Blanketed in pristine rainforest, lined by golden sands, and brimming with curious-looking creatures, Costa Rica is the ultimate family playground. Explore inland jungles and volcanic wonders in every way possible: soaring on a zip line, riding on horseback, and hiking misty trails. Then head for the Gold Coast on the Pacific Ocean for some sun, surf, and adventures out at sea.
Private Vehicles will be used throughout the tour.
Local tipping is included on this Family trip which covers local guides, drivers and gratuity for included meals. At the end of your trip if you felt your two Chief Experience Officers did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline; per CEO $3-5 USD per person, per day can be used.
For non-included meals in restaurant, a guideline is 10-15% of cost of bill.
1. All parents/guardians are required to supervise their children at all times throughout the tour and may not leave their child under the supervision of the CEO, local guides, drivers, etc. Children are not to be left unattended.
2. PROOF OF DEPARTURE
Costa Rica will not be allowing anyone to enter the country without proof of a departure ticket (bus, airplane, boat, etc.). If you are travelling through a few countries in Central America, you will need to show proof of your itinerary and a departure ticket from your last destination. Please print the itinerary and voucher and bring it with you.
Be prepared for rain and lower temperatures during the winter season (June-November), especially in Costa Rica's central valley.
4. FAMILY INSURANCE
Options for family travel insurance are available. Please enquire with your Family Trip Specialist for more information.
5. Please note that on all Family Adventures one adult can only accompany up to two minors. If you have over two minors planning on travelling then a second adult will be required to attend.
6. ACCOMMODATION NOTE:
Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. Porters may not always be available, so be prepared to carry your own bags.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.
Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures' itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra's largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.
Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.
Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival transfer or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change or flight cancellation within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, please call the emergency contact number to advise of your new arrival flight information. If you do not, we will not be able to rearrange your arrival transfer and you will need to make your own way to the starting hotel at your own expense. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica
During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 4001 8474
After hours emergency number: +51 997 582 712
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Hanging Bridges Monteverde (47USD per person)
- Santa Elena Cloud Forest Visit (25-50USD per person)
- Ziplining (60USD per person)
Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park
- Rio Negro Tubing Adventure (60USD per person)
- Hot Springs and Volcano Mud Bath (Free)
- Sunset Sail (85-95USD per person)
- Horseback Riding (55USD per person)
- Yoga - Playa Potrero (Free)
Minimum age of 7 years for this trip.
Soar through the jungle canopy on zip lines, Join a naturalist on a night walk through the cloud forest, keeping your ears open for the symphony of hooting owls, croaking frogs, and chirping insects, Test your skills at a cooking class as you whip up delicious Costa Rican dishes, Jump into a natural mud bath, and swim in pools heated by area volcanoes.
Your G for Good Moment: Cafe Monteverde Experience, Monteverde
Your Family Journeys Moment: Life Monteverde Community Lunch, Tour, and Cooking Class, Monteverde
Your Family Journeys Moment: Monteverde Institute Lecture & Reforestation Project, Monteverde. Arrival transfer. Naturalist guided cloud forest night walk. Canyon canopy tour in Rincón de la Vieja National Park. Rio Negro Hot Springs and volcanic mud bath. Horseback riding and guided hike in Rincón de la Vieja National Park. Palo Verde National Park guided boat tour. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Prices are based on double occupancy; all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will accommodate triples/quads whenever possible. Please call for further details.
Family Journeys are designed for groups traveling with children between the ages of 7 and 17. Your group must include a child in order to book, and anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
There are new Health & Safety Protocols for National Geographic Journeys tours. Please see here for full details and up-to-date requirements as they may change.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Odd number adult travellers in your family will be paired in twin accommodation with another adult traveller of the same sex for the duration of the trip.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
If you have booked pre-tour accommodations through G Adventures, please note that you must contact us to confirm the included arrival transfer.
From the customs checkpoint, it is a short 30-second walk to the airport exit doors, Outside the airport doors, you will find people waiting for arriving passengers, this area is really congested and chaotic, the G representative will be waiting there with a sign of G Adventures / Natgeo Journeys.
In case you don't see the sign, don't panic continue walking to the Malinche Restaurant. If for any reason you still don't see your driver, please wait outside of the restaurant and contact us at the following numbers:
- Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm: +506 4001 8474 (ext 4)
- Monday to Sunday from 5 pm to 8 am: +51 997 582 712
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day.
Upon arrival to your Joining Hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon), look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don't see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.
Costa Rica Water Activities:
• Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
• Sport Sandals or Water Shoes (if you plan to do waterfall rappelling and/or rafting)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
Health & Safety:
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Face masks (Clients will be only be required to wear a face mask where it is mandated by local regulations.)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sturdy water shoes/sandals
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: Be prepared for rain and humidity at any time in Costa Rica - in particular during the "green" season (May-November).
Lightweight, quick-drying, clothes are advisable; as well as a light waterproof jacket. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and sometimes cool evenings.
