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$1310 $1245

Available: 7+ spaces

Secure your place on this trip with $350 deposit. Final payment due 60 days before departure.

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      • Hotels: Standard Class

      • 03/09/2024 - 03/17/2024

      • Max Participants: 16

      • 9 Days / 8 Nights

      Overview

      Unlock the wonders of Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity during this week-long adventure. This immersion travel program will bring your biology and ecology lessons to life as you explore the flora and fauna of the cloud forest and Manuel Antonio National Park. The itinerary is carefully crafted to showcase the country’s natural diversity, from lush mountain rainforests to pristine beaches. You will also have time for unforgettable experiences that will get your heart racing, like rappelling, rafting, and surfing. Your tour leader will take you off the beaten track to secluded spots that only the locals know. Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey with us to one of the most spectacular destinations in the world, all while earning professional development credit with other educators.

      What's Included:
      • Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour
      • Guided cloud forest night walk in Monteverde
      • Entrance fee to Manuel Antonio National Park
      • G Adventures Tour Leader throughout, local guides
      • Hotels (8 nts)
      • 1 lunch – Allow $385-$500 USD for meals not included
      • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities using private vehicle
      What's Not Included:
      • International air travel
      • Incidentals
      • Travel health and cancellation insurance
      • Applicable visas
      • Tips or gratuities
      • Airport taxes
      • Beverages
      • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
      • Optional tours and admissions
      • Airport transfers

      Itinerary Download PDF

      You may arrive in San José at any time today. There are no planned activities, so check into our hotel and enjoy the city. We will have a group meeting in the evening around 6:00 p.m. There will be a note at the front desk to let you know the exact time and location of the meeting. The note will also tell you what time to meet in the lobby in the morning if you arrive too late for the meeting. If you miss this meeting, please don't worry; your tour leader will go over everything with you in the morning. Amid the hustle and bustle of this busy capital, San José has beautiful parks, museums, and an ornate National Theatre. Start your exploration of the city in the central plaza, a great place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere.

      This morning we set off from the capital and enjoy the countryside of the Central Valley. Along the way, we'll stop for a visit at the Mi Cafecito coffee cooperative in San Miguel de Sarapiqui. See shade-grown coffee plants and learn about everything from harvesting to husking, drying, and roasting the beans, before enjoying the best part – a fresh cup! Enjoy a typical lunch of plantains, beans, and freshly caught tilapia fish. Feel good about all this eating and drinking knowing that you are supporting a G Adventures for Good project that helps 200 farmers and their families. A three-hour van trip brings us to La Fortuna, near the foot of the spectacular Arenal Volcano. La Fortuna is an excellent base for adventure, from hiking the area's nature trails, swimming in chilly La Fortuna waterfall, or canyoning (rappelling) to catch a bird’s eye view of the forest greenery. Once we arrive, there's time to relax in the hot springs that are heated by the volcano's lava. Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private vehicle

      Spend the day getting your adrenaline pumping, viewing local wildlife, marveling at the Arenal Volcano, and getting to know more about Costa Rica in La Fortuna. There's plenty to see and do in La Fortuna. Optional activities include full-day whitewater rafting on the Toro or Arenal Rivers, mountain biking, caving, horseback riding, or a tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Like much of Costa Rica, the area is a birders’ paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents. Finally, after a long day of exploring, you can choose to take a relaxing soak at Baldi Hot Springs.

      From La Fortuna, we make our way by boat across Lake Arenal and then van up the rough mountain roads to reach the fresh misty air of the Monteverde cloud forest region. Spend a couple of days exploring the town and a cloud forest reserve, truly a bird lover's paradise. This unique community has several cooperatives worth visiting. This evening, we will join a naturalist guide for a 1.5-2 hour tour in the cloud forest after dark. Learn more about the habits of the area's nocturnal wildlife including mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians, and keep your eyes and ears open on this slow-paced walk. You never know what you might see – it depends on the day and your luck! Approximate travel time: 45 minutes by boat, 2.5 hrs by private vehicle

