Family Journey of Purpose and Discovery Costa Rica

Disconnect to Reconnect

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​​​​​​​​​Cyrelle McDonald is a certified Ayurvedic yoga practitioner and a certified natural foods chef.

She has been teaching hands-on culinary classes for youth (after school vegetarian culinary classes) since 2009. She also works as a private chef and caters private parties. Her focus is on using mostly plant-based foods and using local, organic, whole foods.

Cyrelle also works closely with adults and children who have health concerns (such as diabetes

and auto immune conditions). She

is very passionate about helping

others to lead happy, healthy lives

by making them feel excited and

empowered about their lives.

Cyrelle is a restorative Hatha yoga teachers and she offers classes for both adults and children. She loves bringing these gifts to families and will share her knowledge with you throughout your journey to Costa Rica.

Cyrelle also teaches summer camps (yoga, culinary) with kids and she enjoys traveling, learning,

and exploring new cultures. She is

excited to experience Costa Rica with

you, especially the warm spirit and the

art, food, and simple ways of living and

being that are a hallmark of the culture.

During your time together in Costa Rica, Cyrelle will highlight the experience with her wellness and family nutrition tips, add fun and educational workshops, and create opportunities to disconnect from your busy lives and truly connect in fun and friendship.

Each morning join in an optional yoga class where Cyrelle will teach partnering techniques, meditation and breathing. Don’t worry if you have never tried yoga before: Cyrelle loves teaching newbies!

The main goal is for you to enjoy all the flora, fauna, and fun Costa Rica has to offer while learning about sustainability, getting off the grid (don’t worry, there is WiFi available if you must stay connected), and finding new ways to reconnect as a family unit.

Costa Rica: Arenal, Manuel Antonio | 7 days | June 16-22, 2019 | Adult $3,899 |Child from $2,499

​​​​​​​​Leader Spotlight:  Cyrelle McDonald

Detailed Itinerary

​​​​​​​​​Day 01: Depart today from San Francisco*
Depart from San Francisco and arrive in San José, Costa Rica. Meet your local guide and transfer to Rancho Margot, your home for the next three nights. Note: *Gateway city tentative and subject to change.

More than just your average resort, Rancho Margot is a living school and a model of self-sustainability that affords the unique opportunity to learn about eco-friendly farming practices, recycling and sustainability.

Resting on the hills and slopes of the Ranch Valley and tucked within the lush landscape, you will find 17 bungalows. The six streams and the Caño Negro River coursing through the property create an orchestra of peaceful sounds together with the diverse calls of hundreds of bird species, the trill of insects and the call of howler monkeys. From each bungalow’s wrap-around terrace, you can swing in the hammock to the sounds of the forest while admiring the botanical gardens and Lake Arenal in the distance.

Among the many amenities at Rancho Margot, perhaps the most popular are the natural pools, built with river rocks and filled with pure, untreated crystalline water from natural springs that cascade from the mountain.

Organic produce grown and harvested on the ranch is turned into scrumptious and nutritious meals. Enjoy your first taste of locally sourced food this evening as you join your guide and fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.

Overnight:  Rancho Margot
Meals: Dinner

Day 02: Arenal, Costa Rica - Ranch Hand Exploration and Zip-lining!
After breakfast, you’ll join one of the ranch hands for a unique tour of this UNESCO biosphere reserve comprised of eight core zones of protected wildlife areas.

You will learn how you can contribute to the sustainability of the ecosystems in which we live. The guided ranch tour will teach you about sustainable farming, composting, creative recycling, self-sufficiency, building community, among many other sustainability-driven practices. Beyond providing a beautiful and peaceful place in which you can connect with nature, Rancho Margot offers the opportunity for meaningful experiences that can heighten awareness of the environment, food origin and help develop greater self-awareness and inspire creative thinking.

Enjoy a nutritious and organic lunch before heading in to the lush rainforest for your zip-lining adventure! Take a 20-minute tram ride to the highest point within the Arenal Reserve and fly high above the treetops on a series of zip-lines, roughly 1.7 miles. Listen and look out for the various species of monkeys and birds hiding in the treetops!

Enjoy a relaxing yoga class (optional) before this evening’s dinner.

Overnight:  Rancho Margot
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 03: Arenal, Costa Rica - Community Connections

After breakfast, head north to visit the Juanilama community, located approximately 90 minutes away from the Arenal Volcano area.

The Juanilama community is a small town in Santa Rosa de Pocosol. It has approximately 200 people, mostly dedicated to cattle raising and milk production. Spend time cooking, dancing, learning crafts and creating new friends as you immerse yourself in village life. Explore the town and visit the local school.

Join community members for a cooking class and learn how to cook a local dish to enjoy together for lunch.

This afternoon, hike to a local waterfall. Don’t forget your bathing suit as this will be one of the highlights of your journey!

Return to Rancho Margot in the late afternoon for a yoga class before dinner.

Overnight:  Rancho Margot
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 04: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica - Heading to the beach!
Departure today for Manuel Antonio in the Central Pacific of Costa Rica.  Stop for lunch at a local restaurant and have the chance to see crocodiles when you pass the incredible Tarcoles River!

