Amazing Costa Rica
The stunning national parks of Costa Rica are endowed with some of the greatest diversity of flora and fauna in the world. Depart for La Fortuna where we can explore the base of the mighty Arenal Volcano and its unique surrounds. At Monteverde we discover large areas of untouched forest considered by many to be one of the world's most outstanding tropical cloudforest and wildlife sanctuaries. Finally we come to the Manuel Antonio National Park which features some of Costa rica's finest beaches, with long stretches of beautiful white sand backed by lush jungle.
Why we love it:
- The stunning national parks of Costa Rica are endowed with some of the greatest diversity of flora and fauna in the world.
- Depart for La Fortuna where we can explore the base of the mighty Arenal Volcano and its unique surrounds.
- At Monteverde we discover large areas of untouched forest considered by many to be one of the world's most outstanding tropical cloudforest and wildlife sanctuaries.
- Finally we come to the Manuel Antonio National Park which features some of Costa rica's finest beaches, with long stretches of beautiful white sand backed by lush jungle.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: San Jose
Accommodation: Hotel Plaza Real or similar, San Jose
- On arrival at San Jose airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel located in the heart of the city. In the evening you will meet your tour leader and the other members of the group for a pre-tour briefing. This is normally held at 6pm but please check the notice board at reception to confirm the time and place. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents along with you. Following the briefing there is generally an optional group dinner at a nearby restaurant.
- Costa Rica’s capital sits in the centre of a lush, wide valley which has a comfortable subtropical climate. The streets of the town are laid out along a grid iron pattern, with avenidas running east to west and callés running north to south. Many of the most interesting buildings are in the region of Avenida Central – the Teatro Nacional is an elaborate confection of marble staircases, statues, frescoes and mirrors.
- There are a number of interesting museums in the city; the Museo de Oro has a good collection of golden pre-Columbian figurines. The Mercado Central is the main market which dates back to 1881 – there are some good food stalls here as well as countless artefacts for sale.
- Elsewhere in San Jose there are some good restaurants – you can dine out on Chinese, Indian, Italian or the more traditional variations on the theme of rice and beans.
Day 2-3: La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Casa Luna Lodge or similar, La Fortuna
- An approximately four-and-a-half hour drive will take you to La Fortuna, your base for exploring the Arenal Volcano and its wild surrounds. Vulcan Arenal lay dormant for 400 years until finally erupting in 1968.
- The volcano's almost perfect cone, which soars 1,633 metres above sea level, has a crater 140 metres deep formed over an ancient Caldera. Huddled in the shadow of the looming Vulcan Arenal the small town of La Fortuna is an ideal location from which to explore the surrounding region.
- During your stay there will be time for some optional activities including a visit to the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, an excursion to the Arenal Volcano and Tabacon Resort Hot Springs, fishing in Lake Arenal, as well as opportunities for adventure activities such as mountain biking.
- In the evening you will visit hot springs in the area, surrounded by lush foliage and naturally heated by the volcano, the springs are the perfect way to relax.
Day 4-5: Monteverde
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
Accommodation: Historias Lodge or similar, Monteverde
- You will travel by minibus and boat to the cool cloud forests of Monteverde (approximately 4 hours). Your leader will take you on a walking tour through the Monteverde National Park.
- In addition, you can choose from some great optional activities. There is the Skywalk, a combination of suspension bridges and platforms built in the cloud forest, that allow you to explore the forest canopy in a safe and easy manner. You can also venture away from the Monteverde Reserve to the Children's Eternal Rainforest, the first international children's rainforest in the world.
- Then there is the Monteverde Butterfly Garden and the Hummingbird Gallery, a must for those with a penchant for these winged, colored jewels of the forest.
- At night you will enjoy a night hike in Monteverde, hiking at dusk in the forest. Some of the wildlife you might see include porcupines, toucans and other sleeping birds, owls, agoutis, coatimundis, snakes, walking sticks, tarantulas, katydids, and an array of other cool insects.
- Of course, there are no guaranteed sightings, so don't expect all these creatures to be waiting just for you! Typically though this time of transition into night offers a good opportunity to view nocturnal mammals as well as diurnal animals as they prepare for night. Look out for the resplendent quetzal, one of the most elusive birds in the world.
Day 6-7: Manuel Antonio National Park
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
Accommodation: Los Almendros or similar, Manuel Antonio
- It is a four to five hour drive to Manuel Antonio National Park. Situated on the Pacific Coast 132km from San Jose, the area of mangrove swamps and beaches now known as the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio was first documented by Spanish Explorer Ponce de Leon in 1519 during his (unsuccessful) search for the Fountain of Youth.
- Long, white beaches extending around the headland of Punta Catedral are set against evergreen forest backdrops that grow up right up to the high tide line. Incorporating 12 small islands scattered just off the coast where migrating whales can sometimes be observed, the park is home to 109 mammal and 184 bird species in a region of lagoons and fertile mangrove swamps.
- Your time here is your own to enjoy some of Costa Rica's finest beaches or you can take to the many fine hiking trails through the tropical forest.
Day 8-9: San Jose
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
Accommodation: Hotel Plaza Real or similar, San Jose
- You will spend the morning in Manuel Antonio before returning to San Jose and your centrally located hotel. You can enjoy one last night out to celebrate the end of your journey.
- The trip will come to an end on Day 9 after breakfast.
- The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local leader throughout the tour.
- Park fees.
- Arrival transfer.
- Accommodation: Hotel (8 nts)
- Meals: 8 Breakfasts, 1 Dinner
- Transport: Minibus, Shuttle Bus, Boat
- La Fortuna - Baldi Hot Springs
- Monteverde - Cloud Forest hike
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
- International flights
- Airport departure tax
- Visas where required
- Meals not included in the itinerary
- Any optional tours or activities during free time
- Tips and items of a personal nature
- Daily budget
We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
- La Fortuna - Hanging bridges
- La Fortuna - Rio Celeste Safari float
- La Fortuna/Arenal - Tabacon Hot Springs
- La Fortuna/Arenal - Volcano hike
- Manuel Antonio - Dolphin watch/sunset sail (seasonal)
- Manuel Antonio - Mangrove tour by kayak (with lunch)
- Manuel Antonio - Surf/boogie board rental
- Monteverde - Butterfly garden and insects farm
- Monteverde - Hanging bridges
- Monteverde - Night walk
- Monteverde - Serpentarium
- Monteverde - Zip lining
- San Jose - Butterfly Farm
- San Jose - Gold Museum
- San Jose - Irazu Volcano, Ososi Valley, Lankester garden full day tour
- San Jose - Jade Museum
- San Jose - National Museum
- San Jose - Poas National Park half day tour
- San Jose - Poas Volcano National Park, Doka Coffee Tour & La Paz Waterfalls full day tour
What to know
No particular level of fitness is required however a certain degree of agility is best and you should be in good health.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region. We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.
Visas and Permits
Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Australians, Americans, Canadians, British and New Zealanders do not currently require a visa for Costa Rica. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.
Please note that Costa Rican authorities require a Yellow Fever Certificate for visitors arriving from some countries in South America (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela).
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.
Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
Exploring Costa Rica-The Tico Times Costa Rica The Ecotravellers-Les Beletsky Wildlife Guide
Any luggage not required for your Costa Rican holiday can be left in the luggage room of our San Jose hotel.
Public Holiday Inconveniences
Ocassionally sights such as museums and churches are closed to tourists on public holidays.
Please note that hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Peregrine monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.
Costa Rice Tourism Industry & Costs
Costa Rica has done a great job of looking after its natural wonders yet maximising their potential as tourist attractions. As a result, you should expect to pay for nearly every optional activity available. This allows everyone to individually have the choice of deciding on which activities they particularly want to participate in - from white water rafting to hiking - and to choose their own budget. Prices in Costa Rica tend to be higher than in the rest of Central America but this also means high standards of service, well maintained gear, clear paths and signalling and well trained local guides that allow you to make the most of every activity.
Emergency Contact: Viaventure
24 Hour Emergency:+502 5778 4052 or + 502 5207 4914
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
10 April 2014
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Peregrine