A year-round vacation destination, Costa Rica is placed between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea in Central America, so you can enjoy the charm of both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean sea. Discover the capital San Jose, the lush nature of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and some of the most marvelous beaches of the continent in this Latin America escorted tour.
Visit the most important volcano - Arenal
Walk through the markets of San Jose
Join a Mangrove tour by kayak
Join a walking tour through the Monteverde National Park
Even in a country famous for its natural diversity, Costa Rica is still a standout. Thanks to a long-practicing custom of protecting its natural assets, much of the country’s verdant rainforest still stands, opportunities for nature-based excursion abound and the beaches on both coasts are in the excellent nick. As a result, the country's cultural treasure can oft end up overlooked – but here too the country has much to offer. Costa Ricans are largely regarded as some of the world’s friendliest people and on this Latin America escorted tour, apart from exploring the country’s most renowned national parks, you’ll get to know them while advancing a hand on a rural Farmstay and hitting back in the charming beach town of Quepos.
Welcome to Costa Rica! Your adventure starts with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take be conducted. If you can't manage a flight that will reach on time, you may wish to come a day early so you're able to take part. We'll be glad to book additional accommodation for you. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please keep ready all the relevant documents to provide to your leader. With more than half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a vibrant city with exciting markets, interesting museums, and a compelling atmosphere. If you reach with time to spare, a good spot to start exploring is the main plaza, a wonderful place to get comfy and do some people seeing. Artisan booths are popular here and you never know when there'll be a casual art fair. Have a look at the Gold Museum which has a marvelous collection of indigenous gold art. If these cultural treasures get you in the mood for a bit of shopping proceed to the outdoor market in Plaza de la Cultura or the Central Market where you can purchase anything from handicrafts to seafood.
Travel for about three hours in private minibus to Santa Rosa de Pocosol, where we spend the night in a homestay. Just down the road is the Juanilama agricultural community, where you have the chance to get to know the locals, help with farm chores, or attend a cooking lesson. Many villagers have built cozy rooms for guests next to their homes, and you will spend the night in one of them. Please note that these rooms have shared facilities. In order to make the most out of this homestay experience, you may need to gove a bit of effort from your side to break the ice first. Learn as much Spanish as you can and be prepared for some serious hand language signals. The reward for these efforts? A genuine slice of life in the Costa Rican countryside.
Travel for about two hours by private minibus to reach La Fortuna. La Fortuna is a tiny town located just a few minutes away from Costa Rica's most important volcano, the grand Arenal. Besides the picturesque views, the town offers a range of other ventures such as the 70-meter-high La Fortuna waterfall, beautiful lush forest, rare plants, animal viewing, and water-based activities on the lake. The volcano’s internal workings also indicate that the area has a number of thermal springs where lava-heated water flows to the surface. These springs have been formed into a number of pools and waterfalls, making them the perfect place to relax. Spend the rest of the day as you wish in this impressive town, perhaps getting active on a stand-up paddleboard or searching for monkeys and caimans during a boat trip of the Cano Negro area.
Today take the spectacular route to Monteverde. Travel by shared minibus for about four hours in total to Lake Arenal, which we'll cross by boat. On a clear day, you'll see wonderful views of the surrounding area. After crossing the lake, again board the minibus and continue on to our destination. Monteverde was established as an agricultural area in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers. They cleared virgin forest to make green fields perfect for dairy farming. These environmentally expert settlers were conscious of the threat that unrestricted settling and farming could cause to this valuable habitat. Accordingly, they established a small, privately-owned wildlife sanctuary, which has since developed to become the internationally-famous Monteverde Cloudforest Biological Preserve. Possibly begin your exploration with a trip of the suspension bridges that hang in the trees, or proceed to the Serpentarium to view some crawly critters. Montverde is home to over 2000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals.
It is up to you how you'd like to spend today in this wonderful area. Follow butterflies at play in the uniquely created garden, your local guide will show you around the area, explore a community cooperative or enjoy zip-line through the lush canopy! Whatever you do, be sure to keep an eye out for the glorious quetzal, one of the most baffling birds in the world.
Travel for around 5 hours through the mountains to Quepos by private minibus. Located close to the stunning Pacific beaches and fascinating wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos is a laidback city with a lively nightlife. Maybe get into the mood with a sunset sail around the beautiful coast, watching out for dolphins and whales which sometimes swim close by. Once the sun goes down, why not choose a spot at a waterfront restaurant and dig your teeth into some fresh seafood.
Spend your time experiencing all that Manuel Antonio NP has to offer. Maybe set out for a hike along one of the many tracks on offer, keeping one eye on the excellent views and the other looking for the rich wildlife. You may spot a large number of species including monkeys, armadillos, sloths and hundreds of birds. The park also boasts blue-green seas and white-sand beaches, ideal for swimming, kayaking, sailing, and fishing. It would be great to spend your whole time either on the beach or in the water.
Take a local bus and travel for around four hours back to San Jose. The buses in this part of the country are a little more fundamental than you may be used to, but this is an excellent opportunity to mix with Costa Ricans and get a feel of local life. After arriving back on time, you can go to pick up some last minute souvenirs at the city's bright and vibrant markets. Then, set out for an optional dinner and a final night in the city, experiencing the large variety of nightlife of the city.
Today is the last day of your Latin American escorted tour in Costa Rica. We will transfer you to the airport. Catch your flight for home or continue your Costa Rica tour by visiting another destination in Costa Rica.
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