Destinations: San Ramon, La Fortuna, Manuel Antonio
Duration: 9 days
*Price Range: $$$ – $$$
*Rates inclusive of full vacation experience – hotels, tours, domestic transfers, and tax (excluding international airfare). Actual price based on length of travel, number of travelers/rooms, seasonal rates (high, low, peak), number of tour activities, and mode of domestic transportation.
$$$: At or under $1,200 per person.
$$$: $1,200 – $1,800 per person.
$$$: $1,800+ per person
Fly into Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) where one of our local airport representatives will meet you before immigration holding a sign with your name on it. Outside the airport your private transfer will be waiting to help you with your luggage. Drive 1.5-hours up into the rolling hills of the Los Angeles Cloud Forest and check into your individual casita. Villa Blanca’s cozy casitas are located on 75-acres of misty mountain hillside and surrounded by manicured gardens with groomed nature trails.
Spend all day exploring the grounds at Villa Blanca. Start with an early morning birdwatching tour and try to spot the seasonal quetzal. Learn about the surrounding cloud forest habitat by observing various nature exhibits at José Miguel Alfaro Research Station. Sign-up for a guided night walk for nocturnal wildlife encounters. Celebrate your first full day in Costa Rica with a cocktail at Aqui No Mas Bar before a tantalizing dining experience at the renowned El Sendero Restaurant.
As you make your way from Villa Blanca to Arenal Volcano, stop for a typical Costa Rican lunch in the small town of La Fortuna. Continue onwards another 15-minutes to the base of Arenal Volcano and check into your suite at Manoa, a locally run boutique hotel. Soak in one of the spring-fed jacuzzis alongside two different swimming pools to kick-off your Arenal stay!
Choose one of the river tours in the area for either a leisurely, scenic experience or an adventure rush on class II-III or class III-IV rapids. A safari float on Penas Blancas river or a boat tour on Cano Negro both allow plentiful nature viewing opportunities along the river banks. For a faster-paced river journey, beginners and experienced rafters alike will enjoy the variety of whitewater rapids in the area.
View the rainforest from above on a scenic nature walk over suspension hanging bridges or on a canopy zip-line as you fly between tree platforms within the rainforest canopy. Do one or do both, but make sure to recap the day by soaking in thermal hot springs.
A half day drive from Arenal to Manuel Antonio is the perfect way to see Costa Rica’s countryside! Along the way ask your driver about his/her favorite typical restaurant for an authentic Costa Rican lunch. Stop at the bridge over Rio Tarcoles to see large crocodiles from the safety above. Stretch your legs at Carara National Park while walking the ½ mile self-guided trail where you’ll encounter one of the country’s largest remaining Scarlet Macaw populations in addition to hundreds of other birds, mammals, butterflies, reptiles and insects. Check into your room at Si Como No Resort and Wildlife Refuge. Catch the sunset from your room and then order the catch of the day from Claro Que Seafood Grill.
No trip is complete to the Central Pacific without a visit to Manuel Antonio National Park. Arrive in the early morning for better wildlife viewing when the temperatures aren’t as high and animals are more active. Over 100 species of mammals and nearly 200 species of birds have been spotted within the diverse vegetation consisting of primary and secondary forest as well as mangrove swamps and lagoons. After the guided walk, enjoy the rest of the day on white sand beaches and in clear blue waters inside the national park.
Enjoy a free day at Si Como No. Walk through the butterfly atrium or take a guided tour of the crocodile lagoon and amphibian garden jungle. Cool off from the heat by sliding down the waterslide in the family pool or take a nap in the shade at the adult-only pool. For a wellness retreat, indulge in one of the head-to-toe spa treatments at Cala Spa. At night, make sure to partake in Si Como No’s popular nocturnal wildlife hike.
Take a domestic flight back to San Jose for your international flight home.
- Look for the famous quetzal in the Los Angeles cloud forest reserve
- Discover tree frogs, insects, bats and other nocturnal creatures during a cloud forest night hike
- Whitewater raft or float along rivers lined with tropical rainforest for nature viewing opportunities during your stay at Arenal Volcano
- Walk through the butterfly house at Si Como No
- Spot monkeys and sloths from the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park
Best for: Family, Couple, Group, Eco-Tourism, Nature Lover
Bucket list experiences: cloud forest, birding, volcano, hot springs, rainforest, Manuel Antonio National Park, wildlife, beach, waterfalls
Accommodations & Location:
- Villa Blanca, San Ramon
- Arenal Manoa, La Fortuna
- Si Como No, Manuel Antonio
Every Central America Vacation itinerary includes 24/7 in-country support. We’re here with you every step of the way to insure the best experience possible, from the initial planning stages to the moment you’re on your flight home!