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Home > The 4 Elements

The 4 Elements

Travel to Costa Rica, among the four elements! Fire by discovering the volcano craters. The earth by exploring the natural parks by foot or bike Water exploring the seabed, white water rafting down rivers and by learning how to surf. The air with the overview of the canopy on a zip-line!

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Juan Santamaria Airport - Alajuela
  • Day 2: San José - Pacuare River
  • Day 3: Pacuare River
  • Day 4: Pacuare River - Siquirres - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Playa Cocles
  • Day 5: Cahuita - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Playa Cocles
  • Day 6: Cahuita - Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
  • Day 7: Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui - Arenal Volcano
  • Day 8: Arenal Volcano
  • Day 9: Arenal Volcano - Monteverde Reserve
  • Day 10: Monteverde Reserve
  • Day 11: Monteverde Reserve - San José
  • Day 12: San José - Juan Santamaria Airport

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Juan Santamaria Airport - Alajuela

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 Trapp Family Country Inn.

Standard Room.


Included : private transport, room & breakfast

Day 2: San José - Pacuare River

You will leave San Jose early in the morning, will pass through the impressive Braulio Carrillo National Park. After a hearty typical breakfast, you will leave for some rafting on the Rio Pacuare.

The Class III rapids of the first day welcome you to the charm of the Pacuare gorge in the heart of primary rainforest. Before making a delicious and plentiful picnic, enjoy a walk through the jungle leading to a waterfall and a natural pool. By early afternoon, you will arrive at the lodge where you can relax , walk or rest.

Meals included.
Note 1: 3 hour drive.
Note 2: limited baggage weight
Note 3: 3h30 of rafting ; rapids are class III & IV moderate to difficult

Night at the hotel Rios Tropicales Lodge.
Standard room.
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), breakfast buffet , room, shared transport

Day 3: Pacuare River

Free time for the day to explore as you feel the surroundings of the lodge. It is the perfect departure point for many treks at the heart of the nature where you will be able to observe the local flora. Other tracks lead to thousands of falls dropping in the tropical forest. You will have the chance to spot tropical birds and to continuously encounter the wild life in this protected environment.

Night at the hotel Rios Tropicales Lodge.
Standard room.
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), breakfast buffet , room, lunch

Day 4: Pacuare River - Siquirres - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Playa Cocles

After waking up at the sounds of the tropical forest and of the Rio Pacuare rapids, you will enjoy a tasteful breakfast. Then leave for a new day of white water adventure. You will have a few stops in the journey to visit crystal water pools and natural falls. Lunch on the shores of the Pacuare.

In the afternoon you will go back on the road and leave by bus for your transfer to Siquirres.
Lunch included (lunch box).
Note: approx 3 and 1/2 hours rafting; Class III & IV rapids, moderate to difficult.

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.


The journey continues by road to the south caribbean coast via Guapiles. Along the way you can stop in Limon, capital of the province of the same name. The port of Moín, frequently hosts cruise lines; it is also here where bananas are shipped to Europe. Stay at the hotel near Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a colourful village, stuck between sea and mountains, which owes its charm to its inhabitants who live in colorful wooden houses, some perched on stilts.

Note: 40 km of navigation and 120 km of road; 3 hours

Night at the hotel La Costa de Papito.
Standard Room
Included : breakfast buffet , box lunch, public transport, car rental, equipment rental, insurance, room & breakfast

Day 5: Cahuita - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Playa Cocles


Half day underwater exploration in the Cahuita National Park which shelters an extremely abundant fauna due to its geographical location between coral reefs and coastal tropical wet forest. 35 coral species, 123 tropical fish species, 3 shark species, 6 moray species, around 200 types of mollusques and crustaceans, and sea turtles, crayfish etc are likely to be seen there.

Learn how to surf in this paradise, with white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Surfers from all around the world gather to surf on these beaches because of their ideal conditions and the special atmosphere of this area.
Duration: 2 hours.

Night at the hotel La Costa de Papito.
Standard Room
Included : lunch (no drinks), equipment rental, shared transport, local guide, excursion (shared), room & breakfast

Day 6: Cahuita - Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui


Some spare time before going to Puerto Viejo, an important river port from the colonial era where the forests shelter tapirs, sloths, coatis and various monkeys species.
You may have a break in Limón, capital of the equally named province. The very busy port of Moín regularly hosts cruising ships and is also where bananas are packed before being shipped to Europe.
Arrival at the hotel near the plantations of palm, bananas and pineaples.

Note: 4 to 5 hours driving.
Suggestion: option of home stay with a local family - check with us.


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 Hacienda Pozo Azul.

Night in luxury tent with solid bathrooms.


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

Day 7: Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui - Arenal Volcano


Ride through the countryside of the Sarapiqui agricultural region (mountain biking). You will discover plantations of all specialties of the region (cocoa, pineapple, banana , etc.) and observe a large number of animals ( sloths, howler monkeys , birds, frogs etc.).



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.



Night at Catarata Eco Lodge.

Standard Room.


