita are English speaking blacks and their language and culture set them apart from the rest of Costa Rica.  Here we will take a snorkeling tour where we may be able to see one of the few coral reefs off the shores of Costa Rica and many varieties of colorful tropical fish.  We will return to Limon for overnight at Cariblue Hotel, Limon. BL

DAY 5: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - We board our motor coach and travel to the Arenal area of Costa Rica Arenal Volcano is one of the most active in the world and here we will see the hot red lava cascading down the mountain and hear the deep rumbles from within the cone of the volcano.  We will visit the Hot Springs of Tabacon Resort and Spa.  Dinner and overnight in the Arenal Volcano Inn, Fortuna. BD

DAY 6: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - Today we enjoy a horseback ride to the Fortuna Waterfall, a beautiful and peaceful ride into the lush tropical forest.  We will walk five hundred meters into the forest to the waterfall which is 70 meters high.  At the base of the waterfall there is a “natural pool” where we will swim in the fresh water of La Fortuna River.  We will return to Arenal Volcano Inn, Fortuna for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 7: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - Travel from Arenal to Manuel Antonio on the central Pactific coast.  The afternoon we will be free to explore on our own in small groups with a chaperone.  Dinner and overnight Parador Hotel, Manuel Antonio. BD

DAY 8: Friday, June 1, 2012 - Today we explore Manuel Antonio National Park with a morning guided tour and an afternoon canopy tour.  Manuel Antonio, established in 1972 is Costa Rica’s smallest national park, containing a charming combination of rain forest, beaches and coral reefs.  The beaches, the most beautiful in the country, are lined with lush forest and are excellent for snorkeling.  This afternoon we will have an exciting adventure as we fly for a mile over the jungle canopy suspended on solid steel cables attached to a personal, high-tech, lightweight harness.  During our journey we will stop and rest at sixteen strategically located platforms where we observe a great variety of animals in their natural habitat.  In the primary forest we can see Congo monkeys, coatis, sloths, anteaters and more.  In the secondary forest, we may see titi monkeys, iguanas, and a large variety of beautiful tropical birds.  Our expert guides will help us identify the wildlife.  Overnight Parador Hotel, Manuel Antonio. BL

DAY 9: Saturday, June 2, 2012 - After breakfast this morning, we will travel by coach back to San Jose.  We visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens where we will have lunch.  The gardens are along the La Paz River and meander through primary and secondary forests.  In the gardens, we will see many waterfalls and the main attraction, the great La Paz Waterfall.  We visit a coffee plantation before we check into our hotel.  Dinner and overnight Best Western Irazu, San Jose. BD

DAY 10: Sunday, June, 3, 2012 - We will have breakfast in our hotel and then transfer to the airport for our return flight to the United States. BF

Price: $2,599.00.  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Atlanta Hartsfield Airport.  Single Supplement $669.00.  Air transportation available from other cities.

Excludes airline taxes and surcharges that will be added to your final payment invoice.  Estimated taxes as of February 7, 2012 $83.43 per person.

$500.00 per person deposit due with registration and copy of passport by February 24, 2012.

Final payment due March 23, 2012

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until February 23, 2012 - $100.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ February 24 - April 9, 2012 - $200.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After April 10, 2012 or later: NO REFUND

Price does NOT include Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, F Food for purchase on the airline

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.