excursions

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Monteverde

Located in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica, Monteverde (translated as “Green Mountain”) is the most well-known Biological Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica. It is incredibly rich in biodiversity, representing more than 2,000 species of plants, 400 species of birds, and 100 different species of mammals within its 26,000 acres. A hike through the rainforest and visit to the Monteverde mountain lodge, conservation and research center are just a few of the popular activities here. Activities include a night hike and the exciting zip line, which is the highest canopy tour in all of Costa Rica, swinging through the forest on cables 130 feet above the ground!

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Optional Activites

Students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of optional activities at an additional expense. Optional all-day activities are offered on Fridays, when students do not have classes, for which students depart Heredia in the morning and return to their homestay in the evening. Examples of past all-day activities include an exploration of the Veragua rainforest, a 3-in-one tour to the Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall, and Doka Coffee Estate, and white water rafting on the Pacuare River.

Optional activities are also available during the weekend excursions. All students participate as a group on every weekend excursion, but they also have the option to add a variety of optional activities to their weekend schedule. These include zip lining through the rainforest (Monteverde), a catamaran ride with the possibility of seeing dolphins or whales, snorkeling, or horseback riding (Tamarindo), canyoning and rappelling behind a waterfall (Arenal). All tours and activities include transportation and entrance fees, bilingual instruction from local guides, and food and refreshments if the tour occurs during mealtimes. ISA directors will accompany students on any optional excursions and activities and will make sure that at least one director stays with any students who choose not to go.

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Tamarindo

Tamarindo is located in the Northwest Pacific coast in the province of Guanacaste and surrounded by national parks to the north and south and magnificent mountains to the east. Las Baulas National Marine Park and provides access to the magical beauty of the region's flora and fauna. Along with howler monkeys, iguanas and a variety of birds, this beautiful park provides a refuge for Leatherback sea turtles nesting from November until March. Students will be able to bask in the sunlight on white sand beaches, swim in the crystal clear waters, explore mangrove canals, and participate in a number of optional activities such as a catamaran ride with the possibility of seeing dolphins and whales, snorkeling, or horseback riding.

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Arenal Volcano & La Fortuna

The Arenal Volcano is located near the agricultural community of La Fortuna, where it dominates the village landscape. During this excursion students enjoy the area’s hot springs whose waters are heated by the volcano itself. From the thermal springs it is possible to glimpse glowing hot boulders descending from the volcano. Activities in the area include hiking, swimming near a 70-meter waterfall, and enjoying the area’s natural hot springs.