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MEETING OF THE MAYANS WEEK 3 EXTENSION:
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 18 - THURSDAY FEBRUARY 23
Central America just sounds exotic doesn't it?
We've put together a trip you'll be telling folks about for the rest of your life and we're inviting you to escape the everyday and join us on the adventure of a lifetime! Join Mike n Melissa and host of other explorers for a once in a lifetime vacation through the exotic lands of Central America. This is truly and expedition of epic proportions that's a lot cheaper than you might think. The tour starts in one of the most amazing countries of all of Central America, Belize! Week one includes a week in Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker Belize full of fun in the Caribbean sun. Week two takes us into the jungle mountains of the interior of Belize to visit San Ignacio with your own private bungalow in the rain forest and day trips to explore the the area as well as a second passport stamp to the visit the ancient Mayan city of Tikal Guatemala. We'll finish off week two with a few more days of fun and sun and your third passport stamp on the beautiful island of Roatan Honduras. Week three begins in what might be the most enchanting country in Central America, Costa Rica! Here in the Northwest corner, we'll explore volcanoes and jungles, enjoy a day sail on the Pacific Ocean, zip lines, volcanic river rafting, animal sanctuaries and even a day trip to Nicaragua for another passport stamp-standing on the edge of an active volcano and seeing the magma lake a thousand feet below. At the end of week four, you'll have an option to fly home on Copa Airlines and catch an overnight in Panama City Panama or stay a few days and check off one more passport stamp.
You can choose your favorite week, come back and take a different leg each year, or join us for the entire expedition at once. Whatever you choose, I promise you will return home with a completely new outlook on one of the most incredible places on earth and the people who call it home. Put Meeting of the Mayans on your yearly vacation list and let us blow your mind!
NEW ARRIVALS: Saturday February 18
NEW ARRIVALS-If you are only joining up with us for this shorter week 3 extension trip : you'll need to book your one way flight from the US into Liberia Costa Rica (LIR) on Saturday Feb 18 and and your return flight from San Jose Costa Rica (SJO) on Thursday Feb 23 (unless you choose to stay longer) and we'll take care of the rest! All major US carriers fly here and most flights arrive within a couple hours of each other around noon. LIR is a small airport and easy to navigate and we will be there waiting when you land. We recommend booking with Southwest Airlines from the US if possible as they do not charge for international baggage and most of our group would be on the same flight arriving at the same time, but you are free to book whichever US carrier you'd like. You'll book your return flight from San Jose (SJO) please continue reading for another option...
WEEK 3 EXTENSION-If you are already with us and staying over from week 3 for week 4: Everyone in our party will be loading up the shuttle bus and leaving the hotel Saturday morning February 18th (end of week 3) to return to Liberia Airport. There we will drop off those of you returning home to the US, pick up any new arrivals for week 4, and continue onward for the two hour drive up in the mountain jungle of the interior for two days of absolute bliss in your own private casita tucked into the jungle on the side of a volcano! Please make sure to book your US return flight from San Jose (SJO) on Thursday February 23, we suggest checking out Copa Airlines to see if they happen to have your flight available. The bonus of using Copa is you'll get a chance to visit Panama City Panama on an overnight layover or for up to 3 days for the same price! You will need to book your own hotel in Panama City and handle this part of the trip yourself as we will not be with you, but we are happy to help guide you in the right direction if this is something you're interested in. Just let us know in the "special instructions" section of your order form.
Week 4- Two Nights at Rio Celeste Hideaway
Welcome to pura vida bliss! Rio Celeste Hideaway is one of the most breathtaking resorts you'll ever see. Perfectly married with its surroundings, you'll have your own (very) private casita tucked into the lush rain forest. Complete with your own private outdoor shower in the jungle, this room has everything you need to truly escape the modern world for a blissful two nights. There are three heated volcanic pools, a world class restaurant on site and everything you need to make the start of this week pure heaven. There are hiking trails, flora and fauna, nooks and crannies to duck away in and the majestic Rio Celeste is a short hike through the jungle. This
WEEK 4 ITINERARY
Saturday February 18- Arrival Day (see info above)
The Rio Celeste Hideaway is without a doubt the most amazing resort on the entire expedition! It is absolutely breathtaking. You will fall in love with your own private casita tucked into the jungle for two nights-a million miles away from the modern world. You'll even have your own private outdoor shower to get close to nature! The grounds are immaculate and the jungle scenery is breathtaking. After arriving at the resort, you will have a few hours to relax and get into vacation mode.
Sunday February 19- Free Dy to Hike the Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano
Monday February 20- Moving further inland to Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna Village
The expedition continues deeper into the heart of Costa RIca. We'll leave our jungle hideaway and head south through the mountains and valleys to the quaint village of LaFortuna nestled at the base of the majestic Arenal Volcano. Though Arenal has not actively erupted since 2010, there is always the possibility as it is Costa Rica's youngest and most active volcano. Even without an eruption, Arenal is still an amazing sight to see. When you picture a volcano in your mind, this is what you picture. A perfect conical volcano rising above Lake Arenal and the lush countryside and incredible photo op. The town of LaFortuna exists because of the tourism that has grown around Arenal which had erupted continually from 1963 until 2010. There are dozens of cool dives, restaurants and bars as well as tourist activities such as kayaking Lake Arenal, volcano excursions, nature hikes and even a hanging bridge canopy tour through the jungle. We'll spend two days here and what you do is totally up to you. You will have the opportunity to book whatever tours you'd like right at the resort. Your hotel accommodations and breakfast for two are included, the rest is completely up to you!
