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Get back to the garden with an escape to Costa Rica’s natural paradise. From heart-stirring suspension bridges through rainforest canopies to the lava trails emerging from the depths of the earth. See Arenal Volcano and explore the wild places where pumas and jaguars prowl. Look skyward to spot the hundreds of multi-hued birds, butterflies, and a dizzying diversity of wildlife in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Find your head in the clouds in a primeval forest blessed by trade winds, rain, and fog by day, and unfettered stars above by night. Go where monkeys and macaws make your day with mischief and count yourself charmed to see some of the 160-plus reptile species—from tiny amphibians to titan snakes. Get civilized too, with visits to an artisan village and a tour of Costa Rica’s largest city and cultural capital of San José.
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Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA Welcome to San José! Meet your Tour Director at your hotel.
SAN JOSÉ–ARENAL Lava LoveDepart on a scenic drive past banana groves and pineapple and sugar cane fields en route to Arenal. Visit to La Fortuna Village in the shadow of mighty Arenal Volcano (currently dormant but known for consistent lava flows before 2010). Arenal is home to cascading waterfalls, thriving rainforests, abundant wildlife, and a wealth of outdoor activities with nearby nature trails and 400-year-old trees. Watch for frogs, monkeys, birds, and native wildlife.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHTWONDERS OF NATURE For 42 years, Arenal Volcano was Costa Rica’s most active volcano until 2010 when entered a passive phase. This area is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world and is home to more than 850 species of birds and other wildlife. Time here can be spent hiking the trails around the volcano or relaxing in the many thermal hot springs.
ARENAL Bird’s Eye View Today, take a guided excursion with your Naturalist to Arenal Hanging Bridges. Explore the jungle canopy atop 15 bridges suspended in the treetops to see various species of plants, birds, butterflies, monkeys, sloths, and other local wildlife. On a clear day, get a 360-degree view of the tropical rainforest and stunning views of Arenal Volcano. Free time the remainder of the day.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHTPICTURE PERFECT Explore the rainforest from a bird’s-eye perspective high above the jungle floor from the Arenal Hanging Bridges. This Naturalist-guided tour introduces you to the flora and fauna of the Costa Rican rainforest. With some bridges spanning over 700 feet long and 200 feet high, this is truly a unique way to admire the forest canopy.
ARENAL–MONTEVERDE Heads in the CloudsThis morning, depart Arenal on scenic drive to Monteverde for the next two nights. Arrive in the cloud forest of Monteverde, situated on the continental divide under misty cloud coverage in one of the world’s most bio-diverse areas. Enjoy an afternoon and evening at leisure.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHTWILD & WONDERFUL Explore Monteverde Cloud Forest, home to over 3,000 species of plants, 400 species of birds, 60 species of bats, 1,200 species of amphibians, and 700 species of butterflies in one of the last remaining natural habitats of all six Costa Rica wildcat species—ocelots, jaguars, jaguarundi, pumas, oncillas, and marguays. Perhaps you’ll catch a glimpse of one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful birds, the resplendent quetzal.
MONTEVERDE Creatures of the Cloud ForestThis morning, take a Naturalist guided walking tour of Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve home to forest fauna such as sloths, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, coatis, and numerous species of birds. With almost 100% humidity throughout the year, the cloud forest experiences almost 12 feet of rain per year. Free time this afternoon.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHTPARADISE FOUND This unique, high-elevation ecosystem of Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve is constantly enveloped in moisture-rich clouds formed from the warm winds from the Atlantic Ocean as they sweep over the Continental Divide, creating one of the most bio-diverse and rich ecosystems in the world. Prolific in many animal and plant species, this is a nature lover’s paradise.
MONTEVERDE–SARCHI–SAN JOSÉ Artistry & Drama En route to San José, visit Sarchi Village, the hub of Costa Rican craftsmanship, and see the artists in their workshops making their famous ox carts. Upon arrival in San José, a guided city orientation introduces downtown San José includes the historic National Theater and the Metropolitan Cathedral.
BreakfastTOUR HIGHLIGHTSCULTURE & TRADITION Visit the local village of Sarchi and see firsthand how the traditional ox carts are hand-painted. Once used to transport coffee and sugarcane, these are now pieces of art with intricate designs.
SAN JOSÉ Adios y Gracias, San José!Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
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Escorting tours for more than 10 years
"Born in San José, I developed an interest in knowing the different attractions, customs and traditions across beautiful Costa Rica. I have always enjoyed at the fullest what I do, so I share my passion with everyone. I like making new friends, being helpful, leading groups, sharing my knowledge of my home country, and always having a smile for people around me."