Day 1: San Jose Arrival.
Welcome to Costa Rica! Upon arrival at Juan Santamaria International Airport, proceed to baggage claim and customs and immigration. You will then be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel. Your driver will give you a short explanation of what to expect the following day. Overnight accommodations at the Hotel Grano de Oro (or similar), breakfast included.
Day 2: San Jose - Tiskita Jungle Lodge.
You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport. You will travel by domestic flight and ground transfer directly to the jungle! The Tiskita Reserve is set on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean and a deserted beach lined with coconut palms that extends for miles. Guest cabins are surrounded by fruit trees and tropical flowers, and backed by rainforest – a world of wonder for you to explore which begins right outside your door! Tiskita has a tropical fruit orchard containing fruits from around the world which you are welcome to sample.
Much of Tiskita´s 800 acres is primary rainforest reserve, and wildlife at Tiskita is abundant! Three species of monkeys, over 285 species of birds (including toucans, parrots and scarlet macaws), sloths, iguanas and much more reside here. At night, in the comfort of your room, you can listen to a wonderful chorus of sounds from the forest just outside! At Tiskita you will have a number of included and optional activities (some at extra cost) as well as free time to wander on your own! Overnight at Tiskita Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 3: Tiskita.
During the morning you can enjoy an included guided hike through the private forest reserve of Tiskita with a resident local guide. The bird watching is fabulous here! At Tiskita troops of the rare Costa Rican Squirrel monkey often feed in the fruit trees near the cabins. Humpback whales are sometimes seen in the ocean in front of Tiskita. After a hearty lunch at the lodge you can use the afternoon to participate in additional tours, to swim in the ocean, pool or fresh water jungle pools or simply relax in the hammocks on your porch. Overnight at Tiskita Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 4: Tiskita.
Another day to enjoy activities at Tiskita awaits you! This morning you are invited to participate in an included guided tour of the tropical fruit orchard. Depending on what is ripe and in season, you may taste the fruit of cacao (the source of chocolate), star fruit, rambutan, mangosteen the “Queen of Fruits”, or several others of the 100 different types of fruit in the collection! In the afternoon you will have free time to explore on your own. You may wish to walk to the nearby seaside village of Punta Banco to see how rural Costa Ricans live, or enjoy an optional tour: ride horses, bike, go surfing or sea fishing (tours available at an extra cost). Overnight at Tiskita Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 5: Tiskita - San Jose - Arenal.
You will return to San Jose in the morning by ground transfer and domestic flight. Upon arrival, depart with your guide and driver for a scenic drive to Arenal Volcano, stop en route at the Rainforest Aerial Tram where you may chose to ride on the 90-minute tram ride through the Canopy or for the more adventurous do the Canopy zip line tour. Continue to Arenal.
The Arenal Observatory Lodge, which is only 1.6 miles south of the volcano, gives visitors an impressive view of this rumbling and erupting giant with spectacular displays of vapor and lava. This is the only lodge located inside the national park, which encompasses thousands of acres of pristine rainforest and teems with tropical birds and wildlife. Dinner and overnight at the Arenal Observatory Lodge (or similar). Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 6: Arenal.
This morning you will hike with your guide further exploring the area near Arenal Volcano on a trail where you will have the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife. While viewing the volcano from a safe vantage point, your guide will reveal this volcano's fascinating history and explain the various types of the volcano's current activity. For lunch you will visit a local farm or local family where you will be served a typical Costa Rican dish.
In the afternoon visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, entrance fees included. The Hanging Bridges are a complex of 6 hanging suspension bridges rising above the jungle canopy, and almost 2 miles of brick and concrete trails through the lush Rain Forest. The bridges provide an excellent vantage point to observe the flora and fauna from the ground level to the top of the trees. Walk the trails where you will learn about the complexity and beauty of the Rain Forest. Dinner and overnight at Arenal Observatory Lodge (or similar). Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 7: Arenal - Monteverde.
In the morning you will have more time to volcano watch or further explore the area with your guide. Afterward, continue your travels with a ride into the mountains en route to the Monteverde, one of the world’s most diverse and richest tropical cloud forests. As you journey to Monteverde you will pass through small Costa Rican villages and coffee and dairy farms.
In the communities near the Monteverde reserve you can visit the local cheese factory, enjoy live exhibits of frogs, butterflies, or orchards; horseback ride, take a canopy tour, birdwatch and much more. Some tours may include lunch with local families or share time with Quakers to hear how they settled Monteverde back in the 1950´s and built a community out of a wilderness. You will spend the night at an attractive area hotel such as the Hotel Fonda Vela (or similar). Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 8: Monteverde.
In the morning visit a private reserve to explore a set of trails and canopy walkways amidst cloud forest. The treetop walkways are suitable for people in good physical condition of all ages. You will enjoy lunch in the Monteverde area at a local restaurant before the afternoon hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, characterized by trees densely covered from top to bottom with moist “carpets” of epiphytes including mosses, bromeliads, ferns and orchids. This rare type of rainforest is also seasonal home of the legendary crimson and iridescent green Resplendent Quetzal as well as many resident endemic mountain birds. This night you will again stay at your Monteverde area hotel. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 9: Int'l departure. Depart for San Jose or Liberia for your departure flight. Includes: (B).
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