Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group, Private

8-Days in Costa Rica (8 days)

Costa Rica Expeditions

San José, Costa Rica To Liberia, Costa Rica

Valid for Departures Now Through: 20 Dec 2018

8-Days in Costa Rica (8 days)

Day 2

Pacuare River Valley, Costa Rica

Day 3

Pacuare River Valley, Costa Rica

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 must 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 carouse

If your flight is arriving between the hours of 7 am- 10 pm, you 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 must give the Customs Official the form that you filled out on the plane. Once you’ve retrieved your luggage, you can exit the airport.

Day 2
Pacuare River Valley, Costa Rica
Pacuare Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This outdoor adventure begins when you are picked up at your San José hotel in a van and transported through the old capital city of Cartago and the green farmlands blanketing the slopes of the Irazú and Turrialba volcanoes. Before arriving at the banks of the Pacuare River, you’ll stop for a Costa Rican breakfast.

The trip from San Jose to the river put in takes 3 – 3.5 hours including breakfast time. When you arrive at the river, your guides will provide you with the rafting gear and explain safety precautions before the rafting adventure begins. The river trip takes 1 – 1.5 hours, and passes through canyons where waterfalls plummet down into the rapidly coursing river below. Tall trees and dense green vegetation come right down to the water’s edge.

The first day on the river is a journey that takes over an hour and a half on class II and III rapids. When you arrive at the Pacuare Lodge, you’ll find a jungle oasis.

Trees and flowering shrubs dot the rolling green lawns on the banks of the river. Wooden bungalows with thatched palm roofs are spaced out beneath the trees, providing both privacy and serenity. The two-story main lodge has breezy dining facilities on the first floor, and chairs and hammocks in the open-air second floor lounge. After a hearty lunch, you can take a guided hike to a waterfall in the forest, play dominoes or cards, or just relax. Happy Hour begins as twilight descends, and guests can gather to share their experiences. Shortly after you’ll be served a candlelight dinner. Whenever you feel ready, you can head to your suite.
Day 3
Pacuare River Valley, Costa Rica
Pacuare Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Full day in the Pacuare River valley with the following activity.

Ancient Trail & Hidden Waterfall Hike

Pacuare Lodge offers a very challenging hike in their private reserve. The topographic conditions of the area are certainly a good opportunity to experience a good level hiking. The Ancient Trails & Hidden Waterfall is a nice option for people who are accustomed to hike in remote and wild areas. The rain forest in this region is very humid (nearly 100%) and keeps high temperatures almost all year round (80° - 90° F)

First of all, you depart Pacuare Lodge and begin with a steep hike through the rain forest to reach the legendary “sendero de las mulas” (mule trial), used by the Cabécar Indians since ancient times. Then, you’ll follow a series of trail that take us into the Nairi Awari Indigenous Reserve, to reach the highpoint of this excursion: the hidden waterfall!

You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch at this scenic spot before hiking towards a Cabécar indigenous community. After exploring that traditional village, you’ll head back to the Pacuare Lodge.

Day 4
Arenal, Costa Rica
Arenal Manoa Breakfast, Lunch

After a buffet breakfast, you’ll launch the rafts again for the second day of the river expedition. Rafting becomes even more thrilling as you begin to use the skills and experience gained the day before for approximately 3.5 hours over class III-IV rapids. Stop for a picnic lunch along the river. At the river take-out, you can change into dry clothes at the private facilities before boarding the van for the drive to the Arenal Volcano area.

Arenal Volcano, with its almost perfectly shaped cone, soars 1,633 meters (5.500 ft) above sea level. This volcano presents five craters altogether, and one of those craters is about 150 m (500 ft) deep. From time to time, deep earth echoes are heard and clouds of vapor or smoke billows out of the top. This area also shows the largest fresh water lake in the country.

Evening Visit to Ecotermales Hot Spring

After signing in at the reception, you will be given a key for your locker where you can change and store your belongings.

A path through the forest leads you to the natural thermal hot springs with 6 free-flowing pools set in a natural river gorge. Water temperature ranges from 100ºF (38ºC) to 109ºF (43ºC) depending on the pool. The high temperatures and mineral rich waters require that you spend no more than 10 minutes in the higher temperature pools and alternate an equal amount of time between hot and cold water. You have access to a cooler water pool and cold water showers so that you can cool off as needed. The time limit in the hot water pools is especially important to keep in mind when you are traveling with children.

