Costa Rica - Rainforest Adventure

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Day 1: Arrive in San Jose

You will be met on your arrival at San Jose Airport and transferred to our hotel. Later in the evening, we meet our guide for dinner and orientation meeting.

Overnight in San Jose.


Day 2: To Tortuguero N.P. via Braulio Carrillo N.P.

Early morning, depart San Jose for the Caribbean coast. Enroute, we drive through Braulio Carrillo National Park, enjoying wonderful views of the rainforest. Upon arrival in Cano Blanco or La Pavona (depending on weather conditions) we transfer to our boat for a 1 1/2 hour boat journey through the beautiful canals to get to Tortuguero, always keeping an eye out for wildlife.

Upon arrival in Tortuguero, we visit the Atlantic Green Sea Turtle Museum founded by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. The late Dr. Archie Carr began to study and tag the thousands of Atlantic green sea turtles that every year from June through October come to Tortuguero Beach to lay their eggs. Originally intended to protect a major nesting beach of the Atlantic green sea turtle, Tortuguero National Park now protects 51,870 acres, one of the last large areas of tropical rainforest in Central America. Eleven habitats are found in the park. Three species of monkeys (spider, howler and white-faced), three-toed sloths and river otters are frequently seen along the natural inland waterways and canals. Caiman, iguanas, river turtles, basilisk lizards and poison dart Dendrobates frogs inhabit the area. 320 species of birds including all 6 species of king fishers, 3 species of toucans, 8 species of parrots and other neotropical species such as the slaty-tailed trogon, white-collared manakin, purple-throated ruitcrow and white-fronted nunbird all inhabit the area. We will have the opportunity to observe them during our ride through the creeks of Tortuguero National Park.

Your guide will also take you to the village of Tortuguero to learn about the history of the village, visit the park headquarters and walk past colorful Afro-Caribbean homes.

Dinner and overnight in Tortuguero.


Day 3: Wildlife of Tortuguero National Park

Today we travel by boat to explore the canals of Tortuguero and Cano Harold (Harold's Canal) in Tortuguero National Park. During our visit to Cano Harold, we have the opportunity to see bare-throated tiger herons, snowy egrets, boat billed herons and other species which are known to nest here. We return to the lodge in the late afternoon to relax before dinner. There may be an opportunity of an afternoon optional garden walk with your Guide.

Dinner and overnight in Tortuguero.


Day 4: Canals of Tortuguero, to Sarapiqui

After breakfast, we depart via the stunning wildlife rich canals of Tortuguero to Cano Blanco or La Pavona (depending on weather conditions) where we transfer to our vehicle and continue to Sarapiqui, stopping for lunch on our way to the hotel.

Upon arrival at the hotel, the rest of the afternoon is free to explore the surrounding grounds of lush vegetation, lakes and rivers.

Dinner and overnight in Sarapiqui.


Day 5: Sarapiqui Rafting Adventure

This morning, enjoy an exciting river rafting adventure (Class III). Make sure you keep an eye out for birds and wildlife while enjoying your adrenaline rush.

After lunch, we will visit a certified organic pineapple farm. Considered to be one of the pioneers in organic production, we will learn about the cultivation of pineapples in harmony with nature.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon where you have some time to relax before dinner.

Overnight in Sarapiqui.


Day 6: To Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs

After breakfast, we will explore the secrets and wonders of one of mankind's favorite foods: chocolate. Our tour will demonstrate the traditional methods and how it was prepared in ancient times.

We then make our way to Arenal, driving by many large cattle farms, as well as yuca, plantain and papaya plantations. We stop for lunch in La Fortuna in San Carlos Valley, the town at the base of Arenal volcano. Arrive at the hotel in time for an afternoon rest before we enjoy the Eco-Termales Hot Water Springs followed by dinner.

Overnight in Arenal and if mother nature permits, view the volcanic activity.


Day 7: Arenal Hanging Bridges

Enjoy the morning ziplining near Arenal Volcano. This Arenal canopy tour has 10 different-sized cables and 12 platforms with cables from 600-ft to an astounding 2,500-ft long! You will have unparalleled views of Arenal Volcano.

After lunch, with your guide enjoy an afternoon hike in the Arenal Hanging Bridges. This project sits within a 250-hectare (618 acre) reserve of fully recovered secondary rain forest. A visit to Arenal Hanging Bridges consists of traversing 16 bridges (8 hanging) from 5 to 100 meters long that cross the rain forest and a 3 km circuit of interpretive trails.

Overnight in Arenal.


Day 8: Rincon de la Vieja, Local Communities

Today we travel to Rincon de la Vieja. The continental divide has created a dry forest on one side of Rincon de la Vieja National Park and lush rainforest on the other. Not only is the area naturally fascinating but offers the opportunity to visit some of the local, untouched communities. We visit the community of El Gavilan, where we will meet the town mayor, Don Gerardo and have lunch with some of the local families in their homes.

After lunch, arrive at our hotel where you can enjoy a visit to the botanical gardens, hot springs or even a mud bath.

Dinner and overnight in Rincon de la Vieja.


Day 9: Blue River - Horseback Riding, Hiking, Waterfalls and River Swim

The Blue River is not only a naturally beautiful volcanic river but also offers health giving minerals. We set out on our journey by horseback until we reach our destination at the Blue River. We then begin our hike to a beautiful waterfall that is the perfect setting to enjoy our picnic lunch. Be sure to bring along your swimsuit, as there are several opportunities to enjoy a refreshing dip in the beautiful and aptly named Blue River. This is a perfect setting to enjoy a restful yet exciting afternoon and cool off in the beautiful blue waters.

Dinner and overnight in Rincon de la Vieja.


Day 10: To Guanacaste

After breakfast, we depart for the Pacific coast, Guanacaste. Enjoy the scenery of the volcano, rural villages and farms as we drive through an area of Costa Rica that still seems untouched by the outside world. Once we have arrived at the Pacific coast, you can enjoy the hot, warm sun and beach. The afternoon is at leisure where you can relax and soak up the sun at the beach.

Dinner and overnight in Guanacaste.


Day 11: Indigenous Pottery Village

Today we'll have the unique opportunity to visit with an indigenous village famous for pottery making. Here in the village of Guaitil, the native Chorotegas make pottery the same way their ancestors did over 900 years ago. It is one of the few remaining villages of pre-Columbian Costa Rica that was a land rich in trading for the Inca and Mayan Empires.

Dinner and overnight in Guanacaste.


Day 12: Return to San Jose, Coffee Plantation

This morning we say good-bye to the Pacific coast and drive back to San Jose. Along the way, we will visit Doka Estate, the oldest humid coffee processing plant declared an Architectural Heritage for Humanity, that works with hydralic power. We learn about the vital role coffee has played in forging democracy in Costa Rica as well as cultivating a national identity. The introduction of coffee provided a product suitable for export along with bananas. Today, both remain two of the most important crops in Costa Rica. The coffee tour is packed with tips and tricks that will help make your next cup of coffee your best and learn how to properly store coffee.

After lunch, we arrive at our hotel in San Jose for a quick rest before we enjoy our Farewell Dinner as we collectively share our unique Costa Rica experience with our fellow travelers.

Overnight in San Jose.


Day 13: Depart San Jose

Transfer to San Jose International airport for your homeward flight.

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