Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group, Independent

100% Nature, Costa Rica (8 days)

Costa Rica Expeditions

Monte Verde, Costa Rica To San José, Costa Rica

Valid for Departures Now Through: 17 Jan 2019

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Lunch, Dinner

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, 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 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.

IMPORTANT: When you exit the building, you'll see a lot of people, and you will mostlikely be approached by taxi drivers looking for a fare, tell them it’s not necessary.

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

Depart with your Spanish speaking driver by minivan for the 3 - 3.5 hour drive to the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Day 2
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Breakfast

At Monteverde Cloud Forest with the following activities included:

Sky Tram & Sky Trek in Monteverde Theme Park

Take a zip line ride through the cloud forest canopy. To get to the zip line, you'll ride the Sky Tram (included in the Sky Trek experience), which offers extensive views of Monteverde hills and Nicoya gulf. The variable climate and altitude has helped produce high biodiversity. Monteverde is home to more than 400 species of birds as well as thousands of insect species and plants. As you reach the top of the mountain by the aerial tram gondolas, we will be able to observe the cloud forest natural environs. There are possibilities to spot some of the local avifauna and occasionally observe mammals such as the white- throated capuchin monkeys or the howlers.

Don Juan Coffee Tour

Don Juan Cruz was born to one of the first pioneering farming families that arrived to the Monteverde area. For the most part of his life he has been associated with coffee and for sharing his history and the culture of this land with frequent visitors to his small farm. Monteverde is a good place to learn about the entire processes to create a great cup of coffee using authentic techniques that date back a few generations.

On the tour you will be immersed for 30 minutes within the world of chocolate enjoying its delicious aromas and learning about its history. You will get an insight into the traditional methods that our ancestors used to roast the beans, separate the husks and grind beans. In the sugar cane demonstration, you will learn about the historical reason why many farmers had sugarcane mills on their farms and extract the sugarcane the traditional way and then enjoy a glass of pure sugarcane juice as well as a few pieces of sweet and juicy sugar cane. An authentic home-made lunch is available at an additional fee.

Day 3
Arenal, Costa Rica
Volcano Lodge & Springs Breakfast

Meet your transportation and drive to the bank of Lake Arenal. The drive from the hotels in Monteverde takes approximately 2.5 hours, depending on the location of your hotel.

The road from the Town of Monteverde to “Rio Chiquito” is a very bumpy gravel road.

Once at the lake, you will have to walk on the sand to board the boat (wear shoes that can get wet). Lake Arenal is a manmade lake originally planned as Costa Rica’s main reservoir for the generation of electricity. During the lake crossing is possible to observe different species of birds such as Little Blue herons, egrets, Osprey and Olivaceous cormorants. When you arrive at the dock known as “El Tapon” on the other side of Lake

Arenal, you will have to walk up a steep cement ramp to reach the van and driver that will be waiting for you. Drive 25-35 minutes to your hotel.

Afternoon Guided Visit to La Fortuna Waterfall

The length of the tour is approximately 3.5 hours. From La Fortuna you will drive approximately 4 miles southeast. You will travel through the Costa Rican country side along the way with cattle farms and agriculture and good chances to see some birds such as oropéndolas and toucans. From the waterfalls site parking, you have to walk five hundred meters (1600 feet) on a steep but safe trail into the forest in order to get to the waterfall (70 meters or 220 feet high). At the base of the waterfall there is a natural pool where you can swim in the fresh water of La Fortuna River for about one hour. Later on, you will be transferred back to your hotel

Day 4
Arenal, Costa Rica
Volcano Lodge & Springs Breakfast

At Arenal Volcano with the following activity included:

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.

Day 5
Arenal, Costa Rica
Volcano Lodge & Springs Breakfast

Arenal Hanging Bridges Canopy Walkway

This project consists of eight fixed bridges, ranging in length between 8 and 22 meters, and six hanging bridges, built with the latest techniques and designed with an eye for both beauty and safety. The hanging bridges are between 48 and 98 meters long. All the bridges are made of galvanized steel and high-strength aluminum. The safety mesh and the suspension cables are all galvanized steel. The entire project was designed to blend with the natural environment, leaving the forest virtually intact. The trails, covering a distance of about 3.1 km, are right inside the forest. As you walk, you can appreciate a great diversity of flowers and wildlife that are typical of the rain forest as well as some imposing views of the Volcano (weather permitting).

