Destinations: San Jose, Tortuguero, La Fortuna, Manuel Antonio
Duration: 11 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 20-minutes into the heart of San Jose and check into Hilton Garden Inn. It’s never too soon to start soaking up the sunshine at their rooftop pool. Dine at their Great Grill Restaurant or take a taxi to one of San Jose’s many fine dining establishments.
An early start will have you headed up to the far northeast corner of Costa Rica for a nature intense experience along the canals of Tortuguero. Your half day’s journey to this remote part of the country is part of the adventure, including a possible stop at a banana or pineapple plantation! As you boat through the canals, watch for monkeys, birds and sloths. Check into the quaint Evergreen Lodge and enjoy a buffet lunch. If visiting Tortuguero during turtle season, a guided night tour is a must to see these massive and majestic creatures make their way up the beach to lay eggs or to see the babies hatch and migrate out to sea.
Navigate through Tortuguero National Park’s canalways in the morning when the rainforest tends to be more active. In the afternoon capture a glimpse of village life with a complimentary tour of Tortuguero’s small town. Stop in the Turtle Museum to learn more about the various turtle species that nest along these Caribbean shores. Set out again this evening to watch the turtle nesting/hatching spectacle.
Head back inland to the iconic Arenal Volcano where you’ll be staying at a family-owned hot spring hotel, El Silencio del Campo. The rustic charm and warm inviting service at El Silencio del Campo will have you feeling at home (but with volcano views). Soak your muscles in their private hot springs under a sky full of stars, the perfect way to end every day during your stay in Arenal.
Choose one, two, or three activities in the Arenal area to experience some of the region’s main highlights. Hanging bridges will grant you a bird’s eye view of the rainforest canopy as you walk along well-groomed trails and over suspension bridges. Cool off with a refreshing swim in La Fortuna waterfall in preparation for the moderate climb back uphill. Kayak or paddleboard Lake Arenal and take in the frontrow view of the volcano. Want to get even closer to this iconic landmark? If so, then hike along the base of Arenal Volcano’s dried lava fields and to learn about its eruption history. Return to El Silencio del Campo and rehash the day’s adventure in hot mineral springs.
Swing from the treetops on a canopy zip-line, rappel down the face of an 150-foot waterfall, jump from the face of canyons into waterfall pools, or paddle through class III-IV rapids! Get your heart pounding with an adrenaline tour in the adventure capital of Central America, where the options are plenty! After a day of fun, return to the hot springs at El Silencio del Campo.
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 some huge 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. Arrive to Tulemar’s 33-acre private reserve in time to watch a breathtaking sunset!
Nature’s alarm clock may slowly wake you out of a peaceful slumber as the surrounding jungle comes alive with singing birds and troops of monkeys hanging around your bungalow. Make today a beach day and head down to Tulemar’s secluded cove. Nap in the shade with a neighboring sloth or kayak out to a nearby snorkel spot. A beachside palapa stand serves lunch, snacks, and drinks right to your chair.
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 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.
Another free day to enjoy the beach or sign-up for a half day ATV adventure to scenic views and hidden waterfalls.
Take a domestic flight from Quepos back to San Jose for your international flight home. Enjoy the aerial views!
- Watch turtle nesting and/or hatching up in Tortuguero (seasonal)
- Enjoy unlimited use of mineral hot springs directly at your Arenal Volcano hotel
- See large crocodiles and scarlet macaws in route from Arenal to Manuel Antonio
- Walk through Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the most biodiverse parks on the planet
- Experience wildlife up close when white-faced capuchin and howler monkeys ‘swing by’ your bungalow
Best for: Nature Lover, Family, Couple, Budget
Bucket list experiences: turtle nesting, wildlife, rainforest, volcano, hot springs, birding, national parks (Tortuguero, Carara, Manuel Antonio), waterfalls, beach
Accommodations & Location:
- Hilton Garden Inn, San Jose
- Evergreen Lodge, Tortuguero
- El Silencio del Campo, La Fortuna
- Tulemar Bungalows, 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!