Summary of The Day: After meeting your guide and fellow trekkers at the departure hotel, we'll leave behind the bustling capital of San Jose and watch the world transform around us as we travel across diverse landscapes and atmospheres through Braulio Carrillo Cloud Forest National Park en route to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. This will be your first introduction to an incredible and diverse country, Costa Rica.
Upon arrival, follow your tour leader on a guided hike in Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve, home to 865 acres of pristine forest. This diverse reservation houses numerous river banks, islands, forests and gardens; it's a favorite amongst all who travel here. Walk across one of the longest hanging bridges in Costa Rica to admire many of the 420 species of birds including parrots, herons, toucans and some other cheeky residents.
Optional night bat tour:
If you're looking for something different to do in the evening then bat viewing should be at the top of your list! Bats represent almost 50% of the mammals in Costa Rica with over 100 different species, but they're not as creepy as you might think! Learn more about these fascinating creatures and seize the opportunity to get up close and personal.
Summary of The Day: Heading to the coast, we'll pass by Guapiles, made famous for its banana plantations which stretch across the Caribbean lowlands. From here we'll hop aboard a boat and explore the Tortuguero Canals towards as we head towards Tortuguero National Park.
During the cruise you'll more than likely see wildlife such as sloths, monkeys, crocodiles and turtles. Once we arrive in the park we'll stop by the Green Turtle Information Center to find out why Tortuguero beach is the most important nesting site of the endangered Green Turtle in the Western Hemisphere.
Summary of The Day: Experience nature at its very best during your sunrise boat tour through the small canals of this national park. Framing your view will be an incredible rainforest with over three hundred bird species, swamp forests and floating aquatic plants.
Watch and listen as the forest comes alive to the sound of birds and other animals, and don't forget your camera! Previous wildlife sightings includes the Fishing Bulldog Bat, Keel Billed Toucans, anurans, seven species of turtle, West Indies Manatees, crocodiles and the gar, considered a living fossil. All this before you've even eaten breakfast!
With bellies full of delicious food, enjoy your last ride through the canals on your way back to La Pavona/Cano Blanco. Hit the road again and continue along the coastal road to the small town of Cahuita, with its incredible Caribbean feel.
Summary of The Day: You'll be delighted to wake up in Cahuita. Often referred to as one of the most beautiful palm tree beaches in the country with its golden sand and warm clear seas. Today you'll have the morning to explore this massive national park by foot or take to the water for snorkeling in the only 'living' coral reef on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast.
In the early afternoon you take the scenic route along a picturesque old road lined with large coffee and sugar cane plantations to your next destination, the Turrialba Volcano area.
Summary of The Day: For those seeking adventure we suggest an exhilarating white-water rafting adventure, through some of Costa Rica's stunning mountain scenery!
Set off from the banks of the Pacuare River where your rafts are loaded into the water and your awesome 14 mile rafting adventure begins (own expense). The scenery today is quite simply amazing and it's a really unique way to see the parts of Costa Rica that other travelers never get to. Travel deep into the heart of densely vegetated gorges, passing gushing waterfalls and serene pools. Don't get too comfortable though - the river's rapids will keep you on your toes!
Those not rafting can opt to walk through the forest, past sugar cane and coffee plantations all the way to the Reventazon River for stunning views.
Summary of The Day: This morning's early start will see you passing through towns including Juan Vinas and Paraiso before hitting the Pan American Highway to begin your climb of the Talamanca Mountain Range. Make a stop to hit the trails, high up in the mountains at Mirador de Quetzales; one of the richest biological zones in Costa Rica.
Here you'll have the chance to see more than 400 species of birds, including the Resplendent Quetzal - its vibrant and colorful feathers make this phoenix of the forest easy to spot.
Afterwards, as you descend towards the city of San Isidro de El General, admire the beautiful mountainous landscape. Later you'll pass by the city of Quepos before arriving in Manuel Antonio National Park, just in time for a golden sunset on the Pacific Coast.
Summary of The Day: Lace up your walking boots and enjoy a guided morning hike around Manuel Antonio National Park - famed for being an excellent combination of beach and nature. The white sandy beaches of Espadilla Sur and Manuel Antonio are known for their calm, crystal clear water slowly lapping against the shoreline.
