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Home > From the Pacific to the Caribbean coast

From the Pacific to the Caribbean coast

An unusual route at the heart of the nature, with visits and with activities. Observation of the Quetzal in the valley of San Gerardo de Dota, Stay in the South Pacific, Discovery of the volcano Arenal, At the end of seaside stay in the Caribbean …

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Juan Santamaria Airport - San José
  • Day 2: San José - Cahuita - Playa Cocles
  • Day 3: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Playa Cocles
  • Day 4: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Playa Cocles
  • Day 5: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Turrialba Valley
  • Day 6: Turrialba Valley - San Gerardo de Dota
  • Day 7: San Gerardo de Dota - Rio Savegre
  • Day 8: Rio Savegre
  • Day 9: Rio Savegre - Arenal Volcano
  • Day 10: Arenal Volcano
  • Day 11: Arenal Volcano - Playa Pan de Azucar
  • Day 12: Playa Pan de Azucar
  • Day 13: Playa Pan de Azucar
  • Day 14: Playa Pan de Azucar - 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 the Hotel Posada Canal Grande.

Standard room.


Included : private transport, american breakfast , room

Day 2: San José - Cahuita - Playa Cocles


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.


Leave in the morning to go to the Costa Rica Atlantic Coast. On the way you will drive through the opulent Braulio Carrillo Park, covered with a thick tropical wet forest waterpoured with rainstorms.
Then you may have a break in Limóm, the capital of the equally named province. The very busy port of Moin regularly hosts cruising ships and is where the bananas are packed before delivery to Europe.
Arrive at the hotel near Cahuita, a colorful village between mountains and sea where the painted wooden houses, some on wooden piles, are absolutely charming.


Night at Cariblue Hotel.

Standard room.


Included : car rental, equipment rental, insurance, breakfast buffet , room

Day 3: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Playa Cocles


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.


Free time to explore the area as you wish. The choice of activities is very broad: lounging, swimming, hiking in private or public reserves (Cahuita, Gandoca Manzanillo), observing local wildlife in the parks or in shelters (Las Pumas Rescue Center), practicing sports (surf, horseback riding, snorkeling, scuba-diving) etc. You can as well spend a day with the local Bribri community and share their unique traditions.


Suggested activities :


- Cahuita National Park (hiking, wildlife, underwater, swimming)

- Gandoca Manzanillo Reserve (hiking, wildlife, swimming, dolphin)

- Wildlife watching (leatherback turtles, dolphins, birds, sloths, iguanas)

- Small-scale fishing or sport

- Agricultural Plantations (cocoa, bananas ...) and Botanical Gardens

- Surfing, biking, kayaking, horseback

- Scuba diving (Punta Uva, Manzanillo)




Night at Cariblue Hotel.

Standard room.


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

Day 4: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Playa Cocles


Free time to explore the area as you wish. The choice of activities is very broad: lounging, swimming, hiking in private or public reserves (Cahuita, Gandoca Manzanillo), observing local wildlife in the parks or in shelters (Las Pumas Rescue Center), practicing sports (surf, horseback riding, snorkeling, scuba-diving) etc. You can as well spend a day with the local Bribri community and share their unique traditions.


Suggested activities :


- Cahuita National Park (hiking, wildlife, underwater, swimming)

- Gandoca Manzanillo Reserve (hiking, wildlife, swimming, dolphin)

- Wildlife watching (leatherback turtles, dolphins, birds, sloths, iguanas)

- Small-scale fishing or sport

- Agricultural Plantations (cocoa, bananas ...) and Botanical Gardens

- Surfing, biking, kayaking, horseback

- Scuba diving (Punta Uva, Manzanillo)




Night at Cariblue Hotel.

Standard room.


Included : breakfast buffet , room

Day 5: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Turrialba Valley

In the morning, you will head to Turrialba Valley, famous for its pure air and rafting.

On your way, you can stop at Guayabo National Monument, one of the few archeological sites of Costa Rica. This still mysterious place of 218ha located on the southern slope of Turrialba Volcano, is of major cultural and religious importance. Inhabited from 1500 BC to 1400 AD, it supposedly welcomed, at its climax about 10.000 people before becoming deserted for unknown reasons.

Then, drive to your hotel.

Note: 3-4 hour-drive.



Night at the Finca Integral Dikla.

Dinner included.


Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 6: Turrialba Valley - San Gerardo 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


Night at Trogon Lodge.

Standard Room.


Included : room & breakfast

Day 7: San Gerardo de Dota - Rio Savegre


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: about 2 hours.



Departure aimed at the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, via San Isidro of El General.
You will cross Cerro de la Muerte (3 400 meters), baptized so in memory of farmers died from cold by transporting their harvest in San Jose before the construction of the Panamerican road. Arrival to Dominical, a small seaside village appreciate by surfers.
Continuation to join the inside of lands, in the region of Savegre.


Night at the Rafiki Safari Lodge.

Luxury tent in the forest, with private and permanent structured bathroom.


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

Day 8: Rio Savegre

In the morning, departure in 4x4 on the tracks to the village of El Silencio, the starting point for an excursion to the gorges of the Rio Savegre aboard your raft . The purity of the waters and strong Savegre river flow make it an ideal place for whitewater rafting (class III).
Throughout the course you will stop to observe the local wildlife , cormorants , toucans, kingfishers but also to swim in natural pools at the foot of waterfalls.


Night at the Rafiki Safari Lodge.

Luxury tent in the forest, with private and permanent structured bathroom.


