Washington Dulles Airport (Airport Code IAD)
We’ve still got a little time.. not too late to join the trip!
I’m going to learn to surf and build houses for Habitat in Costa Rica for 4 weeks, and you should come too!!!
Here’s the price and activities breakdown (but if you see a “deal-breaker” let me know and we’ll see if we can work something out):
$450-500 for the plane ticket (I also recommend traveller’s insurance, although it’s not required. Usually costs $40)
$26 Costa Rican airport tax to leave the country
No visa required for stays of under 90 days (ours will be 27)
Whatever you spend on malaria pills, typhoid vaccine (if you decide to do it, the risk is small but present), a tetanus shot if you haven’t had one in the past 5 years. Check out the health stuff about Costa Rica here: http://www.iexplore.com/dmap/Costa+Rica/Visa+and+Health
Starting off with Habitat for Humanity on May 28 until June 11:
$125 minimum donation for Habitat for Humanity required
$225 cost of a staying at a homestay during the building time (includes laundry, 3 hearty meals a day, lodging with a nice Costa Rican family)
Check their website here for details: http://www.habitatcostarica.org/eng_index.php
Then Playa Tamarindo from June 12 until June 21, home on the June 22:
$30 (somewhat less if you don’t mind sharing a queen-sized bed) per person each night for 11-13 nights at a beautiful beach villa located in Tamarindo, Costa Rica (perfect waves and sun year-round), available from June 11 until June 21, also other times, but that’s when I’d want to stay there.
Actually, housing could be a lot cheaper– down to $10/night, but that is in more dorm-style situations. Google “Botella de Leche in Tamarindo” if you want to see that option.
$30 per 2hr surf lesson through this company: http://www.iguanasurf.net/iguanasurf/02.html I’d want to do it 1-4 times so a total of $30-$120
$200 per person for food during the 2 weeks we are at the beach in Tamarindo, although it probably will be less because we will be able to cook our own food– the villa has a kitchen. Budget more or less depending on whether you’d like to eat at restaurants or cook more.
The outdoors club will reimburse $5 for lodging each night per person that we spend the day doing something outdoorsey (if I understand the rules correctly), so that will help beach lodging to be cheaper in the long run.
Between house-building and surfing, there are plenty of places to explore including Monteverde (rainforest hikes), Montezuma (waterfall hikes and beach– more surfing), San Jose (capital city), La Fortuna (has volcano hikes and hotsprings) or we could spend more time at any other place you want to see. I’m pretty flexible. I just want some travelling buddies. 🙂
You bring only what you can carry on your back and hands to include:
U.S. Passport that will not expire for 6 months after May 28
Malaria meds (it’s not that high of a risk, but still worth thinking about)
A little bit of Spanish (I’m fluent, so no worries)
Raincoat and pocket/sized umbrella
Sunscreen (sort of pricey in-country)
Toiletries (google TSA rules about liquids in carry on)
3-6 pairs of long pants/ jeans for building houses and other places (it’s a fairly conservative country anywhere but the beach)
5-6 t-shirts or polo t-shirts
2-5 few light long-sleeve t-shirts
1 warmish fleece or a few sweatshirts
2-5 pairs of shorts (only wearable on the beach)
1-2 pairs sturdy shoes for building and walking (picture hiking through muddy rainforests)
Backpack to keep all of this in (the kind that you go backpacking with)
Daypack to keep stuff like your passport and cash. Talk to me about how much to do in traveller’s checks, how much cash, which if any in credit card.
NO flashy jewelry (I don’t want to be a target, thanks)
NO overly-revealing clothing, (includes tank tops, low-cut shirts and all shorts except while on the beach.)
A flexible, sunny disposition and a can-do attitude. Cheesy, but necessary in a developing country.
I also recommend visiting student health IMMEDIATELY for the typhoid vaccine and the malaria pill regimes if you’re going to do them. Just tell them that you’re planning to travel to Costa Rica for 4 weeks. There are some meds that you have to start weeks before the actual arrival in country for them to be effective, so if you’re going to do it, do it right. If you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past 5 years, this is highly recommendable for the Habitat for Humanity portion of the trip.
I’m waitlisting this so that I can make sure we’ve got a good number of guys and girls– in the house we are renting, there are only so many rooms and so many beds, so gender matters here.
If you feel that the price is prohibitory, just pick one section of the trip and do that, go home early or arrive late! Just beach or just Habitat, that’s fine too. Just Habitat would be $850-900 or Just beach would be $1250 if that’s all you did (those prices include plane tickets) Both together should only be about $1550, to correct my earlier estimate.
Thanks! Elizabeth “Lisa” Dreon