Join Me in Costa Rica for an Adventure of a Lifetime!

The Landscape; Costa Rica; 2013
The Landscape; Costa Rica; 2013

 

Theme: The Adventure Tour of Costa Rica          Country: Costa Rica  Languages: English & Spanish        Unit of Currency: Costa Rican colon    Locations: Jaco Beach, Monteverde, & San Jose           Year: 2016  Bucket list: Zipping high above the clouds in “Cloud Forest”

Join Me in Costa Rica!

My first official tour is kicking off with 1 exclusive tour date!  After having an amazing time during my travels in Costa Rica, venturing around Central America for the following months, and integrating with cultures all over the world, I am happy to say that I am returning to Costa Rica this spring! And, I am bringing some friends along for the ride!

Official Tour: March 18th-March 25th (8 days)

The Adventure Tour of Costa Rica kicks off on March 18th with a week packed of adrenaline, conservation, education, and loads of fun! For my personal world tour, “The Voyage of Discovery” it highlights all the above, and I am stoked to bring these elements into hosting my own group tour!

Location of Costa Rica in Central America
Location of Costa Rica in Central America

Routes: Jaco Beach, Monteverde, San Jose, and a surprise location!

 

Day 1 & 2

Everyone will arrive Friday in San Jose, Costa Rica, where we will stay here for the weekend and head for a day trip on Saturday for a surprise location. Hint: Monkeys, monkeys, and more monkeys!

Monkey; Costa Rica; 2013
Monkey; Costa Rica; 2013

 

Monkey Street Art; San Jose, Costa Rica; 2013
Monkey Street Art; San Jose, Costa Rica; 2013

 

Day 3

After exploring the country’s capital city, it is time to scope out some of Costa Rica’s most invasive animals, plants, and trees! Add in adrenaline, then we have Monteverde, a majestic land known as “Cloud Forest.” On Sunday a mini bus will take us on a 4-hour ride from San Jose to reach this remote destination.

Sloth in a Tree; Tortuguero, Costa Rica; 2013
Sloth in a Tree; Costa Rica; 2013

 

Day 4

Zip lining over the forest, hanging out on the suspension bridges, and spending Monday up close and personal with Costa Rica’s wildlife will have you saying, “Let’s do it again!” There’s an option to check out the Frog Pond (the home of 25+ species of native frogs) or the Bat Jungle (an exhibit of 95 bats and 8+ species). If you are interested in both, we can plan accordingly.

A Look at a Canopy Tour's Adventure Cables; Costa Rica; 2013
A Look at a Canopy Tour’s Adventure Cables; Costa Rica; 2013

 

Day 5

The next day on Tuesday we will hike 45 minutes to San Luis Waterfall, where one can jump, dive, and submerge into this 100 metre (330ft) waterfall buried deep in the rainforest.  Monkeys, birds, lizards, and other animals are likely to be spotted here.

Waterfalll; Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica; 2013
Waterfall; Costa Rica; 2013

 

Day 6

After all the adrenaline pumping through your body, it is time to chill out at a beach! On Wednesday we head to one of the Pacific’s most beautiful white beaches and my personal favorite, Jaco Beach. Beach volleyball, surfing, snorkeling, etc. are just a few activities that are available.

Hanging Out with a Few Fish; Utila, Hondruas; 2013
Snorkeling in Central America

 

Day 7

After traveling to 60+ countries, and 48 US states, I know how important it is to relax before your flight departure out of the city to your hometown. Thursday can be spent chilling by the pool, exploring the city, or doing absolutely nothing. The choice is up to you, and I will have a few suggestions for those feeling a bit more adventurous that day.

 

Day 8

Sadly, Friday is our last tour day and departure from San Jose. This will not be a good bye, but a “see ya” later! I am sure that our paths will cross again!

Street Art; San Jose, Costa Rica; 2013
Street Art; San Jose, Costa Rica; 2013

 

Included in the Tour:

  • All accommodations (mixed dorms) – these hostels have free breakfasts
  • All dinners
  • Transportation costs – Important: Depending on your flight arrival and departure, I may be able to pick you up and drop you off. We will have to discuss this further!
  • Zip lining, suspension bridges, and other adventures in Cloud Forest
  • Entrance fees to all exhibits
  • Entrance fees to hike San Luis Waterfall

Not Included in the Tour:

  • Flights – I suggest going on cheapflights.com to find the best deals
  • Visas on arrival and fees for departure
  • Alcohol
  • Lunches – Here, we will take advantage of more inexpensive local meals
  • Souvenirs
  • Travel Insurance – As mentioned below, this is part of the  requirements for these tours

Recommendations:

  • Mosquito repellent (DEET is best)
  • Suntan lotion
  • Shower shoes (for hostels)
  • Dry towel (perfect for a bath towel)
  • Comfortable sneakers (for adrenaline activities)
  • Carry on-sized luggage (smaller luggage is better for modes of transportation)
  • Small flashlight (Always come in handy)
  • Sense of adventure

Requirements:

  • Travel insurance – I recommend World Nomads, they have great plans including an explorer package! Please provide proof of insurance on your arrival.