Included : lunch (no drinks), local guide, private transport, equipment rental, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 9: Rio Savegre - Arenal Volcano

Morning start to arrive to the area of La Fortuna and the impressive Arenal volcano (1.635 elevation). Depending of the timing there are opportunities on the way to watch the crocodiles in the Rio Tarcoles or to visit the National Park Carara which despite its size (only 52 m2) is one of the most biodiverse of the country. When arriving to Cañas you may stop at the 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.

Arrival at the perfectly conical shaped hotel near Arenal.
Meals not included.
Note: 5 to 6 hour drive.

Note: by staying at the Arenal Springs, you will have access to the thermal baths and to a free daily course of yoga, do not hesitate to benefit from it !




Night at Arenal Springs Resort & Spa.

Junior Suite Room.


Included : breakfast buffet , room

Day 10: Arenal Volcano


Guarantied thrill in total safety... You will explore the top of the trees by sliding through a high wire course, from a platform to the other. The course consists in 18 platforms and 15 suspended cables at the top of the forest!

We recommend to spend your morning visiting the Arenal National Park with a hike near the Arenal volcano on the paths covered with ashes. In the afternoon you can, access to a 3 kilometers path through the primary forest by crossing suspended bridges above the canopy. For the trek lovers a stunning walk leads to Catarata de la Fortuna, a 70 meters high waterfall which drops in a vertical canyon in a very exotic ambiance.


At the end of day you may allow you a relaxing time in the thermal waters of Ecotermales, or a Tabacon's therapeutical baths.


Suggested activities :


- Thermal resort of Eco Termales or Tabacon (with diner option).

- Arenal volcano National Park with a english/spanish speaking guide.

- Canopy exploration (suspended bridges, cableway).

- Watching the animal life (numerous birds) and flora.

- Touring on the Arenal Lake (boat, kayak, fishing).

- Trekking or horse riding.

- Visiting community or rural projects.

- Meeting with the Maleku indians (culture, traditions, nature).

- Rafting, conyoneering, canopy, mountain biking, quad.

- Trip to Caño Negro (swamps, protected area)

- Exploring the Venado caves (caving)

- 2 day-off the beaten tracks 4x4 adventure



Note: by staying at the Arenal Springs, you will have access to the thermal baths and to a free daily course of yoga, do not hesitate to benefit from it !




Night at Arenal Springs Resort & Spa.

Junior Suite Room.


Included : local guide, equipment rental, breakfast buffet , room

Day 11: Arenal Volcano - Playa Pan de Azucar

In the morning, go to the Guanacaste province, the land of the proud and colorful Sabaneros cowboys.
On the way there you will cross various landscapes and might have a short stop in Liberia, the white city, before arriving to the seaside resort of Tamarindo on the Pacific coast.

The town of Guaitil is known for its ceramic craftworks made in the oldest chorotega traditions (pre Columbian culture).
You will also have the opportunity to visit the 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.
Then arrive to the hotel near a wonderful white sand beach, a perfect place to relax or to swim in the turquoise waters of the Pacific ocean.

Note: approx. 4 to 5 hours driving.


Night at the Hotel Sugar Beach.

Garden view room.


Included : room & breakfast

Day 12: Playa Pan de Azucar

Free stay to enjoy the Pacific costarican coast: swimming and relaxing on the beaches or walk around.


Night at the Hotel Sugar Beach.

Garden view room.


Included : room & breakfast

Day 13: Playa Pan de Azucar

Free stay to enjoy the Pacific costarican coast: swimming and relaxing on the beaches or walk around.


Night at the Hotel Sugar Beach.

Garden view room.


Included : room & breakfast

Day 14: Playa Pan de Azucar - Juan Santamaria Airport

Departure to reach San Jose. Along the way you will take the Tempisque bridge to cross the Gulf of Nicoya, before joining the Panamerican road.
Three hours before departure, return your rental vehicle and connection to the airport for your return flight.

Note 1: 5 to 6 hour drive
Note 2: terms and place of return of your vehicle later date


Drop off of your rented car (location and terms to be determined at a later stage).


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.

Cariblue Hotel   Playa Cocles

Level : 3*
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Set in a tropical rain forest, this relaxed hotel is a 4-minute walk from Playa Cocles beach, 2 km from the Jaguar Rescue Center, and 3 km from nightlife at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. The airy, bright rooms have tile floors and feature free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and ceiling fans.

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

Hotel Trogon Lodge   San Gerardo de Dota

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

At an altitude of 2,200 meters and surrounded by the unspoiled ecology of the area, Trogon Lodge sits amidst dazzling flowers and shows amazing shades of colors. You will see there centennial oak trees with their impressive roots.

Rafiki Safari Lodge   Rio Savegre

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

The Rafiki Safari Lodge is a unique and unforgettable experience. Imagine comfortable African safari tents in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle! This South African and Costa Rican family will welcome you in this world that you can explore by foot, horseback or raft!

Arenal Springs Resort & Spa   Arenal Volcano

Level : 3* sup
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Nested in the foothills of Arenal Volcano, this tropical spa hotel is 10 km from La Fortuna Waterfall and 12 km from Arenal Hanging Bridges. Relaxed suites in cabanas have desks, minibars and free Wi-Fi, plus coffeemakers, flat-screen TVs and terraces.

Sugar Beach   Playa Pan de Azucar

Level : 3* sup
Included : room & breakfast

In a cove overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this relaxed, beachfront hotel occupies a cluster of whitewashed, colonial-style buildings. It's 10 km from Playa Flamingo beach and 12 km from the Congo Trail Canopy Tour. Airy rooms have tile floors, and feature free Wi-Fi, minifridges, safes, and flat-screens with DVD players. All have terraces or balconies with ocean or garden views. Suites add open-air living rooms.

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