Best of Costa Rica

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Price: Customized Vacation Package: Call for Pricing

Discover the majestic beauty of Costa Rica’s post-card perfect volcanoes, natural beauty, and huge variety of wildlife. Dare to conquer the famous hanging bridges and zipline tour. Explore the phenomenal cloud forest dominated by a refreshing and ever-present mist with dense trees and an unprecedented abundance of flora and fauna.  Conclude your trip of a lifetime by relaxing on a secluded beach; as well as swimming, and snorkeling at one of the world’s most beautiful national parks.

Day 1

Meet Private Guide and Transfer to Arenal Observatory Lodge

Upon your arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica and after clearing customs and immigration, exit the airport terminal where you will meet your private bilingual naturalist driver-guide who will be with you .
Unlike any other hotel in the area, the Arenal Observatory Lodge is situated within the Arenal National Park. The Lodge was originally a family farm and later a Smithsonian Institute scientific research station. Just about every room has picturesque views of Arenal Volcano, whose steep conical slopes rise majestically out of vast surrounding rainforests. The National Park surrounding the lodge teems with wildlife. The lodge practices reforestation and contributes to community projects.

Night at Arenal Observatory Lodge – Smithsonian Double Room

Day 2

Arenal Organic Farm and Hanging Bridges Tour

Just 3 miles outside the town of La Fortuna, the 200 foot-tall La Fortuna waterfall receives its cool clear waters from the pristine forested mountains of Arenal Volcano National Park. In addition to viewing a majestic waterfall visitors are helping the local community as the entrance fees are used for important public projects. The waterfall is located in a small canyon surrounded by lush forest, and is accessed by walking down a steep, short trail. Daring visitors can take a swim in the cold water lagoon below the falls if they wish.

For lunch visit Arenal Vida Campesina which lets you experience life in the Costa Rican countryside with a farming family that grow typical crops and are practicing newer sustainable agricultural techniques. The tour begins with a demonstration of sugarcane juice production using a manually-operated sugar mill.  Then continue into the cultivated sections of the farm where visitors will see and learn about common Costa Rican crops such as coffee, bananas, plantains, sugar cane, etc. Also on the farm are various animals, whose organic waste is converted to biogas and an organic foliar fertilizer.  At the end of the tour, you will enjoy a traditional lunch with freshly harvested vegetables. Lunch includes a hands-on demonstration on tortilla making!

In the afternoon you will visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges.  This is a complex of suspension bridges and trails through beautiful rain forest.  The terrain undulates and the trail crosses ravines with small waterfalls and travels over bridges with panoramic vistas over the treetops including views of Arenal Volcano. As you walk you may encounter wildlife including toucans, poison dart frogs, howling, spider and white-faced capuchin monkeys. The 1.5 mile trail is an easy walk for people in good condition and loops back to the starting point.

Arenal Observatory Lodge – Smithsonian Double Room

Day 3

Caño Negro Wildlife Safari Tour

With your driver/guide you will drive north to the town of Los Chiles and the Rio Frio River to start your adventure boat tour to Caño Negro National Park. Here you can find a great variety of resident and migratory birds plus three different species of monkeys, iguanas, sloths, turtles and caymans. This floating safari begins as you glide through the tropical rain forest and pastures until arriving at the marsh, where the true biodiversity can be found.

Arenal Observatory Lodge – Smithsonian Double Room

Day 4

Arenal National Park Tour and Transfer to Monteverde Cloud Forest

With your guide you will explore the area around the volcano, learn about its fascinating history, and view how the flora and fauna are reclaiming the formerly devastated landscape. Arenal Volcano erupted violently July 29th 1968 destroying the region west of its base with hot gases, rocks and later, lava flows.  Today the volcano steams quietly and heats local rivers that have been developed into popular hot springs and spas. Forest vegetation is quickly returning and covering the massive rock fragments and lava flows, and rainforest wildlife once again flourishes in and around the park.

After the Arenal National Park tour continue on to Monteverde, approximately 4 hour transfer plus any stops on the way. The Monteverde Cloud Forest in the Tilaran mountain range is one of the world’s premiere destinations for naturalists.  A cloud forest is an especially beautiful and rare type of rain forest created by frequent mists from low lying clouds.  This cool and moist environment is characterized by massive trees covered by thick carpets of small plants.  Much of the resident wildlife is unique to these habitats.

