Cloud forest, rain forest, quetzals, chocolate, beaches, waterfalls, hiking, culture!
This 10 day tour, Enchanting Costa Rica, maximizes your nature and wildlife experience with your own bilingual naturalist guide/driver for 8 days. Price per person:
Day 1: Welcome to Costa Rica!
An ACTUAR representative will meet your flight and take you to a charming San José hotel.
Day 2: Explore the cloud forest
Your bilingual naturalist guide will pick you up after breakfast. Start your 2-hour journey going east on the Interamerican Highway, passing by Cartago, the colonial capital of Costa Rica, then climbing into the mountains to the south of San José. This region is home to a plethora of flora and fauna, but it is most famous for its old growth oak forests, habitat for the Resplendent Quetzal. Stay at El Toucanet Lodge, within walking distance of the village of Copey de Dota with its charming wooden church. Breakfast included.
Day 3: In search of the Resplendent Quetzal!
Wake up early to go in search of the Resplendent Quetzal, the sacred bird of the Maya, with its iridescent green feathers, bright red breast, and long, graceful tail. It only lives in old growth forests at high altitudes. The quetzal cannot live in captivity, and the sight of it is made even more magical by the morning mist.
Come back to the lodge for a delicious breakfast. Spend the rest of the day hiking in the old oak forests, or visiting a local organic coffee farm. Breakfast included.
Day 4: Térraba Indigenous Territory Adventure
Your guide will drive you about 3 hours south on the Interamerican highway to the Térraba indigenous lands, where a local guide will tell you about the history and traditions of the Térraba culture. Learn how they grow and process chocolate! Stay in traditional-style thatched roof cabins at El Descanso Rural Inn. All meals included.
Day 5: Beachcombing at Ballena Marine Park
After breakfast, head west approximately 1.5 hours to the Pacific coast to explore Ballena National Marine Park. Sty at La Cusinga Lodge with its panoramic views fo the Pacific and Isla Ballena, where whales come to mate and give birth.
Day 6: Another day at the beach and on the trails
Free day to go to the beach or do one of the optional activities above. Stay at La Cusinga, Lodge, where it is easy to spot monkeys, sloths, birds and frogs on the trails. Or visit beautiful Playa del Arco, a 20-minute walk through the rainforest from the lodge. Breakfast included.
Day 7: Los Campesinos adventure
After breakfast, drive north to Quepos and then head inland to Los Campesinos Reserve, a 2-hour drive. After Londres, this special journey will take you on a dirt road surrounded by pristine forests and rivers to the village of Quebrada Arroyo, where you will meet very special country people, former vanilla farmers, who founded this reserve. After a delicious campesino lunch prepared over a wood fire, walk across a forested gorge next to the huge Los Chorros waterfall on a suspended bridge. Continue up the trail a bit to take a dip in Poza Olivo, a lovely waterfall-fed swimming hole! Dinner and overnight at Los Campesinos. All meals included.
Day 8: Hike with Don Miguel and explore campesino life
Don Miguel will take you on the Pacific Lookout trail to share the secrets of the forest passed down for generations. Before you get to the lookout point, you will zoom over a forested canyon in a pulley-powered teleférico, the campesino form of rapid transit. Continue uphill to the lookout point, where you can see the coast south of Manuel Antonio National Park. In the afternoon, visit the village, then enjoy a barbecue at the home of Don Victor and his family. Dinner and overnight at Los Campesinos. All meals included.
Day 9: Back to civilization
You will have the morning free before departing for San José, about 4 hours away. Stay in a charming hotel, and have dinner in one of San José's excellent restaurants that evening. Breakfast included.
Day 10: Come back soon!
Breakfast and transport to the airport for your flight home.
All tours can be customized to meet your travel rhythm, your interests, and your budget.
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