Day 1: San Jose.
Airport reception and transfer to your San Jose hotel. Overnight accommodations at the Hotel Grano de Oro(or similar), breakfast included.
Day 2, Mondays/Thursdays: San Jose - Arenal.
This morning you will be picked up at your hotel by our driver/guide and driven through the dramatically scenic forested mountains of Braulio Carrillo National Park on your journey to Arenal Volcano. En route stop at the Rainforest Aerial Tram where you will travel through the forest canopy by choosing either a tram ride or an adventurous canopy zip line tour. After lunch continue on to Arenal, one of the youngest and most active volcanoes of Costa Rica.
The Arenal Volcano (elevation over 5350 feet and still growing) erupted for the first time this century on July 29, 1968 with a tremendous explosion. Having released pressure that had built up for more than 450 years, Arenal today continues to erupt but on a smaller and much safer scale. Due to its continuous activity Arenal is considered one of the world's most active volcanoes - there are only 5 or 6 volcanoes worldwide that are perpetually active.
Arenal is the only volcano in Costa Rica producing continuous lava flows. The eruptions are variable and range in frequency from several times daily to a few times per month. When these eruptions occur on a cloudless night, visitors are awed by the natural fireworks display of the ejected red-hot rocks and thunderous booms that accompany them which can be heard over 10 miles away. Dinner and overnight at the Arenal Observatory Lodge.
From the Observatory, which is situated only 1.6 miles south of the volcano, visitors have an impressive view of this "giant which rumbles" and erupts with spectacular displays of vapor and lava. Surrounding the Observatory is the Arenal Forest Preserve encompassing thousands of acres of pristine rainforest and teems with tropical birds and wildlife. A visit to Arenal is truly a spectacular natural history experience. The Observatory is the only lodge situated within the Arenal Volcano National Park, which encompasses thousands of acres containing pristine rainforest, teeming with tropical birds and wildlife. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 3: Arenal – Monteverde Cloud Forest.
In the morning you will have more time to volcano watch or further explore the area with your guide. Afterwards travel into the mountains en route to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, 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. A cheese factory, live exhibits of butterflies, frogs, orchids, numerous restaurants, and more can be found in the communities near the reserve. 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. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Fonda Vela (or similar). Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 4: Monteverde Cloud Forest.
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 of all ages in good physical condition. Afterward, enjoy lunch in the Monteverde area at a local restaurant before the afternoon hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is the richest and most complex tropical cloud forest in the New World, and home to the beautiful Resplendent Quetzal.
There are at least 400 other bird species, including the three-wattled bellbird, not easily seen but frequently heard, over 100 species of mammals and an estimated 2500 species of plants. For the most part you will experience a misty forest with dense vegetation and majestic trees. Here you will find many wild relatives of familiar tropical houseplants including philodendrons, ficus trees, bromeliads and ferns.
Orchids abound with over 300 species occurring here, however many are tiny and inconspicuous while others thrive among the lush vegetation of the canopy 125 feet above the forest floor. This diversity of flora and fauna throughout the eight distinct ecological communities at Monteverde makes it a paradise for the nature lover.
The reserve encompasses approximately 10,200 hectares and one can enjoy an extremely rich variety of species with relatively little walking on well-maintained trails. The Monteverde Cloud Forest is one of the most beautiful forests in Costa Rica and is a naturalist's dream come true. Dinner and overnight at your Monteverde area hotel. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 5: Monteverde – Tamarindo.
In the morning depart from the Monteverde mountains and travel through the drier northwest Guanacaste province lowlands. You will pass through large cattle ranches in the dry savannas on your way to the coastal community at Tamarindo Beach on the Pacific Coast. Playa Tamarindo is a long beach, with excellent waves for surfing near the mouth of an estuary. Currents can be strong, especially on a falling tide.
The breaks offer possibilities for advanced surfers as well as beginners. Close to Tamarindo is the beach of Playa Grande where a small number of Leatherback SeaTurtles come to lay their eggs at night. The leatherbacks nest approximately from November to March, digging deep holes in the beach to lay their eggs which they then cover with sand before returning back to the sea. Overnight at a Tamarindo hotel (Capitan Suizo or similar), breakfast included. Includes: (B).
Days 6-7: Tamarindo.
Free days to explore or relax on the beach. There are many ecological friendly optional activities in the area, including watching turtles during the nesting season at night, diving, snorkeling, body surfing, zip-lining, estuary trips, horseback riding and fishing. During the December to April period when the water turbidity is low, fishing may be done from the shore. Overnight at your Tamarindo Hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 8*: Tamarindo - San Jose.
Transfer to the Tamarindo Airport for your flight to San Jose. Overnight at a selected San Jose hotel, breakfast included. Includes: (B).
Day 9: Int'l departure. Hotel pickup and transfer to the airport. (B)
About This Supplier
Also see tour packages in:
Central America and Caribbean Costa Rica Outdoor: Land Rambler Multi-activity Volcano Tours
Email it to a friend:
Click here to email this vacation to a friend