Trip Region: South America
Country(ies): Costa Rica
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $2640
Airfare Estimate: $800
Nightlife: 8 • Activity: 8
They say the tan lines fade, but the memories last forever. Here at Costa Ricks-a, we promise sunshine and epic adventures, but the memories may be a little hazy. We’re honoring a long lineage of Central American MTreks by finding the best surf spots, hiking the coolest rainforests, and of course, sampling todos los rums. Does rappelling down a waterfall, chilling with your new best friends on a yacht, zip lining through the jungle, and drinking the best cervezas in the region sound fun to you? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll do our namesake bar proud and guarantee that your adventurous spirit (and your liver) are ready for the next two years.
Travel Day — Saturday, Aug 18
Ready, set, go!
Day 1 — Sunday, Aug 19
Bienvenidos to Costa Rica! Arrive in San Jose. We will have a welcome meeting at the airport! We will transfer from San Jose Airport to beautiful Sarapiqui. Get settled in, relax. Once everyone gets checked in, we will have a get-to-know you dinner and welcome drinks (we will collaborate flight schedules to determine what time the meeting will be at). After a long day of traveling, you'll need to rest up for what awaits you in the week ahead!
Day 2 — Monday, Aug 20
Sarapiqui is known throughout Costa Rica for its rich biodiversity, so we’ll kick off our day with a horseback ride through the trails and rainforests in the area. After lunch, we’ll cool down (turn up) with a whitewater rafting adventure down the Sarapiqui River, surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the tropical rainforest. We’ll head back to Sarapiqui for dinner and to find the Rick’s equivalent because there’s no better way to get to know your fellow “future business leaders” than on the dance floor.
Day 3 — Tuesday, Aug 21
It’s time to pack up and hit the road. We’re headed to Arenal, and on the way, we’ll visit the Arenal Volcano National Park, one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica. We’ll hike some trails, take a few Instas, and head to our hotel at the base of the volcano. From there, we’ll head into town for dinner, drinks, bonding time, and liver damage.
Day 4 — Wednesday, Aug 22
Have you ever ziplined, hiked, and rappelled down a waterfall all in the same day? No? Neither have we. But why not? We’ll kick off our day by channeling our inner Tarzan with a zipline adventure that has killer views of the rainforest, Arenal volcano, and the lake. With our feet back on the ground, we’ll hike through the rainforest, admire all of the flora and fauna, and take pictures with our new best friends. Next, we’ll explore the secrets that lie hidden in the depths of a tropical rainforest canyon. We’re not sure what that means, but we do know that we’ll be screaming “Hail to the Victors” down five waterfall rappels, up to 55 meters high. From there, we head back to Arenal for dinner, but keep the adrenaline pumping on the dance floor.
Day 5 — Thursday, Aug 23
After breakfast, we’ll make our way to Monteverde. We’ll start out with a quick kayaking lesson and then spend half a day kayaking across Arenal Lake (which will be as exhausting as it sounds). On the bright side we’ll get to observe some birds and monkeys, because, like, who doesn't love fauna! We’ll end with a dip in the lake and then head home to unwind over some Imperial beers.
Day 6 — Friday, Aug 24
Enjoy your day at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. More than 450 species of birds + jaguars and pumas. Flora? Yep. Fauna? You betcha. Today we get to really internalize why Costa Rica is the número uno ecotourism destination in the world.
Day 7 — Saturday, Aug 25
We’re headed to Jaco, a surfer’s paradise, and the best beach town in Costa Rica. We hear that our digs are right on the beach, and someone might have mentioned that drinks and guac were included? Afternoon umbrella drinks will lead into a neon beach fiesta, a night you definitely won't (will) forget.
Day 8 — Sunday, Aug 26
We’re on a boat! After a night out on the town, nothing will feel better than some fresh air and open waters. We’ll be whisked away on a catamaran for the day for a sailing adventure -- drinks will flow like it’s a Skeeps bar tab.
Day 9 — Monday, Aug 27
There will be plenty of time this morning for you to do you. Interested in surfing/paddle boarding? Talk to Nick and Manu, they can probably be convinced (they will for sure be convinced). You can bet Ryan and Riki will be hitting the waves. Sim… well she’ll be holding down the fort somewhere along the beach and probably adopting some stray dogs. We will spend the night holding hands and watching the sunset (and probably the sunrise) as we give a proper adios to our home away from home.
Departure Day — Tuesday, Aug 28
It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to Costa Rica, but we are heading back to beautiful Ann Arbor... STR (straight to Ricks). We check out from hotel at 11am
Nick "El Sucio" Doffek
Meet your MTrek Dad, Nick. He’ll be in charge of making sure that everyone applies sunscreen, stays properly hydrated, and makes it in and out of Costa Rica alive. Don’t worry, he’s not as boring as he sounds – when he’s not deep in conversation about his favorite Excel formulas, Nick can be found “dancing” on top of the BUS, or drinking a boot faster than you can sing the Michigan Fight Song. By hour two of the trek, you’ll understand why we call him “El Sucio.”
Simonil “La Princesita” Rustomji
Sim only came on this trip because we made her. It took a good amount of arm-twisting, but we sold her somewhere between “all-inclusive” and “tropical vacation.” She swims, she hikes, and she scuba dives, but her real passion lies with her animal friends on the beach, so there’s a good chance we’ll leave Costa Rica with a four legged friend in tow. No lie though, Sim is low-key the fiercest one on the trip. She’ll hang with the best of them and never gets tired of a good conversation.
Manu “El Jefe” Grosse
Manu habla español, so he got invited. Coming in at a cool 6’7″, this suave Argentine-Spanish hybrid is the tallest student at the Ross School of Business. What’s more impressive is that Manu tells us that he occasionally needs sleep, but we don’t believe him since we haven’t actually seen it. But moreover, Manu is cool. Like, European cool. Expect a whole bunch of new amigos and adventures, courtesy of our friend from Barcelona.
Riki “Correcaminos” Smolen
Riki came to business school to get rid of the RBF seen above, but instead she found the Winter Garden and decided to make it her new home. Seriously, when she’s not there, we put out an amber alert. Somehow we convinced her to travel 3,000 miles south for this trip and we’re glad because she keeps our MTrek ratings honest. She’ll wash away a long night of cervezas with a 6AM run, and carry you across the zipline when your liver says otherwise. Even though she’s basically The O.C. crossed with a GMAT prep book, this scrappy New Englander is the glue that keeps the Trek together, whether we like it or not.
Ryan “El Capitan” Milligan
Ryan joins the Ross community after a distinguished career piloting ships for the military, which we’re choosing to believe was some sort of cross between Top Gun and Zach Efron’s Baywatch. This trip will mark his transition from Coast Guard to Life Guard, since he’ll be making sure none of us drown after we inevitably capsize a raft in the hotel pool. It’s not all business with Ryan, this Philadelphia native is out to prove that it is also Always Sunny in Costa Rica.