Costa Rica Jungle Adventure
12 nights/ 13 days

2018 Small Group Departures
April 10-22 $2350 (Single Supplement $450)
Due in Full by January 10, 2018
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Price is per person based on double occupancy. Initial deposit is $500 and is payable by credit card. Once submitting your deposit, you’ll receive an invoice for the remaining balance, plus any trip add-ons and extensions. Payments can be made online with a credit card or by mailing a check
Solo Travelers: We provide roommate matching, so you never have to pay for a single supplement unless you want your own room. Should there be an odd number of men to women, you may be asked to join a triple occupancy room if you are one of the last to join.
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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!

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.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is an active trip packed with activities such as hiking, white-water rafting, cliff jumping, ziplining, and rappelling. To fully enjoy it, you’ll need to be in a good state of health and fitness. To participate in the water-based experiences, you’ll need to be a confident swimmer.
  • Accommodations on this trip include several nights in eco-lodges as well as two nights in a cave with no electricity or hot water.
  • Due to the remote locations we visit, there are a few long drives on this trip. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and spend some time getting to know the other members of your group.
DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION San Jose to San Jose
TRIP LEADER(S) Mauricio (Mao)
PLACES VISITED San Jose, Terrazu, Copey de Dota, Quepos, Dominical, Uvita, Bahia Drake
ACTIVITIES Hiking, Walking, Snorkeling, Ziplining, Canyoning, Cliff Jumping, Boating, Wildlife Viewing, Whitewater Rafting
GROUP SIZE Min. 8 Max. 16 people
PHYSICAL RATING Easy to Moderate
WHAT’S INCLUDED
3-nights hotel, 5-nights jungle eco-lodge, 2-nights cave, 2-nights cooperative All meals indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L= Lunch, D=Dinner)
Bilingual guide(s) All transfers listed in the itinerary
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)
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
NOT INCLUDED
Airfare to/from San Jose (SJO) Airport taxes & excess baggage fees
Travel Insurance Beverages & meals not specified
Personal Expenses Gratuities
Optional Activities
2017 Small Group Departures
April 18-30 $1850 (Single Supplement $350)
Due in Full by January 18, 2017
SOLD OUT
 August 22-Sept 3 $1850 (Single Supplement $350)
Due in Full by May 24, 2017
SOLD OUT
 December 5-17 $2350 (Single Supplement $450)
Due in Full by September 6, 2017
Book Now
Ready to book? Click the button above to submit your information along with a deposit to secure your spot. Need assistance? Call us at (800) 953-5538 or email travel@adventurepeople.net and one of our tour consultants will be happy to help.
Not finding what you’re looking for? We can tailor your adventure to fit your travel style, time frame, budget, and interests. From different styles of lodging to your favorite adventure activities, we’ll create the best custom itinerary for you. Feel free to call one of our travel specialists for information on custom trips. Let us plan your next adventure of a lifetime! Contact us today!
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
— Meals: Breakfast

Overnight at Hotel Bahia Azul or similar

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

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

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

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

13

San Jose/ Departure (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

Is This Trip Right For You?

Travel Style Experience and Fitness Requirements
Itinerary Disclaimer Weather/ Seasons in Costa Rica
Local Food and Costs  Solo Travelers

Essential Trip Information

What to Bring Laundry
Visas and Passports Health and Vaccinations
Travel Insurance Currency and Foreign Exchange
Spending Money Gratuities
Local Time and International Calling Codes Plugs and Adapters
Medical History and Abilities Safety and Security
General Rules

Other Things You Should Know

Useful Words and Phrases in Spanish

TRAVEL STYLE

Our accommodations this trip are simple, clean and centrally located. Also offers a mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience. On some nights, we will be camping in a cave with a couple of nights in eco-lodges without electricity or hot water.

EXPERIENCE AND FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

This trip is intended for the average active adult who feels comfortable being active approximately 3-5 hours a day. Includes walking and/or trekking on various types of terrain for 4-8 miles, including rough trails with elevation gain/loss of up to 1,200 feet. This trip also includes zip lining and other jungle canopy activities, waterfall rappelling, whitewater rafting, and other activities that require an average level of fitness to enjoy.

