Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Sunset-Costa rica_178526_1920_P

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

MT Sobek (Mountain Travel Sobek)
90%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
9 days
From: $ 3,395 $ 377 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Raft the Río Pacuare, considered by many to be one of the top 10 most beautiful whitewater rivers in the world
  • Zip-line your way through a private rainforest reserve and explore secluded channels by kayak in Tortuguero National Park
  • Take a forest hike near stunning Arenal Volcano and paddle the mystical waters of Lake Arenal
  • Spot a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, iguanas, sloths, toucans, and caimans
  • Enjoy a seamless, flexible, non-stop water park adventure—it's great value and perfect for families!

Short Description

Looking for a larger-than-life multisport adventure in the jewel of Central America? Come to Costa Rica with MTS, the forerunners of adventure travel in the region! We’ll take in the energy and beauty of Arenal Volcano and enjoy an invigorating soak at mountain hot springs. Silently, we'll sneak up close to wildlife as we paddle the jungle waterways of Tortuguero National Park, home to howler monkeys, basilisk lizards, sea turtles, and tropical birds, and take a rollicking, fun-filled ride down the Río Pacuare—ranked among the world’s top ten rivers for rafting! With two magical nights deep in the rainforest at the Rios Tropicales eco-lodge, you'll soon understand the essence of pura vida, "the pure life"—or in the local vernacular "what could be better than this?" Indeed, this non-stop water park adventure is great value, ideal for families, and the perfect ticket for the kid in all of us!

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City San José
End City San José

Trip Includes

  • Expert leadership
  • Accommodations as noted in itinerary (or similar)
  • If applicable, tent or safari accommodations and all arrangements in the field, including camp and cook staffs, comfortable and roomy two-person tents, kitchen and dining tents, and other community equipment
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary
  • Airport transfers
  • Sightseeing as noted in the itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Additional guides and porters where necessary
  • Tips for lodge, hotel, or camp staff
  • Entrance fees and permits, unless noted separately in costs
  • Basic medical and evacuation insurance

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in San José, Costa Rica

Accommodation: Hotel Bougainvillea

Arrive in San José, Costa Rica's capital city and cultural hub. Your trip leader (or a Mountain Travel Sobek representative) will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport, brief you on the immediate arrangements, and escort you to your hotel.

Day 2: Explore Arenal Lake and Eco Termales

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Mountain Paradise Lodge

After breakfast we'll drive north towards the town of Fortuna and home of the Arenal Volcano. Here we'll spend time paddling the calm waters of Arenal Lake, Costa Ricas’s largest and most breathtaking lake, while enjoying a spectacular view of the famous volcano. Late in the afternoon, we'll enjoy a relaxing dip in the Eco Termales mineral hot springs—ranging in temperature from 90°F to 105°F! Dinner will be served at the hot springs’ restaurant.

Day 3: Hike Arenal Volcano

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Mountain Paradise Lodge

After breakfast, we’ll take a moderate 3-hour hike in the area surrounding Arenal Volcano, enjoying the stunning primary and secondary forests. Keep a look out for a wide variety of wildlife, including howler monkeys, sloths, and toucans along the way! We’ll lunch at a local restaurant and spend some free time this afternoon relaxing at the hotel.

Day 4: Tortuguero National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge

Today we'll say "hasta luego” to the volcano and take a scenic drive through the Caribbean Lowlands to our put-in on the Río Suerte for a unique kayaking trip into Tortuguero National Park, which is accessible only by water or by air. Arrive at your waterfront lodge by mid-afternoon.

Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast is a major spawning ground for many varieties of sea turtles during the summer months. Here we’ll explore its jungle waterways and hidden lagoons by sea kayak, an adventurous and unique way to discover rainforest denizens such as howler monkeys, basilisk lizards, morpho butterflies, and tropical birds. Our silent, easy-to-maneuver watercraft are a wonderful way to approach jungle areas inaccessible by any other means, and see wildlife other travelers would surely miss. Accommodations are at a beautiful resort right at the beach and Tortuguero Lagoon, where you can view early morning sea turtle hatchings and spend the afternoons relaxing at the pool. The lodge also supports a red-eyed tree frog rehabilitation project—a great way to learn about this icon of the Costa Rica wilderness.

Day 5: Paddle Tortuguero National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge

Early this morning we’ll go for an optional birding boat tour with our guide. After breakfast, we’ll take a motorboat loaded with our kayaks and head to a secondary channel in the national park. We’ll board the kayaks and paddle through a narrow waterway to look for wildlife. After lunch back at the lodge, we can paddle to some more areas only accessible by kayak, or simply relax at the pool.

Day 6: Discover the Rio Pacuare

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Rios Tropicales Lodge

After breakfast we’ll take a 90-minute boat ride to Matina, then drive for about two hours to our put-in on the beautiful but endangered Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica's most remarkable river corridor (currently threatened by a proposed hydroelectric plant). Once at the river we’ll paddle downstream about 8 miles to our riverside accommodation, a rustic, thatched-roof jungle lodge. This is a good opportunity to become familiar with the steep, technical drops that are typical of the Pacuare. In fact, the Pacuare serves up one of the world’s best whitewater rides with bonus cascading waterfalls that drench you as you pass! Along its course lie several densely vegetated gorges sheltering many animals, including sloths, river otters, and anteaters, and an incredible variety of birds such as toucans, egrets, herons, kingfishers, sunbirds, and trogons. Guides will provide insight into the marvels of this rainforest masterpiece.

