12 nights/ 13 days
San Jose to San Jose

Nowhere else in the world can you experience such a variety of spectacular landscapes and activities in one trip. On this multi-sport adventure, we’ll explore wildlife-rich rain forests, experience rafting world class rapids on the cleanest river in the Americas, jump from cliffs and rappel down waterfalls, and have our best night’s sleep in a cave behind a waterfall. We’ll learn the realities behind the process of how coffee gets from the farm to your cup and why organic and sustainable farming techniques are so important. Come with us on what is sure to be a Costa Rica trip like no other!

2017 Dates:April 18-30 $1850$1700 (Single Supplement $350)

Dec 5-17 $2350 (Single Supplement $450)
Trip Leader(s):Stacey & Mauricio
Places Visited: San Jose, Copey, Quepos, Dominical, Uvita, Bahia Drake
Activities:Hiking, Walking, Snorkeling, Ziplining, Canyoning, Cliff Jumping, Boating, Wildlife Viewing, Whitewater Rafting
Group Size:Min. 6 Max. 16
Travel Style:Basic
Physical Rating:Easy to Moderate

Ready to book? Please click the button below to BOOK THIS TRIP and submit your information along with a $500 deposit.  Your deposit is fully refundable for 72 hours and always transferable to any of our other trips, or we can hold it for a future trip.

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Highlights

  • Visit a coffee plantation and experience the realities behind the process of how coffee gets from the farm to your cup as you learn about everything from the growing to the roasting of coffee beans.
  • Experience the Extreme Forest Park Adventure including Monkey Bridge, Zipline Canopy Tour, Tarzan Swing, Spider Walk, and Jungle Fly.
  • Whitewater rafting class II, III & IV rapids on the Savegre River, considered one of the cleanest rivers in all of the Americas.
  • Wildlife viewing in Manuel Antonio National Park, home to many of Costa Rica’s endangered species and internationally recognized as being one of the most biodiverse parks on the planet.
  • Sleep in an open cave tucked behind two twin, 85-foot (26m) waterfalls and awake to the sounds of birds and howler monkeys in the rainforest.
  • Learn about the interesting medicinal and non-medicinal plants that grow along the slopes of Diamante Verde.
  • Experience cliff jumping and waterfall rappelling at Diamante Verde.
  • Relax on the beaches of Uvita.
  • Spend three nights at Bahia Drake (drah-kay), one of Costa Rica’s most isolated destinations and go Snorkeling at Caño Island, explore the winding network of waterways that snake their way through the Sierpe mangrove forest, and spend a full day exploring at Corcovado National Park.

Day 1: San Jose

Today is arrival day and there are no planned activities until this evening when we’ll have an important group welcome meeting where you can meet our guide and the rest of the group members. If you arrive early enough, you’ll have time to head into the city to visit a museum, shop or people watch in the main plaza.

San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and the nation’s largest city. A bustling city nestled inside a tropical paradise, San Jose sits in the center of the country in the Central Valley and is surrounded by gorgeous untouched cloud forests. It is a sprawling metropolis and is considered to be amongst the most cosmopolitan cities in Latin America. Here, you’ll find wonderful museums, bars, restaurants, shopping centers, colorful markets and a fast paced nightlife.

Overnight at Hotel Casa Orquideas or similar

Day 2: Copey de Dota/ Tarrazu (B, L, D)

This morning, we’ll head for the mountains and the valley of Copey de Dota in the heart of Los Santos Forest Reserve, home to Los Quetzales National Park and Cerro Las Vueltas Biological Reserve. Along the way, we’ll make a scenic stop with a panoramic view of the entire metropolitan area of Costa Rica. Located less than two hours from San Jose, Copey is a picturesque valley of almost 500 inhabitants. It gets its name for the copey tree (Clusia Rosea) common along the countryside roads.

This area is known as the coffee growing region of Costa Rica. We’ll visit a coffee plantation and experience the realities behind the process of how coffee gets from the farm to your cup as you learn about everything from the growing to the roasting of coffee beans. On this tour, we’ll be accompanied by local farmers who will show us why organic and sustainable farming techniques are so important. Of course, what coffee tour is complete without a tasting opportunity. Taste the coffee from the land where it is grown.

After the tour, we’ll enjoy lunch at the plantation and then have a walk in the town of Tarrazu before heading off into the jungle. We’ll spend the next two nights in a rustic, family-run jungle eco-lodge surrounded by exuberant cloud forest centennial oak trees, greens, moss, bromeliads, and over 200 species of birds. Waking up with the sound of the river and the spotted wood quails after a peaceful night’s sleep will make this a memorable visit.

