Natural Highlights of Costa Rica

Start: San José Finish: San José

Visiting: San José, La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde, Santa Elena, Manuel Antonio, San José Province


Duration: 8 Nights

Physical rating: 2 - Light

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans

Tour Operator: G Adventures

Group size: 12 - 16

Age range: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

Tour operated in: English


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Tour Overview

Home to lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and an astonishing diversity of wildlife, Costa Rica has long been a leader in conservation and the protection of natural heritage. Experience this gorgeous Central American nation on a fun-filled adventure, taking you from the foot of an active volcano to the misty highlands and Pacific coast. Hear from a researcher at the National Geographic–supported Monteverde Institute, learn the art of tortilla-making with a local family, and seek out the country’s unique creatures—from blue morpho butterflies to howler monkeys—on hikes through the forest.

Highlights

  • icon Learn how to make tortillas in a local home.
  • icon Search for wildlife while exploring the Pacific coast.
  • icon Devour a delicious lunch at a G Adventures-supported coffee co-op.
  • icon Listen to a lecture from a Monteverde Institute researcher.
  • icon Hike the trails of cloud forest reserves and breathtaking parks.

Places You'll See

Countries:
San Jose
San José
La Fortuna
Manuel Antonio
Monteverde
San Jose

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : San José

Location: San José

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Radisson San Jose (or similar)

Meals: No Meals

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head into the city to visit a museum, shop, or visit the main plaza in the city centre. The plaza is a good place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere.

Additional Information: Costa Rica has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and is a top destination for nature lovers. As such, there is a lot of rain, regardless of the season, allowing for its lush green rain forests and cloud forest, in which flora and fauna thrive. Please come prepared for the possibility of wet weather and variations in temperature.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

icon Day 2 : San José/La Fortuna

Location: San José, La Fortuna

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Monte Real (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Awake in the Costa Rican capital and take a tour of a G Adventures–supported coffee cooperative. Meet local farmers, observe shade-grown coffee plants, and gain insight into the process of coffee production, from bean to cup. After a typical lunch—accompanied by an aromatic cup of coffee—continue to the town of La Fortuna, situated at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano. This evening, we’ll visit a local home to learn how to make tortillas. Chat with your welcoming hosts and dig into a traditional Costa Rican meal of black beans, plantains, and your own handmade tortillas.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Find out where your cup of java comes from. Visit the Mi Cafecito coffee cooperative in San Miguel de Sarapiqui, see shade-grown coffee plants, learn about everything from harvesting, to husking, drying, and roasting the beans before enjoying the best part – a fresh cup! Enjoy a typical lunch of plantains, beans, and freshly caught tilapia fish. Feel good about all this eating and drinking knowing that you are supporting a G Adventures for Good project that helps 200 farmers and their families.

ACTIVITY: Learn the art of tortilla making from Doña Mara in her family home. Grind the corn, mix the “masa” (dough) into balls, flatten into circles, and then cook them up on a wood-burning stove. Relax with a fresh tropical fruit juice, get to know the family, and hear about the history of tortillas. Afterwards, dig into a tasty “casado” – a typical Costa Rican dish including black beans and plantains – complete with your own hand-made tortillas.

icon Day 3 : La Fortuna

Location: La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde, La Fortuna

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Monte Real (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Spend the day on your own, exploring La Fortuna and its surrounding areas. In 1968, the Arenal Volcano erupted after centuries of laying dormant, converting this quiet agricultural town into a hot spot for adventure travel. Choose to go stand-up paddleboarding on the tranquil waters of Lake Arenal; rappel down a rushing waterfall on a canyoning excursion; relax in the shadow of Arenal Volcano at a naturally heated outdoor spa; take a boat tour of Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, one of the world’s most important wetlands; and more.

FREE TIME: FULL DAY Free day to set out and explore nature near La Fortuna.

icon Day 4 : La Fortuna/Monteverde

Location: La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: El Establo Hotel (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Travel from La Fortuna to the leafy cloud forests of Monteverde—a nature lover’s paradise. This afternoon, choose to discover Monteverde’s breathtaking wilderness on horseback, riding along picturesque mountain trails and looking out for toucans, monkeys, and sloths. Or, embark on a zip-lining adventure in the birthplace of the canopy tour, gliding high above the treetops or zooming through the misty foliage at exhilarating speed.

Additional Information: The town of Monteverde is fairly small with shopping and some great restaurants, but most of the upgraded accommodations in this area are located outside of the main town centre - to take better advantage of the natural beauty and stunning landscapes of the area. Taxis are readily available to take you into town and back and can cost approx. $10USD each way. Accommodations tend to be a bit more simple here, with fewer amenities. Its important to remember that the cloud forest sits at a higher elevation and offers a cooler but humid climate - which is why hotels in this area do not have A/C. It can also feel damp in rooms which is unavoidable in such a climate.

TRANSPORT: Climb aboard and get your float on.

