Adventure Tours   >   Central America Adventure Tours   >  Trek Hidden Costa Rica

Trek Hidden Costa Rica Adventure Tour

Central America

  • Costa Rica

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.


Arrival Complications  

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 Chief Experience Officer (CEO). If you are unable to get in touch with your CEO, 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.


Feedback  

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.


Spending Money  

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.


Safety and Security  

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:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/


Emergency Fund  

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!


Optional Activities  

Piedras Blancas
- Swimming

Uvita
- Whale and Dolphin Watching (109USD per person)
- Snorkelling
- Scuba Diving (180USD per person)
- Horseback Riding (35-45USD per person)

Dominical
- Surfing Lesson (60USD per person)

Diamante Verde
- Swimming

Isla del Caño
- Caño Island Visit (120-140USD per person)


A Couple of Rules  

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.


Tipping  

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.


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 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.


Newsletter  

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation - Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.


Solo Travellers  

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. 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 solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Accommodation  

Hotels (5 nts twin-share, 2 nts triple-share), jungle homestay (3 nts, multi-share), cave camping (1 nt, sleeping bags, no electricity).


Emergency Contact  

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.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures 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


Departure Tax  

Costa Rica airport exit tax: $29USD


Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures  

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.


Minimum Age  

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.


International Flights  

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.


Highlights  

Trek into a remote community to live with the locals, sleep in a cave behind twin waterfalls, make your own sugarcane candy, rappel down hidden waterfalls, whitewater raft on the Savegre River.


Dossier Disclaimer  

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.


Money Exchange  

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.

We do not recommend you bring travellers cheques, as it is very difficult to exchange them in Costa Rica.

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


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.


What's Included  

Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Moment - Meet Your CEO and Group
Your Foodie Moment: Bread Making, Piedras Blancas
Your Foodie Moment: Chocolate Making, Piedras Blancas. Hiking excursion to Piedras Blancas (4 days). Overnight hiking excursion to Diamante Verde Cave. Waterfall rappelling. Whitewater rafting on the Savegre River. Trapiche demonstration. Ballena Marine National Park visit. Free time in Dominical and Uvita. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Itinerary Disclaimer  

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 Pax  

16


About Accommodation  

You will be provided with a sleeping mat and sleeping bag for the cave camping so it is not required you bring your own. You will need to prepare a day bag for this overnight as your main luggage will be stored safely while you hike up to the cave. It's very important to bring plastic bags or dry bags for waterproofing your items.


Group Leader Description  

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides


Visas and Entry Requirements  

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


Meals Included  

4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners


Joining Instructions  

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer:

From the customs checkpoint, it is a short 30-second walk to the airport exit doors. Outside the doors, you will find people waiting for arriving passengers, where a G representative will be waiting with a G Adventure sign.

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.


Group Size Notes  

Max 16, avg 10.


Important Notes  

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.


Transport  

Local bus, pickup truck, private vehicle, raft, hiking.


What to Take  

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.


Packing List  

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)

Documents:
• 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)

Essentials:
• Toiletries (required) (Shampoo, bodywash, soap, etc.)
• 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
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Swimwear
• 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 (optional)

Trekking:
• Gloves
• Hat
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Snacks (Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, energy sweets.)
• Socks (Trekking socks (woollen or synthetic, not cotton).)
• Thermal base layer (Woollen or synthetic, not cotton.)
• Walking poles (Highly recommended.)

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sturdy water shoes/sandals
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear

Note: Please bring a day pack large enough to fit two days worth of clothing.


Meals  

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. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Day 1 San José

Arrive at any time.

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.

Day 2 San José/San Isidro

Travel by local bus over the highest mountain pass in the country. Arrive in the valley of San Isidro de El General and take a walk in the main plaza.

Spend the day visiting some shops and stock up before the next day's trek into the jungle. 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.

Day 3 San Isidro/Piedras Blancas

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! Travel in the back of a pickup truck through lush green landscapes and end in the small town of Brujo. Enjoy a 4-hour hike to a jungle homestay while spotting tropical fauna and plenty of wildlife along the way.

We will be welcomed with open arms and a much needed home-cooked meal at a local family home. The night will be spent eating, sharing stories of the day's trek, and playing cards with the family members around the stove.

Day 4 Piedras Blancas

Experience life in a remote community in and around a local family farm.

Wake up with the sun today and get ready for loads of activities. Enjoy a delicious traditional Costa Rican breakfast to start the day off right. In small groups, make 'dulce' (candy) at the family's traditional 'trapiche' (sugar cane mill). Cool off in the river that flows right by the house while the sugar simmers over the fire and lunch is being prepared.

Hike one hour to another household and stay the night. While there, local guides and members of the family will explain how to make fresh cheese and breads, play card games and enjoy tasty traditional Tico cooking. Once the evening winds down, head to bed for a well-deserved rest.

Day 5 Piedras Blancas

Travel across the Savegre River to the next homestay with an included medicinal plant walk.

Start the day with a delicious home-cooked breakfast and fortify for the two-hour hike through the rainforest to tonight's home stay retreat. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the rushing waterfall directly in front of the dining area. Watch wildlife and hummingbirds up close. Reward yourself homemade chocolate made from cocoa beans collected right from the garden.

Day 6 Piedras Blancas/Dominical

Raft the Savegre River and relax at the end of the day by stretching out on the beach. Try the local seafood at an optional group dinner.

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. While in Dominical, accommodation is triple-share.

Day 7 Dominical

Enjoy a free day in beautiful Dominical. Take a surf lesson, hike to a local waterfall for a swim, go on a whale watching cruise, or kick back and relax.

Day 8 Dominical/Diamante Verde

Trek to a unique fully equipped cave with twin 26m (85 ft) waterfalls. Go swimming in three natural pools and explore surrounding trails.

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.

Day 9 Diamante Verde/Uvita

Enjoy a morning of waterfall rappelling before trekking out of the jungle and travelling to beautiful seaside Uvita. Opt to surf, whale-watch, horseback-ride or kick back and relax.

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.

Day 10 Uvita

Spend the morning swimming, relaxing, and watching humpback whales off the coast of Ballena Marine National Park, before enjoying free time in Uvita.

This is a perfect day for some quality hammock time. Still need to move? There's lots to do. Take a surf lesson, horseback ride, snorkel, SCUBA dive or take a trip to nearby Caño Island.

Day 11 Uvita/San José

Transfer back to the capital for a final evening with the group.

Day 12 San José

Depart at any time.

Depart from San José at any time.

Details

Prices from: €1161.75

Duration: 12 Days

Physical Grading: 4 - Demanding

Trip Type: Small Group

Travel Style: Active

Service Level: Basic



Call Us: 01 2311889



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