Adventures in Costa Rica Vacation: Live Volcano, Zip Line & Rafting Tour

A 8 day trip to Costa Rica 
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174 reviews

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 treasured wildlife, amazing culture and unparalleled beauty all ready to be discovered.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

San Jose, Pacuare Gorge, Manuel Antonio, Arenal Region

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: 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. 

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: 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.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 3: 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.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 4: 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.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, transfer, accommodation

Day 5: 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.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 6: 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.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 7: Returning to City Streets

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.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 8: The Adventure Continues

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.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.