Day 1: San Jose.
Airport reception and transfer to your San Jose hotel. Overnight at the Hotel Don Carlos (or similar), breakfast included.
Day 2: San Jose – Pacuare (River Rafting – Class III-IV). Early this morning you'll be picked up at your hotel in San José by your bilingual river guide, and set off through the fertile Costa Rican countryside for the Rio Pacuare. En route to the put-in point, you'll stop for breakfast. Arrive at the river.
Total driving time 3½ hours. Once at the river, your friendly and professional guides will load your gear into dry bags, prepare the equipment and give you complete safety and paddle instruction. You'll then set off on one of the world's great whitewater rivers. The warm water and tropical rainforest setting makes this a truly memorable adventure.
While your guides prepare you a hearty picnic lunch on the riverbank, you'll be led through the jungle to an enchanting waterfall and pool to swim. Before you know it, you'll arrive at the lodge where you can spend the afternoon relaxing, hiking or soaking in our waterfall and pools. Nestled in the jungle on a 1,000-acre private reserve, the lodge offers you all the comforts you need in "Cabecar Indian" style bungalows.
Private single and double rooms are spacious with clean linen, modern bathrooms and showers. Electricity is generated by a self-sufficient hydro-plant. Happy Hour will put you in the mood for a tropical evening, followed by a luscious candlelight dinner with wine served by your guides Total river time: 2 1/2 hours. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 3: Pacuare – San Jose.
After a hearty breakfast and loading the rafts, you'll prepare to paddle down the Pacuare gorge past gushing waterfalls, serene pools and pounding rapids. A snack stop by the riverside lets you explore more waterfalls and natural water-slides. An adrenaline-packed afternoon running rapids like Upper and Lower Huacas, Cimarron, Dos Montañas and many more, will have you cheering ecstatically. A hot lunch will be served. Showers, changing rooms, cold and hot drinks and snacks are also available. On the return drive to San José, you'll enjoy remarkable views of Braulio Carrillo National Park and Irazú Volcano. Return to your hotel in San Jose. River time: about 4 hours. Includes: (B, L).
Day 4: San Jose - Quepos.
You will be met at your hotel and transferred by private vehicle to Manuel Antonio National Park on the central Pacific coast. Overnight accommodations at the Hotel Costa Verde, nestled on jungle-covered hills with views of the Pacific Ocean, a short walk to Manuel Antonio Park. Hiking, snorkeling, and surfing are possible. Includes: (B).
Days 5-6: Manuel Antonio.
Days at leisure. The following list of activities are available while at Manuel Antonio (not included in trip cost): Rainmaker - A 1500-acre private reserve, located approximately 30 minutes from Manuel Antonio, within the Fila Chonta mountain range, consisting of mostly primary rainforest.
The Rainmaker includes 2 activities: the River Walk and the Canopy Walk. Rainmaker River Walk tour is a comfortable walk along trails that weave up beside a mountain river with waterfalls cascading through the lush undercover of the jungle. You will be accompanied by a professional nature interpreter who'll explain and highlight the importance of the bio diversity of the rainforest sanctuary.
Be sure to bring your bathing suit for you will be stopping to take an optional swim in pristine pools along this three hour tour. Rainmaker Canopy Walk is the area's only user friendly suspension bridge system. The design allows minimal impact to the forest below providing our guided groups an opportunity to explore the majesty of the canopy from a bird's eye view. Wear or bring a bathing suit. Hikes are rated as difficult.
Manuel Antonio Guided Walk: A naturalist guide takes you on a 2 1/2 hour informative hike through the Manual Antonio National Park. You will learn about the flora and fauna along with a little history, and animal sightings, the most common being sloths, white faced monkeys, coatimundis, agouti, squirrel monkeys and numerous tropical birds. Included are transportation from/to your hotel, entrance fee and guide. Park is closed on Mondays.
Horseback riding to Waterfalls: For beginners to advanced riders, horseback riding is available by the beach or in the rainforest.
Sea Kayaking isla Damas Estuary: Paddle protected inland waterways, a perfect place to learn this magical way of exploring coastal mangrove areas and seeing wildlife. None of this trip is in the open ocean and the pace of this trip is according to your abilities. Lunch is at a nearby seafood restaurant. Transportation from your hotel is included. Duration – approx. 5 1/2hr. (12-years-old and older).
Manuel Antonio Coastal Paddle: A more challenging open ocean kayak paddle along one of Costa Rica's most beautiful coastlines. Nearby islands are nesting sites for boobies and frigatesbirds. There is stop for a swim and snacks in isolated Biesanz Bay and lunch at the end of the trip, near the National Park of Manual Antonio. Duration – 6 hours. Requirements: some experience or reasonable fitness as waves and surf are common.
Isla Damas Mangrove Tour: Treat yourself to a launch tour of the estuary with a biologist guide. There is great birding and wonderful vistas on this mangrove lagoon. You will stop at the island for a nice walk on the beach. Then enjoy lunch or dinner at a restaurant overlooking the mangrove canal. Good for the whole family. Time: Depends on tide.
Canopy Safari: Pick-up at your hotel to enjoy the adventure of “The Canopy Safari”. Enjoy a safari-style 4x4 ride through the rainforest. Along the way there are many opportunities to expand your knowledge of the Costa Rican wilderness. Then traverse from tree to tree and platform to platform, using pulleys on horizontal traverse cables, to sail through the treetops and over the trails far below you. It is a way in which to preserve the fragile ecosystem and gain a forest perspective available previously to only a select few researchers and photographers. Enjoy lunch and swim at the ranch along side the river.
Dolphin Watch Tour: Explore the entire coast from Quepos to the southern limit of the park in a Zodiac-type inflatable boat. Besides dolphins, you often see turtles, flying fish and nesting frigates and boobies. The rugged coast has blow holes, caves, the Indian burial island of Mogotes. You will stop to swim and have snacks on the beautiful Biesanz Beach. Half-day tour.
Whitewater Rafting: The Savegre River (all year) (class II and III) – This full day adventure takes you to the Rio Savegre for a two-hour guided scenic rafting trip in 6-man rafts or in 2-man inflatable kayaks. There are great swimming holes and a large variety of birds such as egrets, toucans, osprey, kingfishers, and cormorants. Afterward, you will stop at the 'El Silencio' lodge for a tico-style lunch in a thatched roof restaurant with great views and a nature path.
Afterward, you head to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area with many blooming heliconias in the shady ‘Garden of Eden’. Requirements: children over 10, relatively fit adults who can paddle and walk over river rocks. Parrita River (class II and III) – This is one of Costa Rica's most beautiful waterways cascading down from the Bustamente Mountain Range with a mix of jungle and subsistence farms. In the rainy season 6-man inflatable duckies are used making this even more challenging as you guide your own boat, following a safety kayaker. Lunch is 'tico' style at a small riverside restaurant. There are opportunities to swim and take pictures along the way. Time 8:30- 3:30 PM.
Good for the whole family (9 years old and up). Naranjo River (April – Dec) – A class III and IV half day challenge for more experienced paddlers. The Naranjo drops steeply from the mountain above Quepos, through a beautiful jungle gorge and takes you on a wild ride to the sea passing nearby farmlands and palm plantations. Water levels can rise quickly on this river upping the difficulty and adrenaline levels, so rafters should be physically fit and adventurous. Fruits and snacks midway. Requirements: good physical condition (13 years and over).
Day 7: Quepos - San Jose - International departure.
Transfer to the Quepos Airport for your flight to San Jose. You will be met upon arrival and assisted to the international terminal for check-in.
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