Itinerary

Day 1San José

Arrive at any time.

Arrive in San Jose at any time. There are no planned activities so check into our hotel and enjoy the city.

 
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
1h

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Accommodation

 
Boutique Hotel Casa Las Orquideas (or similar)
Hotel

Day 2San José/Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Travel to the Caribbean coast and enjoy the tropical seascape.

We begin with an incredible bus ride over the mountains to the Caribbean coast. The picturesque village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca’s white and black sand beaches are surrounded by exotic tropical vegetation. 

 
Local bus
San José – Puerto Viejo de Talamanca4h-5h220km

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

 
Free Time
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Free time to explore paradise.

Accommodation

 
Kayas Place (or similar)
Hotel

Days 3–4Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Opt to go snorkelling in the Caribbean or hiking in Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge.

 

 
Free Time
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Free time to explore paradise.

Optional Activities - Days 3–4

Bike Rental
 

Rent a bike from a local shop and head out to explore. 

 
Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge Hike
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Beginning at the Cocles River south of Puerto Viejo, the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge extends through beach communities, jungle, marshland, coves and coast all the way to the Sixaola River and the border with Panama. Begin in Manzanillo and wind your way through plantations of cacao, strangler fig and almond trees, look for capuchin and howler monkeys, sloths and raccoons. White sand beaches lead into aquamarine water, filled with 35 species of coral and tropical fish, sea turtles, lobsters and sting rays. Wear light clothing, walking shoes, and bring lots of water and insect repellent.

 
Boogie Boarding
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Rent a boogie board and enjoy playing in the surf.

 
Snorkelling
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Grab a mask and snorkel and head out to explore the marine life off the coast. Check out the beaches of Punta Uva (Grape Point), Punta Mona (Monkey Point), and Manzanillo for some of the country's best snorkelling. See coral, fish, octopus, sea turtles and harmless nurse sharks.

 
Finca la Isla Botanical Garden Visit
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Just outside the town is a tropical farm, part of which is set aside as a botanical garden. Finca la Isla is a working farm and botanical garden built from the remains of an abandoned cacao plantation. Sample homemade natural chocolate, drink tropical fruit drinks, learn about the production of black pepper and nutmeg, as well as ornamental plants. Shoot some colourful photos and be careful where you walk. Visitors are guaranteed to see the red poison dart frog, along with other frogs, reptiles, toucans and birds.

Accommodation

 
Kayas Place (or similar)
Hotel

Day 5Puerto Viejo de Talamanca/La Fortuna

Travel west from the coast, then north to central Costa Rica. Try to catch a glimpse of Arenal Volcano through the cloud cover.

We travel north by bus through varied landscapes and arrive at La Fortuna, a small town near the foot of Arenal Volcano. La Fortuna is an excellent base for adventure. Hike the area’s nature trails, swim in chilly La Fortuna waterfall or go canyoneering (rappelling) and catch a bird’s eye view of the forest greenery. Natural hot springs are also in the area and perfect after a day of travel or exploration.

 
Local bus
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca – Guápiles3h30m-4h

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

 
Private Vehicle
Guápiles – La Fortuna2h30m-3h30m

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Optional Activities - Day 5

Baldi Hot Springs Soak
Arenal3h-5h
62USD per person

Relax in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano immersed in one of the naturally heated pools at Baldi Hot Springs Hotel and Spa. Rejuvenate your muscles, detox your cells, and stimulate all your senses in nature’s thermal spa. Breathe in the pure rainforest air and marvel at the mystic surroundings of these outdoor pools of paradise.

Accommodation

 
Hotel Las Cabanitas (or similar)
Hotel

Days 6–7La Fortuna

Options abound—soak in Arenal's hot springs or get the adrenaline pumping with whitewater rafting or waterfall rappelling.

Optional activities include full-day whitewater rafting on the Toro or Balsa Rivers, mountain biking, caving, horseback riding, or a tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Like much of Costa Rica, the area is a birders’ paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents. Finally, after a long day of exploring, you can choose to take a relaxing soak at Baldi Hot Springs.

 
Carte Blanche
La FortunaFull Day

There's plenty to see and do in La Fortuna, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like canyoneering, whitewater rafting, and paddleboarding. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities - Days 6–7

Whitewater Rafting
Arenal
62-80USD per person

Pull on your bathing suit and water shoes, don a helmet and prepare to get wet and wild. Guided by expert leaders, paddle through Class II-IV rapids as you raft past spectacular scenery. Feel the burn, work up a sweat, then cool off in the pure river water. Experience the energy and excitement and enjoy! 

