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                     Costa Rica: wildlife, beaches and volcanoes                      

Discover the vast diversity and tropical plants in Manuel Antonio Park, then visit the volcanoes Arenal and Tenorio and the Rincon de la Vieja area, before lazing on the Papagayo Peninsula. Stay in luxury hotels, boutique lodges, thermal baths and spas.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Juan Santamaria Airport - San José
  • Day 2: San José - Manuel Antonio
  • Day 3: Manuel Antonio
  • Day 4: Arenal Volcano - Manuel Antonio - Arenal Volcano
  • Day 5: Arenal Volcano
  • Day 6: Arenal Volcano - Tenorio Volcano
  • Day 7: Tenorio Volcano
  • Day 8: Tenorio Volcano - Rincon de la Vieja volcano
  • Day 9: Rincon de la Vieja volcano
  • Day 10: Rincon de la Vieja volcano - Papagayo Gulf
  • Day 11: Papagayo Gulf
  • Day 12: Papagayo Gulf
  • Day 13: Papagayo Gulf - San José - Alajuela
  • Day 14: San José - 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.

Your english speaking guide will escort you to your hotel.

Night at the hotel Marriott San José.
Included : private transport, english speaking guide, room & breakfast

Day 2: San José - Manuel Antonio


Today, we will head south to Costa Rica's Pacific coast, driving through Alajuela, San Mateo and Orotina, taking a scenic mountain road.
On the way and if you have enough time, stop to watch crocodiles sunbathe on Rio Tarcoles or visit Carara National Park, which despite its small size (52 km2) is one of the most diverse of the country.
Arrive in Quepos, well known for sport fishing and palm oil production, and relax at the hotel in Manuel Antonio, a wonderful park.
Note: 3 to 4 hour drive

Night at the Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort*****.
Ocean breeze superior room
Included : car rental, insurance, mobile wifi hotspot rental, room & breakfast

Day 3: Manuel Antonio


Free time day to enjoy the Manuel Antonio region with its stunning beaches and coral reef, and a great variety of fauna and flora. Swim in the cristal waters, relax on the thin sand beaches, walk through the tropical vegetation... This is the perfect place for watching numerous animals such as lazys or squirrel monkeys.
Note: The Manuel Antonio National Park is closed on Mondays.

Suggested activities - to be discussed:
- Rafting, fishing, kayaking (on the sea or in the mangroves), diving.
- Explore the canopy (supsended bridges, flying foxes).
- Refuge Barú (fauna and flora, trekking...).
- Watching the dolphins and cetaceans.
- Naucaya waterfalls (trekking and horse riding).
- Reserve of Los Campesinos (trekking, nature, waterfalls and typical rural life).
- Vanilla and spices plantations.
- Cooperative of african plam and wild animals protection centre.

Night at the Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort*****.
Ocean breeze superior room
Included : room & breakfast

Day 4: Arenal Volcano - Manuel Antonio - Arenal Volcano

Morning departure for the Costa Rican Pacific coast. Drive along Lake Arenal, ideal site for the practice of windsurfing before reaching Cañas.
On the way, if time permits, you can observe the crocodiles on Rio Tarcoles or visit the Carara National Park, which, although quite small (52 km2), offers one of the greatest biodiversity in country.
You reach Quepos mecca of sport fishing and production of palm oil. Installation at the hotel near the Manuel Antonio National Park.

Note 1: 4 to 5 hours drive
Note 2: Manuel Antonio National Park closed Monday

Night at the Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens.
Casita Deluxe Room.
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Day 5: Arenal Volcano

A 3 kilometer path will lead you through the primary forest. In total safety you will enjoy a stunning view of the tropical vegetation and of the Arenal volcano, while crossing over 8 fixed bridges and 6 hanging bridges over the canopy (the extent of the outer layer of leaves of an individual tree or group of trees).
Remember to bring walking shoes, otherwise, you will not be able to enter the park.
Discover the Arenal National Park hiking around the Arenal volcano, on the paths covered with ancient volcanical ashes and native vegetation specific to the area. If the weather is clear enough you will even have the chance to enjoy a beautiful view of the Arenal lake.

