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We also a shorter Costa Rica program on July 30.

  • Hotels: Standard Class

  • 07/15/2021 - 07/30/2021

  • Max Participants: 16

  • 16 Days / 15 Nights

Overview

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 volcanoes, wildlife, rainforests, 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.

Costa Rica Map 2022
What's Included:
  • Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour
  • Guided cloud forest night walk in Monteverde
  • Jungle lodge stay
  • Cooking Demonstration in Sarapiquí Rainforest
  • Nature trail walk with swim in Sarapiquí
  • Bike ride in Puerto Viejo
  • Hotels (13 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts, multi-share)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities using private vehicle
  • G Adventures Tour Leader throughout, local guides
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners – Allow $530-$690 USD for meals not included
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 precise time 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, as your tour leader will go over everything with you the next 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 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

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.

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. Today 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: 6 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!

Today we depart Monteverde to travel by van and boat to La Fortuna, near the base of the spectacular Arenal Volcano. La Fortuna is a great base for active adventures. From river rafting, to rappelling down waterfalls, to floating along the canals of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge in search of caiman, there is no excuse to be bored! 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 private vehicle, 1 hr by boat

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 paddleboarding. Your tour leader has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

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 paddleboarding. Your tour leader has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

This morning we drive further west 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, 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, board a tractor-drawn cart excellent for navigating the jungle along rugged uphill terrain on the way to our jungle lodge. Spend the next two nights immersed in the rainforest at a unique jungle oasis. The Sarapiquí Valley is home to hundreds of species of animals, birds, and butterflies, and our jungle lodge brings us into 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, 2 hrs by tractor

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 would like we'll get together. in the evening for a cooking demonstration. Get your hands covered in cornflour and learn to make tasty tortillas, tamales or empanadas, staples of most Latin American cuisine.

We'll leave the jungle and head to Tortuguero. The journey to Tortuguero is half the adventure. Begin by taking a tractor-drawn cart, board a private van, and finish it off with a journey by 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: 2 hrs by tractor, 4-5 hrs by private vehicle, 1.5 hrs by boat

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.

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. Opt to go for a hike, take a bike ride, snorkel in the Caribbean, or hit the beach. Approximate travel time: 1.5 hrs by boat, 5-6 hrs by private vehicle

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. Opt to rent a bike, hike to Monkey Point, go snorkeling or take it easy and explore La Isla Botanical Gardens. Don't forget to try some fantastic Afro-Caribbean cuisine.

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

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.
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 it with you.
  2. RAINFOREST LODGE: The access to Sarapiqui rainforest is difficult and can seem extreme for those who are not mentally prepared for the experience. The tractor ride to get to the rainforest is an extreme adventure. Thus it’s not recommended for pregnant women or people with serious back problems. Also, all trails are natural, with uneven and sometimes slippery footing, so it’s 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 (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 the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email travel@geeo.org. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet. Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all night stops, with the following exceptions: Nights 9-10: Sarapiqui Rainforest  
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.
 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
  • 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 often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. 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 of a transformer. If you are not using electronics made for the United States, you will need to look online for what adaptors or transformer 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
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.

Costs

Please keep in mind 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 in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates so you can budget your trip.
Tour Company Fee
See price in top right corner
Optional Activities
$600-$1100 USD
International Airfare from the U.S.
Roughly $600-$1,100 USD If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
Insurance
$43-$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 $50-$100 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
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 which can be purchased before departure. For the rest of these activities, you do not have to decide in advance for which ones you would like to sign up. 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: Bookable in advance for $149 USD per person 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 137-meter-high (450-foot) zipline. Please note that passengers must weigh between 45-100kg (100 – 220 lbs) and be at least 130cm (4’3 ft) tall to participate in these activities.
Manuel Antonio/Quepos
Swimming: Free Surfing: 1-5hrs, 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, 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 fresh water 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). Fishing in Quepos, north of Manuel Antonio, is Costa Rica’s most popular spot for blue water sport fishing. 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. Manuel Antonio Catamaran Tour: Varies Cruise along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 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 who call these waters home before stopping to snorkel, swim, or ride one of the boat’s water slides into the ocean. If you’re wanting to relax and experience what the locals call Pura Vida (pure life), then look no further. 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.
Monteverde
Birdwatching: Free. Paid tours available. >Keep your eyes peeled and binoculars ready to spot some amazing birds. Monteverde Butterfly Garden Visit: 15 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 butterfly, a whole bunch of insects, as well as white-faced monkeys, coatis, motmots, and more. El Trapiche Tour: 2-3hrs, 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! Frog Pond Visit: 14 USD per person The Monteverde Frog Pond is committed to educating its visitors on both the beauty and bounty of frogs, as well as the threats they currently face around the world. Visitors can admire more than 25 species of native frogs, toads, and other amphibians living in large, naturally-simulated terrariums. A bilingual guide accompanies visitors during each tour and teaches them about the frogs’ history, habitat, and unique characteristics. Some of the frogs and toads on hand include the colorful poison arrow frog, crowned frog, marine toad, cane toad, leopard frog, hourglass frog, and the famous red-eyed tree frog. Monteverde Coffee Plantation Tour: 35 USD per person No trip to Costa Rica is complete without visiting a coffee plantation. Head to Café Monteverde and learn how this fair trade coffee goes from crop to cup. Pick ripe berries, watch how the beans are separated from the husk, then observe the drying and roasting process. Sample and buy some of these excellent beans. The Santa Elena coffee co-op prides itself on sustainable practices: it recycles processing water, uses coffee pulp for fertilizer, and sends plant fibers and husks to make paper. Santa Elena Cloud Forest Guided Tour: 2-3hrs, 35 USD per person Pull-on your poncho and boots. It’s time to head into the cloud-covered forest, past over-sized ferns and exotic orchids. Harness your inner Tarzan and Jane as you imagine swinging from the giant vines. Trudge along 12km (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. Monteverde Hanging Bridges: 35 USD per person Get up high to see the treetops 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: 3-4hrs, 50 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.
La Fortuna/Arenal
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. Experience the energy and excitement and enjoy! Baldi Hot Springs Soak: 3h-5h, 58 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. Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Tour: 60 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. Horseback Riding: 66-68 USD per person Throw on some long pants, grab the reins and hop up on a well-trained horse. Trail ride through the tropical forest and across the area’s most beautiful landscape. Look for toucans in the trees and admire the ocean views. Visit waterfalls and end your journey with a good gallop. La Fortuna Waterfall Swim: 15 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 65m (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. Lost Canyon Adventures Canyoneering: 90 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! Gravity Falls Waterfall Jumping: 113 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. Hanging Bridges:  about 2 hrs, 3km, 66 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 3km (2 mi) of winding trails up, down, across, and over 16 different bridges. One of the higher suspended bridges overlooks a gorgeous gorge and 60m (37 mi) 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.
Tortuguero
Guided Kayak Excursion: 35 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 unknown 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 for! Tortuguero National Park Guided Boat Tour: 25 USD per person Hop on board, kick back, and prepare to witness a parade of tropical birds, reptiles, and mammals as we motor through the black water canals of the Tortuguero NP. Scan the trees for toucans, watch the shores for caimans, otters, iguanas, and 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 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.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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 unknown 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, learn about the production of black pepper and nutmeg, as well as ornamental plants. 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 unknown 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, look 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, 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. Bike Rental: Price unknown Rent a bike from a local shop and head out to explore.