 
Mountain Biking
Arenal3h-5h13-15km
71USD per person

Rent a bike and head off along one of the backroads outside of town. Take the road to San Ramon and turn right on the road toward the waterfall. Or take a guided cycling tour and pick one of three routes of varying difficulty. 

 
Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Tour
Arenal – Caño Negro
59USD per person

Travel north to Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge near the Nicaraguan border. Take a guided tour by covered boat through one of the world’s most important wetlands; home to a vast array of plants, birds, reptiles, fish, and mammals. Keep your eyes peeled and you may see a three-toed sloth or a Jesus Christ lizard. 

 
Birdwatching
La Fortuna

Set out on a bird watching adventure with a local expert. Depending on the season, explore around Arenal Volcano and Lake, visit El Silencio Nature Reserve, or Finca Luna Nueva. The area around Arenal is home to more than 350 species of birds. Look for toucans, parrots, Montezuma Oropendolas, colourful tanagers, and parakeets. 

 
La Fortuna Waterfall Swim
La Fortuna
14USD per person

Take a walk, taxi, or horse just outside the town of La Fortuna to the nearby waterfall. Once at the gate, pay a fee then start the descent on rough steps (more than 500 of them!) to get to the base of the falls. The water cascades 65m (200 ft) down the side of the dormant Cerro Chato. Sit on the rocks, get sprayed, watch for iridescent blue morpho butterflies and then plunge into the cool waters.

 
Baldi Hot Springs Soak
Arenal3h-5h
62USD per person

Relax in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano immersed in one of the naturally heated pools at Baldi Hot Springs Hotel and Spa. Rejuvenate your muscles, detox your cells, and stimulate all your senses in nature’s thermal spa. Breathe in the pure rainforest air and marvel at the mystic surroundings of these outdoor pools of paradise.

 
Venado Caves Exploration
La Fortuna
76USD per person

Duck your head and enter an underground world formed some 15 million years ago. The Venado Caves are 45 min NW of Fortuna. Ford rivers, crawl through caverns, and marvel at the strange stalactites, stalagmites and subterranean inhabitants including bats, frogs, and spiders. Not ideal if you get anxious in closed spaces. Great for those who want to channel their inner Indiana Jones.

 
Horseback Riding
Arenal
59USD per person

Throw on some long pants, grab the reins and hop up on a well-trained horse. Trail ride through the tropical forest and across the area’s most beautiful landscape. Look for toucans in the trees and admire the ocean views. Visit waterfalls and end your journey with a good gallop. 

Accommodation

 
Hotel Las Cabanitas (or similar)
Hotel

Day 8La Fortuna/Monteverde

Travel from La Fortuna to Monteverde and into the cool mountain air of the area.

From the central valley, ascend to the Monteverde cloud forest region. Spend a couple of days exploring the town and a cloud forest reserve, truly a bird lover's paradise. This unique community has several cooperatives worth visiting including artist collectives and a cheese factory. 

Local guides are extremely knowledgeable about the area and passionate about conservation of this precious ecosystem.

Optional activities include a walk along suspension bridges through dense forest, a coffee tour, or an adrenaline-filled zipline above the cloud forest on one of the many famous canopy tours.

 
Shared van
La Fortuna – Laguna de Arenal15m

Climb aboard and make friends with your seatmate en route to the next stop.

 
Boat
Laguna de Arenal1h

Climb aboard and get your float on.

 
Shared van
Laguna de Arenal – Monteverde2h

Climb aboard and make friends with your seatmate en route to the next stop.

Accommodation

 
Hotel Linda Vista (or similar)
Hotel

Day 9Monteverde

Free day to enjoy; opt to tour the cloud forest or visit a coffee plantation. 

 

 
Carte Blanche
MonteverdeFull Day

There's plenty to see and do in Monteverde, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like ziplining, visiting the hanging bridges, and horseback riding. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities - Day 9

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Guided Tour
Monteverde2h-3h
35USD per person

Pull on your poncho and boots. It’s time to head into the cloud-covered forest, past over-sized ferns and exotic orchids. Harness your inner Tarzan and Jane as you imagine swinging from the giant vines. Trudge along 12km (7 mi) of trails, watch for wildlife, and trek to the top of the observation tower. Be sure to stop and listen, too. Hear the haunting call of the bellbird and perhaps catch sight of the brilliant green and red resplendent quetzal. Feel good about protecting the forest and sustaining the quality of local schools through payment of your park fees.

 
Ziplining 
Monteverde3h-4h
50USD per person

Buckle up your harness, don your helmet, and prepare to launch. Glide along cables suspended high above the cloud forest canopy. Dare to let go and reach top speeds as you zip past stunning scenery. Forget your fear as you spot a toucans or exotic orchids in this adrenaline-filled experience.