      There's plenty to see and do in Monteverde, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like ziplining, visiting the hanging bridges, and horseback riding. See our optional activities section further below for more information. Your tour leader has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

      This morning we drive to Quepos, arriving in the afternoon. The small town of Quepos is on the Pacific Coast, and this region of Costa Rica is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun and nearby sea. A short distance away, Manuel Antonio National Park offers beautiful white-sand beaches and warm turquoise water, ideal for swimming, fishing, kayaking, boogie boarding, sailing, or surfing. Approximate travel time: 5 hrs by private vehicle

      Enjoy a free day in the Manuel Antonio region to explore and relax. Opt to go kayaking through mangroves, take a surf lesson, or cruise along the coast on a dolphin-spotting sunset sailing excursion. The white-sand beaches and warm Pacific waters are great for a day of taking it easy. Manuel Antonio NP offers excellent hiking, spectacular views, and abundant wildlife viewing. Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica's smallest, yet most biodiverse national park. Head to the shade of the nearby tropical forest in search of sloths, monkeys, armadillos, and iguanas. Climb to the lookout to capture views of the pristine Pacific Ocean and the area's off-shore islands.

      After one final morning to soak up the sun on the beach in Quepos, we return to San José, and have time to enjoy one final evening together with our group. Approximate travel time: 3 hrs by private vehicle

      Feel free to depart at any time. Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs). If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!

      Itinerary

      Frequently Asked Questions
      Please click here to go to our general FAQ, which has essential information that applies to all of our programs.
      Resources to Learn & Teach about Costa Rica
      Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
      Terms and Conditions
      It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
      GEEO Program Confirmation Process
      We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
      Cancellation policy
      All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to travel@geeo.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
      • If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
      • If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
      • If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
      Trip Notes
      1. PROOF OF DEPARTURE: Costa Rica will not be allowing anyone to enter the country without proof of a departure ticket (bus, airplane, boat, etc.). If you are traveling through a few countries in Central America, you will need to show proof of your itinerary and a departure ticket from your last destination. Please print the itinerary and voucher and bring them with you.
      Group Leader Description
      All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
      Single Travelers
      Half of GEEO’s participants travel by themselves, so please don’t worry if you do not have a travel companion for your trip. Our program fee is for one traveler in double-occupancy accommodation, and GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender if you do not have a travel companion. Most of our programs have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that you can pay to have a room to yourself. You will only incur an additional charge if you specifically request a single room. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please find your program on our extra services page. If you want to room alone, please email travel@geeo.org to request a single room.
      Joining Instructions
      Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details! If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
      Emergency Contacts
      Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. AIRPORT TRANSFER If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that: Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 4001 8474 After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140 If you are unable for any reason to contact their local office, they have a toll-free line within North America (or our regular direct line), which will connect you directly with their Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of their Operations department at the mobile number below. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Outside North America: +1 416 260 0999
      Packing List
      Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags, please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person. Health & Safety
      • N95/KN95 Face masks (at least a few just in case there is an outbreak within your group)
      • Hand sanitizer
      • Quick Covid Test/Antigen Tests (at least 3)
      Suggested Checklist
      • Windproof/waterproof rain jacket
      • Personal clothing for hot to warm weather – we recommend packing 7-9 days of outfits, so you only have to do laundry once or not at all
