Volcano Adventure – San José to Antigua

Costa Rica · About Escorted or Guided Tour

From the lush cloud forests of Costa Rica to the evocative cobblestoned streets of Antigua, get off the tourist track and discover the colour and spirit of Central America. Discover ancient Mayan ruins at Copán and visit small villages for insight into the region’s vibrant culture. Explore the volcanoes and jungle surrounding Ometepe Island and unwind on the white-sand beaches of Roatán. With its combination of included activities and countless thrilling options, this trip offers you the chance to personalize your adventure into something special.

What's Included

G Adventures for Good: Puesta del Sol Community Guesthouse Stay, Isla de Ometepe
Local Living: Santiago Zamora Women’s Weaving Co-Op Visit, Antigua. La Fortuna stay. Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve guided tour (Monteverde). Beach time in San Juan del Sur. G Adventures-supported homestay on Ometepe Island, with a local family. Granada orientation walk. Tour of local villages around Granada. León orientation walk. Beach time in Roatan. Copán guided tour. Mayan community visit with lunch (Antigua). Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Hike through the mist of a cloud forest, explore Mayan ruins of Copán, connect with your hosts in an Ometepe homestay experience, peer over the crater of Masaya Volcano, chill on a Caribbean island’s beaches.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

Costa Rica will not be allowing anyone to enter the country without proof of a departure ticket (bus, airplane, boat, etc.). If you are travelling through a few countries in Central America, you will need to show proof of your itinerary and a departure ticket from your last destination. Please print the itinerary and voucher and bring it with you.

Please note that if you are arriving to Costa Rica via Spirit Airlines, you must contact us at travel@gadventures.com before you depart to obtain bus details for your exit from Costa Rica. The airline has been requiring this information before letting passengers board their flight to Costa Rica and we want to ensure you do not encounter any complications on your flight.

As this trip crosses national borders, please be prepared to pay some border fees for certain countries ranging from $1 to $13 USD. Please check with your local embassy or consulate for up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals Included

2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Public bus, private van, ferry, plane, walking.

Local Flights

From León we will travel to Tegucigalpa in order to board our internal flight from Tegucigalpa to Roatan. Occasionally, due to fight availability, the order of the flight segment may be switched with the ferry segment.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (18 nts), homestay (2 nts, possible shared facilities).

My Own Room Exceptions

Days 8-9

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.

A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica
During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 2224 5560
After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

Checklist

Costa Rica Water Activities:
• Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
• Sport Sandals or Water Shoes (if you plan to do waterfall rappelling and/or rafting)

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear

Laundry

Laundry facilities are available at almost every stop on the trip. If you would prefer to do your own laundry, we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards with travellers cheques as backup is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 50USD (or equivalent).

GUATEMALA ATMs: Please note that daily withdrawal limits in this country are extremely low, currently set at 1000 quetzales – less than 140 USD. It is advisable to arrive with enough cash, if your daily needs exceed this amount.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Costa Rica exit tax: $8 USD

Nicaragua entrance tax: $13USD
Nicaragua exit tax: $2USD

Honduras entrance tax: $3USD
Honduras exit tax: $3USD

Guatemala entrance tax: 10Q ($1.25USD)
Guatemala airport exit tax: 20Q ($3USD)

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON TOUR
All prices are per person, in USD amounts and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

San José:
Adventure Combo (Canopy & Horseback Riding) (L) $107
Adventure Combo (Canopy & Rafting) (L) $107
Combo Tour ( Doka – Poas – Cataratas) (B,L) $96
La Paz Waterfall Gardens (Late departure) $75
Manuel Antonio National Park
(Tues,Thurs,Sat and Sun)(B)(L) $99
Poas Volcano ( Half Day ) $46
San Jose City Tour $39
The Best of the Pacific ( Punta Leona) (B)(L) $115
Rafting Class IV Pacuare (B)(L) $99
Irazu, Orosi and Lankaster Gardens(L) $81
RAM LUNA ( Show and Dinner) $69

