Enjoy the many highlights of Costa Rica on this 12-day itinerary, including volcanoes, lakes, cloud forest and both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Costa Rica is a country of great natural beauty and every highlight has something unique to offer. Whether you are watching the Arenal volcano whilst bathing in hot springs, walking in the canopy of Montverde's cloud forest or relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches that adorn its coastline, Costa Rica really is a nature lover's paradise.
Day 1 Daytime flight to San Jose. Overnight at the charming Grano de Oro, a turn of the century mansion featuring individually decorated rooms, beautiful gardens and a renowned restaurant.
Day 2 We offer a host of optional tours to the the natural wonders close to the city. Visit the refreshing and powerful La Paz waterfall surrounded by lush tropical forest whilst listening to the sounds of nature as you walk along the winding trails. There is also a butterfly and hummingbird garden as well as orchid garden. For a first hand up close volcano experience visit Volcan Poas National Park with its hauntingly blue crater lake. For the more adventurous, experience the thrill of swirling rapids on a Pacuare River white water rafting trip.
Day 3 Head to Tortuguero National Park, on the Caribbean coast, for 2 nights, exploring the many channels and wildlife habitats that exist here. In season you can see turtles laying their eggs on the beach and later in the year the baby turtles hatching. Stay at the Evergreen Lodge in the heart of the national park.
Day 4 Full day exploring the Tortuguero waterways by boat with your local guide. All excursions are included with your stay at the lodge. The canal of jungle-finged waterways behind the beach are teeming with bird and insect life. At sunrise the rainforest comes alive with wildlife including birds (over half of the species found in Costa Rica), monkeys, sloths and for the lucky alligators, tapirs, ocelots, peccaries and anteaters.
Day 5 Transfer to the Arenal region for a 2-night stay at the base of the magnificent volcano. Enjoy the national park and spend time relaxing in the Arenal hot springs from your luxury hotel, Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa.
Day 6 Day at leisure to enjoy the surroundings, spend time relaxing in the hot springs or to do any of the optional tours in the area. Recommended tours: Hike to Arenal National Park, Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, Arenal Hanging Bridges, Peñas Blancas, river safari float, Toro River rafting, Sky Tram, trek, and Walk, among others.
Day 7 Transfer by road and boat to the Monteverde Cloudforest region. There is also the option to do part of this transfer by horseback. Arenal Lake is the largest and the most important lake in Costa Rica and was man made in 1974 to provide hydroelectric energy for the country. Stay 2 nights in the magical cloudforest area of Monteverde.
Day 8 Day at leisure to enjoy the surroundings or to do any of the optional tours in the area. Recommended tours: Monteverde Reserve, Trapiche tour, Night tour, Sky tram, trek, and walk, horseback riding, among others. The reserve is mainly primary cloudforest and is shrouded in mist for most of the year. The area is home to more than 400 species of bird, including the famous resplendant quetzal which is best seen in the dry months of January to May.
Day 9 From the coolness of the cloud forest, head to the steamier Pacific. Spend 3 nights at the Parador Resort, close to the Manuel Antonio National Park. Spend your days exploring the park or relaxing on the beach
Day 10 Free days to relax and to explore the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. As one of Costa Rica's most protected areas the 683 hectares of mangrove swamps and beaches are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Within the park there is also good hiking for viewing a host of wildlife. Aside from the park other options include sea kayaking, mountain biking, canopy tours, scuba diving and deep sea fishing.
Day 12 Private transfer, approximately 3 hours, from the coast to San Jose airport for your return flight.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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