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the Best of Costa Rica
10 Days

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Locally Hosted Independent Tour

Suggested Departure Day:

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ITINERARY (Subject to change without notice):

Day 1 - Friday - USA - San Jose:  Depart your USA gateway for flight to San Jose. Upon arrival, meeting and transfer to the San Jose Marriott.

Day 2 - Saturday - San Jose-Tortuguero:  Early morning departure for overland journey to Tortuguero National Park, stopping en route at a local restaurant for breakfast. Time and conditions permitting, a stop will also be made at a banana processing plant to learn more about one of the country’s primary agricultural products. Continue the drive via  Braulio Carillo National Park to the dock at either Matina or Siquirres (total time elapsed about 3.5 hours). Board the motorboat and journey along the canals that parallel the Caribbean for the next 1.5 hours until you reach the Pachira Lodge around lunch time and overnight. In the afternoon, visit the quaint village of Tortuguero and the Caribbean Conservation Turtle Museum (no entrance fee, but a “donation” is expected). During the months of July-September you may wish to take an optional excursion (at additional cost) for a turtle night watch on the beach. (B/LD)

Day 3 - Sunday - Tortuguero - Arenal:  Very early morning excursion by boat to explore the smaller nearby canals for flora and fauna viewing. Return to Lodge for breakfast before returning to the docks at either Siquirres or Matina and are taken to Guapiles for lunch. Afterwards, continue by road (some 3.5 hours) to the area of Arenal and Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens. (B/L)

Day 4 - Monday - Arenal:  White water rafting is not for everyone, but this morning you will quietly paddle the Penas Blancas River and enjoy the sights and sounds of the rainforest. As you float and paddle, you may see monkeys, sloths, iguanas and crocodiles as well as numerous tropical birds. In the afternoon you host will take you for a  most extraordinary view of the Arenal Volcano with a gentle hike along the base of this marvelous "Mountain of Fire". The hike begins on the active side of the volcano, that takes you through the forest over recent lava flows and to the destroyed area now in the process of regeneration. Continue to El Tabacon Resort and Hot Springs where you can take a dip in one of the 10 natural mineral hot springs that descend from the volcano. The pools are surrounded by some of the most impressively well-manicured tropical gardens. After your relaxing soak in the warm waters, dinner will be served in the hotel’s restaurant.   (B/D)

Day 5 - Tuesday - Arenal:  Very early this morning, your guide will drive you to the area around San Carlos, where you board the boat that will take you into the 24,000+ acre Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, a remote Everglades-type wetland (humid tropical forest). Flora and fauna center around the nearly 2000 acre Lake Cano Negro. The wet season brings flocks of migratory waterfowl, turtles, crocodiles, snook and tarpon. The area is also home to endangered species such as tapirs, cougars, jaguars and ocelots. During the dry season (February-April), the area shrinks to small isolated lagoons. (B/L)

Day 6 - Wednesday – Arenal-Monteverde: This morning drive some 3 hours across the scenic highlands of Costa Rica to the famed cloud forest area of Monteverde where you will spend one night at the Hotel Belmar. This afternoon you will have a visit to the Monteverde Butterfly Garden. In the Nature Center there is an extensive collection of butterflies and displays on their biology. (B)

Day 7 - Thursday – Monteverde-Playa Conchal:  Early this morning you will have an exciting introduction to many of the species of the could forest. First  excursion will be on the Sky Walk, adjacent to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest.  The Sky Walk is a complex of hanging bridges, trails and platforms built inside the cloud forest. It is an 1800 meter trail with five hanging bridges placed in such a manner as to reveal different levels of the forest.  The second excursion goes to SkyTrek. Consisting of 2 bridges and 3 platforms connected by zip-lines, with the observation tower reaching 8-stories!  In the afternoon, drive some 3 hours from the cool mountain cloud forest area to the tropical Pacific coast at Playa Conchal and the Westin Resort & Spa.   (B/D)

Day 8 - Friday - Playa Conchal:  Day at leisure to relax in the sun-surf-sand of the tropical sun. (B/L/D)

Day 9 - Saturday - Playa Conchal:  Another day at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities of the resort. (B/L/D)

Day 10 - Sunday - Playa Conchal - Liberia - USA: At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport at Liberia for your return home. (B)


SAMPLE LAND RATE PER PERSON: (All rates subject to change without notice)
YEAR Single Occupancy Twin Occupancy - P/P Triple Occupancy - P/P
2018 Request $4,650 - $5,900 Request
2019 Estimate 10% increase
Plus Air fares and USA Departure Taxes
PAYMENTS: By credit card; special form required & must carry Card Holder's signature
Deposit - Per Person 2nde Deposit - Per Person Full Payment Due
$1000 in order to confirm To complete 30% deposit
upon confirmation of all space
65 days prior departure
After reservations confirmed If new documents are required
$100 per change $100 per change + $100 re-issue documents
CANCELLATIONS: (Exact fees depend on room-cabin occupancy)
Cancelled Between Up to 91 days 89 to 61  days 60 to 31 days 30 to 00 days
Fees Per Person $1000 30% 50% 100%
  • Hotel accommodations with hotel taxes and service charges
  • Meals as indicated, table d'hôte basis
  • Transfers as indicated, with English speaking guide
  • Luggage handling at airports
  • Sightseeing as indicated, with English speaking guide
  • Surface and overland travel as indicated
  • Air fares and USA Departure taxes
  • Foreign airport departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips to drivers, guides, hotel bellboys, ship's personnel
  • Meals not specifically indicated as included
NOTE: Information was last updated January 1, 2018.  Information & rates subject to change.
Responsibilities, Terms & Conditions