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Home > In the Heart of Nature

In the Heart of Nature

Costa Rica is a destination for ecotourism and nature lovers. The Tortuguero canals, the mangrove areas, the Arenal Volcano the Monteverde rainforest and many other exotic and pristine destinations await for you here. Dare to explore nature as a true adventurer.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Juan Santamaria Airport - San José
  • Day 2: San José - Tortuguero National Park
  • Day 3: Tortuguero National Park
  • Day 4: Tortuguero National Park - Guapiles - Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
  • Day 5: Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui - Arenal Volcano
  • Day 6: Arenal Volcano - Tenorio Volcano
  • Day 7: Tenorio Volcano - Rincon de la Vieja volcano
  • Day 8: Rincon de la Vieja volcano
  • Day 9: Rincon de la Vieja volcano - Monteverde Reserve
  • Day 10: Monteverde Reserve
  • Day 11: Monteverde Reserve - Dominical
  • Day 12: Dominical - Sierpe - Drake Bay
  • Day 13: Drake Bay - Station La Sirena (Corcovado National Park) - Drake Bay
  • Day 14: Drake Bay - Isla del Caño (Corcovado National Park)
  • Day 15: Drake Bay - Drake Airport - 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.



Night at Rosa del Paseo Hotel.
Standard Room.
Included : private transport, breakfast buffet , room

Day 2: San José - Tortuguero National Park


Early morning departure to a must see region, Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast. You will drive through the lush Braulio Carrillo Park covered with a thick watered rainforest.


Along the way you will pass banana plantations, Costa Rica is one of the largest exporters of this fruit in the world.


It is either at Caño Blanco or La Pavona (depending on the water level) where you will board a motor boat to navigate between flora and fauna to the Tropical Lodge.


In the afternoon, you can visit the Caribbean Tortuguero village and a small museum dedicated to turtles


Note 1: 4 hour drive and 1 hour 30 min of navigation approximately.

Note 2: Shared services (transport and excursions) provided by the lodge, possibility of making these services private - contact us for more information.

Note 3: Possibility to do San José - Tortuguero by plane - 1 hour flight - contact us for more information.

Note 4: Possibility to discover the history and secrets of cocoa during one of your visits in the village - contact us for more information.



Meals are included at the Lodge


Night at Mawamba Lodge.

Standard room





Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), room, breakfast, shared transport

Day 3: Tortuguero National Park


In the morning, free time to explore of the lodge trails.


In the afternoon, cruise the Tortuguero canal by boat. This large aquatic national park is made of water channels and lagoons in the middle of an impressive jungle leading to its nickname as the "Costa Rican Amazonia".


Enjoy navigating on this unique and outstanding canal system, rivers and swamps at the heart of the jungle where your guide will halp you spot crocodiles, caimans, toucans, turtles, howler monkeys, parrots, sloths, iguanas, multicolored birds and more exotic animals.



Note 1: To see more animals, visit the Tortuguero canals in the morning - 20 usd per person

Note 2: Nocturnal nesting turtles from July to October - contact us



Meals included at the lodge.


Night at Mawamba Lodge.

Standard Room.



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

Day 4: Tortuguero National Park - Guapiles - Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui


In the morning, you will navigate to Caño Blanco or Pavona depending on the water level.

After lunch, you will continue your journey.



Car rental :
/ Suzuki Jimny or equivalent (2 people)
/ Dahiatsu Bego or equivalent (3 people)
/ Hyundai Tucson or equivalent (4 people)
/ Hyundai Santa Fe or equivalent (5 people)
/ Toyota Land Cruiser Prado or equivalent (6 people)
/ Hyundai H1 or equivalent (7 to 9 people)

Including the following:
- Basic mandatory insurance included
- Unlimited mileage
- Additional driver - offered
- Rent of a Wi-Fi hotspot in your vehicle to benefit from an internet connection during your travel. Possibility of connecting up to 5 devices and consumption of data included.


Departure to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, an important river port since colonial times. The forests are the refuge of tapirs, sloths, coatis and various monkeys.

Note 1: About 1 hour drive
Note 2 : Pick up place and conditions on your rental car will be provided later.

At nightfall you will go and explore the tropical forest when most of the animals start to appear. With a specialist naturalist guide you will encounter numerous insects, frogs, some nocturnal mammals and maybe snakes. Before being totally captivated by the forest melody you will be back to your hotel.


