Buffet breakfast daily (B), 1 lunch (L), and 1 three-course dinner (D); Local Host service in each city; sightseeing with a Local Guide and transportation as outlined in the day-by-day itinerary (inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE).
Day #1 Arrive San José, Costa Rica. Arrive in San José, where you will be met by your Local Host.
Day #2 San José–Arenal. This morning, journey to the artisan town of Sarchi before stopping for a typical Costa Rican lunch in La Fortuna. Continue to the Arenal Volcano area, where you will stay two nights. In the afternoon, take a guided WALK through the lava trails of the volcano and appreciate how nature has found a way to recover from past lava flows. After the walk, visit the famous TABACÓN HOT SPRINGS and take a dip in the natural springs and pools of mineral waters surrounded by lush, tropical forest. Enjoy dinner at the Hot Springs. (B,L,D)
Day #3 Arenal. Today is at leisure to explore on your own. Perhaps visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a network of suspension bridges, platforms, and trails built in the cloud forest. From here, explore the forest canopy with a bird’s-eye view, giving you a different perspective of the forest’s wildlife. A great opportunity for nature lovers and birdwatchers! Alternatively, you may choose a rafting adventure, horseback riding, or spelunking in nearby Venado Caves. (B)
Day #4 Arenal–Monteverde. This morning, begin with a short BOAT ride across Arenal Lake and admire different species of birds that visit and call the area home. Continue through incredible mountain scenery and MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST, home to over 3,000 plant species, approximately 120 mammal species, 400 bird species, and 1,200 species of amphibians and reptiles. This afternoon, visit the SKY WALK HANGING BRIDGES and take a walk on the network of suspension bridges through the cloud forest canopy. A great opportunity for nature lovers and birdwatchers! (B)
Day #5 Monteverde. Enjoy a day to do as you please. Maybe wake up early and visit Santa Elena Cloud Forest to best experience the animals in their natural forest habitats. Discover this misty and surreal wildlife sanctuary full of mosses, ferns, flowers, and other indigenous plant life. Also notice how the combination of climatic and geographic factors create temperature and humidity gradients, changing dramatically over just a short distance, or you could visit a local family’s farm to learn about sugarcane, coffee, and tilapia farming. (B)
Day #6 Monteverde–Manuel Antonio. Today, transfer to one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio. This trip will take you through the scenic mountains toward the majestic shores of the Pacific Ocean. Notice the beauty of the landscapes and appreciate how vegetation and weather change from the dry forest to rainforest. In Manuel Antonio you will discover a beach destination that offers the opportunity to interact with Mother Nature in magnificent Manuel Antonio National Park. (B)
Day #7 Manuel Antonio. Take a Naturalist guided walking TOUR to MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK, considered one of the most beautiful areas in Costa Rica. It combines a beach of crystal-clear waters with coral reefs bordered by exuberant tropical vegetation and rainforest. Once in the park, your Naturalist guides you along different trails to observe the abundant flora and fauna of the tropical forest. In particular, several species of monkeys, iguanas, birds and possibly even the three-toed sloth can be seen. One of the trails borders Cathedral Point, where the view of the park and the sea is spectacular. During the afternoon you can relax at your hotel or you can participate in one of the optional activities offered in the area. (B)
Day #8 Manuel Antonio. Spend today exploring at your leisure. For the more active, consider a jungle hike suited to all abilities. Other activities include horseback riding, canopy tours, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and much more. (B)
Day #9 Manuel Antonio–San José. Return to San José today. (B)
Day #10 San José. Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (B)