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      • Hotels: Standard Class

      • 07/11/2024 - 07/26/2024

      • Max Participants: 16

      • 16 Days / 15 Nights


      If you’re looking for a taste of Costa Rica’s world-class highlights but want to keep things spicy with a sampling of hidden treasures, this action-packed adventure tops the menu. In spite of its small size, Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world with wildlife, rainforests, volcanoes, and beaches to explore. This adventure offers a great balance of guided excursions and free time. Optional activities abound — choose to get your adrenaline pumping or take it easy with a stroll through a butterfly garden. Visit Costa Rica with us, all while earning professional development credit with other educators.

      What's Included:
      • Visit to Manuel Antonio National Park
      • Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour
      • Jungle lodge stay
      • Nature trail walk with swim in Sarapiquí
      • Cooking Demonstration in Sarapiquí Rainforest
      • Bike ride in Puerto Viejo
      • G Adventures Tour Leader throughout, local guides
      • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners – Allow $530-690 USD for meals not included
      • Hotels (13 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts, multi-share)
      • 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

      Arrive in San José at any time. Make sure book flights for Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) in San José, Costa Rica, and not San Jose International Airport (SJC) in California. Due to the potential for flight delays or cancellations, we recommend that you plan to arrive in Costa Rica at least a day in advance. We can book extra hotel nights for you in San José before and/or after the trip. Hotel Check-in and Welcome Meeting Please note that check-in at the hotel is usually around 2:00-3:00 p.m. There are no planned activities until an intro meeting around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m., usually in the hotel lobby. Check for a sign or ask at the reception desk about the exact time and location of the group meeting. Please make every effort to arrive in time for this meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up tomorrow. After the meeting, you might choose to get dinner at a nearby restaurant with your traveling companions and your tour leader to further get to know one another. 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. Joining Instructions If you pay in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. From the customs checkpoint, it is a short 30-second walk to the airport exit doors, Outside the airport doors, you will find people waiting for arriving passengers; this area is really congested and chaotic, and the G Adventures representative will be waiting there holding a sign with the G Adventures logo. In the event you cannot locate your driver, continue walking to the Malinche Restaurant; please wait outside of the restaurant and contact the local G Adventures office at the emergency contact numbers listed below. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the hotel via taxi and report the issue to us. Accommodation: Hotel Urban Green (or similar) * For the actual hotel your specific departure will be using, please check your voucher.

      This morning we travel south to Quepos. 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: 3 hrs by private vehicle Accommodation: Villa Romantica Quepos (or similar)

      Enjoy a day in Manuel Antonio National Park discovering the lush tropical forests and white-sand beaches of Costa Rica’s smallest national park. The park offers four beaches, separated by jagged rock outcrops and tidal pools, where you can swim, snorkel, surf, and sunbathe. Head to the shade of the nearby hiking trails to search for sloths, monkeys, armadillos, and iguanas. Climb to the lookout to capture views of the pristine Pacific Ocean and the area’s off-shore islands. Opt to go kayaking through mangroves, take a surf lesson, or cruise along the coast on a dolphin-spotting sunset sailing excursion. Accommodation: Villa Romantica Quepos (or similar)

      We leave the coast and ascend to 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. In the evening, opt to 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: 6 hrs by private vehicle Accommodation: Hotel Holistico Monteverde (or similar)

      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! Get your adrenaline pumping and pre-book the Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle ($149) with us in advance. 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 137-meter-high (450-foot) zipline. Please note that passengers must weigh between 45-100 kg (100-220 lbs) to participate in these activities. Accommodation: Hotel Holistico Monteverde (or similar)

      Today we depart Monteverde to travel by van and boat 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: 3.5-4 hrs by van, 1 hr by boat Accommodation: Hotel Las Colinas (or similar)

      There's plenty to see and do in La Fortuna, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in so we have two full free days here. 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. Accommodation: Hotel Las Colinas (or similar)

      There's plenty to see and do in La Fortuna, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in so we have two full free days here. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like canyoneering, whitewater rafting, and paddle boarding. Your tour leader has more ideas if you need them. Just ask! Accommodation: Hotel Las Colinas (or similar)

