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Summer Adventure - 9 Exciting Days in Costa Rica!

  • Aug 9, 2014 · 12:00 PM

UPDATE #15: For those that responded letting me know they are taking the group arrival transfer, please meet by the "Arrivals Exit" and look for the person holding the "Meetup Group Costa Rica Quest" sign. I've been told there is only one area where arrival transfers wait with their signs, so we shouldn't be able to miss it. If you are not taking the group arrival transfer, the best way to get to the arrival point hotel (see UPDATE #13) is via taxi from the airport. There are fixed (official) rates at the airport counter. It is a 25 - 30 minute drive (depending on traffic) into the city. The local traveling company's phone no. is [masked] (weekdays 9am - 5pm local time). Their after hours emergency number is +506.8322.9140. I can't guarantee I'll get reception, but I purchased (small) international data and text plans (no voice since it was hella expensive) for this trip. Please text or email if you need to. I have sent my cell no. to the yes RSVPs in an email with this UPDATE. Please check your spam folder! Two. more. days!

UPDATE #14: If you are planning on utilizing the group arrival transfer and / or group departure transfer from and to the airport (see "Flights..." section of the trip posting for full details), please send me a message through my Meetup profile (do not comment in the Comment box) by Wed. July 30th. The travel company just informed me they need this information. Thank you! Two weeks!

UPDATE #13: The rooming list has been finalized here. Also, the list of hotels has been finalized as follows (with address and phone): AUTENTICO (Aug. 9; Avenidas 5 y 7 calle 40, San Jose[masked], Costa Rica; [masked]), LAS COLINAS (Aug 10 - 11; Centro de La Fortuna | Half a block from the bus station, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 21006, Costa Rica; [masked]), CIPRESES (Aug 12 - 13; 100 mts Este. 100 Sur, Santa Elena 5556, Costa Rica; [masked]), MIMOS (Aug 14 - 15; Main Road via Manuel Antonio | Quepos, Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica; [masked]), AUTENTICO (Aug 16; Avenidas 5 y 7 calle 40, San Jose[masked], Costa Rica; [masked]). Three more weeks!

UPDATE #11: I've put together a list of the people going on the trip. Click here. For those with a single room and those that have requested a roommate, please verify I have you listed correctly. For those with double occupancy, if you have someone you'd like to room with (same sex), I will need to know no later than end of day Thurs. June 26th. After that, no changes can be made, and you will be assigned a roommate by the travel company (same sex). Feel free to use the list above to reach out to others to find a roommate (click on their Meetup profile to send them an email), and to offer up any information, such as if you smoke, or snore, or anything else. If you find a roommate, please go ahead and edit the list as appropriate (it's editable). Thank you!

UPDATE #10: One spot has opened up for this trip! If you or someone you know is interested in joining us, please sign up no later than end of day Mon. June 9th. The price is ordinarily $1595 at this date, but I've gotten approval to leave it at the previous price point of $1495. Come join us for an exciting adventure!

UPDATE #9: Just a reminder, if you can make the Costa Rica pre-trip dinner, please sign up for it by Sun. May 18th (but do NOT make payment). After that, I'm going require payment in order to sign up for the dinner. You can still join us after that date, you'll just need to email me (through my Meetup profile) so I can manually add you to the RSVP list. I'll also be handing out our included book "Anarcho Grow - Pura Vida in Costa Rica" then in anticipation of our trip! See you there!

UPDATE #8: Just a reminder, the balance is due Sun. May 18th. Please make sure to make your balance payment by that date (see "Remainder Balance Payment Instructions" section of the trip posting), otherwise you will lose your deposit and your spot on the trip! Can't wait for this trip!

UPDATE #7: I've just announced the Costa Rica pre-trip dinner. Click here. If you can make the dinner, please go ahead and RSVP but do NOT make payment, as that's included as part of joining the Costa Rica trip itself. Also, I still need information from some of you per UPDATE #6. Please send to me if you haven't already. Thank you!

UPDATE #6: In addition to the requested information needed in UPDATE #5, the travel company also needs the following information for final booking (sorry, they just let me know): Full name as it appears on passport, passport number, passport issue date, passport expiry date, existing medical conditions, meal requirements, emergency contact / next of kin. Please email me that info (through my Meetup profile) as soon as you can. Also, please double check to ensure your insurance covers emergency repatriation, medical, and evacuation for a combined minimum amount of $200,000 (see Insurance section of the trip posting for full details). I'm getting excited, can't wait to see you there!

