With a quarter of its land covered in national parks and wildlife refuges, Costa Rica is a dream for the nature lover and adventure buff. On this unforgettable journey, discover the country's diverse and breathtaking landscapes, from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific. Explore the lush waterways of Tortuguero National Park, where thousands of sea turtles come to nest every year; assist in a tree-planting program in the cloud forests of Monteverde; and cap off your journey on Manuel Antonio's pristine beaches, experiencing the true meaning of “Pura Vida”-the Costa Rican way of life.
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.
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Tipping of your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer is very much appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $5- 7 USD per person, per day is our recommendation in the region. However, if you felt your CEO did an especially outstanding job, any additional amount will always be welcome.
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.
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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.
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.
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.
Petty theft, bag snatching and muggings have been on the rise in San Jose. Though not common, there are certain precautions you should take when visiting the city. Although the cities visited on our tours 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, as they are the safest and easiest way to avoid any issues one might encounter on the streets after dark. In addition, always leave your passport (It's better to carry a photocopy of it instead), credit cards and money that you won't be using in the hotel. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes in the room, or a general one at reception, this is always the safest method of storing your valuables. 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. Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc?. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Your 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 or 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 judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organized from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
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.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
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.
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
Costa Rica airport exit tax: $29USD
Travel Insurance: 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 CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. 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.
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.
Hear a lecture from a researcher at the Monteverde Institute, learn how to make tortillas during a visit to a local family home, spot wildlife while cruising the canals of Tortuguero, enjoy spectacular volcano views while soaking in hot springs, learn all about sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Conservancy
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
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
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.
13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
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
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sea Turtle Conservancy Experience, Tortuguero
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Tortilla Making and Home Dinner, La Fortuna
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Monteverde Institute Lecture & Reforestation Project
Your G for Good Moment: Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour, Sarapiquí
Your Discover Moment: La Fortuna
Your Discover Moment: Monteverde
Your Discover Moment: Manuel Antonio. Arrival transfer. Boat tour and wildlife viewing in Tortuguero National Park. Guided nature walk in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. Guided excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
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.
Max 16, Avg 12.
Private vehicle, shuttle van, boat, walking.
Hotels (11 nts), rustic jungle lodge (2 nts).
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 often 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.
In Tortuguerro National Park we stay in a remote jungle Lodge that is only reachable by boat. Rooms are simple, with ensuite, electricity and hotel 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.
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.
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. 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.
We believe single 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. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
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!
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. 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.
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.
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.
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.
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. 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. You will be responsible for carrying and handling your own luggage.
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
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sturdy water shoes/sandals
• Sun hat/bandana
Tortuguero National Park
- Turtle Nesting Night Excursion (Seasonal) (51USD per person)
- Guided Kayak Excursion (60USD per person)
- Lost Canyon Adventures Canyoning (99USD per person)
- Baldi Hot Springs (64USD per person)
- Stand Up Paddle (Lesson and Tour) (65USD per person)
- Gravity Falls Waterfall Jumping (125USD per person)
- Mountain Biking (79USD per person)
- Hanging Bridges (75USD per person)
- Kayaking (65USD per person)
- Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Tour (65USD per person)
- La Fortuna Waterfall Swim (20USD per person)
- Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle (149USD per person)
- Hot Springs (42-84USD per person)
- Guided Cloud Forest Night Walk
- Monteverde Horseback Riding (45USD per person)
- Ziplining (60USD per person)
- Monteverde Butterfly Garden Visit (20USD per person)
- Hanging Bridges Monteverde (47USD per person)
- Monteverde Coffee Plantation Tour (40USD per person)
- Whale and Dolphin Watching (65-80USD per person)
- Horseback Riding (69USD per person)
- Whitewater Rafting Manuel Antonio (75-98USD per person)
Manuel Antonio National Park
- Surfing (55-75USD per person)
- Kayaking (70USD per person)
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1. 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.
Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Extras! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, Extras are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask your sales GCO or travel agent about booking.
4. 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.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and 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.
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 prostitutes 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 use prostitutes.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
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 center.
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.
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.