Night at the Selva Verde Lodge.

River room.


Included : lunch (no drinks), shared transport, car rental, equipment rental, insurance, local guide, excursion (shared), room & breakfast

Day 5: Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui - Arenal Volcano


You will discover the Gomez family and her pretty little finca. You will go cut some sugar cane to extract the juice, then walk along the garden to see and taste the fruits of the season, with the certainty that they are produced in a natural way!
Sr. Gomez then will show you the part of its land dedicated to pineapple. You will then discover the stages of cultivation of this crop that have been used for several years in the region. Costa Rica is a leading producer and exporter of this fruit. The visit will end by planting a tree or a pineapple, if desired

For lunch you will fish your own fish in the farm pond; it will be prepared it in the kitchen.



Free morning in the surroundings of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. Then leave for the area of La Fortuna and its impressive perfectly conical shaped Arenal volcano (1,650 meters).




Note: approximately 2 hours driving.



Visit the Danaus centre which is dedicated to the protection of the secondary forest and to the research in the tropical ecosystems.
The activities are: walking on the centre´s paths, watch the colorful butterflies and discover the botanical gardens.


Night at Lomas del Volcán Hotel.

Standard Room.


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

Day 6: Arenal Volcano - Tenorio Volcano


Departure for volcanoes Miravalles (2,028m altitude) and Tenorio (1,916m altitude). The straight road crosses the rural area of San Rafael de Guatuso.
Arrival at the hotel, a few kilometers after Bijagua, in an area of vast vegetation.

Note: approximately 3 hour drive

Suggested activities - contact us:
- Volcano Arena National Park with an english/spanish speaking guide.
- Exploring the canopy with a cableway.
- Watching the animal life, numerous birds and vegetation.
- Touring on the Arenal lake (sail, kayak, fishing).
- Trekking and horse riding.
- Visit of community projects or agricultural projects.
- Meeting Maleku native population (culture, traditions, nature)
- Rafting, canoying, canopy, mountain bike, quad
- Trip to Caño Negro (swamps, protected area)
- Exploring the Venado caves

Half day to meet the Maleku native populaion, also called the Guatusos. Meet in the town of Tonjibe ( San Rafael de Guatuso) where a Maleku representative will welcome you and introduce you to the culture and traditions of his community. Learn about their history and traditions and few words in Maleku Jaica. You will then assist to an ancestral ceremony called "Dios Naturalez-Hombre".
Opportunity to buy their painted bark fabrics.
Typical lunch to be tasted on site.


You will be able to enjoy a Tico-fusion dinner included at the hotel.


Night at the Celeste Mountain Lodge.

Standard room.


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

Day 7: Tenorio Volcano - Rincon de la Vieja 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.

Leave in the morning to go to the Guanacaste province, land of the Sabaneros, proud and colorful local cowboys. You may stop on the way at Las Pumas de Cañas Rescue Center, whose mission is to rehabilitate and ensure good conditions for endangered wildlife in Costa Rica, and encourage society's respect and appreciation for wildlife through these actions
After that you will arrive at the hotel in Rincon de la Vieja, set in a typical landscape of ranchs and volcanoes.

Note 1: Approximately 2 hr 30 min drive.
Note 2: The Rincon de la Vieja National Park is closed on mondays.


Staying at Hacienda Guachipelin, enjoy free access to the hot springs of the Rio Negro, located 15 minutes from the hotel, don't miss out on it!


Night at Hacienda Guachipelin.

Superior Room.


Included : entrance fees, breakfast buffet , room

Day 8: Rincon de la Vieja volcano


Explore on your own one or several of the three areas of the Rincon de la Vieja Park (the Cangreja, las Pailas and Santa Maria).


At the heart of this park stands the massive volcano of the same name. It is the origin of geothermal activity (make sure to spot it during hikes in las Pailas sector or Santa Maria).


You will most likely come across capuchins, howler monkeys and spider monkeys, anteaters, sloths and over 300 species of birds. The park was established in 1973 and concentrates a large amount of orchids or the "Guaria morada" (Guarianthe skinneri) which is the local flower.


Note: Cangreja and Las Pailas areas are closed on Mondays. Santa Maria area opens daily but it is more difficult to access during the rainy season.




