Summary

Destinations: Central America
  • 9 Days From
    R 32500
  • Trip code: AUF
  • Activity: Culture, Natural Wonders
  • Min age: 16
  • Group size: 4 - 16
Moderate

Discover the rainforest, volcanoes and coastline of captivating Costa Rica

From rumbling volcanoes to sweeping, sandy beaches, Costa Rica’s beauty is evident in every corner. On this action-packed adventure we try grade III whitewater rafting in Sarapiqui, take bikes around Lake Arenal and have a go at zip-lining through the misty cloud forest of Monteverde. Our adventure ends in the lush Manuel Antonio National Park, where we can appreciate the wildlife and picture-perfect coastline on a catamaran excursion.

Key information
  • Travel by air-conditioned minibus
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • 8 nights comfortable hotels
Activities
  • Travel by air-conditioned minibus
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • 8 nights comfortable hotels

Highlights

* Get your adrenaline pumping on this mixed activity trip – whitewater rafting, canyoning, kayaking and zip-lining included! * Experience rainforest, volcanoes and coastline of this diverse ecological paradise * Sea kayaking around Manuel Antonio’s coastline and snorkel in the Pacific * Optional visit to the thermal waters of Ecotermales Hot Springs near Arenal Volcano * Stay in comfortable hotels and eco-lodges with the majority of activities included

Dates & Pricing

 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
25 Jan 2019
02 Feb 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 33600
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
15 Mar 2019
23 Mar 2019
Available
R 33600
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
26 Jul 2019
03 Aug 2019
Available
R 33600
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
09 Aug 2019
17 Aug 2019
Available
R 33600
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
25 Oct 2019
02 Nov 2019
Available
R 32500
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
15 Nov 2019
23 Nov 2019
Available
R 32500

Full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Land Only

Start San Jose.

The group flight usually arrives into San Jose this morning. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. This evening is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers. Accommodation: Balmoral Hotel (or similar) *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 2

Whitewater rafting on the Sarapiqui River; to Arenal.

Heading northeast of San Jose we swap the capital for the Sarapiqui region, an area blessed with abundant vegetation and the beautiful Sarapiqui River. This area is gathering a reputation as a great spot for adventure seekers! We board 6-person rafts and set off for a 1/2 day white water rafting excursion on grade II and III rapids. Starting at a section of the river called La Virgen, travel 11km through exhilarating rapids and clear pools, with rainforest towering over the river banks at either side. There will be a short stop for seasonal fruits and plenty of time for a refreshing swim in one of the calm sections of the river. After lunch, we transfer for around 3 hours to the area surrounding Arenal Volcano. Following a massive eruption in 1968, Arenal was Costa Rica’s most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase. As well as the volcano, this region has plenty to offer, with thermal waters, waterfalls and Lake Arenal waiting to be discovered. Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel (or similar) *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 3

Hike in Arenal N.P.; visit Ecotermales Hot Springs.

There is a guided hike this morning through Arenal Volcano National Park. The park has a great system of trails passing through secondary forest and near lava fields created by previous eruptions. In the afternoon we visit a local organic farm located at the foot of Arenal Volcano, where lunch is provided for us and we can learn how sugar cane and other crops are produced. In the late afternoon we visit Ecotermales Hot Springs as a group to enjoy a hot thermal bath from the volcanic spring water, a refreshing end to the day. Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel (or similar) *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 4

Bike ride near Lake Arenal; optional activities.

