Juanilama town in central Costa Rica is home to about 200 people whose lives are mostly dedicated to cattle raising and milk production and agriculture of pineapple, bananas, plantain and tubers. On our homestay programme you will be integrated into everyday life in the community by living the daily life of these rural people through tours and activities designed to showcase Costa Rican culture, the traditions of the people, their respect for nature and the daily tasks that are common to this community.
Stay with a warm, welcoming and friendly family in a clean and spacious room. Each family offers daily breakfast, lunch and dinner based on traditional recipes of Costa Rica and cooked in the style of their ancestors on the fire.
Based on the premise of offering fun, authentic and memorable experiences for their visitors, the community has designed a selection of tours and activities that represent the values and customs of Costa Rica, in addition to respectful coexistence with Mother Earth.
Price: From £180 per person
Day 1:Agricultural tour // Hiking through the reserve to the waterfall
Visitors are not just shown where and what the farmers sow, they are encouraged to engage in all possible processes with their own hands. And what better guides than real local farmers!
From an orchard tour where you can pick and taste the most refreshing tropical fruits, to experiencing the harvest of tubers, bananas and sugar cane, this will be an entertaining and educational activity for all ages and you can enjoy the fresh foods later during your lunch or dinner with the community.
HIKING THROUGH THE RESERVE TO THE WATERFALL:
This tour consists of 2 kilometres of nature trails graded at medium difficulty, allowing the visitor to reach the foot of the waterfall La Leona where you can swim in crystal clear waters. Throughout the walk a local guide will provide information on the flora and fauna.
Day 2:Natural Materials or Soap Making workshop // Dairy and Cheese Tour // Nocturnal Walk
NATURAL MATERIALS OR SOAP WORKSHOP:
This activity focuses on the artistic application of sustainable reuse of materials, led by one of our talented housewives who demonstrates their creative craft, drawing from nature for materials such as waste leaves and dried petals, branches, wool, egg shells, seeds, sawdust etc.
One workshop involves participants being provided with these materials, who then, through observation and instruction, design their own cards and paintings according to their own inspiration. You can also learn to produce your own soap for use at home or to give away as a nice gift. Receiving visitors in her home, Dona Ana Guiselle offers a practical lesson on how to make soap from aloe, oatmeal, cucumber, chamomile, clay and herbs among other things. This activity starts with the explanation of the process, followed by material handling and packaging to culminate in each participant producing their own soap.
DAIRY AND CHEESE TOUR:
The guide, a traditional dairy worker, begins the tour by offering a historical overview of the area, the production of milk and dairy products, the cross-breeding of cows to get the best possible quality and quantity of milk and a visit to the corral to demonstrate cattle feeding.
Then, visitors can bring these animals to the pasture land and with the help of the guide proceed to prepare for milking and feeding the calves; getting as hands on as possible.
The third part of the tour includes the cheese manufacturing, where once again the visitors can actively participate in the learning process on the handling of milk and how to produce cheese (palm, tender, medium-hard, etc) and other dairy products such as sour cream and yogurt.
During this activity after dinner you will make a quiet and slow journey through the entrance to the reserve towards the edge of the stream, since at night time many amphibians, insects and mammals eat there. You will be able to appreciate the nightlife of a tropical rainforest, whose protagonists are completely different from what you might find in daylight.
Day 3:Crafts and recycling workshop // Cooking classes
CRAFTS AND RECYCLING WORKSHOP:
An interesting and practical way to turn common waste such as paper, cans and plastic utensils into crafts or usable bottles. Elena will provide all the necessary materials, a worktable and advice for turning paper into a mouldable mass that will allow creative ways to construct different containers, which are then dried and painted individually by each participant. A wonderful souvenir of your stay in Juanilama made with your own hands to take home or give away.
Meet with housewives from the community, the true master of traditional cuisine policy. This activity begins with a brief explanation of the beginning of the Costa Rican cuisine, a rich combination of products inherited from our Spanish and native ancestry.
Set around a campfire or wood stove used for all cooking, participants will prepare for themselves the most typical recipes passed down through generations, uniquely flavoured from the traditional cooking methods. To help you continue cooking these typical dishes of Costa Rica once you’re back at home, the hostesses will give away a booklet containing a selection of recipes with ingredients easily available and easy to prepare.