Night at Hotel Fonda Vela in Monteverde Cloud Forest – Junior Suite

Day 5

Monteverde Cloud Forest

In the morning visit The Sky tram/Skywalk (entrance fee included). Sky Tram will lead you up to the Continental Divide and to one of the highest mountains in the area. You can have the opportunity to observe the cloud forest outstanding biodiversity, the majestic Arenal Volcano and the Nicoya Gulf. Skywalk bridges bring visitors face to face with the upper level of the forest canopy. There are five bridges in total, the longest of which spans some 984 feet. The trails extend for slightly over a mile and a half (2.5 km), making this tour extremely feasible for anyone in moderate shape. The climb is not strenuous or muddy, as the trails are well maintained and generally very flat.

Afternoon visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the premier natural history destinations in Costa Rica.  The forest is dominated by trees densely covered with mats of small plants known as epiphytes that include mosses, lichens, orchids, ferns and bromeliads. This cool, very green and often misty forest is home to a variety of wildlife.  On your walk you may encounter monkeys, coatimundis, agoutis and numerous bird species such as Toucanets, Chlorophonias and seasonally the Bellbird and legendary crimson and green Resplendent Quetzal.

Night at Hotel Fonda Vela in Monteverde Cloud Forest – Junior Suite
(B)

Day 6

Monteverde to Manuel Antonio National Park

In 2011 Forbes Magazine compiled a list of the 12 most beautiful national parks from among nearly 7000 parks around the world. Manuel Antonio National Park was included in the list of 12 top parks for its gorgeous cream colored beach, lush forest growing to the beach edge, abundant wildlife, warm pacific waters, easy forest trails and scenic ocean overlooks. Walking the park trails you will likely encounter a variety of wildlife-the animals are accustomed to visitors-including squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys, sloths, black iguanas and agoutis.

Si Como No Resort is a central-Pacific coast resort in the jungle-covered hills just above Manuel Antonio National Park. Si Como No expresses the magical nature of Costa Rica s incredible bio-diversity. It creates a vacation experience deeply rooted in the culture and pace of this unique Democratic country.  Located in Manuel Antonio, a veritable treasure chest of natural beauty, Hotel Si Como No is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, soft sand beaches and clear water rivers.

Night at Si Como No (Yes, Why Not?) Resort, Spa and Wildlife Refuge – Standard Room

Day 7

Manuel Antonio National Park Nature Hike

Today enjoy a 2.5 hour guided nature walk in Manuel Antonio National Park forest.  In 2011 Forbes Magazine listed Manuel Antonio as one of the 12 most beautiful national parks in the world for its gorgeous cream colored beach, lush forest growing to the beaches edge, abundant wildlife, warm pacific waters, and easy forest trails with scenic ocean overlooks. You will likely see a variety of wildlife-the animals are accustomed to visitors-including squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and sloths.  After hiking you will have free time to enjoy the park on your own.

Night at Si Como No (Yes, Why Not?) Resort, Spa and Wildlife Refuge – Standard Room

Day 8

Transfer from Manuel Antonio to La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Transfer from Manuel Antonio to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, approximately 3.5 hours plus any stops on the way. Located in the mountains near Cinchona, is a beautiful facility with restaurants, flower, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, aviary, rescued animal zoo, serpentarium, live frog exhibit, orchid exhibit, all surrounded by cloud forests.  Stroll leisurely along the well-maintained trails to view the numerous exhibits and gardens and the famous waterfalls of the pristine La Paz River.

The Peace Lodge is the perfect place to begin or end your vacation as it is only one hour from the International Airport. Peace Lodge is the ultimate place for the awakening of your senses. Here every magical sight, wondrous smell and sensual touch create irreplaceable memories of a journey you wish to take again and again. Peace Lodge prides itself on offering guests the most unique luxury mountain lodge experience in Costa Rica. You don t need to spend your first or last day in a city hotel. Spend them in the rain and cloud forest very close to the Poas volcano.

Night at Peace Lodge – Standard Room

Day 9

PEACE LODGE & LA PAZ WATERFALL GARDENS

Free day to explore on your own. If you choose to stay at the Resort you can take advantage of the free unlimited access to La Paz Waterfall Gardens or take advantage of the great amenities offered by this very unique resort.

Night at Peace Lodge – 1 Standard Double and 1 Standard Single Room

Day 10

Peace Lodge – San Jose International Airport

You will be picked up at Peace Lodge by one of our transport representatives for transfer to San Jose International Airport, 1.5 hours approximately.  Check in 3 hours before flight´s scheduled departure time.
(B)

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