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 PALMA REAL HOTEL for 1 night.
DAY 3: ARENAL VOLCANO
7 hrs. Río Celeste Hiking Tour
After recollecting the participants from the hotels in the area we will start our drive passing the town of San Rafael de Guatuso until reaching Río Celeste Town and the Tenorio National Park. Once by the Rangers Station we will start this very interesting hike of 4.2 miles (4 hours roundtrip) that will show us the awe-inspiring Rio Celeste (Light Blue River) that is turned literally blue due to the emanation of Sulphur from the volcano and precipitation of calcium carbonate. Thermal springs and small geysers dot the area as Do Rivers, waterfalls, lagoons and panoramic views. The upper area of the park is dominated by primary cloud forest, while the lower regions are carpeted with rain forest. The Tapir and the rarely seen Puma reside in the area.
First we will hike up to the “Los Teñíderos” of the Rio Celeste, the site where two streams of crystalline water ( Buena Vista and Roble rivers ) come together and form the blue color. Afterwards we will observe the “OLLAS”, consisting in holes in the earth where we can excavate healing muds, take a mud bath, and a dip in the natural hot springs. On our descent along the river we will find heavenly tranquility and a waterfall of singular beauty (Blue Waterfall), all surrounded by a varied flora and fauna.
Once back to our start point we will have a typical lunch before we return to La Fortuna and the hotels in the area.
Overnight at La Pradera Hotel. (B) (L)
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 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 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 9. 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
8-night accommodations in standard rooms (hotel taxes included)
Arenal Volcano Tour (visit to Sarchí and entrance fee to Tabacon Hot Springs)
Río Celeste Hiking Tour
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Canopy Tour (Zip line) Monteverde
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Tour
Meals not mentioned
Airport departure taxes (US$29.00 per person).
Hotel extras (phone calls, laundry, room service, etc.)
Tips (not mandatory but appreciated)
End of services.
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 PRADERA 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 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. (B)
DAY 6: MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST BIOLOGICAL RESERVE / MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK
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 8: MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK / SAN JOSE
Morning at leisure in Manuel Antonio and then in the afternoon transfer back to San Jose Overnight at PALMA REAL HOTEL. (B)