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Home > Costa Rica authentic

Costa Rica authentic

Browse this small country with diverse natural and cultural landscapes, between the Tenorio Volcano, the Caribbean and the Nicoya Peninsula. Discover the agricultural traditions of ticos, Native American and Afro-Caribbean

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Juan Santamaria Airport - San José
  • Day 2: San José - San Ramon de Rio Blanco
  • Day 3: San Ramon de Rio Blanco
  • Day 4: San Ramon de Rio Blanco - Tenorio Volcano
  • Day 5: Tenorio Volcano
  • Day 6: Arenal Volcano - Tenorio Volcano - Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
  • Day 7: Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui - Cahuita
  • Day 8: Cahuita - Amubri
  • Day 9: Amubri - Cahuita - Turrialba Valley
  • Day 10: Turrialba Valley - San Gerardo de Dota - Irazu Volcano - Copey de Dota
  • Day 11: San Gerardo de Dota - Boruca - Dominical
  • Day 12: Dominical
  • Day 13: Dominical - Juan Santamaria Airport

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Juan Santamaria Airport - San José

Welcome to Costa Rica ! Reception at the Juan Santamaria International Airport near San José, at 1150 meters above sea level in the heart of the Central Valley.


First contact with Costa Rica, your private driver will give you your travel documents and will take you to your hotel.


Your English speaking guide welcomes you at the airport and will lead the way to your hotel.





Night at Aranjuez Hotel.

Standard Room.


Included : private transport, english speaking guide, breakfast buffet , room

Day 2: San José - San Ramon de Rio Blanco

In the morning, take your rental vehicle and depart for the Nicoya Peninsula and the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. At Puntarenas, you will take the ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya to Paquera. Then continue by vehicle to Jicaral and San Ramón de Río Blanco.
Arrive at the nature reserve Karen Mogensen where you leave your rental vehicle before continuing on foot to reach the Cerro Escondido (Hidden Mountain).
Arrival at the lodge in the heart of tropical vegetation.
In the evening the owner will present to you the history of the natural reserve.

Note: 1 hour 30 minutes of walking; moderate to difficult level with river crossings.
Note 2: 6 hour drive; the ferry takes 1 hour to cross.
Suggestions: For the possibility of getting to the lodge on horseback - contact us



Lunch at the scenic Rancho Guayacan, near the nature reserve Karen Mogensen before starting the walk up to the lodge Cerro Escondido (Hidden Mountain).
Arrival at the hostel in the heart of tropical vegetation.
In the afternoon, you will participate and join the environmental conservation efforts of ASEPALECO association.

At nightfall, you will go observe red eyed frogs and some more animals and insects that are normally more active at night.

Note: 1 hour 30 minutes of walking; moderate level with river crossing paths.
Included : english speaking guide, guide expenses, private transport, room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), local guide

Day 3: San Ramon de Rio Blanco

At dawn you will go with your local guide around the property to do some birdwatching.
Then, after a good breakfast you will resume your walk through the rainforest to reach the famous waterfalls of Velo Novia (Bridal Veil). You can then cool off with a swim at the bottom of waterfalls in the many natural pools of the river.

Lunch by the river with crystal clear water.

In the afternoon you will visit the Karen Mogensen Biological Station reserve.

Night and dinner at the lodge.

Day 4: San Ramon de Rio Blanco - Tenorio Volcano

Leisure time to enjoy the surroundings and to take a walk down to San Ramon de Rio Blanco.

Lunch included.
Continue the road to the Tenorio Volcano.

Note 1: 2 hour walk approximately
Note 2: 3-4 hour drive


Night at the Hotel Sueño Celeste.

Standard room.


Included : room & breakfast

Day 5: Tenorio Volcano

Explore the Tenorio Volcano National Park. You will pass through jungle, waterfalls and natural hot springs.
You will have the chance to discover Rio Celeste which is known for its turquoise blue color (intensified with the reflexion of light) caused by the minerals contained in the water. The river contrast with the intense green tropical vegetation.
The 36 km long Rio Celeste is born at the joining point of two rivers and flows through volcanic hot and sulfur sources before dropping in a amazing waterfall.

Visit a coffee plantation and learn everything about coffee, from the seed to the cup!
With a professional you will understand every process (seeding, picking and delivery to the client).
You'll discover the guenine coffee culture in Costa Rica which you will have the chance to taste at the end of the visit.


Night at the Hotel Sueño Celeste.

Standard room.


Included : entrance fees, local guide, excursion (shared), room & breakfast

Day 6: Arenal Volcano - Tenorio Volcano - Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Day dedicated to meet the Maleku Indians, also known as Guatusos.
You will take a morning transfer to the Palenque Tonjibe community (or Margarita or El Sol) where you will be greeted by a glass of "chicha". Discover their history, their traditions, and their environment as well as a few words in language Maleku. During a short walk, you will be introduced to their knowledge of medicinal plants. Before the traditional lunch, you can explore the manuals arts of the tribe.
There will be an opportunity to purchase their fabrics painted bark.
Finally, before you leave you will attend a theatrical version of the ancient customs of the people such as weddings or duels.

