Please note that this is simply a sample itinerary to give you an idea of what we've done before and what we could create for you.
On arrival in San Jose, we’ll make our way to our chosen hotel to recharge after our flight and get settled in. Depending on time of arrival, you may opt to spend the afternoon exploring some of Costa Rica’s gems, such as the Gold Museum which houses the largest collection of Pre-Columbian gold in the Americas, a lot of which dates back to 500 AD. You can even catch a glimpse of Costa Rica’s first coin! Alternatively, wander the vibrant streets at your own pace, and explore to your heart’s content before we reconvene in the evening with the rest of the LEAF Ambassador team for a welcome dinner!
After a morning breakfast at your hotel, we’ll make our way to a fair trade craft market, Galeria Namu, to witness the bringing together of local and indigenous artwork. The arts and crafts on display offer a fantastic insight into the cultures and traditions of Costa Rica’s native communities, and most importantly act as a secure source of income. Enjoy lunch at your place of choice, before a busy afternoon soaking up all the main sights, from the National Theater, to Plazas and the Main Cathedral. In the afternoon we’ll embark on a guided tour of the museums of Jade and Gold with Luis Porras, Director of LEAF International’s Costa Rica partner, who will provide an indigenous cultural presentation over dinner. To top off this incredible day of connection through the arts, enjoy a performance with Alexis Rodriguez, LEAF International teaching artist with the Ngabe First Nation. Witness how ancient traditions and elder voices are brought to life through modern music and visual prompts (for those who don’t speak the indigenous languages).
Meet with Alexis once again this morning to travel to four schools – San Miguel, San Fran, Majesa, & La Lucha – where he teaches and honors the Ngabe traditions. Located in the tropical rainforests, a visit to this community allows a greater understanding of the traditions, cultures, arts and foods which have been used for centuries here. There is a lot to learn from the tribe’s inherent means of living in harmony with their environment. Visit local coffee farms & local shops in town. Dinner this evening is accompanied by a cultural presentation by Alexis Rodriguez. This is not only a fantastic opportunity to witness an entirely different way of life, but also to cultivate and encourage global citizenship.
Arise this morning for a trip to La Casona, the place of origin of the LEAF program! Located inside the impressive Santa Rosa National Park, which is renowned for its dry tropical forest, this is a fantastic opportunity to discover a traditional region remote from the pristine beaches Costa Rica is often known for. Next we’ll head to the rural village of Ujarras. Surrounded by the lush tropical foliage of the Orosi Valley in the province of Cartago, Ujarras is both a site of historical importance and in close proximity to many of Costa Rica’s natural gems. Here we will meet Cabecar Culture Keeper & Shaman Luis Salazar who dedicates his life to preserving the Cabecar culture. In a distant region, accessible only from the nearest road by a 22 mile hike, Luis teaches approximately 55 students traditional song & dance, and healing medicine. Enjoy an evening dinner and shaman presentation with this devoted culture keeper and discover the beauty and pride behind the Cabecar way of life.
This morning offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the untouched and often wild nature in this remote region of Costa Rica. After breakfast we will set off on a morning hike with Luis Salazar, ultimately making our way to Namasku, to visit the spiritual medicinal school that he built. You won’t regret the hike to reach this isolated region! Take the opportunity to participate in traditional Cabecar ceremonies. There is no better way to explore and understand the complexities of this persevering tribe than to take part in the rituals which form a large part of daily life. A rewarding evening will be spent helping the community rebuild structures, providing a fantastic opportunity to speak to the locals and gain a greater insight into their traditional way of life. Today promises to be a rewarding and informative trip!
Awaken early this morning as we travel to the Pacific Coast! Prepare yourself for an exotic paradise as we explore the tropical beaches of Dominical. With deep blue seas, long sandy beaches and lush, green foliage, this region is a playground for wildlife and hiking enthusiasts. Choose to adventure in the surrounding nature or lounge on a deserted beach and unwind from modern life’s stresses. We’ll conclude the day with a group dinner to share highlights, thoughts, and gratitude.
Unfortunately, this morning marks the end of our trip. Enjoy a final breakfast before departing for the airport. We hope you have enjoyed this cultural immersion in the ancient and persevering first nations of Costa Rica. Our LEAF trip is designed to inform and promote the importance of celebrating and protecting the indigenous communities of Costa Rica which are so often overlooked, and exploited, in this modern age. We hope you will return home with incredible memories of this remote and exotic region and with new friendships made!