      • Bathing suit and small, quick-dry towel
      • Fleece top
      • Light hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes
      • Daypack
      • Sunblock
      • Sunglasses
      • Sun hat
      • Sport Sandals or Water Shoes (if you plan to do waterfall rappelling and/or rafting)
      • Watch or alarm clock
      • Head lamp (recommended for jungle stay)
      • Toiletries
      • Camera
      • First-aid kit, including lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
      Optional Checklist
      • Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
      • Binoculars
      • Travel pillow
      • Water bottle
      • Money belt
      • Phone/Tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
      • Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
      • AirTags or Tile trackers
      • Packing cubes
      • Ear Plugs
      • Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here
      • Ziplock bags
      • Reading/writing material
      • Hand sanitizer/Baby wipes
      Document Checklist
      • Passport (with photocopies)
      • Travel insurance (with photocopies)
      • Airline tickets (with photocopies)
      • EUR/USD cash
      • Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
      • G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
      • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
      • GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent 10-30 days before departure
      Laundry
      Laundry facilities are sometimes offered by the hotels.
      Passports and Visas
      All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here. Americans do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica.
      Money Exchange
      The currency in Costa Rica is the Colon (CRC). Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. We do not recommend you bring traveler's checks, as it is very difficult to exchange them in Costa Rica. CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100 USD (or equivalent). As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ’emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
      Tipping
      It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Please note that in Costa Rica, a 23% charge is added on to almost every meal (13% tax, 10% tip). Further tipping for wait staff is appropriate in the case of excellent service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. At the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-$25 USD per person per week can be used.
      Vaccinations
      We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. GEEO recommends contacting Passport Health (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/), which has travel clinics throughout the United States. Please take this seriously!
      Flights
      We find the best prices for flights are often available 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You should wait until this trip is confirmed before you book non-refundable flights. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here. Your trip begins and ends in San Jose. Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in San Jose. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose. You can depart any time on the final day of the trip.
      Plugs and Converters
      There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device. Costa Rica uses 2- and 3-pronged power plugs similar to those in the United States, so no need for an adaptor. Their outlets are 110V, which works with U.S. electronics without the need for a transformer. If you are not using electronics made for the United States, you will need to look online for what adaptors or transformers you will need.
      Expectations
      Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
      • The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe, well-located place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury as we are trying to keep these trips as inexpensive as possible.
      • We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days and nights of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. The transportation will often be an adventure in itself.
      • You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
      • Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometimes include day hikes with your daypacks.
      • We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
      • Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip, as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
      Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
      Itinerary Disclaimer
      While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
      Weather
      March is part of Costa Rica's dry season. The western and central regions of Costa Rica have nearly no rain and mostly sunny weather. What little rain falls usually comes as afternoon or evening showers. March is also the hottest time of the year, especially in the western half of Costa Rica. Sun worshipers revel in highs around 86-96°F followed by overnight average temperatures of 78-86°F.

