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Costa Rica Highlights

Designed For: Travel Beyond Clients
Designed By: Jennifer Gillmore
Dates: TBD
Itinerary as of: February 25, 2021
Day 1
Meals: N/A

San Jose (Juan Santamaria) International Airport (SJO) - San Jose, Costa Rica

Welcome to Costa Rica! Upon arrival, complete customs and collect your luggage. Make your way to the arrivals hall where you will be met by your private driver-guide for your transfer to Senda Monteverde (approx. transfer time: 3.5hr).

Your driver-guide will be with you for the next six days and will help you make the most of your time. Your guide has unique talents and knowledge and is a trained, bilingual naturalist who will maximize your travel experience. En route they will share their national culture, and its history with you. They will explain the sights en route and during tours, and will bring important materials such as pertinent field guides. This gives the most flexibility in travel and allows you to enjoy taking occasional short side-trips that will enhance your journey.

Transfer Type: Private Vehicle

Senda Monteverde Hotel - Monteverde, Costa Rica

Accommodations will be reserved for three nights, including breakfast. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure to relax or explore the network of nearby trails on your own.

At Senda Monteverde, wake up surrounded by the best mountain view possible and watch how the fog hides the mountains and brings a mystical sensation to the place. With playful contemporary design, warm personable service, luxury essentials and hyper-local cuisine this cozy cloud forest retreat is the perfect place to be rested and ready for everything at the same time. Experience the best of both worlds with a natural playground right behind the lodge and the heart of Monteverde town just a 15min walk away.

Day 2
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Senda Monteverde Hotel - Monteverde, Costa Rica

This morning after breakfast, you will be met by your guide for a private nature walk in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

TOUR DESCRIPTION: The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the premier natural history destinations in Costa Rica. The forest is dominated by trees densely covered with mats of small plants known as epiphytes which include mosses, lichens, orchids, ferns and bromeliads. This cool, very green and often misty forest is home to a variety of wildlife. On your guided tour you may encounter monkeys, coatimundis, agoutis and birds such as Toucanets, Chlorophonias, and seasonally Bellbirds and Resplendent Quetzals.

After a break for lunch, your guide will transfer you to your shared Coffee Tour.

TOUR DESCRIPTION: This excursion offers an interesting opportunity to learn about coffee and Costa Rican folklore. During the tour, you will learn about the history, cultivation, and operation of a functioning coffee 'beneficio'. You will have a chance to pick coffee and take part in the different steps involved in its production. This tour is a chance to experience first hand the tradition that is the growing of coffee in Costa Rica. The farm has a typical ox-drawn cart that you can take a ride in.

After your tour you will be returned to the hotel.

Day 3
Meals: Breakfast

Senda Monteverde Hotel - Monteverde, Costa Rica

This morning after breakfast, you will be met by your guide for a visit to Selvatura Park.

TOUR DESCRIPTION: The Selvatura Park Butterfly Garden is one of the largest in the Americas, hosting more than 50 species from different altitudes and climates found throughout Costa Rica. The Bio-Art Insect Museum hosts even more international butterfly species still, as well as insects from all over the planet. This world-class “Jewels of the Rainforest” educational exhibit showcases one of the largest private insect collections anywhere in the world with over 1 million specimens displayed in a uniquely artistic format. The hummingbird garden allows you to observe more than 14 different species of these magnificent creatures, including several that are not commonly seen on the Pacific side of the continental divide. At the garden, enjoy the relaxing ambiance with beautiful natural floral arrangements which provide a perfect setting for natural photography lovers.

Next you will continue to the Monteverde Orchid Garden.

TOUR DESCRIPTION: This tour is located in Santa Elena downtown and is a project for investigation and education to preserve orchids. This garden offers a collection of more than 450 species, each properly identified with its scientific name. Among them you will see endemic species from Monteverde and a collection of miniature orchids, including the world’s smallest.

After your visit you will be returned to the lodge. This evening, you will be met for a shared night tour at Curi-Cancha.

TOUR DESCRIPTION: Curi-Cancha Reserve is located in the heart of Monteverde, and protects 205 acres of primary and secondary forest. 4.3mi of natural trails allow you to explore the flora and fauna of the tropical cloud forest. Walking in the forest at night is a magical experience. Possible sightings include mammals, insects, and birds.

Following your tour, you will be returned to the hotel.

Day 4
Meals: Breakfast

Senda Monteverde Hotel - Monteverde, Costa Rica

This morning after breakfast and checkout, you will be met for your transfer to Nayara Springs in Arenal (approx. transfer time: 3.5hr).

Transfer Type: Private Vehicle

Nayara Springs - La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Accommodations will be reserved for three nights, including breakfast. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure to explore the local area.

Thirty-five villas offer the ultimate experience with a private plunge pool fed by water directly from the volcano which is some of the purest in the world. Nayara Springs is an adult-only luxury property with many unique and exclusive features. The hotel features two savory restaurants, a new swim-up pool bar, and its own coffee bar with a signature blend that can only be found on the property. Guests can also enjoy the open-air yoga pavilion or state-of-the-art-gym.

Nayara Springs’ grounds are rich in tropical plants, from palms and cycads to flowering trees and vines. A stroll around the gardens is a celebration of the senses. Don’t miss the many colorful heliconia and bougainvillea, the hardy banana flower, or the many species of philodendrons. The Perezoso trail is an enchanting path into the forest where resident sloths can be spotted. They love to take naps and hide in the Guarumo trees, and staff guides are always happy to help you find them.

Day 5
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Nayara Springs - La Fortuna, Costa Rica

This morning you will be met by your guide for your Arenal Hanging Bridges tour.

TOUR DESCRIPTION: The hanging bridges are a complex of suspension bridges and trails through beautiful rain forest. The terrain undulates and the trail crosses ravines with small waterfalls and travels over bridges with panoramic vistas over the treetops including views of Arenal Volcano. As you walk you may encounter wildlife including toucans, poison dart frogs, howling monkeys, spider monkeys and white-faced capuchin monkeys. The 1.5 mile trail is an easy walk for people in good condition and loops back to the starting point.

After lunch continue to your shared Waterfall Canyoning & Rappel Tour.

TOUR DESCRIPTION: Get ready for an exhilarating adventure where you rappel down a series of 4 waterfalls and hike on trails in pristine rainforest. You will descend the waterfalls into river canyons secured by a safety harness. No experience is necessary, but you should be in good physical condition, willing to have fun and get very wet!

Following your tour, you will be returned to the hotel.

Day 6
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Nayara Springs - La Fortuna, Costa Rica

This morning after breakfast, you will be met by your guide for your private Arenal Volcano National Park lava flow and nature hike.

TOUR DESCRIPTION: With your guide you will explore the area around the volcano, learn about its fascinating history, and view how the flora and fauna are reclaiming the formerly devastated landscape. Arenal Volcano erupted July 29, 1968 destroying the region west of its base with hot gases, rocks and later, lava flows. Today, the volcano steams quietly and heats local rivers that have been developed into hot springs and spas. Forest vegetation is quickly returning and covering the massive rock fragments and lava flows, and rainforest wildlife once again flourishes in and around the park.

After lunch, you will continue to the starting point of your shared Combination Sky Tram and Sky Trek Zipline Canopy tour.

TOUR DESCRIPTION: Get ready for a relaxing experience through the dense rainforest. Your gondola will rise smoothly through the trees, offering endless views during the ascent. This experience is perfect for those who want to take a different approach to admiring nature. At the top, arrive to a wide observation platform on the highest point of the reserve where you can take in the breathtaking views of Arenal Volcano, Arenal Lake, and the surrounding forests. From here the adventure begins as you return to the base riding our thrilling ziplines. Ride down a unique zipline circuit that stretches across canyons, between mountains and above the treetops. It truly is an exhilarating adventure!

After your tour you will be returned to the hotel.

Day 7
Meals: Breakfast

Nayara Springs - La Fortuna, Costa Rica

After breakfast enjoy the morning at leisure to soak in Nayara's spring pools or visit the Sloth Sanctuary.

After checkout, you will be met for your transfer to Grano de Oro in San Jose (approx. transfer time 3hrs).

Transfer Type: Private Vehicle

Hotel Grano de Oro - San Jose, Costa Rica

Accommodations will be reserved for one night, including breakfast.

Hotel Grano De Oro is located in the heart of San Jose and is within walking distance of the city's most popular attractions. Accommodation is available in luxurious guest rooms which feature modern amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi, cable TV, coffee machine, air-conditioning, and an electronic security box. Guests may dine at the Restaurante Grano de Oro which specializes in French Mediterranean and tropical influenced cuisine. The hotel also features a rooftop garden terrace with two Jacuzzis and secluded lounging.

Day 8
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Hotel Grano de Oro - San Jose, Costa Rica

This morning after breakfast and checkout you will be met by a Pacuare Lodge representative for a transfer to our rafting launch spot along the Pacuare River. The journey will take you through Costa Rica’s old capital city of Cartago and past lush farmland that blankets the slopes of Irazu and Turrialba volcanoes. A picnic lunch will be served en route.

While your gear is transferred safely over land to Pacuare Lodge, you’ll meet your raft guide, review technique and safety protocols and then launch into the swirling blue water on your trip down the river. The Pacuare is considered one of the most beautiful and scenic wild rivers in the world. Blue morpho butterflies glide about and silver waterfalls tumble down emerald cliffs. Gain confidence in your rafting skills as you navigate small rapids (Class II-III), savor the spray of water on your face, pause to cool off in a swimming hole and enjoy the vivid colors as you paddle deeper into the rainforest.

Transfer Type: Shared Vehicle

Pacuare Lodge - Limón Province, Costa Rica

You will be welcomed riverside to Pacuare Lodge by your hosts. After check-in and a brief property orientation, you’ll be shown to your suite with time to refresh relax before lunch. Your two night stay includes three a la carte meals per day, selected from a creative international menu that highlights regional flavors and organic produce from our nearby farm in Turrialba.

Pacuare Lodge is surrounded by more than 700 acres of pristine & protected primary rainforest, home to an incredible array of birds, a healthy population of jaguars and the rich cultural traditions of the Cabecar Indigenous Community. A variety of adventures await!

Day 9
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Pacuare Lodge - Limón Province, Costa Rica

This morning you’ll awaken to birdsong and the soothing sound of the river. Head over to the main lodge for a hearty breakfast of homemade bread, tortillas, gallo pinto, tropical fruits, yogurt, eggs, pancakes, cereal, juice and coffee.

The lodge employs resident naturalist guides who can provide information about the plants and animals that inhabit the surrounding forest. You can take it easy, or enjoy some of the lodge’s seven outdoor experiences included in your Adventure Package.

Nature lovers may want to start before breakfast with a bird watching tour. Other options are to visit the nearby Cabécar Indian palapa, for an introduction to the local indigenous culture, or hike to the closest farming community to experience a bit of rural Costa Rican life.

Outdoor adventure options include the Canopy Adventure Tour, which takes you gliding between treetop platforms on zip line cables, or Tropical Canyoning, which combines hiking, rock climbing and rappelling.

Hikers have several options to choose from: the Cabécar Indian Hike, a more demanding hike to an isolated indigenous home deep in the forest; or the Hidden Waterfall Hike, which heads higher into the mountains to a secret waterfall and takes most of the day.

If you’d prefer to relax, visit our Jawa Juu Spa (not included). We harness the rainforest's natural energy to create a healing environment unlike any other.

Day 10
Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Pacuare Lodge - Limón Province, Costa Rica

After breakfast, bid farewell to the team and lodge and return to the Pacuare River for a guided whitewater rafting adventure. The canyon grows more narrow, the walls steepen and the waterfalls become more abundant as you raft deeper into this living Eden. The river becomes more exciting too, with Class III & Class IV rapids peppering your three-hour rafting trip. Under the expert guidance of your guide, your team will navigate them with confidence.

Take-out near Siquirres, where your luggage has been transported separately. You’ll have the opportunity to change into dry clothes, have a simple but delicious packed lunch and then take a short drive to the nearby airstrip where you’ll board a private plane for the scenic charter flight (45 minutes) across Costa Rica, crossing the Continental Divide and then flying south along the Pacific Coast to the Osa Peninsula. Flight cost included.

Transfer Type: Private Light Aircraft

Puerto Jimenez Airport - Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Upon arrival in Puerto Jimenez, you will be transferred by a private 4WD vehicle to Lapa Rios Lodge (approx. transfer time: 30mins), at the end of the wild Osa where the rainforest meets the sea.

Transfer Type: Private Vehicle

Lapa Rios Lodge - Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Welcome to Lapa Rios, a vivid landscape that National Geographic has deemed “the most biologically intense” place on the planet, where macaws screech & soar, monkeys chatter and humpback whales splash in the Golfo Dulce.

Luggage will be transferred to your room while you enjoy lunch, selecting from tacos and ceviche featuring freshly caught fish, light gazpachos, an array of delicious salads and more. Take some time to relax by the pool or in your villa, observing the abundance of wildlife all around you. You’ll reconnect with your guide before dinner to discuss your activities and excursions over the next few days or begin your explorations with a nocturnal walk through the forest in search of creatures most active and visible at night.

Accommodations will be reserved for three nights, including round trip transfers to Puerto Jimenez Airstrip, on site shared guided tours to choose from (Early and Sunset Birds Tour, Wild Waterfall, Local Medicine Tour, Rain Forest Ridge Walk, Osa Trail, Matapalo Tour and Night Walk, Pigs, Twigs and Garbage Tour), three served meals per day with natural juice. Please note that alcoholic and non-mixed drinks are to be settled direct.

Lapa Rios Lodge protects a 1,000 acre private rainforest reserve, encompassing primary and secondary forest that provides a critical corridor for wildlife moving between the borders of the Osa Peninsula’s many national parks and preserves. Accompanied by expert naturalist guides, guests discover the magic of the Pacific Coastal tropical rainforest and Golfo Dulce, one of just four tropical fjords in the world and a favorite habitat of sea turtles, dolphins and whales. Corcovado National Park is nearby and is also a must visit for wildlife enthusiasts; tapirs are regularly seen within the park, along with peccaries and cats, though jaguars remain elusive. Below Lapa Rios, the beaches are a haven for surfers, offering three perfect point breaks ideal for a range of abilities.

Splash through a river canyon on our Wild Waterfalls Hike, discover the medicinal properties of rainforest plant, visit the local Carbonera School and join the students in a soccer match or search for wildlife as you hike through palm forests, primary & secondary rainforest on the Osa Trail. Guests may also select from an assortment of adventures (such as surfing, kayaking in the mangroves or through bioluminescence, horseback riding, boat excursions to spot dolphins and whales in Gulfo Dulce and more) that are operated on a private basis by vetted outside partners. These excursions are available for an additional fee.

Day 11
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Lapa Rios Lodge - Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

This morning you will enjoy a private Corcovado National Park by Boat Sirena Station Half Day Tour, including box breakfast, private land round trip transportation, boat tour, local guide, entrance fee and lunch.

TOUR DESCRIPTION: Today you will discover Corcovado National Park, considered the “crown jewel” of all of the protected areas within Costa Rica’s extensive national park system. Spanning 116,000 acres, it is home to some of the world’s rarest wildlife including jaguars, peccaries, tapirs and 450 bird species + nearly 700 plant and tree species. Accompanied by one of our naturalist guides, this full-day tour includes lunch and a roundtrip private boat ride into Sirena Ranger Station. From a “wet landing” on the beach you’ll explore a part of the park on foot, pausing frequently to search for wildlife and learn about conservation initiatives and research taking place within the park En route you’ll pass by impressive cliffs, caves, and rocky islands home to marine birds and frequented by pods of dolphins. If the tides are right, you’ll be able to depart or return right from Playa Pan Dulce, just below Lapa Rios. Otherwise, a 30 min trip by car may be required to reach the launch dock.

Following your excursion, you will be transferred back to the lodge. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Day 12
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Lapa Rios Lodge - Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Spend today enjoying the optional activities on offer from Lapa Rios. All meals will be served at the lodge.

Day 13
Meals: Breakfast

Lapa Rios Lodge - Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Rise one last time to the dawn chorus of howler monkeys, toucans and parrots as the rainforest wakes up around you. After savoring a final cup of coffee delivered to your private terrace, enjoy breakfast then bid farewell to Lapa Rios. You’ll be privately transferred back to Puerto Jimenez.

Transfer Type: Private Vehicle

Puerto Jimenez Airport - Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Check in for your commercial flight to San Jose. Flight cost included.

Transfer Type: Shared Light Aircraft

San Jose (Juan Santamaria) International Airport (SJO) - San Jose, Costa Rica

Upon arrival in San Jose, check in for your international flights home. International flight cost not included.

Transfer Type: Commercial Flight

For pricing and availability, please contact Jennifer Gillmore at Travel Beyond.

Included:
Accommodations, meals, transfers, internal flights and excursions as detailed
Services of professional English speaking guides
In-country support while traveling
All applicable local sales taxes

Not Included:
International flights
Additional meals and optional extras
Travel insurance (medical evacuation coverage, at minimum, is required)
Gratuities
Personal expenses (alcohol, spa services, laundry, etc.)