Ultimate Costa Rica Nature and Beaches

Destination: Costa Rica  |  Duration: 13 days  |  Customized Vacation Package: Please Call for Pricing

Experience the very best Costa Rica has to offer as one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet boasting exquisite beaches alongside beautiful tropical rainforests. Whether searching for whale sharks underwater at the Osa Peninsula or spotting monkeys and several species of colorful tropical birds, you will be amazed by this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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Day 1: Welcome to Costa Rica!

After passing through Immigration you will be met by a member of the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR) who will give you a sticker that will facilitate you clearing customs. When you leave the building, look for a Costa Rica Sun Tours representative who will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it.

You will be picked up in San Jose International Airport by one of our transport representatives for transfer to Poas. Poás Volcano is still an active volcano and its colorful crater is one of the widest and deepest in the world that is accessible by road. Transfer service will be in a minivan with AC, approximately 1.5 hours plus any stops on the way.

Day 2: Poas Volcano National Park

The elegant La Paz Waterfall Gardens, 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 drive to the 9000 foot peak of Poas Volcano National Park is a scenic journey through coffee plantations, strawberry fields and lush dairy farms. In contrast to the constant activity in the main crater, a ½ mile trail walk through a gnarled dwarf forest will bring you to an overlook above the extinct Crater Lake Botos which is surrounded by dense forest along the circular crater rim.

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Day 3: Arenal Volcano

In north central Costa Rica, near the town of La Fortuna, raises the majestic Arenal volcano. Beneath the steaming peak of the picturesque volcano, the area offers natural beauty, amazing wildlife and plenty of outdoor activities for visitors including canyoning, horseback riding, rafting, mountain biking, zip line tours, canopy bridge walks and a gondola tramway above the forest. At day’s end, one can relax in an area resort that offers soothing thermal waters heated by the volcano.

Visit la Fortuna Waterfall. Just 3 miles outside the town of La Fortuna, the 200 foot-tall 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.

Private Transfer to Arenal and Shared La Fortuna Waterfalls Tour

Night in Arenal at Arenal Springs Resort – Jr. Suite (B)

Day 4: Cano Negro Wildlife Tour

In the town of Los Chiles, approximately 2 hours from Arenal. Meet local boatman for 2-3 hour tour on the Rio Frio River and the Caño Negro Lagoon. Here you can find a great variety of resident and migratory birds plus three different species of monkeys along with 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. Your guide will be pointing out unique animal and plant species along the way. At tours end you will have lunch at a local area Restaurant.

Day 5: Monteverde Cloud Forest

This 2 to 3 hour guided hike in Arenal Volcano National Park brings you through rainforest and onto the top of a blocky lava flow. Now cooled and motionless, the flow rises above the surrounding forest giving visitors a panoramic view of mountains, Arenal lake and Arenal Volcano. Today it is being covered by vegetation as the forest reclaims its former territory. During the walk you may see monkeys, toucans, parrots and other wildlife.

Later in the afternoon, you will be picked up at your hotel for a transfer from the Arenal area to your Monteverde hotel, including a crossing of Lake Arenal by boat. Initially you will be transferred to Lake Arenal where you will board a boat to cross the southern end of the lake. There you will be picked up at the Rio Chiquito landing and driven overland to your Monteverde hotel, approx 2 ½ hour transfer.

Day 6: Cloud Forest Sky Tram / Sky Trek

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is 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 guided tour you may encounter monkeys, coatimundis, agoutis and birds such as Toucanets, Chlorophonias and seasonally Bellbirds and crimson and green Resplendent Quetzals. Bring: hiking shoes, camera, long pants, insect repellent, a light jacket or poncho, water. Includes: transportation, local guide and entrance fee.

The Monteverde Sky Tram/Sky Trek combines a ski lift ride and a zip line adventure in a cloud forest. The Sky Tram is a guided ride with short stops to observe the wonders of the cloud forest. The Sky Trek zips above the trees and give exhilarating panoramic views. The tour begins with the Sky Tram bringing you up the mountain on the Continental Divide, and then you glide down on the Sky Trek zip lines.

Day 7: Manuel Antonio National Park

You will be picked up in Monteverde by one of our transport representatives for transfer to your hotel in Manuel Antonio. Transport service will be in a minivan with AC, approximately 4 hour transfer plus any stops on the way. Recently listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the 12 Worlds Most Beautiful NationalParks, Manuel Antonio is a combination of lush forests, warm water, gorgeous beaches and abundant wildlife. Friendly monkeys, sloths, iguanas and colorful birds live in the park assuring plenty to see while hiking the parks easy trails.

Day 8: Manuel Antonio Hiking

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 beach 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.

Day 9: Osa Peninsula

It’s an adventure just to get to the Osa Peninsula that begins with a transfer from Manuel Antonio over land to the dock of the Sierpe River for your boat transfer to your hotel in Drake Bay and the Osa Peninsula.

Drake Bay offers visitors a taste of a tropical wilderness along the coast and into the forests of nearby Corcovado National Park which is located on the Amaya homestead along the magnificent Pacific Coast of the Peninsula de Osa. A rustic setting with miles of uninhabited beaches, scarlet macaws flying overhead, and the captivating beauty of the rainforest, will be the setting for your wilderness adventure. This is the perfect spot for deep sea fishing, bird watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, and for experiencing the remarkable biodiversity of the Peninsulas tropical rainforest.

Day 10: Corcovado National Park

Our tour begins from the lodge, early in the morning we will take you by boat to a beach near the Sirena Station. The Sirena Station, central portion of the shore line of Corcovado National Park involves a much longer boat ride. The Sirena station usually offers great chances to see the Baird’s Tapir and a lot of wildlife.

Day 11: Snorkeling at Cano Island

From the lodge we will leave early in the morning and reach the island by boat. On the way to this wonderful location we have the chance to see playful dolphins swimming along the boat. Once in the island you can jump into the water and spend the time snorkeling in one of the most extraordinary spots in Costa Rica. Lunch will be on the island. If you like you can also hike into the Island’s trails and visit some of the ancient Indian archeological sites as well as catch great ocean views. The tour includes picnic lunch and entrance fee to the park.

Day 12: Xandari Resort and Spa

Board a motor boat from your hotel to the main town of Drake Bay, and then take the short 40 minute flight to San Jose. From there you will take the short transfer to conveniently located Xandari Resort and Spa to enjoy your last day in paradise.

Xandari Resort & Spa is nestled on a 40 acre coffee plantation overlooking the Central Valley of Costa Rica. The gardens have become botanical, delightful and educational. Guests at Xandari can see many varieties of the indigenous plants of Costa Rica in the gardens and along the trails, along with the wildlife that accompanies them. Plants are labeled on the botanic trails so guests can note the botanical and common names as they experience their tropical beauty on strolls and hikes.

costa rica xandari breakfast

Day 13: Homeward Bound

Enjoy your morning and a scrumptious breakfast at Xandari Resort and Spa. When it’s time, your driver will take you to the San Jose International Airport. The drive is approximately 1.5 hours and you will arrive about 3 hours before your scheduled departure time.