Costa Rica's Wild Side

Volcanoes and Wildlife

Enjoy the beaches and jungles of Manuel Antonio National Park, Corcovado National Park, and a few days at Arenal Volcano. 10D/9N From only $3350 per person

This trip features nature at its best from the tropical national parks on the central and southern Pacific coasts to the Arenal Volcano area in the northern zone. Manuel Antonio National Park, on the central Pacific coast, is a favorite for both nature enthusiasts and beach lovers. The national park is famous for its white sandy beaches and adjacent evergreen forest which grows right down to the high tide mark. Located on the Osa Peninsula, Corcovado is the crown jewel of Costa Rica's world-renowned national park system and has been deemed by the National Geographic Society as "the most biologically intense place on earth." It includes thirteen separate ecosystems amongst one thousand species of trees, nearly four hundred species of birds, 140 mammal species, five cat species, four species of monkeys, the giant anteater, peccaries and tapir. Four species of turtle nest on the parks beaches (green, Pacific Ridley, Hawksbill and Leatherback). Corcovado is home to the largest population of nesting scarlet macaws in Meso-America.

Day 1 : San Jose - Quepos / Manuel Antonio

You will be met at the airport upon arrival and assisted to your connecting flight to Quepos. Depending on your arrival time, you may have to spend a night in San Jose.

When you arrive in Quepos, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel in Manuel Antonio, a destination known for its diverse wildlife and beautiful island beaches.

Overnight Hotel Costa Verde, daily breakfast included - 3 nights. 

Day 2 : Manuel Antonio National Park

Today you will explore Manuel Antonio National Park on a guided tour. This national park is one of the most famous in the country due to its wide variety of flora and fauna specimens. You will be accompanied by a nature guide who is knowledgeable about everything you will see. The trail you will take is flat and picturesque and loops through the park making your course approximately 2 miles long. Throughout the hike your guide will stop and explain the different nature specimens that can be observed, you can take photographs or just admire the view.

Day 3 : Manuel Antonio

Day at leisure.  Optional excursions include: horseback riding, canopy tours, catamaran tour, whitewater rafting, dolphin watch, kayaking, fishing, surfing.

Day 4 : Manuel Antonio - Corcovado National Park / Osa Peninsula

After breakfast at your hotel you will be met for a private transfer to the docks at Sierpe, approximately 2 hours. Board a boat for a shared transfer across the Sierpe mangrove system to your hotel in Drake Bay, Osa Peninsula, approximately 1.5 hour boat transfer. 

Established in 1975, the 105,000 acre Corcovado National Park is widely considered the “crown jewel” in Costa Rica’s extensive system of national parks and biological reserves. With 13 different types of ecosystems in such close proximity supporting an abundant and stunning variety of wildlife, it has been named by National Geographic "the most biologically intense place on Earth”, and has been featured in numerous wildlife and nature shows and documentaries. Corcovado contains one of the few remaining virgin, coastal, tropical lowland rain forests in existence, is an unrivaled, species-rich, botanist’s and biologist’s dream, and a keystone for science, education and ecotourism, attracting scientists and researchers from all over the world.

There are no roads to Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge, so access is only possible by boat. Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge is discreetly tucked away in the rainforest amongst its 170-acre private reserve bordering Corcovado National Park. Carefully designed and built by an American naturalist, this unique lodge offers accommodations constructed with the highest concern for conservation and harmony with the landscape and the environment. Electricity is provided 24 hours a day by hydroelectric and solar systems and each private bungalow features tiled floors, hot showers and ceiling fans. Delicious meals of fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables and typical Costa Rican cuisine are served in the communal dining area. The lodge is also supplied with mountain spring water and is surrounded by virgin rainforest and fruit trees which draw birds, monkeys and other animals right into camp.

Your time spent at this tropical paradise is free to do as you please. Excursions into Corcovado National Park and Caño Island Biological Reserve are included and led by informative guides who will introduce you to the remarkable biodiversity and natural history of the area. You can snorkel among the coral reefs, swim, beach-comb, refresh yourself under a natural waterfall, bathe in a quiet, shaded pool or simply relax on a white sand beach shaded by coconut palms. You can also arrange for additional activities including diving, sea kayaking and deep sea fishing, or explore the area on your own.

Day hikes to the park are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable local guides. The wide array of plants and animals that hikers may come across include endangered and iconic species such as the Baird’s tapir, jaguar, puma, scarlet macaw, and squirrel monkey, as well as toucans, howler monkeys, two-toed and three-toed sloths, agoutis, giant anteaters, black hawks, spectacled owls, hummingbirds, golden-orb spiders, numerous types of butterflies, coatimundis, spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, crocodiles, peccaries (wild pigs), 4 species of turtles (green, Ridley, hawksbill and leatherback), snakes, lizards, and insects. If you’re lucky, and depending on the season, you may even see dolphins and/or humpback whales during the spectacular boat rides along the coastline to and from the park.