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 Arenal Volcano, without ever coming into contact with the magma. This exceptional site is preserved from mass tourism, what makes it heavenly peaceful.

Night at the Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens.
Casita Deluxe Room.
Included : entrance fees, breakfast buffet , room

Day 6: Arenal Volcano - Tenorio Volcano


Departure for volcanoes Miravalles (2,028m altitude) and Tenorio (1,916m altitude). The straight road crosses the rural area of San Rafael de Guatuso.
Arrival at the hotel, a few kilometers after Bijagua, in an area of vast vegetation.

Note: approximately 3 hour drive

Suggested activities - contact us:
- Volcano Arena National Park with an english/spanish speaking guide.
- Exploring the canopy with a cableway.
- Watching the animal life, numerous birds and vegetation.
- Touring on the Arenal lake (sail, kayak, fishing).
- Trekking and horse riding.
- Visit of community projects or agricultural projects.
- Meeting Maleku native population (culture, traditions, nature)
- Rafting, canoying, canopy, mountain bike, quad
- Trip to Caño Negro (swamps, protected area)
- Exploring the Venado caves

Night at the Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel****.
Casitas Forest room.
Included : room & breakfast

Day 7: Tenorio Volcano

Explore the Tenorio Volcano National Park. You will pass through jungle, waterfalls and natural hot springs.
You will have the chance to discover Rio Celeste which is known for its turquoise blue color (intensified with the reflexion of light) caused by the minerals contained in the water. The river contrast with the intense green tropical vegetation.
The 36 km long Rio Celeste is born at the joining point of two rivers and flows through volcanic hot and sulfur sources before dropping in a amazing waterfall.

Night at the Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel****.
Casitas Forest room.
Included : entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 8: Tenorio Volcano - Rincon de la Vieja volcano


Leave in the morning to go to the Guanacaste province, land of the Sabaneros, proud and colorful local cowboys. You may stop on the way at 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
After that you will arrive at the hotel in Rincon de la Vieja, set in a typical landscape of ranchs and volcanoes.

Note 1: Approximately 2 hr 30 min drive.
Note 2: The Rincon de la Vieja National Park is closed on mondays.

Night at Borinquen Mountain Resort & Spa Hotel.
Villa Room.

Included : room & breakfast

Day 9: Rincon de la Vieja volcano

You will explore at your will one or several of the three areas of the park Rincon de la Vieja (the Cangreja, las Pailas and Santa Maria). At the heart of this park stands the massive volcano of the same name. It's the origin of geothermal activity you will see during hikes in las Pailas sector or Santa Maria. You will probably come across capuchins, howler monkeys and spider monkeys, anteaters, sloths and over 300 species of birds. The park, established in 1973, is home to a large concentration of orchids or "Guaria morada" (Guarianthe skinneri) the local flower.

Note: Cangreja and Las Pailas areas are closed on Mondays. Santa Maria area opens daily but it is more difficult to access during the rainy season.

Night at Borinquen Mountain Resort & Spa Hotel.
Villa Room.

Included : entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 10: Rincon de la Vieja volcano - Papagayo Gulf

Free morning to enjoy the many attractions of Rincon de la Vieja National Park.
After breakfast depart for Liberia, capital of Guanacaste and continuing to the Pacific coast.
Then, transfer to hotel near the seafront and end of day free to relax on the beach.

Night at the hotel Andaz Papagayo.
Standard Room.
Included : room & breakfast

Day 11: Papagayo Gulf

Free day during which you can relax on the beaches of Guanacaste. Protected from the wind by the highlands, blue water contrasts with the blond sand. Countless excursions are offered in the Guanacaste province and even to neighboring Nicaragua ...

