(Tortuguero – Poas/Monteverde – Tamarindo)
Duration: 9 days/8 nights
A terrific opportunity presented by the geography of Costa Rica is the chance to quickly travel from ocean to ocean. Start with a transfer through the banana and pineapple plantations of the warm Atlantic lowlands, then board a boat and travel to Tortuguero National Park – Costa Rica’s “little Amazon”. Fly back to San Jose and visit Poas Volcano, then on to the cloud forest of Monteverde. Next, drive through savannas to the dry Guanacaste region to relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches, tropical waters and Pacific sunsets of Tamarindo.
- Day 1 Arrival in San Jose
- Day 2-3 Tortuguero National Park
- Day 4 Poas Volcano, Monteverde
- Day 5 Monteverde Reserve, Sugar Mill and Coffee Tour
- Day 6-8 Guanacaste, Tamarindo beaches
- Day 9 To Liberia, departure
Day 1: ARRIVAL
Upon your arrival in San José, Costa Rica and after you clear customs & immigration, exit the airport terminal, take the right hand side exit door, where you will meet a representative of Costa Rica Sun Tours who will present you with land portion vouchers and transfer you to your hotel in San Jose.
Hotel: Bougainvillea or similar (1 nt)
Meals Incl: 1B
Day 2-3: TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK
Start your journey to Tortuguero National Park in the northeastern lowlands. With its abundant wildlife Tortuguero is one of the best areas in Costa Rica for viewing wild animals! You will have the chance to see everything from a variety of bird species; howling, white-faced, and spider monkeys; sloths; crocodiles; iguanas, basilisk lizards and more from the comfort of your boat. During July to September, green sea turtles come ashore at night to nest on the beach.
Hotel: Evergreen Lodge or similar (2 nts)
Meals Incl: 2B, 2L, 2D
Day 4: POAS VOLCANO; TRANSFER TO MONTEVERDE
Flight back to San Jose, then travel to Poas Volcano National Park. The active volcano’s main crater has a turquoise-colored hot-acid lake, bring binoculars for a closer look at the yellow sulphur deposits at the base of steaming fumaroles in the crater walls above the lake.
After your walk in the Poas trails, you will travel up into the mountains on your way to the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. A place that has been intensely studied by scientists since its founding in 1972, and is the site of important pioneering research on the effects of climate change in tropical ecosystems. Outside the reserve the most important farm products around are organic coffee and milk for the local Cheese Factory. The factory has been producing a variety of high-quality cheeses in Costa Rica since shortly after Quakers from the United States settled the area in 1950´s. Near and around the community centers, a large selection of restaurants, and other visitor attractions are found, such as butterfly gardens, horse rentals, treetop forest canopy tours, an orchid garden, art galleries, and a bat exhibit among others.
Hotel: Fonda Vela or similar (2 nts)
Meals Incl: 2B
Day 5: MONTEVERDE RESERVE, SUGAR MILL AND COFFEE TOUR
Today in the morning you will visit the Trapiche (‘sugar mill’) and coffee farm, that first began operation in 1948. The Monteverde Trapiche is run by a local family, and on your tour you will not only learn about the local process of making sugar, but also about the other most important agricultural product of the region, “café”. There you will enjoy a refreshment of sugar cane juice or lemonade, eat picadillo de arracache (a typical Costa Rican food) and make candy out of sugar cane (everyone makes their own candy!).
After lunch enjoy a guided visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the premier natural history destinations in Costa Rica. The forest consists of lush, verdant vegetation containing understory palms, majestic canopy trees, arching “ropy” lianas, bizarre “strangler” fig trees and epiphytes-small plants that grow on the trees. As you walk through the forest, you may encounter a variety of wildlife including white-faced capuchins, white-nosed coatis and two-toed sloths. Among birds, you may see the Resplendent Quetzal, hummingbirds, toucanets, guans and solitaires.
Day 6-8: GUANACASTE & TAMARINDO BEACHES
In the morning depart from the Monteverde mountains and travel through the drier northwest Guanacaste province lowlands. This is beef country and you may see Costa Rican cowboys riding behind herds of massive long-eared brahma cattle as you pass through large savannas on your way to the coastal beach community at Tamarindo on the north Pacific Coast. Free days to explore or relax on the beach. There are many ecological friendly optional activities in the area, including watching turtles during the nesting season at night, diving, snorkeling, body surfing, zip-lining, estuary trips, horseback riding and fishing.
Hotel: Capitan Suizo or similar (3 nts)
Meals Incl: 3B
Day 9: DEPARTURE
Transfer to Liberia International Airport to check in 3 hours before your scheduled flight home.
Included: As specified in the above itinerary, lodging, transportation within Costa Rica, meals [B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner], specified entrance fees to National Parks & private Reserves, guide services, ground operator support within Costa Rica and taxes.
Not Included: International airfare, airport departure taxes, meals not specified in the itinerary, alcoholic beverages, personal equipment, extras in hotels (laundry, phone calls, room service), gratuities, or costs associated with changes in your itinerary for reasons beyond our control.