This short trip packs in many of Costa Rica’s most impressive natural highlights. Steaming volcanoes and pristine cloud forests, alabaster beaches and staggering biodiversity all await – for its size, this is a country that offers unparalleled variety and scope for adventure. Whether it’s following the trails in remote Monteverde Cloud Forest, getting up close with majestic Arenal Volcano, or being bowled over by birdlife and mammals at Manuel Antonio National Park, at every turn Costa Rica is a wild, natural wonderland that never fails to inspire and excite.
Independent travel, without the stress. Peregrine’s Independent Experiences are a range of short ‘mini tours’ that you can add to other Experiences or as an extension to a longer tour, to craft your perfect holiday itinerary. Independent Experiences are for 1-3 travellers, come accompanied by local guides and generally depart daily. /experiences
- San Jose, Costa Rica
- San Jose, Costa Rica
- Costa Rica
- Independent Experiences
- Physical rating
- Min 12
- Group size
- Min 1, Max 0
Why we love this trip
Try traditional Costa Rican cuisine
Wake to the calls of native Central American birdlife
Gain insight into flora and fauna with a naturalist guide
Sleep in comfort at the famous Pacuare Lodge
Trek along the banks of the Pacuare River
Witness exotic wildlife while hiking through the Costa Rican rainforest
After lunch participate an optional canopy tour (not included in package price) or waterfall hike, or simply relax in your private bungalow or suite. After candlelight dinner visit our upstairs lounge for a cocktail or refreshment before retiring to a restful night’s sleep.
- Pacuare Lodge or similar (1 night)
The lodge employs a resident naturalist guide who will provide you with unique insights into the plant and animal world. Choose from exciting optional tours that include guided hikes through an emerald rainforest, the Cabecar Indian Hike - where visitors may participate in a cultural exchange, our Adventure Canopy Tour – where visitors glide amid a tropical rainforest canopy or a therapeutic massage.
The next 2 days are free for you to choose the activities you wish.
INFLATABLE DUCKIES TOUR
After breakfast, cross the river in a cable basket and board a 4x4 vehicle for the drive to the Pacuare River. An experienced river guide will teach you how to paddle duckies and provide detailed safety information, ensuring that you are comfortable and capable of manoeuvring the kayak before you begin paddling downriver. You’ll then begin a nine-mile trip down that scenic waterway at a leisurely pace that allows you to admire the surrounding nature and paddle through small, but exhilarating rapids. There will be a stop en route for a snack and a short hike, for a closer look at the rainforest’s flora and fauna. You’ll be back at the Pacuare Lodge in time for lunch.
TROPICAL CANYONING TOUR
This tour lets you experience the adventure sport of canyoning, or canyoneering, which combines hiking, climbing and rappelling. The adventure includes a hike through the rainforest and exploration of El Tesorito Creek Canyon, where you’ll make several short rappels perfect for learning the technique before an exhilarating rappel down a 30-meter (90-foot) rock wall. The tour can be done just after breakfast, or lunch, and it begins with safety training and instruction in using the equipment.
You’ll hike for about 15 minutes through the rainforest from the main lodge to a point where you begin your descent into the narrow canyon of El Tesorito Creek. The canyon exploration provides a great introduction to rappelling, since it includes six short rappels of between 2 and 20 meters (6-65 feet) that will prepare you for a final rappel of more than 30 metres (90 feet). After that, you’ll continue hiking through the creek and the forest back to the lodge.
DAY BREAK ACTIVITY TOUR
After a cup of steaming coffee we begin a short session of stretching and relaxation exercises designed to aid us in our exploration of the grounds surrounding the lodge. Our naturalist guide will lead you from the Pacuare Lodge along a series of sites from which you can observe buzzing hummingbirds, dancing butterflies and exquisite tropical flowers. The guide will point out delicate bromeliads, like the lovely “sexy lady”, and answer questions about the wide variety of native ferns, lichens and orchids. See Mother Nature at her best as you spot the many birds and other wildlife that are indigenous to the area. Look and listen carefully for the Montezuma Oropendula, which nests far above in the towering trees. The area around the lodge is home to an extraordinary number of exotic bird species including a variety of colourful toucans. The tour lasts about an hour and a half, after which we will return to the lodge for a hot delicious breakfast.
Experience the energy of a tropical paradise with this relaxing, soothing, and rhythmic massage and reflexology. Performed in the privacy of your luxury bungalow, our therapeutic rainforest massage offers you a blissfully relaxing spa escape with treatments for the whole body. Other options such as hot stone massage and facials are also available.
PLANT A TREE
The OWE “Plant a tree program” was begun in honour of Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen, two renowned Polar explorers who completed the first ever trek to the North Pole in summer. Their goal was to create international awareness about the dangers of global warming as well as to collect scientific data to measure the effects of global warming in the Arctic. A few months after successfully completing their historic journey, Lonnie and Eric visited the Pacuare Lodge to offer a presentation detailing their gruelling expedition. On December 6th 2006, the day after their presentation, Lonnie and Eric planted a Mahogany seedling, thereby initiating this fund.
The cost per tree is US$14 which will be donated to the “Bajo del Tigre” elementary school located a 45 minute horseback ride away. Donations will be used to purchase materials, help with maintenance, and to educate the children about how they can protect the environment. Participants will take part in a tree planting event and your tree will include a small plaque with your name and date of the planting
To participate in the The One World Expedition “Plant a tree program”, make sure to inform one of our reservation agents at the time of your booking.
CABECAR INDIANS HIKE
The Talamanca Mountains are host to the Cabecar Indians, the largest indigenous group in Costa Rica, and one that retains many of its traditional customs and beliefs. From the Pacuare Lodge it is possible to visit an isolated family group to learn about their way of life, as well as enjoying the alluring tropical rainforest. The experience to walk to these families is a challenge due to the difficult conditions of the trails; nevertheless the trail offers a wonderful opportunity to discover many secrets of the forest, interact with the ecosystem, and hike the same trails the Cabecar Indians have for centuries. Sometimes there is the possibility to talk with the Shaman or medicine man, which is still a more enriching experience. After briefly visiting with a Cabecar family, we will begin our trek back down to the lodge.
As an indigenous people with little contact with the outside world, the Cabecar can sometimes be shy and reclusive; this will influence the amount of time and contact visitors will have with the Shaman. We urge our guests to request permission from our guide before taking photographs of any Cabecar people. The Cabecar do not like to be photographed, and we strongly respect this wish. A percentage of the tour cost goes directly to the Cabecar family and will be invested in sustainable projects with this community.
The tour takes 4-5 hours and is quite physically demanding.
- Pacuare Lodge or similar (1 night)
- Cabecar Indians Hike - USD45
- Swedish Massage (45 mins) - USD65
- One World Expedition - Plant a Tree Program - USD15
- Day Break Activity Tour - USD20
- Pacuare River Inflatable Duckies Tour - USD120
- Horse riding - USD58
- Pacuare Tropical Canyoning Tour - USD45
- Breakfast (2)
- Lunch (2)
- Dinner (2)
Meals3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
Transport4x4, Chairlift, Minibus
AccommodationLodge (3 nights)
Dates & availability
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Please note that although offered on a private basis, transfers and activites may be shared with other travellers.
The transfers between San Jose and Pacuare Lodge will be done by mostly microbus and 4x4. At the end of the journey there is an open hanging gondola (like a chairlift) which carries you across the river via a 100 metre cable running from riverbank to riverbank. There is then a 300 metre hike to the lodge. Your equipment is transported by lodge staff.