Join us for a visit to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica!
Looking for the perfect trip to take with your family or best friend? Or maybe you are a photographer looking for new exotic subjects? Or is the stress of everyday life leaving you hankering for a vacation? How about all of the above?
The Children’s Eternal Rainforest is waiting for you to come explore!
Costa Rica is a beautiful country of mountains, waterfalls, cloudforests, exotic flowers, colorful butterflies, and warm people. You will see fascinating animals like howler monkeys, over 100 species of birds, and much more!
Soak in a hot springs water park, climb the flanks of Arenal volcano, hike to a waterfall or bubbling thermal mud pots, float down a river spotting different kinds of wildlife in the canopy. Make your own chocolate from scratch – from cacao beans fresh from the pod! Experience the canopy from a zipline far overhead, if you are feeling extra adventurous!
Join us for an experience of a lifetime.
Families and friends can choose their own dates and specify which activities they want to be included in their own custom Eco-Adventure. Our trips to Costa Rica include tropical conservation and wildlife photography but can focus on your special interests whether birding, orchids, sustainability, etc.
All trip prices have a built-in contribution that directly benefits Friends of the Rainforest’s conservation and programming efforts. This adventure trip allows you to stay part of the time deep in the forest at one of the biological field stations (San Gerardo or Pocosol) in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. There is remarkable hiking on forest trails and the possibility of a little rain. Don’t worry about the rain–it’s a rainforest!
You may customize your field trip to suit the interests or needs of your group. The length of your trip is up to you. We partner with Natural Solutions- Costa Rica, an experienced eco-tour company, to give you an individualized trip with expert guides. Night hikes, solos, and journal-keeping all enrich the experience. Endemic species and photo ops abound. Tree planting and trail maintenance service projects add to the experience! We want our visitors to learn about this forest with their heads, but also to feel this forest with their hearts.
Our trips draw on the expertise of local scientists and naturalists in the field. Look at the preplanned trip offering ideas that we could include or enlarge for you.
Price Estimates for EcoTour Travel
The prices shown are only estimates. Prices can vary depending on the itinerary developed for your group and the type of activities your group wants to partake in.
Day 1: Arrival Arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). You should try and arrive between mid-day and late afternoon in order to make our welcome dinner in the early evening. Your full-time, bilingual naturalist guide will pick you up from the airport. Once accounted for and on the bus, we’ll waste no time and get on the road to our first destination, the Pocosol Station of the Children's Eternal Rainforest (CER). Our drive north out of the Central Valley will take us over the Tilaran mountains into the foothills of the Atlantic slope. We’ll stop for a quick lunch, then continue to La Tigra where we switch to 4x4 pick-up trucks to travel the final 45 minutes to the field station. Soon after checking into our rooms, dinner will be ready, and we’ll eat together at the dining hall. After dinner, there will be a quick orientation to the CER.
Day 2: Pocosol Dawn will arrive with a symphony of birdsong, and possibly howler monkey calls. Bird-watching from the dining hall porch allows you to enjoy fresh hot coffee while checking species off your list. We will have two full days to explore the trails and experience full immersion in the rainforest, with all its incredible biodiversity. Along the various paths, you will find a towering waterfall, and bubbling mud pots revealing the presence of ongoing thermal activity in the region. We may deploy camera traps to discover what walks the trails when we are not around. Night hikes will introduce us to many nocturnal creatures, including many frogs but possibly including insects, snakes, birds, and mammals we would never see by day. During the day we typically see agouti, Morpho, and many other kinds of butterflies, leafcutter ants, peccary, monkeys, and dozens of bird species (think toucans, parrots, hummingbirds – all the tropical lovelies!). The Children’s Eternal Rainforest, at 55,000+ acres, is the heart of rainforest conservation in Costa Rica and the inspiration for all we do.
