COSTA RICA - RAINFOREST RAMBLE 11 DAYS
Discover for yourself on our Costa Rica walking tour, the amazing culture and landscape of Costa Rica, a country devoted to preserving its priceless natural areas. Explore the environs of active volcanoes and ramble the rainforests with one of the region’s finest naturalists. Boat down a river alive with exotic birds, caimans, and howler monkeys. Amble through coffee and banana plantations, then meet the locals at a special Tico fiesta of traditional foods, dancing, and singing. Soak in cascading waterfalls and bubbling hot springs, or bask on warm beaches. Spend the evenings feasting on local delicacies and strolling along moonlit beaches, home to nesting sea turtles. It’s an authentic tropical adventure with no comparison.
DEPOSIT : To reserve your space, a $400 deposit per person is required. Final payment is due 60 days prior to the trip departure date. If applying within 60 days of the trip departure, full payment is required.
Note: Includes 11 days/10 nights, ground transportation, most meals, all entrance fees & tours, full-time naturalist, guide & escort.
For years you’ve probably heard friends rave about Costa Rica: its natural beauty, wildlife, friendly people, the political stability of the area, reasonable prices, erupting volcanoes, beautiful beaches, and the mysterious rainforests. You know what? It’s all true! It’s hard to imagine that there can be such diversity in landforms and wildlife in such a small country, but you’ll soon be back telling your friends about your amazing Costa Rica walking tour.
Part of the reason Costa Rica is so popular with visitors is its commitment to preserving the nation’s natural areas and wildlife. In fact, proportionately, Costa Rica protects more of its land in parks and reserves than any other country in the world.
Until recently, Costa Rica could boast of protecting 11.4 percent of their national territory in their parks system. A new initiative will extend this total to nearly 19 percent of Costa Rica’s mountains, volcanoes, forests, and beaches.
When you join us in Costa Rica, you’ll be traveling to one of the most diverse areas in the world. Costa Rica’s parks shelter some of the planet’s most important examples of biol ogical diversity including 5 percent of all plant and animal species on Earth. Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Institute has identified an absolutely amazing number of both plant and animal species.
Those species presently known include 209 mammals; 850 birds; 220 reptiles; 163 amphibians; 130 freshwater fish; 350,000 insects, spiders and crabs; 13,021 plants; 1,500 trees; and over 1,400 types of orchids. All in all, Costa Rica offers one of the most attractive and hospitable destinations in the world. So, brush up on your Spanish, load your camera, open your senses, and join us in magical Costa Rica!
This itinerary may be changed at the discretion of the trip leader. (B = Breakfast included, L = Lunch included, D = Dinner included)
Day 1 (D) – Arrive San Jose, Costa Rica. Transfer to our hotel from the airport and rest up for our next day.
Day 2 (B, L, D) – San Jose, Poas Volcano Hike – La Paz Waterfall. Poás Volcano, with its impressive main crater and sulfur furmaroles, is a dramatic start to the day as we learn about the different ecosystems in this beautiful national park. Then it’s off to La Paz waterfall gardens, a spectacular series of waterfalls in the middle of the rainforest. Our visit takes us through the hummingbird gallery, the serpentarium, the bird house, the butterfly garden and the frog exhibit.
Day 3 (B, L, D) – Lands in Love – Rafting – Night Tour. Our adventure begins early as we head to our “Lands in Love,” resort/adventure center right in the center of a cloud forest. Once we’ve settled in, we’ll enjoy a rafting trip on the Rio La Balsa that takes us to the unexplored world of tropical wilderness in a deep canyon with waterfalls, exotic animals, tropical birds and plenty of whitewater. This unique river trip is the best way to combine adventure and nature. End the day with an early evening walk through the cloud forest trails surrounded by thick jungle.
Day 4 (B, L, D) – Lands in Love – Canyoning – Superman – Arenal – Hot Springs. We begin our day with a combo canopy tour to view the surrounding rainforest from the top of the trees, a unique experience. Then it’s off to the zip line for an amazing and exhilarating journey before arriving at a striking waterfall. It that’s not enough, there’s a Tarzan swing for all to attempt, followed by a tractor ride through the cloud forest on our way to our hotel. Next, we’ll journey to the Arenal region, close to the Nicaraguan border, to enjoy gushing rivers, hot springs, lagoons and plentiful wildlife. At the end of the day, and a perfect way to relax our well used muscles, we’ll enjoy time at Paradise hot springs.
