Day 1: San Jose, Costa Rica
Arrive in San José, where you will be met by our representative.
Day 2: San José–Arenal
Your journey continues to the Arenal area. Along the way, enjoy amazing views of the mountains as well as a major source of revenue in the area: agricultural crops that include pineapple, bananas, and sugar cane. This afternoon, arrive at La Fortuna Village, situated in the shadow of mighty Arenal Volcano. Currently, Arenal Volcano is in a resting phase but prior to 2010 the volcano was known for its consistent lava flows and gas emissions. Arenal is home to cascading waterfalls, thriving rainforests, abundant wildlife, and a plethora of outdoor activities. After settling in, experience the magic of the resort’s pool and Jacuzzis or consider a walk along the nearby nature trails in search of 300- to 400-year-old trees, colorful frogs, monkeys, birds, and possibly small animals native to the area.
Day 3: Arenal
Today will be spent exploring ARENAL NATIONAL PARK and its vast primary rainforest, and learning about its rich biodiversity. Venture into the jungle canopy on the ARENAL HANGING BRIDGES, which consist of 15 bridges suspended in the treetops and allows your Naturalist to point out various species of plants, birds, butterflies, monkeys, sloths, and other animals commonly found here. On a clear day, you will get a 360-degree view of the tropical rainforest, as well as stunning views of Arenal Volcano. This afternoon is free to explore at your leisure. Tonight, perhaps take an optional tour to the world-famous Tabacón Hot Springs. These natural hot springs are the result of rainwater heated by magma in the Earth’s interior that then rises to the surface, taking with it minerals found in the Earth’s crust. Enjoy time to relax in the waters that are so beneficial to your skin and body.
Day 4: Arenal–Monteverde
This morning, depart for the cloud forest of Monteverde. Situated on the continental divide under a misty cloud coverage, Monteverde is one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet. Exploring the trails here reveals green habitats teeming with life. Over 3,000 species of plants, 400 species of birds, 60 species of bats, 1,200 species of amphibians, and 700 species of butterflies—to name a few— call this area home. It is also one of the last remaining places in the world that is home to all six species of cats: ocelots, jaguars, jaguarundi, pumas, oncillas, and marguays. If you are lucky, this is also a great spot to catch a glimpse of one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful birds, the resplendent quetzal.
Day 5: Monteverde
Today, visit SANTA ELENA CLOUD FOREST RESERVE during a Naturalist guided walking tour. Established in 1989, the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve comprises an area of 765 acres, and is home to forest fauna such as sloths, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, coatis, and numerous species of birds. With almost 100% humidity throughout the year, the cloud forest experiences almost 12 feet of rain per year. This afternoon, you may wish to explore this verdant area further or perhaps head into town or venture into the rainforest canopy for a bird’s eye view of the region.
Day 6: Monteverde–Sarchi–San José
En route to San José, visit SARCHI Village, known as the center of Costa Rican handicrafts and where you’ll see the artists in their workshops making the famous ox carts. Enjoy time here for lunch before continuing to San José for a short city ORIENTATION to see the historic National Theater, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and other sites in downtown San José.
Day 7: San José
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.