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Costa Rica Experience

Costa Rica Experience

From $ 1,500 AUD

Description

Discover a region of natural diversity, cultural riches and laidback vibes on a nine-day jungle jaunt through Costa Rica. Thanks to a longstanding tradition of preserving its natural assets, much of the country’s primary rainforest still stands, opportunities for nature-based adventures are endless and the beaches on both coasts are nothing short of picturesque. Kick back in the rustic beach town of Quepos, explore the steamy cloud forests of Monteverde, and get to know the locals by lending a hand on a rural farmstay near Santa Rosa de Pocosol. Explore the depths of this colourful and vibrant country with plenty of time to make this trip your own.

Trip Name
Costa Rica Experience
Last Updated
2020-08-07
Days
9
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • San Jose is Costa Rica’s cultural heart. Spend time wandering through the artisan stalls of the main Plaza de la Cultura, with plenty of time to stop for a refresco (smoothie) and to do some people watching.
  • Lend a hand at a farmstay outside of Santa Rosa de Pocosol, and learn some home-cooked recipes and techniques from the locals on a visit to the Juanilama agricultural community.
  • Marvel at the size and stature of the Arenal Volcano on the horizon, perhaps taking a soak and relaxing in La Fortuna’s lava-heated thermal springs.
  • Try to spot the elusive resplendent quetzal when you’re exploring Monteverde’s steamy cloud forests. Better yet, why not consider a jungle zip-line to get high in the sky?
  • With plenty of time to chill out at your own pace, Quepos’ surf vibe is ideal for catching some waves, lazing on the white-sand beaches or hiking the lush trails of Manuel Antonio with your travel pals.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - San Jose
Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a bustling city with lively markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. If you arrive with time to spare, a good place to start exploring is the main plaza – perfect for some people watching. Artisan booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. Have a look at the Gold Museum which has an amazing collection of indigenous gold art. If these cultural gems get you in the mood for a bit of shopping, head to the outdoor market in Plaza de la Cultura or the Central Market – stocking anything from handicrafts to seafood.
Day 2 - Santa Rosa de Pocosol
Travel by private vehicle to Santa Rosa de Pocosol (approximately 3 hours) where you’ll spend the night in a homestay. Just down the road is the Juanilama agricultural community, where you have the opportunity to get to know the locals, help with farm chores, or take a cooking lesson. Several villagers have built comfortable rooms for guests next to their homes, and you will stay in one of them this evening. Please note that these rooms use shared facilities. In order to make the most of this homestay experience, it may take a bit of effort from your side to break the ice first. Learn as many Spanish words as you can and get ready for some serious hand language signals. The reward for your efforts? An authentic slice of life in the Costa Rican countryside.
Day 3 - La Fortuna / Arenal Volcano
Today, continue towards La Fortuna – a small town situated just a few minutes away from Costa Rica's famous Arenal Volcano (driving time approximately 2 hours). Besides its panoramic views, the town offers a range of other activities such as the 70-metre-high La Fortuna waterfall, stunning lush forest, rare plants, animal watching and water-based activities on the lake. The volcano’s inner workings also mean that the area has a number of thermal springs where lava-heated water gushes to the surface. These springs have been sculpted into a number of pools and waterfalls, making them the ideal place to relax. Spend the rest of the day as you please in this exciting town, perhaps getting active on a stand-up paddleboard or looking for monkeys and caimans during a boat tour of the Cano Negro area.
Day 4 - Monteverde
