Think you know Costa Rica? Trade in the same old settings for the real deal. Trek into the heart of the jungle to live with three families in a remote village. Discover the emerald core of a diverse land while bunking down behind a massive waterfall in a hidden cave. Learn about the medicinal plants native to these parts and how to make sugarcane candy. This is a spectacular country with opportunities for waterfall rappelling, surfing, and whitewater rafting. This is what adventure is all about.
There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. As it is located in the central highlands, San José enjoys a moderate climate.
Amid the hustle and bustle, San José has beautiful parks, museums and the ornate Costa Rica National Theatre downtown. Enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains from the downtown streets.
The central 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
Early morning departure to San Isidro de El General. Located near three rivers and Costa Rica's highest mountain, Mt Chirripó, this region is well-known but few travelers stay to find out why.
Please note it will be necessary to repack your bags according to the packing list provided for our excursion to Piedras Blancas as it is an early departure on the morning of Day 3.
Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours)
Today we embark on a three-day, three-night excursion with a locally owned and operated adventure company to the community of Piedras Blancas, found in the heart of the Zona de los Santos region.
The journey is always half the fun, so we will leave town in the back of pickup trucks, traveling like the locals to find our trail head in the small town of Brujo.
We will be welcomed with open arms and a much needed home-cooked meal at the Lopez family home. Once home to 18 children (most of whom are now adults), there are plenty of beds for everyone all under one roof. The night will be spent eating, sharing stories of the day's trek, and playing cards with the family members around the stove.
Jungle Trekking to Piedras Blancas
Pickup truck (2.00 hour(s))
Participate in various activities in and around the Lopez family farm. In small groups, make 'dulce' (candy) at the family's traditional 'trapiche' (sugar cane mill).
Hike one hour to the Granados household and stay the night. While there, local guides and members of the family will explain how to make fresh cheese and breads.
Take a late-day dip in the river, enjoy tasty traditional Tico cooking and head to bed for a well-deserved rest.
Start the day with a delicious home-cooked breakfast and fortify for the two-hour hike through the rainforest to Los Fonseca's retreat.
Cross over the Savegre River to the house by cable car. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the rushing waterfall directly in front of the dining area. Watch wildlife and hummingbirds up close.
End the day with a traditional ‘Temascal' sweat sauna and reflect on the day's events. Reward yourself homemade chocolate made from cocoa beans collected right from the garden.
Hike to the Fonseca family
Today is a full, action-packed day. Set your alarm for an early morning start and a two-hour hike back to Brujo where we jump into rafts and head off on the Savegre River.
Paddle toward the Pacific coast, then take a van to Dominical. Spend the rest of the day at the local bungalows, in the swimming pool or walking along the beach.
Bags are taken to our overnight stop in Dominical, while the activities continue with a rafting excursion.
Savegre River Whitewater Rafting
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Time to put the boots back on and hike to Catedral de Piedra
('Cathedral of Stone').
A free day for exploring the area, the local guides will plan a number of activities depending on the group's interest and energy levels.
Options include a number of hikes to the surrounding falls, waterfall rappelling, cliff jumping and swimming in the natural pools.
Twin 85-foot waterfalls cascade over the cave accommodation. Don't think tight spaces – this is what we call an open cave and you will have no trouble enjoying the surroundings. There are hand-crafted stone beds to sleep on, composting toilets and a fully working kitchen inside the cave itself.
Hike to La Catedral de Piedra
Enjoy the day in and around Diamante Falls.
Rappelling near Diamante Falls
Wake up early and set off on foot back to Las Tumbas. At the trail's end, hop in a private van and enjoy the ride to Uvita, a small beach town on the southwestern Pacific coast.
Take some much deserved time to rest and relax.
Hike from La Catedral de Piedra
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
This is a perfect day for some quality hammock time. Still need to move? There's lots to do. Take a surf lesson, visit the Ballena Marine National Park (December to April is prime-time to see humpback whales), horseback ride, snorkel, SCUBA dive or take a trip to nearby Caño Island.
Transfer back to the capital for a final evening with the group.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Depart from San José at any time.
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Trip Name: Trek Hidden Costa Rica
Duration: 12 Days
From Price: 1104
Trip Code: 133112
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