Natural Highlights of Costa Rica

National Geographic Journeys, San José to San José

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Home to volcanoes, lush rainforests, beaches, and unique wildlife, Costa Rica is a celebrated pioneer in protecting natural heritage. Forge your own path through this gorgeous country over nine days of outstanding adventure. Trek across the foot of a volcano to photograph electric blue butterflies, visit a coffee co-op, and search for monkeys while hiking park trails. Get in touch with nature’s best in Costa Rica.

What’s included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Tortilla Making and Home Dinner, La Fortuna National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Monteverde Institute Lecture, Monteverde G Adventures for Good: Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour, Sarapiquí
  • Arrival transfer
  • Guided nature walk in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Guided excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Devour a delicious lunch at a g adventures-supported coffee co-op
  • Learn how to make tortillas in a local home
  • Listen to a lecture from a monteverde institute researcher
  • Hike the trails of cloud forest reserves and breathtaking parks
  • Search for wildlife while exploring the pacific coast

Itinerary

Day 1 San José If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head into the city to visit a museum, shop, or visit the main plaza in the city centre. The plaza is a good place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere. Additional Notes: Costa Rica has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and is a top destination for nature lovers. As such, there is a lot of rain, regardless of the season, allowing for its lush green rain forests and cloud forest, in which flora and fauna thrive. Please come prepared for the possibility of wet weather and variations in temperature. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 2 San José/La Fortuna (1B, 1L, 1D) Visit a G Adventures-supported coffee cooperative with a coffee tour and local lunch. Continue to the adventure hub of La Fortuna. In the evening, visit a local home and learn the art of tortilla making. Afterwards, dig into a tasty “casado” — a typical Costa Rican dish that’s made with black beans, plantains, and the tortillas you’ve made. Additional Notes: Please also note that the town of La Fortuna is fairly small with shopping and some great restaurants, but most of the upgraded accommodations in this area are located outside of the main town centre - to take better advantage of the natural beauty and stunning landscapes of the area. Taxis are readily available to take you into town and back and can cost approx. $10USD each way. Included Activities: Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour Tortilla Making and Home Dinner Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 3 La Fortuna (1B) Free day in La Fortuna for optional activities. Challenge yourself with a rafting adventure, canyoneering, or embark on a nature hike.
Day 4 La Fortuna/Monteverde (1B) Travel from La Fortuna to the cloud forest of Monteverde — a nature lover's paradise. Additional Notes: The town of Monteverde is fairly small with shopping and some great restaurants, but most of the upgraded accommodations in this area are located outside of the main town centre - to take better advantage of the natural beauty and stunning landscapes of the area. Taxis are readily available to take you into town and back and can cost approx. $10USD each way. Accommodations tend to be a bit more simple here, with fewer amenities. Its important to remember that the cloud forest sits at a higher elevation and offers a cooler but humid climate - which is why hotels in this area do not have A/C. It can also feel damp in rooms which is unavoidable in such a climate. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 60km)
Day 5 Monteverde (1B) Enjoy a nature hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. After, visit the Monteverde Institute, which has served as the base for numerous National Geographic-funded explorers and researchers. Enjoy a lecture by one of the researchers outlining the various research and conservation projects that National Geographic has sponsored to support the reforestation of tropical regions. This afternoon, opt to visit a butterfly garden, zipline through the canopy, or go horseback riding. Included Activities: Santa Elena Cloud Forest Guided Tour Monteverde Institute Lecture
Day 6 Monteverde/Manuel Antonio (1B) Continue to the stunning Pacific coast. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the area with options to surf, go horseback riding, dolphin watching on a catamaran, or visit other nearby picturesque beaches. Additional Notes: Hotels in Manuel Antonio are not located on the beach, they are scattered along the cliffside road, overlooking the stunning coast line and lush jungle. The beach, National Park, markets, shops and restaurants are easily accessible by frequent public bus (safe and easy to use) or taxi. Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 267km)
Day 7 Manuel Antonio (1B) The park has fabulous beaches, abundant wildlife, and a great trail system for those who want to spend the day hiking. Look for monkeys, armadillos, coatimundis, sloths, and some 350 species of birds that are present in the park. Included Activities: Manuel Antonio National Park Visit
Day 8 Manuel Antonio/San José (1B) Return to San José and enjoy an optional farewell dinner on the town. Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 190km)
Day 9 San José (1B) Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day
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