      This morning we drive further east to the Sarapiquí Rainforest. Along the way we'll visit 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. Next, head to a jungle lodge where we will spend the next two nights immersed in the rainforest. The Sarapiquí Valley is home to hundreds of species of animals, birds, and butterflies, and our jungle lodge put us in the heart of it all. With a variety of included activities offered by the lodge, spend time hiking, swimming in the river, learning to make empanadas, or just lounging in a hammock surrounded by the stunning Costa Rican countryside. Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private vehicle Accommodation: Pozo Azul (or similar) Meals included: Lunch | Dinner

      Wake up and head into the Sarapiquí Rainforest on the search for some of the 400-plus birds that call this region home. Led by a local guide, keep your eyes peeled for rare species and learn tricks to spot birds that are hiding in plain sight. After a busy day taking part in whatever activities you choose, we'll get together in the evening for a cooking demonstration. Cover your hands in cornflour and learn to make tasty tortillas, tamales, or empanadas, staples of most Latin American cuisine. Accommodation: Pozo Azul (or similar) Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

      We'll leave the jungle and head to Tortuguero by private van and then boat. This unique village has walking paths that extend into the national park, a fantastic place to see wildlife even when turtles aren't in season. Approximate travel time: 4-5 hrs by private vehicle, 1.5 hrs by boat Accommodation: Baula Lodge (or similar) Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

      Enjoy free time to explore Tortuguero. Opt to kayak through the canals and view the wildlife, wake up early and head to the beach to watch turtle eggs hatch (seasonal), or just wander through the town. See our optional activities section below for more information. Accommodation: Baula Lodge (or similar) Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

      A morning boat ride and drive ends in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, with spectacular scenery en route. This seaside town is perfect for relaxing or exploring the Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. Head to the beach with your tour leader. Then opt to go snorkel in the Caribbean, hike in Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, or hit the beach. Approximate travel time: 1.5 hrs by boat, 5-6 hrs by private vehicle Accommodation: Hotel Escape Caribeño (or similar) Meals included: Breakfast

      The picturesque village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca’s over 8 miles of incomparable white- and black-sand beaches are surrounded by exotic tropical vegetation. Hop on a bike and ride to the beach with your tour leader. Enjoy a full day exploring this slice of paradise. In the evening, opt to watch the sunset, and don't forget to try some fantastic Afro-Caribbean cuisine. Accommodation: Hotel Escape Caribeño (or similar)

      Enjoy free time in the morning before heading back to San Jose for the final night with the group. Approximate travel time: 5 hrs by private vehicle Accommodation: Hotel Urban Green (or similar)

      There are no planned activities today, so you may depart San José at any time. If you wish to extend your stay in San José, consider booking post-tour accommodation with us. Please note that check-out time from the hotel is usually mid-morning, but luggage storage services are available at the reception desk. Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO programs in the same school year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs per year). If you would like to extend your time abroad but don't see another GEEO program that interests you, let us know. We can work with you to find a trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Their tours are open to the general public and not designed specifically for educators, but we can still offer you and your travel companions a discounted educator price on any additional tours that you book.

      *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.


      Frequently Asked Questions
      Please read our general FAQs, where you can find 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 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 it with you.
      2. RAINFOREST LODGE: The trails are natural, with uneven and sometimes slippery footing, so hiking not recommended for people with difficulty walking on uneven terrain. The lodge is rustic and most likely multi-share.
      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 (CEOs). 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 to request a single room. Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all nights except for nights 9 and 10 in the Sarapiquí Rainforest
      Emergency Contacts
      Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures 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. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Office - San Jose, Costa Rica During office hours (weekdays 9am-5pm local time): +506 4001 8474 (ext 4) After hours emergency number: +51 997 582 712 If for any reason you are unable to reach the G Adventures local office, please call the numbers listed below to connect with their Sales team, who will happily assist you. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +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. 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 a 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 as converters/adapters, if needed
      • AirTags or Tile trackers
      • Packing cubes
      • Earplugs
      • Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy
      • Ziplock bags
      • Reading/writing material
      • Hand sanitizer/baby wipes
      Document Checklist
      • Passport (with photocopies)
      • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
      • Travel insurance ID card
      • Flight itinerary/boarding pass(es)
      • USD/EUR cash
      • Credit/debit card
      • G Adventures vouchers
      • GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent a few days before departure
      Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. You can also use a local laundromat, if necessary. We recommend packing enough clothes so you don't have to do laundry. For many GEEO programs, it is possible to do laundry in your sink and hang them up to dry overnight, but this is not one of those trips; even quick-dry clothing will have trouble drying out overnight because of the humidity.
      Passports and Visas
      All GEEO programs 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. U.S. citizens do not require a visa to travel to Costa Rica. Non-American participants should check online to determine if they need a visa.
      Money Exchange
      The local currency in Costa Rica is the Colón (CRC). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: We recommend that you obtain cash from ATMs while traveling; they will dispense the local currency. We do, however, recommend that you bring at least $200 USD in cash for emergency use or in case you have trouble with the ATMs. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, but you may be charged an international transaction fee; ask your financial institution about their international fees. Please note that if you are carrying U.S. dollars, the bills should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and dated recently.
      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 this program and an expression of satisfaction with the people who assist you on your trip. Tipping is also one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the local community. 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 will be opportunities during the trip to tip your local guides or drivers. You may do this individually, or your tour leader may offer to collect the money and give a tip on behalf of the group. Recommendations for tipping local guides and drivers range from $5-10 USD per person per day, depending on the quality and length of the service. Ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and expectations. Also, at the end of your program, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, a tip would be appreciated. The amount is entirely your personal preference, but as a guideline, $5-7 USD per person per day would be appropriate.
      GEEO cannot provide any medical advice, so it is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. We recommend contacting Passport Health (, which has travel clinics located throughout the United States. You can also check the CDC's recommended vaccinations for your destination. Please take this seriously!
      We find the best prices for flights are often available around 90 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. This program begins and ends in San Jose. Make sure you look at flights for Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) in San José, Costa Rica, and not San Jose International Airport (SJC) in California. Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in San Jose. You may want to arrive in Costa Rica one or more days early in case you have flight disruptions. You can arrive at any time you choose, but try to make it in time for our 6:00 p.m. Welcome Meeting on Day 1. You can depart from San Jose any time on the final day of the program, or stay later to see more of the city.
      Plugs and Converters
      Costa Rica uses the same plug design and nearly the same voltage found in the United States—a type-A plug and 110 Volts—so there is no need for electrical adapters or converters.
      Before you decide to travel 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!
      July is a great month for Costa Rica weather. Although it’s the third month of Costa Rica’s seven-month rainy season, a weather phenomenon called veranillo (“little summer”) means sunny days can dominate for weeks. July is also great for reduced crowds. This “mini dry season” shifts from year to year, however, so it’s hard to plan ahead. Some years veranillo happens in early July. Other years it stretches into early August. Also be aware that veranillo varies considerably from region to region. In some regions it will rain a lot less, in other regions it will rain a lot more. We are traveling to several different regions so should get a variety of sunshine and rain. July also means the start of sea turtle nesting season in Tortuguero National Park. If you’re interested in watching sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand at night, July is a wonderful time to visit Tortuguero.


      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: $600-1,100 USD
      • International Airfare from the United States: Roughly $600-1,200 USD If you require assistance in searching for international flights, we would be happy to help you.
      • Airport Transfers: $30-80
      • 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 an add-on.
      • Tipping: We recommend $80-110 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another $100 USD to tip guides and drivers for other activities.
      • Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary: $530-690 USD
      • Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.: Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
      • Souvenirs: Variable. At your personal discretion.
      • Vaccines: Variable. Please consult with your primary care provider.
      • Non-Educator Donation: $100 USD (suggested donation) This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.

