Multi-Day Tour | Group, Independent, Private

Costa Rica: Full Experiences (10 days)

Costa Rica Expeditions

San José, Costa Rica To San José, Costa Rica

Valid for Departures Now Through: 01 Nov 2018

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
San José, Costa Rica
Hotel Grano de Oro None

Arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport, after exiting the plane, first follow the signs to immigration where you will have to wait in line to get your passport checked and stamped. Continue to baggage claim and customs. There are carts in the baggage claim area that are free of charge, so grab one of those while you wait for your luggage to come out on the designated carousel.

If your flight is arriving between the hours of 7 am- 10 pm,ou may be greeted by a representative from the Costa Rican chamber of tourism. If so they will give you a sticker that identifies you to customs officials as a tourist. These representatives are not always available, and if you don’t see them don’t worry, as the sticker is a courtesy and not a necessity.

Once you have your luggage, you’ll need to get in line to go through customs. Normally this consists of putting your luggage and carry on luggage on a conveyor belt to be x-rayed; when it’s your turn to put your luggage on the conveyor belt you will have to give the Customs Official the form that you filled out on the plane. Once you’ve retrieved your luggage, you can exit the airport.

Before stepping into the crowd; take a moment to scan it for your Costa Rica Expeditions guide.

You'll recognize your guide by their bright orange or yellow shirt. Also, he or she will be holding a sign with your name on it. You can count on their being there -- even if your flight arrives early, or arrives quite late -- no matter how late. After all, it's our first chance to have you experience that every part of your vacation will go smoothly. He or she will take you to your hotel.

Day 2
Arenal, Costa Rica
Nayara Hotel, Spa & Garden & Nayara Springs Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, meet your Spanish speaking driver and depart by minivan. (3 - 3.5-hour drive to the Arenal Volcano)

The Arenal Volcano National Park is located within the much larger Arenal Conservation Area, which protects more than 500,000 acres of rain forest, rivers, lakes and old volcanic lava fields. The volcano itself is approximately 5,500 feet high and has gone through several eruptive cycles. Within the national park, short trails pass through secondary forest as well as lava fields from previous eruptions. Arenal also plays an interesting role in Costa Rica's power production- Lake Arenal, which rests at the base of the volcano, supplies a high percentage of the country's hydroelectric energy. The area is home to a remarkable biodiversity and variety of habitats. Arenal Volcano activity continues, although it has decreased since 2010 and is now mostly fumarolic with occasional phreatic eruptions at the top of the mountain.

Arenal Volcano National Park Afternoon Walk

This hike will take you to the base of the Arenal Volcano National Park. You can hike to the lava observation point, approximately 2 miles from the cone (3.2 Kms). The vehicle enters the National Park and you drive for about one mile to the parking area. From here, you will hike for approximately 4 kms (2.5 miles) all the way to the lava observation area and back to the parking lot. The trail you are going to hike is mostly a gravel path with no more than 10 % incline, except for the final ascent to the old lava flow. In here, you have to climb a steep rocky section of the trail to reach the observation area. The observation area is located in a safe distance from the main caldera, located at the top of the mountain (6000 feet high or 1800 mts).

Day 3
Arenal, Costa Rica
Nayara Hotel, Spa & Garden & Nayara Springs Breakfast

At Arenal Volcano with the following activity included:

Arenal Sky Adv. Park: Tram, Zip Line & Trail

Meet your Transfer Guide in the lobby and drive to a private reserve near the north-facing slopes of the Cordillera de Tilarán. This area offers volcano views that can be observed from an aerial Sky Tram that rises 236 meters (780 feet) in a 1250 meters (4125 feet) ride. You will be accompanied by a bilingual guide in order to point out and explain more about the wild species found in the preserve. The tram can be stopped at any point on the way, allowing the visitors to take photographs or spotting native wild life. The tram resembles a ski lift with hanging gondolas, and takes participants up to a mirador (lookout point) designed to see the surrounding rain forest. The Canopy Zip Line starts from the observation platform. There are ten zip line cables and they range in height from 30 meters (100 feet) to 200 meters (660 feet), and in length from 200 meters (660 feet) to 750 meters (2475 feet). Before leaving the main building to start your activity, you will be fitted with all of the necessary safety equipment: harness, helmet, gloves. Afterwards the guides will deliver a safety speech stressing safety and the braking system tips. While you zip along the nearly two miles (three kilometers) of cables, you will immerse in the rain forest. The experience offers panoramic views of the volcano and lake from a whole new perspective. As you step out of the Canopy Zip Line, a bilingual guide will continue with you to enter the Canopy Walkway. This walk consists of a rainforest trail which connects a series of suspension bridges located over the treetops. The trail ascends along some ravines and hills, permitting the visitor opportunities to spot wildlife while crossing through dense forest as well as light gaps.

Day 4
Arenal, Costa Rica
Nayara Hotel, Spa & Garden & Nayara Springs Breakfast, Lunch

At Arenal Volcano with the following activity included:

White Water Rafting Sarapiquí River, Class III

Set in the lowlands of the Caribbean rain forest, Sarapiqui River encompasses natural riverine environments and fresh mountain waters. A series of white water rapids combine with quiet pools between them. From time to time, local wildlife like Howler Monkeys or Green Iguanas can be observed during the tranquil sections of this river.

Even beginners and families enjoy the big splash of rapids named “Gringo’s Hole” “Confusion” and “Air force”. This trip begins in La Fortuna where expert rafting guides will pick you up in private transportation from your hotel. Then you travel for about 1.5 hours to arrive at the river. Once on the river, you will experience three action packed hours where, in the middle, you will stop for a fruit break and rest time to renovate your energy for the second half of the trip. At the end of the river portion your private transportation will be waiting for you and drive for a few minutes to a local restaurant for an invigorating Costa Rican meal. The return trip to Fortuna will be 1.5 hours.

Day 5
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Dinner

Today, private transportation will be provided from the area of the Arenal Volcano to Monteverde Cloud Forest. Board a land vehicle and then a boat across the Arenal Lake to Monteverde. Transfer to the pier at Lake Arenal Dam (25-35 minutes) to board your boat to the other side of the lake approximately 30-40 minutes depending on wind conditions). Total time from Arenal to Monteverde is approximately 3 hours

The boat will dock at Rio Chiquito a small town on the shore of Lake Arenal, where you will board your private 4-wheel drive vehicle for a 2-hour ground transfer to the Monteverde area. Total transfer time from Arenal to Monteverde area via Lake Arenal is approximately 3 hours.

Monteverde

Monteverde is a peaceful community made up of dairy farmers, naturalists and tourism service providers who have joined together to create a model for sustainable development and protection of the environment that is becoming known throughout the world. Founded in 1954 by a group of Quakers searching for a peaceful place to live, it is the home of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, the Children's Eternal Rain Forest, and the Santa Elena Reserve.

Day 6
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Monteverde Cloud Forest with the following activity included:

Monteverde Reserve and Curicancha Reserve. All Day with Box

Today you’ll start your hike in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve at the visitors’ center.

Your nature guide will offer an array or possibilities for different trails in the reserve, according to the best chances to enjoy the forest and discover wildlife. You’ll start up at approximately 5000 f and can climb up to 6000 f in some of the trails. The trails at the reserve are well-kept and have moderate gradients & steps, ascending ramps, alternating flat sections and quite appropriate conditions including bridges and handrails.

Your nature guide will do his best to find the elusive birds in the cloud forest, including the mythical Quetzal, the sacred bird of the Mayans! Many more birds like hummingbirds, thrushes, trogons or toucans can be seen in the reserve

After finishing the Monteverde Reserve hike, you’ll continue on a very low traffic trail down through the Private Reserve of Curicancha. Even though Curicancha main paths are now very popular, just a handful of visitors will be on the first part of this trail –if any!

You’ll start your hike mostly on dirt trails with not too steep descents. The majority of the path has from 10 to 15 % gradient, alternating with some flat sections. The trail is partially shaded, and has moderate steps made of wood boards and some concrete blocks. In this cloud forest area, one can expect muddy sections, slippery terrain in some points and just a few handrails available. Your nature guide will be an important asset to locate the right trail and spot wildlife along the way!

