Your Costa Rica travels begin this morning when you're whisked away on a flight to Tiskita Jungle Lodge. Here you'll find steep jungle clad hills, plunging into deserted black sand beaches that line the Gulfo Dulce. Originally an experimental fruit farm of Peter Aspinall, Tiskita now protects 550 acres of primary and secondary forest in this seldom visited region of Costa Rica. Thirty-seven acres of the original farm still produce over 100 varieties of fruits such as carambola, mango, guanabana, pineapple, papaya, guava, vanilla, and more. Savor the flavors of some of these exotic fruits on tours of the farm.
Peter is a tireless conservationist and active in the local community. Through his efforts, the community of Punto Banco recently built a health clinic, bought new supplies for the school, created a turtle protection program and developed a hatchery for endangered olive ridley turtles. Peter's latest project is to reintroduce scarlet macaws to the region.
After exploring the jungle around Tiskita with a naturalist guide, head down to the beach with a boogie board or grab a snorkel and mask to discover the underwater world of nearby tide pools. Days 3 and 4 are free to explore the forest on your own or relax on the beach. Optional tours include horseback riding, fishing with the locals, surfing or boogie boarding, and hiking.
After breakfast, you'll fly back to San Jose and be met at the airport for the 3 hour overland transfer to Arenal, stopping for lunch en route. 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. Spend the afternoon enjoying the lodge and forest.
This morning we'll hike into the national park to see old lava flows and enjoy the unique flora. Mid-morning you leave the Arenal for our 4 hour trip around Lake Arenal to the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve, one of the richest and most diverse tropical cloudforests on the continent. If the weather is nice, a shortcut across Lake Arenal may save us an hour! Founded in 1972, the Monteverde Cloudforest 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 your explorations you'll keep watch for one of the area's most famed residents, the Resplendant Quetzal. On the morning of Day 7 you'll hike through the reserve, viewing the misty forest with its dense vegetation and majestic trees. The afternoon is yours to wander on your own, or enjoy one of the many optional activities available in the area.
On your final morning you will visit a private rainforest reserve before an early afternoon transfer takes you back to San Jose in time to relax and enjoy your last evening of your Costa Rica vacation in the city.
$490 single supplement