Day 7: Day in Rios Tropicales Paradise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Rios Tropicales Lodge

Enjoy a full day at Ríos Tropicales Lodge! Take an optional early morning guided bird-watching hike to see toucans and many other species, before returning for breakfast and gearing up for a day of adventures. Activities include a zip-line tour through the forest of our private reserve or a visit to the lodge’s conservation project “Plant for the Planet,” where guests will plant a native tree and receive a certificate to indicate their participation in the program (part of the United Nations Environmental Program “Billion Tree Campaign”). Alternatively, choose to hike to "Wake Up" Waterfalls and take the thrilling new canyoneering tour, which includes rappelling down the face of the waterfall!

Day 8: More Pacuare River

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Bougainvillea

Today we’ll continue our whitewater rafting adventure, entering the lush, magical gorge of the Río Pacuare. The rapids become more powerful and technical in nature here, and we’ll power through “Bobo,” “Huacas Arriba,” “Huacas Abajo,” “Cimarrones,” and “Dos Montañas” rapids. Gorgeous waterfalls tumble into the river, and we might be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of some of the exotic birds and animals inhabiting the surrounding jungle. We’ll take out near the town of Siquirres and drive 2½ hours back to San Jose arriving in time to clean up and enjoy our last dinner with our fellow travelers.

Day 9: Depart from San José

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, transfer to the San José airport and depart on homeward-bound flights.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,395
Price Per Day: $ 377 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
  • Deposit Price: $ 400
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 750

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with MT Sobek (Mountain Travel Sobek).

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Clark Norton
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

20 MT Sobek (Mountain Travel Sobek) Travel Reviews & Ratings

90%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 18
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 2
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Write a Review

The Pura Vida trip was an outstanding family vacation

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
With teenage children, we wanted to do something that would satisfy all of us. There was enough fun activities to keep us active and enough down time for us to relax. We were pushed outside our comfort zone, but the outstanding staff was there to encourage us and cheer us on.
Read more

Best adventure vacation.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Pura Vida in Costa Rica is a vacation is for those who like the water—we were white water rafting, kayaking, rappelling down a waterfall, and even soaking in hot springs. Great food and lodging, interesting birds and animals to see, and excellent guides made this our best adventure vacation yet.
Read more

Excellent adventure!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I have taken several trips with MTS and each has delivered and excellent adventure, challenging within the ratings listed and also educational

This was a trip of a lifetime.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I loved every second of it.

Variety of exciting activities.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Mountain Travel Sobek always delivers a wonderful traveling experience. This trip was exciting and there was a variety of activities—something for everyone
Read more

Costa Rica was a fantastic trip with multi-sport activities.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
It surpassed my expectations. The trip leaders and assistant guides were excellent with great patience to make sure everyone is interested and comfortable in all activities.
Read more

Details

Trip Photos

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Air Travel

Airfare is not included in the land cost of our trips. For air reservations, we recommend you contact the airlines directly, either by phone or the Internet. In addition, many travelers elect to use their “frequent flyer” miles when traveling with us. But please check with our staff before purchasing or obtaining your tickets. We need to verify your arrival and departure schedule and ensure we have enough participants to operate the trip.

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 14

Accomodations

Mawamba Lodge — Tortuguero

Nestled in the lush rainforest, this is the ideal hideaway for nature lovers and the perfect place to discover the wonders of the Tortuguero National Park. The lodge features lush gardens and rustic accommodations, along with regular visits from brightly colored exotic birds.

 

Mountain Paradise Lodge — La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park

The Mountain Paradise Lodge sits at the base of Volcan Arenal, and features spectacular views. If you’re lucky, you may even get a glimpse of lava in the evening! This hotel’s lovely setting, pool, and jacuzzi allow guests to truly enjoy the relaxed pace of the Arenal region.

 

Rios Tropicales Lodge

Let the sound of the Pacuare River lull you to sleep at this sustainable eco-lodge. This evening’s lodge offers a haven for relaxation and immersion in tropical sights and sounds. The lodge features open air gathering pavilions with thatched roofs and comfortable hammocks swinging in a gentle breeze. Guests enjoy ample viewing decks for watching the toucans fly overhead and the roaring river below.

Guides

Jorge Calderon

Jorge “Loco” Calderón is a whitewater rafting guide in his thirties who has led trips in Costa Rica for over a decade. He was part of the Costa Rica whitewater rafting team that won the fourth place in the World Championships in Brazil in 1997, and this year he guide sea kayaking trips in Greenland. Jorge loves the outdoors and is eager to share with you the natural beauty of his country. The end of November through April is the “dry” season (usually less than two inches per month of rain), while May through October is wetter (about nine inches per month). June, July, and August are called “the second spring” as birds start courting, flowers bloom, sea turtles come ashore to breed, and showers refresh the day. Average daytime temperatures range in the 70s and 80s; nighttime temperatures can get down to the 60s.

Cancellation Policy:

If written cancellation is received and Cancellation fee will be:

  • 90 days prior to departure $150
  • 89 to 61 days prior to departure $400
  • 60 to 46 days prior to departure 50% of Land/Cruise Cost
  • 45 to 0 days prior to departure 100% of Land/Cruise Cost

Age Notes

Min. Age: 11

Trip ID#:

PurVidMou

Trip Excludes

  • International airfare
  • Meals not noted on itinerary
  • Insurance other than basic medical and evacuation insurance
  • Optional tipping to leader, guides and local staff
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport taxes (international—varies by location)
  • Cost of medical immunizations
  • Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)

Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches and 7 Dinners

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