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Rafting the Pacuare River!!

Costa Rica Family Vacation

Example 9 Day Tour
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This 9-day Costa Rica vacation is perfect for the traveler who is short on time, but big on adventure. Start your travels with two days at Arenal Volcano, followed by a 3-day exploration of the beautiful Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve in search of capuchin monkeys, scarlet macaws, and two and three-toed sloths. Before leaving this lush cloudforest, climb into the rainforest canopy for a high-adrenaline adventure along the zip lines and rope traverses of Monteverde. Then spend a morning enjoying the whitewater of the Rio Savegre's Class III rapids! The trip ends on the coast, exploring the tremendous biodiversityi of Manuel Antonio National Park. This exciting itinerary introduces you to the best of Costa Rica.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in San Jose
Day 2 : Arenal Volcano & La Fortuna River Waterfall
Day 3 : Free Day in Arenal
Day 4 : Lava Flows and Monteverde Cloudforest
Day 5 : Zipline and Hanging Bridges
Day 6 : Monteverde | Manuel Antonio
Day 7 : Whitewater Rafting
Day 8 : Return to San Jose
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 unique beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Adventure Life Exclusive

Activity Level

Easy Active

Trip Snapshots

Rafting the Pacuare River!! Hike the rainforest trails in La Paz Waterfall Gardens Arenal Volcano, erupting - time to get our ash outta there! Arenal Volcano on Costa Rica tour Rafting with Kenneth Playa Manuel Antionio Sunset on the Pacific coast Swing through the jungle on a Costa Rican zip line tour

Day 1 Arrive in San Jose

Arrive in San Jose and make your way to your hotel. Overnight in San Jose.

Day 2 Arenal Volcano & La Fortuna River Waterfall

This morning head off to your hotel in 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.

Stop en route to Arenal for a visit to the La Fortuna Waterfall. The Fortuna River Waterfall is located in a 210-hectare biological reserve for premontane tropical rainforest. The waterfall is part of the Arenal Volcano National Park and is located 520 meters above sea level, where mountains and waters of the Fortuna River spring. To observe this splendid 70 meter-high waterfall, climb 530 steps through native forest--you are provided plenty of opportunity to re-hydrate and rest along the way. Once in front of the waterfall, take a photo opportunity on a wide and comfortable viewpoint.

After the hike, stop for lunch on the way at a local restaurant.

Day 3 Free Day in Arenal

Today enjoy some free time in the Arenal area. A variety of optional excursions are available in this area. Opt to go mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding or even take a hike in the miles of trails in the area. Visit a hot springs such as Ecotermales Hot Springs in the evening. Your guide is on hand to help you plan your day as you wish!

Day 4 Lava Flows and Monteverde Cloudforest

After breakfast take a morning hike into the national park to see old lava flows and enjoy the unique flora.

After the hike say goodbye to Arenal Volcano and head across Lake Arenal on your way to the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve, one of the richest and most diverse tropical cloud forests 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 your explorations keep watch for one of the area's most famed residents, the resplendent quetzal.

Day 5 Zipline and Hanging Bridges

Today explore the tree canopy high above the ground by zipline, 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 hike through the reserve, viewing the misty forest with its dense vegetation and majestic trees.

Day 6 Monteverde | Manuel Antonio

This morning make the 4-5 hour drive to Quepos where you stay in a hotel near Manuel Antonio. Spend the afternoon relaxing or schedule an additional excursion. Say good-bye to your guide this evening.

Day 7 Whitewater Rafting

Get up early to hit the Savegre River for some Class II-III whitewater (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. Return to Quepos for the evening.

Day 8 Return to San Jose

This morning spend your time as you like. There is no guide service today, so you are free to explore Quepos at your own pace. Walk along the expansive white beaches of nearby Manuel Antonio Park, or explore the lush vegetation, alive with 109 species of mammal 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 in Quepos.

Day 9 Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast

Arenal - Hotels

Manuel Antonio - Hotels

Monteverde Cloud Forest - Hotels

San Jose - Hotels

Per person starting at


Select a Date
Wednesday start dates not recommended July-November.


  • 1 Snacks
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • 5 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed


  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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We are so glad that we chose Adventure Life. The service is top-notch. Everything is well taken care of and we just have to print the documents and go. Franny even gave us timely updates on possible airport strike.
KC Chan

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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