San Jose, Manuel Antonio, Pacuare River
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Whether with your partner or your best friend, your children, or on your own, you will journey through this Costa Rican vacation that caters to the adventurer in everyone. Paddle down river through the Pacuare Gorge and kayak around the mangrove estuary on Damas Island. Scour volcanic summits and watch the steam rise directly out of the crater. Watch waves form perfect barrels or search beneath the ocean’s surface on a scuba or snorkeling excursion. Costa Rica offers captivating landscapes and...
San Jose – Dynamic Capital
San Jose is a lively city, filled with a charming energy that underlies the bustling crowds. Children play soccer in La Sabana Park. The names of their favorite players, both nationally and internationally renown, are bannered across their backs. The particular aroma of Eucalyptus trees drifts through the park. A small lake offers a cool mist in the warm breeze. Your private transfer meets you at the airport and escorts you to your fantastic hotel located in a spacious refurbished colonial mansion. The historic neighborhood recalls its past with the elegant architecture patroned by coffee barons in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Central Market was constructed in the 1880s and continues to encompass an entire city block. Pathways divide over 200 shops and stalls. The ambiance is uniquely Costa Rican. Locals smile as they display their wares, from woodcrafts to sensational tropical fruits. Humungous watermelons stare back at you from a fruit stand as a large bunch of bananas dangle from the rafter. The aromas are enticing and the people are jovial. Exploring the city allows you to experience the collective cultures from around the country, preparing you for the fabulous and creative adventure to come.
San Jose – The Activities of a Volcano
San Jose sits within the Central Valley. In the morning the sun rises over the surrounding mountains and casts a light over the entire cityscape. Breakfast is filled with the delicious tropical fruits that decorated the central market. Luscious coconut and juicy star fruit offer delightful flavors to the first meal of the day. After breakfast your private guide will meet you at the hotel and take you to the distinctive landscape of Poas Volcano National Park. The countryside amasses 14,000 acres of protected habitats and is considered to be one of the most breathtaking wonders of Costa Rica.
The active volcanic peak stands 8,885 feet above sea level and continues to rise with every outburst. The Poas crater concaves almost 1,000 feet where an active geyser erupts daily. The water spouts 820 feet into the air. Also within the crater is the Laguna Calientes, a crater lake with jade water and boiling hot temperatures. Steam continues to rise around the edges of the lake and off of the hot surface. Nearby is Botos Lake, situated in the crater of an extinct volcano and surrounded by dense turquoise forest.
The cold blue-green water shimmers in the sunlight. The trees rustle in the slight breeze. The vegetation offers fantastic support for the local fauna, from robins to emerald toucanets. Hummingbirds flutter around the blossoming flowers that inhabit the trees. They beat their wings up to 70 times per second. The Sabrewing hummingbird has a long, arched bill and effervescent purple and green feathers. Your exploration of the biodiversity and majestic wildlife has started your exceptional adventures. In the afternoon you will return to San Jose. Visit the charming café of Soda Tapia, a 120-year-old family owned corner restaurant that continues to boast the best tamales in the city.
Pacuare River – Calling on the River
The sunlight has hardly had a chance to peek over the mountaintops before your semi-private transfer and river guide meet you at your hotel. Venture through the remarkable countryside, over the mountains and through the rainforest onto the banks of the Pacuare River. The water is calm and warmer than you expect. The foothills climb back into mountains on either side of the riverbanks. Sloths rest in the treetops. They sleep up to 18 hours a day and, when grounded, can move up to six and a half feet per minute.
The river runs 68 miles, stretching from the Talamanca Mountain Range to the Caribbean Sea. When you set out onto the river, the current carries you down stream. The water stays calm for a while and the surrounding rainforest creates an unforgettable ambiance. The riverbanks turn into cliffs. The strong granite causes the river to veer and you hear the rapids churning before you see them. The water tumbles over boulders and rocks. The speed and force of the current turns the river white.
You listen to your guide and begin to paddle. Water splashes around you. The trees are quiet against the sounds of the river. The raft twists and edges the cliff. Then the water settles and you find that the comfortable pace of the river returns. The canopy looks brighter. The sound of rushing rapids fades into the sporadic birdcalls. In the afternoon you arrive at your accommodation alongside the river. A local waterfall creates a natural pool for you to relax and soak in.
San Jose – The Rush of the River
The early morning light beams through the forest canopy. Howler monkeys call out to one another in the canopy. You imagine their gravelly and archaic call to be more in tune with a dinosaur than a primate. A howler monkey can grow up to 36 inches with a tail growing in equal measure. Their yowl can carry up to three miles. Step aboard the raft and push off of the riverbanks once again. Today you will make your way farther down stream and meet the renowned rapids of Upper and Lower Huacas. The water becomes increasingly thick and fast.
The surrounding trees are motionless in the calm air. When you reach Upper Huacas, the banks are lined with boulders. The water speeds up. High reaching branches arch over the water. You begin to paddle and feel the strength of the water propel the raft forward. The trees give way to a small cliff. The water splashes into a refreshing mist and soon, once more, the river settles around you. A small waterfall spills over the cliff side and adds to the serene beauty. When you reach the end of your journey your semi-private transfer will return you to San Jose for the evening.
Manuel Antonio – Riverside to Beachside
The splashing sounds of the river have become a memory but the stunning scenery of Manuel Antonio National Park is still to come. Indulge in a refreshing breakfast accompanied by sweet pineapple and decadent jackfruit. Your private transfer meets you at your hotel and escorts you to the remarkable seaside town of Quepos at the edge of Manuel Antonio. Your hotel nestles between the jungle-clad hills and offers you a panoramic view of sapphire water and cream-colored sandy shores.
The breeze creates a mixture of aromas, from verdant rainforest to salty Pacific Ocean. The sun glistens over the water and makes each soft current look like a jewel. White-headed capuchin monkeys speed through the treetops. Their prehensile tails grow as long as their bodies, reaching a length of 22 inches. They forage the canopy in search of nuts and fruits. The nearby town of Quepos provides the culture and comforting amenities of Costa Rica alongside the majestic landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park. Settle into the rejuvenating luxuries of your hotel and let the splendor of the scenery overtake you.
Manuel Antonio – The Allure of the Ocean
The quiet whisper of the ocean current lapping at the shore creates a tranquil morning ambiance. The adventures throughout Costa Rica have brought you to the graceful, serene seaside. The day is yours to spend as you desire, whether sticking your feet into the warm sand or traipsing through the rainforest to discover more of the wondrous wildlife around the countryside. Damas Island is known for its mangrove estuary just off the shores of Manuel Antonio. Journey through the canals on a guided kayak tour and explore the reaching buttress roots and energetic wildlife. Angelfish meander beneath the calm sea surface. The glassy water enhances their visceral colors.
Mangrove trees thrive in the combination of saline and fresh water, creating unique waterways filled with exciting fauna, from crocodiles to capuchin monkeys. Paddle against the current and watch the luxuriant trees rise around you. Silky anteaters can grow up to 18 inches long and are found lounging in the trees. Although nocturnal, you can find them lingering in the treetops as if swinging from a hammock. When the breeze blows through the trees it also ripples the water around the estuary. The exploratory nature of your time around Damas Island takes you through palpable diversity and alongside the remarkable natural world of Costa Rica.
Manuel Antonio – View from the Treetops
The bright colors of the morning sky are serene against the shimmering waters of the quiet shores. Experience the day and explore the surroundings of Manuel Antonio at your leisure. Whether indulging in a catamaran cruise around the Pacific or enjoying the cosmopolitan neighborhoods of Quepos, the day is yours to discover the remarkable charm of the landscape. Your will journey through the canopy around Manuel Antonio in the Peso Real area. Soar through treetops on a series of zip lines that stretch over two miles of rainforest.
The trees turn into jade blurs. Your heart pumps quickly with exhilaration. You imagine that this is how birds feel. You can see them flying over the rainforest. Scarlet macaws glide along the breeze. The aroma of the trees blends with the nearby luscious aroma of palm plantations. Their vibrant crimson plumage stands out against the bright blue sky. Their tail feathers are light blue and trail after them like drifting ribbon. The adventurous exploration of each zip is accompanied by the unparalleled landscape all around you.
San Jose – Depart to Home
Butterflies flitter in the open edges of the forest landscape and linger around the large, verdant leaves. The cove creates the tranquil brush of the ocean lapping at the shores, instead of the crashing waves of the outer beaches. Early morning fishermen venture out across the Pacific in search of a good catch. Surfers catch the barrels and ride the waves back onto the coastline. Savor the familiar sweet flavors of breakfast and the vivacious fresh fruits.
After breakfast your private transfer will escort you back to San Jose for your flight home. The adventures of Costa Rica have taken you from riversides to beaches, along white water and flying through the treetops. As you make your way home you know that there will always be more adventures to enjoy.
- Venture around the land and sea at your own leisure to experience the endless adventures of Costa Rica
- Traverse the renowned rapids of the Pacuare River and Gorge on a whitewater rafting tour
- Visit the towering, active crater of Poas Volcano to see the simmering steam and its bubbling crater lake
- Journey through the jungle canopy on an aerial tour around Arenal Region
- Discover the diverse landscape and remarkable lava fields around Arenal Volcano
- Indulge in the opulent seaside of Manuel Antonio National Park
From the rushing waters of the Pacuare River to the elegant charm of Manuel Antonio National Park, this adventurous tour of Costa Rica combines the natural beauty of the landscape with the allure of the wildlife. Witness the exceptional rising summits of active volcanoes and leisure in the cool, calm waters of the Pacific Ocean. This vacation is tailored to your particular interests and preferences, making your time in Costa Rica one of ultimate exploration and luxurious natural wonders.
Your exciting vacation begins with your arrival in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. The city combines the cultures from throughout the country, spreading from Atlantic to Pacific oceans. Outside of the Central Valley Region you will spend the day exploring Poas Volcano National Park. The area is home to an abundance of both active and extinct volcanoes. Look down into the active crater of Poas Volcano and visit the exceptional crater lake in the extinct volcano of Botos.
From San Jose, a semi-private transfer will take you to the banks of the Pacuare River for your journey down the celebrated whitewater. Hop on your raft and follow your guide alongside pristine rainforest and towering cliffs. Visit waterfalls and enjoy an evening beneath the jungle canopy at a luxurious lodge in the wilderness. Return to San Jose for a cosmopolitan evening before making your way by private transfer to Quepos. The town sits on the edge of Manuel Antonio National Park, home to the famous beaches that line the edge of the rainforest canopy.
The combination of wildlife, landscape, and beachside bring a unique atmosphere and unparalleled panorama. Spend time luxuriating on the white sand beaches. Discover the unique subaquatic world of various coral reefs. Horseback ride under the rainforest canopy or kayak along the Damas Island estuary. Return to San Jose for the evening and your private transfer will escort you to the airport the following morning. The adventures in Costa Rica are endless, allowing you the chance to experience and explore.
$1,435 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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