UPDATE #5: The travel company is requiring that I collect dates of birth and nationalities from everyone. Please email me that info (through my Meetup profile) as soon as you can, if you haven't already answered. Also, once you book your flight (please see Flights section of the trip posting for full details), don't forget to secure your insurance (see Insurance section of the event posting for full details). Thank you, I look forward to seeing you there!

UPDATE #4: There are 4 spots left! To be fair to those who want to join in and are ready to make payment, I'll be removing those that haven't paid their initial deposit by Sun. Mar. 2nd. So make payment to *truly* lock in your spot. I hope to see you there! 

UPDATE #3: The $1295 price has ended and the ticket price is now $1395. Also, we have more than 10 people that have signed up and made payment...  so this trip is confirmed! If you've made payment for this trip, feel free to book your flights per the "Flights" section of the trip posting. Looking forward to seeing you there!

UPDATE #2: To clarify, you only need to make the $450 non-refundable deposit to lock in a "price" per the "Price" section of the trip posting. The balance will be due by Sun. May 18th.

UPDATE #1: Just a reminder, the $1295 price will increase to $1395 before Sat. Feb. 1st. If you've already made the initial deposit, please click here to pay the balance due. Otherwise, follow the steps in the "Payment Instructions" section. So make payment to *truly* lock in the $1295 price and your spot. I hope can join us for this amazing adventure!

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Natural beauty abounds in Costa Rica!

Perfect beaches, wild rivers, tropical jungles, and an incredibly diverse population of animals and plants. Let's visit the land that Indiana Jones explored! This action-packed tour of Costa Rica's highlights is perfect for the adventurer with limited time who wants to explore the region's diversity. Let's get our adrenaline pumping, follow a trail to the base of a waterfall, melt away in thermal springs, and relax on a beach. Our Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will help us find the secluded spots only the locals know. Does this sound like a fun and relaxing vacation to you?

Six Reasons to Book This Trip:

1. Affordable Adventure - Did you know that this trip INCLUDES a visit to a popular thermal hot springs, a guided tour of the famous Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, a tour of a well-known sugar cane & coffee plantation that includes a local lunch, a thrilling canopy zipline tour, a visit to the Manuel Antonio National Park, transfers to and from the airport, all buses and transfers between cities, 8 nights in a hotel, 3 events in DC (2 dinners and 1 Embassy visit), plus a Costa Rica book discussion (book included) during the trip... all for less than $145 a day??

2. Shared Photos - As with all of our events, we can all upload our pictures to this website to share the best of our photos and multiply the memories!

3. Make New Friends - We are the ONLY Meetup group that offers us the opportunity to travel abroad with other globally-minded people from the DC area, PLUS arrange three more events for the group that take place in DC to make sure that we will make friends that we will continue to see in DC!

4. Leadership - I (J.T., your organizer) will be there every step of the way, making sure that the trip goes as smoothly as possible.

5. Book Discussion - We will each receive, read, and discuss sections of "Anarcho Grow - Pura Vida in Costa Rica," a tale of one man's journey to Costa Rica that will help paint a picture for us of the culture and beauty of Costa Rica. 

6. Unforgettable Memories - Costa Rica is truly is a beautiful and adventurous place. Let's experience it together and make some wonderful memories!

This 9-day exciting expedition through Costa Rica is crammed with all the energy and activities deserving of our group. We'll begin our journey in DC with a fabulous dinner at El Tamarindo restaurant in Adams Morgan. Then, before departing on our trip, we will have a private visit at the Embassy of Costa Rica featuring diplomats who will teach us about their country. Shortly after we return stateside, we'll reunite at DC's popular El Rinconcito II restaurant in Columbia Heights with an evening of Central American food and a recap of our travel experience for our reunion dinner!

To help us pass the time while traveling and to learn even more about this culture-rich society, we'll read the book "Anarcho Grow - Pura Vida in Costa Rica" by T.A. Sedlak during our trip. At certain points during the trip, I (J.T., your Meetup organizer) will lead discussions of the book for anyone who wants to participate!

Please note this is a joint trip with the "mainstream" 20s & 30s Going Out Group, the "mainstream" 30s & 40s Going Out Group, and the Global Adventurers Traveling Group. Our traveling group will likely consist of members with the average age in their 30s.

Questions? If you have any questions not answered on this page, please post a comment in the comment box below, email me through my Meetup profile, or call / text me.

Also please know that your RSVP is not guaranteed unless we receive payment. When you pay, your online receipt is confirmation that we have received your payment.

I hope you can join us on this amazing adventure!

- J.T.