Staying at Hacienda Guachipelin, enjoy free access to the hot springs of the Rio Negro, located 15 minutes from the hotel, don't miss out on it!


Night at Hacienda Guachipelin.

Superior Room.


Included : entrance fees, breakfast buffet , room

Day 9: Rincon de la Vieja volcano - Monteverde Reserve


In the morning, departure to the Monteverde area. The reserve offers landscapes of alpine pastures in the heart of the Cordillera de Tilarán. Known worldwide for its tropical cloudy forest which helps to promote the Costa Rican ecotourism reputation, Monteverde is constituted by an extraordinary vegetation and wildlife.


Along the way, it is possible to stop at Las Pumas de Cañas Rescue Center, whose mission is to rehabilitate and ensure good conditions for endangered wildlife in Costa Rica, and to encourage society's respect and appreciation for wildlife through these actions.


Arrival at the hotel in Monteverde, near the reserve, located between 800 and 1800 meters above sea level.


Note: 4 hours driving - Las Pumas zoo is 12 USD / person.



Then you will visit the orchideas garden where almost 500 species of this flower are kept. The miniature orchideas lovers will enjoy this didactic walk as great part of the collection consists in Pleurothallis, Platystele, Dracula, Rodriguezia, Ornithocephalus.


Night at Fonda Vela Hotel.

Standard Room.


Included : local guide, entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 10: Monteverde Reserve


Morning hike at the heart of the Biological Reserve of Santa Elena and its Cloudy Forest, in one of the wettest area of the country. You will wander in an opulent vegetation, where most trees seem prehistoric and are covered with moss.
It's a perfect opportunity to watch the numerous birds and animals living in the forest and to admire the stunning view on the Arenal volcano and the Guanacaste plains.



Go to Selvatura Park for an immersion in the fauna and flora of Costa Rica. You can watch one of the 50 species of butterflies of the butterfly house.Then discover the exhibition of the Treasures of the tropical rainforest which includes the biggest private insect collection in the world, collected by the entomologist Dr R.Whitten. Thousands of phasmids, spiders, bees, beetles and other bright colored insects are pinned and classified by area and topic.


At the end, you will have the chance to watch more than 20 snakes species and colored frogs.





Night at Fonda Vela Hotel.

Standard Room.


Included : entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 11: Monteverde Reserve - Tarcoles - Dominical

Departure for the Costa Rican Pacific coast.
If weather allows it, you can observe crocodiles at Rio Tarcoles.
We also suggest you visit the Carara National Park.

Note: 3 hour drive

Get on board a motor boat for a tour in the mangroves of the Tarcoles river and the Guacalillo water channel; where you will be able to see numerous birds (aigrettes, pink spatulas) and also giant crocodiles. With more than 25 crocodiles per kilometer they are very numerous, and some can be more than 5 meters long!
Departure to Dominical.
The village of Dominical offers a pleasant walk in "Hacienda Baru" in the heart of the rainforest along a beautiful beach where Rio Baru is born.

Note: 1 hour 45 minutes drive


Night at the hotel Villas Rio Mar.

Standard Room.


Included : local guide, drinks, excursion (shared), breakfast buffet , room

Day 12: Dominical - Sierpe - Drake Bay

Early in the morning, departure to the Osa Peninsula, through the coastal road via Palmar Norte where if weather allows it you can stop at Central Park to admire pre-Columbian stone spheres.

Arrive at Sierpe, main gateway to the wild Osa Peninsula.

Note: About 1 hour 30 minutes drive
Note 2: Pick up place and conditions on your rental car will be provided later.


Reception at Sierpe and then transfer by boat to Bahia Drake, about 1h30 navigating through the heart of the Mangrove.



The end of the day is free.


Night at the Aguila de Osa.

Standard Room.


Included : sea transport (shared), room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), shared transport

Day 13: Drake Bay - Station La Sirena (Corcovado National Park) - Drake Bay


Night at Aguila de Osa hotel.

Standard room.



Early in the morning, be ready for a full day of exploration of the Corcovado National Park which is considered as the treasure of the wet tropical reserves. You will stroll by boat and by foot through the biggest wet tropical forest of the American Pacific coastline with waterfalls and crystal water pools on the walking paths of San Pedrillo.