Day 7
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Arenas del Mar Beach & Nature Resort Breakfast

Today meet your private bilingual Naturalist Guide and Spanish speaking driver of the day and depart by minivan for the 3.5 - 4-hour drive to Manuel Antonio National Park & Beach.

Stop en route for lunch and a boat trip down the Tarcoles River:

Tarcoles Crocodile Boat Tour

Jungle Crocodile Safari offers a tour specially designed for adventurers and bird watchers, yet safe for the whole family. The adventure takes place on the Tárcoles River, one of four rivers flowing out into the Nicoya Peninsula, and home to one of the world’s largest crocodile populations in the wild with individuals up to fifteen feet long. In addition to the crocodiles, over fifty different kinds of birds can be seen on site, including the very rare scarlet macaw and a great variety of resident and migrant waterfowl.

Iguanas and basilisk lizards are very common as well. Jungle Crocodile Safari’s tour time is two hours. Our bilingual tourist guide offers expert orientation about the crocodiles and other associated wildlife. On the way downstream, the boat heads along the Estero Guacalillo, a most impressive mangrove ecosystem that features four different species of mangrove trees. In addition to sightseeing, photography and videotaping are permitted. You’ll receive a bottle of cold drinking water along with a brochure that shows all 56 bird species commonly sighted along the river.

Duration: 2 – 2.5 hours

Afternoon, continue into Manuel Antonio. White-sand beaches, cliffs, promontories, ravines, rivers, rainforests, varied wildlife, beautiful seascapes and a hot climate all describe Manuel Antonio National Park. Located on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast 4.3 miles (7 kms) south of Quepos Harbor, some consider the Park to be overdeveloped and crowded.

Day 8
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Arenas del Mar Beach & Nature Resort Breakfast

At Manuel Antonio National Park & Beach with the following activity included:

Manuel Antonio National Park Interpretive Walk

Join a guide from Arenas del Mar for an interpretative experience at Manuel Antonio National Park. Although the highlights of this park are its two white sand beaches Espadilla Sur and Manuel Antonio, it also protects coastal rain forest, a mangrove swamp, coral formations and 12 islands that serve as seabird sanctuaries. The guide will teach you about the park’s distinctive plant life and point out some of the resident fauna, which include 109 mammal species, including 3 species of monkeys, agouti, three-toed sloth and 184 species of birds. The terrain is generally flat and easy to walk. Keep in mind temperatures and humidity are high making the walk feel more difficult.

Day 9
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Arenas del Mar Beach & Nature Resort Breakfast

At Manuel Antonio National Park & Beach with the full day at leisure.

Day 10
San José, Costa Rica
International Airport in San Jose Breakfast

Depending on your international flight departure time, today you will meet your Spanish speaking driver, and depart by minivan for a private land transfer back to the International Airport in San Jose (3 - 3.5-hour drive).

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Adventure
  • Family Vacations
  • Romance & Honeymoons
  • Walking & Biking
  • Wildlife & Nature

Description

Enjoy a complete and authentic Costa Rica experience:

You can visit the Arenal Volcano area and stay in one of the most luxurious hotels in the area, the Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens, a property that reflects its location and respects the ecological balance of the area.

Then, be immersed in the Cloud Forest (Monteverde Lodge & Gardens) and finish on the beach, exactly in Manuel Antonio National Park. (Arenas Del Mar Beach & Nature Resort)

About Us

Created in 1978, Costa Rica Expeditions continues to set the pace with Taylor made itineraries of leisure, wilderness and nature adventures in one of the world's most bio diverse and richly-populated wildlife areas. With appeal for travelers seeking escape to remote wilderness areas, retreats and beaches with the most upscale accommodations waiting at the end of the day, Costa Rica Expeditions blends adventure-packed itineraries led by expert, bilingual naturalist guides with luxurious lodgings set in Costa Rica's wildest corners. Costa Rica Expeditions is widely recognized as the best nature and adventure tour operator in the country.

Insider Tip

Contact your Costa Rica Expeditions Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

TERMS & CONDITIONS

INCLUDED: Accommodations, Transfers, Tours and Meals: As indicated in the itinerary.

Porterage: we include the handling of two bags per person.

Taxes & entrance fees: Hotel taxes, entrance fees to National Parks, museums and places of interest in effect at the time of booking are included unless otherwise specified.

NOT INCLUDED: Costs of obtaining passports, visas; excess baggage fees; personal expenses, gratuities for tour escort, guides or driver; international airfare and airport departure taxes; sightseeing or meals not specified in the itinerary; personal insurance coverage.

HOLIDAY PAYMENT POLICY:

APPLIES TO CHRISTMAS, NEW YEARS, PRESIDENTS WEEK AND EASTER

A non-refundable deposit of 50% of the total trip cost is required to guarantee your reservation upon acceptance of proposal. The balance is due 60 days prior to the start date of departure. Any trips that are reserved less than 90 days prior to arrival must make full payment before hotel reservations can be confirmed. Deposits that are made to secure peak season hotels, guides and services are non-refundable.

PAYMENT POLICY FOR DATES OTHER THAN HOLIDAY DATES

A deposit of 50% of the total trip cost is required to guarantee your reservation upon acceptance of proposal. The balance is due 30 days prior to the start date of departure. Any trips that are confirmed less than 60 days prior to arrival must make full payment before hotel reservations can be confirmed.

PRICES CHARGED

The prices we charge reflect our costs and a reasonable profit for our services in planning and operating the trip.

PRICE BREAKDOWNS

We do not give price breakdowns.

HOLIDAY CANCELLATION POLICY:

APPLIES TO CHRISTMAS, NEW YEARS, PRESIDENTS WEEK AND EASTER

Deposits that are made to secure peak season hotel, guides and services are non-refundable. In the case of cancellations 90 days or more prior to the start date of the scheduled trip, there is a full refund minus a cancellation fee of $750 or 20% of the entire cost of the trip. In the case of cancellations received in our office from 89 to 46 days prior to the start date of the trip, there is a 50% refund, minus hotel deposits and guide fees. There will be no refund for cancellations made 45 or fewer days prior to the trip.

CANCELLATION POLICY FOR DATES OTHER THAN HOLIDAYS

Deposits that are made to secure peak season hotel, guides and service are non-refundable. In the case of cancellations 30 days or more prior to the start date of the scheduled trip, there is a full refund minus hotel deposits and guide fees, in addition to a cancellation fee of $500 or 15% of the entire cost of the trip. In the case of cancellations received in our office from 29 to 15 days prior to the start date of the trip, there is a 50% refund, minus hotel deposits and guide fees. There will be no refund for cancellations made 14 or fewer days prior to the trip.



The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Costa Rica Expeditions

100%

of 3
guests
recommend


Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by

Excellent accomodation and tours

By: MM


Reviewed on: 02 Mar 2015

Costa Rica Expeditions is a first class operation. Their guide Donald at the Montverde Lodge and Gardens was amazing. We saw many species of birds and mammals that we would not have seen had he not been along to point then out to us. Very professional, polite and well versed in the ecology of Costa Rica. Excellent English as well. All transfers from one location to another were executed perfectly. Always on time and safe. Most drivers spoke a fair amount of English and were only too glad to stop to point out sights or to stop for a photo. shoot. The Monteverde Lodge and Gardens was very comfortable and the restaurant El Jardin was great as well. Loved the whole experience.
Travel Advisor:  Lisa and Nancy Zupancic

Pura Vida

By: Sherie


Reviewed on: 10 Mar 2015

Costa Rica....the most hospitable place on earth! Wonderful service wherever we went. Everyone we met was kind and welcoming. Such an amazing country.

Costa Rica March 2017

By: Cecile


Reviewed on: 03 Apr 2017

10+ Drivers, tour guides, hosts, lodges (especially Tortuga Lodge, but also Monte Verde Lodge), food, employees were all fabulous! We also stayed at Arenas Del Mar and that was fabulous as well!
Travel Advisor:  Susan Morley