DAY 1: ARRIVE IN SAN JOSE –
Arrive at the San Jose International Airport. Upon clearing immigration and customs, exit the airport and meet your driver who will be waiting for you. Board the van for the 20 minute drive to San Jose. Check-in to a Room -standard room at HOTEL BARCELO PALACIO for 1 night.
DAY 2: ARENAL VOLCANO –
After breakfast at 8.00 a.m. you will be picked up for drive to the ARENAL VOLCANO, the impressive Arenal Volcano is a magnificent natural wonder that attracts thousands and thousands of tourists due to its permanent, and amazing volcanic activity, which on clear days allows one to witness white plumes of smoke that emanate from the conical shaped behemoth. It should be noted, that the volcano had previously been assumed to be dormant, until in 1968, when to everyone’s amazement it experienced a major eruption.
In route to the Arenal Volcano there will be a stop in the famous town of Sarchi, known as the birthplace of Costa Rica’s Artisans. In Sarchi, you can see many of the handicrafts that Costa Rica has to offer, as well as the possibility of feasting your eyes on the world largest ox cart. The cart is made of cedar and is painted with several coats (4) of orange paint and is multicolored. The design is typical and intricate, indicative of traditional oxcarts. The oxcart is two stories high and took nearly 70 days to construct and paint. For the record, according to the Guinness book of world records, the cart is nearly 45 feet long (14 meters) and weighs 4400 lbs. (2 tons).
The journey will then continue, traversing diverse plantations with agricultural products, including pineapple farms, and mango groves, ornamental plants and cattle ranches until arriving to the small town of La Fortuna, and stopping to enjoy lunch at a cozy restaurant with a magnificent view of the volcano.
Then you will go on to relax at one of the best hot springs in the area where you will revel in the cleansing and rejuvenating effects of the thermal waters, as well as an optional massage or other special treatment, if you choose, that must be reserved ahead of time to ensure availability.
Tabacon Hot springs combines the four elements of nature; the heat of the volcano, the flowing waters of the hot springs, the pure air of the rainforest, and the fertile earth of the Fortuna de San Carlos Region, to provided visitors with a first rate experience.
And for a perfect ending, before going at ARENAL PARAISO HOTEL, a wonderful dinner will be served with a great view of the volcano so that you do not miss any opportunity to look at the magnificently shaped volcano. (B) (L) (D)
DAY 3: ARENAL VOLCANO –
8.00hrs. Horseback ride to La Fortuna Waterfall
Have you ever ridden a horse? This morning we will enjoy an unforgettable adventure through the rainforest to the beautiful Fortuna Waterfall. We will ride for about 1 hour to reach the entrance of the waterfall. Our next challenge will be to hike down to the amazing waterfall, over 60 meters high, where we can swim and enjoy the flora and fauna.
The length of the tour is approximately of 4 hours. Once we recollect all passengers from the hotels we will start the horseback ride at a slow pace from La Fortuna town. We will horseback for 5 ½ kms ( 3.3 miles ) This will take us approx. 1 ½ hours until we get to a point where we leave the horses at rest. During the journey you can enjoy the country side, excellent views of the Arenal Volcano, pasture land and agricultural fields. At the same time you will have the chance to see many different bird species like for example the Montezuma Oropendola, the American Swallow-tailed Kite and toucans. After this first horseback ride you will start a hike down on a very steep trail to the bottom of the waterfall, which is 70 meters (229ft) high. This hike (0.3 miles) requires a good physical condition on the way up.
At the base you will have a spectacular view and also there is a “natural pond” where you can swim in these fresh waters of La Fortuna River. La Fortuna Waterfall is located on the oriental flank of the Chato Hill. After this experience we will ride the horses again to get back to La Fortuna Town and from there we will take you by bus to the different hotels. (No meals included)
14.00 hrs. Sky Walk Tour
Sky Walk uses trails and a series of suspension bridges for a more relaxing introduction of the flora and fauna of the forest canopy. It allows a vision of the forest from a different perspective which starts with a hike on the ground and then taking you to explore the treetops, a hardly discovered habitat called the “canopy” with a naturalist guide.
Trail Distance: 2.2mi. (3.6km.)
Number of Bridges: 5
Trail Type: Uneven with ascents and descents.
Tour Duration: 3 hours
Forest Type: Rain forest
Landscape: 2 waterfalls – 2 observations decks
Average temperature: 82ºF (28ºC.)
Altitude: 2460ft. (750m.)
Overnight and Breakfast at Arenal Paraiso Hotel. (B)
DAY 4: ARENAL VOLCANO / MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST BIOLOGICAL RESERVE
Breakfast at the hotel Pradera and after that our transfer to the Monteverde Cloud Forest will be a combination of land, water, and land again. This option is the best way to travel from La Fortuna to Monteverde. Our minibus will pick you up at your hotel to take you to Lake Arenal, where we will board a motorized canoe across Lake Arenal to get to Rio Chiquito; then, another minibus will take you to your hotel in beautiful Monteverde. Accommodation at your hotel, CLOUD FOREST LODGE
DAY 5: MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST BIOLOGICAL RESERVE
At 7.00 hrs. Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Founded in 1972, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is among the most famous reserves in the world for its biodiversity, conservation, contributions, and scientific researches. This 3,500 hectare (8648.69 ac) of land holds 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, and it is one of the most important private reserves in Costa Rica.
The geographical, topographical and climatic conditions have determined the surprising biodiversity found in the Monteverde Reserve. In this forest we can find four ecological “Live Zones” with different ecosystems for hundreds of species of mammals, birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, insects and arachnids, as well as a large variety of plants like mosses, vines and the typical trees of the Cloud Forest.
