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Spot stunning wildlife in the tree canopy

Wild Costa Rica Escape

Example 6 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Quest
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Discover the treasures of Guanacaste, one of Costa Rica’s richest regions, on a six-day voyage aboard National Geographic Quest. Snorkel and kayak among untouched corals and palm-lined beaches in the Guanacaste Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hike, ride horseback, and zipline amid mist-shrouded volcanic peaks in Rincón de la Vieja National Park, where intriguing archaeological sites provide insight into Costa Rica’s ancient past. As we venture from uninhabited isles to wildlife-rich jungles and friendly surf towns, bask in the “pura vida” that infuses this ecologically-rich country.
Snorkel with incredible sea turtlesSnorkel with incredible sea turtlesExplore the stunning beaches of Costa RicaLook for brilliant wildlife in the rain forest!Explore beautiful Costa RicaSpot stunning wildlife in the tree canopy
Highlights
  • Navigate the pristine coastline of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region.
  • Discover diverse tropical ecosystems while exploring via kayak and on foot
  • Spend an afternoon enjoying Isla Tortuga’s palm-shaded beaches
  • Explore the volcanic landscapes of Rincón de la Vieja National Park
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: San José, Costa Rica | Puerto Caldera |Embark

Upon arrival in San José, the capital of Costa Rica, transfer by land to Puerto Caldera and embark our ship the National Geographic Quest. Enjoy a sunset dinner onboard as we chart a course for the Guanacaste region on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

Day 2: Zapotal Beach | Bahia Huevos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Drop anchor off remote Zapotal Beach, where we’ll spend the morning soaking up the sun or snorkeling in waters fringed by offshore islets which create outstanding habitat for a variety of tropical fish. Or, choose to walk along a rarely used 4-wheel drive track which takes us back into a beautiful gallery forest. The area is rich with bird and plant life and our naturalists describe the intricate web of life in these oceanside ecosystems.
After lunch on board, we cruise north to the Papagayo Peninsula, dropping anchor in Bahia Huevos. Our Zodiacs take us on an exploration of the bay and the peninsula. If conditions, permit, we drop kayaks and paddleboards and explore the nearby mangroves.

Day 3: Islas Murcielagos | Santa Rosa National Park | Guanacaste Conservation Area

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we set our sights on Islas Murcielagos (also known as the Bat Islands) in the World Heritage-designated Guanacaste Conservation Area. Weather permitting, don a snorkel and fins to discover a rich underwater world or hike into the upper reaches of the islands for commanding views over the full length of this rarely visited archipelago.
Back onboard, we sail towards the mainland while enjoying a delicious lunch on board. Depending on conditions, we may choose to explore Santa Elena Bay in Santa Rosa National Park, Junquillal Wildlife Refuge, or Cuajiniquil Bay, all part of the extraordinarily biodiverse Guanacaste Conservation Area. While venturing out by kayak or taking a relaxing Zodiac cruise, we immerse ourselves into the tropical environment. It is alive with color as yellow and black great kiskadees sally from exposed perches looking to capture a flying insect for an evening meal or orange-fronted parakeets chatter overhead, while ringed kingfishers wait patiently watching the shallows for a fish’s silvery flash.

**Please note: National Geographic Quest will sail to Nicaragua overnight where necessary immigration requirements will be completed prior to returning to Costa Rica on Day 4.

Day 4: Playas del Coco | Rincón de la Vieja National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Our adventure today continues as we set off inland to explore Rincón de la Vieja National Park. This mountainous region is also a part of the Guanacaste Conservation Area and encompasses more than 34,000 acres. The area, with its forests carpeting the sides of two active volcanoes, is alive with geothermal activity as gurgling, bubbling mud pots spout, and steam rises above the canopy. Choose between several enticing options today including a hike through the transition zone where tropical dry habitat meets the temperate cloud forest. Here, we keep an eye out for exotic wildlife, with the possibility of encountering mantled howler monkeys, and regionally special birds including the noisy and conspicuous white-throated magpie-jay. With luck, the northern tamandua, a member of the anteater family, may be spotted. Alternatively, after a short hike into the forest, opt to swim below the Oropendola Waterfall. Or, choose to ride horseback across lush meadows, or soar through the canopy by zipline before enjoying a sumptuous lunch poolside at the hacienda while local marimba guitarists play and fresh ceviche is prepared.

Day 5: Curu National Wildlife Refuge | Isla Tortuga

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Along the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, and in many ways demarcating the line between the wetter jungles of the south and Guanacaste’s drier environment, sits Curu National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica’s first private national wildlife reserve. Learn about the hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, and mammals that inhabit this thriving ecosystem while exploring the park’s tracks and trails. Here we look for white-faced capuchin monkeys, collared aracaris, and with luck, scarlet macaws. Later, as we enjoy lunch onboard, cruise to a cluster of offshore islets collectively called Isla Tortuga. Choose to stand-up paddleboard, kayak, or simply relax on the beach shaded by swaying palms and tropical vegetation. As the sun begins to set on our Guanacaste adventure a waterside barbecue dinner awaits--the perfect way to finish our voyage.

Day 6: San José | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in San José and transfer to the airport to connect with your flight home

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Quest

National Geographic Quest
Lounge aboard National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$4,070
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Category 1
Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, and two portholes. Individual climate controls. Shampoo, lotion, and hair dryer are available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit.
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Category 2
Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, and two portholes. Individual climate controls. Shampoo, lotion, and hair dryer are available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit.
National Geographic Quest Cabin
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Category 3
Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, and a large view window. Individual climate controls. Shampoo, lotion, and hair dryer are available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit.
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Category 4
Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door, and small, private balcony. Individual climate controls. Shampoo, lotion, and hair dryer are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit.
National Geographic Quest Cabin
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Category 5
Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, large view windows, an expanded bathroom, writing desk, ample storage space, and a convertible sofa bed to accommodate a third person. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Shampoo, lotion, and hair dryer are all available, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit.

Notes

Costs Include:
  • Accommodations aboard ship
  • Meals indicated
  • Non-alcoholic beverages aboard ship
  • Excursions
  • Services of expedition leader, naturalist staff, expert guides and a ship’s doctor
  • Park fees
  • Use of kayaks and snorkeling equipment
  • All port charges and service taxes
Not Included:
  • Air transportation
  • Horseback riding
  • Personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, voyage DVD, etc.
  • Discretionary tips to naturalist staff and crew

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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.
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