Welcome to San Jose or Chepe as it’s called by Ticos! Upon arrival at San Jose Airport you'll be met by a representative and transferred to our hotel. Spend the remains of the at leisure in Costa Rica's capital city, which is nestled in a fertile valley among coffee and sugar-cane farms.
Overnight: San Jose
San Jose - Manuel Antonio. We travel from the Central Valley to the Pacific 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. We travel via the old town of Quepos to Santa Elena, a small town established by American Quakers in the 1950's. From here we visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in search of the mysterious endangered Quetzal, a very rare and timid bird with incredibly beautiful and unique plumage. There are several paths to explore in this privately owned reserve, one of which takes you to the continental divide. On a clear day both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can be seen! We'll also stop at the Hummingbird Gallery where these energetic birds buzz around sipping on nectar. Santa Elena is famous for its ziplines, where you'll have the option to go flying over the cloud forest on a series of cables strung out between the giant trees.
Overnight: Santa Elena
San Jose - La Fortuna. Our next journey takes us through the mountains of the cloud forest to Lake Arenal where we take a boat en route to La Fortuna. Enjoy some free time this afternoon and in the evening there is an exciting optional excursion to a site near the volcano to listen to its 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. Then there's the option to indulge yourself with a relaxing dip in the hot springs.
There's 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
L a Fortuna - San Jose. Today we travel back to San Jose and enjoy some free time in the capital. San Jose has a wealth of world class restaurants and a lively nightlife to keep us entertained!
Overnight: San Jose
San Jose - Bocas del Toro. We bid farewell to Costa Rica on day 9 and travel across the border into Panama. Here we board a public boat to Bocas del Toro - a beautiful archipelago which consists of six densely forested islands, with pristine beaches and spectacular coral reefs which can compete with the Caribbeans finest islands and has a wonderful laid back vibe! Enjoy two blissful days at leisure enjoying the delights of the island. There are options for diving, snorkelling and kayaking expeditions, as well as bike rentals and boat trips to the nearby Mangrove Forest.
Overnight: Bocas del Toro
Bocas del Toro - Boquete. Leaving island life behind we return to the mainland and travel up into the highlands to the charming mountain village of Boquete, nestled on the eastern slopes of the Baru Volcano. Boquete is renowned for its cool climate and beautiful scenery. There are plenty of optional excursions on offer; in fact Boquete is already building up quite a reputation as an 'adrenalin town' with world class rafting facilities, mountain biking, rock climbing and rappelling at nearby Los Ladrillos in Bajo Mono.
Boquete - Panama City. There's a long day of travelling ahead today as we complete the final leg of our tour, travelling to Panama City.
Overnight: Panama City
Our tour comes to an end today after hotel check out. Vibrant Panama City is undoubtedly the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America and if you wish to see the sights, including the infamous Panama Canal and the archaeological site of Panama La Vieja, consider extending your stay.
First off, my tour guide was great. I'm gluten intolerant and she made sure I ate well. She also made my birthday very special. It was great getting to know her as well. I'd go on another tour with her.
I had a lot of fun on the tour. Although, Costa Rica is more than $50 a day and I don't think it should be advertised as $30-$50. That's the only negative thing I have to say.
We got really lucky with the rain since we went in rainy season. I was disappointed in Boquete but, the other cities made up for it. Thank you Hollie for booking everything for me. And thank you Becky for being a great tour guide! (Ps. She also barbecued for us and did a great job)”