Discover Costa Rica Tour: Coffee Plantation, Dairy Farm, Cheese Factory & Nature

A 8 day trip to Costa Rica 
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Find the combination of modern luxury and tropical wonderland with a custom-tailored Costa Rica vacation. The verdant rainforest captivates you with its vibrant wildlife. The Pacific Ocean charms you with is transcendent color and tranquil current. On this Costa Rica tour tailored to your preferences, you can settle into lavish hotels and traverse the jungle canopy on an aerial tram tour; discover majestic ecosystems and listen to birds twitter in the dawn light; volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary and dig your toes into hot white beach. The beauty of Costa Rica is in its natural marvels and exceptional indulgences.  

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Beautiful Pool WIth Scenic Mountain Views at Blue Banyan Inn. Photo: Courtesy Blue Banyan Inn
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

San Jose, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Quepos, Manuel Antonio Beach

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: San Jose – Comfortable Capitals

San Jose is a city wrapped in culture, surrounded by grand mountains. Neighborhoods are colored with elaborate murals that depict everyday life of Costa Ricans. The arcades are active with locals looking at the window displays as they pass their afternoon. Your private transfer meets you at the airport and escorts you to your luxurious hotel. In the neighborhoods of Amon and Aranjuez you find historic colonial mansions lining the streets. The captivating architecture has hand-carved woodwork that decorates the wrap around porches.

Ornate roofs cast shade over the balcony and offer a touch of historical charm to the city’s modern bustle. Locals perform yoga in Central Park near men playing dominos at stone tables. The atmosphere of the city quickly welcomes you in and shows you its comfortable character, from a view of the mountains that create an opulent skyline to the unique clock tower that sits at the center of downtown in the Plaza de la Cultura. Decorative masks spout water into the fountain-base. The clock looks like it inhabits an old cast-iron lamp and ticks away the serene hours of the Costa Rican day. 

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Arenal: The Abundant Countryside

The tropical flavors of the country fill the table at breakfast. The sweetness of a fresh pineapple and the glowing ruby of a ripe papaya are accompanied by the rich layers of pressed Costa Rican coffee. You have a fabulous panorama of the mountainside. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel and is ready to take you to the dramatic landscape of Arenal. Outside of San Jose you pass through the rolling mountains and dense rainforest of Braulio Carrillo National Park.

Step aboard an aerial tram and indulge in your first canopy experience. The gondola takes you up over 130 feet above the forest floor and 2,600 feet through the trees. The emerald treetops blanket the view. Three-toed sloths press themselves against the wood and blend into the treetops. Their long, angled claws help support them and they can climb up to eight feet per minute. Their large eyes peer over their short noses and a semi-permanent smile casts across their face.

At the top of the canopy you will disembark the gondola ready to soar through the treetops on a zip line tour. A network of 11 cables stretches between the trees and over canyons, taking you around a mile through the rainforest. You have a view of howler monkeys and motmots sitting in the trees. Listen to the rushing river nearby and feel the wind blow past your cheeks. In the afternoon you will arrive in Arenal at your stunning resort. The view of Arenal Volcano creates a distinctive skyline against the backdrop of bright blue sky.

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

Day 3: Monteverde – Lavish Lava Fields and Soft Forests 

Arenal Volcano stands 5,350 feet above sea level. The active crater erupted daily from 1968 until 2012, today steam continues to rise from the mountainous summit. Rivers wind around the foothills and are naturally heated by the bubbling activity, which creates sensational hot springs that flow through the region. After breakfast you will explore Arenal Volcano National Park with a private guide. The park encompasses a small amount of the 504,094 acres of the conservation area, which includes the Guanacaste mountain ranges. Deer forage in the underbrush of the rising trees. In places the trees open up to wide prairies. The forest rises up the foothills of the volcano and you can see laurels and orchids blossoming against the prevalent greenery.

Your guide brings you to the craggy, and barren black expanse of the lava fields. The vast space shows you the immensity of volcanic eruption but also the collaboration of power and beauty. Away from Arenal Volcano you will pass by Lake Arenal, the largest lake in the country with over 33 square miles of area. The volcano fades into the distance as you meander through the mountains en route to Monteverde. A private dairy farm spreads over the hillside and was founded in the 1950s by a Quaker family. The variety of cheeses from local long-eared brahma cattle is celebrated throughout the country. Once in Monteverde you can settle into a delightful hotel located on the edge of the famous Cloud Forest Reserve.

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

Day 4: Monteverde – Watching Soft Clouds

Monteverde is known for its exceptional biodiversity. The Cloud Forest Reserve is a wealthy enclave that reaches an altitude of 4,662 feet. Moss carpets the forest floor and practically glows with vibrant hues. Small but powerful rivers careen down the mountains. The tiny rapids resemble clouds passing over the rocks along the riverbed. The dense vegetation creates a unique view of the forest within the aromas of ficus trees and ferns. Sweeping winds sculpted the elfin woodlands. Vines wrap around tree trunks and dangle from the canopy.

Orchids burst with color along higher branches up to 125 feet above the forest floor. Their petals are bright with purples, pinks, and yellows. Resplendent quetzals twitter in the shifting cool air. The males have effervescent green plumage and a scarlet breast. Their song lingers in the trees longer than the drifting clouds that give the forest its namesake. Traverse through 25,000 acres of protected land and discover the exceptional majesty of the wildlife and diverse landscape. When the clouds dissipate you can look out over the gorge and view the forest from above the canopy. The bright sky illuminates the endless, rolling treetops. 

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

Day 5: Manuel Antonio – Under the Rainforest Canopy  

The morning clouds pass by the forest and bring a cool mist to the early hours. After breakfast, your private transfer takes you down the foothills of Monteverde and onward to the favored shores of Manuel Antonio National Park. When you pass over Tarcoles River you can stop at the bridge and watch the water rush by. Beneath the bridge is a bask of American crocodiles. They can grow to an average of 13 feet long and their nostrils, eyes, and ears are sit atop their heads. In this specific area, they are known to grow larger, sometimes reaching 16 feet long. The crocodiles tend to laze around the mudflats and are fed by passing locals and fishermen.

You arrive in the peaceful and inviting Blue Banyan Inn, located in the forested foothills of Quepos outside of Manuel Antonio National Park. The hotel focuses on environmentally friendly and sustainable living with a proud connection to Kids Save the Rainforest, a wildlife sanctuary, rescue, and rehabilitation center located on the property. The hotel features grand cottages and a glistening pool offering stunning views to the jungle-clad mountains. The location provides a tranquil setting within the rainforest away from the bustle of city life while giving easy access to Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park.

In the afternoon, you can spend time visiting the organization Kids Save the Rainforest, which rescues more than 200 animals annually. Proceeds from the engaging activities are used to support the organization. The wildlife sanctuary houses nearly 50 animals of 15 different species, including a various monkeys and sloths. Volunteers have a chance to work closely with the animals and native plants on the property for a chance to give back to the marvels of Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife.

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

Day 6: Manuel Antonio – One Water to Another

The sweet aroma of mangoes, oranges, and pineapples fill the dining room at breakfast, accompanied by the scent of freshly pressed coffee. The sounds of the rainforest surround you, flittering with active hummingbirds and the wild roars of howler monkeys. After the meal, your guide greets you in the lobby and escorts you to the entrance of Manuel Antonio. The national park is a mixture of pristine beaches and rich rainforest. The trees line the shore, which gives the landscape a tremendous biodiversity that begs to be explored. White-headed capuchin monkeys scramble through the trees. Their lengthy tails grow longer than their bodies and reach almost 22 inches. They scour the trees in search of fruits and nuts to eat.

The Pacific Ocean brushes against the powdery beach. The cove protects the shore from thrashing waves, and instead brings a calm current to the edge of the rainforest. The white sand of Playa Manuel Antonio is warm and inviting. You arrive early and indulge in the comfortable lull of the waves rolling on and off the beach. The shoreline stretches for a half mile bordered by lush mangroves and shading palms. The soft sand, warm water and gentle waves make Playa Manuel Antonio one of the best swimming beaches in Costa Rica. The afternoons attract locals and visitors eager to bask in the beauty of the water and rainforest, especially when nearing sunset.

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

Day 7: Manuel Antonio – The Trails and Shore

You listen to the distinctive yowls of the howler monkeys at breakfast. Their calls travel up to three miles through the forest canopy signifying territorial boundaries. The lush greenery of the canopy hides the troupe. The breeze rustles the leaves. After breakfast, you meet your naturalist guide and begin your private tour of celebrated Manuel Antonio National Park. The water shines translucent sapphire. With over 4,900 acres of protected land you follow your guide through the diverse area, filled with squirrel monkeys and motmots.

The main trail takes you over one mile along a flat, sandy surface linked to the beaches. Your guide points out the remarkable wildlife hidden by the dense rainforest. You have a rare sighting of a squirrel monkey staring at you from the branches. They are most active during the day and use their tail like a balancing pole when rushing across the branches.

You make your way to the beach to find black spiny-tailed iguana lounging on tall rocks. They lounge in the sunlight and extend up to a length of around four feet. The ocean hits the rocks and splashes mist into the air. The fragrant aroma of the sea lists into the air. After your journey through the park the remainder of the day is at your leisure. Wrap your feet in the warm sand or dip your toes into the refreshing Pacific. The distant waves crash against the beaches away from the cove as surfers ride the barrels.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Manuel Antonio – Around the Wondrous Beaches

The day begins with the exhilarating calls of the wild. Indulge in the morning with a tour of the canopy as you zip line over the exceptional rainforest that stretches up to 1,475 feet. The afternoon is once again at your leisure, which allows you the opportunity to relax and discover the remarkable depths of Manuel Antonio and its surroundings. Enjoy a horseback riding tour under the jungle canopy or snorkel around the cliffs of Tortuga Island. Damas Island is known for its incredible mangrove forest that rises from the water to create a splendid group of tree-lined canals. Mangrove trees sprout where ocean meets fresh rivers.

The trees root under the water and rise to of the surface like intermittent gardens. Kayak among the mangroves in search of anteaters and crocodiles. Your private tour guides you along the meandering roots and arching branches. White-headed capuchin monkeys lounge in the trees that hang over the canal. Their tiny hands reach out to distant leaves. They stare at you as you pass beneath them. In the tranquil canals around Damas Island you find a secluded world different from the pristine shores of Manuel Antonio, but no less beautiful. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 9: Manuel Antonio – The Sounds of Farewell

The familiar sounds of the morning surround you as the sunlight rises over the treetops. The tropical aromas of breakfast captivate you once more, from rambutan to jackfruit. Howler monkeys continue to call out, as if saying an early goodbye. After breakfast, you watch the luminous waters of Manuel Antonio drift behind a view of the rainforest. Your private transfer escorts you back to San Jose for your flight home. As you soar through the sky you remember the feeling of zip lining amongst the trees and witnessing life in the wonderful canopy. Those luxurious memories of your time in Costa Rica can always be recreated.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Starting Price 

$1,435
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.