Itinerary for Costa Rica trip

Today I decided to get acquainted with the itinerary for the Costa Rica service learning trip.

Saturday March 14

  • Depart Columbus 6 a.m.
  • Arrive San Jose 1:09 p.m.
  • Head the EARTH University in Guacimo

We will be headquartered at EARTH University for much of the trip.  EARTH is a small university that teaches sustainable agriculture and development to 419 students from across Central America and around the world.  There are on-campus farms and laboratories.  Among other products, EARTH grows the whole trade bananas sold at Whole Foods.

Sunday March 15

  • Organic farm tour
  • Integrated husbandry system tour
  • Workshop on peri-urban agriculture

Monday, March 16

  • Travel to Parque Nacional Tortuguero
  • Service project – Beach cleanup

Parque Nacional Tortuguero, or Turtle National Park, is the world’s most important spawning ground for the green sea turtle, and an important site for leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles.  Access is only by boat.

Tuesday, March 17

  • Time at Tortuguero
  • Travel to Guapiles

Guapiles is the transport center for the Rio Frio banana growing region, according to the Lonely Planet guide to Costa Rica.  There is a botanical garden and ecological farm. It’s also right next to Parque Nacionale Braulio Carrillo.

Wednesday, March 18

  • Nature reserve tour (maybe La Danta Salvaje?)
  • Banana plantation tour
  • Service activity (materials for chicken coop)

Thursday, March 19

  • Service activity – biodigester construction
  • Service projects – painting at Casa de la Mujer and farms tour

Friday, March 20

  • Community visit
  • Travel to Ciudad Quesada
  • Hot springs – Looking forward to this!

Saturday, March 21

  • Travel to San Jose airport
  • Visit markets / cultural sites on way
  • Lodging San Jose airport

Sunday, March 22

  • Depart San Jose 1:04 p.m.

Map of Costa Rica with destinations highlighted. Click to enlarge.


Some vital information

  • Money is the colon, plural colones. $1 = 537 colones
  • Costa Rica is in the Central time zone, but they don’t observe Daylight Savings Time, so they should be two hours behind Ohio time.
  • With all this movement all over the country, I am going to have to pack light. This is going to be a real challenge.
  • March is the dry season. The sun will be coming up about 6 a.m. and setting about 6 p.m.  Apparently at the equator, there’s no dawn or dusk.  It’s just dark then light or vice versa.  Temperatures will be around 80 during the day, 65 at night – awesome.  Apparently the sun is very strong, so sunscreen and a hat are recommended.
  • Electricity is 120V/60hz. I think that’s the same as what we use in the US.  Need to find out how possible it will be to charge electronic devices.  We are supposed to keep journals, but my handwriting has gotten so bad, I’d much rather type.
  • Mosquitoes look like a big problem. Will need powerful bug spray with DEET and a mosquito net.  One site recommended anti-malarial pills the entire time you are there and four weeks after you get back – wow.   Diarrhea remedy also recommended.  May need vaccines for typhoid, hepatitis A, and yellow fever.  Really don’t want to get sick on such a short trip.
  • Public restrooms are rare, but you can pay to use some facilities. Plumbing is bad, so people don’t flush toilet paper.  I’m worried about them even having toilet paper.  Using the bathroom could be the most awkward and complicated part of the trip.