Tonight, we’ll take a walk in the jungle to see it in a very different character than in the day. It goes from a green, cathedral-like place where big, shining blue butterflies flap along jungle streams… to being an instinctively foreboding, pitch-black forest filled with the sounds of millions of insects and dozens of frogs. It’s the same peaceful, fascinating forest but you now have the chance to inspect insects with incredible, leaf-like camouflage. It’s the best time to find beautiful tree frogs, shy snakes, and other rainforest creatures that only come out at night.

INCLUDED:

— Coffee Plantation Tour & Lunch
— Tarrazu cultural walk
— Jungle Night Walk
— Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Overnight at Cedrela Eco Lodge or similar

 Day 3: Copey de Dota (B, L, D)

In the morning, we’ll do some bird watching before embarking on a full day of activities in the Extreme Forest Park. Experience five different tree activities to awaken your senses and see the forests of Costa Rica from a whole new perspective. Whether its zip lining through the trees, swinging from the top of a tree in the cloud forest, or scaling the inside of a towering strangler fig before rappelling back down to solid ground, today’s activities will take you into three different types of forests: cloud forest, subtropical rainforest, and tropical rainforest. This is also an adventure you can feel good about since everything from the activities, the land, to the meals are provided by local people and help their community.

INCLUDED:

— Extreme Forest Park Adventure (Monkey Bridge, Zipline Canopy Tour, Tarzan Swing, Spider Walk, Jungle Fly)
— Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Overnight at Cedrela Eco Lodge or similar

Day 4: Quepos/ Manuel Antonio National Park (B, D)

Today, we’ll visit Manuel Antonio National Park, which is home to many of Costa Rica’s endangered species and is internationally recognized as being one of the most biodiverse parks on the planet. Lush tropical forests, lagoons, mangroves, and pristine white sandy beaches make up one of the most diverse ecosystems imaginable. Among the 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds, some of the frequently viewed residents include white-faced and howler monkeys, two and three toed sloths, iguanas, and toucans. The endangered squirrel monkey calls the park home as well.

The park contains a great system of well-marked trails to allow visitors to explore. The four beaches in the park, Espadilla Sur, Manuel Antonio, Escondito and Playita, are some of the best in the country. Espadilla Sur and Manuel Antonio offer very good snorkeling when the water is clear, which is best during the dry season. At 236 feet (72 m) high, Cathedral Point lies between Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio. It is connected to the mainland by a narrow land bridge and if you’re up for the hike, provides a memorable view. Playa Manuel Antonio offers a glimpse into the past with pre-Columbian turtle traps made of stone. Surfing, swimming or just relaxing under the sun are favorite activities for park goers.

This afternoon, we’ll transfer to our accommodations for the next couple of nights, a cooperative project dedicated to the production of palm oil under a model example of local development. This community occupies a very important role in the conservation of resources in the region, mainly through its center wildlife rescue.  This land was formerly a banana plantation belonging to the United Fruit Company. In 1955, 700 hectares of banana plantations were destroyed. Very close to the inn you can find waterfalls and natural pools, also it has a friendly community environment that invites you to stay and enjoy the forests, rivers and beaches.

INCLUDED:

— Visit Manuel Antonio National Park
— Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Overnight at Posada de Turismo Rural or similar

Day 5: Quepos/ Rio Savegre (B, L, D)

Today is a full, action-packed day which starts with an early morning pickup to the Rio Savegre where we’ll gear up and board our rubber boats for an exhilarating experience of rafting class II, III & IV rapids on the Rio Savegre, considered one of the cleanest rivers in all of the Americas. A highly experienced guide will help us navigate this river, stopping along the way at great swimming spots and cascading waterfalls. When floating in calmer waters, don’t forget to search the rainforest for its beautiful wild inhabitants and commonly seen birds such as egrets, osprey, toucans, parrots and much more.

INCLUDED:

— White Water Rafting, Rio Savegre (Full Day)
— Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Overnight at Posada de Turismo Rural or similar

Day 6: Diamante Verde (B, L, D)

Today, we’ll strap on our hiking books for a hike we like to call “the stairmaster” to La Casa de Piedra (house of rock) at Diamante Verde (Green Diamond). Located about 35 minutes from the beach town of Dominical, Diamante Verde are a set of ten waterfalls hidden deep in the jungle. Much of the land here is still primary rainforest, which means that it has never been cut down. Like many waterfalls in Costa Rica, the Diamante Waterfalls are on private property.