TRANSPORT: Climb aboard and make friends with your seat mate en route to the next stop.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

icon Day 5 : Monteverde

Location: Monteverde, Santa Elena, Monteverde

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: El Establo Hotel (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Set out on a hike in the stunning Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, treading past giant ferns and vibrant orchids. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the resplendent quetzal—a sacred bird in Maya and Aztec cultures. Afterward, visit the Monteverde Institute, a research and educational organization supported by National Geographic. Hear from a researcher about some of the institute's conservation initiatives, including a successful reforestation project.

ACTIVITY: Pull on your poncho and boots. It’s time to head into the cloud-covered forest, past over-sized ferns and exotic orchids. Harness your inner Tarzan and Jane as you imagine swinging from the giant vines. Trudge along 12km (7 mi) of trails, watch for wildlife, and trek to the top of the observation tower. Be sure to stop and listen, too. Hear the haunting call of the bellbird and perhaps catch sight of the brilliant green and red resplendent quetzal. Feel good about protecting the forest and sustaining the quality of local schools through payment of your park fees.

ACTIVITY: Visit the Monteverde Institute which has served as the base for numerous National Geographic-funded explorers and researchers studying the famed canopy of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Enjoy a lecture by one of the researchers outlining the various projects National Geographic has sponsored including new discoveries, insect and bird studies, and the reforestation of tropical regions.

icon Day 6 : Monteverde/Manuel Antonio

Location: Monteverde, Manuel Antonio

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Villas Lirio (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Leaving the cloud forest behind, head to Costa Rica’s sweeping Pacific coast and settle into your hotel in the seaside village of Manuel Antonio. Soak up the laid-back atmosphere of the area, and opt to go surfing, horseback riding, or dolphin watching on a catamaran. You can also spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach.

Additional Information: Hotels in Manuel Antonio are not located on the beach, they are scattered along the cliffside road, overlooking the stunning coast line and lush jungle. The beach, National Park, markets, shops and restaurants are easily accessible by frequent public bus (safe and easy to use) or taxi.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

icon Day 7 : Manuel Antonio

Location: Manuel Antonio

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Villas Lirio (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Discover the lush tropical forests and white-sand beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. Costa Rica’s smallest national park—yet one of the most spectacular—boasts an abundance of wildlife, including monkeys, armadillos, sloths, iguanas, and countless species of birds. Hike through the dense forest, climb up to rocky outcrops for views of the dazzling Pacific Ocean, and go swimming in the park’s lovely lagoons and tidal pools. Opt to take a surfing lesson, or head out for a snorkelling excursion on the nearby reef.

The park has fabulous beaches, abundant wildlife, and a great trail system for those who want to spend the day hiking. Look for monkeys, armadillos, coatimundis, sloths, and some 350 species of birds that are present in the park.

ACTIVITY: Pack your sunscreen, snack, beach shoes, and prepare for a great day in Costa Rica’s smallest yet no less stunning national park. Manual Antonio offers four white-sand beaches, separated by jagged rock outcrops and tidal pools. Swim, snorkel, surf, and sunbathe. When you’re all beached out, head to the shade of the nearby hiking trails to search for sloths, monkeys, and armadillos. Climb to the lookout to capture views of the pristine Pacific Ocean and the area’s off-shore islands.

icon Day 8 : Manuel Antonio/San José

Location: Manuel Antonio, San José Province

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Radisson San Jose (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Return to San José. Tonight, choose to join the group for a farewell dinner at a popular local restaurant.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

icon Day 9 : San José

Location: San José

Meals: Breakfast

Depart at any time.

ACTIVITY: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

What's Included

  • icon

    Arrival transfer

  • icon

    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Monteverde Institute Lecture, Monteverde

  • icon

    Guided nature walk in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

  • icon

    Your G for Good Moment: Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour, Sarapiquí

  • icon

    Guided excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park

  • icon
    Meals

    8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner Allow USD340-445 for meals not included.

  • icon

    Your Discover Moment: La Fortuna. Arrival transfer.

  • icon
    Fully Guided

    CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.

  • icon

    All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

  • icon
    Accommodation

    Hotels (8 nts).

  • icon

    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Tortilla Making and Home Dinner, La Fortuna

What's Not Included

  • icon
    Tipping and Gratuities

Transport

Private vehicle, walking, boat.

Meals Included

8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Accommodation

Hotels (8 nts).

Your Peace of Mind Options

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    G Adventures requires a deposit of 200 GBP to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 60 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Dates & Availability

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Saturday Jul 03, 2021

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8

Available

14

Saturday Jul 17, 2021

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8

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4

Saturday Aug 07, 2021

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8

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Saturday Sep 25, 2021

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Saturday, Oct 30, 2021

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Saturday, Nov 20, 2021

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Saturday, Dec 11, 2021

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Saturday, Dec 18, 2021

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Saturday, Dec 25, 2021

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Saturday, Jan 01, 2022

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Saturday, Jan 08, 2022

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Saturday, Jan 15, 2022

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Saturday, Jan 22, 2022

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Saturday, Jan 29, 2022

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Saturday, Feb 05, 2022

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Saturday, Feb 12, 2022

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Saturday, Feb 19, 2022

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Saturday, Feb 26, 2022

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