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Costa Rica: Hike, Bike & Raft

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Costa Rica: Hike, Bike & Raft

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Description

Get a thrill in Central America on this 8-day active adventure through one of the world’s greenest countries: Costa Rica. Cascade down the rapids of the Pacuare River, and later opt to surf the Caribbean waves and hike misty jungle trails in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Cycle along the Costa Rican coastline at the mellow beach refuge of Puerto Viejo and be free to choose your own adventure everywhere in between. Costa Rica is a country perfect for adventure seekers, and the ecstasies of this expedition are sure to impress even the most seasoned active traveller.

Trip Name
Costa Rica: Hike, Bike & Raft
Last Updated
2024-03-02
Days
8
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Swap the concrete jungle for real jungle on a guided hike into the Monteverde Cloud Forest, home to Costa Rica’s amazing range of exotic animals.
  • Raft Costa Rica’s Pacuare River – an area ranked in the top five rivers of the world for whitewater rafting. You’ll tackle Class 3 and 4 rapids on an unforgettable river adventure.
  • Cycle the quiet palm-fringed roads and drop in at hidden beaches along the Caribbean coast.
  • Opt to ride some waves with surfing expedition at a local beach. You’ll be away from the crowds and hanging ten in no time!
  • Explore the rich urban centre of capital San Jose, with time before and after your active adventure to really get to know the Costa Rican way of life.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.