Today you’ll take the scenic route to Monteverde (approximately 4 hours in total). Travel by shared minibus to Lake Arenal, then cross the water by boat. On the other side of the lake, re-board a minibus and continue on to our destination. Monteverde was founded as an agricultural community in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers – they cleared virgin forest to create verdant pastures ideal for dairy farming. These environmentally aware settlers were conscious of the danger that unrestricted settling and farming could cause to this precious habitat. Consequently, they established a small, privately-owned wildlife sanctuary, which has since grown to become the internationally renowned Monteverde Cloudforest Biological Preserve. Perhaps start your exploration with a tour of the suspension bridges that hang in the trees, or head to the Serpentarium to see some crawly critters. More than 2000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Montverde home.
Day 5 - Monteverde
Choose how you'd like to spend today in this beautiful area. Watch butterflies at play in the specially created garden, hire a local guide to show you around the area, visit a community cooperative or zip-line through the lush canopy! Whatever you do, be sure to keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal – one of the most elusive birds in the world.
Day 6 - Quepos
Travel through the mountains to Quepos by private minibus (around 5 hours). Located close to the beautiful Pacific beaches and exotic wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos is a laidback town with a vibrant nightlife. Perhaps get into the spirit with a sunset sail around the glorious coast, looking out for dolphins and whales which sometimes swim close by. Once the sun goes down, why not grab a spot at a waterfront restaurant and sink your teeth into some fresh seafood with your travel crew – this is the life.
Day 7 - Quepos / Manuel Antonio NP
Spend your time enjoying all that Manuel Antonio National Park has to offer. Perhaps head out for a hike along one of the many trails on offer, keeping one eye on the great views and the other looking for the abundant wildlife. Monkeys, armadillos, sloths and hundreds of birds are among the species you maybe be able to spot. The park also boasts turquoise seas and white-sand beaches – perfect for swimming, kayaking, sailing and fishing. It would be easy to spend your whole time here in, or by, the water.
Day 8 - San Jose
Take a local bus back to San Jose (around 4 hours). The buses in this region of the country are a little more basic than you may be used to, but this is a great opportunity to mix with Costa Ricans and get a feel for local life. Arrive back in time for you to pick up some last-minute souvenirs at the city's colourful and vibrant markets. Then, head out for an optional dinner and a night on the town, getting a taste of the huge variety of nightlife on offer.
Day 9 - San Jose
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time following check out. If you're not flying out today, why not check out the town with a local guide and sample some of the choicest drops from the city's growing craft beer scene. Check out The Art of Craft Beer in San Jose and other Urban Adventures at urbanadventures.com/destination/San-Jose-tours. If you would like to spend more time in San Jose, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
17-10-202025-10-2020AUD $ 1,500-
14-11-202022-11-2020AUD $ 1,500-
21-11-202029-11-2020AUD $ 1,560-
05-12-202013-12-2020AUD $ 1,560-
12-12-202020-12-2020AUD $ 1,590-
19-12-202027-12-2020AUD $ 1,560-
26-12-202003-01-2021AUD $ 1,605-
28-12-202005-01-2021AUD $ 1,605-
02-01-202110-01-2021AUD $ 1,670-
09-01-202117-01-2021AUD $ 1,620-
13-02-202121-02-2021AUD $ 1,620-
06-03-202114-03-2021AUD $ 1,620-
27-03-202104-04-2021AUD $ 1,620-
05-04-202113-04-2021AUD $ 1,560-
10-04-202118-04-2021AUD $ 1,560-
24-04-202102-05-2021AUD $ 1,560-
08-05-202116-05-2021AUD $ 1,560-
22-05-202130-05-2021AUD $ 1,500-
05-06-202113-06-2021AUD $ 1,500-
26-06-202104-07-2021AUD $ 1,500-
03-07-202111-07-2021AUD $ 1,500-
31-07-202108-08-2021AUD $ 1,500-
14-08-202122-08-2021AUD $ 1,500-
21-08-202129-08-2021AUD $ 1,500-
18-09-202126-09-2021AUD $ 1,500-
02-10-202110-10-2021AUD $ 1,560-
13-11-202121-11-2021AUD $ 1,560-
20-11-202128-11-2021AUD $ 1,620-
27-11-202105-12-2021AUD $ 1,620-
04-12-202112-12-2021AUD $ 1,620-
11-12-202119-12-2021AUD $ 1,620-
18-12-202126-12-2021AUD $ 1,560-
25-12-202102-01-2022AUD $ 1,560-
27-12-202104-01-2022AUD $ 1,560-

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights),Homestay (1 night)

Transport

Private vehicle,Shared vehicle,Public bus,Shared boat

Map