Costa Rica may be small but it offers big adventure. This two-week tour ventures off the beaten path to a lush and wild world. Stop in at a reforestation project, visit a sea turtle conservancy program, opt to zip-line through the jungle canopy, and have a soak in volcanic hot springs. Riding a wave of “pura vida,” experience pure travel joy.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included. Those arriving early may wish to explore downtown San José, discovering its lively plazas and colonial architecture.
Travel to Tortuguero National Park and enjoy guided boat trips and wildlife viewing through the canals while seeking out caimans, howler monkeys, and sloths. Take advantage of free time to relax at our secluded lodge, or take an optional boating excursion after dark. The next day, meet with researchers from the Sea Turtle Conservancy, co-founded by National Geographic grantee Archie Carr. The research team will tell us about four species of sea turtles found on the beaches of Tortuguero, as well as the threats they face. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Visit a G Adventures–supported coffee co-op for lunch and a tour. Then continue on to La Fortuna—the adventure hub of Costa Rica. Spend the evening relaxing by the lodge pool, taking in views of the towering Arenal Volcano. The next day, visit a local home and learn the art of tortilla-making from the family. Sit down with them to a dinner of casado, a typical Costa Rican dish of black beans, plantains, and tortillas. Then take advantage of a full day to explore La Fortuna. Optional activities include canyoneering, canopy walks, kayaking, a boat tour of the wetlands in the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, and more. (3B, 1L, 1D)
Visit the Monteverde Institute, which has served as the base for numerous National Geographic–funded explorers and scientists studying the cloud forest. Meet some of the researchers and learn about their conservation projects. Take a guided nature hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, and then enjoy extended time here for optional activities, including a visit to a butterfly garden, a zip line canopy tour, and horseback riding. (3B)
Continue to the Pacific coast and take a guided walk through Manuel Antonio National Park, famed for its stunning beaches and abundant wildlife, including monkeys, armadillos, sloths, and some 350 species of birds. Spend three days taking in the laid-back atmosphere of the area, with options to surf, go horseback riding, take a catamaran cruise to spot marine life, or visit other nearby beaches. (3B)
Return to San José and opt to join a farewell dinner in town. Depart any time the following day. (2B)
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