Untouched rainforests, rich coffee, scenic volcanoes, quiet beaches and brightly colored macaws. You’ll revel in all things Costa Rica on this nine-day, eight-night exploration of the ruggedly beautiful Central American country. From a 1,000-acre farm to an eight-mile rafting excursion to walking through a cloud-swathed jungle canopy on a suspension bridge, you’ll see this tropical destination from top to bottom and still want more. Taste the fine local cuisine and stay in the best accommodations as you adventure your way through Costa Rica’s highlight reel. Grab the walking shoes, camera and backpack—this is the trip of a lifetime!
- Taste milk, cheese and strawberries at 1,000 acre El Corso working farm
- Experience the stunning beauty of Manuel Antonio National Park
- Visit with students at an authentic Costa Rican school
- Raft down the picturesque Sarapiquí River
- Walk high amongst the rainforest on a suspension bridge
- Observe scarlet macaws, sloths and spider monkeys in their natural habitat
- Professional Tour Guide
DAY 1—WELCOME TO COSTA RICA
Your adventure begins the moment you land, with a meet and greet at San Jose International airport with a tour representative. Board a transfer to the hotel where you’ll get settled into your room and enjoy a private reception to get to know your fellow explorers over dinner. D
DAY 2— DOKA ESTATE COFFEE AND SARAPIQUI AREA TOURS
Today you’ll take the journey to Sarapiqui, with plenty to see and do along the way. The fertile green hills of tourist favorite Poas Volcano provide a lush backdrop for the Vargas Ruiz family’s Doka Coffee Estate, where an expert will teach you about production, harvesting, roasting and packaging of the “Golden Bean.” Coffee connoisseurs won’t want to miss a chance to purchase the gourmet beans in the Doka Estate Souvenir Shop before leaving. Continue to the Corso Leche Tour, which blends nature’s bounty and rustic landscapes with tastings of food produced right here on the almost 1,000 acre El Corso working farm. Climb aboard the tractor that will take you through 10 stations, including strawberry fields, an artisan cheese factory, house of the birds and forest trail, (where a secondary cloud forest patch awaits at the end of a short path), ending with a rest at the edge of a serene forested lake. After you’ve sampled the farm fresh offerings, sit back and relax as you take in the awe-inspiring views of the Poas and Barva volcanoes. In the mood for more? Try a strawberry-based beverage or coffee at the Bar de la Leche then, retire to the hotel for dinner. B, L, D
DAY 3—WHITE WATER AND HOT SPRINGS
After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll be ready to see Costa Rica from a new perspective—on a rafting tour down the rainforest-lined Sarapiquí River. The eight-mile river tour is perfect for beginner and intermediate paddlers alike, as ICT certified guides take every precaution to ensure everyone’s safety at all times. On to an afternoon at Ecotermales Hot Springs, which feature four impossibly clear, rock-lined pools that vary in temperature from 91-105° Fahrenheit. Cradled by the greenery of the rainforest, these pools offer ultimate serenity, complete with a cascading waterfall as background music. Finish your day with a leisurely dinner at the restaurant on premise, which was once home to the Hidalgo family, before checking into Arenal Springs Resort & Spa, your home for the next two nights. B, L, D
DAY 4— SCHOOL VISIT, FOLKLORIC DANCES AND CULTURAL INTERACTION
Today, you’ll observe Costa Rica’s education system firsthand with a visit to a local high school or elementary school. Tour the school with the director, a teacher, and/or students, followed by a question and answer session. The children will then present their performance, which is often a folkloric dance. Lunch, included, is prepared on a wood stove in a local home. Return to Arenal Springs Resort & Spa for a free evening to explore. B, L
DAY 5—LAKE RIDE/ MONTEVERDE TRAPICHE TOUR
Board a bus at your hotel for the scenic drive to Arenal Lake Dam, where you’ll then take a pontoon boat ride across Lake Arenal to the small town of Río Chiquito. From there you’ll travel to Monteverde Trapiche to enjoy lunch and a guided tour of this Costa Rican family project. Trapiche means sugar mill, and the first one came to Monteverde in 1948. You’ll learn this and other facts about the production of sugarcane and coffee and the traditional way to grow bananas, arracache (a local legume), avocado, macadamia nuts and more during your guided farm walkabout. A hands-on experience, you may find yourself collecting and transporting coffee to the grinding machines to see how it’s made in Monteverde. Take an oxen-pulled cart a short distance to the sugarcane mill to watch brown sugar being made, then top off the afternoon by trying artisanal sugar cane candy. Unpack and settle in for the evening after checking into the hotel before seeking out the perfect dinner spot. B, L
DAY 6—CLOUD FOREST RESERVE AND SKYWALK
Your morning will be spent in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the most famous conservation areas in Central America and the most well-known cloud forest in the world. This high altitude tropical rainforest, gets its name as it experiences almost 100% humidity year-round, and warm trade winds from the northeast sweep up the Continental Divide where the moisture cools and condenses, hanging in the forest as frothy clouds. Bring your binoculars in search of the over 450 species of birds while walking the paths. On to the guided Skywalk Tour, which will bring out the nature-loving adventurer in you! Get out the camera to capture the vibrant, lush leaves, abundant tropical fruits and even animals that dwell in the rainforest canopy. Suspension bridges make this part of the forest accessible for the first time, bringing you up close and personal with the most colorful and lively (not to mention sunny!) part of the entire forest. Take a break at any of the threetowering waterfalls you’ll pass on the walk before having lunch at a local eatery. B, L
DAY 7— CARARA NATIONAL PARK
En route from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio is a stop at Carara National Park. Meaning “river of lizards” in the Huetar indigenous language, this forest is a bird-watchers paradise. Here, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of the only transitional forest in the Central Pacific and take in the rich diversity of plant and animal life that results from dry and rain forests merging. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the endangered scarlet macaw. Break for lunch on your own at your leisure before checking into the deluxe Si Como No Hotel for the next two nights. Dinner at a local restaurant is included. B, D
DAY 8—MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK
A trip to Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete without seeing a sloth or two. How about Capuchin monkeys, raccoons, iguanas, exotic birds and squirrel monkeys? You’ll have the opportunity to search for all as you explore the 1,687-acre Manuel Antonio Park on a guided tour. You’ll also love the beaches, lagoons and mangroves that add to the park’s natural beauty. Tonight, break bread at a farewell dinner with your traveling companions. B, D
After breakfast, transfer to San Jose International Airport to head home. While on this ride, relax and recall your favorite moments from this Costa Rican adventure! B
March 28-April 5, 2019
Price Per Person:
February/March - high 88°/low 73°
Flight schedules will be available 90 days prior to departure.
Flight schedules will be available 90 days prior to departure.
Moderate walking is required to fully enjoy this tour.
Costa Rica’s currency is called the Colon, though the U.S. dollar is widely accepted.
Hair dryers & coffee makers throughout tour. Exercise room and swimming pool available at most hotels.
Further information is mailed upon receipt of your reservation. A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour…Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Our “Get Ready” packet is sent confirming your reservation. Our “Get Set” packet provides further details approximately 90 days prior to departure with important information regarding making your travel arrangements. Finally, our “Go” packet arrives 2-3 weeks before departure containing your final documents.
Updates to this document are available from our Discovery Reservations Team, and will be posted online at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/TCR2.
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Tour reservations are subject to the terms and conditions on our website at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/terms.