Day 6
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Shared Transfer from Fortuna to La Pavona

Your Spanish speaking driver will pick you up in your hotel in La Fortuna, Arenal, after breakfast for your journey to La Pavona. The final part of the road to the meeting point with the boat is certainly not in good shape at all. The roads are made of mid seized boulders, gravel and some sections are muddy or even a little flooded during the peak of the rainy season. Nevertheless, the vehicles always manage to arrive safely. You’ll take off from Arenal, crossing different crops fields, cattle and ornamental plants when you climb the mountains. Afterwards, you’ll start descending towards the Caribbean until you arrive to La Pavona

La Pavona offers simple facilities including a place to buy water, soda or beer, as well as restrooms for a fee ($0.50). The embarking area is nothing but a sand mound which is approached by the river boats that will take you to Tortuguero

Around mid-day board a boat with a local captain and depart for a 1 - 1.5 hours trip to Tortuguero. You will have the opportunity to observe some of the areas wildlife during your boat ride along the creeks to reach the lodge. Arrive at Tortuga Lodge mid to late afternoon. Set on a private rainforest reserve bordering Tortuguero National Park, the lodge’s rooms have private baths and hot showers. A swimming pool is surrounded by botanical gardens that lead to the rainforest and river.
Day 7
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tortuguero National Park Wildlife Boat Tour

After breakfast, leave the lodge by boat with your Tortuguero local naturalist guide and fellow guests to explore the creeks of Tortuguero National Park. The morning hours are especially active in the rain forest, when the wildlife is hungry and in search of their energy source for the day. It’s not uncommon to find troops of Howler monkeys in search of tender young figs or the leaves of the Monkey Plum tree. You might even encounter a River Otter hunting. The Northern Jacana is often perched on an island of Water Hyacinth looking for insects and miniature shrimp and the caiman is quietly waiting for its next meal to swim by.

Tortuguero Village & Sea Turtle Conservancy Center

This two-hour tour of the village is led by one of our local guides at Tortuga Lodge. Today the town has a population of approximately 1500. The first inhabitants of the area were the Zambo to Miskito Indians and escaped slaves; they controlled the entire Caribbean coast raiding cacao plantations and hunting turtle. Nineteenth century sailors included the coast of Tortuguero in their route because they were able to purchase turtle meat, oil and shell to be sold in Europe. At that time Tortuguero residents survived on subsistence hunting, the bananas, plantains and cassava that they could grow and of course they fished. Most of the men worked logging the forest they then tied the logs together and floated the logs down river where a boat would haul them to port. Over time, the village became more focused on tourism and today most of the adults work in some form of tourism or conservation related business. The village has made a big effort to get their basic needs met such as running water, medical and dental care, garbage collection and management. Visit the local school and next visit the museum founded by the Sea Turtle Conservation.

Day 8
San José, Costa Rica
International Airport Breakfast

After breakfast, cross the Tortuguero River by boat to the Tortuguero airstrip. Here you will meet your pilot, for the 30 minutes domestic flight (shared with other guests) to San Jose. Upon arrival at the light aviation airport, transfer to the International airport for your International flight back home.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

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

Description

Mandatory visits if you want to live a natural experience in Costa Rica:

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.

Arenal Volcano is in the province of Alajuela, canton of San Carlos, and district of La Fortuna. Arenal is considered a young volcano and it is estimated to be less than 7,500 years old.

Originally intended to protect a major nesting beach of the Atlantic green sea turtle, Tortuguero National Park now protects 77,032 acres or 30,812 hectares, one of the last large areas of tropical rain forest 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, along with more than 320 species of birds including all 6 species of kingfishers found in the new world, 3 species of toucans, 8 species of parrots, and other neotropical species such as the Slaty-tailed trogon, White-collared manakin, Purple-throated fruitcrow, and White-fronted nunbird and many more species.

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