CR2 COSTA RICA TOUR

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'Treasures of the Rich Coast'

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Exploring the canals of Tortuguero; Soaking in Baldi Hotsprings; Monteverde Cloud forest walk; Hummingbirds, sloths & butterflies!; Boiling mud pots, fumaroles and thermal streams; Manuel Antonio's spectacular beaches

  • 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 any applicable taxes. The pricing reflects twin-sharing, per-person costs without airfare to/from the tour; however, we can book flights from your home airport for an added cost. Contact us for a no obligation quote.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Sun 18 Nov 2018Sat 01 Dec 2018 $2840 USD Limited availability, please contact us
Sun 13 Jan 2019Sat 26 Jan 2019 $2840 USD Last-minute Availability
Sun 10 Feb 2019Sat 23 Feb 2019 $2840 USD Limited availability, please contact us
Sun 17 Nov 2019Sat 30 Nov 2019 $2840 USD
Sat 21 Dec 2019Fri 03 Jan 2020 $3050 USD
Sun 12 Jan 2020Sat 25 Jan 2020 $2840 USD
Sun 09 Feb 2020Sat 22 Feb 2020 $2840 USD
Sun 15 Nov 2020Sat 28 Nov 2020 $2840 USD
Sun 20 Dec 2020Sat 02 Jan 2021 $3050 USD

Optional Single Supplement: $654 USD (number of singles limited).


Tour Overview


Discover how Costa Rica earns its reputation as a natural wonderland on this two-week adventure through one of the most exciting and striking countries in Central America, and indeed, the world.

Literally translated as the 'rich coast', Costa Rica is a land of varied topography and broad spectrum of ecosystem; between its borders, Costa Rica encompasses white-sand Caribbean beaches, volcanic mountain-scapes, lush, velveteen jungle, low-lying plains and swampland.

We head to Tortuguero Park, where we take to the waters to glide along canals that are lined with virgin wilderness on both shores.

The mist-encircled trees in Monteverde Cloud Forest provide a setting that seems as though it was taken straight out of a fairytale and Rincon de la Vieja National Park yields hidden lakes, hot-springs and beautiful volcanic landscapes. Yet more wildlife awaits us in Manuel Antonio National Park before enjoying some sightseeing in San Jose.

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


Testimonials


Particularly enjoyed the National parks and wildlife,especially Tortuguero, Arenal, Monte Verde, Manuel Antonio. Granada and the Masaya volcano at night were also memorable. The local guides were excellent. The food was very good. The tour leader was terrific - we were very impressed. Our hotels on this trip were very good. We had a great trip and really enjoyed our time.

[Andres Fernandez was] very personable, caring, patient and went out of his way many times to accommodate situations.

We've traveled with AA before and enjoyed it immensely. All of the local guides were excellent, especially Johnny in Tortuguero. Enjoyed all excursions. Laura, our tour leader, was astoundingly good. She went out of her way to try to accommodate individual needs. She handled it all without negatively affecting anyone or holding up the group. Everything went smoothly for us, it seemed she knew everyone and everywhere we went. She was fun! And interested in exploring and accepting unusual events and that was contagious. She presented us with great information. Terrific tour.

Tortuguero--fabulous first look at birds, frogs and plants. Baldi Hot springs--a great reward. Fun! Butterfly garden was memorable because of the fabulous funny woman who works there. Canopy walk: lovely. Zip line: most thrilling ever for a grandma! River tubing was the most fun ever! Granada is the most gorgeous thing in Nicaragua. All guides were well-informed, spoke good English, and related to us for questions and conversation. We had a fabulous bus! I was most pleased to get local food. Laura was our tour leader, she s a gem! WE really lucked in. This is a tour with lots of variety and activity.

We really enjoyed the boat rides in Torterego, the organic farm visit in Arenal. Our tour leader's wealth of local knowledge was very impressive. The local guides were all were very knowledgeable and very passionate about nature and/or their countries. Busses were very comfortable and air conditioned. Our tour leader picked very nice local restaurants. We enjoyed all of them. The hotels were excellent. We really had a holiday of a lifetime.

We enjoyed all of the excursions. The boatride in Tortuguero, the "butterfly garden" tour, the boat trip in Granada and the excursion in the cloud forest with the park naturalist stand out as especially enjoyable.

We felt like it was an excellent tour - great itinerary, tour leader and tour group. Our favorite elements were Tortuguero and Cloud Forest. We thought all the local guides were wonderful. The bus was very comfortable and the driver was excellent. Our tour leader was always on top of things and always answered our questions. He had excellent knowledge of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. He was very responsive to needs and concerns.

An interesting tour - we saw many parts of the country, and the excursion into Nicaragua was a highlight.

The excursions we enjoyed were the boat trips from Tortuguero, and Masaya volcano museum and rim. The guides at the National parks were all very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Our driver Oday was superb. Our main bus was very comfortable. Laura, our tour leader, was calm and cheerful throughout. She worked hard all the time. Nothing was too much trouble. You could see that her personality smoothed any problems that occurred. Laura was aware of the local political problems, and explained them well. She even read out some articles and poetry which were of interest to us. I have taken eight other trips- mostly with one company. As far as I am concerned, Adventures Abroad is by far the best value for my money.

