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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
|Costa Rica, Central America||Nov 11 – 18, 2023 and Nov 10 – 17, 2024||$3,795|
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!
Please arrive at the San Jose airport between 3pm and 5pm, if possible. We’ll either pick you up (depending on arrival time) or grab a taxi outside baggage claim and transfer to our luxurious hotel a short distance away. You’ll be met by your Canyon Calling Trip Leader in the hotel lobby to get you checked in. There’s a pool and beautiful grounds at our hotel. Welcome dinner will be at our hotel tonight.
Wander the beautiful gardens at our hotel before meeting for breakfast. Depart for our drive through coffee plantations and peaceful country towns on our way to Arenal. Check into our resort located just in front of the 5300’ Arenal volcano, one of the most active in the world. Lunch at the resort, then we’ll 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. It’s back to our resort and the natural hot springs and pools invite us to relax into our Costa Rican vacation. 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.
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 hotel and enjoy a dip in the pool and some leisure time before having dinner.
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.
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 from here we’ll board our van for an afternoon trip down to the Caribbean Coast and a two-night stay at a beachfront property. Dinner will be close to our resort – delicious local Caribbean fare with many seafood choices.
After breakfast this morning we’ll saddle up for a horse ride on the beach. It’s 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 often see sloths and monkeys. After lunch in an open air beachfront restaurant in Puerto Viejo 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.
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 north along the canals of Tortuguero National Park. Our guide will stop along the way to view crocodiles, monkeys, sloths, lizards and all kinds of beautiful Costa Rican birds. This cruise is a photographer’s dream! We’ll lunch at our Ecoresort and relax in the gardens. Caimans and Jesus Christ lizards can often be seen in the nearby smaller channels. 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.
Breakfast is enjoyed before boating across the canal to the small Tortuguero airstrip. Our half hour flight back to San Jose assures fabulous 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 2pm local time. Departure tax is approximately $29 and please check with your specific carrier if it’s included in your airfare. You may wish to extend in San Jose for another evening post trip.
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