Visit the renowned La Paz Waterfall Gardens, an aggregation of gorgeous waterfalls and a comprehensive wildlife rescue preserve. Continue on to Arenal Volcano, a steaming volcano whose steep dark conical slopes rise out of vast rainforests. Drop in on the misty Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and get a different perspective as you literally fly through it on a ¨Zip Line¨ Canopy Tour! Finally experience one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful national parks, Manuel Antonio.
Day 1: ARRIVAL
Upon your arrival at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José and after you claim your luggage, clear customs & immigration and exit the airport terminal, your tour representative will be waiting to take you in your private transfer to your hotel in San Jose.
Hotel: Park Inn or similar
Day 2: LA PAZ WATERFALL GARDENS & TRANSFER TO ARENAL VOLCANO (B,L)
Your journey begins as you leave the urban center of Costa Rica’s central valley and head north into the mountains. Your first stop is the renowned La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Enjoy a walk along a sparkling mountain river with views of gorgeous waterfalls, framed by serene forested mountains.
Next you will visit a wildlife rescue preserve, home to jungle cats, monkeys, birds, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians; which are all being rehabilitated and cared for at the preserve. After lunch, you will be able to experience the tropical plantations and traditional cattle ranches of the northern central lowland plains before arriving at your hotel in Arenal.
Hotel: Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa or similar
Day 3: OBSERVATORY LODGE TRAILS AND LAKE CROSSING TO MONTEVERDE (B,L)
Arenal Observatory Lodge is the only lodge nestled within the tropical rainforest of the national park. In the morning, with your private guide and driver you will explore the trails in search of wildlife. This region hosts an amazing 400 bird species, including a huge diversity of hummingbirds. There are also opportunities to encounter spider monkeys, howler monkeys, coati and peccaries.
This is a truly customizable day, as your private guide can make extra stops and take time to appreciate the stunning views and wildlife. Then sometime after lunch, we will arrange all your transfers to Monteverde including a boat ride across the lake.
Hotel: Heliconia or similar
Day 4: ZIP LINE CANOPY TOUR & MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST RESERVE (B)
The Zip Line Canopy Tour in Monteverde is world-class. With an expert guide, you will soar through the rainforest canopy. Canopy tours are an exhilarating way to experience the rainforest through the eyes of birds and tree dwellers. They will also kick start your day about ten times more than your morning coffee!
After this magical and adventurous experience, you will visit the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Hike the reserve on well-groomed trails with your expert naturalist guide. It is very possible to see the resplendent Quetzal, along with many other unique species. Monteverde has been intensely studied by scientists and is the site for pioneering research on the effects of climate change on tropical ecosystems.
Hotel: Heliconia or similar
Day 5: TRANSFER TO MANUEL ANTONIO (B)
In the morning you will be taken overland from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast. Manuel Antonio consists of several beautiful beaches, a lush forest growing right to the beaches edge, easy walking trails and abundant wildlife. Manuel Antonio´s outstanding beauty was recognized recently when Forbes Magazine listed it as one of the World’s 12 Most Beautiful National Parks. The area outside the park offers visitors a wide variety of gorgeous hotels, excellent restaurants, and many optional activities such as rafting, surf lessons and horseback riding.
Hotel: La Mariposa or similar
Day 6: MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK (B)
Today you will hike with a local naturalist guide in Manuel Antonio National Park. Best known for its gorgeous beaches, the park is also an important refuge for rare rainforest trees and wildlife. Here you can see white-faced capuchin, squirrel monkeys, sloths, raccoons, agoutis, black & scarlet land crabs, iguanas and a variety of birds. After your hike, you will have time to enjoy the beaches and tropical Pacific’s warm waters.
Hotel: La Mariposa or similar
Day 7: FREE BEACH DAY AND SURFING LESSONS (B)
Today you will enjoy 2 to 3 hours of surfing lessons with a local surfer teacher according to your level of experience in the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio. The rest of the day is free to explore the area or take an optional tour.
Hotel: La Mariposa or similar
Day 8: TRANSFER TO SAN JOSE AND DEPARTURE (B)
Today you will fly back to San Jose and then be transferred to the International Airport. Check in 3 hours before your scheduled flight home. Pura Vida!
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