Costa Rica from the Caribbean Coast to the Pacific side

  • Pacific coast of Costa Rica

Highlights

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 2 Nights lodging in San Jose
  • 2 Nights lodging in Tortuguero
  • 2 Nigths lodging in Puerto Viejo beach
  • 2 Nights lodging in Arenal
  • 2 Nights lodging in Monteverde
  • 2 Nights lodging in Manuel Antonio beach
  • Daily breakfast
  • 6 lunches + 3 dinners
  • Private transportation for arrival and departure (airport – hotel – airport)
  • Share transportation between destinations (shuttle service)
  • Local Guides during all the activities
  • Hotel Taxes
  • Boat tour on the canals of Tortuguero
  • Hike on a private trail in Tortuguero
  • Caribbean cooking lessons in Puerto Viejo transportation not included
  • Pacuare white water rafting
  • Arenal Hanging Bridges Tour
  • La Fortuna river Waterfall Guided visit
  • Walking tour at Arenal Volcano National Park
  • EL Trapiche tour (sugar-mill)
  • Zip line tour in Monteverde
  • Guided tour to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Jungle Crocodile Safari tour at Tarcoles River
  • Guided tour to Manuel Antonio National Park

Itinerary

SAN JOSE | TORTUGERO | PUERTO VIEJO BEACH | ARENAL | MONTEVERDE | MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK

DAY 1 | ARRRIVAL TO SAN JOSE
Costa Rica is all about nature, you can feel it in the purity of air the moment you land in this tropical country. Right after immigration and customs, one of our representatives will meet you at the airport exit. He will help you with the luggage and take you to the hotel that is arranged for you. Lodging for tonight is in downtown San Jose, close to plazas, museums and many dining alternatives.

During the drive, you will receive a brief introduction to Costa Rica and some recommendations for your trip. The guide will explain your itinerary in detail once you are at the hotel. Tonight you can go out for dinner and explore a lively, cultural city.

Overnight in San Jose.
No meals included today

DAY 2 | TRANSFER SAN JOSE TO TORTUGERO NATIONAL PARK
The best natural expedition awaits you today. Your expert guide will meet you early at the hotel. From San Jose you will start traveling northeast to the Caribbean lowlands. The first part of this journey will take you through the Braulio Carrillo National Park and then you will stop for breakfast at Guapiles, this will be your first contact with Costa Rican cuisine. After breakfast you will continue to La Pavona dock, there you will board the special designed boat that will take us to our hotel located in the Tortuguero National Park area.

This afternoon you will visit the Village of Tortuguero where you will visit the Turtle Museum and walk around town to learn about the relaxed way of life in the Caribbean of Costa Rica. Your guide will explain to you how this village developed and why they changed their mentality about the turtle conservation. You will return to the hotel after this interesting visit.

Overnight in Tortuguero.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3 | TORTUGERO NATIONAL PARK EXPLORATION
This morning, after breakfast, you have a boat tour on the Tortuguero National Park with the company of a local nature guide. The small boats go deep into the canals of the national park, further beyond where other boats can go. Due to the ability to explore further into the canals, you will have the opportunity to find rarer species of wildlife. The extensive network of freshwater creeks and lagoons behind the beaches of Tortuguero are home to seven species of river turtles, spectacled Caiman, southern River Otters, a number of crustaceans, and over 50 species of freshwater fish. On this expedition you are also likely to see Spider, Howler, and Capuchin Monkeys as well as dozens of other species of birds. If you are lucky you might even spot an endangered West Indian Manatee.

NOTE: The entrance fee to Tortuguero National Park is not included. It is $15 USD per person.

Lunch is included at the lodge. This afternoon your guide will take you to a private nature trail where you can find wildlife, the walk is relaxed and slow as this is a flat trail. The rest of the day is at your leisure; you can relax at the swimming pool, take a cocktail admiring the river lagoon or spend the afternoon on the beach.

Overnight in Tortuguero.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4 | TRANSFER TORTUGUERO TO PUERTO VIEJO BEACH, CARIBBEAN COOKING LESSONS
Today after breakfast, we will meet at the main dock of the hotel to return by boat to Pavona’s dock; from there we will continue with land transportation to Guapiles where you will have another delicious Caribbean lunch. After the meal, one of our representatives will pick you up to take you to the next destination of this expedition, Puerto Viejo Beach.

By the end of the afternoon, you will enjoy a special cooking class with the company of an experienced Chef. At his restaurant, you have the opportunity to learn the best secrets of a very particular and delicious cuisine. You will learn how they use many different spices to create incredible flavors for basic dishes like “Rice n’ Beans” or the famous “Ron-don”, which is a seafood soup with coconut milk. Of course, you will enjoy the fantastic dish prepared as dinner.

Overnight in Puerto Viejo Beach.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5 | PUERTO VIEJO BEACH, WHERE THE JUNGLE MEETS THE OCEAN
This day is free so you can enjoy the gold sand beaches and lush forest near the coast, you can easily walk to beaches full of coral reef to admire colorful fish and pick some shells. A good idea is to rent a bicycle and explore the many beaches around or visit the beach town of Puerto Viejo where you can find local restaurants with delicious and economic meals, bars with cheap beer, and souvenir shops.

