Highlights
  • Exploring Tortuguero’s beaches and canals in search of nesting sea turtles
  • Hiking or horseback riding (easy) through Arenal Volcano’s lush rainforest
  • Safari float trip (raft or open seat kayak) down the beautiful Penas Blancas River
  • Relaxing at the wonderful Tabacon Hot Springs
  • Sky Walking through Monteverde’s rainforest canopy
  • Hiking, whitewater rafting, kayaking and/or horseback riding near Manuel Antonio
  • Throughout your expedition, you’ll enjoy the guidance and expertise of a top-notch bilingual guide

Costa Rica has long captivated adventure travelers with its astonishing beauty and natural diversity as well as its long tradition of warm hospitality and democracy. Fully one quarter of Costa Rica’s territory is protected by national parks, consisting of tropical rainforest, montane cloud forest,active volcanoes, grasslands, navigable rivers, and tropical beaches. Within these parks are found 850 species of birds, 600 species of butterflies, 1,200 species of orchids, and 237 species of mammals, including three-toed sloths, five types of jungle cats, coatis, giant anteaters, peccaries, tapir, and four species of monkeys. You’ll explore Costa Rica’s natural diversity in a slightly more active, adventurous way than the typical traveler, while still retiring each night to a first class lodge!

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Itinerary

Day 1: En Route To San Jose

Accommodation: Hotel Grano de Oro

Fly to San Jose. Upon arrival, you will be met and privately transferred to your hotel.

Note: Optional upgrade to the Hotel Real Intercontinental, Marriott or Xandari Resort.

Days 2 – 3: Tortuguero National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Pachira Lodge.

Morning drive through Braulio Carillo National Park, an untouched tropical forest of 80,000 acres with over 500 species of birds and countless species of plants, mammals, reptiles, and butterflies. You’ll then take a boat ride through tropical canals to arrive at Tortuguero Park, one of the most important nesting sites for the Caribbean green sea turtle. You should see morpho butterflies, egret, green ibis, rufescent tiger heron, green and rufous kingfishers, and a variety of other water birds. The rare and endangered manatee may be found in these waterways, as well as the six-foot gar fish and elusive caiman.

You’ll explore the rivers and canals of the park in small boats and on nature trails, discovering swampforest, coastal forest and turtle beach environments. Four species of sea turtle lay their eggs at Tortuguero: green turtles (July-Oct), leatherbacks (Mar-May), and hawksbill and loggerheads (Apr-July), though these latter two are rare and difficult to observe.

Note: You may upgrade to the airconditioned Manatus Lodge for a total surcharge of approximately $115 per person.

Day 4: Arenal Volcano

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Arenal Nayara Hotel

Morning flight to San Jose. You will be met and privately transferred along a very scenic road to Arenal Volcano, a beautiful cone-shaped volcano rising out of flat surrounding plains. Dormant until 1968, when it erupted, Volcan Arenal still fumes and rumbles, blowing smoke, soot, lava, and burning rocks into the air and down the cinder cone. Surrounding the volcano is lush rainforest, farms and mountains.

This afternoon you’ll enjoy a private hiking or horseback riding excursion within Arenal National Park. You'll follow nature trails at the base of the volcano, observing wildlife and flora of the lowland Atlantic forest along with interesting lava formations. You’ll also have lovely views of Lake Arenal, the largest fresh water lake in Costa Rica. After hiking, stop and relax at the wonderful Tabacon hot springs! Cloud permitting, enjoy an evening viewing of Arenal Volcano!

Note: Optional upgrade to the Tabacon Resort or Arenal Kioro.

Day 5: Arenal Volcano

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Arenal Nayara Hotel

Today you have a choice of three soft adventure activities. Your first option is a safari float trip (raft or open seat kayak) down the Penas Blancas River, where your naturalist guide will alert you to a wide variety of trees, birds, monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and other wildlife. Your second option is to go whitewater rafting on the Sarapiqui River, a scenic class three river that flows through lush rainforest and alongside waterfalls. Your third choice is to visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, where you'll hike along beautiful nature trails and across hanging bridges that overlook the primary rainforest canopy and expose you to birds, flowers, lush vegetation and wonderful views of the volcano.

Day 6: Arenal/Monteverde

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Fonda Vela or Monteverde Lodge.

This morning you may again choose between two wonderful soft adventures in the Arenal area. Your first option is to go on a horseback riding excursion through scenic pastures, forest and hills to a beautiful and very impressive waterfall. You will then hike down to the base of the waterfall where there is a wonderful swimming hole. Hike and ride back to La Fortuna.

Your second choice is to do one of the adventures that you did not select on day 5.

In the afternoon, you’ll be transferred to Monteverde by boat and private car.

Optional 1-day side trip from arenal to rio celeste/tenorio volcano national park

Day 7: Monteverde

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Fonda Vela or Monteverde Lodge.

Monteverde is considered by many to be the quintessential cloudforest. Its unique environment of mist and greenery is formed by trade winds dropping moisture on the upper slopes of tropical mountain ranges, bathing them in an almost year-round cloud or mist. You’ll hike along easily negotiable trails through some of the most beautiful cloudforest anywhere. You may well spot the rare resplendent quetzal, three-wattled bellbird, howler and white-faced monkeys, ocelot, anteater, barbet, flycatcher, emerald toucanet, fiery-throated hummingbird and tanager. In the afternoon, visit the Butterfly Garden to observe and study many of Costa Rica’s most beautiful butterfly species. Stroll through fully-screened outdoor gardens where hundreds of adult butterflies mate and lay their eggs, and watch as newly-formed butterflies emerge from cocoons.

Day 8: Monteverde/Manuel Antonio

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Arenas del Mar.

This morning, you'll enjoy a phenomenal rainforest adventure, the Sky Walk. Located near Santa Elena, the Sky Walk is a series of suspension bridges spanning forested valleys in the cloud forest. The Sky Walk is easily accessible and provides a bird’s eye view of this spectacular habitat. An observation platform offers tremendous panoramic views of the Guanacaste, San Carlos, and Puntarenas lowlands.

In the afternoon, you will be privately transferred to Manuel Antonio.

Note: Optional upgrade to the deluxe Hotel Gaia.

Day 9: Manuel Antonio

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Arenas del Mar.

Manuel Antonio is an exceedingly beautiful national park with warm pacific waters and rainforest that extends right down to white sand beaches. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the blue Pacific Ocean from the mountainsides of Manuel Antonio. In the morning, you’ll take a wonderful privately guided hike along nature trails that follow the beach and continue over a forested, rocky promontory. Wildlife is very easy to spot in Manuel Antonio; you’ll probably see sloths, coatimundis, agoutis, white-faced monkeys, and squirrel monkeys.

Free afternoon. You may decide to go on an optional easy kayaking excursion (open seat kayaks) through the protected inland waterways of the Damas Estuary and mangrove habitat. Watch sloths and numerous species of monkeys travel through the tree canopy, hunt for nocturnal silky anteaters and several types of non-poisonous snakes resting in the mangroves, and listen to the songs of the various marine birds as they glide over your kayak curiously looking for adventure. (Note: If you prefer not to kayak, you may also explore this area in a high tech, ultra-quiet estuary boat. If you prefer more challenging kayaking, then you can do a coastal paddling adventure that will take you past the astounding coral reef systems nestled very close to the shore of Biezans Bay, where you'll have a chance to snorkel and possibly spot boobies and cormorants.)

Day 10: Manuel Antonio/San Jose

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Hotel Grano de Oro

Today you'll have a choice of three adventures. Your first option is to go on an exciting whitewater rafting trip down the very lovely Rio Savegre, a class 3-4 river that is adventurous yet also "family friendly". You'll also enjoy an adventurous 4x4 ride into the wilds of Costa Rica's jungle where you may well observe egrets, osprey, toucans, parrots, kingfishers, cormorants, and many other species.

Your second option is to go on an easy horseback riding excursion through tropical rainforest and picturesque countryside near Quepos. You may also enjoy a refreshing swim in pristine mountain waters at the foot of two stunning waterfalls at Tocori.

Your third choice is to do one of the optional kayaking excursions described on day 9.

Afternoon transfer (private) or flight to San Jose.

Day 11: San Jose/Homeward Bound

Meals: Breakfast

Morning airport transfer for your international flight home.

Optional extensions to Corcovado National Park, Rio CelesteTenorio Volcano, the Pacuare River (rafting) and La Selva Biological Station. Call for details.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 3,140

Price Per Day:

$ 285 per day
 
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 750
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.
Details
Trip Includes
  • All elective "soft" adventures (rafting, hiking, Sky Walk/Trek, horseback riding, kayaking)
  • Accommodations (10 nights) in first class (4 star) lodges
  • Private and small group touring with bilingual guides
  • Supplemental lecture(s)
  • Internal flight
  • 21 meals
  • Entrance/park fees
  • All transfers and land transportation
Trip Excludes
  • International airfare
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Passports and personal insurance
  • Other personal items
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Hotel nights en route or return
Optional Activities
  • Optional extensions to Corcovado National Park, Rio CelesteTenorio Volcano, the Pacuare River (rafting) and La Selva Biological Station.
  • Optional 1-day side trip from arenal to rio celeste/tenorio volcano national park
Flights & Transport
Internal airfare and ground transport
Group Size:
Intimate Group - 12 max
Start City
San Jose
End City
San Jose
Cancellation Policy:

If you need to cancel your trip, please notify us in writing or by fax immediately. The cancellation penalty is calculated from the day we receive cancellation notice. (For those persons who do travel, there are no refunds for any unused meals, accommodations or other trip activities.) In certain cases, the cancellation policies of NEI's subcontractors will supercede NEI's policy. The cancellation penalty is calculated based on the schedule below.

Number of days prior to departure. Cancellation fee per person:
61+days         $500 plus applicable airfare penalties
45–60 days    30% of land/cruise price plus applicable airfare penalties
30–44 days    60% of land/cruise price plus applicable airfare penalties
0–29 days     100% of land/cruise price plus applicable airfare penalties

Trip ID#: cosricnat

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