Day 1: San Jose
Arrive at the airport, & transfer to the hotel. Consider staying at a hotel in the heart of the city to take advantage of the national monuments, squares, museums & pedestrian streets.
Day 2: San Jose - La Pavona - Tortuguero
Today, we will begin our journey very early, driving through the lush Braulio Carrillo Park. We'll be surrounded by stunning views of primary forest as we cross the Continental Divide, then stop to enjoy a delicious breakfast. We continue our journey through the Caribbean lowlands where we'll see different types of plantations (pineapple and bananas). Upon arrival at the port of La Pavona, enjoy a delicious welcome cocktail & a buffet lunch. In the afternoon, we'll take a boat to the village of Tortuguero. The town is considered the most important nesting site for sea turtles (green, leatherback, hawksbill, & loggerhead). As we walk down the beach, our local guide will teach us about sea turtles & their ecology. Enjoy dinner & an overnight stay in Tortuguero.
Day 3: Tortuguero National Park
This day starts with one of the most anticipated visits in Tortuguero National Park. We will leave early in the morning for a two-hour wildlife observation. We'll set off in a small boat so we can navigate the narrow channels to observe all kinds of tropical birds, reptiles, monkeys & more. After the tour, we'll return to the hotel for breakfast. Later this morning, we'll visit the Frog Pond & Butterfly farm where our guide will explain about its ecology as we walk through the paths, enjoying different types of animals & tropical plants. In the afternoon, we'll set off on an another adventure by boat - to Caño Palma Biological Station (one of the most important sites for environmental education projects studying resident & migratory birds). We will be in the boat for about 2 hours watching & admiring the beauty of the Caribbean before returning to the hotel for dinner.
Day 4: Arenal Volcano
After breakfast, we'll leave for the city of Guapiles. We'll stop for lunch, then continue to the Arenal Volcano area. On the way, we'll travel through some of the richest areas in Costa Rica in terms of agriculture & scenic beauty. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Arenal Volcano rises 5,436 feet above sea level. It is the most active & no doubt the most studied of all Costa Rica’s volcanoes. It booms & rumbles with an unnerving consistency & its nocturnal pyrotechnics have struck awe in the hearts of thousands of observers. With its perfectly conical shape & its continuing activity, Arenal is a picture book image of a volcano. Daily ash columns, underground rumbling, glowing red lava flows & sudden explosions make Arenal a must-see on any tourist’s itinerary.
Day 5: Arenal Volcano & Ecotermales
Spend the morning at leisure. This afternoon, hike to the Arenal Volcano, & visit the Thermal Hot Springs Ecotermales (mineral waters). Enjoy dinner at the hot springs.
Day 6: Monteverde Cloud Forest
Travel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest today. On the way to the forest this morning, enjoy a boat ride on Lake Arenal.
Monteverde is a beautiful combination of forests, coffee plantations, monkeys, mist, and friendly locals. The high altitude produces a steady supply of clouds & fog whose life-giving moisture drips down to the forest below. The result is the creation of a complex ecosystem that's home to more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, & thousands of plants & insects. There are 420 types of orchids alone!
Day 7: Monteverde Cloud Forest
This adrenaline-filled day starts early. Enjoy an entirely new perspective of the forest as you walk along the suspension bridges. From this vantage point, you can observe different levels of the forest & how animals interact with each other. Seeing the variety of humming birds here is a special treat. Of course, there is an option to do a canopy tour (zip lining). After the tour, the driver takes you back to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure.
Day 8: Tamarindo Beach
After breakfast, you'll drive toward the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica to Tamarindo Beach. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel, & enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
Day 9: Tamarindo Beach
Today, you'll have the entire day to explore on your own. Available activities include: first-class sport fishing, sailing, surfing, golfing, ATV tours, turtle watching, diving, horseback riding, canopy tours, jungle boat rides, visits to an art gallery & crafts & pottery stores.
Day 10: San Jose - USA
Transfer to the airport in San Jose for your return flight home.