Hard to decide what the best part was! I really enjoyed Tortuguero - so different - a jungle Venice. The cloud forest was also fascinating. Manuel Antonio was lovely and Grenada was a very interesting city. The local guides were all very personable, polite, and knowledgeable . Their English skills were excellent. Our tour leader picked great restaurants and the food was very good. Our tour leader was masterful. He had a great personality, was patient with questions and was never out of sorts. All was well organized. He was informative about the areas . He also picked great places to eat and had a really good sense of humour. The hotels on this tour were excellent. It was a wonderful tour , with an excellent leader, and I shall speak very well of it.

Full Itinerary

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

Overnight in San Jose.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 San Jose - Tortuguero
This morning we travel by bus from San Jose through Braulio Carillo National Park, one of Costa Rica's largest. If season/harvest time permits, we will visit a working banana plantation and then pass through a region known for its cocoa production. We then board our riverboat and spend the afternoon journeying through myriad interconnecting rivers and canals that take us finally to the Caribbean coast and Tortuguero Park.

The park is a water thoroughfare which is a 160 km (100 mile) stretch of natural rivers, lagoons and estuaries, and connecting man-made waterways that run almost to the Nicaraguan border. The canal is the main "highway" of the northern coastal region, complete with directional signs and branches from the main trunk route.

As we go along the canal, keep a keen lookout for views of pastel-coloured toucans and monkeys of various type; if we're lucky, a lazy sloth hanging from a branch, and maybe a coati or two roaming the forest. Stands of mangroves and water hyacinth appear here and there. Scattered along the way are people, too -- fishers and farmers whose dugouts serve all the purposes of pickup trucks elsewhere. Mostly the banks remain wild, and the calls of monkeys and whistles of birds predominate over the noises of humans.

Overnight in Tortuguero.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 Tortuguero: Forest Walk & Village
Tortuguero Park is a fascinating place to explore. An early morning boat ride offers an opportunity to observe an awakening coastal rain forest full of lush vegetation and unique bird life.

After lunch we visit the village of Tortuguero accessible only by river boat; you may choose to walk on the Caribbean beach where several turtle species lay their eggs each year. We will visit the Tortuguero Museum with its excellent displays pertaining to the ecology of the area and an informative video presentation specific to turtle conservation in Tortuguero and the entire Caribbean region (the Green Sea and Hawksbill turtles' nesting season runs from July to October with the peak in August, and the Leatherback turtles nest from February to April. It is possible to see individual turtles at any time of the year).

NOTE: The exact order of our activities in Tortuguero may vary depending on weather and other variables.

Overnight in Tortuguero.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 Tortuguero - Baldi Hotsprings - Arenal Volcano
After an early breakfast we travel by boat 1½-hour from Tortuguero to the Cano Blanco dock. From there we continue by road (+/- 5 hours) to the La Fortuna/Arenal area.

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 several hot pools with different temperatures fed by individual springs and three swim-up bars.

This evening (weather & volcanic activity permitting) we can view the volcano.

Overnight at Arenal / La Fortuna.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Arenal National Park
Today we include a guided walking tour (+/- 3 hours) through Arenal National Park.*

Our tour occurs around the base of Arenal Volcano, where you will see some of the evidence that remains of the massive 1968 eruption. Along the way our guide will point out the wildlife that has persevered through the tumultuous mid-century period of volcanic activity. In 1968 lava covered huge swaths of the jungle, and has since hardened into black lava flows, smothering miles of rainforest growth. Now the base of the volcano is host to several different ecosystems, including secondary rainforest and clear, open spaces with relatively thin vegetation.

Along the trail our guide will point out to you volcanic boulders that the volcano shot out during the eruption. We’ll also walk along the edge of Arenal Lake, the largest dammed lake in Central America. During the hike we'll come to a few viewing points where you will have an excellent view of the volcano. At the end of the trail we'll reach an observatory with an optimal view of the volcano (weather-permitting!).

* This tour is leisurely in nature, with undulating terrain on a well-maintained track. By this point on the trip, your group leader will have a good sense of your abilities and can discuss your suitability for the excursion a day or two prior.

Overnight in Arenal/La Fortuna Area.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 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.

* Please note that for our Feb 2019 departure, we will spend an additional night at Arenal with added sightseeing; we will also reduce Rincon de la Vieja by one night. Once our January tour departs we will update this itinerary with these adjustments.

Overnight at Monteverde.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 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.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Monteverde - Rincon de la Vieja
Today we intersect with the Pan-American Highway and travel north to Rincon de la Vieja National Park.*

The Rincon de La Vieja National Park is located in the mountain range of Guanacaste, province of Guanacaste and Alajuela. The active volcano's slopes are covered with both wet and dry forests that contain hidden lakes, rivers and waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife -- the resplendent quetzal, three-wattle bellbirds, morpho butterflies, tapir, coatimundis and three kinds of monkeys.