      Costs

      Please keep in mind that this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
      Tour Company Fee
      See our price in the top right corner
      Optional Activities
      $200-400 USD
      International Airfare from the United States
      Roughly $600-1,200 USD If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
      Insurance
      $79-200 USD Please note: it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have emergency medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
      Tipping
      We recommend $40 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another $40-50 USD to tip guides and drivers for other activities.
      Airport Transfers
      $20-40
      Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary
      $385-500 USD
      Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.
      Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
      Vaccines
      Variable. Check with your doctor to see what you will need and what is covered by your insurance.
      Souvenirs
      Variable; at your personal discretion.

      Optional Activities

      Optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency, other than the Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle and Manuel Antonio Catamaran Tour, which can be purchased before departure. For the rest of these activities, you do not have to decide in advance which ones you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please use them as a rough guide for budgeting your trip. The prices below are in USD.
      Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle
      This bundle in La Fortuna is bookable in advance for $149 USD per person. Please note that passengers must weigh between 100-220 lbs and be at least 4’3 tall to participate in these activities. CANYONEERING (Half-day Arenal) Rappel, down-climb, river-trace, and descend huge waterfalls in the rugged mountains and lush rainforests around Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano. ZIPLINING (Half-day Monteverde) Get a true bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy as you soar through the trees on a Tarzan swing, a giant rappel, and a 450-foot zipline.
      La Fortuna/Arenal
      Hanging Bridges: $75 USD per person Come join the monkeys and perhaps spot a sloth lazing in the treetops of this protected rainforest that’s set in the shadows of the Arenal Volcano. Trek 2 miles of winding trails up, down, across, and over 16 different bridges. One of higher suspended bridges overlooks a gorgeous gorge and 200-ft waterfall. Look up and down to spot birds, snakes, frogs, lizards, howler monkeys, and more. Don’t forget to bring binoculars, bug spray, and a long lens as you reach new heights in the canopy of Costa Rica. Whitewater Rafting: $61-86 USD per person Pull on your bathing suit and water shoes, don a helmet, and prepare to get wet and wild. Guided by expert leaders, paddle through Class II-IV rapids as you raft past spectacular scenery. Feel the burn, work up a sweat, then cool off in the pure river water. Lost Canyon Adventures Canyoneering: $99 USD per person Hold on tight and get ready to rappel down the face of rushing waterfalls. Fear and fun collide in the rainforest as you throw caution to the monkeys and launch yourself into nature. Get soaked and feel completely alive. Trek through rivers, wobble across a hanging bridge, and keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds and wildlife. Let the action begin! Stand Up Paddle (Lesson and Tour): $65 USD per person Grab a long wide board and show those surfer dudes how it’s done without waves on Lake Arenal with the volcano looming above. The tour picks up from the hotel and takes place in the west end of the lake while you’re getting the hang of the paddle board. Enjoy the amazing view, with chances to spot wild birds like Great Blue Herons or even Howler Monkeys. Learn more about the area while exploring the lake, and snack on some tropical fruit before heading back to the hotel. Hot Springs Soak: $42-84 USD per person Relax in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano immersed in one of the naturally heated pools at Baldi Hot Springs Hotel and Spa. Immerse yourself in therapeutic waters heated by earth’s magma and infused with healing minerals and salts. Rejuvenate your muscles, detox your cells, and stimulate all your senses in nature’s thermal spa. Breathe in the pure rainforest air and marvel at the mystic surroundings of these outdoor pools of paradise. Gravity Falls Waterfall Jumping: $125 USD per person If you’ve already been canyoneering, take your adventure to the next level with waterfall jumping! This excursion includes rappelling, waterfall and cliff jumping from 5 to 25 feet high, and swimming through gorgeous canyons. Experienced guides will make sure you stay safe while having an epic day of waterfall adventures. La Fortuna Waterfall Swim: $20 USD per person Take a walk, taxi, or horse just outside the town of La Fortuna to the nearby waterfall. Once at the gate, pay a fee, then start the descent on rough steps (more than 500 of them!) to get to the base of the falls. The water cascades 200 ft down the side of the dormant Cerro Chato. Sit on the rocks, get sprayed, watch for iridescent blue morpho butterflies, and then plunge into the cool waters.
      Monteverde
