Mixing eco-activities with beautiful locations and a laid-back pace, this two-week journey through Costa Rica is perfect for senior travelers. Travel from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean via the cloud forest, helping to preserve nature and heritage along the way. This tour will help you get closer to birds, monkeys, communities, and biodiverse landscapes. It will also provide you with all the space and time that is necessary to travel at your preferred pace.
San Jose – Storytellers in San Jose
After landing at the country’s main international airport, you will spend the afternoon with a local guide, exploring central San Jose and the many characters that give it life. You can take a short stroll with your guide and spend some time relaxing around the city’s main plaza. As part of the afternoon, you will be introduced to two of San Jose's storytellers. As you sit back, the storytellers will tell you about Costa Rica’s history from pre-Columbian times to colonial takeovers and the progress that has been made since gaining their independence. This will provide you with some context for the rest of your tour, and you will not need to move very far.
Tortuguero – A Tropical Eco-Paradise
After a short flight to Tortuguero, you will bask in the beauty of the Caribbean. You will be spending three nights at a lodge on the coast, where simple luxury blends naturally into the surroundings. Caribbean waters will provide turquoise hues when you look out from your suite. If you indulge in an inland stroll, birds and giant trees will provide an amazing impression. Your afternoon will be entirely customizable. The classic introductory activity is to take a slow-boat tour through the canals. By cruising through the rainforest, you can hear howler monkeys call from the trees and green herons as they fly past. Often, you can spot belted kingfishers that are perched above the water.
Day 3 - 4
Tortuguero – Sea Turtle Conservation, Secluded Beaches, and Marine Activities
With two full days in Tortuguero, you can explore the park at a laid-back pace in addition to getting involved with local conservation efforts. Boat tours are magical, especially at sunrise and sunset, which is when the monkeys are out to play, and sloths hang lazily from branches. Your guides can also lead you on short walks, which is an excellent chance to spot some of the many iguanas and colorful reptiles that move bashfully around the trails. On either day three or four, you will visit a local sea turtle conservation project. Local guides will explain the work that takes place on different beaches, particularly in protecting the sand for sea turtle nesting and hatching. Exactly what you can do will depend on the time of year, but you should be able to enjoy encounters with turtles.
La Fortuna – Exploring an Organic Coffee Farm and Soothing Volcanic Hot Springs
After leaving the lodge after breakfast, you will navigate Tortuguero’s canals one final time. At the farm, locals have been cultivating coffee since before organic certifications were created. With a single glance and smell, your guide can show you how to tell a good bean from a not so good or ruined bean. After inspecting the bushes and beans, your guide will instruct you in coffee cupping, which is a process that discerns the quality of coffee from bean to cup. After lunch at the farm, you will continue by road to La Fortuna. It will be a relatively long day of travel, so your lodge’s private hot springs will provide you with a welcoming place to soothe your muscles. Your lodge has eight private pools, and all of them have differing temperatures, so you can rest up after the drive before Arenal Volcano turns to a silhouetted form.
La Fortuna – Eco-Tourism around Arenal Volcano
Today will be completely flexible, and there are many eco-tourism activities that you can try in the surrounding Arenal area. Some of the more famous include white-water rafting, rappelling down waterfalls, and hikes on volcanic slopes. You can try these if you wish, and your guide can tailor a walk or hike to your fitness levels because there are some great trails around the area. Another option for today will be a small boat tour of Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge. While the setting is not as exotic or magical as Tortuguero, incredible biodiversity is packed into a relatively small area, so you can witness some of the animals that you missed earlier on your Costa Rican eco-tour. For the evening, you will visit a local home and spend some time with a Costa Rican family, participating in making Casado, which is a typical dish of plantains and black beans.
Monteverde – Planting Trees and Helping to Preserve the Cloud Forest
After a relaxed breakfast and morning, you will ascend into the misty mountain air of Monteverde, which is Costa Rica’s most iconic cloud forest area. There is a point on the road where you can sometimes see all the way to the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, but usually, the clouds take over, and, sometimes, you cannot see further than 20 meters. Your lodge will be perched within a forest reserve, and from here, you can cruise into a nearby town for a choice of restaurants and bars. This afternoon, you will be led on a short, guided walk through a rehabilitated piece of forest. Your guide will show you different trees and how data is being collected and analyzed. By planting a tree, you can play your role in the rehabilitation process and gain access to some of the data from the canopy.
Day 8 - 9
Monteverde – Immersed in a Birdwatching Paradise
Although the bridges wobble a little, they are very safe and provide a unique insight into a world of capuchin monkeys, sloths, felines, and more than 500 bird species. Your guide will recommend that you explore these suspension bridges early in the morning, which is when the birds are more active, and there are fewer people. During the afternoons, you can continue your cloud forest immersion by exploring Monteverde’s lesser-known trails. By walking with local conservationists, you will discover the forest’s northern and western sections. Monteverde is Costa Rica’s premier birdwatching destination, and it really helps to have time and patience because the most unique attractions are easily missed if you spend all day walking on the trails.
Manuel Antonio National Park – Relaxed Day on the Pacific Coast
From Monteverde, it is a beautiful drive along the Pacific to Manuel Antonio National Park. Descending from the cloud forest, you will wind toward the ocean, where crashing surf roars beneath and brings a new Pacific view. Perched on the edge of a tropical forest that overlooks the beach, your lodge will have an enviable location. Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica’s smallest and most famous national park. Here, you can get really close to different iguanas, which are reptiles that will look at you curiously before scampering into the undergrowth. After your drive, the afternoon will be really relaxed, so you can settle into your lodge, indulge in a stroll on the beach, listen for birds and monkeys, and feel the Pacific tranquility.
Day 11 - 12
Manuel Antonio National Park – Intimate Wildlife Highlights of Costa Rica
In Manuel Antonio National Park, you will first need to stop and listen. From the treetops will come a sonorous sound: howler monkeys that are sending a message to their rivals. Capuchin monkeys will chirp with a little more treble, which is a mischievous sound that fits their demeanor. During these two days, the activities will be privately customized to your interests. There are some wonderful walks that you can indulge in, and you can spend a full morning or afternoon deep inside the tropical forest. It is also possible to follow the dolphins on a catamaran cruise or to travel by motorboat to more of the park’s beaches.
San Jose – Departure
After a relaxed morning, you will fly back to San Jose on a scheduled flight before transferring to your international flight home.
- Uncover Costa Rica’s incredible wildlife during two days of laid-back activities in Manuel Antonio National Park
- Actively support sea turtle conservation during an intimate day with researchers on the Caribbean coast
- Immerse yourself in the eco-paradise of Monteverde Cloud Forest, using canopy walks and research stations to uncover Costa Rica’s tropical birdlife
- Listen to storytellers on the San Jose streets and gain an understanding of the country’s heritage
- Soothe your muscles in natural, volcanic hot springs during two days in La Fortuna
- Visit an organic coffee farm and track the journey from bean to cup
- Relax on spectacular beaches with three days on the Caribbean Sea and three days on the roaring Pacific
- Plant a tree in a revitalized rainforest and be part of the process to return a plantation to its former glory
- Savor eco-tourism activities that are tailored for seniors during your two days in the astonishing Arenal area
Costa Rica is one of the world’s premier eco-tourism destinations. Not only is the country dominated by national parks and well-preserved nature, but it is also a place where you can actively get involved with preserving nature for future generations. From planting trees in a reclaimed forest to sea turtle conservation, Costa Rica is where you can experience a response to climate change. With this exciting, 13-day journey, you will explore organic coffee plantations, birdwatch with researchers in the cloud forest, discover a fabulous array of wildlife, and play your part in keeping Costa Rica pristine.
With 13 days in Costa Rica, you can explore at a leisurely pace. You will have an extra day at each destination, which means that you will have more time to relax, get closer with wildlife, and venture off the beaten track. For example, by spending three nights in Tortuguero, you can actively experience sea turtle conservation, while in Monteverde, you can spend peaceful afternoons admiring tropical birds from a reserve’s research stations. A mix of land transfers and flights will lead you between the five destinations. You will also have handpicked accommodations to provide you with luxury and tranquility in Costa Rica’s unique places.
You will spend your first day in the capital city San Jose, where you will listen to street-side storytellers and gain an appreciation of Costa Rica’s heritage. Afterward, you will fly to Tortuguero, which is an eco-paradise and tropical reserve on the Caribbean Sea. Here, there will be secluded beaches, marine activities, and incredible marine life. After a morning at an organic coffee plantation, you will spend two nights in La Fortuna, where your lodge will have private, volcanic hot springs in its garden. Here, you can customize your itinerary with a choice of eco-tourism activities and enjoy superb views of Arenal volcano.
Nearby, Monteverde is a destination that will immerse you in nature. You will spend three days being guided in the cloud forest by local researchers. Research stations are superb birdwatching spots, while suspension bridges will give you a stunning impression of canopy life. It is in Monteverde where you will plant a tree and help return more swathes of land to their former glory. Manuel Antonio is a small national park with incredible biodiversity. It is also home to sloths, three species of monkeys, and remarkable flora. It also has wonderful beaches, and with three final days here, you can relax on the Pacific coast, wander with the wildlife, and complete almost two weeks of eco-activities in Costa Rica.
$2,335 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.
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.
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