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Costa Rica Highlights

Costa Rica Highlights

From $ 3,020 AUD

Description

Few places offer the ability to immerse yourself in nature like Costa Rica. One of the most biodiverse countries in the world, a quarter of its land is covered in protected rainforest teeming with rare and exotic wildlife. Spot sloths, toucans and elusive quetzals as you explore the misty canopy of Monteverde’s famous cloud forest. Hike the lush Manuel Antonio National Park and you just might come face-to-face with a capuchin monkey; then take to the water for a scenic sunset sail as whales and dolphins make themselves known. With ample opportunity to relax and simply take in the gorgeous scenery, this journey is all about pura vida (pure life), the Costa Rican way of life.

Trip Name
Costa Rica Highlights
Last Updated
2020-08-11
Days
8
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Costa Rica’s stunning national parks are endowed with some of the greatest flora and fauna in the world, including a number of rare and elusive species like the quetzal
  • Explore Manuel Antonio National Park in the company of one who knows it best – a local guide
  • Caffeine-lovers will enjoy learning about the coffee-making process – from crop to cup – at a family-owned farm in Monteverde. Even better, you get to sample a cup!
  • Discover untouched forests at Monteverde, widely regarded as one of the world’s most outstanding tropical cloud forests and wildlife sanctuaries

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 San Jose. Take an included transfer from the airport to your hotel. Your tour begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you’ll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. Continue the introductions with an optional group dinner after the meeting. Costa Rica’s compact capital has plenty to offer if you arrive earlier in the day. Perhaps spend a few hours visiting the city’s impressive museums and galleries, such as the Museo de Arte y Diseno Contemporaneo (Museum of Contemporary Art and Design), considered one of the most important cultural centres in Latin America. You may opt to stroll past sculptures commemorating important moments in Costa Rica’s history at the Parque Nacional, or perhaps go shopping for souvenirs and authentic local cuisine at the Mercado Central.
Day 2 - Irazu Volcano / San Jose
Today you’ll travel about an hour outside San Jose for a full day tour of Irazu Volcano and the Orosi Valley. Rising 2432 metres (11,260 feet) above sea level, Irazu is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. The summit is gouged with several impressive craters. Mostly barren, aside from a fringe of battered bushes and trees, it has an otherworldly feel. Hope for good weather, as on a clear day you can see both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts from the top. Descend the mountain and head to the Orosi Valley for a completely different view where you’ll find lush verdant hills etched with coffee plantations, beautiful gardens, Spanish colonial buildings and the oldest functioning church in Costa Rica (Islesia Colonial de Orosi, built in 1743). En route, stop for lunch at the fabulous 1910 Restaurant where you can enjoy classic Costa Rican dishes, such as cheese tortillas and chorreadas (corn pancakes). Make sure to check out the restaurant’s collection of photographs documenting the 1910 earthquake that nearly demolished the town of Cartago, then continue to the Orosi Valley. Walk through the historic township and you may opt to spend time strolling the impressive collection of orchids at Lankester Botanical Gardens, before returning to San Jose for a free evening.
Day 3 - Manuel Antonio
Depart early for the long white beaches and evergreen forests of Manuel Antonio. It’s a three to four hour bus drive from San Jose; spend this time brushing up on your Spanish via an informal lesson from your tour leader, taking in the passing scenery or simply catching some shut-eye. There’s an optional lunch you can partake in upon arrival. Otherwise, the afternoon is yours to enjoy. Perhaps relax on one of the many fine stretches of sand, or rent a surfboard and ride the waves. In the late afternoon, set off on a memorable sunset sail. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, whales and giant sea turtles!
Day 4 - Manuel Antonio
Spend the day exploring Manuel Antonio National Park. Made up of 12 small islands and countless lagoons and mangrove swamps, the park is brimming with exotic wildlife. Embark on a hike with a local guide in search of cheeky monkeys, indolent sloths, endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys and hundreds of species of birds. Afterwards, you have free time to explore the park as you please. Perhaps take advantage of its beautiful turquoise seas, perfect for swimming, kayaking, sailing and fishing. Or you may opt to continue your explorations on land, in search of the 109 mammal species that call the park home.
Day 5 - Monteverde
After breakfast, depart for the cloud forest town of Monteverde. Arrive in time for an optional lunch, then enjoy a free afternoon. This nature and wildlife lover’s paradise is ripe with possible activities. In the evening, embark on a hike through the rainforest in search of some of its nocturnal inhabitants. Some of the wildlife you might see include porcupines, toucans, owls, stick insects and even tarantulas.
Day 6 - Monteverde
Today explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. This extraordinarily diverse ecosystem is home to the largest variety of orchids in the world, big jungle cats and thousands of species of insects and birds. Embark of a guided hike on the forest floor, before coming face-to-face with the misty upper canopy while walking a series of suspension bridges hidden among the treetops. Keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal, one of the world’s most elusive birds, during your walk. In the afternoon, learn about one of Costa Rica’s most famous exports with a visit to a family-owned coffee business. Gain insight into the coffee-making process and sample a freshly brewed cup. Also learn how sugar cane and cocoa beans are processed. The tour culminates with a chance to make your own candy.
Day 7 - San Jose
Travel back to San Jose for your final day. If you were unable to explore the city before the trip began, you may want to take part in a leader-led walking tour of the main attractions in the afternoon. There’s time for some last-minute souvenir shopping at the city’s vibrant markets. In the evening, head out for a final group dinner and sampling of the city’s nightlife.
Day 8 - San Jose
Your trip has come to an end. There are no planned activities today.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
18-10-202025-10-2020AUD $ 3,020-

Accommodation

Hotel feature stay (3 nights),Comfortable Hotel (4 nights)

Transport

Private vehicle

Map