Buffet breakfast daily (B), 4 lunches (L), and 4 three-course dinners (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–San José. Return to San José today. (B)
Day #7 San José–Corcovado. After breakfast, transfer to the San José local airport for your flight to Palmar Sur. Upon arrival, your Local Host will take you to the dock at the Sierpe River, where you will board a BOAT that takes you through the river and sea to Corcovado. A stay in this wild and untamed region, often referred to as the “last frontier” or the “belly button of life” truly connects you with nature. A stay in this area will take you into the deepest contact with nature and make for a unique and unparalleled vacation. (B,L,D)
Day #8 Corcovado. A full-day tour shows off CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK on the Osa Peninsula. This park conserves the largest primary tropical rainforest on the American Pacific coastline, and is one of the few remaining sizeable areas of lowland tropical rainforests in the world. Corcovado is large enough to support a great population of the endangered Baird’s Tapir, and it holds about 140 species of mammals (representing 10% of the mammal species in America). The abundance of wildlife can, in part, be explained by the variety of vegetation types, including over 500 species of tree. (B,L,D)
Day #9 CORCOVADO. With turquoise-blue waters and colorful coral reefs, CAÑO ISLAND BIOLOGICAL RESERVE is one of the best places for snorkeling in the South Pacific. This morning, board a BOAT for a scenic ride to Caño Island, where you may be fortunate enough to see whales, dolphins, and other marine animals en route. On the island, enjoy a walk to some ancient archeological sites and burial grounds from pre-Colombian times. The snorkeling from here is not to be missed. In the waters you will spot marine life like parrotfish, puffers, barracudas, rays, sea turtles, and even a shark or two! (B,L,D)
Day #10 Corcovado–San José. Transfer to the Palmar Sur airstrip for your flight back to San José. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in San José for your final night in Costa Rica. (B)
Day #11 San José. Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (B)