Tour Prices:

    • $900 USD- Deposit of $450 USD is due to book a spot on tour, and an additional $450 USD is due 3 days before the tour starts. This service is through Paypal. Important: If you are unable to make the tour date, then we can discuss a partial refund, full refund, or other options. Please refer to the Q&A portion of this post.

Costa Rica Tour Payments
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Ways to Book:

  • Book through PayPal, select the payment and date of the tour, and then you will receive an invoice with your order.
  • Email my personal account – jrbenford0518@gmail.com (0518 are all numbers) and we can discuss further payment.
  • Leave a comment to this tour page, but please remember to email me so that I have your email address for my records.
  • Message any of my social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter are best.

Questions & Answers for the Tours:

  • Is this the right tour for me?

If you have a keen sense of adventure, adrenaline, conservation, education, and fun then this is the absolute best way to go! It is encouraged to be over 18, and is suitable for a first time traveler, a world traveler (like myself), or one that has completed a handful of trips.

  • Am I tour group material?

I will admit that I was part of my first group tour in March of 2015 traveling in El Salvador and Guatemala. I love meeting new people, sharing common interests with others, and above all else, exploring foods & cultures. I was nervous at first to join a group tour, but realized that on occasion, it is nice to travel with others and not plan my own itinerary.

My experience after the tour is what has led me for the past year contemplating to run my own tour groups around the world. I love educating others and am a huge adrenaline junkie. I hope that my tours will persuade you in either trying your own first tour group out for size or adding another tour group to your CV.

  • The total amount of people in the tour?

The tour will consist of no more than 11 people, 12 including myself. All modes of transportation can hold up to this amount, with luggage, so I wanted to keep the groups personal and small enough to fit into a pub.

  • You mentioned adrenaline activities, what is the proper attire for this?

The best gear to wear for adrenaline activities are sneakers (able to hike in), non-tight fitting shorts, capris, or pants, and shirts (I recommend button down shirts that have mosquito repellent built into them). As an advocate for anything travel related that you can purchase, try REI for dry towels, mosquito repellent, clothes, shoes, flashlights, etc.

  • Is it best to carry credit cards, ATM card, or cash?

After traveling around the globe, I find myself carrying all 3 methods of payment. In Costa Rica, there are ATM’s, please remember to let your bank know that you are traveling outside the country, along with the dates, and the locations where you will be at. Some places will take American dollars, while others only want Costa Rican colon. And other places will take cards.

  • What is the climate in Costa Rica?

For those bundling in winter jackets as you read this, I am happy to announce that you will leave those at home. The weather is going to be hot, sunny, and anxiously awaiting your favorite tank tops, board shorts & flip flops. Costa Rica is known for its quick rain showers throughout the spring and summer months. At night, it is best to bring a long pair of pants and a long sleeved tee for cooler evenings.

  • What if I have an emergency and cannot make the tour?

As soon as you notify me of an emergency situation and/or that you cannot make the tour, then depending on the date you can get a partial or full refund. Due to the deposits that need to be made earlier next week, we will have to act fast.

  • What other tours are you planning this year?

I cannot tell you how stoked I am to host this group tour in Costa Rica! And, with my love for Central America, I am definitely in the process of planning more trips within this region. Spoiler alert: Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica (more destinations for adrenaline)!

  • What qualifies you as an expert in Central American travels?

I have spent the last 6 years touring the world.  I always find myself submerging, plummeting, diving, abseiling, hiking, etc. into the vastness of Central America’s jungles, lakes, and oceans.

In between my career as a Marine Mammal Scientist and my own world tour of driving my Jeep around the world, “The Voyage of Discovery,” I have made time to explore many of Central America’s countries and cultures. From the conservation projects I worked in Guatemala and Costa Rica, to the adrenaline activities all within this region, and the educational lessons that were taught to children in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, my love affair for Central America is deeper than I had ever envisioned. Central America is the perfect hub for sunshine, molding great friendships, eating local foods, breathing in the wildlife and beauty of each region, and overall just having a brilliant time exploring each country.

I will admit, the only country that I have not visited is Panama. I hope to change that this year!

 

Zika Virus Update:

It has been brought to my attention while I have been in Colombia, South America that the Zika virus has been more active in South America, Caribbean, Africa, and even North America. I am providing documents and recommendations on how to prevent tour members from getting the virus while we are traveling in Central America, specifically Costa Rica.
  • After all these years of traveling and not running a tour company, why are you doing so now?