You will hike through the well-marked-trails, waterfalls, rivers, and the observation area of the park. If you are lucky you might spot a Quetzal, one of the most beautiful birds in the world. You will also see an amazing variety of flora and fauna in this tour. A must for all visitors.
Included: Transportation, entrance fee & bilingual guide.
What to Bring: Comfortable clothing, walking shoes, binoculars, raincoat and sweater.
Duration: 2 – 3 hours
14.00 hrs. Canopy Tour (Zip line)
The tour is located in a private reserve behind the Cloud Forest Lodge. It starts with a short, guided hike through the private 70-acre reserve of the Cloud Forest. The first part of the tour will take you through primary (old growth) and secondary (new growth) forest. As you fly through the treetops listen closely for the vast variety of birds that can be seen and heard throughout the preserve. Then, just when you think you have become one with the canopy we get your blood pumping with a drop back down to the forest floor. From the ground you leave again for the cloud forest canopy and the tour ends with an exhilarating rappel down from “Scary Tree”.
Included: Transportation, entrance fee & bilingual specialized canopy guide.
What to Bring: Long pants or shorts, T-shirts, hiking shoes or sneakers and insect repellent
Duration: 2 – 2.5 hours.
Overnight and Breakfast at Cloud Forest Lodge. (B)
DAY 6: MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST BIOLOGICAL RESERVE / MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK
Breakfast at your hotel, Cloud Forest Lodge, 8.30 hrs. Pick up at your hotel for drive from the cloud forest to the Mid Pacific; Mid-morning transfer to the famous Manuel Antonio National Park, to HOTEL LA MANSION, Manuel Antonio National Park is deservedly the most popular park in Costa Rica with beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by emerald waters and jungle. (D)
DAY 7: MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK
7.00 hrs. Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Tour
The park is made up of numerous trails, taking you through the rainforest and onto a number of pristine white sand beaches, only reachable through the park. The park is alive with tropical butterflies, birds, monkeys, snakes, iguanas, sloths, orchids and more. On this tour you’ll be able to learn about their life cycle and their special abilities and behaviors. For those that love nature and exploration, the walk within this park will be unforgettable.
Note: The National Park is closed on Monday. This tour will not be operated on that day.
What to Bring: Comfortable light clothing, hiking shoes, bottled water, camera, sunscreen, towel, insect repellent, bathing suit.
What this Tour Includes Naturalist guide, park entrance fee, snacks (after the tour), round trip transportation from your hotel. Overnight at La Mansion Hotel. (B)
DAY 8: MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK / OSA PENINSULA CORCOVADO
Breakfast at the hotel. We will transfer from the hotel to the airport for a domestic flight from San Jose to Palmar Sur, where you will find the “jewel of Costa Rica”, the Corcovado National Park. Upon arrival to Palmar Sur, we will travel by boat down the Sierpe River to the hotel of your choice. You will encounter a spectacular wetland characterized by vegetation and wildlife that is so unique to the environment. Enjoy the diversity of landscapes and abundant biodiversity of the area during your journey. Overnight at AGUILA DE OSA HOTEL. (B) (D)
DAY 9. OSA PENINSULA CORCOVADO
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you can enjoy a hike in the Corcovado National Park, or visit the Caño Island Biological Reserve, or explore the surroundings of your hotel and enjoy bird watching. A delicious lunch will be included in your tour (location dependent upon which tour you choose). The southern lowlands of Costa Rica are home to the last rainforests of the Central American Pacific Coast, making it a unique experience. Dinner included at the hotel. Overnight at Aguila de Osa Hotel. (B) (L) (D)
DAY 10. OSA PENINSULA CORCOVADO
Breakfast at the hotel. Depending on what you did yesterday, today you can enjoy a hike in the Corcovado National Park, or visit the Caño Island Biological Reserve, or explore the surroundings of your hotel and enjoy bird watching. A delicious lunch will be included in your tour (location dependent upon which tour you choose). The waters around Caño Island have one of the most extensive coral reefs in excellent condition on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. On land at the island, you will find remains of stone spheres created by ancient indigenous civilizations. Dinner included at the hotel. Overnight at Aguila de Osa Hotel. (B) (L) (D)
DAY 11. OSA PENINSULA CORCOVADO/ SAN JOSE
Morning transfer to airport for return flight to San Jose, at the airport you will be met by our driver for drive to your hotel. Overnight at BARCELO PALACIO HOTEL. (B)
DAY 12. SAN JOSÉ – END OF SERVICE.
Breakfast at the hotel and at the appointed hour; we will be transferring you to the International airport for your departure flight. Happy return trip and we hope to have you visit again. (B)
Private round-trip airport transfers
Shuttle Transportation to the different destinations included in the program
All meals where indicated (B) breakfast, (L) lunch, (D) dinner
11-night accommodations in standard rooms (hotel taxes included)
Arenal Volcano Tour (visit to Sarchí and entrance fee to Tabacon Hot Springs)
Horseback ride to La Fortuna Waterfall
Sky Walk Tour in Arenal Volcano
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Canopy Tour (Zip line) Monteverde
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Tour
Flight from Quepos / Palmar Sur / San Jose
Tour to Corcovado National Park
Tour to Cano Island Biological Reserve
Meals not mentioned
Airport departure taxes (US$29.00 per person).
Hotel extras (phone calls, laundry, room service, etc.)
Tips (not mandatory but appreciated)
Notes: The maximum luggage allowance for domestic flights is 25 pounds per person.
End of services.