The trek up the mountain follows a steep, rocky path with stairs… lots and lots of stairs. As we walk among the towering, decades-old trees, our guide will teach us about the interesting medicinal and non-medicinal plants that grow here along the slopes. Keep an eye out for wildlife as we’ll likely see monkeys and a variety of birds. About an hour after hiking almost straight up, we’ll arrive at a beautiful organic garden with sweet lemons, tangerines, native bananas, sugarcane, cacao, cinnamon, vanilla, mint, holy basil, mustard greens that taste like wasabi, and many other fruits and vegetables that grow here among the beautiful flowering gladiolas and beehive ginger. After learning more about the different plants while gnawing on some raw sugarcane, we’ll continue our trek to the waterfalls.

After another hour or so of hiking, we’ll arrive at the main attraction, La Casa de Piedra. Be prepared to be amazed by the stunning views. Here, we’ll spend the next two nights sleeping in an open cave tucked behind two twin, 85-foot (26m) waterfalls. There are a few giant boulders which form the base of the cave. Complete with a kitchen, elevated sleeping platforms with mattresses and sleeping bags, even showers and toilets, this is not any ordinary cave. This evening, you’ll see one of the most incredible sunsets you’ve ever seen from the top of a waterfall and we’ll enjoy a home cooked meal in the cave by candlelight.

INCLUDED:

— Private bus transportation to Diamante Verde
— Hike to La Casa de Piedra (2-3 hours)
— Visit a Botanical Garden
— Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Overnight at La Casa de Piedra

Day 7: Diamante Verde (B, L, D)

This morning, as you wake up to the sounds of birds and howler monkeys in the rainforest, get ready for a full day of adventure that will have us jumping from the top of waterfalls and rappelling down them.

We’ll start our day with a romp through the rainforest to explore more of the waterfalls at Diamante Verde. There are ten spectacular waterfalls to see in this area, including the highest waterfall in Costa Rica, which is over 600-feet (183m) tall. Some are smaller with big pools for swimming and relaxing, while others are just the right size for jumping from the top of, into a natural pool.

In the afternoon, we’ll suit up in a harness and belay device and make our way down a waterfall by rappelling in a controlled descent down a rock face using a secured rope, otherwise known as canyoning. Professionally trained guides manage this activity, so no experience is necessary. This is sure to be an adventure that will spike your adrenaline and leave you begging to do it all over again. That is why you chose to vacation in Costa Rica after all, right? Don’t forget your GoPro!

INCLUDED:

— Waterfall Rappelling (canyoning), gear & equipment included
— Exploring Waterfalls & Cliff Jumping
— Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Overnight at La Casa de Piedra

Day 8: Uvita (B)

This morning, we’ll leave our home in the cave and return to where we started. We’ll get an early morning start, hiking back down the mountain so we can optimize our beach time. Upon arrival at the trail’s end, we’ll be picked up in a private van and taken to Uvita, a small beach town on the Southwestern Pacific coast. You’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy some quality rest and relaxation.

For those still looking for another adrenaline rush, try a surf lesson, another zipline canopy tour, or a visit to the Ballena Marine National Park, where between December and April you might witness the migration of the Humpback whales through the area.

INCLUDED:

— Private bus transportation from Diamante Verde to Uvita (??? Hours)
— Meals: Breakfast

Overnight at Hotel Bahia Azul or similar

 Day 9: Bahia Drake (B, D)

After breakfast, we’ll depart Uvita for a drive to Bahia Drake (drah-kay), one of Costa Rica’s most isolated destinations bordered by Parque Nacional Corcovado to the south. In the rainforest canopy, howler monkeys greet the rising sun with their haunting bellow, while pairs of macaw’s soar between the treetops, filling the air with their squawking. Offshore in the bay itself, pods of migrating dolphins swim through turquoise waters near the beautiful Isla del Caño marine reserve.

Our home for the next three nights will be a jungle lodge accessible only by 4×4 vehicles. The property has its own trails where you can enjoy beautiful waterfalls, natural swimming holes and lots of animals. Accommodations are rustic, but comfortable with hammocks next to the river, a beautiful garden and a kitchen where we’ll prepare traditional Costa Rican meals.