Day 5
Arenal, Costa Rica
Arenal Manoa Breakfast, Lunch

At Arenal Volcano with the following activity included:

Caño Negro: Río Frio Boat Tour

The Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge and the Rio Frío consist of wetlands considered among the richest and more biologically diverse in Costa Rica. Here you can find a great variety of resident and migratory birds plus three different species of monkeys, also iguanas, sloths, turtles and caimans. The tour starts when you get picked up from the hotel in a bus for the 2 hour transfer to Los Chiles, a village only 4 to km from the Nicaraguan border. Here your boat waits for your river adventure. When you board the boat you will take part in a 2 ½ hour floating guided safari through tropical rain forest and pastures until you arrive to the marshes. Along the river you may see Howler monkeys, Spider monkeys, White-faced monkeys, also the Three-toed Sloth and reptiles such as caimans, basilisk lizards and turtles.

Day 6
Golfo de Papagayo, Costa Rica
El Mangroove Hotel Breakfast

Arenal Volcano National Park Morning 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 volcanic activity at the Arenal has changed significantly throughout the years. Nowadays, the volcano has entered a different eruptive cycle without the presence of pyroclastic flows. 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) Back in 1968, the strongest eruption ever registered in the region altered the usual calm of the nearby villages. Ashes and ejected material reached these local communities causing many casualties. Today, you can occasionally observe plumes of gases directly on the summit of this active volcano. Accompanied by your guide, you can learn about the geology and history of the area. It is also possible to spot some wildlife during the hike such as monkeys, coatis and birds like parrots, parakeets, toucans, oropendulas as well as birds of prey.

After the guided hike at the Arenal Volcano, return to the hotel for lunch on your own, and be ready to meet your Transfer guide and depart by minivan for the 3 to 3.5 hrs drive to the Gulf of Papagayo area.

Day 7
Golfo de Papagayo, Costa Rica
El Mangroove Hotel Breakfast

At Papagayo Peninsula, full day at leisure.

Day 8
Liberia, Costa Rica
International Airport Breakfast

Today you will meet your Transfer guide and depart by minivan for a land transfer back to the International Airport in Liberia (1-hour drive). Please keep in mind that you must be at the airport at least two hours prior to your departure time.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

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

Description

Explore Costa Rica, starting in the capital of the country, San Jose and then discover the adventure and nature of the country in Pacuare River Valley and Arenal area and finally enjoy Bahia Papagago.

In this adventure you can stay in:

Hotel Grano de Oro

It is situated on a shady street just off Paseo Colon, near Sabana Park in downtown San José. All rooms are equipped with free Internet, fully equipped mini bars, safety deposit boxes, flat screen TV with cable, ceiling fans, and telephones with direct access to international calling.

Pacuare Lodge

The Lodge is located at the Pacuare River valley which runs through the central volcanic mountains and drains its waters into the Caribbean Sea. Pacuare Lodge is also situated in the heart of the Cabecar native indigenous groups. Only 1.6 per cent of the Costa Ricans are considered native indigenous people and the majority of their settlings are in remote areas of the country.

Arenal Manoa

This is located 10 minutes by car from La Fortuna. Visitors can take advantage of the spacious gardens for walking and meditation as well as the opportunities to see the daily operations of a typical Costa Rican farm.

El Mangroove Hotel

Spanning for 17 acres and embracing 150 meters of beach front, Mangroove is also conveniently located at only 15 minutes from the town of El Coco Beach. Mangroove Hotel features 85 bohemian-chic suites nestled amongst mangrove and beach front forest.

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.



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Reviews and Recommendations for Costa Rica Expeditions

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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

HIGHLY recommend for a stress free vacation of your dreams!

By: Brittany A.


Reviewed on: 20 Jul 2018

Costa Rica Expeditions was absolutely incredible!! Every detail was planned out perfectly, so that my husband and I did not have to worry about a thing. The tour guides were some of the friendliest people I have ever met. They made us feel like old friends and went out of their way with kindness. This was the least stressful vacation I have ever taken and I recommend this service to everyone who has asked us about our trip. Costa Rica Expeditions will provide you with the most memorable vacation, you will not regret it!
Travel Advisor:  Charissa Popp