A land-based adventure from mountain to coastal rain forest

Discover the wild, rugged beauty of Costa Rica’s mountains, the Caribbean coast, and much more on an inland adventure to a mist-shrouded cloud forest, volcano, lake, and a car-free, jungle village. The day-to-day itinerary outlines what you’ll do, but we always remain flexible in our approach to take advantage of sightings and opportunities for discovery.


  • DAY 1: Home/San José

    Fly to the international airport in San José, Costa Rica and transfer to your hotel. Meet your naturalist guide and enjoy a welcome dinner at the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel. (D)

  • DAY 2: San José/Tarcoles River/Monteverde

    After an early breakfast we'll head to Tarcoles which lies in the buffer zone of Carara National Park. Here we will enjoy a tour on the Tarcoles River where we'll have the opportunity to see a wide variety of birds and the American Crocodile in its natural habitat. Once we arrive to Monteverde are, lunch will be at a local restaurant before venturing to Curi Cancha, a private reserve in the heart of Monteverde. Afterwards, we'll hear from an early Quaker settler on Monteverde. We'll then check in to a family-owned retreat with privacy, expansive lawns and picturesque views of the cloud forest. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 3: Monteverde

    Today you'll have breakfast at the hotel before visiting a butterfly farm where we'll have the opportunity to see dozens of local species in a short time. After lunch, we'll tour the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve with trained naturalists, relying on their expertise to spot mantled howler monkeys and possibly the rare Resplendent Quetzal. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 4: Monteverde/Arenal

    We'll enjoy a breakfast at the hotel and then visit a family-owned farm practicing sustainable agriculture and traditional sugar processing. A local guide will give us a walking tour of the farm and accompany us as we see the original trapiche sugar press. We'll have a chance to sample the local sugar cane liquor called guaro. After the tour, we'll drive to Lake Arenal, which we'll cross in 40-passenger boats landing at a restaurant on the lake's far side. From here we will check into an elegant hotel surrounded by gardens and pastures with grazing animals, and every room offers a panoramic view of the smoldering Arenal Volcano. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 5: Arenal Volcano

    Walk the Arenal Hanging Bridges strung more than 3 kilometers through the rain forest canopy, and then explore the Arenal bridges winding through the dense forest. In the evening, relax in thermal pools naturally heated by the volcano. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 6: Arenal/Tortuguero

    Transfer from your hotel to the Arenal airstrip for a charter flight to Tortuguero, a spectacular lowland forest on Costa Rica’s northeast coast, accessible only by water or air. A short boat ride brings you to the rustic Aninga Lodge, set on the water’s edge. Settle into your accommodations in charming private bungalows raised above the rain forest floor and enjoy lunch at the lodge’s restaurant. The lodge also has swimming pools and a walking trail to take advantage of. Later, explore the canals of Tortuguero National Park in small boats with your naturalist guides. Be on the lookout for howler, spider and capuchin monkeys as well as caiman, ibis, tiger herons, curassow and myriad other bird species. Dine tonight at the lodge restaurant, nestled in the middle of the rain forest. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 7: Tortuguero

    Set out by boat to explore more of Tortuguero National Park’s canals. You can choose guided boats or go by kayak for a more personal exploration. In the early afternoon, you’ll have free time to enjoy the lodge’s amenities such as the pool or optional spa treatments before visiting the Sea Turtle Conservancy. There you’ll learn about the history of the region and important conservation work taking place on Tortuguero’s beaches. Later, stroll through the car-less village to see small shops before dining at Miss Junies, a restaurant with a rich heritage and Afro-Caribbean flair. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 8: Tortuguero/San José

    En route to San José we’ll stop visit Sibú Chocolatier, makers of some of the world’s finest organic chocolate. Here we’ll learn the Aztec & Mayan history of the cacao plant and enjoy a workshop on preparing chocolate. The day ends with a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 9: San José/Home

    Transfer to the San José airport for flights home. (B)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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