Cultural Excursion

Costa Rica Highlights

San Jose, Costa Rica

We customize every trip

Prices From: $2,895 per person

If you want to visit the most attractive places of Costa Rica, mixing nature and adventure activities, this is your best option. Start your adventure in the north Caribbean side of Costa Rica, and explore the tropical rainforest and wildlife of Tortuguero Canals National Park. You'll continue your journey on to visit the Arenal, the most active volcano in Costa Rica. Hike the Lava trail, take a dip in La Fortuna Waterfall and enjoy the gorgeous scenery! From there, you'll make your way to Monteverde where you'll have the chance to zipline through the enchanting cloud forest. End your holiday on the Pacific side of the country, relaxing along the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. This itinerary allows you the opportunity to see both sides of Costa Rica in all of it's glory!

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - San José Arrival

Upon arrival you´ll be picked up at the airport and transferred to the hotel.

Overnight: Hotel Don Carlos

Day 2 - Tortuguero

Transfer to Tortuguero Canals National Park in the north Caribbean. After driving through the magnificent Braulio Carrillo National Park, we will get to see banana plantations just before we arrive to the dock. Braulio Carrillo National Park has the topography and high rate of rainfall of 4,500 mm per year combine to form an infinite number of waterfalls and are responsible for the deep canyons and high gradient mountains that distinguish this park, providing majestic views one can admire when on the way to the Atlantic slope of the country. Two extinct volcanoes, Barva and Cacho Negro, are important reference points of Braulio Carrillo National Park. Both volcanoes have many lagoons and lakes. Transfer by boat to the Lodge. This afternoon you'll explore the local attractions with your naturalist guide. Highlights include: a butterfly farm, frog farm and garden, ranarium, aquarium, bio-digestor, and gardens.

Overnight: Mawamba Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

Day 3 - Tortuguero

After breakfast departure by boat to the private trail where you will enjoy a guided walk into the tropical rainforest. In the afternoon you'll explore the canals by boat, you might even see some wildlife (Toucans, monkeys, perhaps crocodiles, etc). Tortuguero National Park is one of the most varied within the park system, with 11 ecological habitats, from high rainforest to herbaceous marsh communities. Fronting the sea is the seemingly endless expanse of beach. Behind that is a narrow lagoon, connected to the sea at one end and fed by a river at the other, which parallels the beach for its full 35-km length. The back of the lagoon is a coastal rainforest threaded by an infinite maze of serpentine channels and streams fed by rivers flowing from the central mountain ranges and by the torrential rains that fall in the area. On the periphery of the forest lies a complex of swamps.

Overnight: Mawamba Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

Day 4 - Tortuguero - Arenal

After breakfast we meet at the main dock for a return boat ride to Caño Blanco. We'll then transfer to the Arenal Volcano, the most active volcano in Costa Rica. Recognized as a volcano since the 19th century, it was known by foreign investigators as Volcan Costa Rica, Rio Frio, Canastos Volcano and Cerro de los Guatusos . Late afternoon optional visit to the natural hot springs (not included).

Overnight: Arenal Paraíso Hotel (Breakfast and Lunch Included)

Day 5 - Arenal

After breakfast hike at the Lava flow trail in the Arenal Volcano National Park. Arenal is the youngest and most active of all the mountains in Costa Rica. Arenal rises 1657 meters above sea level and overlooks Lake Arenal; both are part of Arenal Volcano National Park. The country's most active volcano, Arenal's eruptions are strombolian in type, being frequent but moderate and can be viewed without danger as long as the viewers are behind the safety perimeter. This constant activity and minimal endangerment makes Arenal a popular tourist destination, especially at night, because the lava and incandescent rocks make a spectacular sight. In the afternoon hike to the Fortuna waterfall where after a short steep walk you can swim. The La Fortuna Waterfall offers some of the most gorgeous scenery in all of Costa Rica. The 70-meter ribbon of water falls into a great swimming hole, surrounded by lush tropical forest, protected by the local conservation project. The water below is a greenish-blue that makes for a pleasing view.

Overnight: Arenal Paraíso Hotel(Breakfast Included)

Day 6 - Arenal - Monteverde

Morning transfer to Monteverde Cloud Forest. This a beautiful drive around Lake Arenal and crossing the Contnental Divide from the Caribbean Slope to the Pacific Slope. This afternoon you will enjoy one of the most popular tours in this area, the Trapiche Tour. The tour begins with a walk through a farm where you can get a glimpse of plantations that grow: sugar cane, coffee, bananas, plantains, root vegetables, oranges and more. See the entire coffee process, ride an ox cart, see the “saca de guaro”, the liquor that is made from sugar cane and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.

Overnight: Cala Lodge (Breakfast Included)

Day 7 - Monteverde

After breakfast we will increase our adrenaline with the Sky Trek. Sky Trek is a system of zip lines ranging from mountain to mountain, which together have a distance of 2.5 miles of linear cable. The tour gives you the opportunity to fly through a cable and have a unique experience of adventure and adrenaline at speeds up to 40 miles per hour with distances ranging up to 2500 feet and heights of 524 feet. In addition the tour offers 5 observation towers that exceed the cloud forest treetops providing a panoramic view. All with total security and in an innovative braking system. The tour starts with the Sky Tram that will lead you up to the Continental Divide. In the afternoon visit the Monteverde Cloud forest Reserve. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a private non-profit reserve administered by the Tropical Science Center, and contains 6 distinct ecological zones. Called a cloud forest rather than a rain forest: because of it's altitude, the clouds go through the forest. The canopy is extremely rich with birds, insects, butterflies, and thousands of plants. Great bird watching, Resplendent Quetzal is usually seen in the March-April nesting season.

Overnight: Cala Lodge (Breakfast Included)

Day 8 - Monteverde - Manuel Antonio

After breakfast we will depart for Manuel Antonio National Park area. On the way we will visit Jurassic Park so have your cameras and binoculars ready.

Overnight: Byblos Resort (Breakfast Included)

Day 9 - Manuel Antonio

After breakfast we will visit Manuel Antonio National Park. Here there are four beautiful beaches and a rain forest that hosts white faced monkeys, squirrel monkeys, sloths and howler monkeys. Tiny it may be, but this 682-hectare national park epitomizes everything tourists flock to Costa Rica to see: stunning beaches, a magnificent setting with islands offshore (bird sanctuaries for marine species), lush rainforest laced with a network of welcoming trails, wildlife galore, and all within walking distance of your hotel. You are guaranteed close-up encounters with monkeys, sloths, and scarlet macaws.

Overnight: Byblos Resort (Breakfast Included)

Day 10 - Manuel Antonio - San José

Enjoy the morning at leisure. In the afternoon transfer to San José.

Overnight: Hotel Don Carlos (Breakfast Included)

Day 11 - San José Departure

You will be met at your hotel and driven to the airport for your departure flight.

(Breakfast Included)

Accommodation Information

Hotel Don Carlos

Located in the oldest historical section of San José, the ‘Four Star’ Hotel Don Carlos is a small, but significant part of Costa Rica’s rich heritage. Once upon a time residence for two past Presidential families, the historical Hotel Don Carlos’ warmth and charm, graciously awaits you. Enjoy Costa Rica’s finest art works as you stroll through the gallery-like corridors and maze of quiet, garden & fountain settings, restaurant and mini pool.

Mawamba Lodge

Mawamba Lodge is situated on the Northeast area of Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast on a sand bar between the Tortuguero Canals and the Caribbean Sea, an excellent location that provides direct access to the beach and the canals. Nestled in the lush rainforest, this is the ideal hideaway for nature lovers and the perfect place to discover the wonders of the Tortuguero National Park. The Lodge is a 15-acre beach front property located on the right side of Tortuguero, offering nice views to the Tortuguero Lagoon and the canals. It’s beautiful gardens and rustic accommodations, blend with the exuberant jungle vegetation, exotic birds and wildlife creating the perfect balance of nature. All the spacious and comfortable rooms are built in fine woods and are equipped with either one double and one single bed or three single beds. All feature a private bathroom with hot water and ceiling fans and offer tranquil garden views.

Arenal Paraiso Hotel & Spa

Arenal Paraiso Hotel & Spa, is a destination in its own. The hotel is located on the Northern Area of Costa Rica, right in front of the Arenal Volcano and just 2 and a half hours away from San Jose. The beauty of the scenario in this area mixes perfectly with the exuberance of our Gardens and the singularity of our 118 rooms. The contrasts go from the canopy tour adrenaline to the serenity and rest of the thermo-mineral water, walking tours to observe the volcano from a very close but safe distance; the sensations of our spa, the natural paths and the Costa Rican gastronomy flavors along with the international cuisine. These and many others make Arenal Paraiso your best choice for the Arenal touristic destination.

Cala Lodge

Located adjacent to the world renowned Children’s Eternal Rain Forest, Cala Lodge offers cozy accommodations surrounded by beautiful forest and easy access to all the main attractions of the area.

Byblos Resort

Byblos Resort is located on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica in Manuel Antonio, one of the most beautiful coastal National Parks and beaches in the country. Built in 1985, Byblos is one of the founding Costa Rica Hotels and one of the first Quepos Manuel Antonio Hotels designed to satisfy travelers looking to explore the natural wonders of Costa Rica! Surrounded by the rain forest at the top of the hill, Byblos offers opportunities for wildlife encounters, adventure-sport travelers, Quepos fishing, and relaxation seekers alike.


Region: Central America

San Jose
Costa Rica


Breakfast Breakfast

Day Tours Day Tours

Ecologically Responsible Ecologically Responsible

Hiking Trekking Hiking Trekking

Wildlife Wildlife

GBC Staffpick GBC Staffpick

General Information

The price includes:

  • All breakfasts
  • All other meals specified in the itinerary
  • All national park entrances fees
  • Private guide and transportation throughout the tour
  • All accommodations as indicated in itinerary
  • All land transfers as indicated in itinerary
  • All activities mentioned and necessary entrance fees

The price excludes:

  • International flight tickets and airport tax
  • Visas
  • Service tips and gratuities
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
  • Meals not specified
  • Optional tours
  • Insurance