- Passport - CHECK THE DATE OF EXPIRATION on your Passport. The passport must not expire within three months of arrival to Costa Rica.
- Travel Insurance - Costa Rican Resource carries its own immediate medical attention insurance along with liability insurance. We do ask that all students purchase their own travel insurance for each trip. Some of the companies we suggest to our guest are www.sta.com, www.worldnomads.com, www.internationalstudentinsurance.com and www.tilloglobe.com. Airlines also offer travel insurance.
- CDC Site - The Center for Disease control usually does not require any shots or vaccines when traveling to Costa Rica although we do ask since the site can change at anytime that all parents and teachers are checking the site with regards to their travel dates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/costa-rica
- Drinking Water - Costa Rican Resource supplies purified water throughout the entire trip for each student. Costa Rica also is well known for its very potable drinking water throughout the country.
- Special Diets Costa Rican Resource will accommodate the dietary needs of each student be it vegan, kosher, allergies, or other special requests.
- Currency The Costa Rican currency is the colone and is roughly at a rate of 500 colones to the US Dollar. All places visited during the trip will accept US dollars and no need to change currency prior to arrival.
- Up-to-date Passport (if US, good for three months from day of arrival)
- EXTREMELY CASUAL…can be hot, cold, sunny and wet all in one day
- Shorts for hiking and hanging out
- T-Shirts, polo shirts, or hiking shirts
- Pair of long pants or jeans for hikes
- Bathing suits (good to have 2 because sometimes you need a 2nd before 1st is dry)
- Water shoes with straps for rafting, zip-lining & rappelling
- Flip-flops for shower or getting up at night.
- Light jacket (gets cool in the evening)
- Light rain gear – you will use it daily
- Hats and sunglasses
- Sunscreen – sun is very intense, and then it rains! Insect repellent.
- Camera & charger
- Small flashlight.
- Toiletry items
- Prescription meds (pack at least 2-day supply in carry-on
- Dramamine – your new best friend & mine, I like to keep the bus clean!
- Large ziploc or plastic trash bags for traveling from hotel to hotel with wet bathing suits or wet dirty shoes
- Day pack / Back pack
Whats Students Should Know
A little About Costa Rica!
Voted as having the happiest people on the planet, Costa Rica is a country of natural beauties and amazing people. Costa Rica is located in Central America and has not had any military for over 50 years. It is known on an international level for protecting over 30% of it's land. Costa Rica is also a pioneer in Eco-tourism, and encouraging locals to be part of the tourism industry.
Costa Rica is not a third world country but is still considered a developing country. Contrary to the likes of many, you will find Wal-Marts, McDonalds, and many other chains of such in Costa Rica. The Costa Rican people are considered very highly educated for the region and although have the high level of education, still boast a laid-back attitude, not taking life too seriously.
Traveling with CRR?
Traveling with CRR is a real treat. Our staff is full of fun energetic members who have a passion for showing off the country they love. You will quickly realize upon arrival, that traveling with CRR is not any ordinary student trip. The attention we put into each and every trip is as if it was the first and last try we would ever get the chance to do. It's extreme fun mixed with extreme passion from start to finish.
Homstays & Lodging?
Some think that visiting homestays in a rural setting like in our Sitio de Mata Project or Indigenous Bribri project means they will be roughing it. It turns out that these houses may be half the size of your home in the US but are as clean as a whistle and some of the most pleasant nights you will have. The cool mountain air, sound of rivers, and views of volcanos, and a wholesome family feel, make our homestays a place you don't want to leave. You are always in walking distance to your friends' homestays and never feel isolated from the group.
The hotels we use are nice clean safe hotels. We often even stay at least at one hotel that we consider a real treat for the group. Some of our most unique lodging is sleeping behind waterfalls or camping at our river lodge on the famous Pacuare River. The lodging is never roughing it and it is our goal to make sure you are comfortable while enjoying the real beauty of the surrounding nature.