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

Day 8: Arenal Volcano

Morning start for a day trek to the Cerro Chato through a primary forest with density and variety. On the way there will be some very good sighting points overlooking the volacano. When arriving to the highest point you will discover the Cerro Chato laguna. Free time to enjoy the surroundings. Get back to the track and observe birds, mamals, insects and huge trees while viewing the stunning Arenal volcano. On the way back you may have a break at the waterfall of the Rio La Fortuna where you can swim.

Duration: 4 to 5 hour walk
Level: Moderate to Difficult


In the late afternoon, treat yourself to a relaxing time in the spa resort of Ecotermales in an intimate setting. The warm waters of "Eco Spa" come directly from the hot springs of the Arenal volcano, without ever coming into contact with the magma. This exceptional site is preserved from mass tourism, what makes it a very peaceful place.



Night at Catarata Eco Lodge.

Standard Room.


Included : entrance fees, guide (hiking), box lunch, shared transport, room & breakfast

Day 9: Arenal Volcano - Monteverde Reserve


You will head to Monteverde, which reserve offers alpine pastures landscapes in the heart of the Tilaràn cordillera. Monteverde is worldly famous for its cloudy tropical forest which contributes to the reputation of Costa Rica as an ecotouristic country, it also shelters extraordinary fauna and vegetation.
On the way, you can enjoy the stunning view on the Arenal lake, that actually looks like a fresh water sea. You will pass Tilaran, Quebrada Grande and Cabaceras before reaching the clouds forest typical of the area and finally Santa Elena.

Note: approximately 3 hour-drive.


Night at the Trapp Family Lodge.

Superior room.


Included : room & breakfast

Day 10: Monteverde Reserve


Half-day of canyoning (2h30 to 3 hours) in the heart of lush vegetation, crossing rivers, and waterfalls in a tropical setting!
You will abseil down a total of 7 waterfalls between 7 and 40 m high. For thrill seekers and adrenalin junkies, it is also very safe!

Go through the forest above the canopy! You will explore the treetops dragging you along cables from one platform to another. This is a network of 14 platforms (with a total length of 3 km) built on top of trees. Thrill and security guaranteed!


Night at the Trapp Family Lodge.

Superior room.


Included : local guide, equipment rental, excursion (shared), shared transport, room & breakfast

Day 11: Monteverde Reserve - San José


Free time to enjoy the many trails criss-crossing around Monteverde and Santa Elena.
Then, departure towards the capital city.
After passing the town of San Ramon, you can stop in Sarchi, the first craft center of the country that perpetuates a woodworking tradition. The town, nested in the heart of the coffee plantations on the southern slopes of the Poas Volcano, is famous for its decorated ox carts with floral and geometric motifs painted by hand.
You will continue your trip to Grecia where it is possible to visit the church whose red brick steel plates were transported by ship in 1897 from Belgium to Costa Rica.

Note 1: 3 to 4 hour drive
Note 2: Pick up / Drop Off place and conditions on your rental car will be provided later


Night at the Hotel Posada Canal Grande.

Standard room.


Included : american breakfast , room

Day 12: San José - Juan Santamaria Airport



Transfer to the international airport 3 hours prior to the departure time of your return flight.


Meals not included.


Included : private transport

Trapp Family Country Inn   Alajuela

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

The Hotel Trapp Family Country Inn, only 1 km from the international airport, will offer an atmosphere of peace and tranquility in addition to quality and personalized service. From the pool, the terrace or balcony of your room, you can enjoy the birdsong and the relaxing atmosphere of the place.

Rios Tropicales - Pack 3 Days 2 Nights   San José

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

At the heart of the jungle and accessible mainly by raft, this eco-lodge located on the bank of the Pacuare River, offers a refuge of tranquility and relaxation as well as the discovery of a tropical environment. An ideal place for bird watching and wildlife enthusiasts.

Hotel La Costa de Papito   Playa Cocles

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

La Costa de Papito is located near the Coclés beach, famous among surfers. You will be a kilometer and a half from downtown Puerto Viejo, good occasionto take a little bike ride. With its charming bungalows, a restaurant, bar and a spa, all services met for an unforgettable Caribbean experience.

Hacienda Pozo Azul   Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

Imagine falling asleep, lulled by the harmonious concert of night sounds of the jungle and wake up with an acoustic greeting of howler monkeys in an atmosphere of comfort and privacy and in total harmony with nature. Come experience this in the Hacienda Pozo Azul.

Catarata Eco Lodge   Arenal Volcano

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

Located on the slopes of Arenal volcano and close to the waterfall of Fortuna, Hotel Catarata Ecol-lodge is ran by a Costa Rican family. It is the perfect place to enjoy the area. Its charm, tranquility and beautiful gardens ensure a pleasant stay.

Trapp Family Lodge   Monteverde Reserve

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

This hotel, located in the middle of the Costa Rican flora and fauna is the closest to the Monteverde Reserve. It offers comfort and personalized attention. Guests can enjoy spacious rooms that have a view of the garden and the reserve.

Hotel Posada Canal Grande   San José

Level : 3*
Included : american breakfast , room

Located in the Santa Ana district of San Jose, the Hotel Posada Canal Grande is a charming place, ideal for a relaxing time during your stay in the Costa Rican capital. You can enjoy the garden, lounges as well as the sauna and swimming pool. Not to mention the beautiful view of the Central Valley.

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