San Jose, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Arenal
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The adventurous spirit waits for no one. On this customizable Costa Rica vacation you will find yourself exploring the far reaches of the countryside, from its shoreline edges to its towering mountaintops. Listen to the birds call out in the morning light and power down rapids as the water thunders around you. Meet like-minded people, filled with vitality and curiosity, engaging the world, one adventure at a time. Your desire to explore propels you forward leaving no reason to wait to visit Costa...
San Jose – Always More To Do
San Jose is the largest city in Costa Rica and quickly wraps you up in its underlying charm. The streets connote the variety of culture from around the country. Murals encapsulate the spirit of the local people in both lively color and joviality. Your private transfer meets you at the airport. Settle into the comforts of your hotel located in the beautiful neighborhood of Amon. Refurbished colonial mansions decorate the streets. The accommodations were once home to an array of coffee barons. Wrap-around porches are adorned with elegant woodcarvings. Rising palms shade the walkways. The rhythm of the city seems to travel through every neighborhood.
The city life brims around Avenida Central near Plaza de la Cultura. Locals pour through the streets and enjoy the window arrangements in the variety of stores. The Gold Museum offers you a glimpse into the historic riches of the country before the arrival of Spanish Conquistadors. With over 200 shops in the Central Market you can find a captivating display of tropical fruits, including watermelon larger than any have ever seen before. Indulge in the quiet atmosphere of Morazán Park. The Temple of Music is shaped like a dome and sits close to the park’s center. In the evening you can find friendly faces in the relaxed and popular Bar Morazán. The stylish décor and tasty food has made it a fabulous place to find locals and visitors alike.
Arenal – The Thrill of a Lifetime
Wake up to the sounds of the city in the early light. The sun stretches over the landscape and brings the encircling mountains into full color. The panorama accompanies the tropical flavors of morning, from sweet rambutans to luscious star fruits. Your semi-private transfer meets you at your hotel and escorts you into the mountain range. The undulating landscape around the Central Valley is home to treasured foothills, towering peaks, and sensational waterways. The rainforest canopy overtakes the view of the sky.
You continue down the mountains until you reach the banks of the Pacuare River. Join the group and your guide on the raft and make your way onto the calm, warm water. The river begins at the Atlantic Slope and winds over 68 miles towards to the Caribbean Sea. The current takes you past rising verdant trees and rocky banks that roll into cliffs. You can look into the trees and see a range of wildlife, from white-faced capuchin monkeys to chestnut-mandibled toucan. The toucan is known for its curvaceous and vivacious bill.
The bird can grow over 20 inches long and its plumage ranges from glistening black to iridescent yellow. The water speeds up and demands your attention. A waterfall trundles down the bordering cliff side. The whitewater splashes into the air. You paddle hard and fast. The landscape speeds by you. The raft dips into the river and bumps against small boulders. When the water slows and the river calms you can hear the rushing rapids echo against the towering walls around you. The serene rainforest landscape returns. In the afternoon you will settle into your wonderful accommodations located near the foothills of the celebrated Arenal Volcano.
Arenal – The Sublime of Arenal
Arenal is a region rich with volcanic soil and famous for the power and beauty of the Arenal volcano. The volcano erupted daily for 44 years, from 1968 to 2012. The summit watches over the landscape and stands 5,437 feet in the air. After breakfast you will journey through the splendor of Arenal on a tour that takes you through lava fields and down waterfalls. La Fortuna Waterfall practically pours through the rainforest canopy. Its powerful stride can be seen from distant hilltops plummeting around 200 feet into a stunning emerald pool below. The water is cool and the bordering rocks are a sharp black. You can hear the falls hit the pool; the sound reverberates amongst the trees.
Parrots tweet in the canopy and the dense, lush trees offer shade from the warm sun. Continue the adventure at Cerro Chato, a dormant volcano to the southeast of Arenal. The crater stands at 3,740 feet above sea level and differs dramatically from the landscape of its neighboring volcanic peak. Once at the crater you will find a lake filled with pristine, blue-green water. The color almost blends into the surrounding forest. In the evening you can soak in the relaxing pools of the sensational hot springs. The natural spring water is heated by the volcanic activity below the forest grounds. The steam filters into the air and the hot temperature soothes your soul after a long day of exploration.
Monteverde – Beneath the Surface
The steam from Arenal Volcano rises over the summit and blends into the passing clouds. The day begins and you listen to the remarkable morning cries of howler monkeys. Their resounding call can be heard clearly up to a distance of three miles. After breakfast venture out beyond the visible limits of Arenal and into the Venado Caves. Ten separate caves extend beneath the meandering mountains to reach a total of 8,858 feet of mapped space, including caverns that reach up to 114 feet tall. Stalactites hang from the ceiling and create a picturesque image that resembles natural castles.
The limestone shines in the light. The space is vacuous in its depth. You can hear dripping water echo against the earthen walls. The more you explore the more unique the entire cave network feels. The walls are cool and slick. You can see small pools ripple in the dim light. The greenery overtakes the skyline once you return to the open air. The wonders of the countryside go beyond the trees and mountains, as you found majesty beneath them. Continue onward to Monteverde and your luxurious hotel at the edge of the Cloud Forest Reserve.
Monteverde – Finding Worlds in the Clouds
The forest is blanketed with moss. Trees hang over the trails and block the sky. You hear streams trickling around the forest and the clouds slowly spread through the landscape. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is 26,000 acres of protected landscape located on the Continental Divide. The wind pushes through the foothills and sweeps clouds over the far-reaching mountaintops. Explore the countryside at 4,662 feet above sea level and find the breathtaking biodiversity of the majestic reserve. Resplendent quetzals nest in the trees. Stroll through the canopy on a morning tour of the hanging bridges. Branches wind and twist against one another, each trying to find a source of light in the jungle density.
The quetzal is elusive and stunning. Its breast is colored with crimson feathers and the rest of its plumage is an iridescent turquoise. Their tail feather dangles around 26 inches long, which is longer than the rest of its body. When they fly you can see the tail feather stream through the air like a ribbon. When the mist clears you can look out over the sensational landscape and find the captivating treetops rippling with the mountains. In the clear of the late morning you can see all the way to the Nicoya Peninsula. When you wander through Monteverde and the Cloud Forest you leave the world behind and find layers of natural grandeur.
Manuel Antonio – Searching for Sand
The mountains meet the sky and the clouds drift past the rainforest. The subtle birdcalls offer a rhythmic calm to the morning. After breakfast your private transfer takes you away from the mountaintops and down to the illustrious Costa Rican beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. The rainforest edges the immaculate white sandy beaches and sapphire Pacific Ocean. En route you will stop at Carara National Park. Your naturalist guide will take you around the mossy underbrush. Streams pour over rocky banks.
The tiny rapids imitate mist as the water rushes down the hillside. The park stretches over 11,600 acres and was established in 1979. The Tárcoles River winds through the park and is known for its infamous inhabitants. Crocodiles linger around the muddy banks of the Tárcoles River Bridge. They bask in the sun and cool themselves in the water. The average American crocodile grows to a length of 13 feet; however, along this particular river, adult males have been known to grow over 16 feet long.
The calls of the wildlife create a tranquil ambiance. Your guide points into a tree devoid of leaves. You try to make out what your guide is pointing at. An arm slowly releases from the tree bark and you realize it is a two-toed sloth. Their fur helps them camouflage themselves into the surrounding foliage and bark. In the afternoon you will arrive at your fabulous hotel encompassed by the rainforest with a view of the Pacific Ocean. The seclusion of your accommodation gives you the relaxed comforts of privacy with a close proximity to the nightlight of Quepos.
Manuel Antonio – Carefree Moments
The morning is highlighted by the rambunctious sounds of the endangered squirrel monkey traipsing through the air. Their short fur is tinted a yellowish orange around its back. Their tails grow up to 16.5 inches long, which they use as a balancing pole when rushing along branches. The day is yours to experience the wonders of Manuel Antonio at your whim and leisure. Spend time relaxing on the opulent white shores, discovering the exceptional trails that hug the coastline, or enjoying the cool water and spectacular barreling waves with a private surf lesson. There is even time to traverse the coastline of Manuel Antonio on a kayak tour.
The ocean is an adventure in and of itself, which offers inlets, islands, and alcoves for you to explore. Paddle along the immaculate sea. The mist in the breeze is refreshing. Follow your guide alongside the rocky coastline and rising trees. You can hear birds calling out from the canopy. Waves brush up against the hillside in the distance. The water is so clear you can see the subaquatic world come to life. Angelfish and flying fish are abundant. Sea turtles soar through the water and pelicans fly through the air. Reach the edges of mangrove estuaries and immerse yourself in the combination of sweet sea and rich earthy air.
San Jose – The Allure of Adventure
The thrill of Costa Rica is more than just the spectacular oceans and active volcanoes. You have experienced the treetops and subterranean caves. You listened to exuberant monkeys and saw iridescent plumage. In the morning you can enjoy the sounds and sights of Manuel Antonio once more before your private transfer to the airport. Soon you will fly to San Jose for your flight home. For now you can laze in the morning sunlight and indulge in the relaxing and welcoming spirit of the beach, the countryside, and all of Costa Rica.
You may to browse the Costa Rica travel reviews for ideas on how to extend or further customize this trip.
- Experience the welcoming and friendly hospitality of Costa Ricans
- Traverse an exciting and vast network of caves beneath the rainforest
- Zip line through the jungle canopy
- Discover the thrill of Pacuare River’s whitewater on a rapids tour
- Indulge in the immaculate beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park
- Enjoy a kayak tour alongside the shores and islands around Manuel Antonio
- Meet fabulously jovial people, from visitors to locals
- Relax in the celebrated hot springs around Arenal
- Scour the wilderness for tremendous rainforest wildlife
- Witness the remarkable biodiversity of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, constantly topping the list of “1,000 Places to See…”
Venture through rainforest and ocean waves on this 8-day tour that provides solo travelers with a handcrafted vacation of a lifetime. The indelible landscape and unique luxuries of Costa Rica provide colorful cities and tranquil escapes, thrilling experiences and unforgettable nature. When you discover the charm of the wildlife and unparalleled scenery, you will hope your adventure never ends. From forest trails to active volcanoes, hanging bridges to catamarans, you will find Costa Rica to be both the journey and the destination.
The capital, San Jose, is a city filled with friendly faces and active neighborhoods. The streets brim with charm and particular electricity ready to sweep you off your feet. Any apprehension about your time in Costa Rica quickly slips away as you explore the cityscape and meet the locals. Your private transfer meets you and takes you through the forest and onto the Pacuare River. Travel downstream and traverse the celebrated whitewater on a rafting daytrip. Your hotel is located near the foothills of the active Arenal Volcano.
Exploring the region takes you around Arenal Volcano National Park, through the unique lava fields, and traversing the trails around La Fortuna Waterfall. Enjoy the soothing waters of the natural hot springs and relax in the tranquil ambiance. Discover the depths of caverns at the Venado Caves, the landscaping result of millennium of water wandering beneath the earth. Head to Monteverde and witness the eminent Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the most unique ecosystems in the Americas. Travel the treetops on a network of hanging bridges and search for the extraordinary flora and fauna.
En route to Manuel Antonio you will stop at Carara National Park to witness the spectacular panoramas and rainforest found near the coastline. The beaches of Manuel Antonio are paved with powder white sand that borders the serene, sweeping waters. Settle into the beach or stroll along the meandering trails. Spend time experiencing the beauty of the countryside and the friendliness of the people. Your private transfer will escort you to the airport for your flight home. The only excuse you need for an unforgettable getaway is Costa Rica.
$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
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- 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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