Costa Rica Tropical Treasures

Monteverde cloud forest, Arenal volcano, and the Tortugeuro canals
Overview

overview

Costa Rica continues to deserve accolades for the value and attention placed on preservation of fantastic bio-diversity, and JOURNEYS continues to offer travel experiences here that pay proper homage to the country's riches. On this itinerary, you and your private guide will visit three of the original gems in Costa Rica's environmental crown -- the waterways of Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast, the dynamic Arenal Volcano, and the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive San Jose
    Welcome to colorful Costa Rica

    Upon arrival in San Jose you will be met and transferred to a specially selected hotel.

    Lodging
    Hotel Bougainvillea or similar
    Show on a map
  • Days 2-3: Tortuguero Rain Forest Immersion
    Spot the boat-billed heron

    Breakfast en route as you travel by road and water with your private guide to Tortuguero National Park for two incredible days of exploration. The park borders the Caribbean and contains a network of canals and waterways that take you inland through the jungle. With help from your naturalist guide, search the trails and waterways for manatees, caimans, monkeys, sloths, river otters, poison dart frogs, and the 300 species of birds, including the roseate spoonbill, American fin foot, great green macaws, trogons, oropendulas, and frigate birds.  Tortuguero is the Caribbean's largest nesting area for green sea turtles. From July to October, 1,000-4,000 green turtles lay eggs on Tortuguero's beaches. This phenomena attracts visitors to the area in the summer months. The giant leatherbacks nest in March and April and hatch in May and June. Hawksbill turtles also nest in late spring and early summer, but they are solitary and difficult to observe. Spend your nights at a comfortable lodge.

    Meals
    2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
    Lodging
    Evergreen Lodge or similar
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  • Day 4: Arenal
    Arenal Volcano make a beautiful back setting

    Fly from Tortuguero to San Jose (note: 30 lbs baggage limit). Drive through mountains and agricultural lands to Arenal, Costa Rica's most active volcano until 2010. During your stay you will enjoy guided hikes in one of the most spectacular parks in Costa Rica, Arenal National Park. The volcano was active from 1968 to 2010, and the park now offers a landscape to learn with your guide about the materials expelled from the volcano, rock formation from recent lava flows, and the natural regeneration of flora and fauna in the area. The volcano, with its perfect imposing cone, is surrounded by exuberant vegetation and sits at the side of the engineering masterpiece of Arenal Lake. For lunch you will visit a local farm or local family where you will be served a typical Costarican dish.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Arenal Observatory Lodge or similar
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  • Day 5: Arenal Volcano Environs
    View wildlife from the rainforest canopy

    This morning you will hike with your guide further exploring the area near Arenal Volcano on a trail where you will have the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife.  While viewing the volcano from a safe vantage point, your guide will reveal this volcano’s fascinating history and explain the various types of the volcano’s current activity. This afternoon visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges. The Hanging Bridges are a complex of 6 hanging suspension bridges rising above the jungle canopy and almost 2 miles of brick and concrete trails through the lush rainforest. The bridges provide an excellent vantage point to observe the flora and fauna from the ground level to the top of the trees. Walk the trails where you will see many varieties of tropical butterflies and flowering ginger and hear howler monkeys. In the evening you will visit Ecotermales hot springs and thermo-mineral pools for unparalleled relaxation.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Arenal Observatory Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Arenal and Monteverde
    Looking down on the canopy

    In the morning you will have more time to volcano watch or further explore the area with your guide. A mid-morning departure via lake crossing, takes you to Monteverde, one of the most diverse and richest tropical cloud forests in the New World. You may enjoy activities in the vicinity which include horseback riding and visits to the Butterfly Garden, the Bajo Tigre trail, or the Serpentario. (extra cost) The weather can be quite cool and there may be frequent showers, even in the "dry" season. Spend two nights at a lovely Monteverde hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Fonda Vela or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Cloud Forest Excursions
    Experience wildlife large and small

    In the morning, enjoy a hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, exploring the misty forest with its dense vegetation and majestic trees. This reserve and the Quaker community at Monteverde are models of commitment to environmental preservation. Search the reserve for the resplendent Quetzal; the male Quetzal is considered to be the most beautiful bird in all of Central America. There are over 400 other inhabitant bird species, 100 mammal species and 2500 plant species. Then visit the Selvatura Walkways, a system of suspension bridges and platforms constructed within the cloud forest. Feel the sensation of walking among the clouds as you view the tropical forest from a whole new perspective.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Fonda Vela or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: San Jose

    Depart for San Jose this morning. Spend the afternoon at leisure. Overnight at a specially selected hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Bougainvillea or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: San Jose/Onward
    Say farewell, or hang around for more time on the beach!

    Transfer to the San Jose International Airport for your flight home.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Anytime with group with at least 2 people or anytime privately
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,750
price includes domestic flight in Costa Rica;
Single Supplement:
$450
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
9 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
2
unique eco-lodges
Group Size:
2
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
2
optional hikes

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Tiskita Rainforest Reserve

Duration: 3 days

Delve deeper into the rainforest at Tiskita Jungle Lodge. Enjoy birdwatching, hiking in the rainforest trails, swimming in the ocean or in freshwater jungle pools. You may also take the opportunity to visit Corcovado National Park.

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

Duration: 4 days

Tucked away in the trees and cooled by the Pacific Ocean, is a 170 acre private reserve bordering Corcovado National Park. Carefully designed and built by an American naturalist with over twenty-five years of local experience, this unique lodge offer... read more

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