Some of the beaches you can visit in a day are Manzanillo, Playa Grande, Uvita, Chiquita, Cocles and Playa Negra. If you want to take a good hike and see wildlife, we recommend you to visit Cahuita National Park on your own or hire a local guide.

Overnight in Puerto Viejo Beach.
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 6 | TRANSFER PUERTO VIEJO TO ARENAL VOLCANO AREA, PACUARE RIVER WHITE WATER RAFTING TOUR
The day will start early. Our representative will be waiting for you and take you to the area of Siquirres on the Caribbean slopes. Once you get to Siquirres a delicious typical breakfast will be waiting for you, this is truly the best breakfast for a day full of activity.

After breakfast, you will change clothes and get ready to jump in the river, the access to the river is few minutes away. Upon arrival to the river, the expert guides will proceed with the safety talk, technical instructions, and you will have the chance to practice paddling on calm water.

From there you will explore the stunning river rapids and enjoy the majestic scenery around. Some of the most exciting rapids are the Upper and Lower Huacas, Cimarron, Dos Montañas, but the waterfalls next to the river are just as amazing as the whole experience. Once half of river is conquered, we will have lunch on the banks of the river to recharge our energy for the last part of this water adventure.

After this amazing trip, you will continue traveling northwest to the northern plains of the country where the stunning Arenal Volcano will welcome you. The Arenal Volcano was discovered after a full force volcanic eruption in July 1968. It has also erupted in 1975, 1993 and 1998 for several years but is currently inactive.

Arrive by late afternoon to the hotel in Arenal and the rest of the day is free to rest and enjoy the hotel facilities.

Overnight in the area of Arenal Volcano.
Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

DAY 7 | ARENAL AREA, EXPLORING THE VOLCANO’S HIGHLIGHTS
Today you will enjoy one of the best tours around. During the day, you can visit the most interesting attractions and meet the rich rainforest. Start the day hiking across the Arenal Hanging Bridges where you can admire the jungle not only from the ground but also from the treetops. Then, visit the breathtaking “La Fortuna” waterfall before enjoying a traditional Costa Rican lunch. To finish the day, you have the chance to enjoy amazing scenery around the Arenal volcano on a leisurely walk through the National Park.

The Arenal Hanging Bridges are a beautiful, environmentally friendly project located near the Arenal Volcano. The trails span a total of 2 miles, allowing you to see the rainforest from a bird’s perspective. Your nature guide will teach you about Costa Rican culture, history, and nature while pointing out different species of plants, animals and birds along the way.

After your adventure on the hanging bridges, you will head to the La Fortuna Waterfall. There is time to put your bathing suit on if you want cool off under the waterfall. This is sure to be a good workout as there are 300 steps to get to the down to the waterfall and, of course, 300 to get back up! When you reach the bottom, you'll have an opportunity to swim in one of the largest cool waters in the whole area. Next, you will try a delicious Costa Rican "casado" at a local restaurant, this typical Costa Rican meal is a great source of carbohydrates that you will need after climbing up the waterfall. After refueling yourself, we will take you to the Arenal Volcano National Park where your guide will take you on a nature walk. The trails are mostly flat and not very strenuous, perfect for a leisurely and informative hike with one of our experts guides. We will head through the jungle, hiking through well-groomed, easy trails that skirt around the base of the Arenal Volcano. Your eagle-eyed guide will point out different species of flora and fauna and teach you about the volcanic activity in the area.

Overnight in the area of Arenal Volcano.
Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

DAY 8 | TRANSFER ARENAL VOLCANO TO MONTEVERDE
Today you will travel to meet the inspiring Cloud Forest. We will take you on the Jeep-Boat-Jeep across the Arenal Lake to get to Monteverde. You can enjoy spectacular views of the volcano and find different species of birds while you navigate the tranquil lake. Our staff will point out the birds and other animals you may see.

Monteverde has one of the most important protected cloud forests found in the world. There are just a few of these forests therefore it is very important to conserve the unique plants and animals found around. You will have the opportunity to explore the forest but also get to know the friendly locals who enjoy living in harmony with Mother Nature.

By mid-afternoon, we will take you to a private property where an interesting cultural activity will take place. The main goal of this activity is to see how a real “Trapiche” works. The tour begins with a short walk through the farm where you can get a glimpse of different plantations like sugar cane, coffee, bananas, plantains, tubers, oranges and more. The entire coffee production process is explained during the second part of this activity and then you will continue with a ride on an authentic Costa Rican oxcart. Afterwards experience the process of making liquor with the sugar cane, this is the traditional drink of Costa Rica named “guaro”. To finish, delight yourself with a fragrant cup of the locally produced coffee.