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ITINERARY

Sat. May 31st: Pre-Trip Dinner at El Tamarindo

This delicious Central American meal at El Tamarindo restaurant in Adams Morgan is open to other Meetup members as a paid event, but is FREE for those attending the trip. It is wonderful way for all trip-goers to meet each other for the first time, and it's a perfect time for those who haven't yet signed up to ask any questions related to the trip. 

Thurs. July 10th, 2:30pm: Pre-Trip Embassy Visit

We will meet with the Costa Rican diplomats and receive an official country briefing including the history, geography, culture and tourism of Costa Rica. This event is organized exclusively for trip-goers and will NOT be open to other members of our group.

Sat. Aug. 9th: Day 1, San Jose

Arrive at any time in San José, then check in and enjoy the city. Please try to arrive before 7pm for an important group meeting where we'll meet with our Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and other group members.

Located in the central highlands, San José enjoys a moderate climate, with average August temperatures in the low 80s. San José is the center of government, theater, and art. It has beautiful parks and museums, is big, bustling, and even from its busy downtown streets, a view of the surrounding lush mountains is visible.

The main plaza is a great place to start our exploration of the city, a great place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere.

The best and least expensive places to buy souvenirs in San José are the markets. The two main ones are the ones in Plaza de la Cultura, which is an outdoor open market, and the Central Market, where handicrafts are sold along with boots, fish, flour, herbal remedies, shirts and everything else we can imagine.

Sun. Aug. 10th - Mon. Aug. 11th: Day 2 - 3, La Fortuna / Arenal

La Fortuna, the town near the foot of Arenal Volcano is an excellent base for adventure. Optional activities in this area abound. Hike the area's nature trails, swim in chilly La Fortuna waterfall or go canyoneering (rappelling) and catch a bird’s eye view of the forest greenery. Other optional activities include full-day white water rafting on the Toro or Balsa Rivers, mountain biking, caving, horseback riding, or a tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Like much of Costa Rica, the area is a birders’ paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents. Finally, after a long day of exploring, let's enjoy an included soak in one of the area's natural thermal baths and rivers under the shade of the surrounding canopy. See 30 second video below!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIyD16zKG0E

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Set on the northern plains of Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano sits on the southeast shore of artificial Lake Arenal (48 square miles). Separating the mountain ranges of Guanacaste and Tilarán, the lake was created by a hydroelectric dam. Winds sweeping off the Caribbean Sea reach speeds of 30 to 45 mph, across Lake Arenal we can find one of the best locations in the world to go windsurfing. The volcano, once quite active, has been in a dormant state since the beginning of 2011 but still is a dramatic backdrop to the town of La Fortuna. During the day, its reflection on Lake Arenal is truly enchanting. 

Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours. Approximate Distance: 90 miles

Tues. Aug. 12th - Wed. Aug. 13th: Day 4 - 5, Monteverde

From La Fortuna, we'll travel by jeep to the shores of Lake Arenal for the half hour boat ride across the lake. Vans will drive us up the picturesque mountains into the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Don't forget our cameras because the backdrop for this adventure is the stunning Nicoya Peninsula. We'll spend two days exploring Monteverde and the Forest Reserve, truly a nature lover's paradise. Local guides are extremely knowledgeable about the area and passionate about conservation of this precious ecosystem. The unique community has several local co-operatives worth visiting including artist collectives and a cheese factory. We may be lucky enough to see the Resplendent Quetzal, one of the most beautiful and elusive birds in the world. We'll also get to experience a thrilling canopy zipline tour. We'll continually go from one zip line to the next, of different distances and elevations, with sections named the "Tarzan Swing" and "Superman." The last segment of zip line tour is famous for it's length and height, giving us the opportunity to enjoy the incredible landscape and beautiful nature. Optional activities include walking across a series of suspension bridges through the jungle canopy and a butterfly garden. 

Costa Rican coffee is known for its excellent quality and robust flavor. The rich volcanic soil and cool temperatures provide the perfect environment for gourmet coffee production. We'll enjoy an included "El Trapiche Tour" to learn more about Costa Rican culture, including sugar cane processing, coffee production and other aspects of local agriculture. This hands on included tour is not to be missed and will leave us with a better understanding of Costa Rica. While we're here, we'll tantalize our taste buds with a traditional Costa Rican lunch.

Monteverde or Green Mountain, is exactly what we'll find at the end of our trip through the mountains. The surrounding pastures were once covered with dense forest, but today only a small piece of it remains. That piece of forest has been preserved as the Santa Elena and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserves. Cloud forest is much like a rainforest, but much of the moisture comes not from falling rain but from the condensation left by the nearly constant cloud cover that blankets the tops of mountains in many parts of the tropics. The Monteverde and Santa Elena Reserves covers 1600 hectares of forest and is home to a great variety of wildlife. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different species of mammals inhabit this small area. All proceeds from this park profit the local community.

Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours. Approximate Distance: 30 miles

Thurs. Aug. 14th - Fri. Aug. 15th: Day 6 - 7, Quepos / Manuel Antonio National Park

This small town on the Pacific coast is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun and nearby sea. A short distance away, we'll enjoy a visit to the Manuel Antonio National Park. It offers excellent hiking, spectacular views, and abundant wildlife viewing. As well as beautiful white sand beaches and the warm turquoise water is ideal for swimming, fishing, kayaking, boogie boarding, sailing or surfing. Although this is Costa Rica’s smallest National Park, it is also one of the most popular and it won't take you long to see why. This park has fabulous beaches, abundant wildlife, and a great trail system for those who want to spend the day hiking. Look for monkeys, armadillos, coatimundis, sloths and some of the over 350 species of birds that are present in the park!

Quepos sits on the outskirts of the Manuel Antonio National Park (about 20 min drive) and is a great introduction to the laid-back "Tico" lifestyle. This town is very popular with the younger set of international travellers, and the nightlife in the area is also some of the best in the country.

Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours. Approximate Distance: 135 miles

Sat. Aug. 16th: Day 8, San Jose 

A day's travel on local buses takes us back to the capital, San José, in time to shower and head out for a final night on the town.

Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours. Approximate Distance: 120 miles

Sun. Aug. 17th: Day 9, San Jose

Depart at any time.

TBD: Post-Trip Reunion Dinner at El Rinconcito II

Dates and details TBD. We will feast on a sumptuous Central American meal! Dinner attendance will also be open to non-trip goers in our Meetup group.

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PRICE

$1295 if booked before Sat. Feb. 1st

$1395 if booked before Tues. Apr. 1st

$1495 if booked before Sun. June 1st

$1595 on or after June 1st*

* Starting June 1st, spaces are subject to availability. If booking on or after June 1st, do NOT purchase your airline ticket until you have been confirmed on the trip by the Meetup Organizer.

DEPOSIT

Non-refundable deposit of $450 due at booking, full payment due by Sun. May 18th or at booking, whichever is later.

ACCOMMODATION

Price is based on double occupancy. If you have a preference for a roommate, please let me know full first and last name. Otherwise, I will assign a roommate to you (same sex). Single supplement is $500 to stay in your own room.

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PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS (PAYPAL ACCOUNT NOT REQUIRED)

Please follow the instructions below for making payment (if payment by smartphone doesn't work, please try your computer). Most of our events do sell out, so we recommend you secure your spot online early.

1. Select "Yes" under "Will you attend?"

2. Enter the number of guests coming and click "Finish RSVP"

3. Click "Pay Now" at the top of the event posting near the ticket price per person

4. Verify correct dollar amount for number of people you're paying for:

• If you are paying in full, and if you are looking for double occupancy, leave the dollar amount as is. If you are looking for single occupancy, please add $500 to the total and change the dollar figure. For your convenience, the single occupancy price will either be $1795 (booked before Sat. Feb. 1st), $1895 (booked before Tues. Apr. 1st), $1995 (booked before Sun. June 1st), or $2095 (booked on or after Sun. June 1st). Click "Pay Now" button.

If you are paying just the non-refundable deposit, change the dollar amount to $450. Click "Pay Now" button. You will need to pay the balance by Sun. May 18th.

5. If you don't have a Paypal account, click "Pay with a Debit or Credit Card"

6. If you have a Paypal account, simply log in, and pay as you normally would via Paypal

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REMAINDER BALANCE PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS (PAYPAL ACCOUNT NOT REQUIRED)

If you've already paid the initial non-refundable $450 deposit, please follow the instructions below for making the balance payment (if payment by smartphone doesn't work, please try your computer). Balance payment must be made by Sun. May 18th, otherwise you will lose your deposit and your spot on the trip.

1. Click on the appropriate link below

Double Occupancy:

• To pay the balance ($845) for the $1295 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Sat. Feb. 1st), please click here

• To pay the balance ($945) for the $1395 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Tues. Apr. 1st), please click here.