You will have the opportunity to observe a great variety of birds including the harpy and the scarlet macaw. This is also the better place to have the chance to see jaguars and tapirs on the beach at dusk.




Meals included (lunch as a packed lunch, dinner at the lodge).


Note 1: 1h navigation to get to the Sirena area from the lodge .


Note 2: For a private excursion, contact us.


Night at Hotel Aguila de Osa.

Standard Room.




Included : local guide, entrance fees, excursion (shared)

Day 14: Drake Bay - Isla del Caño (Corcovado National Park)


Night at Aguila de Osa hotel.

Standard room.



Discovery of the Biological Reserve of the Isla de Caño, a place formely sacred for the pre-Columbian Diquis Indians. The coral colored beaches are perfect to relax or to snorkel. Dolphins, wales and manta rays are present in the warm water off the coast.


You also have the opportunity to enjoy the walking paths through the surrounding nature.


Return to the hotel by boat in the afternoon.



Meals included (lunch as a packed lunch, dinner at the lodge).



Note 1: 45 min of navigation to the site.


Note 2: For a private excursion - contact us.



Night at Hotel Aguila de Osa.

Standard Room.


Included : local guide, entrance fees, excursion (shared)

Day 15: Drake Bay - Drake Airport - Juan Santamaria Airport


Free time before heading to Drake.



Transfer from Aguila de Osa to Drake Airport.
You will take a flight to San Jose.

Note 1: Flight duration 1 hour ; schedules and company specified at the time of booking.
Note 2: Warning - limited weight of luggage ( about 12 kg per person )

Three hours before departure, transfer to the return flight in San Jose airport.
Meals not included.

IMPORTANT: depending on the time of your international flight , plan to sleep the night before in San Jose.
Included : sea transport (shared), domestic flight

Rosa del Paseo   San José

Level : 3*
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Located in the heart of San José this old house and its architecture will give you the impression of a jump back in time. Fernando, the manager, will tell you about San José and make your stay in Hotel Rosa del Paseo a pleasant one.

Mawamba - Pack 3 Days - 2 Nights   San José

Level : 3*
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), room, breakfast, shared transport

The Mawamba lodge is ideal for an immersion in the heart of the lush vegetation of Tortuguero. Enjoy a relaxing moment in the spacious, beautifully decorated rooms, and be guided by the lodge staff to discover this region.

Selva Verde Lodge   Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Selva Verde hotel is both an eco-lodge and a nature reserve. You can walk on its paths and have the chance to observe howler monkeys and toucans. A very good alternative in nature and comfort.

Lomas del Volcán   Arenal Volcano

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Charming mountain hotel that has preserved a rustic style, Lomas del Volcán is a peaceful and quiet place to enjoy the surrounding nature and the view on the volcano.

Celeste Mountain Lodge   Tenorio Volcano

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks)

Delicately placed on a mountain pass surrounded by primary forest reserves and the Tenorio Volcano National Park, the Celeste Mountain Lodge invites you to immerse yourself in the authentic nature that surrounds it, like its impressive views over the Tenorio and Miravalles volcanoes. Its design is very contemporary and also a profound reflection of the Responsible Tourism philosophy. Also enjoy its New Costa Rican Cuisine and Hot Tropical Baths, all accompanied by a friendly and efficient service.

Hacienda Guachipelin   Rincon de la Vieja volcano

Level : 3*
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Hacienda Guachipelín is a rural, welcoming, and friendly hotel. Enjoy the day with a beautiful view of the volcano and the opportunity to participate in many activities surrounding the Rincon de la Vieja, also enjoy taking a bath in the hot springs.

Fonda Vela   Monteverde Reserve

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

The Fonda Vela Hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms in a natural setting and beautiful gardens, in harmony with the Monteverde rainforest. You can also relax in the indoor pool and jacuzzis of the hotel.

Villas Rio Mar   Dominical

Level : 3*
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Villas Río Mar is a comfortable eco lodge, surrounded by tropical gardens, it is located a few minutes walk from Dominical beach. This resort is designed in Polynesian style, offering a perfect blend of comfort, nature and adventure.

Pack Aguila de Osa 4J-3N   Drake Bay

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), shared transport

Little oasis in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle, Aguila de Osa Inn offers excellent services in a magical setting. This touch of luxury in the middle of the Osa Peninsula will delight nature lovers.

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