Costa Rica may be small but its loaded with opportunity for adventure. This two-week itinerary is ideal for anyone looking to get off the beaten path and discover a lush and wild world. Stop in at a reforestation project, visit a sea turtle conservancy program, opt to zipline through the jungle canopy, and soak in volcanic hot springs. Getting your hands dirty (and clean again) never felt so good.
If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head into the city to visit a museum or the main plaza in the city centre.
The plaza is a good place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Enjoy a delicious Costa Rican breakfast en route as we transfer by road then boat through the famous canals of Tortuguero. This tropical eco-paradise is home to countless bird and animal species, and you will have many opportunities to view and photograph wildlife.
The tropical rainforest gives way to prime secluded beaches, ideal nesting grounds for green turtles (nesting July through October), loggerhead, hawksbill, and leatherback turtles (nesting March through June). We cannot guarantee you will see turtles, but that odds are fairly good from July through October.
In Tortuguero National Park we stay in a remote jungle lodge that is only reachable by boat. Rooms are simple, with ensuite, electricity and hot water, but due to this remote location there can sometimes be interruptions to services. There is no A/C but each room has large-screened windows and ceiling fans to catch the breeze off the Caribbean Sea. While at the lodge during your downtime, you can enjoy the pool, bar or beach. The stunning location, wildlife and natural beauty of the location more than makes up for a few minor inconveniences.
Shared van (2.50-3.00 hours)
Motorized canoe (1.50 hour(s))
There's plenty of opportunity to see a variety of birds, monkeys, and other wildlife. In your downtime, relax at the secluded lodge on a hammock or at the pool or beach. You also have the option to take a zipline excursion or go kayaking.
Occasionally, the Sea Turtle Conservancy is closed to visitors as it is an active research facility. In the event this happens, you'll visit the nearby Caño Palma Biological Station, which includes a sea turtle and marine conservation presentation, a hands-on turtle measuring experience on the beach, and optional beach clean.
Tortuguero National Park Guided Boat Tour
Guided Jungle Walk
Visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy
Depart early and visit a G Adventures-supported coffee cooperative. Take a tour of the co-op and dig into a local lunch. Arrive in La Fortuna in the evening and relax at the pool as you take in jungle and volcano views.
Please also note that the town of La Fortuna is fairly small with shopping and some great restaurants, but most of the upgraded accommodations in this area are located outside of the main town centre - to take better advantage of the natural beauty and stunning landscapes of the area. Taxis are readily available to take you into town and back and can cost approx. $10USD each way.
Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour
Boat (1.50-2.00 hours)
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours, 200km)
Explore Fortuna with numerous optional activities. In the evening, visit a local home and learn the art of tortilla making. Once the tortillas are ready, dig into a tasty “casado” – a typical Costa Rican dish that's made with black beans, plantains, and your very own tortillas.
Tortilla Making and Home Dinner
Free day in La Fortuna. Options include rafting, waterfall rappelling, soaking in local hot springs, or taking a boat tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge.
From La Fortuna, we make our way by road and boat up to the misty mountain air of the Monteverde cloud forest region. Spend two days exploring the town and nearby Forest Reserve, truly a bird lover's paradise.
Please also note that the town of Monteverde is fairly small with shopping and some great restaurants, but most of the upgraded accommodations in this area are located outside of the main town centre - to take better advantage of the natural beauty and stunning landscapes of the area. Taxis are readily available to take you into town and back and can cost approx. $10USD each way. As well, the cloud forest sits at a higher elevation and offers a cooler but humid climate - which is why hotels in this area do not have A/C.
Shared van (1.00 hour(s))
Boat (1.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Enjoy a nature hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. You'll also have some free time after to zip line, walk the hanging bridges, or explore the town.
Santa Elena Cloud Forest Guided Tour
Enjoy free time to explore all that Monteverde has to offer. Saddle up and go horseback riding, zip line through the jungle canopy, wobble bravely over suspension bridges, or visit the butterfly garden and take close-up photos.
Monteverde Institute Lecture & Reforestation Project
The white-sand beaches and warm Pacific waters are the ideal atmosphere to relax at the end of your adventure. If you opt to chill out at the beach, be sure to walk out into the sea on the incredible natural sand formation that is shaped like a whale's tale when the tide goes out.
Hotels in Manuel Antonio are not located on the beach, they are scattered along the cliffside road, overlooking the stunning coast line and lush jungle. The beach, National Park, markets, shops and restaurants are easily accessible by frequent public bus (safe and easy to use) or taxi.
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 267km)
Take an included day trip to Manuel Antonio National Park. After enjoy free time at the beach.
Manuel Antonio National Park Visit
Free time to explore Manuel Antonio and the National Park with option to surf, go horseback riding, or visit nearby picturesque beaches.
Return to San José for an optional farewell dinner with the group.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 190km)
Departure day, depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Explore Costa Rica
Duration: 14 Days
From Price: 1343
Trip Code: 155187
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