Day 1 – Arrival:
Arrival in San José and transfer to your city hotel El Sesteo, located 15 walking minutes from San José's city center, with a pool area in a tropical atmosphere. Overnight stay El Sesteo***.
Day 2 - Caribbean Beach/Puerto Viejo de Talamanca:
After breakfast you will be picked up by your guide and drive through Braulio Carillo National Park to the Atlantic Coast, passing the port town Puerto Limón and continue southwards to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Overnight stay Cariblue***.
Day 3 - Cahuita National Park:
Today you will explore Cahuita National Park. On a hike along the coast between secondary forest and mangroves you will - with some luck - be able to observe three-toed sloths, monkeys, iguanas and red poison dart frogs. The rest of the day is at your disposal to enjoy the Caribbean Beaches or to just relax in a hammock on the Cariblue's shady verandas. Overnight stay Cariblue***.
Day 4 - Tortuguero National Park:
Following breakfast continue your journey northwards through banana plantations to the small village of Caño Blanco; here you take the boat that will lead you through the main channel of Tortuguero to a comfortable rustic lodge that is located on a small land strip situated between the channels and the Caribbean sea. After lunch a naturalist guide will take you on a hike through the paths surrounding the lodge, after dinner there is the possibility for an optional guided night hike along the beach to observe the nesting of the sea turtles. (Season March-April and July -October). Overnight stay Laguna Lodge***.
(B), (L), (D)
Day 5 - Tortuguero National Park:
This day is full of activities, in the early morning we take a boat ride to the end of the channel where we initiate a short hike around the skirts of the highest hill in the Tortuguero national park, at the end of the hike the boat will be awaiting us to embark on a quite ride through the channels (an electrical boat motor is use) back to the lodge for a hearty lunch and a short rest. In the afternoon we take a 2-hour boat tour through the small canals of the Tortugero National Park, where we will observe the flora and fauna of this unique area, on our way back we stop at the small village of Tortuguero for a short tour and visit of the turtle museum, we then walk back to the lodge along the beach. Overnight stay Laguna Lodge***.
(B), (L), (D)
Day 6 - Rainforest Rio San Carlos:
After breakfast, you will embark the boat around 9 a.m. leaving for Caño Blanco. Continue by bus to a typical Costa Rican restaurant for a delicious home-cooked lunch. From here you will continue your journey to the North, passing Ciudad Quesada and Pital, and continuing on an adventurous gravel road to Boca Tapada and the Laguna del Lagarto Lodge. Overnight stay Laguna del Lagarto Lodge**.
(B), (L), (D)
Day 7 - Rainforest Rio San Carlos:
The Laguna del Lagarto Lodge is situated in a 1,200 acres private rainforest area in the north of the country and nestles harmonically to the surrounding landscape. Just a few years ago, the trip to this beautiful place would have meant an expedition of several days. Today, it is accessible within 3 to 4 hours by 4WD on an adventurous gravel road. Pure jungle! Stroll alone or with a naturalist guide through tropical primary forest: different trails of more than 10 miles length give you the opportunity for unique exploration of this almost untouched paradise with it's unimaginable variety of animals and plants, to mentioned a few: red and green poison dart frogs, monkeys, more than 350 species of birds, amongst them macaws, toucans and humming birds. This region is one of the few where the great green macaw, in danger of extinction, can still be seen. Bordering the rainforest, several lagoons invite you to explore the area by waterway in canoes: many kinds of bromeliad, nesting bats and bright green „Jesu Cristo" lizards (so-called because they can walk on the water surface) have their home here. After sunset, you even have the opportunity to observe the caimans that live in the lagoons while they are being fed. Overnight stay Laguna del Lagarto**.
Day 8 - Arenal Volcano:
Ride to Fortuna and Arenal Volcano, through the mountains of the Cordillera Central, passing coffee and fruit plantations. Overnight stay Volcano Lodge*** or similar.
Day 9 - Arenal Volcano:
Today you will explore Arenal Volcano National Park and hike through secondary forest and over the lava fields at the foot of awesome Arenal. In the late afternoon there is time to watch the sunset over Arenal Lake bevor enjoying a bath in the hot, sulphurous waters of the Baldi Termae within a beautiful, tropical garden setting. And - with some luck - we will be able to watch the fascinating volcano eruptions with red sparkling lava. Overnight stay Volcano Lodge*** or similar.