With over 100 species of mammals including the endangered squirrel monkey and nearly 200 bird species you'll be giving your camera a serious workout. Bring your underwater camera too, as there's an amazing array of marine life to admire too.
Later, cross the Aguacate Mountains to La Fortuna, at the foot of the famous Arenal Volcano.
Summary of The Day: Today is a free day however we suggest you saddle up for a biking tour through the rainforest to the spot where volcano and lake meet, all the way to the Arenal Volcano National Park. With an almost perfect cone and a 140 meter deep crater formed over an ancient caldera, it's like something out of a movie set.
Optional Arenal Hanging Bridges
Enjoy a breathtaking walk over the hanging bridges, accompanied by a naturalistic guide who'll explain and show you the multicolour world of the tropical rainforest together with an awesome view from some of the highest bridges in Costa Rica.
Summary of The Day: Make a beeline for Arenal Lake, the largest and most important freshwater lake in Costa Rica. There's no better way to experience it than to board a boat for a scenic ride and listen to your guide talk about the lush rainforest, farms and mountains that surround the lake.
Next up, continue by land along a dirt track road to Monteverde, founded by a group of Quaker farmers in the 1950's and today a town which oozes charm. Take a hike inside the humid grounds of Monteverde Private Reserve. The high humidity is thanks to the warm winds that come from both oceans (the Pacific and the Caribbean) and collide together.
It's a great spot for diverse and plentiful flora and fauna. See if you can spot purple mayflowers and coyol palms! Different species of trees, orchids and lichens are easily found, as well as bird species including the Resplendent Quetzal, hummingbirds, Black Guans, Toucanets and many more.
Summary of The Day: We'll continue onthe Pan American Highway and head north, passing by the city of Liberia Canas before arriving in Rincon de la Vieja. Do you dare experience the thrill of the 1300 foot mountain water slide which cuts its way through some of Costa Rica's tropical forests? It's a totally refreshing experience; pure adventure and excitement which you won't forget in a hurry!
Summary of The Day: With the first half of the day to explore Rincon de la Vieja National Park (maybe try that water slide again?) before setting off for the beach, today feels as though you're experiencing two very separate worlds. If you want to explore more of Rincon de la Vieja, there's loads to see, including an active stratovolcano at 1916m above the sea level, giant old growth trees and an abundance of wildlife.
At the foot of the southern flank of the volcano you can enjoy Las Pailas; over 133 acres of hot springs, sulphuric lakes and holes that eject clouds of steam. This afternoon the beach calls, so we answer with a trip to stunning Hermosa Beach on the Papagayo Gulf.
Summary of The Day: Today is a totally free day for you to do as you please meaning relaxation on the beach and a dip in the Pacific Ocean are probably on the cards. Hermosa meaning `beautiful' in Spanish, is aptly named, as you'll see from the champagne colored sands and mountain scenery.
Not as crowded as its neighboring beaches, Playa Hermosa is a fantastic getaway for those seeking quality relaxation. The town has heaps of shops, restaurants, bars and activities. If you prefer to stick to the beach, you can snorkel, try a bit of sport fishing or saddle up for some horse riding along the beach.
Summary of The Day: Enjoy one last morning soaking up the rays on the beach before returning to San Jose with a bag full of wonderful memories and a bunch of awesome new friends!
This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 5:00pm in San Jose on day 13. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 9:00pm.
* Group size: max 11|
* The display price is per person on a twin/multi share basis. Single travelers would be paired with other travelers of the same sex.
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Our trip to Costa Rica was amazing from start to finish, due in large part to our wonderful guide Edgar! His knowledge of Costa Rican history and ecology was extensive and he went out of his way to make sure we saw everything we wanted.
Wow, what an amazing 2 weeks. I went with my boyfriend, his firt trek and my 3rd trek (done southern sun, USA and tiera del sol, mexico in the past). We had a super fun group of 9 and all got on well.
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Our trip to Costa Rica was amazing from start to finish, due in large part to our wonderful .. Read More
Wow, what an amazing 2 weeks. I went with my boyfriend, his firt trek and my 3rd trek (done .. Read More
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