In the mid to late afternoon check in to your hotel, another unique property, Hotel Playa Espadilla.

Surrounded by the magnificent tropical forest and only a few steps from the sea front, Hotel Playa Espadilla offers first class accommodation services in an ecological environment that invites relaxation and adventure.

The property is a two-minute walk from the main entrance of the majestic Manuel Antonio National Park.

From the pool terraces and rooms' balconies you can admire the depth of Manuel Antonio Tropical Forest and experience the wildlife: constant movements of morpho butterflies, hummingbirds, squirrel monkeys (titi), deer, and so many other exotic animals of the area.

Dinner is by individual arrangement this evening.
Overnight: Hotel Playa Espadilla (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 05: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica - Animal exploration and surfing!
After breakfast hike through Manuel Antonio Park with your guide to explore the tropical forest, beaches, and coral reefs that are home to sloths, iguanas, monkeys and millions of colorful marine creatures.

No trip to Costa Rica’s Mid-Pacific region is complete without a visit to Manuel Antonio National Park. Even though it is the smallest National Park in the country, it is one of the most popular for its stunning white sand beaches backed by evergreen tropical forests. The park is filled with beach vegetation, lagoons, mangrove swamps, 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds.

Lunch is on your own in a local restaurant in the area.

This afternoon you will have the opportunity to participate in professional surfing lessons.  The beautiful beaches in the Manuel Antonio National Park will serve as your perfect surfing classroom! After some beach side instruction, it's time to get in the water and surf the waves!

Dinner is included at a local restaurant. 

Overnight: Hotel Playa Espadilla (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast,  Dinner

​​Day 06: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica - Wildlife Rescue
Today we will visit a Wildlife Refuge, a showcase of regional biodiversity and sanctuary to almost 50% of the local species of insects, reptiles, birds, mammals, amphibians, spiders, plants, and trees. 150 bird species reside here, with some 70 species visiting during peak periods of the Central American bird migration. Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, three-toed sloth, howler monkey, squirrel monkey (titi), and the white-faced capuchin monkey make their homes in the canopy. Several caimans and the fierce Central American crocodile are protected here, as well as turtles, various snakes, exotic spiders, tree frogs, toads, bull frogs, backed up by a gazillion insects, all shouting for attention.

This is a base and working laboratory for Costa Rican field researchers for their investigations of regional wildlife.

In the afternoon enjoy a guided mangrove boat tour of Damas Island. You will float along the calm currents under a verdant forest canopy. Make sure you keep your eyes open to spot the innumerable bird species, reptiles, and white-faced capuchin monkeys. While you observe this lush environment, your guide will offer explanations about the flora and fauna of this unique region.

Enjoy a farewell dinner at Restaurant El Avion.

Overnight: Hotel Playa Espadilla (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Say goodbye to Costa Rica

Say goodbye to your new ticos and ticas as you transfer to the airport for your flight back San Francisco today (flight time pending). 

Overnight: Hotel Playa Espadilla (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast

Please note: All itineraries are subject to change based on availability of hotels, flights and hosting organizations at the time of finalization of booking. Comparable meetings and activities will be arranged should an itinerary change be necessary. 30 days before departure, a finalized itinerary will be available and reflect final details.​​

IncludedNot Included
Information and support  to aid in your travel preparation

Costs to obtain a passport

Exclusively developed professional program in collaboration with Journey leader

International airfare (from designated US gateway city)

Airfare for domestic flight to gateway city

All in-country transportation for the group (including airport transfers)

Accommodations in four to five star hotels

24/7 professional English speaking guide

Individual departure taxes (where applicable)

Fees for all services, most tips and taxes

Professionally led daily program – see itinerary for full details

Travel insurance

Daily breakfast and most lunches & dinner, as specified in the itinerary

10-20 Hours of professional exchanges with counterparts in host  country

Formal and informal meetings with your peers to increase your global knowledge of your profession

Unique insight and knowledge about current issues and challenges related to your profession

24-hour support from US Nanda Journeys office and in-country support

Partnerships in every country to which we travel


Join us on a once-in-a-lifetime family experience! Enjoy the unique culture and traditions of Costa Rica while spending time with one another in a tranquil setting that may just make the whole family forget about electronics – unplug and unwind! This special journey has been created with the busy family in mind. It's a unique opportunity to travel with a certified nutrition and wellness professional while also enjoying the knowledge of professional, naturalist Costa Rican guides. Adventure in the jungle! Relax on the beach! Join local communities and families to truly connect with Costa Rica’s culture and traditions. Visit the local community of Juanilama and learn how to cook a traditional Costa Rican dish, create crafts, and maybe even learn a dance move or two! Maybe take on a new challenge: glide high above the rainforest canopy on a series of zip lines  or – surf’s up! - take part in a professionally guided surf lesson. Learn about sustainable farming, organic cooking, and responsible recycling programs. Participate in daily, family-friendly yoga classes and wellness workshops and make new friends as you explore glorious Costa Rica. Enjoy the time with family in this amazing locale!

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What's Included