After arriving at Portland Airport, United Airlines departures at 4:00 am Thursday June 20, the group will arrive in San Jose at 8:40 pm. A courtesy bus from ACCE will pick up the group and luggage for a trip to Hotel Los Volcanes, a respite before the field biology begins the next day at the Palo Verde Biological station in Guanacaste region. You spend Saturday and Sunday June 22 and 23rd 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.
Finishing the study of rain forest ecology at La Selva, the group will take a four -hour bus from La Selva to Grecia, where they 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 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 the field biology classes meet. On Wednesday, there will be a fieldtrip by public bus to the World of Snakes. In addition to practicing Spanish, the group will use Friday 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 1.
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 6:30pm will provide a last opportunity for students and teachers of ACCE to converse. The following day, students may choose to participate in a full-day excursion to Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall at a cost of $85.
Sunday July 14, 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 at 5 am, the group takes a 5 hour bus trip to San Jose Airport for the early international check in and a return to Portland at 11:00 pm via Houston.