Essential Costa Rica

This is a small group trip with set departure dates at a discounted rate.

2015 Departure Dates:
*April 18th, 2015
*July 4th, 2015
*November 21st, 2015

The birthplace of ecotourism, Costa Rica is home to lush jungles, mystical cloud forests, endless beaches and an incredible array of wildlife. Over the past several years this small country has rapidly become a premier travel destination, and with its diverse ecosystems, incredible natural beauty and mellow atmosphere, it is easy to see why.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: San Jose Arrival

San Jose Arrival
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Accommodation: Park Inn by Radisson San Jose

In the evening, you will be picked up at the airport in San Jose and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)

San Jose

Historic neighborhoods in Costa Rica are laced with delicious international restaurants and bustling shopping streets. The city's art scene is popping and huge colorful murals blend harmoniously beside small unique art galleries. Like many Latin American capitals, it's the colonial architecture that truly gives the streets of San Jose their charm, and is a welcome break from the ever-modernizing city attributes. As a city that primarily hosts travelers arriving and departing from Costa Rica specifically, San Jose fills its role perfectly. An introduction, a gateway and a welcoming!

Day 2: San Jose - Arenal Volcano National Park

San Jose - Arenal Volcano National Park
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: Hotel Arenal Manoa
  • Meals: B, L

During breakfast, early briefing with your tour guide for general information about your stay in Costa Rica. Your adventure will begin with a morning pick up for a guided transfer to La Fortuna. En route you will visit Poas Volcano National Park to enjoy the main crater activity and the volcano surroundings. After a few hours in the park, the transfer will continue to La Fortuna in San Carlos. Check in at your hotel near Arenal Volcano.

Arenal Volcano National Park

Though it has remained dormant since 1968, Arenal Volcano is the highlight of one of Costa Rica's most popular national parks. Beautiful trails, volcanic hot springs, and ample adventure activities abound, all interspersed with rare rumblings from the sleeping mountain. Plenty of lodges and hotels are built into the countryside with views of Arenal Volcano to take advantage of this picturesque region. It won't take you long to see why this is such a hot spot! From rain clouds, to clear blue skies, it's a beautiful and unique site to behold no matter what.

Day 3: Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs
  • Accommodation: Hotel Arenal Manoa
  • Meals: B, D

Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs

This morning you will be met at your hotel lobby by your guide who will take you on a tour of the hanging bridges overlooking the abundant biodiversity existent in the natural reserve. Your naturalist guide will open the doors to you into the fascinating and colorful tropical rain forest world through his knowledge of natural history. This tour is a fun and educative way to learn about the surrounding natural environment. Its purpose is to offer you, in a safe and sustainable way, a tiny passage into the kindness of nature, and in this way, take care of it for the future generations.

Eco Termales is a family-run project that has been built over several years of focused and hard work. The four pools vary in temperature, with the coolest being 91º F and the hottest being 105º F. One of the pools has a refreshing, cascading waterfall that visitors are invited to stand beneath. Paths laid with volcanic silt run throughout the complex, connecting the pools, changing rooms, and restaurant. Eco Termales is a wonderfully authentic environment that offers both privacy and tranquility within the Costa Rican rainforest. Come and enjoy this relaxing sanctuary for yourself this afternoon. Dinner is also included tonight at the hot springs resort.

Day 4: Arenal - Monteverde Cloud Forest

Arenal - Monteverde Cloud Forest
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Arenal to Monteverde
  • Accommodation: Monteverde Mountain Hotel
  • Meals: B

This morning you'll be met at your hotel and transferred to your shared boat lake crossing to the Monteverde Cloud Forest area and your overnight accommodations. Approximate transfer time is 2.5 hours. Enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Monteverde Cloud Forest

This biological reserve has been a source of inspiration since it was first colonized, and has continued to be advocated for by different conservation groups through the 19th and 20th centuries. Only 160 tourists are allowed within its borders at a time, insuring that the healthy rivers, blooming trees, and intense biodiversity remains protected. Though it does rain often (bring your raincoat), and the trails do get a bit muddy (don't forget your boots), this is a chance to witness the wilderness for which Costa Rica is famous, and maybe even learn a thing or two about the importance of conservation of beauty, and the value of nature.

Day 5: Monteverde Cloud Forest

Monteverde Cloud Forest
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Morning Nature Walk
  • Accommodation: Monteverde Mountain Hotel
  • Meals: B

Morning Nature Walk

This morning at 7:00am, you will be picked up for a morning hike through the biological reserve. Enjoy learning about the vast diversity as you follow your local guide, who will tell you about the local wildlife and fauna. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve offers well developed and easily negotiable trails that access some of the most beautiful primary cloud forests in the world. Return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 6: Monteverde - Manuel Antonio National Park

Monteverde - Manuel Antonio National Park
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: El Faro Beach Hotel
  • Meals: B

In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Monteverde and transferred to your accommodations in Manuel Antonio National Park. (Duration: 4 hours.) (This service is on a private basis.)

Manuel Antonio National Park

If there is a heaven for beach lovers, it is surely taking notes from Manuel Antonio! There is a reason that this rugged coast of small bays and secluded beaches is one of Central America's most popular destinations. Dense jungle sits directly adjacent to pristine sandy beaches in this national park, forming unique, funky coves that each offer picture perfect photo opportunities in their own right. If these scenic landscapes aren't enough to keep you captivated, then you might make the most of the wildlife viewing activities. Iguanas, howler monkeys, sloths and several birds parade through here daily.

Day 7: Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Guided Tour
  • Accommodation: El Faro Beach Hotel
  • Meals: B

Guided Tour

This morning, you will enjoy a group guided visit to Manuel Antonio National Park, arguably the country's most beautiful and popular protected coastal area. The national park contains pristine white-sand beaches, hidden coves ideal for snorkeling, trails through tropical forest filled with wildlife and the landmark Punta Catedral, towering high above the deep blue Pacific Ocean.

This afternoon, you'll be transferred back to your accommodation in Manuel Antonio to enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 8: Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: El Faro Beach Hotel
  • Meals: B

Day at leisure to enjoy the hotel facilities or explore the area. Ask us about optional excursions we can add for you, including kayaking, horse back riding, rafting, and hiking trips.

Day 9: Manuel Antonio - San Jose Departure

Manuel Antonio - San Jose Departure
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Meals: B

You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred 3 hours to the airport in San Jose in time for your departing flight. It's best to schedule flights in the afternoon or evening. We hope you enjoyed these highlights of Costa Rica, pura vida!


Park Inn by Radisson San Jose

Park Inn by Radisson San Jose

Positioned only three blocks from Paseo Colón, San José's main avenue, and walking distance from downtown, the Park Inn by Radisson San José, is the perfect spot for a relaxing and comfortable vacation. It's modern and quirky decorations, keep the property unique and colorful. Guests can unwind with dinner and drinks at the hotel's RBG Bar & Grill, or take a dip in the outdoor pool. With 125 spacious rooms, that include complimentary wireless Internet and 32-inch flat screen televisions, the hotel provides guests with all the features you need for a pleasurable and memorable stay.

Hotel Arenal Manoa

Hotel Arenal Manoa

Hotel Arenal Manoa is a beautiful luxury property, which offers marvelous sweeping views across Arenal Volcano. Surrounded by gardens, lush pasture and exotic wildlife, the guest rooms have each been specifically designed to include panoramic views of the volcano and surrounding landscape. You are invited to take advantage of the spacious gardens on property for walking trails and tranquil meditation as well as the opportunity to observe the daily operations of a typical Costa Rican farm. Take a dip in the spacious refreshing pool, or get cozy in the hot tub, surrounded by colorful flowers and rich greenery.

Monteverde Mountain Hotel

Monteverde Mountain Hotel

Located in the Pacific Province of Puntarenas at 4,500 feet above sea level, Hotel de Montaña Monteverde offers 42 comfortable rooms as well as a Jacuzzi, Sauna, Conference Room, Bar and Restaurant which offers the special flavor and charm of home cooked Costa Rican cuisine. Adjacent to the hotel is a 15-acre private forest, offering excellent views and trails, including a small pond for the guests' enjoyment. In addition, Hotel de Montaña Monteverde offers guided tours through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and horseback riding tours.

El Faro Beach Hotel

El Faro Beach Hotel

Costa Rica's one and only container hotel. Authentic shipping containers, having had a previous storied life on sea, have been stylishly transformed into a unique eco-friendly hotel. El Faro Beach Hotel has been carefully designed to blend naturally into the hillside contours of Manuel Antonio National Park. Complete with tall ceilings, private balconies and original wood floors, you'll enjoy all the amenities of a luxury hotel while promoting sustainability in this virgin forest meets ocean setting. Situated steps from Playa Espadilla on the Pacific Ocean, with its stunning white sand beach and crescent shape, the warm tropical waters await you.

Pricing and Details

Starting from $ 1,728 per person

*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.

Price Includes

  • Full support before, during & after your trip
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Accommodation as mentioned
  • Tours/activities as mentioned
  • Transport as mentioned

Price Excludes

  • International & domestic flights
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Entrance visas when applicable
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Taxes and fees

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