A short plane ride from the United States, Costa Rica is the only Central American country that has invested in education instead of a military. This peaceful nation is blessed with gorgeous beaches, volcanic mountains and dense, tropical rain forests supporting a bird and animal kingdom more varied than any country on earth. In the wild we’ll see howler, capuchin and spider monkeys, crocodiles, orchids, butterflies, turtles, toucans, iguanas and scarlet macaws. The wide range of habitats makes Costa Rica a perfect destination for adventure travelers. We’ll raft white water on a pristine river, horse ride on a beach (optional), zip line near Lake Arenal, soak in hot pools and spend a night in the Tortuguero National Park! Staying in family-owned haciendas and some larger resort hotels we’ll meet the conservation-conscious locals who delight in sharing their friendly country with us. The food is wonderful, the weather too, and oh, the activities and photo opportunities are amazing. Join us on this fun adventure.. Pura Vida!
This was my first adventure trip and I enjoyed every minute – from the beautiful resorts to the howling monkeys, watching the baby turtles run to the ocean, the volcano Arenal and especially rafting the Pacuare. Thank you for a truly memorable experience.
— Deanna B, VA
Please arrive at the San Jose airport between 3pm and 5pm, if possible. As you exit the Arrivals Hall, go outside and meet your complimentary hotel transfer to our first night hotel. You’ll be met by your Canyon Calling Trip Leader in the hotel lobby to get you checked in. Since flights will be arriving late into the night, you are on your own for dinner this evening. Perhaps we’ll meet as a group at the hotel restaurant for those who have arrived already. Overnight San Jose.
After our welcome breakfast, we’ll depart for our drive through coffee plantations and peaceful country towns on our way to Arenal. We’ll make some interesting stops at a local soda, shop for a trinket or some local chocolate, or a delightful Costa Rican coffee. We’ll either lunch on the way too or have lunch at our resort. Check into our resort located by the 5300’ Arenal volcano, one of the most active in the world. Next, we’re off to hike in the Arenal Volcano National Park. After a stop at LookOut Point, we’ll hike the Heliconias trail as our guide informs us about the plants, wildlife, and creatures of this beautiful park. This is about a 4 mile hike rated easy to moderate. The views of the volcano are special. It’s back to our resort and the natural hot springs and pools invite us to relax into our Costa Rican vacation. Swim up bar anyone? We’ll dine at the outdoor restaurant at the resort. If it’s a cloudless night we may see the glow of the lava on Arenal volcano. Overnight La Fortuna.
Wow, what a great trip. The highlights for me were the thrill of watching 70 baby green turtles crawl to the sea and being massaged by a hot waterfall!
— Susan O, CA
After breakfast it’s a short drive to our zip-lining adventure. We put on our equipment and get a safety briefing then ride a Sky Tram high in the forest to a platform giving us wonderful views of Lake Arenal and the volcano. Guides will stop the tram for bird and monkey sightings along the way. We’ll zip-line on eight cables above the treetops. This zipline is a breathtaking, life-affirming, soul-awakening experience – exhilarating! And totally safe. The zip distances vary from 100’ to 2400’. Experts rate this the best zip line in the world! You have the option of a drink after this adventure then we’re off to enjoy a delicious Costa Rican lunch in the small town of Fortuna. There’s time for a bit of shopping. We’ll check into our Resort for two nights. Care to enjoy a dip in the pool and some leisure time before having dinner? It’s all there for you. Overnight Sarapiqui.
After a sleep-in and a lazy breakfast we’ll head for the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and take a nature hike with our biologist guide. She introduces us to the amazing biological diversity that is Costa Rica. We hike to waterfalls as the trail winds along the La Paz River through both Cloud and Rainforest while enjoying the diversity of the plants and wildlife. Lunch will be served at the buffet, then we have more time to explore. Blue morpho butterflies and bright birds fly nearby and monkeys chatter from high perches in this rain forest reserve. It’s back to our hotel with time to enjoy the pool. At dusk, we’ll get flashlights and search the onsite garden to see beautiful yet poisonous frogs. Perhaps an umbrella drink before dinner at the resort. Overnight Sarapiqui.
You plan a hell of a trip! – so much activity with just the right amount of relaxation. Best of all – putting nine women together and just laughing!
— Meg W, PA
After breakfast it’s a short transfer to the nearby Sarapiqui River for our white water rafting trip. The rapids are rated 2’s and 3’s so it’s a perfect river for those with little rafting experience yet a fun day’s rafting for all. Winding through the region of the “Eternal Spring,” the Sarapiquí has its origins in clear mountain streams that tumble down through thick rain forest to merge with the crystal waters of the beautiful Sarapiquí. If Matisse had come to Costa Rica, this is what he would have painted! After the usual safety briefing we’ll climb into the rafts and begin this memorable journey downriver. A tasty picnic lunch will be served at the take-out. We change into dry clothes and board our van for an afternoon road trip down to the Caribbean Coast for a two-night stay at a beachfront property. We’ll check into our jungle bungalows, and enjoy dinner at our resort. Delicious local Caribbean fare with many seafood choices. Overnight Puerto Viejo.
After breakfast this morning we’ll saddle up for a horse ride on the beach. While included in your trip price, this is an optional ride (like all of our guided activities). It’s such a thrill and very relaxing to ride along the beach and marvel at the crashing surf and stunning views. We cross a couple of small rivers and the trail meanders in and out of the jungle where we may see sloths and monkeys. After our horseride, we’ll enjoy lunch in an open air beachfront restaurant in Puerto Viejo. This afternoon we’ll have free time to shop for local goods such as coffee and chocolate, artwork, and more. If you want, there is an opportunity for a massage (at guest’s expense) and/or relax by the pool before dinner. Overnight Puerto Viejo.
What a fun adventure! Loved the volcano and white water rafting in particular. Thanks for such a relaxing and rejuvenating trip.
— Jen O’S, PA
After breakfast this morning we’ll transfer to the port at Moin and board a boat for a three-hour cruise along the canals of Tortuguero National Park. Our boat captain will point out along the way all of the amazing creatures such as crocodiles, monkeys, sloths, lizards and all kinds of beautiful Costa Rican birds. This cruise is a photographer’s dream! Caimans and Jesus Christ lizards can often be seen in the nearby smaller channels. We arrive at Tortuguero main dock and stroll the small town in search of our lunch. After a bit of shopping, we’ll check into our Eco lodge right on the canal. Later we’ll stroll the beachside of Tortuguero with hopes to see baby turtles hatching and racing for the sea. It’s fascinating and heart wrenching to watch their struggle in this up-close version of Mother Nature in action. Tonight we’ll celebrate our journey through Costa Rica with a farewell dinner at our lodge. You’ll sleep soundly despite the eerie sounds of the howler monkeys in the surrounding rainforest. Overnight Tortuguero.
Breakfast is enjoyed and maybe a bit of time for some last minute jungle photography, before boating across the canal to the small Tortuguero airstrip. Our half hour flight back to San Jose assures fabulous aerial views of the park, perhaps an active volcano, and the countryside outside of San Jose. We’ll transfer to the international airport to check in for flights. Please book your return flight no earlier than 4pm local time. You may wish to extend in San Jose for another evening post trip.