The song goes, when in Rome, do what the Romans do! Well the same works for Costa Rica. Costa Ricans are some of the healthiest people you will meet and you will quickly learn why by their very healthy diet. One of the best parts is that you will bite into fruit and it will make you think you are eating ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. The very sweet and exotic tropical fruits of Costa Rica become favorites for many that might not have liked any fruit before. Along with fruit is the dish of rice & beans with sweet plantains, and some chicken, fish, or beef. If you are a vegetarian there are plenty of meals for you and although it sounds like simple cuisine we know the places to go to make your meals a tasty experience. Also we always treat our guests to what we consider the best ice cream sandwich on the planet! You will have to join us on a tour to experience one of these...
For any emergencies or special requests, we are always fully staffed with certified CRR guides nearby with years of experience, ready to act for what is needed. Students are always within phone contact for direct calls to parents if needed for anything or you can be contacted by parents.
1. Learning through fun filled experiences. Our number one goal is to educate. Our philosophy is learning should be fun and students will learn more and process information deeper when they enjoy the learning experience. We offer every student an education by providing an awesome learning experience that will have a lasting impact. Costa Rica has so many adventures and fun activities yet so much to learn at the same time. We have combined the two to educate students in a myriad of ways. Some of the specific educational topics we value are :
- Environmental/Science education
- Language acquisition
- Cultural awareness
- Social justice
- Leadership skills
- Self confidence
2. Commitment to Excellent Service. We provide personalized service from booking your custom tour to the farewell at the airport. Trip Planning: Your trip should not be a job in itself. When booking your travel you deal directly with CRR. All of our tours are privately operated and designed for your students. We take the stress out of your planning and personally handle all your reservations for hotels, transportation, guides, and adventures. We work with you directly to tailor each trip according to your curriculum, goals, and/or standards. We pride ourselves in being a small personal company not a big corporation. When you contact our office you deal directly with our staff which is available to serve your needs and plan the best trip possible. We are flexible to serve any and all needs whether it is monetary to dietary. Your Trip: From the moment you land you will be greeted by your personal tour guide(s) and driver. All guides and drivers are professionals and travel with you to serve you the best we can. We understand traveling to a foreign country can be stressful and uncomfortable at times and we are always conscience of your needs and safety. We are committed to make every trip an awesome learning experience.
3. Safety. Any type of travel has inherent risks and we always make safety a priority. All of our guides are qualified and up to date on their certifications- from basic first-aide to Wilderness Emergency Medical Training (WEMT). Our drivers all have years of experience in tourism and maintain vehicle maintenance and cleanliness. When dealing with students we are always looking to improve our knowledge and stay up to date with the latest safety standards (we do continuing education just like teachers). We take all reasonable precaution to ensure your safety at all times.
4. Environmental Awareness: Our passion for traveling, education, and showing you a great time is rivaled only by our love for nature. Your naturalist guides are experts in Costa Rican biodiversity and geography. They all have a passion for both their country and the environment. We have so much fun spending time with nature we always try to send students home with a better appreciation and understanding of it. We understand we would not be alive never mind in business if it was not for mother nature. As result, CRR goes to great lengths to promote awareness of conservation while having the lowest impact possible on the environment while we are traveling.
- Each student receives a biodegradable water bottle.
- Each student receives a handmade recycled carrying bag (to reduce plastic bag usage)
- Promote recycling throughout our travels.
- Learning from indigenous tribes
- Optional tree planting or adoption to offset carbon emissions.
5. Cultural Awareness: Today’s global society demands an international competence. When students travel internationally they have the opportunity to experience how another culture lives. We want students to experience the culture from the sights and sounds to the food and they people. With our native guides and their knowledge of the country you will have the chance to get to know Costa Rica from the inside. We also offer an unparalleled experience of total emersion with our homestays. During our homestays students will not only be living and learning a new culture but at the same time directly impacting the economic development of local communities. One of the best gifts you can return home with from any trip is an appreciation of another culture and how someone else lives.
6. Helping Others: Our commitment as an educational tour company is also to give back to the local communities through employing local guides and drivers, utilizing the homestay option, giving back to local communities through service and cultural emersion, and on our “days off” offering our time and talents (rafting trips for local schools). Ultimately, we hope to educate students the best we can, help our neighbors, and to make the planet a little better place for us all to live.
7. Flexibility and Independence One of our most appealing features is our flexibility and independence. Being a small company allows us to put you, students and teachers, first in all of our decision making. With custom designed trips we work directly with you to create the type of trip you desire. We accommodate flexible dates, hotel preferences, the thrill seeking adventurer, lesson plans, and curriculum. When in the country we also have the flexibility and independence to improvise on the go, whether it’s trying a new fruit, stopping for a lecture about a sloth on the side of the road, or hitting the souvenir shops.