Suggested activities - contact us :
- Observation of the olive ridley nesting Ridley ( June to December )
- Dolphin Watching
- Diving in Islas Murcielagos
- Hiking in the National Park Rincon de la Vieja
- Kayak ( sea, river, mangroves)
- Fishing, surfing, horse
- Snorkeling
- Scuba diving
- Catamaran Tour

Night at the hotel Andaz Papagayo.
Standard Room.
Included : room & breakfast

Day 12: Papagayo Gulf

Free day during which you can relax on the beaches of Guanacaste. Protected from the wind by the highlands, blue water contrasts with the blond sand. Countless excursions are offered in the Guanacaste province and even to neighboring Nicaragua ...

Suggested activities - contact us :
- Observation of the olive ridley nesting Ridley ( June to December )
- Dolphin Watching
- Diving in Islas Murcielagos
- Hiking in the National Park Rincon de la Vieja
- Kayak ( sea, river, mangroves)
- Fishing, surfing, horse
- Snorkeling
- Scuba diving
- Catamaran Tour

Night at the hotel Andaz Papagayo.
Standard Room.
Included : room & breakfast

Day 13: Papagayo Gulf - San José - Alajuela

In the morning departure towards San Jose.
Along the way you can take the Puente (Bridge) Tempisque to cross the Gulf of Nicoya, before taking the Panamerican highway.
Arrival in the Central Valley. To your hotel.

Note 1: 5 to 6 hour drive
Note 2: place and return conditions of your rental vehicle later date.
Suggestions: To fly between Liberia and San Jose by plane - contact us

Night at Xandari Resort & Spa.
Prima Villa.
Included : continental breakfast , room

Day 14: 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

Marriott San Jose   San José

Level : 5*
Included : room & breakfast

Stay well-connected to comfort and convenience at San Jose Marriott. Adjacent to McEnery Convention Center and near downtown, SAP Center and Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), this hotel is perfect for business and leisure travelers as well as parents and alumni visiting San Jose State University. Well-appointed guest rooms and suites feature premium pillow-top mattresses and the fastest Wi-Fi in the region.

Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort   Manuel Antonio

Level : 5*
Included : room & breakfast

Set on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this posh resort surrounded by rainforest is a 1-minute walk from Playitas Beach and 2 km from Manuel Antonio Nature Reserve & Wildlife Refuge.

Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens   Arenal Volcano

Level : 4*
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens is a boutique 5 star hotel renowned for being a romantic and serene destination offering personalized services and high quality. Boasting stunning views of the impressive Arenal Volcano, Nayara Hotel is an oasis of peace surrounded by a lush tropical forest offering guests all the comfort and luxury in the heart of nature. Nayara is an ideal place for couples or honeymooners seeking privacy, romance and a natural environment. Nayara adds a special touch with baths with rose petals or providing a dinner under canddle light to make your stay even more memorable. The romantic and cozy atmosphere of Nayara will captivate you and seduce your partner.

Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel   Tenorio Volcano

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

Rio Celeste Hideaway is a small resort-style and ecologically-oriented hotel that provides a truly unique Rainforest experience, located next to the Volcan Tenorio National Park (where the amazing Rio Celeste gains its sky-blue color). It provides comfort, a wonderful restaurant and amenities surrounded by an untouched natural paradise.

Hotel Borinquen Mountain Resort & Spa   Rincon de la Vieja volcano

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

The hotel offers beautiful and private villas, bungalows and junior suites with a rustic flare yet modern amenities that will let you enjoy a very comfortable and relaxing vacation.

Andaz Papagayo Hotel   Papagayo Gulf

Level : 5* sup
Included : room & breakfast

Recently opened Andaz Papagayo is positioned as one of the best hotels in the country. You will appreciate its modernity, its calm, its location and the quality of services. The beautiful rooms offer stunning views of the jungle and the Pacific Ocean. They are decorated with wooden elements and feature a large bathroom. Three restaurants are on site, and you will taste locally-inspired dishes prepared with fresh ingredients. The only thing left to do is relax.

Xandari Resort & Spa   Alajuela

Level : 4*
Included : continental breakfast , room

The Xandari Resort & Spa is a hotel that combines luxury and originality with a great decoration and a personalized staff. In one of its 24 villas, you can relax and enjoy the hotel facilities and its view of the Central Valley.

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