Day 3: Pocosol Our second full day at Pocosol is basically designed to do what was left undone from the day before. There will be time for natural history walks, or even natural history ‘sits’ (!) if you would like to admire what the forest offers from a stationary balcony, terrace, trail, or grassy patch by the lagoon. An additional highlight of this trip will come from the stories shared by its leaders and participants stemming from their decades of tourism, education, and conservation experiences in and around the CER, Monteverde, Costa Rica, and beyond.
Day 4: Finca La Esperanza & Baldi Springs
This morning is your last chance to bird watch from the dining porch. After breakfast, we will once again climb aboard the 4x4s to head down the mountain road and rejoin our bus. Before heading towards Arenal we’ll visit a nearby farm run by the family of one of the CER’s guards, Finca La Esperanza which is home to a special artisanal jewelry maker. Afterward, we head towards La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano for lunch. We’ll give you some time to stroll around this small agricultural community that bet big on tourism after the volcano roared back to life in 1969 and remained active until about 2010. Our hope is to give you some down time at the hotel (Arenal Paraiso), but in the early evening we’ll get everyone over to Baldi
Thermal Springs. While lavamay not be pouring out the top of the volcano, it actively heats underground aquifers and rivers that feed a number of similar enterprises. We’ll eat dinner first, then give everyone a couple
of hours to fully unwind among the many thermal pools.
Day 5: Bajo del Tigre & Monteverde
After breakfast, our bus will ferry us to, well ... the ferry that will take us across Lake Arenal toward Monteverde. Our 3+ hour trip (straightest route, we promise!) will take us through the countryside and sleepy little communities as we combine aquatic and terrestrial transportation to reach our next destination, Monteverde. The marvelous story of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest is only enhanced when one understands the importance of Monteverde’s history and its role in establishing Costa Rica as a conservation and tourism leader. Our goal is to be there in time for lunch, a visit to the local 27 hectare section of the CER on the upper reaches of the Pacific slope: Bajo del Tigre (a unique ecosystem in its own right). Afterward, we’ll visit the historic Monteverde Cheese Factory for, well – the world’s best ice cream, and give you some time to explore ‘downtown’ Monteverde. We suggest grabbing a cup of coffee at one of the local cafes, and a visit to the women’s artisan’s cooperative CASEM is a must for those looking for locally made mementos and souvenirs. We’ll have dinner at a nearby restaurant and we’ll spend the night at La Casa de la Montana, a new Bed and Breakfast in the recently renovated building that formerly housed the Monteverde Conservation League.
Day 6: A Day in Monteverde
Again, up with the birds. Grab some coffee, bring your binoculars, and go greet the morning from the deck or scenic garden before breakfast. Today is open and flexible for individual or small group exploration of the Monteverde area. The local staff will help you plan your visits to the places you want to see most, whether it’s the orchid garden, a cloud forest reserve, zip-lining or hiking through the cloud forest canopy, checking out the Bat Jungle, the Serpentarium, or the Ranario. There is more to see than time to do it all (!) but some of you have been here before and know what you missed last time. The rest of you will just have to choose wisely! Since we’ll all be out and about, going our own ways, your lunch and dinner today will also be open, wherever you choose.
Day 7: Back to San Jose Today you will have one final morning in Monteverde, and much like yesterday it is open to do as you see fit, even up through lunch. Some may prefer just to sit and read, or relax in a quiet, scenic spot. By noon you will want to be packed up and checked out, and we could store your luggage if you leave the hotel early to explore. Between 1-2pm we’ll want to be headed toward the Central Valley. On our way back towards San Jose we may stop briefly to allow you to get your toes in the sand on a Pacific beach and enjoy a traditional Costa Rican frozen treat, the ‘Churchill’ or granizado (i.e., like a snow cone). For our final night, we’ll use our go-to hotel for most of our student groups, Adventure Inn. It’s close to the airport, and they have a pool and pizza the young ones like!
Day 8: Farewell, Costa Rica Sadly, this is the day we say goodbye. Plan on a very early breakfast box at the hotel, followed by a bus transfer to the airport.