On Day 1, get picked up at the San Jose airport upon arrival. On Day 2 transfer to La Fortuna to explore Arenal Volcano National Park on a short walk and then visit the relaxing Baldi Hot Springs. Day 3 brings you to the cloud forest of Monteverde for a Sugar Mill Tour at a local farm. Swing through the pristine forest canopy on a zipline adventure on Day 4. Transfer to Manuel Antonio on Day 5 and tour the national park on Day 6 to discover the white-sand beaches, turquoise-coloured Pacific waters and beautiful hiking trails. Return to San Jose on Day 7 and end your trip with a San Jose airport drop-off on Day 8.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: San Jose Airport Pick-Up
After being picked up at the San Jose Airport, you will be transferred to your accommodation for check-in. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure to relax, explore, and get settled in. Overnight in San Jose.
Day 2: Shuttle to La Fortuna - Arenal Volcano & Baldi Hot Springs (D)
At 8:00am you will be picked up from your accommodation and transferred to the beautiful town of La Fortuna, home to the impressive Arenal Volcano. Check in to your accommodation and have lunch on your own. You will be picked up around 3:30pm to be transferred to Arenal Volcano National Park. Take a 30-minute walk to see an amazing view of majestic Arenal Volcano. Later, relax in one of the area's best natural hot springs, where you will be able to enjoy an optional massage or other special treatments (reservations required in advance--not included.) Overnight in La Fortuna.
WHAT TO BRING: Swimsuit and towel, mosquito repellent, comfortable walking shoes, sweater, bottled water.
Day 3: Shuttle to Monteverde - Sugar Mill "Trapiche" Tour
Today you will get on a shuttle at 8:30am to be transferred to your accommodation in Monteverde. Check into your new accommodation and relax before being picked up for a sugarcane and coffee “Trapiche” tour. Along the way, enjoy the misty mountain air of Monteverde and learn about the conservation of this precious ecosystem from local guides.
During the tour of the farm you will encounter a small tilapia pond, plantations of bananas, plantains, arracache, macadamia, oranges, sugarcane and coffee. As you walk around the farm, you will learn about sugarcane cultivation, the area's natural history and have the opportunity to taste the sugarcane and its derivatives. Next you will learn about the coffee process, from planting to crushing, peeling and roasting. After the walk, you’re invited to take a short trip in an oxen cart (not obligatory) that will take you to the building where the cocoa process is shown. Learn about the process of cocoa from different stages, starting with a brief explanation of how the tree develops, its pollination, how to get the fruit, seed fermentation, drying, roasting and grinding cocoa, and of course how to obtain delicious chocolate. To finish the tour you will learn how to process different types of sugarcane products, such as brown sugar, traditional “perica” or “sobado” (fudge), caramel and “guaro“ (cane liquor). During the tour you will have the opportunity to interact and make your own candy before tasting a ”gallo de arracache” and an exquisite cup of coffee, lemonade or aguadulce.
Overnight in Monteverde.
Day 4: Canopy Adventure
Enjoy a free morning in Monteverde before being picked up around 1:30pm for your zipline adventure. Swing through the treetops along 14 different cables and feel the rush on the tarzan swing, the 30m rappel, the 1km Superman Cable, and the Underground Superman Cable through a 175m tunnel. Observe unique and breathtaking views of the area from 75-150 meters above the ground. If you're lucky, you can even catch an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and Lake Nicaragua on a clear day. Observe over 100 species of mammals, over 400 species of birds (including 30 kinds of hummingbirds), tens of thousands of insect species and 2,500 species of plants (including 420 kinds of orchids) in one of Latin America's most outstanding wildlife reserves.
After this unforgettable adventure, transfer back to your accommodation and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight in Monteverde.
Day 5: Shuttle Monteverde to Manuel Antonio
Today you will be picked up at around 9:00am to travel to Manuel Antonio National Park. Check into your new accommodation and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure to relax by the tranquil white-sand beaches and turquoise-coloured bays of this pristine national park. Overnight in Manuel Antonio.
Day 6: Manuel Antonio National Park Day Trip (B)
Manuel Antonio is perhaps the most popular national park in all of Costa Rica, attracting more than 160,000 visitors annually. You'll see why when you discover the park's tranquil white-sand beaches along the turquoise-coloured Pacific Ocean secluded by mangrove swamps and rainforest. Enjoy your time exploring the charming town or walking along the trails that lead you through this majestic forest. See over 100 different species of animals, including white-faced monkeys, squirrel monkeys, sloths, coatimundis, howler monkeys, lizards, iguanas, crabs, other marine life and over 180 bird species.
Enjoy the day wandering down endless trails into a naturally pristine refuge and feel that you are thousands of miles away from civilisation. The Main Trail (1.3 miles) is the park's most popular trail, taking you through a short loop of the park to the beaches. The Punta Catedral Trail takes you a bit further off the beaten track and out to the Cathedral Point for beautiful look-out points. Visit the Playa Gemelas and Punto Escondido Beaches by following a trail of the same name for 1 mile. Lastly, for the most spectacular views of the park, take the Mirador Trail (a slightly more difficult trail a little less than a mile) to a beautiful overlook point. Overnight in Manuel Antonio.
Day 7: Shuttle Manuel Antonio to San Jose (B)
Enjoy the morning at your leisure before saying goodbye to this piece of paradise. At approximately 1:00pm, you will be picked up from your accommodation in Manuel Antonio to return to San Jose, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. After checking in, enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure to relax, explore, and buy last-minute souvenirs. Overnight in San Jose.
Day 8: San Jose Airport Drop-Off
It is time to say goodbye to this beautiful country. After check-out you will be dropped off at the airport to catch your departing flight.