 
Sky Walk
Monteverde

Get up high to see the tree tops of Monteverde’s Cloud Forest from a bird’s eye view. Cross a series of suspension bridges to discover the early ropes and pulleys that early biologists required to glimpse – a lush, green vista accented by bromeliads, vines, and orchids. Wonder at this wet canopy, home to thousands of species of birds, small animals, amphibians and insects (making up 90% of all the organisms in the forest).

 
Monteverde Butterfly Garden Visit
Monteverde
15USD per person

Get close to butterflies, bump into giant bugs, and make friends with hairy eight-legged spiders in this collection of gardens nestled in the mountains of Monteverde. Observe caterpillars, take prize-worthy photos of the iridescent blue morpho butterfly, and check out the leaf-cutter ant colony. The nature centre is home to 30 species of butterfly, a whole bunch of insects, as well as white-faced monkeys, coatis, motmots, and more.

 
Monteverde Coffee Plantation Tour
Monteverde
35USD per person

No trip to Costa Rica is complete without visiting a coffee plantation. Head to Café Monteverde and learn how this fair trade coffee goes from crop to cup. Pick ripe berries, watch how the beans are separated from the husk, then observe the drying and roasting process. Sample and buy some of these excellent beans. The Santa Elena coffee co-op prides itself on sustainable practices: it recycles processing water, uses coffee pulp for fertilizer, and sends plant fibers and husks to make paper.

 
El Trapiche Tour
Monteverde2h-3h
33USD per person

Step back in time into El Trapiche (the sugar mill), home of three generations of Costa Rican farmers. Explore plantations of sugar cane, coffee, bananas and cacao. Start with a walk through the farm, learn about coffee and cocoa harvesting processes, ride a Costa Rican ox cart, and finally make artisanal sugar cane candy and liquor. Finish the tour with a fragrant cup of coffee made from beans grown right here on the farm!

Accommodation

 
Hotel Linda Vista (or similar)
Hotel

Day 10Monteverde/Sámara

Travel to the Pacific coast of the Nicoya Peninsula and enjoy this laid-back beach town.

We travel to the coast of the Nicoya peninsula and arrive in Sámara, a cozy little beach town. 

 
Private Vehicle
Monteverde – Sámara4h140km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Optional Activities - Day 10

Swimming
 

Grab your bathing suit and go for a refreshing swim. 

Accommodation

 
Hotel Casa Valeria (or similar)
Hotel

Days 11–12Sámara

Surf or swim the waves, practice yoga on the beach or chill out in this laid-back beach town.

Fill your days with as much or as little as you like. Start off with an early yoga class or sleep in before setting off to explore nearby beaches in search of a perfect, tranquil spot for a day of relaxing along the beautiful Pacific coast. 

For those who prefer to stay active, try your hand at surfing, fishing, snorkelling, or horseback riding along the beach. There is also a zip-line adventure tour through the tropical forest if you're looking to get a close-up view of monkeys, iguanas, and various other wildlife. 

If you’d like to strengthen some of the Spanish skills you have picked up during your time in Costa Rica, try out some classes at the local Spanish school. At night, enjoy a delicious seafood dinner at one of the beachside restaurants or sip a cocktail as you watch the sun set and the town come alive.

 
Free Time
SámaraFull Day

Enjoy a day to explore this chilled-out beach town and its surrounding beaches.

Optional Activities - Days 11–12

Surfing
Sámara

Slather on the sunscreen, strap on a leash, pull on a rash guard and get ready to hit the waves. Take a lesson, learn tips and techniques, then hang ten like a local. 

 
Swimming
 

Grab your bathing suit and go for a refreshing swim. 

 
Horseback Riding
Sámara

Saddle up and head out on horseback for a new perspective of this picturesque seaside village and its surroundings. Head into the nearby forest and visit with the howler monkeys. 

 
Yoga Class
Sámara

Nurture your mind, body, and soul in a yoga class. Start the day with a good long stretch before setting off to explore this beautiful coastal community. 

 
Spanish Class
Sámara

Se habla español? Si, dos cervezas por favor! Learn a few key words and phrases in a Spanish class. Lessons are available for absolute beginners through to intermediate Spanish speakers. Vamos!

Accommodation

 
Hotel Casa Valeria (or similar)
Hotel

Day 13Sámara/San José

Travel back to the capital for a final evening with the group.

Return to San José for some last-minute shopping and a final night on the town.

 
Local bus
Sámara – San José5h-6h240km

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Accommodation

 
Boutique Hotel Casa Las Orquideas (or similar)
Hotel

Day 14San José

Depart at any time.

 

 
Departure Day
 

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

 

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