Following yesterday’s thermal bath our muscles should be ready for today’s mountain bike ride around Lake Arenal! Gear yourself up for a moderate ride this morning, mostly following quiet country roads and gravel trails that border the Arenal Volcano National Park. There are stunning views and travelling by bike is a great way to discover the beauty of the rainforest. Upon request, the tour can end at a different hotsprings nearby (entrance fee not included). The rest of the afternoon is free to sign up for an optional activity, such as the Sky Walk (canopy walk), Sky Trek (zip wire), kayaking tour or the Hanging Bridges excursion. Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel (or similar) *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 5

Visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

From the northern lowlands we travel through the Tilaran mountains to reach the cloud forest, passing breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the islands below as we ascend the hills to Monteverde. The road climbs to this forest-cloaked region whose name literally means ‘Green Mountain’. Today’s drive is about three and half hours, on some bumpy roads. Monteverde is our location for the next two nights – you’ll notice a real difference in the climate of this area; gone is the humidity of the lowlands and in its place is a cool mist, a steady stream of clouds and a much cooler average temperate, given the altitude of 1,440m. In the afternoon, we take a walk around the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, an area chosen as one of Costa Rica’s ‘Seven Wonders’ for its incredible biodiversity. The moisture in the cloud forest supports a fantastic array of plantlife, with ferns and moss growing on every available tree trunk. Hundreds of mammals, birds, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians live in this habitat and we should discover a number of them today. Accommodation: Monteverde Country Lodge (or similar) *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 6

Zip-lining through the forest canopy in Monteverde.

This morning we get a completely new perspective on the cloud forest by taking a zip-lining excursion through the forest canopy. Before you fly down the zip-lines, guides will teach you the proper technique, including how to position yourself and hold the cable correctly, enabling you to safely embark on this adrenaline pumping adventure through the trees. The afternoon it’s possible to join an optional excursion to the Don Juan estate to learn about the process of making coffee. Accommodation: Monteverde Country Lodge (or similar) *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 7

To Manuel Antonio.

We travel southeast along the coast, following the Pan-Am Highway and passing plantations of African oil palms and teak to reach our next destination, Manuel Antonio. It takes around 4 hours to reach Manuel Antonio. The national park is a beautiful spot where the forest meets the sea and iguanas and White-faced monkeys can often be seen on the beach. Entrance into the park is included in our activities tomorrow, but this afternoon there will be some free time to visit the beach or join one of the optional activities available, such as sea kayaking, horse riding or a mangrove boat tour. Accommodation: Playa Espadilla / Villa Bosque (or similar) *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 8

Hiking in Manuel Antonio N.P.; catamaran trip along the Pacific coast.

This morning we take a guided walk in the park to reach one of the higher elevations for incredible coastal views of dramatic rocky headlands. Inside the park we may see monkeys (White-faced, Squirrel and Howler), iguana, sloths and agouti. Most of the walking trails lead to beautiful beaches within the national park. This afternoon we set sail on a catamaran excursion to discover the coastline of Manuel Antonio. The catamaran charts a picturesque course, starting in Quepos and navigating around the back of Manuel Antonio National Park, passing islands, cliffs and rock formations. There are a number of nesting grounds for birds and marine wildlife here as well as plentiful vegetation. After navigating the coastline we sail to Bisanz beach, where we can don a mask and snorkel to discover the underwater world (parrotfish, angelfish and starfish might be seen). If we are lucky, we may even spot dolphins in the water. Please note that water visibility varies depending on the season and the snorkeling activity is weather permitting. Drinks and snacks are available on board and an early dinner will be served as part of the trip. Accommodation: Playa Espadilla / Villa Bosque (or similar) *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 9

Return to San Jose; end

A four hour journey takes us back to San Jose, where those on group flights will be transferred to the airport in time for their return flight. Land only clients end in San Jose and are advised not to book a flight leaving San Jose before 5pm today, as arrival at the airport will be timed to co-incide with the group flight.

Included

* All breakfasts 3 lunches and 2 dinners * All accommodation * All transport and listed activities * Tour leader throughout * Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

Food

All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style, with toast, cereal, eggs, fruits and tea/coffee all available. For lunch and dinner, the tour leader will recommend various options in convenient locations, usually booking restaurants and eating with the group. Vegetarians are generally well catered for in Costa Rica but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Costa Rican specialities include ‘Gallo Pinto’, a black bean and rice dish considered to be a staple part of the local diet. Soups and stews are also common, and fresh fruit is abundant and will no doubt be one of the highlights of your time in the tropics.

Trip Notes

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.

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