This Costa Rica vacation is perfect for the traveler who is short on time, but big on adventure. We start our travels at the Arenal Volcano, followed by the beautiful Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve in search of capuchin monkeys, scarlet macaws, and two and three-toed sloths. The day before heading to the lively town of Quepos and Manuel Antonio, we climb into the rainforest canopy for a high adrenaline adventure along the zip lines and rope traverses of Monteverde. Day 7 finds us enjoying the whitewater of the Rio Savegre -Class III rapids and the beaches of the Pacific coast. An exciting itinerary that introduces you to the best of Costa Rica.
Day 1 : Arrive San Jose Day 2 : Sarchi and Hot Springs Day 3 : Arenal Volcano Days 4-5 : Monteverde Cloud Forest Day 6 : Monteverde - Manuel Antonio Day 7 : Whitewater Rafting Day 8 : Manuel Antonio Day 9 : Return Home
Hike along old lava flows on Arenal Volcano
Zipline through the canopy of the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve
Raft the whitewater of the Rio Savegre
Explore the beaches and wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park
This morning you're off to Arenal. You'll be picked up and join some others on a pooled tour to Sarchi, the local hot spot known throughout Costa Rica for its beautiful and intricate handiwork. The area is also well known for its colorful and decorative oxcarts made here for decades! After a stop here, you will continue on to Arenal and finish the day with a stop at The Springs resort hot spring with dinner. Take a dip in the varied temperature thermal pools and relax as you unwind from first day of Costa Rica travel! Tonight you will overnight at the Arenal Manoa hotel
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. Today you visit Costa Rica's celebrated Arenal Volcano National Parkl. As you move through the forest, watch out for howler monkeys, bright tropical toucans, and listen to the rumbling sounds of the distant volcano. With a bit of luck, you may see the endangered resplendent quetzal bird as well. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening free in the area! There are lots of optional excursions available in this area. You can go mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, ziplining, ride a rainforest tram or even take a hike on the miles of trails in the area. This evening you will overnight at the Arenal Manoa Hotel.
Mid-morning you will be picked up for a collective transfer by bus and boat,crossing Lake Arenal, and then driving up a bumpy mountain road into 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, keep watch for one of the area's most famed residents, the Resplendant Quetzal. On the morning of Day 5, you'll visit a private rainforest reserve, Selvatura Park. Here you walk across 8 suspended bridges with a bilingual guide up in the rainforest canopy to get a closer view of the wildlife. Next you will be fitted into special gear to fly on ziplines from platform to platform high above the ground. The rest of the day is free for you to arrange activities locally. You can visit the nearby ice cream factory for a tasty treat, go visit a coffee farm, or explore an artisan's cooperative!
Leave in the morning to make the 4-5 hour drive to Quepos where you'll stay in a hotel near Manuel Antonio. In the afternoon, spend some hours exploring the popular Manuel Antonio National park. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the area. Try to visit the park this day if you are able, as it closes at 4 PM and you will not have that opportunity tomorrow!
This morning rise and head to the Class II-III whitewater of the Savegre River (or 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, return to Quepos.
This morning spend your time as you like. 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, or if your international flight does not depart until late on Day 9, spend tonight relaxing at the beach.
Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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.