* Pursuant to our notation on Day 6, for our February 2019 trip Rincon will be reduced to one night. Early this morning we will depart Monteverde, accomplish our Rincon sightseeing upon arrival and then depart for Quepos tomorrow.

Overnight near Rincon de la Vieja National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Known for its stunning diversity of flora and fauna, this national park is home to two volcanoes, the Rincon de la Vieja and the Santa Maria, as well as six different volcanic peaks and thirty two rivers and streams. The park has small geysers, bubbling mud pots and mineral hot springs that have earned it the name, "Costa Rica's Yellowstone".

One more thing that is unique from Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is the Vrizea Vulcanicola bromeliad, endemic to this park and Costa Rica.

We will have a full morning with a somewhat CHALLENGING walk (undulating, uneven terrain - talk to you Tour Leader re your suitability) along Las Pailas Trail to view the best volcanic activity you can see in the country. The trail takes us through cloud forest, open grassy slopes and near a wide array of volcanic features including impressive boiling mud pots, fumaroles and thermal streams.

This afternoon you can continue your on-foot exploration on your own or take part in a number of optional activities, including river tubing, horseback riding and / or hot springs soaking. Or you can simply relax and enjoy the birdsong and magnificent views.

Overnight near Rincon de la Vieja National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Rincon - Crocodile Safari - Quepos
This morning we continue southward to the town of Quepos, gateway for the Manuel Antonio National Park, an unspoiled haven of natural beauty on the shores of the Pacific. En route we'll enjoy an informative crocodile safari.

The safari provides visitors with an exciting opportunity to enjoy one of Costa Rica's most beautiful ecosystems. The tour takes place along the Tarcoles River and is accompanied by a bilingual guide, who will share interesting information and spot an assortment of critters. Most notably, the Tarcoles River is known for its abundance of crocodiles, some of which can grow up to 15 ft in length. Other animal sightings include over 50 species of bird -- including the rare scarlet macaw -- as well as an assortment of iguanas and lizards. Heading downstream, the boat will also pass through Estero Guacalillo, an extensive mangrove system which houses four different types of mangrove trees.

Continue to Quepos.

Overnight in Quepos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 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 likely encounter monkeys, iguanas, sea creatures and bird life of amazing variety. After our morning walk, you may like to continue to explore the park and return to the hotel by taxi on your own.

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.

Overnight in Quepos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12 Quepos Area
Today is at leisure to enjoy this charming area.

There are several optional activities, including boat trips and nature walks, or returning to Manuel Antonio. Your Tour Leader will provide information on any optional activites available throughout our tour (costs, durations etc) at our Day 1 orientation. S/he can then make reservations if necessary on your behalf (we caution you against making any bookings in advance from home, as your Tour Leader may elect to switch our included content around due to variables such as weather and other logisitical considerations).

Overnight in Quepos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Quepos - Carara National Park - San Jose
Today we head back to the capital making a stop at Carara National Park en route.

This is a small but worthwhile park, as it is here that we are able to witness the northernmost Pacific coastal rain forest remaining intact in Costa Rica, unique in that it is the transition zone into the tropical dry forests of the northwest. We'll go for an easy stroll in the forest; this is a good spot to watch for the 150-200 scarlet macaws that nest and feed throughout the reserve, among other things.

Time permitting, we recommend a visit to the Gold Museum in downtown San Jose (optional), easily the country's best with thousands of different examples of Pre-Columbian gold artifacts (the museum closes at 16:30).

Overnight in San Jose.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 Departure
Departure from San Jose.

BUEN VIAJE!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map

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*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.

Pachira Lodge

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

The lodge is strategically located only 5 minutes away from the extraordinary Tortuguero National Park, and right across the main
... facing the town of Tortuguero. Surrounded by a network of very scenic canals, this is considered one of the most exotic regions of the world, characterized by its rich in flora and fauna.

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Baldi Hotsprings Resort

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

Set at the base of the Arenal Volcano, this upscale hotel and hot spring is modern with rustic rooms with
... areas and terraces or balconies, as well as minifridges and tea and coffeemakers.

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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.


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Rincon de la Vieja Lodge

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Rincon de la Vieja
Country: Costa Rica

This lodge is almost a rustic museum, an old Hacienda house, constructed of wood with 49 double rooms with private
... and hot water surrounded by forest. There is a bar, a small swimming pool, a family style restaurant, telephone, fax & internet service and TV area. Electricity provided falling water into a turbine, 24 hours a day.
Read More.


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

Breakfast and dinner daily (hotels and local restaurants). All transport, accommodation, 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 and for early arriving/late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.

Exclusions

International airfare to/from the tour. 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 throughout the year. 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-November. The warm dry season is Dec-May, though temperature differences between summer and winter are slight.

Transport and Travel Conditions

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.

Our difficulty level "2" rating refers to the above-mentioned busy days, walking tours on uneven terrain, lack of handrails (public and elsewhere, ie shower stalls), and fatigue that can be caused by heat and humidity and unfamiliar food and drink.

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

Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader