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01C Volcanoes and Cloud Forest TOUR

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Volcanoes & Cloud Forest

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Soaking in Baldi Hotsprings Horseback riding at Arenal Volcano Monteverde Cloud forest walk Manuel Antonio's spectacular beaches Hummingbirds, sloths & butterflies!

  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (if applicable) - All pricing reflects per-person Land Only expenses, however, we can book flights from virtually every city. Please call us for an air quote.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Tue 22 Dec 2015Thu 31 Dec 2015 $2040
Sat 05 Mar 2016Mon 14 Mar 2016 $2040
Mon 11 Jul 2016Wed 20 Jul 2016 $2040
Tue 20 Dec 2016Thu 29 Dec 2016 $2040

Optional Single Supplement: $360 (number of singles limited).


Tour Overview


You can never keep a good thing under wraps for long and though Costa Rica is no longer a well-kept secret hidden from the attentions of mass tourism, it has nonetheless survived with all its unique attractions intact. There can be no more appropriate an introduction to Costa Rica than our visit to INBio Parque, an educational and recreational centre that exposes us to the vast biodiversity that Costa Rica crams between its borders. With over 25 per cent of the entire country designated as protected areas, Costa Rica’s efforts to preserve its stunning natural environment are clearly indomitable. We travel past rolling hills and sugar cane fields, stopping in at quaint villages and hotsprings en route to Arenal, where we embark on a horseback excursion at the base of Arenal Volcano. Rustic countryside is the picturesque backdrop as we enter Monteverde Cloud Forest to see nature and ecological diversity at their finest and we top it all off with a tour through Manuel Antonio National Park, an untouched haven of natural beauty on the shores of the Pacific.

Regions visited: Central America And Caribbean
Countries visited: Costa Rica


Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrival in San Jose
Today we arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Overnight in San Jose.

Meal plan: dinner

Day 2 San Jose: INBio Parque
We have a morning departure to INBio Parque, an educational and recreational centre where visitors are exposed to samples of the vast world of biological diversity that can be found in Costa Rica. We visit the biodiversity centre, and the projection room in the company of an expert guide. We then walk one of the three interpretive trails, an excellent introduction to the country's natural marvels.

Overnight San Jose.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 3 San Jose - Arenal
Today we stop at Sarchi, a village renowned for its colourful oxcarts and wooden handicrafts. We travel through rolling hills covered with sugar cane fields to overnight near Arenal Volcano. We make a stop at the Baldi Hotsprings (located near Arenal and outside the Risk Zones established by the National Prevention of Risks and Emergency Commission). Here a geothermally-heated river flows through beautifully landscaped grounds featuring many plant and tree species and great birdlife. We will have time to relax in or around the various pools (bring a towel). The springs feature ten hot pools with different temperatures fed by individual springs and two swim-up bars.

Overnight in Arenal / La Fortuna area.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 4 Arenal: Horseback Excursion
This morning we embark on a 2-hour easy horseback ride through the forests and hills near Arenal Volcano. Your leader will provide expert guidance with plenty of information on the plants and animals that live in the trees and underbrush. Bring your binoculars as birdwatching can be particularly interesting.

This afternoon you may elect to follow your Tour Leader on a lava walk, a hike in the rain forest, or a visit to Arenal Waterfalls.

Overnight in Arenal / La Fortuna Area.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 5 Arenal - Monteverde Cloud Forest
Today we travel through a rustic rural countryside to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve area (+/- 4 hours).

Covered in a mantle of moss, ferns and orchids, this private reserve is home to over 400 species of birds and a great number of animals. The forest is created by the winds, particular temperature and moisture conditions, and mountainous topography which combine during the dry season to hold a steady cloud cover along the continental divide. The rains and the moisture in the air nourish trees and plants rooted in the ground, as well as many plants that live at the upper levels of the forest, and take their nutrients directly from the mist and dust that pass through the air. The result is an enchanted fairy-tale environment where trees are laden with orchids, bromeliads, mosses and ferns that obscure their branches, where the moisture and mild temperatures and sunlight filtered by the forest canopy encourage the exuberance of begonias, heliconias, philodendron and many other tropical plants in every available space on the ground.

This afternoon we have a guided tour of the "Butterfly Garden" where butterflies and other endemic insects are raised and protected in a controlled environment allowing scientists to study them -- their place in the food chain and their response to things like increased pollution and climate change.

