Costa Rica Tour for Nature Lovers & Adventure Seekers

A 10 day trip to Costa Rica 
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Costa Rica is known for its rich and colorful natural wonders. The vivacious rainforest reaches the coastline on either side of the country. The capital city encapsulates the vibrant tropical colors of the local fruits. The canopy boasts lively, glowing orchids, and sloths hold tight to trees and disappear in the distance. From careening waterfalls to owl monkeys, luminous birds to smoldering volcanoes, this 10-day adventure will brighten your eyes and stimulate your imagination, reminding you just how beautiful the natural world can be. 

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Taking a horseback ride on a beach in Costa Rica is a quintessential Costa Rican experience.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

La Selva Biological Station, Arenal Volcano, Cano Negro, Monteverde Cloudforest, Carara National Park

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Surrounded by Nature

San Jose’s city streets are filled with boundless energy. Mountains encircle the city and create the elegant valley that captures the sunlight. La Sabana Metropolitan Park is filled with seasoned men and women reading newspapers on the bench-lined walkways. Groups of boys play soccer on fields of trimmed grass, wearing jerseys that proudly support their favorite local and international players.

Arrive at your elegant downtown hotel. Your hotel is filled with the charm of historic local families and a hacienda décor. In the neighborhood of Escazú you can find a juxtaposition of a traditional Costa Rican village pressing against an affluent suburban area. The center of the neighborhood remains relaxed and peaceful. The area sits on the hillside and watches over the city’s meandering streets. Humble homes offer remarkable views of the 18th century church Iglesia Escazú. The church contains a tremendous ceramic baroque altar that shines like a jewel on a humble crown.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Welcome to the Wild

The morning is filled with the aromas of sweet, tropical fruits and indulgent Costa Rican coffee. Mangos and papaya brush the day with colors of sunrise. Creamy bananas create a delightful flavor to start your day. After breakfast, your private guide will meet you at the hotel and escort you to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. Puerto Viejo sits at the convergence of the Sarapiqui and Puerto Viejo Rivers. The rushing waters echo through the trees and around the famous banana plantations that stretch through the countryside. Continue onward to the La Selva Biological Station, which covers an area of almost six-square miles.

The greenery that surrounds the station practically glows against the bright blue sky and towers alongside the riverbanks. The station is equipped with a large library and an exceptional herbarium. La Selva is located near the border of Barulio Carrillo National Park, which is home to almost 900 species of bird. The scent of freshly fallen rain is never far away. When you look into the trees you can find a three-toed sloth clinging to the canopy and almost blending into the various shades of the tree’s bark. The National Park and the Tirimbina Nature Reserve connect their locations by a bridge that stretches upwards of 820 feet over the Sarapiqui River.  

In the evening, you will return to your eco-retreat, Chilamate Rainforest. The lodge has much to offer travelers, guided jungle hikes, chocolate making, and whitewater rafting are just a few of the activities you may choose from at this eco-conscious hotel. The Sarapiqui River and green rainforest surround the property where you can sit back and take in the breathtaking views around you.  After an exciting day you drift into a peaceful slumber listening to the musical sounds of the nocturnal wildlife.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation at Chilamate Rainforest Eco-retreat

Day 3: Watching the Trees

The morning casts shades of vibrant pink and purple over the verdant canopy of the rainforest. The calls of rambunctious howler monkeys and scarlet macaw fill the air. The loud and jurassic grunts of the monkeys are amusing and far more aggressive than you could have imagined, but it is solely the cool morning air that excites them. After breakfast you can wander through the canopy on a sky tram and explore the exceptional rainforest and its high-flying wildlife.

Gray-bellied night monkeys, also known as lemurine owl monkeys, can be found in the twilight and early morning hours lingering in the trees. Their reddish-orange eyes reflect light and their white eyebrows are bushy. The endangered mammal has a black tipped tail and striped head.

In the afternoon you will make your way to the fabulous region of Arenal, home to the famous Arenal Volcano. Settle into your luxurious accommodation that offers you a panorama of the volcano’s peak and access to Arenal National Park.

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

Day 4: Walking in the Sky

Arenal Volcano watches over the entire area like an explosive guardian. Lava poured out of the crater continuously from 1968 until 2012. The peak rises over 5,350 feet and continues to grow whenever the magma is released. Enjoy your first meal of the day within view of the powerful and inspiring peak. After breakfast you will have another opportunity to see the sensational wildlife of Costa Rica in the remarkable treetops. Also, listen to the magnificent legends and history of the volcano and venture along a network of six hanging bridges.

Toucans perch on wide branches. They can weigh up to 1.5 pounds and their long, shapely beaks allow them feed on fruit from a distance. Follow the trail along two-miles of rainforest and listen to the quiet birdcalls and rustling leaves. The breeze is cool and inviting. The warm air sits beneath the canopy. Every step brings you into view of another forest wonder, whether in sight of the looming conical volcano or witnessing the wildlife in their natural habitat. 

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

Day 5: Under the Watchful Gaze

Before the sunlight highlights the bright colors of the Arenal sky, the early morning clouds wave over the volcanic peak. The rich scent and almost chocolaty taste of Costa Rican coffee is a luxurious flavor to wake you up. After breakfast, enjoy a trek through Arenal Volcano National Park, which encompasses 29,692 acres of land. Chato Volcano has been extinct for nearly 3,500 years and its collapsed crater now contains a lagoon. The volcano stands 3,740 feet tall and the lagoon is filled with pristine emerald water, and surrounded by vibrant, dense forest.

After your hike you will have a private transfer to the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Your hotel sits along the tree line and is filed with relaxing and luxurious style. The sunset moves over the forest like a firestorm. The breeze blows soft and sweet. You find natures elegance and beauty along the borders of the reserve and can only imagine what’s inside.

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

Day 6: Observing the Clouds

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is 26,000 acres of lush and vibrant rainforest and is filled with the single most orchid species in one place. The ambiance of the forest is captivating. Mist floats through the trees like an old friend, enveloping the trails and the treetops. Follow your guide through the clouds. The sweeping mist begins to dissipate and an overwhelming jade replaces the thick gray. Your guide points out vivacious colors in the treetops, one of the 500 species of orchid that grace the landscape. The magenta and yellow petals resemble a tiger, dangling over the trail. The San Luis Waterfalls cascade down 330 feet of opulent landscape and spray off of the rocky cliff. The pool below collects the storming water and mixes into the sensual sounds of the jungle landscape, echoing with birds, monkeys, and sporadic swishing branches.

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

Day 7: Best of Biodiversity

The cloud forest sweeps across the panorama. Mist spreads through the trees and overtakes the canopy. The remarkable beauty of the morning comes from watching the slow moving clouds sweep across the mountain range. After breakfast you wave goodbye to the meandering trees and overhanging sky. You enjoy the Central Pacific Coast as it presses against the lush tree lines of the overarching rainforest. The lush and rich greenery rises against the pale blue water. The birdcalls mix with the sounds of the sea peeling off of the sand.

Arrive in Jaco, a city that has combined the energetic momentum of a modern day city with the charm of a relaxed surfer town. The beaches look like a buoyant landscape painting. The tropical trees that border the water are an endless stretch of perfect jade. In the afternoon you can relax at your hotel. Listen to the waves and rest beneath the stretch of trees as the sun drifts beyond the horizon. 

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 8: The Wet and Dries

The Pacific Ocean is a constant tranquil sound throughout the day. In the morning the peaceful brush of the water against the sand rouses you calmly. The day is yours to explore and experience the coastal region at your whim and pleasure. Spend your time relaxing on the treasured beaches or venture into the wilderness on a guided tour.

Damas Estuary is located off the coastline and is home to a remarkable mangrove ecosystem. Venture through the canals of saltwater trees. Their roots twirl and rise out of the calm water. The sea salt inhabits the air and the low-hanging canopy lines the waterway. Green iguanas traipse on wide, low-slung branches. They can grow almost five feet in length. The trees camouflage the reptile as its colorful scales blend into the enrapturing forest.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 9: The Reds and Blues of Daylight

The day arrives with a spirited call from the tropical tree line. The waves continue to echo in the air but the adventure takes you elsewhere. After breakfast you will leave behind the seaside city of Jaco and venture into a mixture of Costa Rica’s ecosystems. Carara National Park acts as a dividing line between the dry forests of the northwest and the saturated rainforests of the Pacific lowlands. Acacias emanate a pine scent. Strangler figs wrap their winding vines around strong trees.

In the trees you can find the scarlet macaw venturing through, and nesting in the canopy. The bird can grow up to an average of two pounds. Macaws shimmer with scarlet hind feathers that give way to blue tail feathers. Their low-pitched squawk carries through the trees. They use their short beaks to feed on fruits, nuts, and hard seeds. When they fly, the undersides of their feathers are dark red and iridescent gold.

The Tarcoles River borders the park and is home to a large collection of American crocodile. In the small reaches of this diverse forest you will find unhindered nature. In the afternoon you will return to San Jose for the evening.

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

Day 10: The Continuing Images of Nature

The city once again comes to life in the heart of the encircling mountains. The vibrant colors of the tropical fruit and hidden murals enhance the joviality of far reaching neighborhoods. The wildlife of the rainforest feels close at hand, as if you can find it waiting just around the next corner.

After breakfast your private transfer will take you to the airport. When your flight departs you can see the mountains sinking beneath the clouds. You take one last look at the beauty of the landscape and can see the rainforest twinkling in the distance, reminding you of the wonders it holds. 

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

You may want to read about the travel agents for Costa Rica for traveler reviews and for ideas on how to customize your trip.

Price

Starting Price 

$1,795
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.