San Jose - Manuel Antonio. We travel from the Central Valley to the Pacfic coast, through very lush green countryside to Manuel Antonio, where we will visit the Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the most popular parks in the country. This celebrated park is blessed with beautiful lagoons, palm fringed beaches, a vast array of animals and lush green forests. Some of the many creatures that call Manuel Antonio home include sloths, pelicans, white-faced monkeys, anteaters and huge iguanas. It is also famous for its beaches - although almost deserted on weekdays, keep a sharp eye on your belongings, as the monkeys and raccoons are seasoned thieves!
Overnight: Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio - Santa Elena. On day 4 we travel up into the mountains to the shores of Lake Arenal. We take a scenic boat ride to the other side of the lake and continue our journey to the little town of Santa Elena. Santa Elena is the gateway to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve with its unique canopy of cloud. This lush reserve is a nature lovers paradise and an excellent place for bird watching. We go in search of the endangered Quetzal, a bird with incredibly beautiful and unique plumage and visit the Hummingbird Gallery where these energetic birds buzz around sipping on nectar. The reserve has excellent trails for walking and hiking, one of which takes you to the continental divide. On a clear day both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can be seen!
There are lots of optional activities on offer in and around Santa Elena to keep us entertained, from its famous ziplines over the cloud forest and sky walks on suspension bridges above the forest canopy, to horse treks and nature-spotting twilight walks.
Overnight: Santa Elena
Santa Elena - La Fortuna. This morning we travel to the sleepy rural town of La Fortuna. The main attraction in La Fortuna is Arenal Volcano, which is close to the town and has been constantly erupting since 1968. Enjoy time at leisure this afternoon, exploring the town. In the evening there is an exciting optional excursion to a site near the volcano to listen to it's rumbles and sample the local alcoholic spirit which is almost as explosive as the volcano itself! On a clear night you'll be rewarded with incredible views of red hot lava discharging from the volcano crater. After this there's the option to indulge yourself with a visit to the luxurious hot springs for a well-earned dip.
There is plenty of free time to partake in a variety of exciting optional excursions; from caving or white water rafting, to canoeing, horse-riding or trekking in search of the local wildlife and beautiful waterfalls.
Overnight: La Fortuna
La Fortuna - Tortuguero. On day 9 we travel by bus to the port of Moin near Limón, where we board a boat which takes us along inland jungle canals and into Tortuguero National Park, located on the Atlantic/Caribbean coast. This popular national park which incorporates canals, rivers, beaches and lakes is literally teaming with wildlife and famous for its turtles. Not only is it an important nesting site for the green turtle (from July to October), it is also home to leatherbacks and hawkbills. During our two night stay here we are sure to spot a large variety of animals, ranging from monkeys, sloths and crocodiles to turtles and numerous bird species.
Tortuguero - Cahuita National Park. From one national park to another, leaving Tortuguero we travel to Cahuita, a breathtaking national park on the Caribbean coast, with beautiful palm fringed white sand beaches and incredible off-shore coral reef. Go for a snorkel or take a glass-bottomed boat to discover Cahuita's incredible marine life, wander through the forest to spot the resident wildlife or soak up the sunshine on the beach, the choice is yours! There is also the option to visit Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - a laid-back Caribbean village renowned for its surf, or the local 'sloth sanctuary' where you enjoy close encounters with these weird and wonderful creatures! The town of Cahuita itself has an impressive selection of restaurants, where you may sample some fruits of the sea and listen to reggae music.
Today our incredible adventure ends after hotel check out. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.