After departing from Portland Airport at 6:00 am Friday June 27, the group will arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica at 8:47 pm and spend the night in the nearby Hotel Mango. Saturday, a courtesy bus from the Spanish language school will pick up the group and luggage for a trip to Grecia, where students will meet with their homestay families. Everyone can ease into the new location with a Sunday walking tour of Grecia. The language school will interview and test you for placement purposes. Spanish classes at Academia Centroamericana de Espanol (ACCE) begin on Monday and run through Thursday from 7:30 AM through 2 PM with a lunch break. On Monday at 2 pm, there will be a dance class, Tuesday and Thursday at 2 pm, when there is a dance class. On Wednesday, July 2, there will be a field trip by public bus to the World of Snakes. In addition to practicing Spanish, the group will use Friday, July 4, to travel to Ciudad San Jose. Saturday at 9 am, the group will go by ACCE bus to INBioparque in Heridia. An optional full-day excursion to Jaco Beach (a $55 cost) rounds out the week on Sunday, July 6.
Spanish Classes at ACCE and biology classes with the OIEC instructor continue with the same schedule as the previous week: Spanish classes Mon-Thurs. 7:30 AM; Biology classes on Tue Thurs starting at 2 pm. On Monday at noon, the group will travel via public bus to the artisan village of Sarchi. On Wednesday, an ACCE bus will carry the group to Zooave, and Thursday, between 12 and 2 pm, the ACCE school will provide a cooking class to deepen the experience of the culture. A farewell party on Friday, July 12 at 6:30 pm will provide a last opportunity for students and teachers of ACCE to converse. On Sunday, students participate in an included full-day excursion to Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall.
Sunday July 13, the group travels from 8 am-12 pm to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. The group will settle in at Ecolodge San Luis, a learning and research facility run by the University of Georgia. You will spend 5 days here learning about the tropical forest, and completing the studies for the biology class. Among the activities will be a guided tour of the Cloud Forest, using pre-paid taxis for transportation. The optional zip line and canopy tour costs $65.00, offering an unusual perspective on the tropical forest. On Friday, July 18, the group heads to the Palo Verde Biological station in Guanacaste region. You spend Saturday and Sunday June 19th and 20th studying ecology in the unusual dry tropical forest. The station provides a boat tour of birds in the riparian habitat.
On Monday, the group travels to La Selva Biological Station near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. For four days, the group will learn field biology, including a birding tour, natural history seminar and research in the lab. The end of this week will be punctuated by the national Costa Rican holiday, the Annexation of Guanacaste is a national holiday on July 25, so anticipate business closures and some downtime. A chartered bus will take the group back to the San Jose airport for a flight departing at 2:02 pm and arriving in PDX at 11:36 pm with a connecting flight in Houston.