La Fortuna/ Arenal:
Rafting Class III and IV (Full day – 7 hours) $75 (includes fruit on the river and lunch)
Rafting Class II and III (half day – 4.5 hours) $65 (includes fruit on the river and lunch)
Canyoning/Rappelling tour $75 (includes breakfast or lunch depending on tour time – 4 hours)
Mambo Combo (Rafting II and III with Canyoning) $139.50 (8 hours)
Venado Cave Spelunking $55 (4 hours)
Stand up Paddle $65 (4 hours)
Mountain biking $59 (4 hours)
Caño Negro Reserve $55 (8 hours)
Volcano walk/viewpoint/dinner and entrance to hot springs $45 (incl. transportation)
Viewpoint/dinner/entrance to hot springs $36 (incl. transportation)
Hot springs only $20
Hot springs with dinner $25
Cerro Chato Extreme Hike (6 hours) $59
Safari float $45 (4 hours)
Horse trip to waterfall $42 (4 hours)
Bike Rental $15/day
Volunteer Program at Proyecto Asis (feeding animals, playing with animals, baby monkey, and some physical work, includes snack) $59 (4 hours)

Monteverde:
Ziplining $45
Hanging bridges $25
Horseback riding ($25 for 1 ½ hours, $30 for 2 hours, $45 for 3 hours)
Butterfly garden $12
Trapiche Tour $30
Coffee tour $25
Frog Pond $12
Serpentarium $10
ATV $50 for a single, $75 for a double
Night Walk $22
Orchid Garden $10
Cheese Factory $10
Bat Jungle $10

San Juan del Sur:
Surfboard rental $20 day
Surf lesson, board rental, transport to beach $40
Shuttle to Beaches $10
Bike rental $5 day
Sunset boat cruise $40
All day sailboat trip $90
Snorkel rental $10 day
Diving (2 tank dives) $60
Fishing trips $30
Night fishing $30
Sea turtle nesting trip (seasonal) $30
Horseback riding $20
Canopy tour $20

Ometepe:
Climb Volcan Concepcion with a guide $25
Climb Volcan Madera with a guide $25
Bike Rentals $12
Scooter or ATV rental $40
Ojo de Agua spring $2
Island tour including petroglyphs & Charco Verde $25
Horseback riding $20 (4 hours)

Granada:
Las Isletas boat tour $15
Las Isletas kayaking tour $30
Visit to Laguna de Apoyo crater lake & Mirador Caterina $15
Taxi to/from Masaya market $20
Tour of Mombacho Volcano $25
Canopy tour on Mombacho Volcano $25
Horse carriage ride around the city $10

Leon:
Leon Viejo Entrance $25 (10 Cordobas fee for video footage)
Ruben Dario museum Free – donations appreciated
Cordobas City tour $15
Transport to Las Peñitas beach $10
Boat tour of Juan Venado Reserve $25

Roatan:
Intro Open water course $300
One tank dive $30
Two tank dive $60
Snorkel rental $5 – $10
Moped Rental $40
Boat tours $10 -$20
Bicycle rentals $12
Fishing $60
Kayaking $10

Copan:
Copan Museum $5
Horseback riding $25
Bird park $10
Ride to/from hot springs $20

Antigua:
City tour $20
Bicycle tour $40
Coffee /Macadamia nut Plantation tour $20
Massage $25

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

As of November 1st, 2007, the Costa Rica government, requires those entering Costa Rica from certain countries in South America and Sub-Sahara Africa, to have an International Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever. Those affected countries are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guiana and Venezuela.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Trip Specific Responsible Travel

On this tour you may have the opportunity to visit the following G Adventures for Good projects:

OPEN WINDOWS FOUNDATION
Open Windows is a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities for children in the community of San Miguel Dueñas. Programs offered by Open Windows are free and have supported over1,500 children in the areas of literacy, computer skills, tutoring and art with priority given to those who have greater financial need. A scholarship program is offered to children who show great interest in learning and strong dedication to studying and for those in need of medical support, a health clinic is open free to the community twice each month.

