Volcano, ziplines, hotsprings, wildlife, beaches, rainforest, waterfalls, rafting, culture!
This 10-day adventure maximizes your ability to get off the beaten track, to spot wildlife and to experience the culture 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 plane and take you to Hotel La Rosa de América in Alajuela, about 15 minutes from the airport.
Day 2: To the Volcano!
Leave around 8 a.m. to go to Arenal Volcano, about a 3.5-hour drive from Alajuela. Explore the rainforest reserve and frog ponds at Arenal Oasis. That evening, enjoy a relaxing soak and dinner at Ecotermales Hot Springs.
Day 3: Enjoy Arenal's ziplines and hanging bridges!
Do the Skytrek canopy zip line in the morning. Those who don't want to zip can go up to the platform in the electric tram, and take a nature walk, then come down again on the tram. In the afternoon, go hiking at Arenal Hanging Bridges, a series trails connected by thirteen narrow metal bridges that span beautiful forested ravines.
Day 4: To Manuel Antonio!
Your guide will take you to the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio. Go surfing at Playa Espadilla.
Day 5: See wildlife where the rain forest meets the beach!
Visit famous Manuel Antonio National Park to see monkeys, iguanas, birds and beautiful views from Cathedral Point.
In the afternoon, take a surfing lesson, or visit Biesanz beach, a swimmable beach that is not in the park. That night, go on the sunset dolphin cruise (optional).
Day 6: Relax....
Spend the day at the beach, go fishing, or just relax around the pool at your hotel.
Day 7: Explore the rain forest at Los Campesinos Reserve
Your guide will take you to Los Campesinos Reserve, in the hills about an hour and a half from Manuel Antonio. Once you arrive, learn the uses of the plants, trees and flowers in a hike through the rainforest. At one point along the trail, you will zip across a forested gorge in an andarivel, the local form of "rapid transit". When you get to the mirador you'll have a beautiful view of Playa del Rey, south of Manuel Antonio. Hike back to the lodge and enjoy delicious local cuisine for lunch. Walk across the suspended bridge next to a 240-foot waterfall, swim in pristine waterfall pools. Have dinner and stay overnight at Los Campesinos.
Day 8: Learn about campesino life
Visit the village and get to know the people. Visit the sugar mill to see how sugar cane is processed into the delicious hard brown sugar called tapa dulce. Swim in the swimming holes. That evening, enjoy a barbecue at Don Victor's farm.
Day 9: Hike and raft out!
After an early breakfast, hike about an hour to the Savegre River with your local guide. Cross the river in a rural aerial tram. On the other side of the river, the rafting company will pick you up at the "Pulpería de Don Seferino" and take you by jeep into the wilds of Costa Rica's tropical jungle, with breathtaking scenery of the more remote areas of the Savegre, to get to the starting point of the rafting trip.
The Savegre River provides Class II, III and some IV rapids that are manageable in sturdy rafts that accommodate 2 to 6 people comfortably. Your river guides will stop at locally known swimming spots and breathtaking waterfalls, if the rafters want a break from paddling, and there is always time to enjoy the abundant variety of wildlife along the river. On most trips, rafters will observe egrets, osprey, toucans, parrots, kingfishers, cormorants, and many other species local to this protected area of the tropical rain forest.
After a steady 13-mile trip down the river, you will wind your way to the village of El Silencio where a hot Tico style lunch and local refreshments will be waiting. This trip is good for adults and children over 8 years of age who are relatively fit for paddling. Wear or bring sturdy sandals or water shoes, a bathing suit, sun block, insect repellent, a towel, and an extra change of clothes in ziplock bags. Prepare to get wet! It is best to leave cameras with your ACTUAR guide.
The rafting trip includes: lunch, bilingual guides, safety kayakers, all equipment needed, security, snacks and drinks.
Once fed, happy and well-traveled, your ACTUAR guide will meet you at El Silencio and take you back to the Central Valley. Stay at the Hotel La Rosa de América.
Day 10: Come back soon!
You will be picked up in order to get you to the airport 3 hours before your return flight. Fly home with happy memories of Costa Rica.
All tours can be customized to meet your travel rhythm, your interests, and your budget.
To sign up for this tour or set up a travel consultation, write firstname.lastname@example.org