ITINERARY DISCLAIMER

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However, it is subject to change, and does not form a contract between parties. While it is our intention to adhere to the route described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. Occasionally our itineraries change due to weather or other circumstances that are beyond our control. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary.

WEATHER/ SEASONS IN COSTA RICA

Although Costa Rica is a small country in terms of area, there is a lot going on in terms of weather. With a climate that is diverse and varied, Costa Rica can be divided into several climate zones, each of which are distinct and individual. Though generally classified as a tropical country because of its close proximity to the equator, Costa Rica has no real winter period, and the sun shines here throughout the year. In general, the weather can be classified as dry or high season and rainy or green season. With over 12 hours of sunshine a day, the sun rises about 5:45am and sets at about 5:45pm consistently throughout the year.

Dry Season (December-April)

We believe single travelers should not have to pay more to travel, so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation, unless you prefer your own room, in which a single supplement fee will apply. Single travelers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip.

Rainy Season (May-November)

This rainy season — often referred to as the “green season” because of its gorgeous foliage — welcomes fewer tourists, yielding lower accommodation costs for those who don’t mind getting caught in the drizzle. In drier areas like Guanacaste, showers begin in the afternoon or evening and tend to last for only a few hours. Along the Caribbean coast, expect showers until September and October, when the sunshine begins peaking through. If you are planning to visit during this season keep in mind that unpaved roads can sometimes be impassable making getting to remote places an obstacle. But there is a sweet spot in this low season: In July and August, tourists flood Costa Rica to catch sight of the country’s natural wildlife without getting drenched. If you plan to visit during these months, you’ll want to make reservations several months in advance.

LOCAL FOOD AND COSTS

Costa Rican cuisine is known for being fairly mild, with high reliance on fresh fruits and vegetables. Rice and black beans are a staple of most traditional Costa Rican meals, often served three times a day! Simple it may be, but tasty nonetheless. Costa Rican fare is nutritionally well rounded, and nearly always cooked from scratch from fresh ingredients.

Gallo Pinto, which has a literal meaning of “spotted rooster,” is the national dish of Costa Rica. It consists of rice and beans stir-fried together in a pan to create a speckled appearance. It is usually served for breakfast along with scrambled or fried eggs and sour cream or cheese.

For lunch, the traditional meal is called a Casado. Casado literally means “married man” in Spanish, acquiring the name from when wives would pack their husbands a lunch in a banana leaf when they left to go work in the fields. It consists of rice and beans served side by side instead of mixed. There will usually be some type of meat (beef, fish, pork chop, or chicken) and a salad to round out the dish. There may also be some extras like fried Plantain.

Of the dishes found on menus all over the country, particularly recommended are ceviche (raw fish “marinated” in lime juice with coriander and peppers), pargo (red snapper), corvina (sea bass) and any of the ice creams and desserts. The fresh fruit is also especially good, either eaten by itself or drunk in refrescos.

Eating out in Costa Rica will cost more than you might think, and has become even more expensive over the past few years due to the tourist influx. Main dishes can easily cost over $10, and then there are those sneaky extra charges: the service charge (10%) and the sales tax (13%), which brings the cost of meal to a total of 23 percent more than the menu price.

SOLO TRAVELERS

We believe single travelers should not have to pay more to travel, so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation, unless you prefer your own room, in which a single supplement fee will apply. Single travelers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip.

WHAT TO BRING

Our advice is to pack as light as possible since we’ll be moving around a lot and you are expected to carry your own luggage. Many hotels do not have elevators and there may be times when your bags might be laying on a beach waiting for a boat, so it is best to have a durable duffle bag or backpack, rather than a rolling bag or suitcase. We recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30lb. Also, please bring a day pack large enough to fit two days worth of clothing and other items for our stay in the cave.

