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2018 NC State Extension Gardener Study Tour to Costa Rica

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NC State Extension Gardener  International Study Program

February 22 – March 1, 2018

map of Costa Rica

Image from Wikipedia

LAND ONLY PACKAGE PRICE (Airfare is not included): 

  • Register:  $2,495/person double occupancy. Includes hotels, entrance fees to all attractions, and most meals,
    • Only NC EMGVs and their families may register before September 1, 2017. If there are slots available after September 1st, EMGVs across the country may register.
  • $600 upgrade to single occupancy
  • $1,000 deposit holds your reservation with balance due 90 days before travel
  • For more info, contact Kari Laudano at (573) 303-2872 or email at

Itinerary NC State Extension Gardener Costa Rica Study Tour 2018

  • Day 1 (Thursday, Feb. 22nd):  Arrival in Juan Santamaría International Airport. In the late afternoon, group orientation at the hotel. After arriving at the Juan Santamaria International Airport, you will have the remainder of the day to relax and take photographs. The Garden Club of Costa Rica recently recognized the the Hotel Bougainvillea as the “Best Garden of Costa Rica”Meals included:  dinner at the hotel .Lodging:  Hotel Bougainvillea
  • Day 2 (Friday, Feb 23rd ): Morning drive to Cartago, visiting Irazú Volcano National Park, an active volcano, where the trail leads all the way to the rim of the crater. Please be advised that the air will have a Sulphur scent, which although not overwhelming, is noticeable. Drive to the valley of Orosí, visiting a local market. Late afternoon arrival to the hotel.Meals included:  Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Lodging : Hotel Río Perlas.
  • Day 3 (Saturday, Feb 24th):  This morning you will have some free time to enjoy the thermal water pools of the hotel. After lunch, visit to Sólo Rosas, a private garden with over 500 species of roses from all over the world. After this, drive back to San José, stopping at Mrs. Ileana Terán’s home for a visit to her private garden and enjoy coffee.Meals included:  Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Lodging:  Hotel Bougainvillea.
  • Day 4 (Sunday, Feb 25th): 

    La Paz Waterfall Gardens

    Today, drive up the mountains to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens : Walk through beautiful orchid and hummingbird gardens on your way to the magnificent waterfalls. Three kilometers of serpentine paved trails allow visitors to experience and photograph the forest as they wind through both cloud and rainforest. It has the world’s largest enclosed Butterfly Observatory covering 18,000 sq ft with many species of colorful native Costa Rican butterflies, plants and animals. In addition you will likely see jungle cats, hummingbirds and other birds, snakes, frogs, monkeys and more. Meals included:  Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Lodging:  Hotel Bougainvillea.

  • Day 5 (Monday, Feb 26th):Sibu Chocolate logo Morning visit to Sibü Chocolates where you will taste your way through the history of chocolate with Julio and George, the master chocolatiers.After this, drive to the Central Pacific Coast, stopping on the way at the Orchid Garden, where you will have lunch and enjoy a walk in the garden.Meals included:  breakfast, lunch, dinner. Lodging:  Hotel San Bada
  • Day 6 (Tuesday, Feb 27th) :Morning visit to Manuel Antonio National Park which was listed by Forbes among the world’s 12 most beautiful national parks.Free afternoon to enjoy the beach or relax at the hotel.Meals included:  breakfast, lunch, dinner. Lodging:  Hotel San Bada
  • Day 7 (Wednesday, Feb 28th):Morning visit to Villa Vanilla, for the Rainforest Spices tour, where you will experience de sight, tastes and scents of vanilla, cinnamon, pepper and other tropical spices, essential oils plants and a wide variety of ornamental plants. After lunch, drive back to San José, where you will have some free time to enjoy the gardens of Hotel Bougainvillea and get ready for your flight back home.Meals included:  Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Lodging:  Hotel Bougainvillea.
  • Day 8 (Thursday, Mar 1st):Breakfast at the hotel, and transfer to the SJO international airport

One of many butterflies from Costa Rica
Photo by A. Robertson

Information on the 2017 Trip

Information on the 2016 Trip

Reviews from previous participants:

  • “Absolutely Phenomenal”
  • “The trip was amazing in every way!”
  • “The best and most fun activities ever! Well planned and executed. . . really hard to choose a best because each outing was so much fun.”
  • “Wonderful! Great learning experience!”
  • “Couldn’t be happier. A wonderful experience. Took just over 1,000 photos”

What To Know Before You Go
Registration Form

Hosted by

  • Charlotte Glen, NC State
  • Shawn Banks,  NC State

Tour being Coordinated in part by Hidden Treasures Tours

For more information, contact Kari Laudano at (573) 303-2872

Or email

Back to NC State Extension Gardener International Travel Page