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Example 9 Day Tour
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Start your Costa Rica adventure rafting on the wild waters of the Pacuare River. Next, explore the country's tropical plantations as you take a fun bike tour through the celebrated agricultural research center, CATIE. Learn about local vegetation and sample exotic fruits - try the coffee beans, they're sweeter than you think! Follow that with a hike into the cloudforest of the Savegre Reserve. Finally, finish the trip at a remote jungle lodge along the Golfo Dulce to the Pacific Ocean!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in San Jose
Day 2 : Pacuare River Rafting
Day 3 : Biking tour of CATIE
Day 4 : Turrialba to Savegre
Day 5 : Hike at Savegre Reserve
Day 6 : Hacienda Baru and Zip line Tour
Day 7 : Snorkel and Kayak Ballena National Park
Day 8 : Return to San Jose
Day 9 : Return Home


  • Raft the Class III rapids of the Pacuare River
  • Bike through Costa Rica's world-renowned agricultural center, CATIE
  • Sample coffee, cocoa, bananas, and more fresh from the field
  • Kayak to Ballena Island and snorkel the marine-rich area

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Independent

Activity Level

Easy Active

Trip Snapshots

A monkey relaxes in a tree Smiling sloth Rafting on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica You're never too old to zipline! Manuel Antonio area sunset Coffee plantation tour Kayaking at the Hatillo Mangroves Orchid hunting Capuchin monkeys at Manuel Antonio National Park

Day 1 Arrive in San Jose


Day 2 Pacuare River Rafting

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Splash right into your Costa Rica travel adventures with Class III-IV whitewater rafting down the Pacuare River. After an early breakfast and briefing on safety measures, an incredible rafting journey on this renowned river begins. As famous for its spirited waters as it is for its beauty, the Pacuare River doesn't disappoint as you plunge through mountain gorges, run long stretches of powerful rapids, and weave your way through a rainforest alive with the sounds of howler monkeys, toucans, sloths, and ocelots. That evening travel to the Turrialba Valley and spend the night at the relaxing Guayabo Lodge. The lodge offers wonderful views of the Turrialba Volcano and the rest of the valley. One of the most important regions in Costa Rica, the valley supplies much of the country's drinking water and is home to a spectacular variety of animals, including over 550 different species of exotic birds. Don't forget your binoculars! A quick briefing by a biking outfitter helps prepare you for your cycling adventure in the morning.

Day 3 Biking tour of CATIE

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, slow things down a bit with a bike tour through Costa Rica's world-renowned agricultural research center, CATIE. The comfortable four-hour ride develops over easy gravel paths, country roads, and farm trails. Learn about planting techniques unique to the region and get to know the texture, smells, and tastes of the local agriculture. Sample shade-grown coffee, cocoa, bananas, macadamia, mango, avocado, and sugarcane from the field. As you coast along, keep an eye out for the wildlife that, like the intuitive traveler, is attracted to the plantation's diverse fruits and flowers. The biking trip finishes with a visit to the Tropical Botanical Garden, which offers a collection of some of the world's most important tropical plant species. The afternoon is yours to unwind or take in any of the extra activities available in the area, including horseback riding, a visit to the Turrialba Volcano, or the Guayabo Archaeological Site.

Day 4 Turrialba to Savegre

Relax this morning and enjoy the wonderful Turrialba climate. For the energetic, an optional excursion of hiking or horseback riding can be arranged the night before. After lunch, say good-bye to the valley and head south toward San Gerard de Dota. Your drive takes you into paramo at Cerro de la Muerte - paramo is a high altitude grassland ecosystem. Near the highest point of the highway, descend into lush cloudforest following the Savegre River to one of Costa Rica's best examples of sustainable tourism. The Savegre Mountain Lodge is owned and run by the Chacon family - pioneers in ecotourism. Settle in this afternoon and enjoy your Costa Rica vacation in the pure mountain air, savoring the hospitality of this family-run lodge.

Day 5 Hike at Savegre Reserve

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Made up of 400 hectares of forest, 80% of which are virgin, the Savegre Reserve is used as a living research laboratory by institutions from around the world. Today you have the opportunity to explore this remarkable region, hiking the reserve's incredible landscape while making your way through the famous oak forest and epiphyte vegetation. Here, you're more likely than in any other place in Costa Rica to spot the famed resplendent quetzal - its bright red and green feathers make it a favorite of both the novice and experienced birdwatcher. You return to the lodge in time for a hearty lunch. The afternoon is yours to take an optional excursion. Zip line through the canopy. Try your luck at trout fishing. Take a horseback ride, or just take advantage of the spectacular view!

Day 6 Hacienda Baru and Zip line Tour

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning you are picked up and transferred the 4 hours further south to the Pacific coast and arrive at Hacienda Baru, a National Wildlife Refuge situated on the shores of the Pacific coast. Hacienda Baru protects a variety of habitats, including wetlands and secondary and primary forest. Explore the more than seven kilometers of trails in the mapped out trail system, as well as an enclosed butterfly sanctuary and orchid garden. You arrive in time for lunch at the reserve and spend an hour exploring the refuge before embarking on an adventurous canopy zip line tour through the rainforest. Zip across 8 cables and take in views of the canopy from 14 platforms. At the end of the tour head to your hotel located on the banks of the Baru River. You are just a 1/2 mile from the beach and surrounded by tropical forest!

Day 7 Snorkel and Kayak Ballena National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning rise early to launch your kayaks at Playa Piñuelas. At the put-in, the bilingual guide tells you all about the park's history and teaches you important safety techniques.

An easy 1½ hour paddle brings you to Ballena Island where some fruit and cold drinks tropical style are provided. Then you have the opportuntity to snorkel around the island, observing the richest marine fauna in the area. Or, if you prefer, you may choose to simply relax on the island and explore the numerous caves.

Day 8 Return to San Jose

This morning you are transferred to San Jose (or extend your stay with another night along the Pacific Coast). Spend your last night here in the beautiful country!

Day 9 Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast

Hotel Villas Rio Mar

San Jose - Hotels

Savegre Valley - Hotels

Turrialba - Hotels

Per person starting at



  • 8 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
    • 2 Nights Hotel
    • 6 Nights Lodge
  • 5 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service


  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are excluded.
  • International Flights

Recommended Budgeting

  • $60 Meals not Included
  • $29 Airport Departure Tax
  • $150 Optional Excursions
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kevin M

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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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