We're working with our accommodation partners to reduce single-use plastic on our tours by providing safe drinking water for refillable bottles wherever possible. Find out more about our Plastics Partnership Project here.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Hotels (8 nts)
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
2 CEOs (Chief Experience Officers) throughout, local guides.
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
Rooming is based on double occupancy (2 passengers / 2 beds per room); all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will try to accommodate triples/quad requests whenever possible and it's important to note that rooming configuration can change from city to city and 2 single beds are the standard configuration in a room.
Hotels vary greatly throughout Central America and even within Costa Rica depending on the location. We do our best to pick comfortable accommodations, but in popular locations options can be limited and we sometimes use various different hotel depending on seasonality. It also is important to remember that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common, even in upgraded hotels. We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
Please also note that Monteverde is a fairly small centre with shopping and some great restaurants, but most of the upgraded accommodations are located outside of the main town/city centre - to take better advantage of the natural beauty of these area. Taxis are readily available.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry, so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Like any city where tourism is on the increase, crime also tends to increase and while San José is not a noticeably dangerous city, there are certain precautions you should take. Make sure that you are aware of your things at all times and don't go out carrying expensive gear or jewellery.
All National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures group trips are accompanied by two of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense; you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
Eating is a big part of traveling and we encourage you to experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. It's important to remember, that food may be different from what you are used to at home and that some things may not be available in other countries.
Some meals are included in the trip price, while others are not, to allow flexibility and choice to you and your family. For non-included meals our CEOs will still make arrangements for the group to eat together, which allows you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and approximate budget (per person) for meals not included.
Throughout this trip, breakfast is included daily (ranging from continental to buffet depending on the trip). Drinking water is available throughout (don't forget your refillable water bottle as you will have access to either filtered water from hotels or as made available by the CEO). Healthy, local snacks will also be available.
Note that any special meal requirements or dietary restrictions need to be specified at time of booking.
8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here
The currency in Costa Rica is the Colon (CRC).
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.
You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Costa Rica airport exit tax: $29USD
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Private vehicle, boat, horse, walking
Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.
Costa Rica has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and is a top destination for nature lovers. As such, there is a lot of rain, regardless of the season, allowing for its lush green rain forests and cloud forest, in which flora and fauna thrive. Please come prepared for the possibility of wet weather and variations in temperature.
This morning, travel up into the misty cloud forests of Monteverde, where we'll visit a working farm and coffee cooperative for an earth-to-table lunch, followed by a property tour. Learn the secrets of Costa Rican cuisine and test your cooking skills at an afternoon class, then attend a coffee-making demonstration. Enjoy some free time to get settled in our hotel. This evening, follow a naturalist into the forest to seek out the fascinating nocturnal creatures that spring to life after the sun goes down, from red-eyed tree frogs to spiny porcupines.
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.
Accommodations tend to be a bit more simple here, with fewer amenities. Its important to remember that 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. It can also feel damp in rooms which is unavoidable in such a climate.
Visit the Monteverde Institute, a research and educational organization supported by National Geographic. Hear about reforestation projects spearheaded by the institute, then roll up your sleeves and lend a hand in the tree nursery. The rest of the day is free for poolside relaxation or optional excursions in the clouds, including zip-lining, hiking in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, or a walk through the forest canopy across hanging bridges.
Today we travel into Rincón de la Vieja National Park, an otherworldly land of smoking volcanoes, bubbling mud pots, and thermal hot springs-all shrouded in thick tangles of rainforest. Channel your inner Tarzan as you swing across zip lines strung through the forest canopy; then visit thermal hot springs and mud baths, where playing in the mud isn't just allowed, it's encouraged.
Rise early for a full day of adventure in the national park. Saddle up for a horseback-riding excursion, get introduced to the park's creatures on a naturalist-guided wildlife hike, and swim beneath the soaring canyons and tumbling waterfalls of the Río Negro. There is also the option to stay back at our hacienda and relax by the pool.
Journey toward the Pacific Ocean to Playa Potrero on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica. The afternoon is free to play in the sand and surf; or opt to set sail across the bay and around the Catalina Islands.
The day is free to do as much or as little as you like. Relax at the pool or on the beach in this tropical paradise. Opt to join a yoga class, or take a long walk along the beach.
Leave the beach behind for our return trip to the capital. Stop en route for a jungle boat cruise through Palo Verde National Park. The river is a wildlife-lover's paradise: crocodiles glide beneath the water's surface, monkeys swing through the surrounding treetops, and numerous winged wonders wade and fly at the river's edge-including ospreys, wood storks, and roseate spoonbills. Continue to San José and celebrate our adventure at a farewell dinner.
Depart at any time.
Prices from: €1994.25
Duration: 9 Days
Merchandising: Planeterra Project
Trip Type: Small Group
Travel Style: National Geographic Family Journeys
Service Level: Upgraded
Physical Grading: 2 - Light
Prices from: €1994.25
9 day National Geographic Family Journeys tour