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Academia Columbus – Activities & Excursions

Activities & Excursions


As an important part of our philosophy ´Living and Learning Spanish´ we offer an extensive social

and cultural program in all our schools, which helps you to learn more about the culture and country where you are studying. It is also a good opportunity to get to know your fellow students better and make new friends. Besides the fact that our activity program will provide you with an excellent insight into the diversity of Latin American culture, it will also allow you to contextualize what you learned in the classroom.

Our activities take place at least three times a week. The following are some of the activities that we offer on a regular basis.

City Tour On your first day of school, you can participate in our city tour to start exploring the area where you are studying. We will show our new students all the important things that you need to know for your daily life: how to withdraw money, how to get around by public transport, how to shop affordably, where to find Internet cafés, and much more. After this introduction, you will feel at home in no time!

Dancing Lessons Discover Latin American rhythms like Salsa and Merengue with a dance instructor. Feel the energy and shake your hips!

Cooking Lessons Have you ever tried “Ceviche” or “Guacamole”? You will prepare and enjoy the local culinary specialties together with your teachers and other students.

Lectures During our lectures and discussions on historical, cultural and current topics of Latin America you will learn more about your destination and its history and culture.

Reserva en http://www.languagecourse.net/escuela--.php3 - Tel: +34-93 220 38 75 - E-mail: support-es2@languagecourse.net Academia Columbus – Activities & Excursions Drama Class Act in a drama on stage with teachers and students. This helps you to develop your Spanish skills and acting talents by performing scenes from famous plays such as Romeo and Juliet or Don Quijote.

Fiesta Enjoy our traditional Latin American fiestas with local foods, drinks and dances together with our teachers, students and friends!

Movie Night Like going to the movies? Come with us and enjoy a movie in Spanish or with Spanish subtitles in a movie theatre around town or in our own movie room.

Excursions In addition to our cultural program, all our schools offer the possibility to participate in exciting excursions to interesting destinations. Most excursions take place on weekends and can be booked directly at school on a pay-as-you-go basis.

For detailed descriptions of excursions in each of our destinations read on below for Costa Rica, Ecuador and Mexico.1 Excursions Costa Rica Pacific Coast We depart San José towards the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica including a stop for breakfast.

On route, there will a boat tour along the Tárcoles River where we will observe crocodiles, water birds and migratory birds.

Please note all descriptions are SAMPLE descriptions and subject to change.

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After our jungle adventure with the crocodiles, we continue to Punta Leona, a beautiful resort with a white sand beach, blue ocean and a protected area of 750 hectares of transitional tropical wet forest to tropical dry forest; definitely an exotic paradise.

Once at Punta Leona you will have enough time to swim on the ocean or on the swimming pool, bask on the beach, take a walk or relax under a coconut palm.

The tour includes a delicious lunch that will be served in one of Punta Leona Resort’s restaurants.

Sunset in Punta Leona is an extraordinary experience, which we will enjoy before heading back to San José.

Ziplining & Rafting Ziplining, usually called Canopy in Costa Rica, you can do in many different destinations, just as

rafting. An example of a combination tour of the two is the following:

Adventure Combo Costa Rica provides White Water Rafting experiences that take your adrenaline to top levels and fascinating Canopy Tours going high above the treetops. Now you can enjoy the two activities in an extraordinary way. Discover the natural marvels of Sarapiqui; an extensive territory located in the northeastern parts of the country, with a variety of crystal clear rivers, an abundance of beautiful tropical forests and villages inhabited by friendly and laborious people.

Leaving San José the tour traverses the majestic scenary of Braulio Carrillo National Park and arriving in Sarapiqui we will enjoy two adventurous attractions: the Canopy Tour in the middle of a secondary forest with trees of high altitude and after lunch the White Water Rafting in the agitating waters of the Sarapiqui River.

The Canopy Tour takes about an hour and a half and the nine cables of different length stretch – over the forest with the last one crossing the Sarapiqui River.

The rafting at Sarapiqui River has different levels between class II and class III, presenting vibrant scenery to those who want to participate in this exciting activity. Nine miles of unexpected rapids in combination with calm and relaxing intervals makes this an unforgettable experience for bird watchers and nature lovers.

Arenal Volcano

The Arenal volcano is a 1,633 meters (5,300 feet) high mountain, which is perfectly conically shaped with a crater of 140 meters. The volcano was asleep for hundreds of years and exhibited a single crater at its summit, with minor fumaroles activity, covered by dense vegetation. In 1968 it

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had an eruption and destroyed the small town of Tabacón. Due to the eruption three more craters were created on the western flanks but only one of them still exists today.

Arenal is considered Costa Rica's most active volcano and has been studied by seismologists for many years. Although the activity nowadays is less damaging you can still see ash columns, underground rumbling, glowing orange lava flows and sudden explosions on a daily base. With its perfect conical shape it allows breathtaking views of volcanic action in the summit. Almost every night the crater offers a spectacle of lights with its explosive eruptions.

Many different tours to the Arenal Volcano are offered, whether or not in combination with a visit to one of the many thermal hot springs in the area or the Arenal Volcano National Park. There are day-tours, or overnight tours or even several day tours.

Tortuguero National Park Known as the "Costa Rica’s Amazon", Tortuguero is one of the most important nesting sites in the world for marine turtles – every year, thousands of them come ashore along these world-famous beaches to lay their eggs. Another great feature in the area is the Tortuguero Canals, an extensive system of natural and man-made waterways used both for transportation and jungle exploration.