Travel by land and motorized canoe to Tortuguero National Park. Located on the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero-translated as “land of the turtles”-is one of the world's most important nesting sites for the endangered green sea turtle. Settle into our secluded lodge, then enjoy a guided boat trip along Tortuguero's tropical waterways. Afterward, visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy, the world's oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting sea turtles. Founded in 1959, the organization was inspired by the work of pioneering conservationist and National Geographic Grantee Archie Carr. Later, enjoy time to relax at the lodge pool, take a stroll along the beach, or head out on a kayaking excursion.
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.
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.
This morning, we'll explore the wildlife-rich canals of Tortuguero National Park once more, seeking out howler, spider, and capuchin monkeys, sloths, and a variety of birds.
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 kayaking excursion.
Depart early for the town of La Fortuna, situated at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano. En route, visit a G Adventures-supported coffee cooperative to gain insight into the process of coffee production, from bean to cup. After a typical lunch-accompanied by an aromatic cup of coffee-continue to La Fortuna. Check in to your hotel and unwind by the pool, taking in views of the surrounding jungle, the verdant hills, and the dark silhouette of the volcano.
Spend the day exploring La Fortuna and its surrounding areas on your own. In 1968, the Arenal Volcano erupted after centuries of laying dormant, converting this quiet agricultural town into a hot spot for adventure travel. This evening, visit a local home to learn how to make tortillas. Chat with your welcoming hosts and dig into a traditional Costa Rican meal of black beans, plantains, and your own handmade tortillas.
Enjoy a full free day in La Fortuna. Choose to go stand-up paddleboarding on the tranquil waters of Lake Arenal, or venture into a world of stalactites, stalagmites, and subterranean species on a visit to the Venado Caves. Take a boat tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, one of the world's most important wetlands; rappel down a rushing waterfall on a canyoning excursion; and relax in the shadow of Arenal Volcano at a naturally heated outdoor spa.
From La Fortuna, we make our way by road and boat to the misty mountain region of Monteverde. Spend two days exploring this charming little town and the nearby cloud forest reserve-a nature lover's paradise.
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.
Set out on a hike in the stunning Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, treading past giant ferns and vibrant orchids. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the resplendent quetzal-a sacred bird in Maya and Aztec cultures. In your free time, embark on a zip-lining adventure, gliding high above the treetops and zooming through the misty foliage.
Pay a visit to the Monteverde Institute, a research and educational organization supported by National Geographic. Hear from a researcher about some of the institute's conservation initiatives, including a successful reforestation project; then roll up your sleeves and head to the nursery to help plant trees and collect data for the project. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, opting to visit the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens to see dozens of local species, explore forest trails, or go zip-lining.
Leaving the cloud forest behind, travel to Costa Rica's sweeping Pacific coast and settle into your hotel in the seaside village of Manuel Antonio. Soak up the laid-back atmosphere of the area, and opt to go surfing, or spend the remainder of the day relaxing on the beach.
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.
Discover the lush tropical forests and white-sand beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park on a guided day trip. Costa Rica's smallest national park-yet one of the most spectacular-boasts an abundance of wildlife, including monkeys, armadillos, sloths, iguanas, and countless species of birds. Hike through the dense forest, climb up to rocky outcrops for views of the dazzling Pacific Ocean, and go swimming in the park's lovely lagoons and tidal pools. Later, enjoy some free time at the beach.
Spend a full day exploring Manuel Antonio on your own. Walk along lush jungle trails looking for toucans in the treetops. Opt to take a surfing lesson, or head out for a snorkelling excursion on the nearby reef. Kayak amid the coastal mangroves or in the open sea, keeping an eye out for dolphins and whales.
Return to San José. Tonight, choose to join the group for a farewell dinner at a popular local restaurant.
Depart at any time.
Departure day, depart at any time.
Prices from: €2063.20
Duration: 14 Days
Merchandising: Planeterra Project
Trip Type: Small Group
Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys
Physical Grading: 2 - Light
Service Level: Upgraded
Prices from: €2063.20
14 day National Geographic Journeys tour