8. Accommodations All accommodations we recommend have been thoroughly researched by our team. All accommodations are up to standards and codes with cleanliness and construction. When researching hotels we take into consideration the following:
- Overall quality (3-5 stars)
- Staff (we typically know the staff on a personal level)
- Activities in the area (and how they fit into the logistics of the entire trip)
- Food (Mmmm quality and variety)
- Kid friendly
- Eco friendly (their efforts to reduce their impact on the environment)
- Price (including all hidden fees)
We also offer the unique home stay experience in which a Costa Rican family invites you to live with them in their home. We know all our families personally and work directly with the family preparing them for this experience.
Costa Rica has been voted the happiest country on the planet on numerous occasions by different sources and media. We usually only get one week to spend with our guests, helping them experience the various wonders of biodiversity and joys of the Costa Rican culture. We like to combine the two to give away a little secret that Costa Rican's are always willing to share.
Along with science, Spanish, and culture, our tours include a blueprint for sending each of our guests home with the keys and tools to living a happier life!
The phrase you will undoubtedly learn here in Costa Rica is Pura Vida which means "Pure Life". It is from this phrase that we have developed our guiding tool that we share with each of our guests. Take a look and enjoy the secret of happiness the Costa Rican way:
Personal Well-being - Costa Rica is a country that is rooted in agricultural work, a healthy diet, and staying active. We will apply Personal Well-being to your tour through the experience of new foods, amazingly fresh tropical fruits, physical activities such as hiking, paddling, and breathing the fresh air of the pristine tropical rainforest.
Understanding - Costa Rica is a country that has no military. For the last 60 years they have sat back and watched world powers debate. While having an opinion, they are very understanding of all foreigners and are on good terms with all the countries of the world. Your students will develop an Understanding of different cultures, which leads to tolerance and acceptance of others and a more peaceful world.
Relationships - Costa Rica is a country of a very tight community. It is through these tight family relationships that the joy and comfort of community spreads from rural areas to an entire national level. If you visit our Sitio de Mata Project you will learn of the immeasurable value that family relationships have on the happiness of an entire village. You will always remember the positive relationships all Costa Ricans have with each other and foreigners alike.
Acts of Kindness - Most Costa Ricans you meet will give you a hand. Your students will experience acts of kindness through different community service projects during their visit to rural villages, indigenous villages, or simple visits to schools around Costa Rica.
Vision & Meaning - It is said that happiness is achieved through having goals and meaning in life. From the shoemakers in San Jose along with the pulperia owners of the barrio all the way up to the highest diplomats, Costa Rican's honor their work and service for the greater good. Each tour we operate has a vision and a meaning. We will present this vision and meaning during the first night of the tour. Throughout the week we will look to make progress to illuminate that vision while giving meaning to our unforgettable adventure.
Immerse yourself in Nature - Costa Ricans are surrounded by some of the most awe-inspiring beauty in nature. Because of this they have developed a respect for nature and the desire to protect it for future generations. Our goal during each tour is to have kids stop and be aware of what's around them and take in the natural beauty of Costa Rica. We incorporate this into each tour through different mindfulness activities in nature. Our private Ecolodge on the world famous Pacuare River is the epic opportunity for all to immerse themselves in Nature.
Do new things - Costa Ricans are always up for a new adventure. You will be given the opportunity on your week-long adventure to try new things. This excitement of the unknown is what leads to new levels of happiness. Doing new things comes easy with a CRR tour. From tasting the new tropical fruits, meeting new friends, learning new words, and doing the adventures we offer, we promise you plenty of new things to try.
Appreciate - people and all things in life. Being grateful is one of the key ingredients to a happier life. Costa Rican's will thank you for just about anything. "Muchas gracias" is the only phrase used more than Pura Vida in Costa Rica.
Being grateful is a lesson we put great emphasis on during our tours. It's more than saying thank you. It's the authentic feeling of understanding the importance of the positive reciprocal affect of being appreciative can have on your happiness. We like to get kids in the groove of being appreciative and expressing it during different activities.