The Slow Travel on the Caribbean Side tour minimizes travel, because once you are in the Talamanca area, there are many interesting places to visit within a short radius. You'll have local bilingual, naturalist guide for 5 days, then you're on your own at the beach for 3 days! Price per person:
Take 10% off for travel before November 30, 2011:
$1332 double, $1048 triple, $1435 single
Day 1: Welcome to Costa Rica!
An ACTUAR representative will meet your flight and take you to a charming San José hotel. If you have time, visit the excellent National Museum. For dinner, visit Bakea, an upscale restaurant in Barrio Amón, featuring Costa Rica nouvelle cuisine.
Day 2:To the Caribbean!
The Interbus will pick you up at your hotel and take you to Cahuita. Your bilingual, naturalist guide will meet you at the bus station and take you into the verdant hills about 4 kilometers inland from Cahuita National Park, to Casa Calateas Inn and Rain Forest Reserve. Enjoy Caribbean cuisine in this campesino village and learn about the conservation efforts of the local association that owns the lodge. At sunset, walk to the observation deck, with views of the Talamanca mountains stretching into Panamá. Overnight at Casa Calateas. All meals included.
Day 3: Enjoy Cahuita National Park
Enjoy the morning in Cahuita National Park, where it is easy to see monkeys, sloths, iguanas and many tropical birds on the well-maintained path that goes through the forest next to the sea. Take a dip in the ocean, then have lunch in the village at a down-home Caribbean restaurant. That afternoon, the cook at Casa Calateas will teach you how to make the delectable combination of coconut milk, fish and root vegetables known as rondón. Overnight at Casa Calateas. All meals included.
Day 4: Get to know the neighbors!
Visit local farms and learn about life in rural Costa Rica. Around 3 p.m., visit the Këkoldi Indigenous Territory and see how they breed the endangered green iguana for food and for release into the forest.
Visit the home of Juanita Sánchez, the preserver of BriBri legends, and listen to her stories that illustrate the BriBri cosmology. That evening, have a Caribbean cooking lesson and dinner with Miss Veronica and her family in Puerto Viejo. Overnight at Casa Calateas. All meals included.
Day 5: Take a dugout canoe to Yorkín!
Experience the BriBri paradise...watch a video.
Wake up with the sounds of the forest at Casa Calateas. Your guide and driver will take you an hour southwest to the village of Bambú, where you will board the dugout canoe that will ply the Yorkín River, the natural border between Costa Rica and Panamá. Arriving at Yorkín, you'll walk through the village, seeing plantations of organic bananas and cacao on your way to the Casa de las Mujeres.
When you arrive, have a tasty snack and learn about the work of the indigenous association that owns and manages the lodge. Walking on a nearby trail, you'll see native medicinal plants and the tree crops that are vital to the community. You'll be served a BriBri-style lunch, and, for dessert, learn about how chocolate is produced! Taste the fresh cacao seed from the pod, see how it is dried and toasted, and finish with a fresh cup of hot chocolate, the sacred drink of the BriBri. You also might want to indulge in organic bananas dipped in freshly made chocolate sauce.
Try your hand at weaving the palm fronds that villagers craft into thatch for their houses, or learn about native archery, then take a refreshing dip in the river. That evening, listen to BriBri legends around a fire. Overnight at Casa de las Mujeres in Yorkín. All meals included.
Day 6: Sharing with the Bribris
Go hiking in the morning, or learn more about the uses of native medicinal plants and which rainforest plants provide useful fibers for weaving, rope-making, etc. After lunch, say goodbye to your friends in Yorkín and return to Bambú. Your driver will pick you up there, and take you to Playa Chiquita, one of the most beautiful of Costa Rica's Caribbean beaches, where you will stay at La Kukula Lodge, a simple, beautiful, and comfortable ecolodge on the edge of the rainforest, about 300 meters from the beach. That afternoon, say goodbye to your guide All meals included.
Day 7: Relax at Playa Chiquita
Or rent bikes to go to salsa classes, more Caribbean cooking classes, canopy zipline tours, dolphin observation and snorkeling tours in Manzanillo, or visiting an animal rescue and rehabilitation center. Overnight at Kukula Lodge or similar. Breakfast included.
Day 8: Walk along the beach to Punta Uva!
From Playa Chiquita you can walk along the beach to Punta Uva, with its gentle waves and lush, forested point. On the way back, go up to the main road for lunch or dinner at Selvin's, famous for rice and beans, the traditional Caribbean dish made with coconut milk. Overnight at Kukula Lodge. Breakfast included.
Day 9: Last day in Paradise....
In the afternoon, the Interbus will return you to your hotel in San José. Have dinner at one of San José's fine international restaurants. 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.
To sign up for this tour or set up a travel consultation, write firstname.lastname@example.org