Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group, Independent

Costa Rica: Unique Adventure (9 days)

Costa Rica Expeditions

Monte Verde, Costa Rica To San José, Costa Rica

Valid for Departures Now Through: 16 Mar 2019

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens None

Transfer from Liberia airport to Monteverde Cloud Forest (4 hours)

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 2
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Breakfast
Santa Elena Reserve with Local Naturalist Guide

Santa Elena Reserve is located 5 km northeast of Santa Elena, north of and at slightly higher elevation than the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. It is one of the first community-managed reserves in the country. With the support of Youth Challenge International, a Canadian non-profit organization, the Costa Rican Government, and the Santa Elena community, the Reserve officially opened in March 1992. The reserve was created out of the community's determination to help preserve the cloud forest surrounding them and to use tourism as a tool to benefit community development in Monteverde. Proceeds from entrance fees, guided tours and the souvenir shop are either reinvested in the management of the reserve or are channeled to the Santa Elena local high school to help upgrade technology and fund courses in environmental education, biology, agriculture, languages and tourism. Using the Reserve itself as a classroom, students and teachers take advantage of a limitless educational resource that can enhance the study of anything from tropical plant ecology to guiding tours. It is an example of what people can do to preserve and learn from their environment. It has virtually all the species claimed by its eastern neighbor, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve: quetzals, deer, sloths, ocelots, Howler, and Capuchin Monkeys. It receives far fewer visitors and it is easier to see a greater diversity of birds. There are over 10 km of trails currently open and expansion of the reserve and trail system is planned.

Day 3
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Breakfast

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve with Local Naturalist Guide

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, depending upon your luck and patience, you may observe the Resplendent Quetzal (occasionally a dozen or more individuals at once). Other species include the Three-wattled Bellbird, the Emerald Toucanet, and White-faced and Howler Monkeys.Hummingbird GalleryLocated at the entrance of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Great photo opportunities outside the gallery, where feeders attract a wide variety of hummingbirds in overwhelming numbers. There is a gift shop on the premises

Day 4
San José, Costa Rica
Hotel Grano de Oro Breakfast, Lunch

Transfer to San Ramón (3 hours). There you will have a guided visit to Nectandra Cloud Forest Gardens. Nectandra Cloud Forest GardenLocated 80 km Northwest of San Jose, going north from San Ramon, it is the centerpiece of 104 hectares (257 acres) of primary and secondary forest. With few exceptions, most of the plants featured in the horticultural observation area are from the preserve and its immediate surroundings. Some of the plants in the design are included as pure aesthetic elements, others for their importance in medicinal, indigenous and cultural uses. A small number of changing exhibits highlight scientific information on the ecology of the cloud forest. Beyond the confines of the Garden, the remaining biological preserve is restricted to scientific field research carried out by a non-profit organization, the Nectandra Institute. Current scientific activities include botanic inventory, preparation and identification of herbarium specimens of dominant and unusual plants, and investigation into the variables influencing natural reforestation in cloud forests. Two naturalist-guided tours are available. They differ in length and terrain. Both walks are suited to visitors in good health. The “Leisure Walk” is approximately four hours, through dense forest and undulating terrain. In addition to information offered by the naturalist guide along the way, visitors will have ample opportunity to hear the sounds of the forest, observe the fauna and flora, and experience the serenity of the place. The “Wilderness Walk” takes about five hours at a moderate pace and is also led by a naturalist guide. This hike winds through primary forest and visitors will encounter steeper trails.After the tour, transfer to San Jose (90 minutes)

Day 5
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drive to the local airport to meet your 30 minute flight from San José to Tortuguero. You will be greeted at the airstrip and will cross the Tortuguero River by boat to Tortuga Lodge.

Natural History Boat ExcursionAfter 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.

This tour is a three hour trip into the back water lagoons and creeks of Tortuguero National Park. Your boat is equipped with an ice chest with water and if you’d like to have additional beverages in the boat you can ask your guide to stock the ice chest with your favorite drinks (at additional cost).

Return to the lodge in time for lunch.

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

Kayaking, a New Perspective of the Rainforest

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

Tortuguero Village & Sea Turtle Conservancy Visitor Center

This two hour tour of the village is lead 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-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.

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 (when in session) the Park headquarters, the general goods store and walk down the paths with colorful Afro-Caribbean homes. Stop for a chat with the locals and learn about their way of life. Next visit the museum founded by the Sea Turtle Conservation, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC).

Day 7
San José, Costa Rica
Xandari Resorts & Spa Breakfast

Cross the Tortuguero River by boat and board your 30 minute flight from Tortuguero to San José. Upon your arrival transfer to your hotel.

Day 8
San José, Costa Rica
Xandari Resorts & Spa Breakfast

This is a free day.

Enjoy it!

Day 9
San José, Costa Rica
International Airport Breakfast

Transfer to the International Airport at least three hours prior to the departure time for your flight out of the country.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Adventure
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Family Vacations
  • Romance & Honeymoons
  • Walking & Biking
  • Wildlife & Nature

Description

You could know two of the most requested places in Costa Rica> can know:

Monteverde to the north of the province of Puntarenas, is the home of the cloud forest, along with a great variety of flora and fauna. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is unique to other tropical rain-forests of Costa Rica, with a constant haze. The high humidity at this point, 1,600 meters above sea level, creates fog and provides a dense cloud cover over the area.

Tortuguero is located on the Northern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica in the Limón Province. It is the home of the Tortuguero National Park. It is renowned for its navigable canals that run through the rain-forest in the national park.

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