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ULTIMATE COSTA RICA

21 Days Highlighting
San Jose
San Gerardo de Dota
Manuel Antonio
Osa Peninsula
Monteverde
Arenal
Rincon de la Vieja
Papagayo Gulf

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Locally Hosted Independent Tour

Suggested Departure Day:
Friday

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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 charming boutique hotel in downtown San Jose, Hotel Grano de Oro.

Day 2 - Saturday – San Jose:  Full day excursion that will begin with a visit to the INBioparque's extensive system of interpretative trails revealing the bio-diversity found in the country. Tour starts with a documentary about Costa Rica's natural history  and fragile ecosystems. Walk along the trails,  experience  living  examples of tropical rainforest, tropical dry forest, and the rare Central Valley forest. .Also visit the butterfly farm and aquarium;  and a light show takes visitors on a virtual tour of Costa Rica’s national parks. After having had an introduction to the country's varied flora, fauna and eco-systems; return to San Jose and downtown's Central Bank and it's Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. If time permits, you may also visit the National Museum as you drive pass the Cathedral, Congress Building and the bustling streets. Lunch will be included on this full day excursion.   (B/L) 

Day 3 - Sunday – San Jose-San Gerardo de Dota: After breakfast and checkout, your host will drive you some 2-hours southwestward  near one of the country’s highest peak, Cerro de La Muerte, lies San Gerardo de Dota, down a winding gravel road to the Trogon Lodge for the night. This afternoon you will have a guided walking tour of this very lush tropical cloud forested area. Due to its elevation (some 7000 ft) the forest is dominated by montane oak and the ground abounds with  hundreds of species of bromeliads, lichens, moss, ferns, flowers including orchids. Species of birds include copper-headed emerald hummingbird, cerise-throated hummingbird, peg billed finch (these three are endemic to the region), as well as trogons, silky fly-catcher and the elusive quetzal, said to be seen year around. (B/L/D)  

ABOUT TROGON LODGE: Trogon is located on 105 acres of a family farm with the crystal clear Rio Savegre running through it. The river hosts a large population Rainbow trout, but the hotel has it’s own “pond” where you are invited to fish for your dinner. There are 23 rustic looking, but very comfortable rooms/cabins, each with private bath (hot water), heating unit and charming porch.

Day 4 - Monday – San Gerardo de Dota-Quepos/Manuel Antonio:  This morning there will be an additional guided walking tour that will take you to the property’s own zip-line consisting of several cables and total of five platforms that run through primary and secondary forests. Return to the hotel for checkout and begin the 5 or so hour trip (with lunch en route) to the Pacific coast and famed area of Manuel Antonio and your hotel for the next three nights will be the charming Arenas del Mar.  (B/L)

Day 5 - Tuesday – Manuel Antonio:  Full day excursion  that will start at the "Jewel of the National Park System" and the first national park of the country, Manuel Antonio. Experience the forest, life in the estuary, mangroves, lagoon, and rainforest as you amble through the park. Walk quietly, see playful white-faced monkeys, curious squirrel  monkeys, slots, anteaters and porcupines along with hundreds of species of birds. The vegetation is impressive, includes everything that makes a tropical forest brim with life: mosses, ferns, flowers and epiphytes growing thickly on every tree. And of course, the beaches. Lunch will be provided at a popular restaurant before the afternoon outing by kayak. Depending on your abilities, you may select from kayaking in the open sea or a paddle through the mangroves of Damas Island. NOTE: Open-sea kayaking requires some ocean-kayak experience.   (B/L)

Day 6 - Wednesday – Manuel Antonio: Morning BOAT TOUR OR HORSEBACK RIDING: Today’s excursion has been pre-selected by you prior to arriving in Costa Rica. The choices are a half-day boat tour through the estuary and mangroves of Isla Damas where you may possibly spot, caimans, sloths, boa constrictors, white-faced monkeys and other species of mangrove wildlife. A typical Costa Rican lunch included at a restaurant. The other option is a horseback riding excursion that takes you to a private tropical reserve near Manuel Antonio, then a jungle walk to two waterfalls at Tocori for a refreshing dip; mount the horses again and ride to the Rancho for a typical Costa Rican “casado”  for lunch before returning to your hotel.  (B/L)

Day 7 - Thursday – Manuel Antonio/Quepos-Puerto Jimenez/Osa Peninsula:  Transfer to the local airstrip for the short flight to Puerto Jimenez in the Osa Peninsula (small aircraft, luggage restricted to 25lbs per person); where you will be met and transferred by the hotel staff to the lodge (about 45-minutes through pristine rainforest).  During your three night stay at Lapa Rios, you will have 3-included Lodge activities: Rainforest Waterfalls Hike, Osa Trail Jungle Walk and a horseback riding excursion. (B/L/D)

Day 8 - Friday - Osa Peninsula:  One or two of included activities. (B/L/D)

Day 9 - Saturday - Osa Peninsula: One or two of included activities. (B/L/D)

Day 10 - Sunday – Osa Peninsula/Puerto Jimenez-San Jose-Monteverde:   This morning you will be driven back to the airstrip at Puerto Jimenez for the flight back to San Jose (again small aircraft, luggage restrictions). Upon arrival in San Jose, you will be met and driven to the famed cloud forest area of Monteverde (about 4-hour drive) and your hotel for the next 2 nights, Hotel Belmar. The afternoon will see you on a excursion of the Don Juan Coffee Tour near Santa Elena where you will learn about the history, cultivation, harvesting of some of the world’s finest coffee. (B)

Day 11 - Monday – Monteverde:  A full packed day with lots of adventure…that begins with combination of hike and walking on 8 suspension bridges that rise above the forest floor some 540 meters and the length of the bridges vary from 50-300 meters, allowing for more relaxing views from treetop level. The on to the other canopy excursion that also rises above the forest floor, but it is a series of cable-pulley, zip-line system that has you “flying” from platform to platform at treetop level! Lunch will be included today. (B/L)     

Day 12 - Tuesday – Monteverde - Arenal:  Your host will drive you some 3+ hours this morning to the area of the country’s most active volcano, Arenal for a three night stay at Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens. In mid-afternoon, a gentle 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. The Arenal Volcano is a must-see, not only for its constant activity, but also for its imposing, perfect cone and the exuberant vegetation in the surrounding areas. The hike ends at famed Tabacon Thermal Springs for a relaxing dip in one of the 10 natural hot springs, each surround with beautiful flowering gardens. Enjoy a lovely dinner in the Tabacon restaurant before returning to your hotel.  (B/D)

Day 13 - Wednesday – Arenal:  Full day outing that will begin with a walk on the picturesque Hanging Bridges at Arenal. These are a series of 15 suspension bridges ranging from 50-100 feet above ground traverses 3KM of rainforest jungle. Continue to the staging area where you will mount your horse and ride just over 5-KM, the leave your mount and hike about 500 meters into the forest to the spectacular La Fortuna Waterfalls for a cooling swim. A picnic lunch will be provided today.  (B/L)

Day 14 - Thursday – Arenal:  Very early this morning, your guide will drive you to the area around San Carlos, 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 flock of migratory waterfowl, turtles, crocodiles, snook and tarpon. Are also is home for the endangered species such as tapirs, cougars, jaguars and ocelots. The dry season (February-April), the area shrinks to small isolated lagoons. A Costa Rican lunch will be provided. OR in lieu of Cano Negro, you may select a “cultural experience” that will introduce you to traditional Costa Rican country-life. Beginning with an oxcart ride through the town of Sonafluca – visit a typical family, the school, and traditional lunch served at historical Casona de Rio Fortuna.  (B/L)

Day 15 - Friday – Arenal-Rincon de la Vieja area:  Today leave to the northern area, near Rincon de La Vieja. En route where the Corobici River crosses the Pan American Highway, stop and board the rubber zodiac for a “river float” (class I-II)  with plenty of life-viewing along the forested shoreline, spotting caimans, monkeys, birds, iguanas and others. Lunch in the area before continuing to the Rincon area and Hotel Borinquen.   (B/L)

Day 16 - Saturday – Rincon de la Vieja area:  There will be a morning combination tour beginning by horseback or hiking in the mountains and forest through scenic vistas of the Guanacaste region, to the Hidden Waterfalls and relax in its crystal clear waters. Continue to a 9-cable zipline through the lush Guanacaste forest. Return to your hotel to freshen up and rest. The afternoon enjoy a scenic adventure by ATV through primary forest  and pasturelands of Asian water buffaloes. (B) 

Day 17 - Sunday – Rincon de la Vieja area: A full day that will take you by horseback, hike or ATV to the Rincon de La Vieja National Park through quaint villages, crossing rivers, hills covered with wet and dry forests. At the park there are trails to select from. Lunch will be on this excursion. (B/L) 

Day 18 - Monday – Rincon de la Vieja area-Papagayo Gulf: Drive to the Gulf of Papagayo on the Pacific coast (about 3+ your) and your beach side hotel for the last 3 nights, Four Seasons.  (B)

Days 19 & 20 - Tuesday and Wednesday- Papagayo:  Relaxing days in the sun-surf-sand of one of the country’s leading hotel. (B)

Day 21 - Thursday – Papagayo-Liberia-USA: Today you will be drive to the airport in Liberia (about 1-hour) for you flight back to the USA. (B)


RATES and DETAILS:

SAMPLE LAND RATE PER PERSON: (All rates subject to change without notice)
YEAR Single Occupancy Twin Occupancy - P/P Triple Occupancy - P/P
2017 Request $9,900 to $11,400 Request
2018 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 2nd deposit - Per Person Full Payment Due
$1000 in order to confirm To complete 30% deposit
upon confirmation of all space
65 days prior departure
CHANGES:
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%
TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE: Highly recommended
RATE INCLUDES:
  • 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
RATE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
  • Air fares
  • USA and 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 2, 2017.  Information & rates subject to change.
Responsibilities, Terms & Conditions