This afternoon, we’ll visit The National Wetland Terraba-Sierpe, the largest virgin mangrove on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica with more than 24,000 hectares. It is highly diverse in terms of biodiversity since it has four families of mangrove: Rhizophoraceae, Combretaceae, Pelliciera and Avicenniaceae. A world hidden, accessible only by water, this flooded forest his home of almost 100 species of birds, including the mangrove Hummingbird Amazilia boucardi which is endemic to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

We’ll explore the winding network of waterways that snake their way through the Sierpe mangrove forest. The intricate patterns of the extraordinary tree roots and the intense greens and blues of the landscape are reason enough to experience this. We’ll likely see crocodiles, tree frogs, boas, iguanas, and river turtles. Mammals are also very common and you can see three monkey species, as well as sloths, coatis, and the Silky anteater. Birds such as herons, egrets, owls, parrots and osprey use this area as a place of nesting and feeding.

After dark, we’ll grab our flashlights and take a walk through the forest looking for those animals and insects that are most active at night.

INCLUDED:

— Private bus transportation from Uvita to Bahia Drake (2.5 hours)
— Mangrove Forest Boat Tour
— Night Walk
— Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Overnight at Estacion Biologica Tamandua or similar

Day 10: Bahia Drake (B, D)

This morning, we’ll enjoy a boat trip to Caño Island, located approximately 17km from the coast of Drake Bay. Caño Island is an amazing biological reserve with five platforms of coral reefs, nineteen identified species of corals and sixty mollusks, making it the perfect tropical paradise for snorkelers and divers. It is home to a variety of stunning marine flora and fauna and is famous for having Costa Rica’s largest concentration of coral-building organisms along the Pacific Ocean. Visitors have rated Caño Island as having the best snorkeling and diving in Costa Rica! With fantastic underwater visibility, you’ll have the opportunity to observe and swim alongside sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, and a variety of fish.

INCLUDED:

— Snorkeling at Caño Island
— Bird Watching & Jungle Walk
— Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Overnight at Estacion Biologica Tamandua or similar

Day 11: Bahia Drake (B, D)

Today will be dedicated to exploring Corcovado National Park, which National Geographic has described as the most biologically intense place on earth. It is the last lowland rainforest remnant of the Pacific coast of Central America. It is estimated that the area has about 10,000 species of insects, 2,418 species of plants, 124 species of mammals (over 50 are bats), 375 species of birds (of which 18 are endemic), 71 reptiles, 46 amphibians, and 40 species of freshwater fish. There are large mammals in danger of extinction here, such as the jaguar, puma, white-lipped peccary, and tapir. This is also the only place where you can find all of the monkey species from the country: Howler, Spider, White-Faced Capuchin, and Squirrel Monkeys.

INCLUDED:

— Full Day at Corcovado National Park
— Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Overnight at Estacion Biologica Tamandua or similar

Day 12: San Jose (B)

Today, we’ll travel by private bus back to San Jose for our final evening and dinner on the town (not included).

INCLUDED:

— Private bus transportation from Bahia Drake to San Jose (6 hours)
— Meals: Breakfast

Overnight at Hotel Casa Orquideas or similar

Day 13: Depart San Jose (B)

Today is departure day and there are no planned activities as we say goodbye to our guide and our new friends and head home or to your next destination.

INCLUDED:

— Meals: Breakfast

 

What’s Included?

Local, English and Spanish speaking guide
All meals indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L= Lunch, D=Dinner)
Accommodations (3-nights hotel, 5-nights jungle eco-lodge, 2-nights cave, 2-nights cooperative)
Private transportation between destinations
Coffee Plantation Tour & Lunch
Tarrazu cultural walk
Copey de Dota Jungle Night Walk
Extreme Forest Park Adventure (Monkey Bridge, Zipline Canopy Tour, Tarzan Swing, Spider Walk, Jungle Fly)
Full Day visit at Manuel Antonio National Park
Full Day white water rafting at Savegre River
Hike to La Casa de Piedra & Botanical Garden (2-3 hours)
2 nights at La Casa de Piedra
Waterfall Rappelling (canyoning) at Diamante Verde
Waterfall exploring and cliff jumping at Diamante Verde
Mangrove Forest Boat Tour
Bahia Drake Jungle Night Walk
Snorkeling at Caño Island
Bird Watching & Jungle Walk at Caño Island
Full Day at Corcovado National Park

What’s Not Included?

International airfare to San Jose
Beverages & Meals not specified
Gratuities
Personal Expenses
Travel Insurance
Airport taxes and excess baggage fees

 

Trip Length
12 nights/13 days
Travel Style
Basic
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Price
Starting at $1850