Duration: 7 days/6 nights
From $2159 per person (based on double occupancy), single supplement $850, child rate 11 & under $695 p/child.
Highlights of this tour include a visit to a spectacular waterfall in the heart of the jungle; lunch on a farm with local residents who grow organic tropical crops; a walk to a 50 foot-tall massive lava flow that crushed its way through the forest in 1992; spectacular views of Arenal, a steaming live volcano that rises out of the rainforest; a hike along trails and amidst the treetops in a beautiful rainforest on suspension bridges; an evening visit to relax in thermal springs naturally heated by Arenal volcano; a “Polynesian-style” outrigger canoe guided tour along the scenic Pacific coast; hikes, swimming and relaxing at the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park; and an island excursion by catamaran.
- Day 1: San Jose, arrival to Hotel Bouganvillea.
- Day 2: Arenal. Fortuna waterfalls & organic farm lunch.
- Day 3: Arenal National Park lava walk & rainforest hanging bridges. Thermal springs.
- Day 4: Manuel Antonio. Outriggers at Agujitas Beach.
- Day 5: Manuel Antonio National Park hike.
- Day 6: Manuel Antonio. Catamaran Island Tour.
- Day 7: Depart. Drive back to International Airport or your hotel in San Jose.
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.
Meals Incl: 1B
Located in a quiet residential area just a few minutes outside downtown San Jose, the Hotel Bougainvillea offers far more than just accommodations. The Bougainvillea is a family owned and operated inn with tastefully decorated rooms where every detail is personally supervised by owner Hans van der Wielen. The hotel’s restaurant offers excellent cuisine in a wonderful dining room with views of tropical plants in the hotel’s12 acres of gardens. The Bougainvillea also offers guests a gift shop, meeting & conference facilities, internet and currency exchange, a swimming pool, sauna and tennis courts. Perhaps the hotel’s most outstanding feature are the beautiful gardens of bougainvilleas, orchids, bromeliads, medicinal plants and trees which are hosts to some 60 species of birds including hummingbirds, motmots, colorful tanagers and numerous songbirds.
Day 2: TRANSFER TO ARENAL, LA FORTUNA WATERFALLS & ORGANIC FARM LUNCH (BLD)
Morning pick-up at your hotel by your private naturalist guide with air-conditioned van for 5 days for a scenic drive to Arenal. Upon arrival visit La Fortuna Waterfall, entrance fee included. Located just 3 miles away from the town of La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano, this beautiful 200 foot-tall waterfall receives its cool clear waters from the pristine forested mountains of Arenal National Park. The steep trail to the waterfall goes down through dense, lush rain forest where one has the opportunity to see parrots, toucans and tropical hummingbirds. In addition to seeing a majestic waterfall in a beautiful setting, visitors to the falls are helping the local community. The fees collected are used for important community projects such as supporting area schools, buying books, and helping cover some of the expenses for the town orphanage. Additionally funds are used for recycling projects, maintenance of the community water supply, improvement of the local roads and sidewalks and construction of an educational center.
Afterwards, visit Vida Campesina (Country Life). This tour lets you experience life in the Costa Rican countryside with a farming family that grow typical crops and are practicing newer sustainable agricultural techniques. A few miles from Arenal Volcano among the vast rich farmlands outside the town center of La Fortuna, Erasmo Gonzales operates his organic farm with his four children Greivin, José, Andrea & Noyleen.The tour begins with a demonstration of sugarcane juice production using a manually-operated sugar mill. The tour continues on into the cultivated sections of the farm where visitors will see and learn about common Costa Rican crops such as coffee, bananas, plantains, sugar cane, red taro, white taro, medicinal plants, ñampi, tropical fruits, yuca, Chinese “potato”, papaya, corn, rice, ñame, annatto, and more. Also on the farm are various animals including cattle, chickens, sheep, and rabbits, whose organic waste is converted to biogas and an organic foliar fertilizer. At the end of the farm tour, you will enjoy a traditional lunch with freshly harvested vegetables, lunch includes a hands-on demonstration on tortilla making!
Arenal Volcano is located on the north plains of Costa Rica, province of Alajuela. Besides the activity of lava rocks and occasional eruptions for the last 40 years, the area is surrounded by lush rainforest and second growth that cover the old lava flows and river sides. There is abundant wildlife in the area, and many bird species like toucans, toucans, motmots, jacamars, tanagers, honeycreepers and hummingbirds. While Arenal Volcano continues to be the main attraction in this region, in recent years many optional activities have been developed which visitors can enjoy during their visit. Recommended activities in Arenal: canopies and hanging bridges, rafting class II & III, canyoning, birding, caving, sport fishing, nature hikes, lava hikes, horseback riding, waterfalls, butterfly gardens, thermal springs, organic farms and more.
Hotel: Arenal Observatory Lodge
Meals Incl: 2B.1D
The modern Arenal Observatory Lodge offers guests spacious rooms with picture windows that enable them to admire the impressive and unequalled vision of an active steaming volcano rising out of the wilderness forest looming large in front. The forests surrounding the Observatory are now protected in Arenal Volcano National Park and teem with tropical wildlife. The Observatory offers guests a restaurant, Jaccuzi, swimming pool, excellent birding on its own grounds, and daily guided hikes into the forests of the national park and onto a lava flow from 1992.
