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University of Montana Alumni Costa Rica

Example 9 Day Tour
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This 9-day Costa Rica vacation is perfect for the traveler who is short on time, but big on adventure. Start your travels at Arenal Volcano, followed by the beautiful Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve in search of capuchin monkeys, scarlet macaws, and two and three-toed sloths. Before leaving this lush cloudforest, climb into the rainforest canopy for a high adrenaline adventure along the zip lines and rope traverses of Monteverde. Enjoy the whitewater of the Rio Savegre - Class III rapids all morning long! Then end the trip on the coast exploring Manuel Antonio National Park. This exciting itinerary introduces you to the best of Costa Rica.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive San Jose
Days 2-3 : Arenal Volcano
Days 4-5 : Monteverde Cloudforest
Day 6 : Monteverde - Manuel Antonio
Day 7 : Whitewater Rafting
Day 8 : Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 9 : Fly home


  • Hike in the national park to see old lava flows and enjoy the unique flora
  • Zipline through the lush canopy of the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve
  • Raft the thrilling whitewater of the Rio Savegre
  • Explore the expansive white beaches of Manuel Antonio

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Adventure Life Exclusive

Activity Level

Easy Active

Trip Snapshots

UM Logo Photo Size 2 Horses on pasture near Arenal Volcano It's a jungle out there! Cloud Forest Playa Manuel Antonio Arenal Observatory Lodge Jungle waterfall

Day 1 Arrive San Jose

Meet your guide at the airport for your transfer to your hotel in downtown San Jose.  Enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow University of Montana Alumni travelers!

Day 2-3 Arenal Volcano

  • Hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
This morning it's off to Arenal. Dormant for centuries, Arenal Volcano exploded in a massive eruption of molten lava and ash in 1968. Since that time, it has continued to belch great clouds of ash and occasional lava. It is now one of the world's most active volcanoes and volcanologists from all over the world come here to study this tropical volcano. The drive to Arenal takes a few hours, with a stop en route for lunch. After you arrive at Arenal, hike into the national park to see old lava flows and enjoy the unique flora. This evening enjoy a soak in the healing waters of the region at Ecotermales Hotsprings and dinner with the group.

On the morning of day three head to the Proyecto Asis Wildlife Rescue Center for a tour with a naturalist guide on the trails around the reserve. Learn about Costa Rican wildlife, their struggles in sharing their habitat with humans, and how the Rescue Center is rehabilitating them for their return to the wild. Once done with the tour you have the chance to lend a hand to these animals in need by helping with feeding, cleaning enclosures, or making toys. Lunch en route as you head back to the Arenal Area,

After lunch head out on foot or horseback (please let us know your preference) through dense primary rainforest toward La Fortuna Waterfall. As you hike or ride keep an eye out for wildlife such as sloths, monkeys, butterflies and birds. The views of San Carlos valleys and the tropical forest that surround the waterfall are spectacular.  Take a dip in the natural pool below the waterfalls before heading back to down the trail. Return to your hotel for free time before dinner.

Day 4-5 Monteverde Cloudforest

  • Hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
This morning depart Arenal by cruising across Lake Arenal to the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve, one of the richest and most diverse tropical cloudforests on the continent. Founded in 1972, the Reserve encompasses six different ecological life zones and protects more than 100 mammal species, 400 bird species, and upwards of 1,500 plant species. Stop for lunch en route and have the afternoon free in Monteverde after you arrive.

On Wednesday morning, take a hike through the spectacularly diverse Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve. Keep your eyes out for one of the area's most famed residents, the resplendent quetzal, and an ear out for one of the reserves noisiest residents, the mantled howler monkey. Enjoy your morning in the misty forest with its dense vegetation and majestic trees. After lunch, get fitted into special gear to fly from platform to platform high above the ground, and try the famous Tarzan Swing drop! For the less adventurous, there's a nearby sky walk suspended in the canopy that's great for birding and learning more about the local ecology (please let us know ahead of time if you prefer this option).

Day 6 Monteverde - Manuel Antonio

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depart Monteverde early this morning and make the 4-5 hour drive to the Manuel Antonio area. In the afternoon, spend a few hours exploring the popular Manuel Antonio National Park.

Day 7 Whitewater Rafting

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning, rise and head to the Class II-III whitewater of the Savegre River. Plunge through jungle clad gorges and float past cascading waterfalls. Along the way enjoy the variety of bird life such as egrets, osprey, kingfishers, cormorants, parrots and more. After the river trip, return to Manuel Antonio. Travelers who prefer not to go rafting can have a free day in Manuel Antonio and relax. Optional excursions can be arranged such as deep sea fishing, canopy zip lining, mangrove kayaking, horseback riding, sailing tours, ATV tours, and snorkeling tours.  

Day 8 Manuel Antonio National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy the morning at the most beautiful National Park in Costa Rica with your guide. Walk along the expansive white beaches of nearby Manuel Antonio Park, or explore the lush vegetation, alive with 109 species of mammals and over 184 species of birds. Late this afternoon transfer back to San Jose for your farewell dinner.

Day 9 Fly home

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast take the group transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Cloud Forest Lodge

Hotel Arenal Manoa

Jade Boutique Hotel

Playa Espadilla

Per person starting at



  • 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
    • 8 Nights Hotel
  • 8 Days Private Guide Service
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are included.
  • Park Entrance Fee


  • International Flights

Recommended Budgeting

  • $29 Airport Departure Tax
  • $100 Optional Excursions
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Erin Correia
Erin C

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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