PACKING CHECKLIST

Travel
– Passport (with photocopies)
– Travel Insurance policy (with photocopies)
– Flight Information & Boarding Pass
– Cash (small bills of $20 or less)
– Travel dossier, pre-departure info & itinerary
– Any vaccination certificates

Clothing and Footwear
– Long pants/ jeans
– Shirts/ T-Shirts
– Skirt or slacks for evening events
– Fleece or light jacket
– Hiking pants (Convertible zip-off and quick dry recommended)
– Windproof/ Waterproof jacket
– Swimwear
– Comfortable walking shoes
– Hiking shoes/ boots
– Waterproof sport sandals (this is a necessity for this itinerary)
– Under garments and socks
– Sleepwear

Personal Items
– Toiletries
– Toothbrush, toothpaste & dental floss
– Razor & shave cream
– Brush/comb
– Biodegradable laundry soap
– Ear plugs and eye mask
– Sun hat
– Sunglasses
– Sunscreen
– Insect repellent w/ Deet (no more than 30%)
– Lip Balm
– Fingernail clippers
– One roll of toilet paper
– Sanitary napkins or tampons
– Hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
– Rain Cover or plastic bags for daypacks
– Fanny pack or money belt
– Plastic bag for wet items
– Small , quick dry towel
– Headlamp or flashlight
– Camera and extra memory card
– External battery pack
– Binoculars (optional)
– Reusable water bottle
– Watch or alarm clock
– Power Adapter (please see the section on Plugs & Adapters)
– Chargers for electronics
– Luggage lock(s)
– Sleep sack (optional) *Please see blog post for Essential Travel Gear
– Reading/writing material
– First-aid kit (should contain Aspirin, Band-Aids, antihistamines, motion sickness remedy, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, and re-hydration powder)
– Personal prescription drugs, contact lenses, glasses

LAUNDRY

Unless you’re in a really remote area your best bet may be to have someone do laundry for you. Your hotel will likely have these services available. Pricing is typically by the kg and works out to about $2-4 per kilo for wash and dry and you should expect 24-hour turnaround, but might get lucky with same day service at some places. There are no self-service laundromats in Costa Rica, but laundry services are fairly common.

VISAS & PASSPORTS

All countries require a valid passport (valid for a minimum of 6 months after the date of departure). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. It’s your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Please visit https://adventurepeople.net/passport-visas/ for links to helpful websites.

HEALTH & VACCINATIONS

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website and https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/costa-rica.html. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information. You should always consult your physician for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure.

We recommend that you carry a First-Aid kit and hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. For legal reasons, our guides and trip leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablet and antibiotics. Tap water in Costa Rica is generally safe, but it is recommended that you drink bottled water.

Travelers may also wish to consider bringing small additional amounts of prescribed medicines and over-the-counter remedies in the event that a return to the United States is delayed for unforeseen reasons. A copy of the prescription and a letter from the prescribing physician explaining the need for prescription drugs may facilitate their entry into the country.

Zika Virus: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there has been an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in parts of Central and South America. This virus is mostly concerning to pregnant women as recently in Brazil local authorities have linked the virus to an increase in babies born with microcephaly (smaller than normal skull).  In addition to the risk mentioned above, Zika symptoms may include mild fever, skin rash and conjunctivitis. These symptoms usually last for 2-7 days. For more information on the Zika Virus, please visit World Health Organization http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/.

Please visit https://adventurepeople.net/travel-resources/ for links to helpful websites.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel insurance is mandatory to participate on any of our trips. You will not be permitted to join a trip until evidence of travel insurance has been presented. The minimum requirement must provide coverage of $200,000USD for medical expenses including repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some credit card companies offer travel insurance, but proof of coverage will be required. Contact your provider for details.

CURRENCY & FOREIGN EXCHANGE

In Costa Rica, the Costa Rican Colon (CRC) is the main currency used. As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates, www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.

There’s no reason to change money in advance because US dollars are commonly used in Costa Rica. The taxis in front of the airport, restaurants, and hotels all accept dollars. Bring $20 bills or smaller (larger denominations are hard to spend because there are problems with counterfeit 50’s and 100’s) and make sure they are in good condition with no tears or markings.

Normally, when you spend dollars, you’ll receive your change in colones at a fair exchange rate, so you may not even need to visit a bank or exchange office. To avoid exchange costs, pay for things prices in US dollars with dollars (typically higher cost items like tours, hotels, negotiated fares for long taxi rides, restaurants). Pay for things priced in colones with colones (typically local sodas and fast food, taxis using a meter, and sometimes bar tabs).

Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card, a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.

We do not recommend that you bring travelers cheques, as it is very difficult to exchange them in Costa Rica.

ATM’s are widely available in major towns and cities. Credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout this country (note though that charges usually apply for each transaction). Please be sure to notify your bank that you will be traveling to Costa Rica to be sure that your card is accepted there and to prevent any unnecessary holds on your funds. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to $100USD per day.

SPENDING MONEY

When it comes to spending money on a trip, every traveler is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It’s always better to bring more than you think you’ll need as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Also, make sure you’ve read the trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier.

GRATUITIES

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, tour guides, bus drivers, hotel porters, chambermaids, museum guides and special guides, taxi drivers, and musicians. Feel good about tipping. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Tipping is an expected — though not compulsory — component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you.

Below are the suggested tip amounts. You can always give more if you are feeling generous.

Trip Leader $2 to $4 per day
Local Guides $2 to $3 per day
Bus drivers $1 to $2 per day
Taxi drivers For short rides, round up to the nearest $1. For longer cab rides, a tip of between $1 and $5 is sufficient
Restaurant waiters For local markets and basic restaurants, round your bill to the nearest $1 – More up-market restaurants, 10% to 15% of your total bill is suggested

In total, we recommend you budget approximately $5-$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. Please don’t tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

LOCAL TIME & INTERNATIONAL CALLING CODES

Costa Rica is on Central Standard Time (UTC -6) and does not observe daylight saving. It is two hours ahead of PST except during daylight saving time in which it is one hour ahead of PST.

The country calling code is +506. To call Greece from the US, dial 011 506 + area code and phone #.  to dial the US from Greece, dial 001 + area code and phone #.

PLUGS & ADAPTERS

power plugs

In Costa Rica the power sockets are for type A and B. The standard voltage is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. We recommend bringing a universal power adapter, but be sure to read the instructions before plugging your appliance into it. Most adapters are not capable of running power hungry appliances, such as hair dryers. For more information, click here to see our blog post for Essential Travel Gear.

MEDICAL HISTORY & ABILITIES

Our trips bring together people of all ages. It is important that you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake any of our trips. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage. You must inform us at the time of booking if anyone in your party has a disability, medical or behavioral condition which could affect their participation in the trip or other people on the trip.

Travelers with pre-existing medical conditions are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travelers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen adventure. While your group leader and guides work hard to make sure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided.

SAFETY & SECURITY

We recommend that you check your government’s advice for the latest travel information before departure. We also strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for safe keeping of your passport, credit cards, cash, and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home – you won’t need it while traveling. In addition, a lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Only carry with you the money and documentation that you need for the day and always keep an eye on your belongings.

Since you’ll have a lot of free time on the islands, please note that any optional activities you undertake that are not part of the itinerary, are at your own risk. We offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. While most of the cities we will visit are generally safe, there can be risks when wandering through a major city at night and it is our recommendation that you stay in small groups and take taxis to and from restaurants or other night time excursions. We also advise staying away from any protests and demonstrations. Even those that are well intended have the potential to turn violent with no warning.

Adventure activities and water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in activities when accompanied by guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any of our planned activities, have a balanced approach to safety. Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

GENERAL RULES

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy and therefore prohibited. The group organizer has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

USEFUL WORDS AND PHRASES IN SPANISH

We always encourage our travelers to respect the lives of locals and their language by learning a few important words, such as hello, goodbye, please, thank you etc. It may also be helpful for you to download the Google Translate app on your phone along with Spanish language to your phone so that it is available offline when you are not in an area with WiFi.