Overnight in Monteverde.
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 9 | MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST RESERVE AND CANOPY TOUR (ZIP LINE)
Today you will explore the wonderful Cloud Forest accompanied by an expert tour guide. Departure from the hotel is early so you will have more opportunities to see wildlife. Upon arrival to the reserve, your guide will choose the best trail to follow depending on the weather and the interest of the participants. The nature history walk can take between 3 to 6 hours during which you will be able to enjoy the enchanting flora and fauna of the forest.

You will hike part of the 12 Km of trails that are in this private reserve of cloud forest while your Guide explains you how animals and plants coexist on this kind of forest. If you are lucky you may spot a quetzal, a trogon or the noisy bell-bird. Return to the hotel after the informative hike.

After noon, you will enjoy one of the most popular activities in Costa Rica, the zip line or Canopy Tour as it’s called locally. It consists of gliding between trees and mountains via wires and a special harness specially designed for it. While you “fly” through the dense cloud forest you can see and feel all the natural activity occurring within the treetops. Birds, insects and some other mammals are easy to see with the help of your guides. Don't forget your camera so you can capture the amazing views of the cloud forest.

Overnight in Monteverde.
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 10 | TRANSFER MONTEVERDE TO MANUEL ANTONIO BEACH, JUNGLE CROCODILE SAFARI BOAT TOUR
Today, after breakfast, we will take you to the Central Pacific area of Costa Rica. On the way you will get close to one of the biggest reptiles of the world. After a couple of hours on the road you will stop at “Rio Grande de Tarcoles” river where a comfortable and safe boat awaits to take you on a safari type tour.

You will have the opportunity to see magnificent reptiles that are than 4 meters in size. They have been on this planet for more than two hundred million years. Since they have not changed much over the time, they are considered living dinosaurs. You can also see iguanas and basilisks in their natural environment. You will be accompanied by a captain and a bilingual guide, both are navigation experts willing to provide all the information about the fauna and flora of the river. It is easy to take excellent photographs and videos of wildlife at close range from the boats.

Continue towards Manuel Antonio after this fun activity. Manuel Antonio is just south of Quepos on the Pacific Coast, 132 km from San José. Perhaps it is so popular because of its expansive white sand beaches that are backed by an evergreen forest that grows right up to the high tide line. The principal habitats are primary forests, secondary forests, mangrove swamps, lagoons and beach vegetation. There is quite a varied fauna with 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds. The park includes 12 little islands just off the coast, these are often visited by a number of dolphins and, at times, migrating whales can be observed from the beach.

The area itself is full of luxury and high-end properties, exclusive restaurants with excellent cuisine where you can sit and admire the ocean and spectacular sunsets. Here you will find the perfect combination between Mother Nature and the best of civilization.

Overnight at Manuel Antonio Beach.
Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 11 | MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK
This day you will visit Manuel Antonio National Park with the company of a nature guide. Tiny it may be, but this 682-hectare national park is the epitome of everything tourists flock to Costa Rica to see. There are stunning beaches, a magnificent setting with islands offshore (bird sanctuaries for marine species), lush rainforests laced with a network of welcoming trails and wildlife galore. You can experience close-up encounters with monkeys, sloths, coatimundis, and scarlet macaws while you hike the trails. However, wildlife on the beach are accustomed to people.

Overnight at Manuel Antonio Beach.
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 12 | TRANSFER MANUEL ANTONIO TO SAN JOSE
Today you travel back to civilization. Our representatives will take you to San Jose for the last night in the country. The transportation unit will pick you up after breakfast at your hotel.

The hotel for tonight is located in San Jose, this afternoon you can explore the city and visit museums or historical buildings. The central avenue is a place where you can interact with locals and learn a little about our way of living.

Overnight in San Jose.
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 13 | DEPARTURE COSTA RICA
All the good things must come to an end!

Say good-bye to the beautiful Costa Rica and its people. Apart from great family memories, you might be taking back some bug bites from the Tropical rainforest, but the good thing is you're traveling back home to reunite with family and friends.

One of our drivers will pick you up at the hotel and take you straight to the International Airport, located just 15 minutes from the hotel. In Costa Rica you must be at the airport 3 hours prior the departure time.

Breakfast included.

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

 

Hotels

HOTELS
CITYHOTELRoom
San JoseHotel Park InnStandard Room
Tortuguero Pachira Lodge
Standard Room
Puerto Viejo beachAzania BungalowsBungalow
ArenalHotel Los LagosStandard Room
Monteverde Hotel Country LodgeSuperior room
Manuel Antonio BeachHotel Playa EspadillaStandard Room

Land Package Prices Per Person

Daily Departures
Valid through December 2017
 DOUBLETRIPLECHILDSINGLE
Prices Starting From:$2,526$2,266$1,475$3,863

General Details of the Price
Prices are per person and in U.S. dollars.
*Child rate applies for children younger than 10 years old. The child rate applies when the child is sharing the room at least with two adults. Maximum two children per room with two adults
Rates are subject to change without notice.
These rates apply from December 15th, 2016 to December 15th, 2017. Peak Season: December 20th, 2016 to January 5th, 2017 and from April 9th to 16th, 2017 (increase of the prices apply).

The package does not include
Optional tours
Departure taxes ($29 per person)
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Airfare
Tips

Map