This morning we're 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. Our drive to Arenal takes a few hours and we stop en route for lunch. On day 3, enjoy some free time in the Arenal area. There are lots of optional excursions available in this area. You can go mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding or even take a hike in the miles of trails around the area. You could also visit the Ecotermales Hotsprings in the evening. Your guide is on hand to help you plan your day as you wish!
This morning we'll hike into the national park to see old lava flows and enjoy the unique flora. Mid-morning we leave Arenal, driving around Costa Rica's 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. In our explorations we'll keep watch for one of the area's most famed residents, the Resplendant Quetzal. On the morning of Day 5, we'll be 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). This afternoon we hike through the reserve, viewing the misty forest with its dense vegetation and majestic trees.
We leave in the morning to make the 4-5 hour drive to Quepos where we'll stay in a hotel near Manuel Antonio. In the afternoon, spend some hours exploring the popular Manuel Antonio National park. Say good-bye to your guide this evening.
This morning we rise and head to the Class II-III whitewater of the Savegre River (or we try class III on the Naranjo during green season). 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, we return to Quepos.
This morning we enjoy a satisfying breakfast before catching our flight to Palmar Sur. From here we'll drive to Sierpe Dock and take a relaxing hour and a half boat trip to Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge. There are no roads to this secluded lodge located on a 170 acre private reserve bordering the wild wonder, Corcovado National Park. We arrive at Casa Corcovado just in time for lunch. Spend your afternoon getting familiar with your accommodations, constructed with conservation, and the beautiful surrounding landscape and environment in mind.
The last Pacific coastal rainforest in Central America is located in the Osa Peninsula. Corcovado National Park is in the southwestern corner of the peninsula and teems with wildlife ranging from spider, squirrel, and capuchin monkeys, coatimundis, two and three toed sloths, tapirs, peccaries, giant anteaters and even ocelot, jaguarundi, and others. Commonly referred to as Costa Rica's crown jewel, this is one of the best places in the country to spot such elusive wildlife, and learn about rainforest ecology first hand.
Casa Corcovado invites you to explore this remarkable region. Included in your stay is the option to take a hiking adventure in Corcovado National Park or snorkel near the off shore Caño Island. The rainforest surround the lodge is also ideal for birdwatching, and offers miles of hiking trails. Your time at the lodge is free and flexible. There are a number of optional activities including horseback riding, scuba diving, dolphin and whale encounters, canopy tours, and kayaking trips! If you want to take is easy, feel free to relax by the pool or catch up on your reading in a hammock to make the most of your Costa Rica vacation. On Day 11, we'll take an early boat back to Sierpe Dock, and catch our flight back to San Jose where we'll stay for the night.