Departure to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, which forests are a refuge for tapirs, sloths, coatis and various monkeys. On the way you will pass numerous sugar cane, pineapples and fruit trees plantations
Arrival at the hotel near agricultural plantations (bananas, cacao, pineapple).

Note: 3 to 4 hour drive.

Homestay overnight with a local family.
Dinner included.
Included : lunch (no drinks), local guide, shared transport, room & breakfast, dinner

Day 7: Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui - Cahuita


Stop at a palmito plantation (palm tree heart) between Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and Horquetas. Visit the plantation with the owner and try the fresh palm tree heart in various and delicious recipes.
Leave in the morning to go to the Costa Rica Caribbean coast. On the way you may stop in Limón, the capital of the equally named province.
The very busy port of Moin regularly hosts cruising ships and is the place where the bananas are packed before delivery to Europe.
Arrive at the hotel near Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a colorful village between mountains and sea where the painted wooden houses, some on wooden piles, are absolutely charming.

Note: approx. 4 hours driving.

Night at Kenaki Lodge.
Standard room.
Included : local guide, excursion (shared), room & breakfast

Day 8: Cahuita - Amubri

Self guided hike through Cahuita National Park.
You can alternate between walking in the lush vegetation and swimming in the Caribbean Sea.
In addition to observing some medicinal plants and orchids, you'll find yourself on your way snakes, sloths, several types of monkeys, agoutis, coatis and toucans.

From Cahuita, take the road to the small village of Bambu where your Bribri local guide will be waiting for you.
Note: 1 hour drive

Continue to the village of Suretka where you will leave your transport and cross the Rio Sixaola in the dugout.
On the other side you will take the local bus which will leave you in the village of Amubri, at the Koswak inn.
After a welcoming speech and well deserved dinner, you will participate in an evening of traditional songs or an introductory course to the Bribri language before you fall asleep lulled by the sounds of the forest.

Dinner and Overnight at Amubri Koswak
Included : entrance fees, room & breakfast, dinner

Day 9: Amubri - Cahuita - Turrialba Valley


Early morning departure for a ride in the jungle near the community.
After a delicious lunch served in banana leaves, you return by canoe to Suretka and then to Bambu.

Visit of the Aviarios del Caribe centre. This private reserve is the only centre of the world dedicated to the research and protection of the sloths.
The visit starts with a presentation on the sloths (video and encounter with the animals of the centre). You will then board on a canoe and tour on the Rio Estrella delta, discovering the fauna (turtles, dendrobates, otters, etc) and the local flora.
Then you will have the opportunity to walk through the 75 hectares of wet forest and observe the sloths in their natural habitat as well as many butterflies and monkeys.

Note: 12 minutes video; 45 minutes canoeing; 20 minutes walking.
Suggestion: There is the option of lunch on site, contact us.

Leave in the morning to the Turrialba valley which surroundings are well known for the fresh air and rafting activities. You may stop on the way to visit the Guayabo National Monument, one of the rare archeological remains discovered in Costa Rica. This 218 hectares mysterious site on the south face of the Turrialba volcano is of a great cultural and religious importance. Inhabited from 1500 b.C. to 1400 A.D. Guayabo is thought to have been occupied by up to 10,000 inhabitants before being deserted for unknown reasons.
Arrive at the hotel near the Turrialba volcano.

Note: Approximately 3 to 4 hour drive.
Caution: The National Park Turrialba has been closed for several years due to the volcano. However for many walking trails are still accessible, the interest of this region remains intact.



Night at the Finca Integral Dikla.

Dinner included.


Included : local guide, entrance fees, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 10: Turrialba Valley - San Gerardo de Dota - Irazu Volcano - Copey de Dota


Leave in the morning for the journey to San Gerardo de Dota (2.200m elevation) the land of the Quetzal. Pass the Cerro de la Muerte (3400m of elevation) named in memory of the countryside men that died there from the cold while transporting products of the harvests to San José before the construction of the Panamerican.

Leisure time in the afternoon around the National Park of Los Quetzales (Reservation of Los Santos), to freely enjoy various options of unfrequented walks. Ornithologues or nature lovers will enjoy this quiet mountain area.
You will discover a abundant vegetation and numerous birds including the mysterious and emblematic Quetzal, colibris, trogonides and woodpeckers. The tapirs are also being reintroduced in this area.
Note: 3 hour-drive

Visit the Irazú National Park. The 3,450 meters high volcano, often wrapped in clouds, is the highest volcano of Costa Rica and historically the most active. Discover the volcano and the moon-like landscape with a view from above the main crater.