Although the town of San Miguel Duenas is situated just twenty minutes from the wealthy tourist center of Antigua, it does not benefit from its proximity. It has a substantially lower standard of living (the average monthly income is less than $80, and many homes do not have running water or electricity) and level of education. The need to improve education is huge. In Guatemala the literacy level is only 71%, the average child completes only five and a half years of school, more than half fail 1st grade, and only 1% of the population reads for pleasure.

San Miguel Duenas is an agricultural town of 12,000 people, of which 4,000 are school-aged children and yet only 2,000 attend school. The rest do not go for various financial and cultural reasons. Instead of attending school many children must help provide for their families by picking coffee. This has resulted in an exceptionally low literacy rate in this community.

There are NO other libraries or computer centers in San Miguel Dueñas (not even the four local schools have either of these facilities). Open Windows, therefore, aims to improve the living conditions of the economically deprived children from in and around the town, by providing access to important educational resources through its services which the community has come to depend on.

How You Can Help
Each year we work with the staff of Open Windows to identify the needs of the project. G Adventures pays all administration costs so that 100% of each donation goes to the projects we support. It costs $500 USD to send one child to school for one year. This provides enough funds to cover the cost of the child’s uniform, school fees, books and school supplies. Highschool is six years in duration which means that by raising just $3,000 USD we can help one child further their education giving them the confidence and ability to access better jobs and create a brighter future.

While our goal is to raise funds to support the Open Windows Scholarship program, travellers can also help make a difference by visiting the Open Windows project while on your G Adventures tour and donating the following items:
• School supplies (i.e. pens, pencils, notebooks)
• Art supplies (i.e. yarn, crochete hooks, paint)
• Children’s clothes (i.e. T-shirts)
• Running shoes (new and used)
• Mouse pads and earphones to be used with the computers
• Toys to be used for the reading points program
• Over the counter medicine to be used in the health clinic (i.e. Tylenol, cough medicine etc.)

It is possible to visit this project on most tours that pass through Antigua, Guatemala. To arrange a visit please speak to your G Adventures CEO who can arrange this for you.

CORNERSTONE FOUNDATION
The Cornerstone Foundation is a registered non-profit humanitarian service organization that offers a variety of valuable programs to people in need in the small town of San Ignacio, Belize.

The programs offered through the Cornerstone Foundation have constantly been evolving and are based on specific needs within the community.

Relief & Aid
Through this program seniors, the ill and disabled are supported by a weekly food program whereby food such as rice, beans and meat when available are delivered to their homes. Children whose families cannot afford to provide them with food at lunch are able to participate in Cornerstones’ basic but nutritious lunch feeding program.

HIV/AIDS Education
HIV infection in Belize is the highest in Central America. This program collaborates closely with other local efforts to raise community awareness of high-risk behaviors, provides support for those who are living with AIDS, and conducts activities to change attitudes and reduce stigmatization.

Women’s Issues
Supporting the move of local women towards greater independence and self-sufficiency is the focus of this program. Self-esteem building, ending domestic violence, training peer counselors, and teaching job skills are part of this program.

Disabilities
This program serves individuals, families, caregivers, teachers and others, helping to meet the physical, social, emotional, and material needs of the disabled. Belize has minimal information about special needs, limited physical therapy, nearly no equipment, and few professionals trained to work with learning and other disabilities.

Literacy
Although English is the country’s official language, most Belizeans grow up speaking local indigenous languages instead. Cornerstone’s Literacy and English Second Language (ESL) classes are offered to children, adults, developmentally disabled students which improves their ability to participate more fully in Belizean society and the economy.

How You Can Help
Each year we work with the staff of Cornerstone to identify the needs of their programs. In the past we have supported Cornerstone’s Literacy and Disabilities programs and with your support we can help with continued annual donations through the Planeterra Foundation. G Adventures pays all administration costs so that 100% of each donation goes to the projects we support.

It is possible to visit the Cornerstone project office on some tours that pass through San Ignacio, Belize. To arrange a visit please speak to your G Adventures CEO.

For more information about these projects and/or to make a donation please visit our website at www.planeterra.org or contact us at info@planeterra.org

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.

G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

Dollar-a-Day Program
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.

Feedback

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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

International Flights

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Max Pax

15

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

PRODUCT_LINE: CRSA, ID: 22839

Itinerary

Day 1: San José

There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2: San José/La Fortuna

Travel to La Fortuna, located at the foot of Arenal Volcano. La Fortuna is an excellent base for adventure. Opt to take a hike around the base of the volcano, hike the area’s nature trails, swim in the chilly La Fortuna waterfall or join a canopy tour and catch a bird’s eye view of the forest greenery.

Other optional activities include full-day whitewater rafting on the Toro or Balsa Rivers, mountain biking, caving, horseback riding or a tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Like much of Costa Rica, the area is a birders’ paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents.

Transport:
Costa Rican roads can be bumpy and windy. If you’re prone to motion-sickness, prepare accordingly.
Private Van with Wi-fi (3.00-3.50 hours, 195km)

Day 3: La Fortuna

Opt to go canyoneering, whitewater rafting, hiking, caving, horseback riding, paddleboarding, kayaking, or visit a wildlife refuge. There are so many activities to choose from while in the area.

Day 4: La Fortuna/Monteverde

From La Fortuna, travel around Lake Arenal to the misty mountain air of the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Transport:
Shared van (0.50-0.75 hours)
Boat (0.75-1.25 hours, 10km)
Shared van (1.50-2.00 hours, 35km)

Day 5: Monteverde

Optional activities here include sky walks (suspension bridges amid foliage), butterfly garden, and a canopy zip-line tour.

Included Activities:
Santa Elena Cloud Forest Guided Tour

Day 6: Monteverde/San Juan del Sur

Journey to low-key San Juan del Sur for some serious relaxation by the sea. Set on a stunning horseshoe shaped cove, this fishing village is the perfect place to combine two of Nicaragua’s best features – its beautiful beaches and its award-winning Flor de Caña rum!

Do as much or as little as you want. Take surf lessons, try your luck at fishing, go ziplining on the hills above San Juan del Sur, or just lounge on the beach.

A short boat or taxi ride away, the deserted beaches of Playa Maderas and Majagual to the north and Playa Remanso to the south are calling out to be explored.

In the evenings take advantage of the relaxed seaside nightlife with the friendly locals.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Costa Rica – Nicaragua)

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.50-4.50 hours, 36km)
Local bus (0.50-0.75 hours, 20km)

Day 7: San Juan del Sur

Free time to enjoy optional activities or relax on the beaches.

Day 8: San Juan del Sur/Isla de Ometepe (1D)

Cross Lake Nicaragua by ferry to arrive at Ometepe Island. The group will be split up amongst different families within this small community. Enjoy local meals and getting to know your host family.

During your stay, if you enjoy a challenge, hike Madera Volcano. If you want to take it a little slower, check out the pre-Columbian petroglyphs, try out the Tarzan swing at a nearby jungle swimming hole, or enjoy the beach.

Included Activities:
Puesta del Sol Community Guesthouse Stay

Transport:
Local bus (1.00-1.25 hours, 30km)
Local bus (0.25-0.50 hours, 5km)
Make yourself comfortable on the top deck or inside and enjoy the views of Volcano Concepción and Volcano Maderas.
Ferry (1.00-1.50 hours, 10km)
Private Vehicle (0.25-0.50 hours, 6km)

Day 9: Isla de Ometepe (1B, 1D)

Opt to climb Volcano Concepcion or Volcano Maderas, take a cultural tour, visit the beach at Santo Domingo, or visit el Ojo de Agua for a refreshing swim and lunch.

Included Activities:
Puesta del Sol Community Guesthouse Stay

Day 10: Isla de Ometepe/Granada (1B)

Nicaragua boasts both incredibly friendly people and impressive natural beauty. Granada’s colonial charm is complimented by the surrounding active volcanoes and lakes, making day trips a fun and easy option. Hike, cruise, or just explore the city’s markets and museums.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (0.25-0.50 hours, 6km)
Ferry (1.00-1.50 hours, 10km)
Local bus (0.25-0.50 hours, 5km)
Local bus (1.25-1.75 hours, 70km)

Day 11: Granada

Enjoy free time to explore. Opt to kayak the isletas, rent a bike, take a city tour, or head to Laguna de Apoyo.

Day 12: Granada/León

Head to León, stopping en route to visit one of Nicaragua’s famous active volcanoes in Parque Nacional Volcán Masaya.

Take an included orientation walk around the city, the former capital from the colonial period until 1857, and still the centre of much of the country’s cultural and intellectual activity.

Included Activities:
Volcán Masaya National Park Visit
Orientation Walk

Transport:
Stop at the Masaya Volcano en route.
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 130km)

Day 13: León

There is always something interesting to do in León, whether it be a city tour, kayaking around Juan Venado Island, or a trip to the nearby beaches of Poneloya and Las Peñitas.

If you’d prefer to just wander through the streets, you’ll find several politically-charged murals depicting Nicaragua’s turbulent history and several good museums in the area, including one dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of the Sandinista movement.

Day 14: León/Roatán

Head to the diving haven of Roatán, set amongst what is part of the second-largest barrier reef in the world. This Caribbean island is famous for its marine treasures.

Crystal blue waters invite swimming, diving, snorkelling, or simply relaxing on the white-sand beaches of the Bay Islands.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Nicaragua – Honduras)

Transport:
Private Vehicle (7.50-8.50 hours, 310km)
Plane (3.00-3.50 hours)
Private Vehicle (0.75-1.50 hours, 17km)

Day 15: Days 15-16 Roatán

The beaches of the western end are some of the most beautiful in the world, with clear turquoise water, powdery white sand and swaying coconut palms. While many people spend their days immersed in the warm, blue Caribbean waters, enjoying excellent fresh seafood, you may also opt to venture into the hilly interior by bicycle or scooter.

The botanical gardens offer relaxed walking amongst exotic plants and racing ‘Jesus lizards’, a species of lizard that runs on its hind legs. In nearby Sandy Bay, the Institute for Marine Sciences is definitely worth a visit.

Day 16: Day 17 Roatán/Copán

The village of Copán is a pleasant place to spend a relaxing evening with a small central square frequently filled with people.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (0.75-1.50 hours, 17km)
The large ferry has two floors with an air-conditioned cabin and an open air area towards the back.
Ferry (1.75-2.25 hours, 75km)
The bus will make a quick stop to purchase food and use the toilets.
Local bus (4.00-4.50 hours, 193km)
Local bus (4.00-4.50 hours, 174km)

Day 17: Day 18 Copán

Enjoy a guided tour of the Mayan ruins of Copán and opt to soak in the hot springs.

Included Activities:
Copán Ruins Guided Tour

Day 18: Day 19 Copán/Antigua

Modern Antigua is a peaceful colonial city that is a pleasure to explore. Enjoy the beautiful architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Honduras – Guatemala)

Transport:
Stop along the way to cross the border and have lunch.
Private Vehicle (8.00-9.00 hours, 280km)

Day 19: Day 20 Antigua (1L)

Take a mountain bike ride out into the countryside or explore the fascinating markets, shops and museums within the city. Walk through quiet cobblestoned streets past rebuilt stucco homes with heavy, beautifully carved wooden entrances.

Enjoy an included visit to a Mayan village to try your hand at making tortillas and basic handicrafts before enjoying a traditional meal.

Included Activities:
Santiago Zamora Women’s Weaving Co-Op Visit

Day 20: Day 21 Antigua

Guatemala City is a one hour transfer away.

Interested in Volcano Adventure – San José to Antigua?

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