Duration: 7 days/6 nights
Price: contact us for pricing and dates

Los Quetzales Trail

This guided hiking tour begins in Costa Rica’s high southern mountains of the Savegre River watershed and descends to sea level on the beautiful Pacific Coast! For adventurous travelers, this new and unique tour will immerse you in the variety of ecosystems that have made Costa Rica a world famous destination for naturalist travelers.  You will begin in misty cloud forests dominated by oak trees and members of the avocado family and have an excellent chance to see the legendary quetzal and other birds living in these forests above 10,000 feet elevation.  Then over several days you will descend into lower elevation forests on your journey to the coast where you will encounter wildlife such as sloths, iguanas and monkeys. En route you will stay in a variety of accomodations overnight and enjoy typical Costa Rican cuisine and gracious hospitality.  Your travels will include travel by foot, 4 x 4 vehicles and even by raft!  At the coast, you will relax amidst the incomparable beauty of Manuel Antonio National Park, one of Costa Rica’s jewels of its national park system where lush forests edge cream-colored beaches and the tropical pacific water is always warm!

  • Day 1:     San Jose to Quetzal Paradise Hotel
  • Day 2:     Trek from Quetzales National Park to Providencia de Dota
  • Day 3:     Providencia to La Chaqueta and then to Albergue del Rio Lodge
  • Day 4:     Albergue del Rio to El Brujo Tent Camp
  • Day 5:     Savegre River Rafting.Then to Manuel Antonio
  • Day 6:     Manuel Antonio National Park and beach day
  • Day 7:     Depart. Drive back to International Airport or your hotel in San Jose

Day 1: SAN JOSE TO QUETZAL PARADISE HOTEL  (BLD)

Quetzal

This morning your travel host will meet you at your hotel and begin your tour of Costa Rica’s southern region.  Your first destination will be in the mountains of the Cerro de la Muerte range.  At Paraiso del Quetzal you will see a variety of high elevation birds in oak forests and have an excellent chance to observe the legendary Resplendent Quetzal, a bird worshipped as a deity by the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, and which are relatively abundant in the area.  This evening after dinner and perhaps after stepping out to listen to the night sounds of the forest, you will likely wish to turn in early in preparation for the start of your journey the next day!

Hotel: Quetzal Paradise
Meals Incl: 1B, 1D

Lodging at Quetzal’s Paradise is special for those who enjoy direct contact with nature. This is true due to fact that all the cabins are located in an area where the flora and fauna are abundant. Just looking out the window of your cabin you can identify several species of birds. These cabins are built with cypress and pine wood, cultivated and certified, in order to guard the environment of the farm.

Day 2: TREK FROM LOS QUETZALES NATIONAL PARK TO PROVIDENCIA DE DOTA (BLD)

Distance covered (17kms/10.5 miles). Hike Description: Semi-challenging section, up and down hills, some mud, roots and bridges.

Today you will be driven 20 min to “The Towers”, the entrance to Los Quetzales National Park.  With your guide you will trek from 3200m elevation (10,500 feet) down to 1800m (5900 feet). This trail begins in Paramo or low “subalpine” vegetation above the tree line that is composed of small shrubs and grasses and then descends into oak forests dominated by huge trees with branches covered by thick moss. At the end of your day’s hike, 4×4 trucks will be waiting to bring you the last 6 kms (3 ¾ miles) to the Hotel Cascadas del Savegre for the night (a small local lodge with shared bathrooms) and a well-earned rest!

Hotel: Cascadas del Savegre or similar
Meals Incl: 1B, 1D

Day 3: PROVIDENCIA TO LA CHAQUETA. THEN TO ALBERGUE DEL RIO LODGE (BLD)

Distance cover (22kms/13.6 miles). Challenging section with up and down hills and creeks to cross.

La chaqueta

After a hearty breakfast, you will be driven for about 5km (3 miles) to the starting point of our next trek.  Today you will hike the route to La Chaqueta which descends to about 700m (2000 feet) elevation and will cover about16 kms (10 miles). Here you will take a break and have a typical local lunch with Mr. Edwin and his family (your meal will usually include rice, beans, chicken soup, plantain, and green banana picadillo). After lunch you will continue on to Albergue del Rio Lodge traveling 6 more kms (3 ¾ miles). As an option, there will be 2 or 3 horses available if you are too tired to continue hiking or want to try Tico (Costa Rican) style horseback riding.  At this elevation, you are entering lowland vegetation and may encounter wildlife species more typically thought of as rainforest wildlife such as monkeys, toucans and sloths.  You will spend the night at the Albergue del Rio Lodge (shared bathrooms, no electricity).

Hotel: Albergue del Rio Lodge
Meals Incl: 1B, 1D

Day 4: ALBERGUE DEL RIO TO EL BRUJO TENT CAMP (BLD)

Albergue del rio

Albergue del rio

Distance covered (10kms/6miles).  Some challenging sections with up and down hills.
Today you will hike to El Brujo Tent Camp, a beautiful place next to the rivers Rio Savegre and Division. You will have then completed your “mountain jungle and valley” hikes and entered into the lowlands with a mixture of rainforests, beef cattle pastures, and plantations of African oil palms, and teak trees. You can relax here in the afternoon listening to the many different bird species typically found in the lowland habitats around the camp and if you wish, visit the little local town of El Brujo. You will stay one night at the tent camp.

Hotel: El Brujo Tent Camp
Meals Incl: 1B, 1D

Day 5: SAVEGRE RIVER RAFTING CLASS IV. TRANSFER TO MANUEL ANTONIO (BLD)

Savegre River Rafting Class IV

After a safety talk by your river guides, you will start your white water rafting trip beginning right next to your camp.  The thrilling class IV white water of the Rio Savegre is one of the most exciting rafting trips in Central America!   Following all of your adventures, you will spend two nights relaxing in Manuel Antonio.

Manuel Antonio is a community 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.  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 excellent local and international cuisine.

Hotel: Espadilla or similar
Meals Incl: 2B

Hotel Espadilla is located within 3 minutes walk away from the National Park of Manuel Antonio and 2 minute walk from the beach front. A nice two story building with rooms over looking a private biological reserve which belongs to the hotel. Rooms are equipped with A/C, Private bath with hot water, Cable TV, Internet connection, Safety box, Phone, and Anatomical mattresses.

Day 6: MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK AND BEACH DAY (BLD)

Manuel Antonio National Park

Today you will take an easy hike with your naturalist guide through Manuel Antonio Park’s forest  (entrance fee included).  Visitors frequently have up-close views of white-faced capuchin and squirrel monkeys, sluggish sloths, raccoons, agoutis, colorful black & scarlet land crabs, and black iguanas, as well as breathtaking views of the tropical Pacific Ocean from the park’s forested trails and beaches.   After hiking you will have time to relax on the beautiful beaches and swim in the warm water.

Day 7: DEPARTURE.  BACK TO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT  OR YOUR HOTEL IN SAN JOSE. (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.

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