Day 3: LAVA WALK, HANGING BRIDGES & THERMAL SPRINGS (BLD)
Optional early morning birdwatching at the lodge gardens. This morning with your guide, you will hike a trail to the Arenal Volcano 1992’s lava flows to further explore the area. On your hike you will have an opportunity to see a variety of rainforest wildlife and view the volcano from a safe vantage point while your guide explains its fascinating history. After the tour enjoy a delicious lunch in the area.
Afternoon visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, entrance fee included. This is a complex of suspended bridges and trails through a beautiful rain forest. As you walk through, you may encounter a variety of the wildlife, including toucans, motmots, trogons, poison dart frogs, howling monkeys, spider monkeys and white-faced capuchin monkeys. These allow the observation of flora and fauna from the ground level to the top of the trees. This is one of the best methods of learning about the complexity and beauty of the rainforests of Arenal.
Late afternoon, visit the Ecotermales Hot Springs, entrance fee included. There are four hot spring pools to relax in, filled with hot mineral water heated from the volcano. Receive a natural massage from the small cascade! Traditional dinner included.
Day 4: TRANSFER TO MANUEL ANTONIO, OUTRIGGERS AT AGUJITAS BEACH (BL)
Optional early morning birdwatching. Morning depart from Arenal and drive to Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. Stop enroute at the bridge over the Rio Tarcoles to view the crocodiles basking on the river shore. Enjoy lunch in Tarcoles Beach at the home of a Costa Rican family.
Later enjoy the famous Outrigger Canoe Tour along the Pacific Coast. Outrigger canoes use lateral support floats to increase stability while maintaining most of the streamlined efficiency of a narrow craft. These vessels have been used by people of Polynesian cultures for sea travel for untold centuries both within coastal waters and to migrate to remote islands far out in open oceans. Visitors with a sense of adventure can get a taste of travel by outrigger by stopping in at Agujitas Beach and participating in a ½ day guided outrigger canoe tour. This tour runs alongside the coast with spectacular scenery and also offers visitors an opportunity to swim (and snorkel when conditions permit) in waters off beautiful secluded beaches. The equipment is top notch and the canoe is incredibly stable, comfortable and easy to paddle offering visitors a fun “no experience necessary” activity while visiting the beach area. The outrigger holds up to 7 paddlers and is perfect for small groups and families who want to share laughs and adventure together!
After the tour continue on to Manuel Antonio. Manuel Antonio is a community which is composed largely of hotels, separated by trees on a hill overlooking beaches and the coastal Manuel Antonio National Park with rainforest growing to the edge of its beautiful cream colored sandy beaches. The forest is home to a variety of wildlife that are accustomed to people and readily seen including sloths, monkeys, armadillos, scarlet-legged land crabs, iguanas, agoutis, pizotes, raccoons, parrots, and parakeets. The ocean water temperature is always near a comfortable 80º F and great for swimming and other water sports. The region offers numerous other activities such as boating, river rafting, fishing, snorkeling, diving, canopy tours and more. With a large number of excellent hotels and restaurants in the area outside the Park, visitors are assured a comfortable stay and a diverse offering of local and international cuisine.
Hotel: El Parador
Meals Incl: 3B
Hotel El Parador is located in one of the the most pristine areas of Manuel Antonio National Park, atop a majestic bluff and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by 400 acres of lush tropical rainforest. All rooms have balconies with views of either the rainforest or the ocean. All are tastefully decorated and include many luxurious extras such as cable TV, air conditioning, mini-bar, coffee maker, telephone, safety deposit box, ceiling fans and hair dryers. The hotel’s facilities include 2 restaurants, bars, conference room, gift shop, spa services, tennis court, tropical gardens, an infinity pool, expansive views and excellent service.
Day 5: MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK HIKE (BL)
Today you will take a hike with your naturalist guide through the Manuel Antonio park’s forest,entrance fee included. Visitors frequently have up-close views of white-faced capuchin and squirrel monkeys, sluggish sloths, racoons, agoutis, colorful black & scarlet land crabs, and black iguanas. Some birds possible to see in the park are Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Baird´s Trogon, Violaceous Trogon, Golden-naped Woodpecker, White Hawk, King Vulture, Roadside Hawk, Orange-collared Manakin, Chesnut-backed Antbird, Bicolored Antbird, Black-hooded Antshrike, Fiery-billed Aracari, Chesnut-mandibled Toucan. After hiking you can enjoy the beautiful beaches of the park.
Day 6: CATAMARAN ISLAND TOUR (BL)
This morning enjoy the Catamaran Island Tour Board the boat where you will marvel at the mysterious islands with their jagged rock formation, towering cliffs and nesting grounds with numerous species of marine birds and their young. Listen to the blowholes; whistle with each surge of the waves. Count the varies types of dolphins, and whales that frolic just beyond the islands, and learn interesting facts about Manuel Antonio National Park and some history of the Quepoa Indians. Witness unforgettable offshore sunsets, taking a moment to relax and enjoy another beautiful day in paradise. Lunch included. Free afternoon.
Day 7: DEPARTURE (B)
Pick-up at your hotel for a transfer from Manuel Antonio Beach to San Jose’s International Airport on time for your departure flight. Check in 3 hours before your scheduled flight home.
Included: As specified in the above itinerary, arrival, lodging, transportation within Costa Rica, meals [B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner], specified entrance fees to National Parks & Private Reserves, bilingual naturalist licensed guide services, ground operator support within Costa Rica 24/7, 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.