Don’t just watch the nature channel with your family, experience it! Leave the television remote behind and instead, explore the beauty of Costa Rica. So close to the United States, Costa Rica offers amazing experiences, incredible wildlife and friendly local people and is the perfect destination for families of all sizes. There’s something for every family member on this trip – from white-water rafting, to canoeing, to hiking, to kayaking, to soothing pools of mineral water. Return refreshed and closer than ever having discovered together the secrets of the reef, the rainforest, the volcano, the wetlands and the falls.
Moderately Active. May involve some moderate hikes in forests and nature reserves, getting in and out of vehicles and rocking boats, and walking in uneven pavement in archaeological sites, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.
Costa Rica is tropical and enjoys warm weather year round. January through March is the hottest period, but is also the driest. Moderate rain can be experienced June through August, but the heaviest rains are reserved for September and October. Turtles come ashore to nest in Tortuguero between July and October, and in Guanacaste October through February.
Board your flight to San Jose. Upon arrival, you will be escorted to your beautiful hotel, surrounded by coffee plantations, citrus orchards and lush gardens. HOTEL BOUGAINVILLEA.
Experience the excitement of a white-water rafting trip on the free-flowing Sarapiqui River with its origins in clear mountain streams that tumble down through the rainforest. The moderate rapids interspersed with tranquil stretches is a magical way to learn about some of Costa Rica’s most lush and vibrant scenery while enjoying an array of hummingbirds, toucans and woodpeckers. After lunch on the banks of the river, drive north along twisting roads to Arenal. The volcano rises 5,357 feet majestically above the resort. From the heart of the volcano, spring fountains of thermo mineral water, which create the Tabacon River, running at a soothing 102 degrees Fahrenheit. The resort features mineral water pools, indoor Jacuzzi, therapeutic massages, plus pathways and bridges over hot running streams to see the rich vegetation up close. Enjoy one of nature’s greatest light shows from the pool as the sun sets and Arenal Volcano erupts with another spectacular performance. Admire Mother Nature from the top of the trees during a Sky Walk tour. A series of bridges, trails and platforms guide you through the rainforest canopy surrounded by a mist of clouds. On your third day, enjoy optional activities (at additional cost), such as horseback riding, or trekking in the rainforest and boating on Lake Arenal. TABACON HOT SPRINGS SPA & RESORT. (B Daily)
Drive to the northern reaches of Costa Rica and its most important biological area – the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge – an ecological treasure with more than 350 bird and 310 plant species, as well as elusive jaguars, ocelots and giant anteaters. By boat, cruise the channels and lagoons of the substantial wetlands, home to the Garfish, known as a living fossil. Look for howler and spider monkeys and white-faced capuchins frolicking on land’s edge. Keep an eye pealed for the languid movements of the threetoed sloth and the quick-moving Basilisk Lizard, also known as the ‘Jesus lizard’ as it dashes across the water. River turtles bask in the sun on rocks and branches while caimans slither beneath the water’s surface. Enjoy a visit to the Celeste River in Volcan Tenorio National Park on the northeastern slopes of the mildly active Tenorio Volcano. Also called the ‘Light Blue River,’ due to a phenomenon of nature and chemistry where flowing waters change from crystal clear to an aqua blue as they cascade down a waterfall. Your lodge is surrounded by tropical vegetation at the edge of the reserve. CANO NEGRO NATURAL LODGE. (B, B,L)
Travel to one of Costa Rica’s national treasures – Manuel Antonio National Park, just south of Quepos on the Pacific Coast. The Park’s two white sandy beaches, Espadilla Sur and Manuel Antonio stand out as its main attractions – perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You may see dolphins and once in a while a pod of migratory whales. Take your pick of any of the short trails that meander through the park, passing scenic overlooks and white sand beaches. There are more than 100 mammal and 180 bird species in the park, including the rare White Ibis. Squirrel monkeys play in the trees above the trails. In addition, look for two-toed sloths, raccoons, whitenosed coatis, howler monkeys, white-faced capuchins and squirrels. Paddle through protected inland waterways during an easy sea-kayaking adventure to experience the ecosystem of an island mangrove to its fullest. Abundant with wildlife, Isla Damas is home to many types of crocodiles, birds, monkeys, insects, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Your boutique resort is situated atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. EL PARADOR HOTEL. (B Daily)
Drive back to San Jose, where the rest of the day and evening is at your leisure. (An optional flight from Quepos is available at additional cost.) The next morning, bid “adios” to beautiful and vibrant Costa Rica as you board your flight home. HOTEL BOUGAINVILLEA. (B)
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