      Birdwatching: Free. Paid tours available. Keep your eyes peeled and binoculars ready to spot some amazing birds. Horseback Riding: $45 USD per person Enjoy Monteverde’s breath-giving wilderness by horseback. Spot toucans, bellbirds, and parrots as you ride through private mountain trails along the primary and secondary forest. Meet monkeys, see sloths, and possibly glimpse the Gulf of Nicoya through the clouds. Take photos, inhale the pure air, and let your horse lead you on this memorable meander in misty Monteverde. Monteverde Butterfly Garden: $20 USD per person Get close to butterflies, bump into giant bugs, and make friends with hairy eight-legged spiders in this collection of gardens nestled in the mountains of Monteverde. Observe caterpillars, take prize-worthy photos of the iridescent blue morpho butterfly, and check out the leaf-cutter ant colony. The nature center is home to 30 species of butterflies and a whole bunch of insects, as well as white-faced monkeys, coatis, motmots, and more. El Trapiche Tour: 2-3 hrs, $33 USD per person Step back in time into El Trapiche (the sugar mill), home of three generations of Costa Rican farmers. Explore plantations of sugar cane, coffee, bananas, and cacao. Start with a walk through the farm, learn about coffee and cocoa harvesting processes, ride a Costa Rican ox cart, and finally make artisanal sugar cane candy and liquor. Finish the tour with a fragrant cup of coffee made from beans grown right here on the farm! Hanging Bridges Monteverde: $40 USD per person Get up high to see the tree tops of Monteverde’s Cloud Forest from a bird’s-eye view. Cross a series of hanging bridges to discover what biologists once required (ropes and pulleys) to glimpse the lush, green vista accented by bromeliads, vines, and orchids. Wonder at this wet canopy, home to 90% of all the organisms in the forest, including thousands of species of birds, small animals, amphibians, and insects. Ziplining: 3-4 hrs, $60 USD per person Buckle up your harness, don your helmet, and prepare to launch. Glide along cables suspended high above the cloud forest canopy. Dare to let go and reach top speeds as you zip past stunning scenery. Forget your fear as you spot a toucan or exotic orchids in this adrenaline-filled experience. El Trapiche Tour Monteverde: 2-3 hrs, $33 USD per person Step back in time into El Trapiche (the sugar mill), home of three generations of Costa Rican farmers. Explore plantations of sugar cane, coffee, bananas, and cacao. Start with a walk through the farm, learn about coffee and cocoa harvesting processes, ride a Costa Rican ox cart, and finally make artisanal sugar cane candy and liquor. Finish the tour with a fragrant cup of coffee made from beans grown right here on the farm! Santa Elena Cloud Forest Guided Tour: 2-3 hrs, $50 USD per person Pull on your poncho and boots. It’s time to head into the cloud-covered forest, past oversized ferns and exotic orchids. Harness your inner Tarzan and Jane as you imagine swinging from the giant vines. Trudge along 12 km (7 mi) of trails, watch for wildlife, and trek to the top of the observation tower. Be sure to stop and listen, too. Hear the haunting call of the bellbird and perhaps catch sight of the brilliant green and red resplendent quetzal. Feel good about protecting the forest and sustaining the quality of local schools through the payment of your park fees.
      Manuel Antonio/Quepos
      Manuel Antonio National Park Admission: $18 USD per person Pack your sunscreen, snack, and beach shoes, and prepare for a great day in Manuel Antonio National Park. The park offers four white-sand beaches, separated by jagged rock outcrops and tidal pools. Swim, snorkel, surf, and sunbathe. When you’re all beached out, head to the shade of the nearby hiking trails to search for sloths, monkeys, and armadillos. Climb to the lookout to capture views of the pristine Pacific Ocean and the area’s off-shore islands. Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike: $45 USD per person Including admission to the national park (see above), join a guided hike and learn how the wildlife has adapted to their environment Manuel Antonio Catamaran Tour: Bookable in advance for $80 USD per person Cruise along the Pacific Coast aboard a 100 ft catamaran, taking in the impressive scenery and lush jungle that has made Manuel Antonio famous. Keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins before stopping to snorkel, swim, or ride one of the boat's water slides into the ocean. Grab a drink or just sit and watch the gorgeous views of the lush coastline go by. Swimming: Free Surfing: 1-5 hrs, $55-75 USD per person Slather on the sunscreen, strap on a leash, pull on a rash guard, and get ready to hit the waves. Experience the surf at the beaches near Quepos and Manuel Antonio with their left, right, and well-shaped beach breaks. Take a lesson, learn tips and techniques, and then hang ten like a local. Kayaking: $69 USD per person Choose to kayak the calm waters of the mangroves or paddle the waves of the Pacific. In the Damas Island estuary, the ocean meets freshwater rivers and creates a protected home for birds, snakes, crocodiles, and white face monkeys. For the more adventurous, opt for an open-seat ocean kayak and paddle along the shoreline and nearby islands, keeping an eye out for frigates, boobies, and jumping fish. Fishing: Varies Cast a line and (depending on the season) hope to hook a marlin, sailfish, tuna, or dorado (mahi-mahi). Quepos, north of Manuel Antonio, is Costa Rica’s most popular spot for blue water sport fishing. Whitewater Rafting: $75-98 USD per person What better way to get from A to B than taking the natural route along a scenic and exciting river? Buckle up your life jacket, grab a paddle, and head off to raft some Class II-IV rapids. Sailing: Varies Slap on some sunscreen and hop aboard as we set sail along the rugged Pacific Coast of Manuel Antonio National Park on a catamaran. Bask in the beauty of the white-sand beaches and small islands that accent the shoreline. Keep watch for dolphins, rays, and migrating whales. Hop into the warm water and snorkel with more than 50 species of colorful tropical fish.