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Turtles & Rainforest

Tortuguero - Example 8 Day Tour
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Turtles! Rainforest! River rafting! The Costa Rica tour begins with a trip to Tortuguero National Park and discovery of the rare nesting grounds the green sea turtle. The journey continues to the Selva Bananito Reserve. The reserve’s 2100 acres of untouched rainforest is the most rugged and unexplored region in Costa Rica and is just waiting for the adventurous traveler! An exciting whitewater trip down the Pacuare river tops off this wild and wet Costa Rica vacation!
A baby sea turtle heads for the ocean
Trip Type:
  • Independent
Activity Level: Easy Active
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive San Jose

Arrive San Jose and overnight.

Day 2: Meet Tortuguero

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early in the morning you'll be picked up from your hotel for the drive to the Atlantic coast, traveling through the lush tropical rainforest of Braulio Carrillo National Park, which is one of the largest in the country. Banana plantations line the highway en route to La Pavona, where you will take a scenic boat ride on the La Suerte River, Tortuguero River, and through the Tortuguero Canals. The boat ride offers lovely views of the Costa Rican forest and mangrove swamps, which are teeming with such exotic wildlife as sloths, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, coatimundis, raccoons, crocodiles, egrets, parrots, and jaguars—just to name a few!

Arriving in the island village of Tortuguero, you'll enjoy lunch at Turtle Beach Lodge, and then a free afternoon to relax and explore on your own. You'll be spending the next two nights at the lodge, which offers optional tours, a refreshing pool, and nightly turtle-watching tours.

Day 3: Jungle Explorations in Tortuguero

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today is a free day to spend as you please – tour the town, visit museums or take a walk through the jungle. You can explore the canals winding through the rainforest, which is home to exotic wildlife, from egrets to crocodiles to monkeys to butterflies. And keep your eyes open for turtles! Tortuguero has many highlights, but it is best known for the four species of sea turtles that nest in the region. Tortuguero's coastline is considered one of the Western Hemisphere's most important nesting sites of the green sea turtle, which can be found by the thousands in the summer months. The baby turtles hatch from July through early November, emerging from their nests to scrabble across the sand to the waiting waters of the Atlantic.

Be sure to take advantage of the miles of beach and jungle trails in Tortuguero National Park, horseback riding, kayaking to a nearby lagoon, or fishing in the Tortuguero River for tarpon, snook, and mackerel.

Day 4-6: Rainforest Retreat

  • Hotel
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
After a late breakfast, you travel to Selva Bananito Reserve for more jungle discovery and adventure. Bordering Costa Rica's largest and most pristine nature reserve, Selva Bananito is part of the same rich ecosystem as the 1.5 million acre La Amistad International Peace Park, and it's alive with hundreds of species of birds, and animals such as toucans, parrots, monkeys, sloths and the elusive jaguar and tapir.

There's an adventure here for everyone. You'll have the chance to climb a giant kapok tree and enter the fascinating world of the rainforest canopy. With the encouragement of Jurgen or Sofia Stein, the brother and sister team that created the reserve, even land lovers will find themselves lost in a swinging world 100 feet off the ground and buzzing with life. There's also horseback riding through the adjacent family farm to learn about the organic tropical farming techniques that their father, Rudi Stein, has developed over the past 25 years. The farm boasts a heliconia garden brimming with enormous tropical flowers, and a half day nature trail through the surrounding primary rainforest where guests can learn about the rainforest ecology. For the adventurous there's an all day trip deep into the jungle with a dip in a pool below a 70 foot waterfall, rewarding your hard effort. You can also add the option to rappell down the falls - Let us know if you want to add this to your adventure. At the end of each day, locally grown food is served by candlelight before you retire to the tranquil retreat of your jungle cabana.

Day 7: Pacuare River Rafting

This morning you travel east towards the Caribbean and the Class III-IV whitewater of the Pacuare River. One of Costa Rica's most exciting whitewater trips, the Pacuare plunges through spectacular mountain gorges and passes through virgin rainforests filled with howler monkeys, toucans, sloths, ocelots and more. After your river adventure you'll transfer to San Jose to complete your Costa Rica travels before returning home in the morning.

Day 8: Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast

Photo Gallery

A baby sea turtle heads for the ocean Getting ready for another rapid Justo, a honeymooner, and a crayfish Zipline! Digging for baby sea turtles at the Pacuare Nature Preserve A time for reflection. Exquisite flowers

Map

Accommodations

Selva Bananito

Selva Bananito bed with unnecessary mosquito net
Selva Bananito
Why not relax after a day in Paradise?

Tortuguero - Hotels

San Jose - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$1,837

Notes

Select a Date
Turtle season runs from Mid June through end of October.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 5 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • 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.

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
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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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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