The main reason why I am running a tour company, is because I have first hands-on-experience being part of a tour group. I have been involved in day, multiple days, and several week long tours. It is common to jump into a day group tour when you are traveling in a larger city. There are always attractions to see, and most of these excursions run tours. I have been on my fair share of day and multiple day tours while traveling in Europe and Central America.

I had the privilege to join my first tour that lasted for almost 3 weeks last March. I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to travel with Kate from AdventurousKate and Leif, the Runaway Guide. Both travel bloggers were a lot of fun, and the continuation of swapping travel stories for those weeks sparked my interest into thinking that I would love to do something like this. That particular tour took me through El Salvador and Guatemala with 14 people, and a thirst for adventure, great food, down-to-earth cultures, and overall an amazing time. This tour really did open up a new way for me to continent hop and travel in a way that I have always dreamt about.

  • The Zika virus is obviously an issue, how are you equipped to handle this virus during your travels?

The Zika virus is the newest public health threat, especially to pregnant woman. I am advising women who want to be pregnant this year, or are already to pregnant to NOT join my tour. Central America is vast with jungles, lakes, streams, waterfalls, and cities. From my personal travels, I always get bitten – ask any of my good mates that have ever traveled with me! After working and trekking around Africa for several years, I was on a Malarone fix. The truth is that the symptoms are horrible, but getting malaria is not something that I particularly want. With that being said, I have never gotten malaria or any diseases from mosquito, because I have a few simple rules that I follow.

The prevention methods, in my opinion, that works best:

A) Deet – it is very strong, but it fully does its purpose. My recommendation is 95-100%, and this works best. When applying deet or any kind of mosquito repellant, always place it over your clothing, squirt at the cuffs of your pant legs, and ALWAYS avoid eyes and mouth. This process takes if going slow, 10 minutes. It still amazes when I met travelers on jungle paths and/or next to waterfalls and they do not have any mosquito repellant on. It is better to be safe than sorry! Mosquito bites itch like crazy, believe me, before I was that traveler who did not put on mosquito repellant. After 500+ bites and days worth of headaches and itching, I soon realized that that I need to be more cautious (and travel savy).

B) Long-sleeved mosquito repellent clothing – I cannot tell you how many of these long-sleeve shirts and long pants I have stashed away in my drawers at home, but needless to say, there is an incredible variety, ranging from colors and thickness. There’s even long-sleeved shirts (I have a few) that come with mosquito repellent and SPF 50. These long-sleeved shirts and pants are perfect for hiking, adrenaline activities, night out, etc. I am a huge advocate for mosquito repellant clothing, because you never know when you’re going to be partying on an infested island of mosquitoes!

C) Avoiding being outside at dusk – Every entomologist will tell you that this is the worst time to be outside, when traveling in mosquito areas. Once the sun goes down and the breeze calms, then this is the time that the female mosquito is the most active. I avoid being outside at dusk like the plague, and always make sure that if I do want to be a rebel and head outside, that I deet up, grab a long-sleeved shirt, put on pants, deet one last time, put on sneakers with long socks, and venture out.

I cannot promise that my tour members will not get the virus, but I can reassure you that the prevention methods that I have mentioned really do work! I have been all over the world and have never gotten a virus/disease from mosquitos!

  • Why should I join you in Costa Rica?

I could give you a million and one reasons why you should join me on my first official tour; however, I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are a handful of photographs to help persuade!

Here’s a look at your guide exploring the Best of Costa Rica:

Waterfall Repelling; San Ramon, Costa Rica; 2013
Waterfall Repelling; San Ramon, Costa Rica; 2013

 

Superman Harness; San Ramon, Costa Rica; 2013
Superman Harness; San Ramon, Costa Rica; 2013

 

Welcome to Manuel Antonio; Costa Rica; 2013
Welcome to Manuel Antonio; Costa Rica; 2013

 

Class V Rapids; Costa Rica; 2013
Class V Rapids; Costa Rica; 2013

 

Posing during Hiking; Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica; 2013
Posing during Hiking; Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica; 2013

 

Basking in Lake Chetal; Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica; 2013
Basking in Lake Chetal; Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica; 2013

 

Volcan Arenal; Costa Rica; 2013
Volcan Arenal; Costa Rica; 2013

 

Lake Chetal; Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica; 2013
Lake Chetal; Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica; 2013

 

Blue Jean Poison Dart Frog; Tortuguero, Costa Rica; 2013
Blue Jean Poison Dart Frog; Tortuguero, Costa Rica; 2013

 

Dead Green Sea Turtle Hatchling; Tortuguero, Costa Rica; 2013
Dead Green Sea Turtle Hatchling; Tortuguero, Costa Rica; 2013

 

GET READY FOR AN ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME!

 


Costa Rica Tour Payments
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