Day 5 (B, L, D) – Arenal – Cano Negro – Maleku Tour. Today we enjoy a tour through renowned Caño Negro wildlife refuge, considered as one of the richest sites for bird watching on the continent, as well as many other animals such as monkeys, sloths, caimans, lizards, bats, and a variety of native flora of the region’s wetlands. Our guided boat ride, from Los Chiles, a rustic town 5 km from the border of Nicaragua, to Río Frío, will provide an understanding of the plantations and flora and fauna of the region. Afterwards, we’ll be introduced to a world of mystic tradition and living nature with an indigenous group called Malekus. We’ll learn about their lives and tradition through their dance and music in a village built in the most authentic tradition in front of the sacred fire mountain, Arenal Volcano. Take your time asking questions and sharing your own stories with members of this ancestral tribe.
Day 6 (B, L, D) – Arenal – Volcano Hike – Monteverde – Trapiche. Our day begins with a hiking tour at the base of Volcan Arenal. We’ll learn about the volcano’s active history and walk over the most recent lava flows, enjoying fabulous views of Lake Arenal. After our volcano hike, we’ll travel to the world famous Monteverde Cloud Forest. Our walks here will offer breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya and surrounding islands as we explore this world class reserve. The Monteverde reserve was founded in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers who live in a secluded high plateau that plays host to one of the richest ecological systems in the country. Our hike is followed by a tour of a coffee farm where we can help pick the ripe coffee beans and transport them to the grinding machine. Finally, we’ll visit a local sugar cane mill and be shown the process of making brown sugar and other products derived from sugarcane. At the end of the tour, you’ll be able to sample “picadillo de arracache”, a traditional vegetable dish and a cup of fresh roasted coffee.
Day 7 (B, L, D) – Monteverde – Cloud Forest – Sky Walk, Tram & Trek – Frog Pond. Our walk today provides an opportunity to learn about the Monteverde Rain Forest’s magnificent ecosystem, including a lush green garden of mosses, ferns, unique and stunningly colorful flowers, and epiphytes growing thickly on every variety of tropical tree. As we walk we’ll see clouds drift in and settle among the surrounding slopes, giving the continuous moisture required for such exuberant plant growth. Dangling roots and vines sweep across the trails. The air is rich with the sounds of birds and the occasional scurrying of small mammals on the forest floor and, from time to time, the raucous roars of howler monkeys. Then it’s off to walk the hanging bridges of Monteverde, with five bridges in total, the longest around 984 feet. We’ll board the Sky Tram for a bird’s eye perspective on the cloud forest, Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake, and 360 degree views of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Then we’re off to real adventure, taking flight on 1.7 miles of cables slung between towering trees, zip lining through ten zip line cables ranging in height from 40 meters to 100 meters and in length from 100 meters to 750 meters. Finally, we’ll walk with a guide to learn about some of Costa Rica’s extraordinary frogs, such as the colorful Poison Arrow frog, the large Marine Toad, and the famous Red Eyed Tree frog. Overnight in Monteverde.
Day 8 (B, L, D) – Monteverde – Bat Jungle – Playa Carrillo. The Bat Jungle’s educational displays cover nearly every facet of a bat’s existence. We’ll learn about the diversity and abundance of bats, where they roost and what they eat (including such things as fruit, nectar, insects, frogs, fish, birds, lizards and mice), and how their wings compare with the wings of birds. Echolocation is explained, as are the feeding habits of vampire bats.
Then it’s time to leave Monteverde and head to Playa Carrilo, located on the Nicoya Peninsula, Playa Carillo is lined with palm trees and chalk-colored sand. The shore is typically not very crowded, making it the perfect place to relax. While relaxing, we’ll enjoy amazing views of the lush mountain ranges in the distance, a unique backdrop for sure.
Note: Estimated driving time 4 hours.
Day 9 (B, L, D) – Playa Carrillo – River Kayaking – Turtle Sighting Tour. Today we’re off to enjoy some river Kayaking. Whether you’re an expert or novice, it will only take a few meters of paddling down the river to learn how to use the paddle and play with the current as you enjoy this journey down the Ora River.
The excitement of being on the river won’t keep us from enjoying the deep green tropical vegetation. Halfway into the trip, we’ll walk a kilometer upstream to view the beautiwaterfallfall named Tabaco. Guests who brave standing unwaterfallter fall receive a natural and relaxing massage.
In the evening, we’ll witness beautiful sea turtles, each weighing over 100 pounds and reaching over 2.5 feet long, laying from 80 to 100 eggs each. This is a unique experience you won’t forget.
Day 10 (B, L, D) – Playa Carrillo. A full day of relaxation at the beach, enjoying your favorite past time, all influenced by the tropical magic that is Costa Rica!
Day 11 (B) – Manuel Antonio – International Airport. Depart for home.
Costa Rica: Feb 24 – Mar 5, 2020 Mar 23 – Apr 2, 2020 and Apr 20-30, 2020
Difficulty: Moderate. Hikes average 5-7 miles daily.
Trip Begins: San Jose, Costa Rica
Trip Ends: San Jose, Costa Rica