Night at Toucanet Lodge.
Standard Room.
Included : entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 11: San Gerardo de Dota - Boruca - Dominical

Morning walk on the paths around the lodge to go and watch the birds. You will discover an opulent vegetation and numerous birds, including the emblematical and mystical Quetzal along with hummingbirds, trogonidaes and woodpeckers.
Note: to 2 hour walk.

With your guide, you will discover the history and traditions of the Boruca people, well-known for its "Fiesta de los Diablitos" (Little Devil's Party, literally), as well as for its colorful, jungle like masks. You will attend a show of traditional dancing and be able to take part on sewing or bow making workshops.

Lunch included before continuing the road.

As a guest at Hacienda Baru, you have access to 7km of trails at the Baru reserve, as well as accses to a small greenhouse of butterflies, a small orchid garden and an observation tower for the birds. Feel free to enjoy


Overnight at Hacienda Baru Lodge.

Superior Cabina.


Included : local guide, excursion (shared), lunch (no drinks), room & breakfast

Day 12: Dominical


Leisure day to enjoy Dominical and Marino Ballena National Park.
Created to protect the largest coral reef in the country, the National Park is named after the humpback whales that roam its warm waters to breed.
You can also enjoy the National Wildlife Refuge of Barú, a rainforest located along a beautiful beach at the start of the Baru river.

List of suggested activities:
- Horseback riding to Nauyaca waterfalls
- Zip Line - Flight of the Toucan
- Day in Corcovado park from Uvita
- Night Hike at the Baru Reserve
- Snorkeling at Isla del Caño from Uvita
- Whale and dolphin tour

As a guest at Hacienda Baru, you have access to 7km of trails at the Baru reserve, as well as accses to a small greenhouse of butterflies, a small orchid garden and an observation tower for the birds. Feel free to enjoy


Overnight at Hacienda Baru Lodge.

Superior Cabina.


Included : room & breakfast

Day 13: Dominical - Juan Santamaria Airport

Free time and return to reach the Costa Rican capital.
Three hours before departure, return your vehicle to the Juan Santamaria Airport and take the shuttle to your international flight back home.

Meals not included.
Note: About 4 hour drive.

IMPORTANT: depending on the time of your international flight, plan to sleep in San Jose the day .

Aranjuez   San José

Level : 2*
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Located just steps from downtown San José, in one of the oldest districts, the Hotel Aranjuez offers the comfort and tranquility of an authentic Costa Rican home of the 30s. You will be amazed by the exotic gardens, terraces and the many corners and patios of the hotel.

Cerro Escondido   San Ramon de Rio Blanco

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), local guide

In the heart of nature, Posada Cerro Escondido, is a haven of isolated peace. The comfortable rooms, well adapted to the environment will allow you to relax after sightseeing. The welcoming staff, the food, and the friendly hospitality will delight you.

Sueño Celeste   Tenorio Volcano

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

Situated close to the Volcano Tenorio National Park and the Rio Celeste, Hotel Sueño Celeste is an ideal lodge for nature lovers. Our small eco-lodge is build on 3 acres of partially reforested property with trails for nature observation.

Homestay at Sarapiqui   Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Included : room & breakfast, dinner

In the tiny village of Las Palmitas, Leo Herra welcomes guests to his family farm to spot frogs in the pond, to marvel at spiders and – most intriguing – to spy on the amazing cutter ants as they go about their business in their nest. Stay with the locals and make your trip even more special.

Kenaki Lodge   Cahuita

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

The Kenaki Lodge is a unique place in the Caribbean, with its Balinese-style built whith tropical timber and open to the surrounding nature. It has beautiful rooms and bungalows, finely decorated. Small breakfast are delicious, offering a wide range of local products, rich in vitamins and new flavors. Facing the Caribbean Sea, staying at Cahuita is the most successful in this Lodge of high quality.

Amubri Koswak   Amubri

Level : pool service
Included : room & breakfast, dinner

The community of Amubri Koswak is located in the Cordillera de Talamanca on the border with Panama. You can discover the culture and gastronomy Bribri and sleep under the typical ranch roof of palm leaves.

Finca Integral Dikla   Turrialba Valley

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Located in the Turrialba valley, this charming guest house, run by a Costa Rican family, will make you feel at home. Enjoy a nice dinner around the warmth of the home

Toucanet Lodge   Copey de Dota

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

At El Toucanet Lodge visitors will enjoy being surrounded by exuberant cloud forest and its centennial oak trees, greens, moss, bromeliads, and over 200 species of birds listed, including the Resplendent Quetzal, to experience within an unspoiled area. Waking up with the sound of the river and the spotted wood quails after a peaceful night sleep makes the visit at the lodge a memorable stay.

Hacienda Barú   Dominical

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

La Hacienda Baru Lodge is both a lodge and private reserve. You will stay in the heart of the secondary forest of Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Baru. The place is ideal for the observation of nearly 300 species of birds. The lodge's trails provide access to a viewpoint near a nesting site for various species of birds related to the mangrove.

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