English Greek
Welcome Bienvenido (sg)
Bienvenidos (pl)
Hello (General greeting) ¡Hola!
How are you? ¿Cómo está usted? (frm)
¿Cómo estás? (inf)
¿Qué tal? (inf)
¿Qué tal estás? (inf)
Reply to ‘How are you?’ Bien gracias, ¿y usted? (frm)
Bien gracias, ¿y tú? (inf)
What’s your name? ¿Cómo te llamas? (inf)
¿Cómo se llama Usted? (frm)
My name is … Mi nombre es …
Me llamo …
Where are you from? ¿De dónde eres? (inf)
¿De dónde es usted? (frm)
I’m from … Soy de …
Pleased to meet you Mucho gusto
Encantado
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Buenos días
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Buenas tardes
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Buenas tardes
Buenas noches
Good night Buenas noches
Goodbye
(Parting phrases)
Adiós
Hasta luego
Hasta la vista
Hasta mañana
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
¡Salud!
I understand Entiendo
Comprendo
I don’t understand No entiendo
No comprendo
Please speak more slowly Por favor hable más despacio
Do you speak English? ¿Habla inglés? (frm)
¿Hablas inglés? (inf)
¿Sabe hablar inglés? (frm)
¿Sabes hablar inglés? (inf)
Excuse me ¡Perdón!
¡Perdone!
¡Discúlpe!
How much is this? ¿Cuánto cuesta?
¿Cuánto cuesta esto?
Sorry ¡Perdón!
¡Perdone!
¡Lo siento!
Please Por favor
Thank you Gracias
Muchas gracias
Reply to thank you De nada
No hay de qué
Where’s the toilet? ¿Dónde están los aseos
¿Dónde están los sanitarios?
¿Dónde está el baño?
¿Dónde está el cuarto de baño?
Help! ¡Ayuda!
¡Ayúdame!
¡Socorro!
¡Auxilio!
Call the police! ¡Llame a la policía!
Costa Rica Jungle
rappelling
snorkeling
scarlett macaws
cloud forest
iguana
Mao
copey de dota
corcovado nationa lpark
extreme forest park
manuel antonio national park
monkeys
san jose
sloths
waterfalls
whitewater rafting
ziplining

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 6 reviews
June 1, 2017

Stacey is such an effective leader and communicator. I felt I was in great hands during the entire trip planning process, and appreciated her caring and attention to our family’s special logistic needs. The trip was a blast and beyond my expectations in every way! I’m making it a personal mission to be able to attend as many trips that she plans as possible.

June 1, 2017

I love Adventure People! Stacey is an amazing organizer and really great person to be around. My trip to Costa Rica was endless fun, full with activities that are hard to find in day to day life. Hiking through the jungle in the rain, milking a cow, making sugar, staying with local families, tree climbing, white water rafting, sleeping in a cave, waterfall rappelling, swimming under waterfalls and cliff jumping, but MOST IMPORTANT is meeting a great group of people and enjoying their company. In every trip the same experience: you come home with great memories and new friends. It is priceless!!! Thank you Stacey for organizing such great activities and I am looking forward for new adventures!!!

June 1, 2017

I just wanted to let you know that the Costa Rica trip was by far the best vacation and experience I have ever had. Before going on the trip I was a little nervous and not 100% sure what to expect since I had never been on a trip like this nor knew many of the people going. What I found was that all the people were great and we all had so much in common and consider everyone I met true friends who I am staying in contact with far after the trip is over. Our guide was awesome and I could not have planned a better more exciting trip. I would have to say my favorite part was the white water rafting, playing in the waterfalls, staying with the local families and the caves. Thank you so much Stacey for putting together such a great trip and I am looking forward to many more!

June 1, 2017

Costa Rica was more fun than I could have ever hoped for. My favorite trip moment was our time spent at Diamante Verde. Stacey’s unique take on organizing “off the beaten path” immersive, yet affordable adventures is refreshing and exciting. You know you are experiencing something that few ever will in an ethical, eco-friendly and affordable way that usually gives back to the community. Since Adventure People focuses on outdoor adventures rather than tourist locations, you end up traveling with a group who have the same sense of fun as yourself and instantly making fast friends out of strangers. I wish I could go on all her trips! I can’t wait until the next one.

May 16, 2017

About 2 weeks jam packed with outdoor adventure with a great group of people. Stacey has done it again by setting up another awesome trip. Mao, our tour guide was very knowledgeable, friendly and lively. Loved it. Can’t wait for the next one! Pura Vida!

May 16, 2017

I would actually only recommend this trip to family or friends who have an adventurous spirit. For those who enjoy roughing it a bit and getting a taste of the raw off the beaten path of part of Costa Rica I think this trip does a good job in fitting that bill.

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