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's 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, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. 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 fees 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 group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome 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 group leader or local representative 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. With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a city with colourful markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. If you do happen to arrive early, a good place to start exploring is the main plaza. 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 San Jose Handcraft market or the Central Market, where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.
Day 2 - Monteverde
A morning of travel by bus (approximately 3-4 hours) leads to incredible Monteverde. Settled by North American Quakers in 1951, the area was initially used as an environmentally conscious agricultural community and is now a biological preserve. Make the most of your free time in lush Monteverde and organise a local guide to take you on an evening nature walk. There also several local communities that operate cooperatives worth visiting. You may wish to get a different perspective on the forest by walking through the canopy on suspension bridges, or perhaps watch butterflies at play in the Butterfly Garden. More than 2000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Monteverde home, and no matter what you choose to do, be sure to keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal, one of the most elusive birds in the world.
Day 3 - Monteverde Cloud Forest hike & La Fortuna
The forest near Monteverde has near-constant cloud cover, providing consistent rainfall, which also gives the area an enchanted feel. Spend the morning in the cloud forest on a leader-led nature hike, looking out for hummingbirds, quetzals and even lazy sloths among the mist early in the day. After your hike continue take a 3-hour drive, skirting the impressive Lake Arenal, to La Fortuna, a small but vibrant town with an abundance of hot springs and natural pools to enjoy. Here you have the rest of the day to do as you please. In the evening, why not grab a classic local dinner with your travel buddies? Chifrijo (fried pork, salsa, beans and tortilla chips) is a great dish to try.
Day 4 - La Fortuna
Enjoy a free day to explore La Fortuna as you wish. The region offers a range of sights such as stunning lush forest, rare plants, animal watching and water-based sports on the lake. The volcano’s inner workings also mean that the area has plenty of thermal springs where hot, lava-heated water gushes to the surface. These springs, often surrounded by foliage, make the ideal place to relax. Active types could try stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Arenal with the incredible backdrop of the volcano and rolling green hills. Animal lovers will have a good chance of spotting sloths, monkeys, crocodiles and basilisk lizards skipping across the water on a boat tour of Cano Negro Reserve. Have a chat with your leader about the options available.
Day 5 - Pacuare River white water rafting & Puerto Viejo
This morning, leave the towering volcano behind and drive 3 hours east head to the adventure-filled Pacuare River. Pacuare is renowned for its natural beauty and what better way to experience it than an adrenaline-filled white water rafting adventure. While not an overly challenging or technical river the 29 kilometre (18 mile) one day run includes an amazing 52 rapids, guaranteeing you a day of fun on the water. And when you’re not surrounded by white water remember to relax and enjoy the natural beauty all around. Flanked by green gorge walls, tumbling waterfalls and tropical rainforest this is Costa Rican nature at its best. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife as well, with sloth, parrots, toucans, and colourful butterflies and frogs a common sight. Afterwards continue by vehicle (approximately 4 hours) to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca for a taste of Caribbean seaside – think reggae bars and palm-fringed beaches.
Day 6 - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Cycling
After breakfast get to know the area better as you enjoy a relaxed bicycle ride along the palm-fringed coastal road, stopping at various beaches and inlets so you make your way south. Along the way stop at a local restaurant for lunch, and what better way to get to know the local cuisine than watching it being made yourself at a Caribbean cooking demonstration. Experience African, indigenous, and Spanish flavours with a mix of coconut milk, spices, fruits, curry, and sea food in a melting pot of culinary traditions and cultures. Return to Puerto Viejo for the evening. Hit the bars or chill out at the beach, the choice is yours.
Day 7 - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca & San Jose
This morning is free for you to choose what activity suits you best. Rise early to take the public bus to Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge – an area that encompasses several rare habitats, including a lowland rainforest, a wetland, a coral reef and a mangrove swamp. Spend around 2 hours exploring and keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, reptiles, toucans and macaws. Otherwise relax on the Caribbean shores or take to the waves for a beginners surf lesson. Learn some basic pointers to ride a wave, or if you've done this before, grab a board and hang ten! Around midday take the bus back to San Jose (approximately 5-6 hours). With time to explore the historic buildings and bustling food and artisan markets, you’ll see a more urban Costa Rica, quite different to the past few days of travel. After so much activity in Costa Rica, you may instead be up for a quiet night, so perhaps head out for a group dinner and become acquainted with the city's night scene – your group leader will know a good place to go.
Day 8 - San Jose
After breakfast, you are able to leave at any time, with no activities planned for the day. If you’d like to explore San Jose in more depth, why not book in an Urban Adventures tour like the San Jose Bites & Sights tour. If you wish to spend more time in San Jose, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
30-03-202406-04-2024AUD $ 2,515-
13-04-202420-04-2024AUD $ 2,223-
20-04-202427-04-2024AUD $ 1,962-
11-05-202418-05-2024AUD $ 2,180-
06-07-202413-07-2024AUD $ 2,445-
20-07-202427-07-2024AUD $ 2,265-
03-08-202410-08-2024AUD $ 2,180-
17-08-202424-08-2024AUD $ 2,225-
12-10-202419-10-2024AUD $ 2,180-
02-11-202409-11-2024AUD $ 2,355-
23-11-202430-11-2024AUD $ 2,355-
07-12-202414-12-2024AUD $ 2,355-
14-12-202421-12-2024AUD $ 2,355-
04-01-202511-01-2025AUD $ 2,380-
11-01-202518-01-2025AUD $ 2,380-
25-01-202501-02-2025AUD $ 2,380-
01-02-202508-02-2025AUD $ 2,380-
08-02-202515-02-2025AUD $ 2,475-
22-02-202501-03-2025AUD $ 2,475-
08-03-202515-03-2025AUD $ 2,380-
22-03-202529-03-2025AUD $ 2,380-
05-04-202512-04-2025AUD $ 2,380-
26-04-202503-05-2025AUD $ 2,290-
10-05-202517-05-2025AUD $ 2,290-
05-07-202512-07-2025AUD $ 2,290-
19-07-202526-07-2025AUD $ 2,290-
16-08-202523-08-2025AUD $ 2,290-
04-10-202511-10-2025AUD $ 2,290-
18-10-202525-10-2025AUD $ 2,290-
08-11-202515-11-2025AUD $ 2,475-
22-11-202529-11-2025AUD $ 2,475-
29-11-202506-12-2025AUD $ 2,475-
06-12-202513-12-2025AUD $ 2,475-
20-12-202527-12-2025AUD $ 2,475-
27-12-202503-01-2026AUD $ 2,475-

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights),Lodge (1 nights)

Transport

Shared vehicle,Public bus,Raft,Bicycle

Map