      Optional Activities

      Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally, sometimes in the local currency, and 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.
      Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle
      This bundle 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.
      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 Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike: $45 USD per person Join a guided hike and learn how the wildlife in the park has adapted to their environment 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.
      Birdwatching: Free. Paid tours available. Keep your eyes peeled and binoculars ready to spot some amazing birds. Monteverde Butterfly Garden Visit: $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: $47 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. 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. 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.
      Kayaking: $65 USD per person Zip up your life jacket, grab a paddle, and get ready to be wowed by beauty in every direction. Admire Arenal Volcano as you kayak the blue-green waters of Lake Arenal, Central America’s second-largest lake. Scan the shores for more than 300 species of birds, listen for howler monkeys, and fish for sharp-toothed rainbow bass. Take time to float and soak in the stunning scenery of the rolling hills, secret coves, and sky that stretches forever. 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. 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. Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Tour: $65 USD per person Travel north to Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge near the Nicaraguan border. Take a guided tour by covered boat through one of the world’s most important wetlands, home to a vast array of plants, birds, reptiles, fish, and mammals. Keep your eyes peeled and you may see a three-toed sloth or a Jesus Christ lizard. Mountain Biking: $79 USD per person Rent a bike and head off on a side road along the edge of the Arenal Volcano National Park (toward the town of El Castillo). Bump your way along rough roads, breathe in the clean air, and soak in the spectacular scenery. Venado Caves Exploration: $78 USD per person Duck your head and enter an underground world formed some 15 million years ago. The Venado Caves are 45 min NW of Fortuna. Ford rivers, crawl through caverns, and marvel at the strange stalactites, stalagmites, and subterranean inhabitants including bats, frogs, and spiders. Not ideal if you get anxious in closed spaces, but great for those who want to channel their inner Indiana Jones. 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. Baldi Hot Springs Soak: 3h-5h, $64 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. 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. 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! 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.
      Guided Kayak or Boat Excursion: $75 USD per person Grab a paddle and prepare to witness a parade of tropical birds, reptiles, and mammals as you kayak through the black water canals of the Tortuguero National Park. Scan the trees for toucans, watch the shores for caimans, otters, iguanas, frogs, and look up to see monkeys sharing space with sloths. Bring your binoculars and bug spray. Be prepared for hot, humid, and possibly wet weather. Turtle Hatching Morning Excursion: Price varies Wake up early and head down to the beach to (hopefully) watch newly hatched green and leatherback sea turtles scramble their way from the nesting grounds in Tortuguero National Park to the ocean (seasonal). This is one that's worth waking up early for! Turtle Nesting Night Excursion (Seasonal): $51 USD per person Head out at night to visit the nesting grounds of the green and leatherback turtles (seasonal) on the beaches of Tortuguero National Park. Learn about the turtles' nesting process and hopefully see females lay eggs, during this once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience.
      Snorkeling: Price varies Grab a mask and snorkel and head out to explore the marine life off the coast. Check out the beaches of Punta Uva (Grape Point), Punta Mona (Monkey Point), and Manzanillo for some of the country's best snorkeling. See coral, fish, octopus, sea turtles, and harmless nurse sharks. Finca la Isla Botanical Garden Visit: Price varies Just outside the town is a tropical farm, part of which is set aside as a botanical garden. Finca la Isla is a working farm and botanical garden built from the remains of an abandoned cacao plantation. Sample homemade natural chocolate, drink tropical fruit drinks, and learn about the production of black pepper and nutmeg. Shoot some colorful photos and be careful where you walk. Visitors are guaranteed to see the red poison dart frog, along with other frogs, reptiles, toucans, and birds. Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge Hike: Price varies Beginning at the Cocles River south of Puerto Viejo, the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge extends through beach communities, jungle, marshland, coves, and coast all the way to the Sixaola River and the border with Panama. Begin in Manzanillo and wind your way through plantations of cacao, strangler fig, and almond trees, looking for capuchin and howler monkeys, sloths, and raccoons. White sand beaches lead into aquamarine water, filled with 35 species of coral and tropical fish, sea turtles, lobsters, and stingrays. Wear light clothing and walking shoes, and bring lots of water and insect repellent. Surf Lesson: $65 USD per person Grab a board and hit the waves. With knowledge and tips from a certified instructor, you'll be hanging ten in no time.