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San Jose
I've heard that Costa Rica is one of the happiest places on earth. I can't say I disagree. People here are (for the most part) friendly, outgoing, and happy to talk with you.

  Kaysie Hogrefe
Northern Arizona University

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Field Trips

Northern Arizona University (NAU) organizes cultural activities in San Jose and two weekend excursions in the region. Transportation, lodging and admission for planned activities are included in the program fee. Below are the most commonly organized excursions and activities. NAU reserves the right to change planned excursions for destinations of equal value and interest. Excursions may change based on availability, local festivals and interest. Academic year and multiple term students participate on planned excursions during their first term of study.

San Jose

San Jose is the vibrant capital of Costa Rica. The city tour focuses on downtown, which offers Spanish colonial and contemporary architecture. The Jade Museum and Pre-Columbian Gold Museum house dazzling and rare pre-Columbian artifacts.

Puerto Viejo or Manuel Antonio National Park (weekend)

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a town in southeast Costa Rica, on the Caribbean coast. It's known for the Salsa Brava surf break and beaches like black-sand Playa Negra. The Jaguar Rescue Center rehabilitates wild cats and other animals. Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge has rainforest, wetlands and mangroves. To the north, Cahuita National Park protects a large coral reef and has a shipwreck dive site.

Manuel Antonio National Park, on Costa Rica's central Pacific coast, encompasses rugged rainforest, white-sand beaches and coral reefs. It's renowned for its vast diversity of tropical plants and wildlife, from three-toed sloths and endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys to hundreds of bird species. The park's roughly 680 hectares are crossed with hiking trails, which meander from the coast up into the mountains.

Nicaragua (weekend)

Nicaragua, set between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is a Central American nation known for its dramatic terrain of lakes, volcanoes and beaches. Vast Lake Managua and the iconic stratovolcano Momotombo sit north of the capital Managua. To its south is Granada, noted for its Spanish colonial architecture and an archipelago of navigable islets rich in tropical bird life.

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