Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations in Latin America for good reason. You can hike through a rainforest, unwind in a hot springs spa, see volcanoes, whitewater raft, or just relax on a beautiful beach – all in the same country! Costa Rica is also home to more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity: over 800 species of birds, more than 200 species of mammals, and thousands of butterfly species. We can offer you a customized itinerary.
Rising 5,436 feet into the air, Arenal Volcano stands over one of the loveliest and most lush areas of Costa Rica, and providean ogffer as a gorgeous backdrop to Arenal’s tranquil resorts. Arenal Volcano is active – rising steam and red lava give it an other-worldly glow. The Tabacon Hot Springs, created by the volcanic activity, are not to be missed.
Poás Volcano is a powerful symbol of the geothermal forces that formed Costa Rica. When the mist and clouds part you’ll see the sulfuric, bubbling, green rain fed lake at the bottom, surrounded by smoke and steam rising from fumaroles. Poás is active, but don’t expect to see a full fledged eruption or even any lava flow here, the most recent period of eruptive activity ended in 1954. The volcano provides an excellent if extreme example of the effects of acid rain. Around the caldera, and for several miles downwind, the vegetation is stunted brown and black by the tainted moisture that precipitates from the omnipresent clouds near the peak.
Trails that lead through cloud forest stunted and twisted, not only by volcanic emissions but the rigors of the cold windy high altitude habitat. Lake Botos fills the extinct crater at the end of one trail, and is home to many cloud forest birds including hummingbirds, tanagers, flycatchers, toucanets, Costa Rica’s national bird the clay-colored robin, and the area’s most famous avian resident, the resplendent quetzal.
Guanacaste‘s hot, dry climate makes the region a popular escape for those suffering cold winter months in the northern latitudes. Its white-sand coast is often regarded as one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful, and the beaches offer many accommodations. Visitors to the region can take surf lessons and enjoy an active nightlife.
So we invite you to hike the volcanos, explore refreshing waterfalls and hot springs, or enjoy a day of relaxation and reading on white sand beaches…Costa Rica has it all!
COSTA RICA EXPLORER: ARENAL, MONTEVERDE,
9 Days/8 Nights Departs from San José
Day 1 Arrive San Jose: After you collect your luggage and clear customs you will be met outside the terminal by our local representative, who will be holding a sign with your name on it. You will be transferred by van to Arenal, a scenic 3-½ hour drive from San Jose. The road winds through the picturesque little towns of the Alajuela province and through rolling green hills of pastureland and coffee plantations. After passing through the small town of Fortuna, you will anxiously await your first glimpse of the perfect cone-shaped Arenal Volcano, which on a clear day is an unforgettable sight. Located at the foot of the volcano is the beautiful Arenal Lake, a 24 mile long reservoir. Your transfer will end at your selected Arenal hotel. Overnight. Note: car rentals are also available. (Breakfast, Accommodations, Arenal)
Day 2 Arenal: After breakfast, experience the tropical forest on your Hanging Bridges Tour. Learn about the natural environment walking through natural trails and hanging bridges that offer impressive views of the volcano and offer the opportunity to observe a great variety of birds, flora and fauna. (Breakfast, Accommodations, Arenal)
Day 3 Arenal: Day at leisure. You can arrange one of our optional tours – rafting, kayaking, ziplining, Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, or a hiking tour. (Breakfast, Accommodations, Arenal)
Day 4 Arenal to Monteverde: After breakfast, depart for Monteverde. The three-hour journey is an adventure in itself! You will be transferred to the lakeshore of Arenal for a boat ride, where you will have the opportunity to see the Arenal Volcano for the last time. From the dock continue by mini-van. The scenery is varied and interesting and the road does twist and turn. As you get closer to Monteverde, you are surrounded by rolling green hills and on a clear day you can see the Gulf of Nicoya. On the way to your selected hotel, you will pass through the town of Santa Elena, and the Monteverde community with its hotels, restaurants and galleries. (Breakfast, Arenal; Accommodations, Monteverde)
Day 5 Monteverde: The morning begins with breakfast, followed by a visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, a world-famous privately owned wildlife reserve. Monteverde is located on the Continental Divide and is called a cloud forest because of its altitude, micro-climate and topography. This mist-covered forest has over 100 species of mammals, over 400 species of birds, and more than 2000 plant species have been cataloged at Monteverde. With your naturalist guide you will explore the trails of the Reserve. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of the elusive quetzal with its beautiful tail feathers. Return to the Lodge for lunch, and in the afternoon you will visit the Butterfly Garden at Selvatura, where you will see butterflies native to the Monteverde area and learn about their life cycles. Then you will have a choice between two exciting half-day tours: the Treetop Walkways or the Canopy Tour [see right for descriptions]. Return to your hotel to overnight. (Breakfast, Accommodations, Monteverde).
Day 6 Guanacaste: After breakfast (between 8:00 – 9:30 am) transfer by van from Monteverde to the Guanacaste beach area. The four-hour drive will take you from the misty hills of Monteverde to the lowlands of the North Pacific, the driest region in the country. Continue to the coast to your selected Guanacaste beach resort. (Breakfast, Monteverde; Accommodations, Guanacaste)
Day 7 and 8 Guanacaste: Days at leisure to relax by the pool, walk along the beach, or arrange optional tours. Activities that can be arranged locally include horseback riding, sports fishing, kayaking, sailing, and diving. (Breakfast, Accommodations, Guanacaste)
Day 9 Depart Guanacaste: Transfer to the Liberia Airport for your return flight. (Breakfast, Guanacaste)
Optional Monteverde Tours:
Treetop Walkways: This is a series of suspended bridges and paths built within the Monteverde Cloud Forest. This tour gives you a vision of the forest from a different perspective, allowing the observation of flora and fauna from ground level all the way to the treetops. It starts with a walk on the ground through the forest, then takes you to the tops of the trees — the Cloud Forest Canopy, a world which is very close yet unknown to most.
Canopy Tour: This tour uses a system of 18 platforms suspended above the ground. Zip lines attached from one platform to another allow you to slide with the use of special equipment through the forest. This tour gives you access to a world of incomparable beauty—an unforgettable experience!