Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group, Independent

Natural Adventure, Costa Rica (9 days)

Costa Rica Expeditions

San José, Costa Rica To San José, Costa Rica

Valid for Departures Now Through: 20 Feb 2019

Itinerary

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

After passing through Immigration and customs meet your Costa Rica Expeditions guide, who will take you to your hotel.

Day 2
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drive to the local airport to meet your 35 minute Costa Rica Expeditions light charter flight (private) to Tortuguero. Fly over Braulio Carrillo National Park and the Atlantic lowlands until landing in Tortuguero. You will be greeted at the airstrip and will cross the Tortuguero River by boat to Tortuga Lodge.

Today you have the following activity included:

Kayak Tortuguero National Park

Leave the lodge by boat with your Tortuguero Naturalist Guide and your kayaks to the entrance of Caño Chiquero or Caño Mora. These creeks are designated for non-motorized boats only. Your guide will unload the kayaks and help you get your life jacket and your kayak seat adjusted so that you can paddle the back water creeks and lagoons of Tortuguero National Park in safety and comfort. Kayaking gives you a whole new perspective of the rainforest, from this position you become the river, look up to see what the rainforest canopy looks like if you’re a river otter swimming in the creek, scan the understory of the forest and imagine foraging for seeds that are hidden there. Close your eyes and listen to the sun dried seed pod of the Gavilan tree burst making a gunshot sound and dispersing its seeds, the call of the Chestnut Mandibled toucan in the distance and the sound of Spider monkeys crashing through the trees. After two hours of paddling, you and your guide will pack up your gear and return to the lodge. There is no need to have previous kayaking experience, your Tortuguero Naturalist Guide will give you a full safety briefing and paddling instruction before your tour begins.

Day 3
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 on your private tour 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 also 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.

Half Day Fishing on the Silky Shark

To fish for Tarpon or Snook on the Atlantic coast is not only an opportunity to cast the line in a world class fishing arena; it’s also an opportunity to meet the legendary

Eduardo Brown and his brother Roberto. Captain Eddie Brown is three to time winner of the National Tarpon Tournament while Roberto has been Captain for the boat winning the National Fishing Tournament on three different occasions. The brothers first started fishing when they were 15 or 16 in their home in Barra Del Colorado. In those days, the fishing lodges fished 7 days a week; they remember asking to work on their days off to make extra money to take home. Eddie’s booming voice and wonderful personality and most importantly his impressive skill fishing, have made Captain Eddie one of the finest guides in Costa Rica’s north Caribbean coast. Roberto is the quiet one, his specialty is fly fishing and his knack for knowing where the tarpon area is highly respected on the Caribbean Coast.

Day 4
Arenal, Costa Rica
Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort Breakfast

Cross the Tortuguero River by boat and board your 40 minute private Costa Rica Expeditions light charter flight from Tortuguero to La Fortuna.

Upon arrival a 30 min land transfer will be provided to your hotel.

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. This area contains a great wealth of geologic and biological complexity. 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 - this means there are no lava flows, but that hiking up to close the crater can be very dangerous - do not do it. The geologic activity makes for hot springs with surprisingly high temperatures of up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. A growing tourism industry has taken advantage of this natural resource to heat up pools and fountains for the amusement of visitors, together with activities such as mountain biking, canopy rides, horseback riding and kayaking on the lake.

Day 5
Arenal, Costa Rica
Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort Breakfast

At Arenal Volcano with the following activities included:

Arenal Volcano Hike 1968 Trail

Today you will be hiking trails around the flanks of Arenal Volcano. Your hike takes place on private land used as buffer zones to help protecting the adjacent national park.

You’ll want to see our recommendations on what to wear and what to pack in your daypack, below. This hike is approximately 3 miles or 5 kms, and covers a good variety of natural sceneries and ecosystems. The trail includes relatively flat sections with no more than 10 % gradient, as well as some more serious climb on steep rocky terrain (25-35 % incline). You will gain elevation hiking from about 1600 feet (500 mts) to maximum 2200 feet (666 mts) at the summit of the 1968 old lava flow. On a clear day you can observe the Arenal Volcano and the Lake used for electric generation and recreation. The Arenal has experienced much more active periods in the past decades. The largest eruptions ever registered occurred in 1968 when Arenal suddenly woke up from an extended lethargic era. Arenal is a “young” volcano, only about 7000 years old. On your way to the top of the old lava, you’ll cross grasslands, a volcanic lake, secondary forest and patches of regenerated vegetation less than 50 years old. There are good possibilities to observe several species of birds.

Kayak on Lake Arenal

This tour leaves from La Fortuna mornings or afternoons to practice kayaking on Lake Arenal and possibly observing the Arenal Volcano. Arenal Lake is the largest and most important lake in Costa Rica. It is also a place where you can find different kinds of resident and migratory birds. Sometimes mammals can be seen in the surroundings. On the trip you may observe different species of birds like flycatchers, kingfishers, herons, cormorants, fishing eagles and egrets. You may also hear the howler monkeys in the area from time to time.

Day 6
Arenal, Costa Rica
Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort Breakfast

At Arenal Volcano with the following activity included:

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 7
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Dinner

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 a 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.

Curi Cancha Hike with Naturalist Guide

This refuge used to be a private property and is now opened to the public, with an area of 178 acres features a mixture of primary and secondary forest. The park receives far less tourists and visitors than other reserves in the area. Note: Trails can be very slippery when it is raining so suitable foot wear is recommended.

Day 8
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Dinner

At Monteverde Cloud Forest with the following activities included:

Monteverde Reserve Guided Hike

Drive 20 minutes to the entrance of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve accompanied by a local Naturalist Guide. Originally just 4,000 acres, the Monteverde Reserve now includes a protected area of approximately 25,000 acres, comprising six different life zones. So many habitats in such a small area, along with extensive trail improvements, allow visitors to enjoy a rich diversity of flora and fauna with relatively short distance and easy walking. The Reserve was founded in 1972 and extends down both slopes of the Tilarán Mountains (elevation 2,300 to 5,600 ft.). It encompasses six different ecological life zones and is home to more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and 1,500 species of plants. From January to July, you have possibilities to observe the Resplendent Quetzal at the reserve.

Butterfly Garden Guided Tour

Your visit to the Butterfly Garden begins in the nature center with a general overview of spiders and insects. This includes close looks at scorpions, spiders, and all kinds of tropical insects. The Garden philosophy is to educate the visitor about the great biodiversity of the Monteverde region. Next continue into 4 enclosed butterfly gardens. Each of the 4 gardens represents a different local habitat including the hot lowlands, mid- elevation forest edge, deep forest and cloud forest. Guides teach the visitor about butterfly natural history and help you locate and observe as many different species of butterflies as possible. The tour finishes at a special exhibit on Leaf Cutter Ants, one of Costa Rica’s most enterprising insects. While it’s easy to watch them working on the forest floor, the Garden provides a way to see them working underground. After the tour you can go back into the gardens for more pictures, check out the medicinal plant garden or bird watch from the balcony.

Day 9
San José, Costa Rica
International Airport Breakfast

Depending on your international flight departure time, today you will meet your Spanish speaking driver and depart by minivan for a land transfer back to the International Airport in San Jose (3.5 - 4 hour drive). Please keep in mind that you must be at the airport at least three hours prior to your departure time.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

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

Description

Do you want to live a natural adventure in Costa Rica?

Look at this option, with surprising places:

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, on 146 acres of private land on Costa Rica's northeast Caribbean coast. The lodge has 14 River View Downstairs Terrace Rooms, 12 Upstairs River View Balcony Rooms and 1 River View Penthouse Suite.

The essence of Tortuguero is slow-moving tropical rivers. Everything about Tortuguero is defined by the rivers. They are Tortuguero's roads and Tortuguero's soul. If a guest wants to bring home the essence of Tortuguero he/she must get in tune with the rivers. The Lodge's restaurant starts at the river dock and reluctantly moves inland. Our kitchen prepares a daily fixed menu delighting our guests with local dishes served in creative ways. Meals are served family style at your table. We are happy to accommodate special requests.

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort is a 102 guest room Costa Rica hotel located at the base of the Arenal Volcano. It offers a selection of rooms and suites, all appointed with handicrafts and furnishings made by Costa Rican artisans. Internet access is available. This five star resort is recognized as a member of The Leading Hotels and The Leading Spas of the World featuring its new addition Shangri-La Gardens natural hot springs pools for adults only

Monteverde Lodge & Gardens, All rooms have: In-room safe, hot water, coffee maker, ceiling fan, reading lamps, hair dryer and free wireless internet. • All rooms don't have: TV, AC, or mini-bar. • Service Style: Personalized, informal, caring. • Restaurant: Cuisine: What a Costa Rican Grandmother would cook if she was also a creative and contemporary professional chef.

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