Day 10 - Guanacaste - Rincón de la Vieja Volcano:
Ride around Arenal Lake to Cañas and take the Interamericana north via Liberia to Rincón de la Vieja National Park. This 14,000 hectare national park is a volcanic massif of which the burnt-out Santa Maria (1,672 m) and the gently active Rincón de la Vieja (1896 m that last erupted in November of 1995) are the highest volcanoes. Experience on a hike the fascinating fauna and flora that changes from wet and dry to cloud forest; geysers, boiling mud pools, fumaroles and hot sulfur springs will take you into the magic world of Rincón de la Vieja! You are accommodated at a rustic mountain lodge at the foot of the volcano hills. Overnight stay Hacienda Lodge Guachipelin***.
Day 11 - Guanacaste - Rincón de la Vieja Volcano:
After breakfast, our hikes through the national parks start: we hike about 2 hours through wet forest where we have to cross several times different mountain rivers and over dry and hot plateaus with little vegetation (paramó) and finally reach the „Blue Lake" whose natural basin is nourished by a beautiful waterfall, the turquoise-blue water of which is most inviting us for a refreshing swim. After a picnic lunch we continue our hike down to the park’s main attractions: bubbling mud pools, pits of boiling hot water, vapor geysers and fumaroles (deep holes that emit sulfurous vapor) give us a very impressive idea of a volcano’s natural power. We then return in time to the lodge for our dinner. Overnight stay Hacienda Lodge Guachipelin***.
(B), (L), (D)
Day 12 - Monteverde Cloudforest:
We take the Interamericana south and then turn left on an adventurous gravel road, that will take us on a 35 km long and difficult ride to Sta. Elena. Arrival around noontime at the Arco Iris Lodge, a very personally managed hotel with rustic, nicely decorated cabinas in a beautiful garden. Overnight stay Arco Iris Lodge*** or similar.
Day 13 - Monteverde Cloudforest:
The early morning gives us the best chance to observe the birds, and so we start our walk through the Sta. Elena Nature Reserve very early. Right at the entrance, we will already meet many different kinds of hummingbirds that come very close to their feeding stations. In the afternoon, venture into the canopy of the trees: „Skywalk" - a complex of suspended bridges (the largest is 120 m long and 42 m high), platforms and trails, built within the cloud forest, allows a vision from a different perspective which starts with a walk on the ground through the forest and takes you up to explore the tops of the trees, a world which is very close but yet unknown to most of us - the canopy of the cloud forest. The rest of the day is at your disposal for optional activities: relax in a hammock in a shady spot in the lodge’s garden; visit the interesting serpentarium or walk through primary and secondary forest as well as coffee and banana plantations of an ecological farm. Or would you rather prefer a visit of the Orchid Garden or horseback riding? Overnight stay Arco Iris Lodge*** or similar.
Day 14 - Manuel Antonio National Park & Beaches:
Drive south to the national park Manuel Antonio stopping on the way at the bridge over Rio Tarcoles where we have the opportunity to observe large crocodiles. You will stay for 2 nights in Cabinas Espadilla which offers its guests a swimming pool and jacuzzi. From the cabins you can easily walk to the beach or enjoy the Espadilla Private Biological Reserve. You may spend these days relaxing, swimming, snorkeling and/or exploring the nearby national park. Overnight stay Cabinas Espadilla***.
Day 15 - Manuel Antonio National Park & Beaches:
Today you will have the opportunity to explore Manuel Antonio National Park. A hike of about 1.5 hours will lead you through the rainforest and to the fantastic beaches within the park. Observe capuchin monkeys, sloths, iguanas, anteaters and various species of birds while exploring the hiking trails through the rainforest; then relax on the beach or take a refreshing bath in the Pacific Ocean. Manuel Antonio: This park with an extension of almost 1,800 acres attracts the visitor with its gorgeous hiking trails through abundant, tropical jungle bordering white sandy beaches and blue-green water. The evergreen fascinating forest is the home of about 100 species of mammals and 180 kinds of birds. A hiking trail through dense vegetation all around the cape enables you to catch the beautiful sight of 12 smaller islands just in front of it. This is a splendid combination of nature experience and beach fun. Overnight stay Cabinas Espadilla***.
Day 16 – Return to San Jose:
Around midday return to San José, arrival in the late afternoon and say goodbye to your guide.
Overnight stay El Sesteo***.
Day 17 – Departure:
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.
This tour is available in 3 different versions:
Also see tour packages in:
Central America and Caribbean Costa Rica Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking