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 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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published. Below per person rate based on previous season. Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
Prices for are estimated based on inflation. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure date.
Select a Date
Wednesday start dates not recommended July-November.
8 Breakfasts, 2 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
Arrival Airport Transfer
Departure Airport Transfer
Flight costs (please request a quote)
Additional excursions during free time
Local guides full-day tours: $5-$10 per traveler per day
Local guides 1/2-day tours: $5 per traveler per day
River guides: $5 per traveler per day
Support staff: $2-3 per traveler per day
Drivers: $5 per traveler per day
Taxi drivers do not expect tips for their normal services
Baggage Handlers: $1 per bag
Hotel hospitality (maid service): $1-$1 per traveler per night
Restaurants: Most restaurants include in their bill a 10% service charge, as well as a 13% sales tax. If the service charge has been added, no additional tip is necessary; however, the wait staff is happy if the amount is rounded up.
USD and major credit cards are commonly used in Costa Rica, and it is very common to see higher cost items priced in USD. It is recommended to carry cash (NEW $20 bills or smaller ONLY) for taxis and restaurants. Most hotels and restaurants will accept major credit cards, as well.
Colones are the official Costa Rican currency. It is common to receive change in colones if you pay for something in USD cash. Smaller cost items (sodas, metered taxis, etc.) will commonly be priced in colones.
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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.