• To pay the balance ($1045) for the $1495 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Sun. May 18th), please click here

Single Occupancy:

• To pay the balance ($1345) for the $1795 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Sat. Feb. 1st), please click here

• To pay the balance ($1445) for the $1895 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Tues. Apr. 1st), please click here

• To pay the balance ($1545) for the $1995 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Sun. May 18th), please click here

2. If you don't have a Paypal account, click "Pay with a Debit or Credit Card"

3. If you have a Paypal account, simply log in, and pay as you normally would via Paypal

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INCLUSIONS

• Pre-trip dinner at El Tamarindo restaurant in DC

• Pre-trip Embassy of Costa Rica visit with diplomats

• "Anarcho Grow - Pura Vida in Costa Rica" paperback version and book discussions during the trip

• Accommodations as stated above (hotels 8 nights, based on twin-share rooms)

• One lunch

• Guided activities as described above

• Group arrival and departure transfers to airport

• Transfers between cities via public bus, private van, boat

• English speaking travel guide

• Meetup group facilitation with book discussion by J.T. (Meetup organizer)

• Local guides / representative assistance

• Post-trip reunion dinner at El Rinconcito II

EXCLUSIONS

• Entrance fees not listed

• Airfare

• Applicable tourist visas

• Incidentals

• Insurance

• Airport taxes

• Tips or gratuities

• Beverages

• Meals not mentioned above

• Excursions and activities listed as optional or suggestions

FLIGHTS, DAYS OFF, & AIRPORT GROUP TRANSFERS

Please do not purchase your air ticket until this trip is confirmed (10 people have paid). You will receive notification by email when the trip is confirmed and I will also update the event posting at the top of this page. We can coordinate air schedules in the comment box of this page to try to get the same flights.

When buying your air ticket, make sure it leaves on Sat. Aug. 9th and departs on Sun. Aug. 17th. Also, depending on how many transfers you get, you may need to request off of work Sat. Aug. 9th - Mon. Aug. 18th.

Upon arrival on Sat. Aug. 9th, our group transfer from the airport (San Jose Juan Santamaria Airport - SJO) to the hotel will depart the airport at 5pm so we can get to the hotel in time for our recommended welcome meeting at 7pm with our Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and other group members. So if you'd like to take advantage of our free group transfer, please be sure to arrive before then.

For departure on Sun. Aug. 17th, our group transfer from the hotel to the airport (San Jose Juan Santamaria Airport - SJO) will depart at 9am. So if you'd like to take advantage of our free group transfer, please be ready to leave the hotel by then and book your flight accordingly.

INSURANCE

You are required to purchase an all-inclusive insurance policy that covers emergency repatriation, medical, and evacuation for a combined minimum amount of $200,000. Trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss and accidents should also be included. Costs vary by age, travel dates, and when you purchase, but an approximate quote is $100 for a 30-year-old. You should extend the insurance to cover your entire journey if you are arriving before or departing after our trip. I also recommend getting full coverage vs. coverage for covered reasons. You will need to book your air flights first before getting insurance coverage. I used a company that specializes in this kind of thing. If you'd like to use the same, please call ​Leanne[masked] x1330 and she can give you a quote.

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions not answered on this page, please post a comment in the comment box below, email me through my Meetup profile, or call / text me.

REFUND POLICY

Since we paid in advance for this trip, all sales are final unless the trip is cancelled or rescheduled. Thanks for understanding. =)

SUGGESTED ITEMS TO BRING

1. USD cash 2. Credit and / or debit card 3. Pre-departure information and trip details 4. Passport (with photocopies) 5. Travel insurance (with photocopies) 6. Airline tickets (with photocopies) 7. Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required 8. Camera 9. Reading / writing material 10. Binoculars 11. Plastic bags or cover for backpacks 12. Lock for luggage 13. Fleece top / long sleeve top (for hikes, jungle treks etc) 14. Windproof / waterproof jacket 15. Small towel and swim wear 16. 6 shirts / t-shirts 17. Water shoes / sports sandals (optional) 18. Sun hat 19. 2 pairs of shorts 20. 2 pairs of long trousers 21. 1 pair hiking pants / track pants 22. Hiking boots / sturdy walking shoes 23. Sport sandals (suitable for water if you are planning on rafting and / or waterfall rappelling / abseiling) 24. Rain poncho / umbrella 25. Sunblock 26. Sunglasses 27. Toiletries (biodegradable) 28. Watch or alarm clock 29. Water bottle 30. Pocketknife 31. Flashlight 32. Insect repellent 33. First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

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  • J.T.

    Including headcount from other groups in my RSVP. I hope to see you there!

    February 24, 2014

20 went

  • J.T. +19
    20s & 30s Asian Head Organizer! - 1090 Going Out Points!, Assistant Organizer
    Event Host

Your organizer's refund policy for Summer Adventure - 9 Exciting Days in Costa Rica!

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled

Additional notes: Since we paid in advance for this event, all sales are final unless the event is cancelled or rescheduled.

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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