Costa Rica is one of our most frequently visited destinations – not for the large all-inclusive resorts which have gained favor with conventional vacationers, but for the unique lodges, exotic rain forests, accessible wildlife, and exciting outdoor activities. You’ll marvel at how comfortable you’ll feel, how much you’ll learn every day, and how much fun you will share as a family.
For nature-loving families, Costa Rica is perfect! Share in the wonders of the rain forest, the pleasure of jungle rivers, and the drama of the volcanic terrain. Costa Rica has a long history of nature tourism and a large range of facilities and services. Our week-long itinerary introduces you to the best activities of the season, reaching deep into natural areas and offering you a taste of how people live.
Day 1: San Jose.
Day 2: Arenal.
Day 3: Arenal.
Day 4: Sarapiqui.
Day 5: Sarapiqui.
Days 6-7: Tortuguero.
Day 8: Tortuguero/San Jose/Onwards.
Detailed Tour Itinerary:
Day 1: San Jose. You'll be greeted on arrival at San Jose's international airport and transferred to a very lovely hotel in San Jose. (Please note: dinner is not included in your tour price.)
Day 2: Arenal. Morning departure with your driver/guide. Your family will be driven to Los Angeles Cloud Forest for a short nature hike, stopping en route for lunch. Kids will have a great time hunting for footprints of the wild boars and cats that call this high elevation area home; your family might even get lucky and spot the rare Quetzal, a tropical bird with brilliant tail feathers which nests in this area between February and June. Continue to Arenal and overnight at a lovely hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Arenal. This morning, hike in one of the most spectacular parks in Costa Rica, Arenal National Park. The park allows you to observe the continuous activity of Arenal Volcano, one of the world's most active volcanoes. The volcano erupted in 1968 and has been continuously active ever since, erupting most recently in May 1998. Thunderous eruptions of gas, ash and lava fills visitors with awe! The volcano, with its perfect imposing cone, is surrounded by exuberant vegetation and sits at the side of the engineering masterpiece of Arenal Lake.
Visit a small Costa Rican farm to learn how they live in an environmentally friendly way with the nearby rainforest. Sample some of the produce and try your hand at making tortillas. Enjoy a typical Costa Rican lunch which will be prepared by the farmer's wife. In the afternoon, you will relax at the base of Arenal Volcano in the Ecotermales hot springs, where natural springs and thermo-mineral water polls provide unparalleled relaxation for you and your family. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.
Day 4: Sarapiqui. Take a short hike this morning to get your day started and then drive east to the Sarapiqui region in the Caribbean lowland sand check in for a 2-night stay at an especially welcoming lodge. In the afternoon you'll visit Tirimbina Rainforest Center for a Chocolate Tour and see firsthand how the whole family's favorite treat transforms from cacao fruit to chocolate bar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Sarapiqui. Today you can choose from many different activities at a large nearby ranch called Hacienda Pozo Azul. Family members can choose to go zip-lining, whitewater rafting on gentle rapids, and/or horseback riding. There’s a lot of flexibility for you to decide to spend all or part of your day at Hacienda Pozo Azul. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 6-7: Tortuguero. Travel by road and water with your guide to Tortuguero National Park for two incredible days of exploration. The park borders the Caribbean and contains a network of canals and waterways that take you inland through the jungle. With help from your naturalist guide, search the trails and waterways for manatees, caymans, monkeys, sloths, river otters, poison dart frogs, and 300 species of birds, including the roseate spoonbill, American fin foot, great green macaws, trogons, oropendulas, and frigate birds. Turtle nesting season begins in the summer for the large green turtles. You might want to make an excursion with a naturalist at night to look for mother turtles digging their nests and laying their eggs in the sand (extra cost $15-$20 per person). Spend two nights at a local lodge. Meals: 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners.
Day 8: Tortuguero/San Jose/Onward. Fly from Tortuguero to San Jose, where you'll be greeted and transferred to the international airport for your afternoon flight home. Meals: Breakfast
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Central America and Caribbean Costa Rica Nature & Wildlife Rainforest
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