What You’ll Love About Your Week in Costa Rica

Have you always dreamed of visiting Costa Rica and weren’t sure where to go or how to organize your trip?  Join us, and we’ll experience three very different parts of this beautiful country:  city, rain forest, and the Pacific coast.  

For an easy start to the week, we’ll begin in San Jose, the capital city, introducing you to the cuisine and culture through a market visit, cultural visits to museums and incredibly delicious and healthy meals.  

We’ll then drive up into the mountains, into the rain forest and Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, for two days and nights at Senda Monteverde Hotel, a luxury mountain hotel.  Our time in Monteverde will include both group activities such as a cooking class/dinner, and discussions with Walter Willett, as well as time for you to choose the activities that most interest you, whether they be hiking, bird watching, zip lining, yoga, and more.   

The central Pacific Coast is our final stop, with three nights at the beautiful Villa Caletas, a luxury oceanfront boutique resort. You’ll have time to enjoy Villa Caletas, and from there we’ll take a boat to spend one day on Isla Tortuga.  Our final day will include a choice of local experiences (chocolate, butterflies or hiking) and conclude with dinner and dancing on the beach in Jaco.  

Registered Dietitians can earn continuing education credits.

Questions?  Please read our Travel FAQ here. Call us at (617) 896-4861, or email us at

Day-by-Day in Costa Rica

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Check in and get settled, then join us for an introductory session on Costa Rican food, a rum tasting, and a cooking demo, followed by a welcome dinner at our hotel, Hacienda Belen. 








Monday, June 5, 2023

Get oriented on our culture and market walking tour in San Jose, starting at the Central Market, where attendees can learn how to shop for traditional Costa Rican staple foods, and continuing onto the National Museum and Jade Museum. During a “lunch and learn” at Silvestre restaurant, attendees will learn about the components of traditional Costa Rican cuisine and hear about how typical dishes are made. We’ll return to Hacienda Belen, and before you go out to experience San Jose’s restaurants (or stay at Hacienda Belen), Chef Tom Berry will demonstrate how to use some of the fruits and fresh produce we purchased at the Central Market to make quick and easy plant-forward dishes. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Today we leave San Jose and drive up into the rainforest.  Along the way, we’ll stop at an organic coffee plantation for a tour and tasting. We’ll arrive at Senda Monteverde Hotel in time for lunch, where Dr. Walter Willett and Dr. Hannia Campos of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will lead a workshop on how to incorporate healthy practices from the Latin American Heritage diet into everyday life. Enjoy free time or a choice of activities before dinner.








Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Today you’ll choose your own morning activities (hike the Cloud Forest Canopy, zipline, horseback riding, visiting a wildlife reserve. We’ll come together for lunch, where Chef Tom Berry will demonstrate how to prepare traditional Costa Rican dishes centered around beans, maize, and local produce. Re-energize after an active morning with a coffee and cocoa tasting, where you’ll learn more about the varieties grown here.  You’ll be on your own in the evening – to enjoy dinner at the hotel or in the town of Monteverde, just 15 minutes away.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

We’ll leave one beautiful place to travel to an equally beautiful but different place – the Pacific coastline.  It will take several hours to reach Villa Caletas set over the Central Pacific Coast and rainforest.  Once we arrive, you’ll have time to relax, take a fitness or yoga class, go to the pool or beach, or explore.  In the late afternoon, Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will lead attendees in a conversation about lessons from the EAT Lancet report and share practical tips for implementing healthier, more sustainable diets. Attendees will then enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner together looking out over the Pacific.  In the evening we’ll meet for a late-night cocktail tasting and tour, learning about the traditional beverages of Costa Rica. 







Friday, June 9, 2023

As we’re on the Pacific Coast, today we will experience the Pacific by boating to Tortuga Island for the day.  Before setting out, we’ll tour the weekly Jaco market to learn about the diverse fruits and vegetables that are native to the region.  Our island day will include eco-hikes, snorkeling, boat ride, and beach time. Over a beach buffet “longevity lunch,” Dr. Walter Willett will share research on the diets of the nearby Nicoyan Peninsula, a longevity hotspot and recognized “Blue Zone.”  After our island day, you’ll be free for the evening – to go into Jaco for dinner or stay at the beautiful Villa Caletas. 

Saturday, June 10, 2023

For our last day, we’ll offer you options – visiting a butterfly farm and serpentarium or a chocolate making tour or a hands-on cooking class or a day on your own to do as you please.  We’ll conclude our week with flair – dinner and dancing on the beach.  








Sunday, June 11, 2023

Adiós, hasta pronto!


See Your Luxury Accomodations

Image by Hacienda Belen

Hacienda Belen

The hotel is a beautiful former hacienda located on a 30-acre coffee plantation 15 minutes outside of the center of San Jose.   Managed by Marriott, the hotel retains its Old-World historic feel.  

Hotel Senda Monteverde

Senda Monteverde is a luxury eco-hotel, surrounded by nature in the heart of Monteverde, a region famous for mountains, lush rainforests, and wildlife.   The hotel’s design is contemporary, with warm service, luxury essentials, local artwork and local cuisine.  

If you are interested in an upgraded room, we have the following available:

Junior Suite: $70 additional per night, $140 additional for the stay

Premium. Suite: $125 additional per night; $250 additional for the stay

Junior suites are 1-bedroom suites with living area.

Premium Suites have an open concept bedroom and living area.  They have a private & spacious, open-air terrace with west-facing sunset views and ocean views on clear days.  

Villa Caletas

This five-star luxury boutique hotel is located 1150  feet over the Central Pacific Coast and the rainforest. The hotel is prized for its location in the lush tropical jungle, and also for its design, décor, restaurant and private beach.

If you are interested in an upgraded hotel room, we have the following available:

Deluxe rooms: $25 additional per night, $75 additional for the stay

Villa: $75 additional per night/$225 additional for the stay

Junior Suite: $125 additional per night/$375 for the stay

Deluxe rooms have private balconies facing the Gulf of Nicoya or the Herradura Bay with views through the rainforest.

Villas have a terrace where to sit, relax, enjoy the sounds of the rain forest.  Some have ocean and jungle view, other partial ocean and jungle view. They all have a master bed room with one queen bed and a lounge area on the side with a sofa.. 

Junior Suites have magnificent Pacific Ocean or Mountain views. From your terrace you will be able to enjoyed wide views from the surrounding rain forest, while relaxing in your private outdoor jacuzzi. All Junior suites have a master bedroom equipped with one king bed and a lounge area on the side with a sofa.

Meet the Experts & Chef You’ll Be Traveling With

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Hannia Campos, PhD, and Walter Willett, MD, DrPh

One of our experts is a longtime friend of Oldways and member of the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health.  Hannia Campos was born and brought up in San Jose, Costa Rica and before her time as a nutrition expert, she was on the Costa Rican national volleyball team.  Now back living on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica after many years at Harvard, Hannia is a perfect guide to the country she loves. She’s joined by Walter Willett, the longtime chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, who has traveled around Costa Rica with Hannia and his wife Gail.  We will have discussions about nutrition, of course, and we’ll also focus on local foods, culture, history, nature, agriculture, and cooking—all while we’re having an incredibly wonderful and delicious experience.

They’ll be joined by COJE Chief Culinary Officer Tom Berry, who will undoubtedly provide plenty of inspiration — between his culinary experience (see below) and his passion for Costa Rica and Costa Rican food.   

Walter Willett, MD, DrPH

Walter Willett Photo.jpg

Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr. P.H., is Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Willett studied food science at Michigan State University, and graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School before obtaining a Masters and Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  Dr. Willett has focused much of his work over the last 40 years on the development and evaluation of methods, using both questionnaire and biochemical approaches, to study the effects of diet on the occurrence of major diseases.  He has applied these methods starting in 1980 in the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.  Together, these cohorts that include nearly 300,000 men and women with repeated dietary assessments, are providing the most detailed information on the long-term health consequences of food choices.

Dr. Willett has published over 1,700 original research papers and reviews, primarily on lifestyle risk factors for heart disease, cancer, and other conditions and has written the textbook, Nutritional Epidemiology, published by Oxford University Press, now in its third edition. He also has written four books for the general public. Dr. Willett is the most cited nutritionist internationally.  He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of many national and international awards for his research.

Hannia Campos, PhD


Dr. Hannia Campos is a Nutrition Scientist with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research. She was born and raised in Costa Rica, where she studied interior design, played volleyball with the Costa Rica National Team, and worked as an English teacher, before moving to the United States. She studied biology at Mount Holyoke College, obtained a Masters and PhD in Nutrition from Tufts University in Boston, and did post-doctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley. As faculty member in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, she founded and directed the Nutrition Biomarker Laboratory, a test center that specializes in the evaluation of dietary intake through the analyses of nutrients in different types of human samples from numerous populations including the Nurses and Health Professional Cohorts. Dr. Campos is the Principal Investigator of the Costa Rica Heart Study, a population-based study that investigates how genes interact with diet to affect heart disease. Her research, focused primarily on understanding the role of dietary fatty acids in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases has resulted in over 200 scientific publications. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Costa Rica. Currently, she lives in the Punta Leona Nature Reserve in the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica where she enjoys virtually connecting and exchanging experiences with people all over the world while being close to the ocean and wildlife.

Chef Tom Berry


Chief Culinary Officer 

Through his enduring tenure in the kitchen, Tom Berry has continued to impress restaurant luminaries with his drive and single-minded talent. Early in Tom’s career, Ming Tsai tapped the young chef to help open his flagship restaurant, Blue Ginger, in Wellesley. After five years of working as Ming’s right-hand man and helping position the restaurant as a worthy national player, Tom left Blue Ginger to be the Executive/Opening Chef at Bambara in the Hotel Marlowe and later Executive Chef at Temple Bar, both in Cambridge. Drawn to the coastal cuisine of Nantucket, Tom has built a high profile as a chef in several of the island’s lauded kitchens, including Straight Wharf and Great Harbor Yacht Club. Tom’s tenure at the latter introduced him to catering large, prestigious events, laying the groundwork for the ambitious group-format dining he’s conceived at Yvonne’s. In 2013, Tompartnered with Michael LaScola, another acclaimed Nantucket chef, to open The Proprietor’s Bar & Table as Chef/Co-Owner. Tom’s return to Boston ushers in a new era as the Chief Culinary Officer for COJE Management Group creating and overseeing the culinary programs at Coquette, RUKA, Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, Yvonne’s and Mariel where he pulls from years of creatively interpreting global flavors – most strongly those of Southwest France and Northern Spain – to design menus of globally inspired, social-style fare.


Travelers book flights independently. Fly into and out of San Jose (SJO).

How to Register for This Tour & Pricing

Please download and complete the registration form below, which includes instructions for how to submit the form and deposit to Oldways.

Price per person from $4,650 per person

Registration Form

If this trip must be cancelled due to Covid-19, refunds will be issued.

Prices are based on rates of exchange, taxes, and other costs as of the tour publication date. We reserve the right to correct errors and changes, and to increase program prices to cover increased costs, tariffs, and taxes received after prices are published and to reflect currency fluctuations.

Covid Protocols & Guidelines

On Oldways tours, our travelers’ safety and wellbeing is our priority. We’re ensuring that we follow the latest Covid regulations and guidelines on all of our tours. Below, please find more detailed information about the Covid regulations for travel to Spain. Last updated July 13, 2022

Arriving in Costa Rica

U.S. citizens are permitted to enter Costa Rica. It is not necessary to provide a negative Covid-19 test to enter the country. 

Returning to the U.S.

Effective June 12, 2022, U.S. citizens are no longer required to show a negative Covid test or proof of recovery before boarding a flight to the U.S.