Take a journey through Costa Rica’s diverse ecological and climatic zones. First travel from the productive central valley to the cool mountains and cloudforests of The Los Angeles Cloudforest Reserve. Then travel to the dry lava flows, hot springs and forest trails of Arenal Volcano National Park. Drop deep into the lush Caribbean lowlands for a night in the rainforest before continuing to the east coast and the turtle nesting grounds of Tortuguero National Park. This trip is a semi-independent tour with a mix of guided tours and unstructured time.
Day 1 – Arrival San Jose
Arrive San Jose and transfer with driver to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 2 – San Jose – Los Angeles Coud Forest Reserve (Eco-spa and hotel)
This morning you will transfer to the cloudforest lodge. With a similar ecosystem to the reserve at Monteverde but located just one hour from San Jose (compared to 4.5 hours), discover a new world destination for eco-conscious travelers:a boutique hotel and eco-spa surrounded by the spectacular Los Angeles Private Biological Reserve. Conveniently located within this 30 Ha. (75 acre) property, is a very user-friendly 3 Kilometer trail network was carefully engineered and designed by professional nature guides. It has no steps or obstacles to compete with the enjoyment of observing the countless variety of tropical flora and fauna along the specially designed self-guided and interpretive trails. With only 2.5% of the planet’s cloud forest remaining, the unique energy of this cloud shrouded forest habitat continues to marvel both scientists and novices alike. Balance of day free to take optional tours. B)
*Please inquire before coming for optional tours : Canopy Ziplines, Morning Quetzale Hike, Poas Volcano Tour, Scarlet Macaw Hike, Horse back Riding Tour.
Day 3 – Half day Tour to Historical San Ramon
Nestled in the rolling hills of Alajuela Province, this charming municipality has much to offer. This unique half day guided tour is both educational and picturesque at the same time. It features a visit to a traditional sugar cane mill and includes stops at all the cultural and historical attractions of San Ramon, the city of poets and birthplace of three previous presidents. Most famous was Don Pepe Figueres, the president who abolished Costa Rica’s military and established its current democracy. A photo gallery in his honor, plus the nearby Cathedral of San Ramon and Central Market, are part of this illuminating half-day excursion. Return to ecolodge for the night. (B)
Day 4 – San Ramon – Arenal Volcano National Park
Today you’ll transfer to a Costa Rican volcano lodge set high on a ridge a mere 1.7 miles from Arenal Volcano. This offers the adventurous traveler front-row seating for one of the world’s most thrilling fireworks displays – a volcanic eruption. After having lain dormant for over 400 years, Arenal Volcano erupted violently on July 29, 1968, wreaking havoc on the local population and creating a “lava-scape” for miles around its base. Tropical flora and fauna abound about the Arenal lodge, and while here there are many self guided hiking opportunities as well as optional guided tours. Please inquire locally upon arrival if you wish to see a list and to arrange on your own for the next day.(B)
Day 5 – Arenal
Today visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, entrance fees included. The Hanging Bridges are a complex of 6 hanging suspension bridges rising above the jungle canopy, and almost 2 miles of brick & concrete trails through the lush Rain Forest. The bridges provide an excellent vantage point to observe the flora and fauna from the ground level to the top of the trees. The chain link fence on either side of each bridge is about 50″ high, so there is little chance of anyone slipping through. Walk the trails where you will see many varieties of heliconias, flowering ginger, hear howler monkeys, and see many varieties of butterflies, as you learn about the complexity and beauty of the Rain Forest. Afternoon visit Ecotermales (Hot Springs) it has about 5 different pools of Natural Hot Springs including a soothing waterfall for a natural massage. (B)
Day 6 – Arenal – Sarapiqui
Transfer from Arenal to Sarapiqui area. You go from high mountain terrain to lowland Caribbean rainforest. This is a lush warm land of bromeliads, butterflies, bats, and birds. There are a number of things worth doing here and at your lodge have access to a butterfly “farm” with amazing blue morphos and walking trails along the river. Included in this day is a visit to an organic pineapple plantation. (B)
Day 7 – Sarapiqui – Tortuguero National Park
This morning you’ll transfer by land to a coastal estuary for a boat trip to Tortuguero. Here you will be taken to your lodge. This area exists to protect the most important breeding areas in Costa Rica for marine turtles. Of the 8 worldwide species, 4 nest here. You can see leatherback turtles between April and June and green turtles from July to mid October. Tropical wildlife is incredibly abundant and the area is a major migratory bird route for North American birds. (B/L/D)
Optional Turtle Nesting Tour at night, approximately US $25.00 per person.
Day 8 – Tortuguero National Park
This morning you will board one the flat bottom boats to explore the watery creeks and canals that make up the highly productive coastal zone of the Caribbean lowlands with an expert guide. In this trip you will see an incredible assortment of tropical wildlife before returning to your lodge. Balance of day is free, you might want to take a trip to the local village and meet some of the people of Tortuguero. (B/L/D)
Day 9 – Tortuguero – San Jose
Today take a boat back to dock and then a ground transfer back to San Jose and your hotel. (B)
Day 10 – Depart San Jose
Departure transfer to International Airport. (B)
Special Package Features:
All transfers with a private or semi-private van and driver.
All accommodation (3-4 green leaf rating)
9 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches and 2 Dinners
Guided walks and tours as described with entrance fees included.