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Essential Costa Rica

Duration
11 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,154

From toucans to arrow frogs, Central America’s rainforest is rich with colourful treasures. Our Essential Costa Rica tour features Tortuguero National Park, the Arenal Volcano area, and Monteverde Cloud Forest.


This 12 day trip covers three distinct regions of Costa Rica, offering the perfect introduction to a country unmatched for biodiversity.

From the attractive, modern capital of San Jose, you’ll be transferred past banana plantations and sweeping rainforest areas to Tortuguero National Park. Covering over 21 miles of coastline, Tortuguero is famous for numerous species of beach-resting turtles, as well as manatees, crocodiles and 30 species of freshwater fish. Further inland, caimans, sloths, jaguars, three species of monkey and 375 species of birds are also known to inhabit the park. The option of a canal tour lets you meet the wildlife up close.

Your hotel at Arenal Volcano National Park sits on 11 spectacular hectares. In addition to being Costa Rica’s adrenaline capital, this is another great wildlife area, particularly for birdwatchers, as most of Costa Rica’s 850 species can be found here. Amateur (and indeed professional) botanists will also find much to enjoy with a truly staggering variety of orchids, ferns, palms, bromeliads and other life on show.

On the other side of the mountain, the cloud forests of Monteverde await. Enjoy a hike through this stunning wilderness, where over 100 species of mammals, over 400 birds and 120 amphibians and reptiles make their home.

End your journey with a little relaxation at Tamarindo Diria Beach and Golf Resort. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this world-class property offers all the facilities of a modern resort while retaining the sense of being surrounded by the rainforest. Consider renting a car if you wish to see more of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.


 

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Duration
11 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,154

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

San Jose

On arrival into San Jose you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Costa Rica's "Valle Central" and surrounding highlands form the cultural and geographical base of the country. It consists of a fertile upland basin inhabited by approximately two-thirds of the country's population. It is also home to the four most important cities in the country: San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, and the provincial capitals of Cartago, Heredia and Alajuela, each with its own character and sense of identity, together providing the most economically productive region.

The average temperature in the valley is 24 degrees celsius and the altitude oscillates from 2000 to 5000 feet (600 to 1500 m). Mountains and volcanoes enclose this land, and are, in turn, some of the main attractions. In just 20-40 minutes you can find yourself in the uplands, enjoying the beautiful view of San Jose and the fresh mountain breezes. Volcanoes are also well worth visiting: Poas and Barva in the northwest, Irazu in the southeast, and Turrialba in the east.

Due to its strategic location in the middle of the country, the Central Valley allows you to choose from a variety of activities, such as visiting the National Theatre, and museums (Gold Museum, Jade Museum, National Museum), white water rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, rain and cloud forest hiking and mountain biking, as well as visits to butterfly farms, botanical gardens, picturesque towns, and coffee plantations. Besides all this, the city also provides a good opportunity for shopping, sightseeing and enjoying the nightlife. Without a doubt, it is the perfect "base" for exploring the rest of the country.

The evening is free to explore.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hotel Presidente

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    Hotel Presidente



    In the heart of Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica, the Hotel Presidente is located on the corner of the Central Avenue Pedestrian Boulevard and Seventh Street, just 20 minutes from the San Jose, Costa Rica International Airport.

    In the heart of Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica, the Hotel Presidente is located on the corner of the Central Avenue Pedestrian Boulevard and Seventh Street, just 20 minutes from the San Jose, Costa Rica International Airport.

    Facilities

    • Concierge
    • Currency Exchange
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Lounge(s)
    • Mail and Postal Facilities
    • Massage Treatments
    • Parking
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Spa

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Day 2

San Jose to Tortuguero

Early in the morning, you will travel by bus through the mountains and rainforest of the Braulio Carrillo National Park to the Caribbean lowlands. Once there, you will board a motorized canoe and continue along the canals that make this region famous. Tortuguero National Park will be your final destination. In the afternoon you will visit the Turtle Museum and the picturesque Tortuguero village.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Pachira Lodge

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    Pachira Lodge



    Located on a 34 acre property just five minutes from Tortuguero National Park is Pachira Lodge. The lodge is surrounded by a stunning network of canals which are home to a diverse mix of flora and fauna. The lodge has 88 comfortable guest rooms all ...

    Located on a 34 acre property just five minutes from Tortuguero National Park is Pachira Lodge. The lodge is surrounded by a stunning network of canals which are home to a diverse mix of flora and fauna. The lodge has 88 comfortable guest rooms all equipped with private ensuite, hot water and ceiling fans.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Spa
    • Swimming Pool

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Day 3

Tortuguero

After breakfast navigate along the Tortuguero Canals which are ideal to spot the diverse and varied wildlife of the area. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the private trails of the lodge, ride a boat through the canals (at an additional cost) or just relax by the swimming pool.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Tortuguero to Arenal

After breakfast you will return by boat to Matina and be transferred by land to the Arenal Volcano area in the northern lowlands (4 hours drive).

Arenal Volcano is one of the world's most spectacular volcanoes. In addition to huge ash columns and eruptions of glowing rock, the volcano occasionally sets off pyroclastic avalanches - a dramatic flow of fast moving hot gas and rock. Arenal has been in constant activity since it re-awaked, after a span of nearly 400 years, with a huge eruption in 1968.

Arenal eruptions are of the strombolian type - they are frequent and moderate - and pose no danger.

There are a wide variety of activities to choose from in the Arenal area: rafting, hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, waterfall rappelling, hot springs, hanging bridges, canopy tours, zip lines, wildlife viewing, and even cave tours.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Arenal Manoa

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    Hotel Arenal Manoa



    Hotel Arenal Manoa is a beautiful hotel to relax and enjoy the marvelous view of Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Surrounded by gardens, pastures and animals, the rooms have been designed so that each one offers you a panoramic view of the Arenal Volcano. Arenalisitors ...

    Hotel Arenal Manoa is a beautiful hotel to relax and enjoy the marvelous view of Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Surrounded by gardens, pastures and animals, the rooms have been designed so that each one offers you a panoramic view of the Arenal Volcano. Arenalisitors can take advantage of the spacious gardens for walking and meditation as well as the opportunities to see the daily operations of a typical Costa Rican farm.

    Facilities

    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Massage Treatments
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Spa
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

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Day 5

Arenal

Free morning for optional activities. Late in the afternoon tour to the Arenal Volcano National Park where you will observe the impact of recent volcanic eruptions on the vegetation and pasturelands on the base and surrounds of the volcano. The Arenal volcano has been in constant activity for more than 30 years and is definitively the main attraction in this area. After visiting the volcano you will have the option to take a relaxing dip at Ecotermales Hot Springs.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Arenal Volcano to Monteverde

After breakfast you will be transferred to Monteverde by minibus and boat, crossing the Arenal Lake. Your transfer starts by crossing Arenal Lake the largest lake in the country. The boat ride takes 30 minutes and if weather permits it, you will enjoy great views of the Arenal volcano as well as the forest and small lsletas located along the lake. Upon arrival at Rio Chiquito Pier you board a mini-bus for the ground transfer to Monteverde.

Once in Monteverde you will check in at the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Monteverde, means "Green Mountain". This community secluded on a 1400 meter-high plateau, was founded in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers. Although some of the original virgin forest was cleared for dairy farming, the founder's environmental consciousness, together with help from private organizations, led to the creation of a biological preserve that hosts one of the richest ecological systems in the country. Due to its location on a relatively high altitude, Monteverde's climate is rather fresh.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Trapp Family Lodge

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    Trapp Family Lodge



    The Trapp Family Lodge is built on a private reserve in Monteverde. The lodge is the closest to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

    The Trapp Family Lodge is built on a private reserve in Monteverde. The lodge is the closest to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Restaurant

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Day 7

Monteverde Cloud Forest

This morning you will be picked up for the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Tour.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is home to over 100 species of mammals, more than 400 species of birds, including the Quetzal and 30 local hummingbird species, and 120 species of amphibians and reptiles. The reserve hosts one of the richest ecological systems and one of the most important virgin cloud forests in the country. A well-developed system of trails of varying levels of difficulty leads visitors throughout primary cloud forest for a close encounter with nature. After this guided walk transfer back to the hotel.

Early afternoon you visit a Costa Rican Family project the Trapiche Tour. Trapiche mean sugarcane mill machine. On this tour you learn about the production of sugarcane, coffee, and the traditional ways of cultivating bananas, arracache (a local legume), avocado, macadamia nuts as well as other products.

You also observe the Tilapia fish project and a small-forested area where it is possible to see various flora and fauna. Also on offer are oxen with a traditional cart waiting to transport you to the sugarcane mill where a demonstration of the process of making brown sugar is held.

You can also enjoy guaro (optional), a Costa Rican alcohol made from sugarcane. To end this eventful day you can choose a (optional) "picadillo de arracache", a traditional vegetable hash, accompanied by a cup of coffee or lemonade.

Transfer back to your hotel after the tour.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Monteverde Cloud Forest to Tamarindo Beach

After breakfast, transfer to Tamarindo Beach, a super sun location on the North-Pacific coast about 4 hours drive from Arenal. Tamarindo has all the amenities of a Costa Rican beach town: surf, sand and sun, sun, sun. But it offers much more. It is the ideal place for honeymoons and weddings, couples, and families, and wonderfully suited to eco-adventures.

Tamarindo offers first class sport fishing, sailing, surfing, golf, ATV tours, turtle watching, diving, horseback riding, canopy tours, jungle boat rides, beauty spa, an art gallery and crafts and pottery stores. A multi-cultural community, Tamarindo boats several bakeries, an outdoor vegetable market and more than 40 restaurants. Whether you like to eat Vegetarian, 'Tipico' Costa Rican, Italian or Sea Food, it is all here.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Tamarindo Diria Beach and Golf Resort

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    Tamarindo Diria Beach and Golf Resort



    Tamarindo Diria Beach and Golf Resort is the only hotel located on the white sands of the world famous Tamarindo Beach. Spread out over 5 acres and featuring a large outdoor swimming pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Tamarindo Diria Beach and Golf Resort offers the ...

    Tamarindo Diria Beach and Golf Resort is the only hotel located on the white sands of the world famous Tamarindo Beach. Spread out over 5 acres and featuring a large outdoor swimming pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Tamarindo Diria Beach and Golf Resort offers the best of Costa Rica's natural beauty. This large resort has 3 restaurants, a spa and a casino. Playa Conchal and Playa Flamingo are within a 25 minute drive of the hotel.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Children's Activities
    • Gift Shop
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

    More Details

Day 9

Tamarindo Beach

Spend two full days at leisure in Tamarindo for optional activities such as fishing, diving, horseback riding, hiking or just relaxing on the beach.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Days
Day 10

Day at Leisure

Today is totally free and at leisure. You can take advantage of any optional activities available or simply relax.

Day 11

Tamarindo Beach to Liberia

You will be transferred to Liberia airport for your onward travels.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration0 Days

Other Information

DEPARTURES

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES

All accommodation based on level selected, 3 Days/2 Nights Tortuguero Package car rental if this option chosen, all tours as listed, all transfers - private or shared - based on choice

PRICE EXCLUDES

Taxes, spending money, international and domestic air, drinks.

TB CAMINOTSAN14SG: ECRP 2
26 Nov 2017
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