LEAF International Cultural Exchange Trip - Costa Rica 
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Expedition: LEAF International: Costa Rica
Dates: Saturday February 13, 2016 – Sunday February 21, 2016
Price: $985 (Land Only)
Quote valid until: 
Dec. 31, 2015 while spaces remain
$300 Deposit Due:  Upon Registration
Remaining Balance due:  Dec. 31, 2015
Minimum and Maximum Number of Participants: A minimum of 10 travelers is required to operate this trip, and the trip will be capped at a maximum of 15 travelers.  Should the trip be cancelled for lack of sign-ups, deposit and all monies paid will be refunded.
 Receipt of deposit and registration prior to the registration deadline will confirm space and contracted price. After this date, contracted pricing may change due to increase in costs associated with airfare, lodging, or other associated costs. Please contact Discovery Expeditions for updated pricing if contract has expired. Contracted prices are based on a limit of 15 travelers.  Click below to register and save your spot.  For more details of the vision for the trip, the itinerary, and what is included in the trip price, read below.

LEAF International: Costa Rica Expedition Overview

LEAF and Discovery Expeditions are partnering to offer members of the LEAF community the opportunity visit LEAF International programs with indigenous communities of Costa Rica. Your participation in this trip will raise both awareness and funds in support of LI’s programs, and while taking on the role of a “LEAF Ambassador” you and your fellow travelers will be fulfilling LEAF’s goal of “connecting cultures and creating community through music and arts.”

As you might imagine as a LEAF festival-goer, this trip is not your typical package tour that you’ll find on the internet. You’ll spend more time among indigenous communities than you will on the beach or in rain forest preserves (though we’ve built those stops in as well). And while we won’t be camping like at LEAF, lodging will be rustic and unique, and you should look forward to the shared amenities (rooms, bunks, bathrooms & meals) as opportunities for community with your fellow LEAF travelers. Couples and families are welcome, though private lodging cannot be guaranteed. We also realize traveling with a group on a schedule can make it hard to create more intimate cultural engagement, so where possible, we’ve build in flexible time to explore on your own.

To learn more about LEAF International’s programs and get a better idea of who you’ll be supporting and what you’ll see and do, visit their program pages online:

Costa Rica: LI supports two programs in Costa Rica: 1) Bribri First Nation near the Caribbean and southern side of the country and 2) Ngabe First Nation also in the south but on the Pacific side. Both programs empower local teaching artists to preserve and promote their threatened traditions and language in their community.

LEAF International: Costa Rica Itinerary 2016

NOTE: Details below are subject to adaptation as more specifics are worked out on the ground.  

The price of this trip is LAND only, meaning it is the responsibility of each registered traveler to arrange their own air transportation to San Jose, Costa Rica from their airport and airline of choice. First nights lodging in San Jose will be arranged for you; you only have to get yourself there by the evening of February 13th, so as to be ready to begin activities and experiences with the LEAF group the morning of February 14th. The trip officially ends on August 15th. Anyone is welcome to choose flights to extend their visit before or after the dates of the LI trip, and travel on their own to experience more of the region.
Day 1: (Saturday, February 13th) Flight to SJO
Travel on own to meet at San Jose Hotel: Hostel Casa del Parque. Depending the time of your arrival, visit the Gold Museum, National Museum or local sites on own. Rendezvous with the rest of the LEAF Ambassador team for a welcome dinner.
Lodging: Hostel Casa del Parque (506) 2233 3437. Address: 19th street, between 1st and 3rd avenues, San Jose, Costa Rica
Day 2: (Sunday, February 14th) San Jose Sites and Costa Rica Cultural Orientation
Group Breakfast at hostel. Visit indigenous craft market Galeria Namu. Lunch on own. Pedestrian mall, National Theater, Plazas and Main Cathedral. Afternoon: guided tour of one of Museums of Jade and Gold with Luis Porras, Director of LEAF International’s Costa Rica partner, Proyecto Jirondai. Dinner and Indigenous Cultural presentation with Luis. (Meet and greet, performance with Alexis Rodriguez, LEAF International teaching artist with the Ngabe First Nation. Possibly other Proyecto Jirondai members).
Day 3: (Monday, February 15th) San Jose – Puerto Viejo
CRtalamancaBreakfast at Hostel Casa del Parque. Private Transportation to Puerto Viejo, Talamanca (5 hours). Stop en route to visit “Cacao South” the French Broad Chocolate Lounge’s partner farm and fermentary. Eat lunch. Check-in at Rocking J’s hostel (2 nights). Bus dismissed. Afternoon visits to Playa Colces or more time in Puerto Viejo. Dinner at Rocking J’s and Evening orientation and preparation for creative culture exchange with LEAF International’s programs in Bribri First Nation.
Lodging: Rocking J’s Hostel & Cabinas: (506) 2750 0665 Address: 70601 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (500 meters South of main intersection).
Day 4: (Tuesday, February 16th) Puerto Viejo, Talamanca
Optional sunrise yoga on beach at Playa Colces. Breakfast at Rocking J’s.
Morning shuttle visit to Wildlife preserve at Manzanillo. Lunch at Punta Uva. Open afternoon for optional activities: Surfing at Playa Colces, Dinner on own in Puerto Viejo.
Day 5: (Wednesday, February 17th) Puerto Viejo - Bribri Nation, Amubri
Breakfast at Rocking J’s. Depart for Suretka river crossing. Cross river in motor canoes and catch shuttle to Amubri (3 hours travel & connection time) Lunch at Koswak Lodge.
Orientation to Amubri, visit LEAF International sponsored radio station and local cultural school. Opportunity to visit the local store for supplies. Dinner and Lodging at Koswak Lodge (3 nights) Evening presentation on Bribri culture.
Lodging: Koswak Lodge (506) 8526 0166 Amubri, Costa Rica (3 nights)
CRkoswakDay 6: (Thursday, February 18th) Amubri
Breakfast at Koswak Lodge
Visit to Conical House and Awa, medicinal garden, local artisans. Visit LEAF International Teaching Artist, Jairo, at his home and attend his drumming class. Lunch at Koswak. Walk to river / swimhole for cooling off. Afternoon free time. Dinner at Koswak.
Day 7: (Friday, February 19th) Amubri
Breakfast at Koswak. Meet with local Awa (shaman). Afternoon: Student exchange activity at local school. Evening cultural exchange and performance: music and dance with open participation from LEAF ambassadors and the Bribri community.
Day 8: (Saturday, February 20th) Amubri – San Jose
Breakfast at Koswak Lodge. Local transportation across river to Suretka, Private Transportation to San Jose. Lunch on own en route at Cajuita beach. Depending on return flights, we will either drop you off at the airport for your evening departure or drop you off at the San Jose Hotel for you to catch your departure the next day. Costa Rica bus dismissed. (5 hours total drive time). Closing farewell dinner in San Jose.
Lodging: Hostel Casa del Parque (506) 2233 3437. Address: 19th street, between 1st and 3rd avenues, San Jose, Costa Rica (1 night)
Notes: If wanting to depart this day, flight must leave after 9pm in order to allow yourself enough travel time and check-in time. Otherwise, it’s best to fly out the next day.
Day 9: (Sunday, February 21st) San Jose Departure
Depending flight times and dates, enjoy more sites and activities in San Jose. People with similar or same departure times can share taxis to the airport. People who decide to extend their stay in Costa Rica are free to travel on to their next destination, or arrange to stay more nights at Casa del Parque.
Stay tuned for details about your chance to extend your trip and “go rogue” with LEAF Community Arts Executive Director, Jennifer Pickering, and hike deep into the jungle to visit with members of the Cabecar First Nation, and our newest LEAF International Costa Rica program!

Trip Inclusions & Exclusions:

Discovery Expeditions agrees to provide each of the following goods and services for the duration of the tour to each participant traveling with LEAF International:

  • Professional General Liability and Errors and Omissions Insurance Policy ($5,000,000)
  • Private bus transportation and driver for long drives between San Jose and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
  • Accommodations in shared facilities on site (7 nights total) – San Jose Casa del Parque (3 nights), Rocking J’s Hostel Talamanca (2 nights), Koswak Lodge – Amubri (3 nights)
  • Custom designed itinerary
  • Entrance fees to all program sites and activities listed on the itinerary
  • Demonstrations and from LEAF International teaching artists and students
  • Opportunities for free time on the beach (Talamanca, Costa Rica) and city exploration (San Jose)
  • Full time Professional Discovery Expeditions tour escort (Isaiah Mosteller) and local interpreter and cultural guide (Luis Porras, Proyecto Jirondai)
  • All meals as indicated on the itinerary (meals that are part of free time are on own)
  • All taxes
  • All gratuities (tour leader and driver included)
  • Complete tour participant accounting including option to pay by credit card
  • Optional Comprehensive Accident, Medical, Liability, and Travel Protection/Cancellation/Interruption Insurance for the Land portion of the trip

Not included in the trip price:

  • Airfare and baggage fees (to be purchased at the discretion and responsibility of each participant)
  • Customs and immigration fees at airports or border crossings
  • Airport transfer to first night hotel (we will try to collect flight information from each traveler in an effort to help you share taxis with similar arrival times)
  • Various meals or drinks listed as “on own” in the itinerary when the group is dispersed for self-exploration
  • Additional nights lodging or any additional days if one chooses to remain in country longer.

To get a taste of what you'll experience on this trip, check out the video produced from our previous trip: