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...
San Jose – 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.
La Selva Biological Station – 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 rainforest eco-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.
Arenal – 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.
Arenal – 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.
Monteverde Cloud Forest – 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.
Monteverde Cloud Forest – 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.
Jaco – 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.
Jaco – 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.
San Jose – 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.
San Jose – 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.
You may want to read about the travel agents for Costa Rica for traveler reviews and for ideas on how to customize your trip.
- Tour one of the most ecologically diverse areas of the rainforest
- Trek through private reserves to witness illustrious wildlife hidden by the jungle canopy
- Explore the rainforest on a fabulous sky tram and zip line tour
- Discover the exceptional rainforest canopy by walking Arenal’s hanging bridges
- Enjoy the picturesque images of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
- Indulge in the cool and colorful waters of the Pacific Ocean
- Venture around one of the largest populations of scarlet macaws in Central America
When the nature of Costa Rica calls, you will find captivating landscapes and illuminating wildlife. Listen to the calls of the scarlet macaw echo in the trees. Walk across the Sarapiquis River on a hanging bridge that stretches over 800 feet. Experience the rich ecosystems and biodiversity of the country on this custom tailored tour meant to show you lush canopies and effervescent plumage. Iguanas blend into branches and American crocodile linger around bridges. The natural majesty of Costa Rica is here to stay and ready to be discovered.
Nature abounds with your arrival in Costa Rica. The country is filled with jovial life around every corner. The city of San Jose bustles around you and you find comfort in your charming boutique hotel. The following day you will venture out into the wilds of the countryside and find Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. Inside the private reserve is La Selva Biological Station. Trek around the reserve and find the unique offerings of the station. In the morning you will traverse the treetops on an aerial tram and have the option of soaring through the skyline on a zip line tour.
After lunch you will make your way to Arenal and find the region flush with green, from the reaching rainforest to the open prairies. Arenal Volcano creates a picture-perfect skyline with its conical peak. Explore the rich rainforest on the hanging bridges. The height offers a different view of the region’s flora and fauna. A private transfer will escort you to Monteverde, known for the Cloud Forest Reserve and home to the revered quetzal. Discover the natural majesty of the forest on trails and canopy walks. The dense vegetation creates a distinctive atmosphere.
Next, travel to Jaco on the Central Pacific Coast. The city and the beaches offer tremendous surf and a stunning stretch of coastline. The following day is at your leisure. You can indulge in any number of activities around Jaco, from horseback riding to kayaking. A guide will take you through Carara National Park, home to exceptional biodiversity and the magnificent scarlet macaw. In the evening you will return to San Jose. Your private transfer will take you to the airport for your flight home. The natural world of Costa Rica is always adventurous and endlessly captivating.
For more tour options, please browse the vacation packages to Costa Rica offered by Zicasso.
$1,795 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.
Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service
4.92 stars based on 389 reviews.
Reviewed By Zahra V.
Reviewed By Robert H.
Reviewed By Greg W.
Reviewed By Melanie C.
Reviewed By Chris S.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era