From misty cloud forests to ancient volcanic landscapes fringed by jungle, Costa Rica brims with natural wonders. Encounter wildlife and wild places close up as we float, hike, and rappel on a fun-filled family adventure. Peer at white-faced capuchins, jaguars, howler monkeys, sloths, caimans, and toucans. Swing through the cloud forest canopy on a zip line and splash down the Corobicí River on a rafting trip. Immerse yourselves in local life on visits to a coffee plantation, a rural village, and the lively markets of San José.
Bienvenidos! Your tropical adventure begins! Meet fellow travelers and our expedition leaders—both “ticos,” or native Costa Ricans—at a lively welcome dinner.
Intercontinental San José
Explore the beauties of San José—from tropical fruit stands at the Mercado Central to the Teatro Nacional and the glittering Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold. After lunch in the central square, head north to the cloud forests of Monteverde. Go on a twilight forest walk as nocturnal creatures awaken.
El Establo (B,L,D)
Hike with a local expert through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Spot some of the 500-plus species of orchids, and look for wildlife such as howler monkeys, tapirs, sloths, snakes and frogs, and colorful birds and butterflies. Visit the hanging gardens or opt to ride a zip line through the forest canopy. Have dinner tonight in a tree house.
El Establo (B,L,D)
Head to Guanacaste Province, full of fast rivers, volcanic scenery, and deep canyons. Float on the Corobicí River through the tropical dry forest, keeping eyes peeled for otters, crocodiles, monkeys, and large birds like storks, herons, and roseate spoonbills. See wild cats up close at the Las Pumas Rescue Center: jaguars, pumas, ocelots, or jaguarundis. Our home for the next three nights is hidden away on a “lost river” deep in a protected forest.
Spend the day on an excursion in and around the canyons of Río Blanco—a wild, arid landscape of hot springs and age-old rock formations. Go on an aerial adventure amid the forest canopy: clamber on canyon platforms, walk across hanging bridges, zip-line across the rushing river, and swing and hike through the treetops and canyons. After lunch, opt for a scenic hike with opportunities to swim in the river and soak in thermal pools.
Start the day at a sustainability-focused ranch, wander through an organic garden, and take a tractor-pulled cart ride among macadamia orchards, tropical flowers, and groves of cacao trees. Learn how cacao beans are transformed into finished chocolate. Spend the afternoon at Colonia Libertad, a farming community that maintains a traditional lifestyle closely connected to nature. Kids meet children from the local school, play basketball, plant trees together, and forge new friendships. Gather for a farewell dinner tonight.
Transfer to the airport in Liberia for your flight home this morning.
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