Most popular amongst our students is the one-day-tour, but there is also the possibility to go on the excursion with an overnight or 2.

Poas Volcano & La Paz Waterfall The Poas Volcano can be visited in a half day excursion or full day excursion visiting some nice towns in the area or in combination with the La Paz Waterfall in the so called Combo Tour.

The Combo tour is an intense fun filled set of excursions where you will embark on three distinct adventures. To get to the different areas we will traverse the city of Alajuela, passing the Agriculture Monument, as well as the Monument to Juan Santamaria named after a folk hero and the famous Mango Park a favorite among visitors alike.

As we ascend the terrain and near the Poás Volcano we will notice a change in temperature and vegetation; we will see coffee plantations as well as fern, flower and strawberry farms along the way, creating a beautiful array of colors and textures.

On the way to the volcano we will visit the Doka Coffee Estate for a delicious breakfast. Then we will be treated to a coffee tour in an actual coffee plantation where we will learn the ancient techniques used by the experts to produce some of the best coffee in Costa Rica and around the world. The careful process involved in the cultivation, harvesting and roasting of the Golden Bean will then be illustrated, very hands-on, and then we will savor the delectable end product.

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After the coffee tour we will continue to the Poás Volcano where we will not only admire the impressive main crater with its sulfur fumaroles, but also learn about the different ecosystems in this unique and protected national park.

Following the visit to the volcano we will continue to the La Paz Water Fall Garden for a scrumptious lunch and tour. As we arrive to La Paz, we will walk through a trail, leading to a spectacular waterfall in the middle of the rainforest. Inside the park we will also visit the hummingbird gallery, the serpentarium, the bird house, the butterfly garden and the frog’s exhibit; to be enjoyed by those of all ages.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is considered one of the most beautiful parks in Costa Rica. On this tour, you will visit pristine beaches, with coral reefs, bordered by exuberant vegetation and the natural wonders of the tropical rainforest. The beaches in Manuel Antonio are highly coveted as some of the best that Costa Rica has to offer. Many popular activities such as world-class surfing and snorkelling are available.

On the way to Manuel Antonio National Park, you will travel along the coastline enjoying scenic views, including African palm plantations. You will also travel past small villages along the Pacific Coast, until you reach the port of Quepos and the ultimately the National Park.

Since access to the park itself is closed to vehicles, you will hike to the preserve, crossing a creek.

Once in the park, you can simply relax and enjoy the beach, sunbathe, or hike through the park's trails, which will allow you to observe Manuel Antonio’s abundant flora and fauna. Several species of monkeys, iguanas, birds and possibly even the three-toed sloth can be seen.

If you chose to hike the trail to Cathedral Point, do not forget your camera; the views of the park and the sea are simply spectacular!

Corcovado National Park Drake Bay is one of the most peaceful and beautiful destinations in Costa Rica. The town, commonly referred to as simply ‘Drake’, is a tranquil village that offers easy access to Corcovado National Park – known for its natural beauty, diverse wildlife and unique ecology. National Geographic has called it "the most biologically intense place on Earth".

Corcovado National Park protects a big portion of the Tropical Humid Forest of all Mesoamerica.

Its diversity in climate conditions, location, soil, topography and biological species makes this place one of the most important national treasures.

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It has many resources that are invaluable benefits for the agriculture and medicine fields, which has awakened an interest among Costa Ricans, foreigners and scientists. Corcovado National Park is an exclusive place for conservation goals, scientific investigation, environmental education and tourism. It has a unique combination of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and has a wide variety of flora, extinct in other regions of the country. It also has a wide variety of animal species as well, many of them in danger of extinction. Visitors may have a glance at the red macaw, wild boar, jaguar and the crocodile.

Monteverde National Park

Monteverde is a misty and cloudy small town in Puntarenas and is considered a major tourist destination due to its numerous reserves with naturally impressive rain and cloud forests. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve was created in 1972, and is the region’s most valuable treasure. This area is situated in the province of Puntarenas at an elevation of 5,600 feet above sea level. The region is known for its conservation efforts and its dedication to the responsible development of its community.

During the tour to Monteverde you will have the opportunity to visit Selvatura’s hanging bridges, known as Treetop Walkways, from where you will admire the forest from a different perspective;

visit the Butterfly Gardens to learn about these beautiful and colorful wonders of nature, and visit the Insect and Reptile Exhibitions. This is a great one day tour to learn about the natural history, flora and fauna of this wildlife sanctuary.

Caribbean Coast On the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica there are many places of interest to visit as well. Very

popular amongst our students is Puerto Viejo y Cahuita:

This beautiful beach town on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica has recently become a hit with tourists due to its cultural and natural richness, stunning white-sand beaches and the legendary Salsa Brava waves. Known for its laidback attitude and Caribbean life style, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica allows visitors to experience Costa Rica’s most exotic side.

Traditions are well established in Puerto Viejo, with a unique blend of Latin, Afro-Caribbean and Bribri indigenous cultures. The ‘Rastafari’ culture has an important presence in the area, and many ‘Rastas’ sell handmade jewelry and other products along Puerto Viejo’s colorful roadside. This small port town is an ethnic wonder in itself.

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica has a lot to offer. From world-class surfing, snorkeling and diving among the many reefs in the blue waters, to mountain biking, horseback riding and cultural visits to indigenous people. Nearby Cahuita National Park and Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife

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Refuge provides tourists with the opportunity to observe the area’s incredible wildlife, both of which are a short distance away.

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