Overnight at Monteverde.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 6 Monteverde Cloud Forest
We have a full morning exploring the cloud forest reserve with the help of a local naturalist guide. There is more to the forest than the trees and lesser plants. Of over 320 bird species, the most notable is the quetzal with its long arc of tail feathers. Assorted trogons in addition to the quetzal inhabit the reserve, along with more than 50 varieties of hummingbird. About 500 kinds of butterfly are found at Monteverde. Among the more than 100 mammalian species are howler, white-faced and spider monkeys, coatis and their cousins, raccoons; as well as the rarely observed pumas, ocelots, jaguars, tapirs, and kinkajous.

This afternoon you may choose to go on an optional "Canopy Walk" excursion, located within the cloud forest. Suspension foot-bridges are strung across deep gorges allowing one to get a bird's eye view of the forest from a totally different perspective than we experienced this morning. At a leisurely pace, one can complete this easy and fascinating walk in about 90 minutes. Your Tour Leader can help you plan this activity (optional cost approx $25-40, subject to change).

REMEMBER: This can be a wet and windy place by definition. You should be prepared for varied conditions.

Overnight at Monteverde.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 7 Monteverde - Quepos
Today we travel to Quepos, the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park, an unspoiled haven of natural beauty on the shores of the Pacific.

Overnight in Quepos area.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 8 Manuel Antonio National Park
This morning we enjoy a leisurely walk through part of Manuel Antonio Park. While strolling the forest trails and the white sand beaches, we'll encounter monkeys, iguanas, sea creatures and bird life of infinite variety. After our morning walk, we will have time to relax on one of the park's beautiful beaches before returning to our hotel around lunch time.

Manuel Antonio National Park is an area of sand curving around a bay strewn with islands of rock, and shaded by green bordering forests. All are backdropped by dramatic cliffs. Manuel Antonio beach is one of the few places in Costa Rica where unspoiled primary forest grows right to the high-tide mark, allowing visitors to bathe at times in the shade.

South Espadilla is the northernmost of the park's beaches, followed by calmer Manuel Antonio beach, offshore of which are some coral spots. Third Beach has tidal pools where brightly coloured fish and eels are temporarily stranded. Last is Puerto Escondido, access to which is made difficult by the bordering rocky promontory.

Some of the most frequently observed animals at Manuel Antonio are marmoset--the smallest of Costa Rican monkeys--white-faced and howler monkeys, racoons, pacas, opossums, and two- and three-toed sloths. Easily sighted seabirds include frigate birds, pelicans, terns, and brown boobies. A network of trails winds along the sea and through the forest.

Overnight in Quepos area.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 9 Quepos - San Jose
Today we travel back to San Jose after a leisurely morning. Upon arrival in San Jose we'll visit the famous Gold Museum.

Overnight in San Jose.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 10 Departure
Departure from San Jose.

BUEN VIAJE!

Meal plan: breakfast

Tour Map

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Sleep Inn

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: San Jose
Country: Costa Rica

The Sleep Inn San Jose conveniently located in the heart of the city, only fifteen kilometers from the Juan Santamaria
... Airport. It is only a short distance from tourist attractions like the Teatro Nacional, Museo de Jade, and Museo de Oro.


Read More.

Hotel Manuel Antonio

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Quepos
Country: Costa Rica

The hotel is conveniently located within minutes from the World Famous Manuel Antonio National Park and the small sport fishing
... of Quepos. All rooms feature well-appointed bathrooms, telephone, air conditioning, TV.


Read More.


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

Family pricing: Age 12 and under at time of travel 30% off land price, based on sharing with 2 adults; sharing with 1 adult 15% off

Breakfast and dinner daily (hotels and local restaurants). All transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, hotel porters (if available). Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving / departing on tour dates.

Exclusions

Tour Leader gratuity, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), departure taxes, and international air taxes (if applicable). Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on not included meal costs, shopping, and locally paid departure taxes.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered at Christmas, summer, and spring. In the Central Valley, where the main centres of population are located, the average temperature is 22C (72F). In the coastal areas the temperature is much hotter and humid. The "green" season runs May-Nov. The warm dry season is Dec-May, though temperature differences between summer and winter are slight. EARLY BOOKING ESSENTIAL FOR PEAK HOLIDAY PERIODS.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Suitability: Age 6 and up. Road transport by private air-conditioned motor coach, 12-30 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Costa Rica's roads are generally good though we do have some long (though scenic) road journeys. Numerous nature walks and walking tours on uneven surfaces.

Accommodation

Well-located, heated / air-conditioned, mid-range (3 star) hotels with en suite toilet and bath throughout (probably shower only). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than doubles. Hotel porter service is sometimes available (see 'inclusions') though you should be independent with your luggage. Some hotels have outdoor swimming pools.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader, driver/s, and local step-on guides at various locations.

Group Size

10-21 (plus Tour Leader)

01C TRIP DETAILS

DURATION10 days

TOUR STARTSan Jose

TOUR ENDSan Jose