Day 5 : Corcovado National Park - San Pedrillo Station 

You will be picked up at Copa De Arbol beach for the approximately 30-minute boat ride to the San Pedrillo ranger station - the northernmost station in the park. There is a wet landing, and once on the beach, you will have the opportunity to change into more appropriate footwear. The day includes hiking along park trails and stream beds, with your guide pointing out all of the dazzling wildlife and allowing plenty of time for photographs, a picnic lunch at the station, and a stop at an inviting rainforest waterfall, where you can cool with a swim if you wish.

Day 6 : Caño Island Biological Reserve

Today you will tour Caño Island. This beautiful island and marine sanctuary, with waters containing vast amounts of coral-building organisms, and some of the most varied and abundant marine life on the planet, is a world-class diving and snorkeling site. The island’s reefs provide an underwater landscape of caves, cliffs and canyons, and are home to 19 species of corals, including brain, head and sea fans, 60 species of mollusks, lobsters, giant conchs, white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, devil rays, large schools of jackfish, parrotfish, snappers, damsels, eels, barracuda, puffers, surgeonfish, tangs, needlefish, sponges, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, octopus, starfish, and various crustaceans.

Guided snorkel and scuba trips to the island are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable local guides. And with the warm waters around the Osa and Caño drawing mating sea mammals and other pelagic fish, as well as resident dolphins, the boat ride to the island affords additional and excellent viewing opportunities.

Day 7 : Corcovado - San Jose - Arenal

This morning you will board a boat for a shared transfer to Agujitas Beach at Drake Bay (1 hour approximately) followed by a 20-minute land transfer to the Drake Bay Airstrip for your flight to San Jose. Airport reception in San Jose and departure on a private transfer to Arenal, home to the active Arenal Volcano. A unique blend of natural elements, render this destination as a "must see" during your Costa Rica tour.

Overnight at the Arenal Springs Resort - Jr. Suite, daily breakfast included - 3 nights.

Day 8 : Arenal 

Arenal Hanging Bridges
Set off with your guide and visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a complex of suspended bridges and trails through a beautiful rain forest. These allow for observation of flora and fauna from the ground level to the top of the trees, making it one of the best methods of learning about the complexity and beauty of the rain forest. Walk the trails where you will see graceful palms and many varieties of heliconias, flowering ginger, and possibly howling monkeys, colorful forest birds and butterflies.

Arenal Skytram And Skytrek
In the afternoon you will set off for Reserva Arenal. This tour includes both the Sky Tram and the Sky Trek and offers you adventure, zip lines, bird watching and hiking inside the tropical rain forest. The Sky Tram is a 20 minute aerial tram tour through the rain forest to and observation deck where you have spectacular views of the Arenal Volcano, Lake and the Tilaran mountain range. The Sky Trek is a 3,280 foot long zip line system that gives you an exhilarating ride through the rain forest.

Day 9 : Arenal

Lava 68 Tour
Set off with your guide for a half day of hiking close to the 1968 lava flow. The lava flow trail begins off the main road near the Arenal Volcano National Park entrance and crosses an open area rapidly reverting back to forest on the northwest side of Arenal Volcano. The flow left an impressive pile of blocky lava rocks that rises about 60 feet high and now offers a panoramic view of the surrounding forests, mountains, nearby Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano itself.

La Fortuna Waterfall
In the afternoon you will visit the La Fortuna Waterfall. The Catarata La Fortuna is a beautiful waterfall about 5 ½ kilometers from the town of La Fortuna. You can walk or horseback ride the 2-3 kilometers to the falls, which is 70 meters (200 feet) high. At the base of the waterfall there is a “natural pool” where you can swim.

Day 10 : Arenal - San Jose

Today you will be driven to the San Jose International Airport.

Price from $3,350.00 per person, based on double occupancy
Days 10
Nights 9
Includes:
  • Airfare San Jose - Quepos
  • 3 nights Hotel Costa Verde, breakfast included
  • Manuel Antonio National Park tour (small-group)
  • Private transfer Quepos - Sierpe
  • 3-night Casa Corcovado package (includes boat transfers, Deluxe room accommodations, all meals, tours as specified)
  • Airfare Drake Bay - San Jose
  • Private transfer San Jose - Arenal
  • 3 nights Arenal Springs Resort, breakfast included
  • Arenal Hanging Bridges tour
  • Arenal Sky Reserve Aerial Tram and Zipline tour
  • Arenal Volcano National Park nature hike
  • Fortuna Waterfalls tour
  • Private transfer Arenal - San Jose
Excludes:
  • Int'l airfare
  • Meals not included on itinerary

"First, everything worked perfectly!"

We were met on time every time, and all travel was efficient and comfortable.  The lodging selections exceeded our expectations.  All told, our Costa Rica travel agency understood the objectives of our trip and used that understanding to plan a vacation that exceeded our expectations. We had one of our best vacations ever in Costa Rica. Our agent at this Costa Rica travel company was very receptive to my questions and planned a great trip for us, making adjustments along the way. The intinerary he worked out was perfect for our family. I highly recommend working with this agency and this travel company. We will definitely return to Costa Rica, and will work with them again without hesitation to plan our trip.

 

- Gary S, Feb 2015

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