Day 1: Arrive San Jose
Bienvenidos a Costa Rica. Leave your gringo boots at the door and embrace the Pura Vida playground of Costa Rica. A local host will greet you at the airport and arrange your transfer to the hotel. Chill at the pool or go walkabout before meeting your Travel Director and fellow adventurers this evening for some fiesta fun at our Kick-Off Party.
Hotel: Sheraton San Jose - Meals: Kick-Off-Party
Day 2: San Jose – Tortuguero National Park (2 Nights)
Rise with the roosters and head east through Braulio Carrillo National Park toward the Caribbean Sea. Board a river boat, gliding through canals, lagoons and lowland rainforest teeming with wildlife. You'll be amazed at how many kinds of animals live here-six species of sea turtles, monkeys, caimans, tons of exotic bird species plus rare and endangered ocelots, river otters and manatees. The afternoon is yours-hang out by the pool or on the beach, or head to Tortuguero Village. Join a Local Specialist from the Sea Turtle Conservancy Foundation to learn about the turtles that nest in Tortuguero. This evening, we enjoy a buffet dinner at the resort's open-air restaurant along the Tortuguero lagoon.
Hotel: Laguna Lodge Tortuguero - Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Tortuguero Sightseeing
There’s nothing like the wake-up call of a troop of howler monkeys. Set off on a cruise through the waterways of Tortuguero National Park with your captain and guide. You may want to start a tally of all the types of wildlife you’ll see. Look out for sloths, green iguanas, caiman, crocodiles and colourful toucans. Of course, you’ll spot tons of monkeys swinging through the dense rainforest canopy. This afternoon, venture back out on the canals or relax back at the lodge—the choice is yours. If you’re visiting during nesting season (Jul-Sep), join an optional night walk with a naturalist guide to witness some of the world’s largest turtles laying their eggs. A buffet dinner is served at your hotel this evening.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Tortuguero – Horquetas – Sarapiquí – Arenal National Park (2 Nights)
Bid adiós to the monkeys for now as you boat back to the mainland and travel to Horquetas. Here you’ll visit a local Tico family’s palm plantation. Gain a Cultural Insight into growing this exotic vegetable and the family that grows it. Taste something you’ve probably never tried before, the delicate heart of palm. Continue travelling to quaint Sarapiquí where you’ll visit a wildlife centre for amphibians and reptiles run by a family of biologists who rehabilitate animals that can no longer live in the wild.
Hotel: Arenal Paraiso Resort and Spa - Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Arenal National Park Sightseeing
Rise and shine as the forest and volcano are calling! Start the day with a guided trek around the quiet side of the volcano at Arenal National Park. Walk through the old lava rocks and learn about the powerful forces behind the volcano’s past eruptions. Then head to the Arenal Hanging Bridges where you can walk eye-level within the lush canopy, observe the monkeys, sloths and chattering birds up close, and look out to see the rumbling, steaming Arenal Volcano. Later, relax in the thermal springs or take a swim at the pool back at the hotel. End the day with a delicious dinner with your travelling companions.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Arenal National Park – Manuel Antonio National Park (2 Nights)
Imagine yourself soaring high above the jungle floor as you zipline (Waiver Required) through the treetops, eye-to-eye with the lush foliage and exotic rainforest creatures. Later, head south to Manuel Antonio, renowned for its warm blue waters, beautiful beaches and abundant exotic wildlife.
Hotel: Parador Resort & Spa - Meals: Buffet Breakfast
Day 7: Manuel Antonio National Park Sightseeing
Walking deep into the national park with your guide, you’ll definitely check off a few more creatures on your wildlife list—at last count, there were 109 different animals and 184 species of birds living here! Listen to the barking of howler monkeys and the chattering of mischievous squirrels and white-faced monkeys. Then, it’s time to hit the beach! You can laze in the warm Pacific or at the resort’s pool, or choose one of many incredible optional activities. Will it be a catamaran cruise (available Jan-Apr) to snorkel (and maybe even see dolphins, parrotfish and sea turtles), a surf lesson, mangrove kayak tour, horseback ride or whitewater rafting? This evening, join your fellow explorers to celebrate new friendships and awesome experiences with a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
Day 8: Manuel Antonio National Park – Depart San Jose
Travel back to San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport for your flight or extend your stay at the Parador Resort and Spa in Manuel Antonio.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast
Please note: For the more remote areas of Costa Rica (such as Tortuguero), we use the best available hotel facilities with comfortable but simple guestrooms and eco-friendly amenities perfectly suited to the natural surroundings. This journey requires walking on uneven surfaces and steps and sometimes through heavy showers (umbrellas provided). This journey is best enjoyed by the experienced traveller in good health and who can take such conditions in their stride.