Tuesday February 21: Free Day to explore Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna
Book a tour of Arenal Volcano, kayak Lake Arenal, book a hanging bridge canopy tour, or just bounce around La Fortuna Village and explore for the day. This day is completely yours!
Wednesday February 22- Moving to the city of San Jose
Wednesday we'll head out to visit the city of San Jose and an overnight at a modern hotel near the airport (SJO). There you will have the opportunity to soak up one last day of the Costa Rican sunshine lounging in the pool, book an excursion or trip to visit Irizu Volcano, rent a car and take off exploring, catch a hop flight down to the Rastafarian village of Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast for a few more days, or just sleep off the last two weeks of vacation. Whatever you choose, San Jose is just like any other major metropolitan city with a endless supply of shopping, restaurants, bars, casinos and traffic to go with it. From the hotel you can catch an Uber or taxi anywhere in town, rent a car, or even stay a few days longer in San Jose (we can help arrange extra nights at our rate, just email let us know in the "special instructions" section of your order form). Wednesday night's room is included in your package, the rest is totally up to you!
Thursday February 23- Leaving Day (or other options)
The hotel in San Jose offers a free shuttle service to San Jose Airport (SJO) 24 hours a day. You can reserve your time at check in and schedule your return flight anytime Saturday night or Sunday. Check out is at noon Thursday. For your US return flight from San Jose (SJO) on Thursday February 23, we suggest checking out Copa Airlines to see if they happen to have your flight available. The bonus of using Copa is you'll get a chance to visit Panama City Panama on an overnight layover or for up to 3 days for the same price! You will need to book your own hotel in Panama City and handle this part of the trip yourself as we will not be with you, but we are happy to help guide you in the right direction if this is something you're interested in. Just let us know in the "special instructions" section of your order form.
*please note: you can also use COPA to book a one way into Panama City, enjoy a few days there, and book your return US flight from PTY (most major US carriers fly here). The city is a modern bustling metropolis that is about the size and feel of Miami, and you will have no problems getting around to explore.
ALL IN ONE PRICING: WEEK 3 EXTENSION
As with all of our trips, we like to package everything together to make your vacation planning a lot easier. This out the door price includes your casita at Rio Celeste for 2 nights, your hotel room in La Fortuna Village for 2 nights, your hotel room in San Jose for 1 night, ground transport for the week, airport transfers, and all group activities. Your expenses beyond this will be your US flights, all meals and drinks and shopping you do on your own. All taxes and fees are included. Please note that all of our pricing is in US dollars.
Package price total $ AVAILABLE AUGUST 2022
THINGS TO BRING
SNACKS: If you're like me and love your American snacks, I recommend packing them in your suitcase or carry on (yes you can bring food on to a plane, just not liquids). They have grocery stores in Costa Rica and Panama (not exactly like a Wal Mart mind you) but most American things are tourist priced accordingly as the locals don't eat what we eat. Also I like to bring my own coffee just cause I'm a coffee snob like that....feel free to bring anything you think you can't live without for a week. There are plenty of food trucks, restaurants and grocery stores around with pretty much the same selection you'll find back home.
BUG SPRAY: It's expensive here for a reason. Bring it...you'll thank me on a breezeless day!
(by the way, it's better if it has deet in it)
SUNSCREEN: (see bug spray above..bring it!)
LIQUOR: Duty Free on your way is is the cheapest place you'll find top shelf brands. We personally drink the local rum and vodka as well as beer and they are cheap, but if you drink anything else you'll want to hit duty free on the way in and bring it as it can be pricey in town.
BACKPACK COOLER (OR SMALL COOLER YOU CAN FIT IN YOUR SUITCASE): This one pretty much explains itself!
MONEY: The exchange rate in Costa Rica will make you feel like a king...it's typically around 625 Colones for $1S dollar! Calm down, they've already figured it out. But the cool thing is you'll feel pretty fancy when you go out for a $10,000 lunch! There isn't much need to exchange your US dollars as they are accepted right along side of Costa Rican Colones everywhere. They might give you change in CR money and of course they won't always be able to break a hundred, so I'd recommend bringing smaller bills if you're going the cash route. $20's and below are fine. There's not a huge need to even bring cash as US credit cards are accepted nearly everywhere (with the exception of street vendors and some souvenir shops). You can usually add a tip to the credit card bill as well but it's always good to have a little cash on hand. Don't forget to make sure you have "no foreign transaction fees" and let your cc company know you'll be traveling abroad.
SNORKEL GEAR: If you've got room, feel free to bring it. You can of course rent it, but if you have your own you can just jump in the water and enjoy!
WATER SHOES/HIKING GEAR: We definitely recommend comfortable walking shoes for most of week 4's activities. Water shoes are a good idea if you plan to do water excursoins.
STAYING CONNECTED: The arrival airport does have free wi-fi (though it can be spotty) so you shouldn't need to turn your phone off of airplane mode unless you just want to. Verizon and AT&T will both work in Costa Rica and Panama for about a $10 per day charge, but we've found we rarely need the actual phone and there's free high speed wi-fi everywhere so (as much as it sucks not to take off that electronic leash) you won't have to worry about being un-connected very often.