You will awake to sound of birds and the peaceful river in the morning, before enjoying a hearty breakfast at the lodge, with a selection of home-made bread, tropical fruits, yoghurt, eggs, pancakes, cereal and juice and coffee.
A resident naturalist will be able to give you invaluable insight into the animal and plant world that surrounds the lodge. You can choose between a myriad of optional activities including guided hikes through the emerald rainforest, an adventure canopy tour, a horseback ride, the Cabecar Indian Hike, or a theraputic massage.
You will have three days to spend as you wish. Below are some detailed notes about the various options.
Option A: Inflatable Duckies Tour
After breakfast you will cross the river in a cable basket, before being driven in a four-wheel drive to the Pacuare River. You will be taught how to paddle and learn any necessary safety information from an experienced river guide before embarking on your adventure.
When you are comfortable in the kayak, you will start your nine-mile journey down the scenic waterway. There will be small, but exciting rapids and the pace will be slow, to ensure you can properly appreciate the beautiful natural surrounds. You will make a stop along the way for a snack and a quick hike, which will allow you to see the flora and fauna up close.
You will return to the lodge in time for lunch.
Option B: Tropical Canyonong Tour
Canyoning is an adventure sport combining hiking, rapelling and climbing, and this adventure incoporates all three elements. You will start by hiking for 15 minutes through the rainforest and exploring El Tesorito Creek Canyon, where you will have the chance to try a few short rappels (six in total) to perfect your technique before the main event - rappelling down a 30 metre rock wall. You will finish the adventure by hiking back through the creek and forest back to the lodge.
You can choose to partake in this tour after breakfast or after lunch, and it will include a safety training and instruction on how to use the equipment.
Option C: Daybreak Exploration
You will start this activity with a short session of relaxation and stretching, which will help you with the exploration around the lodge that follows. You will be guided by the resident naturalist through a series of sites where you can see hummingbirds, butterflies, and beautiful tropical flowers.
The guide will show you some delicate bromeliads, and will help you understand more about the varieties of ferns, orchids and lichens around the property. You will also see some local wildlife, including a myriad of exotic bird species, including the 'montezuma oropendula' and a variety of colourful toucans.
The tour takes around an hour and a half. When you are finished you will return to the lodge for a hot breakfast.
Option D: Swedish Massage
Take a break from adventuring and enjoy a relaxing rhythmic massage and reflexology in the privacy of your bungalow. The rainforest massage is a wonderful spa escape, but there are a number of other options available including hot stone massages and facials.
Option E: Plant a Tree
Started in honour of Polar explorers Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen, the first explorers to trek to the North Pole in summer, OWE is a tree planting program designed to raise international awareness about the implications of global warming. It also helps to collect scientific data to measure the effects of global warming on the Arctic.
When they returned from their gruelling expedition, Lonnie and Eric visited the lodge to do a presentation, while they were there they also planted a Mahogany seedling that initiated the fund.
It costs US$14 to plant a seedling, which is in turn donated to the Bajo del Tigre Elementary School, located 45 minutes away on horseback. The donations go towards buying materials and maintenance, as well as educating the children about the environment and how they can work to preserve it.
If you choose to partake in this activity, you will join a seed planting event, a small plaque with your name and the date of planting inscribed will be placed on the tree.
If you would like to partake in one of these events, make sure you alert your reservation agents when you are booking.
Option F: Horseback Riding
You will hike 300 metres before taking a gondola over the Pacuare River. When you arrive on the other side of the river, your horses and a horseman from the region will be waiting. You will be guided up a dirt path which offers great views of the Pacuare River and protected forest. You will arrive at an intermediate point, where you can see the tiny community of Bajo del Tigre.
From here, you will continue on through secondary forest to reach the community. If the tour is taking place on a weekday, you will have the opportunity to visit the school, where you can learn more about the programs being implemented here. You will also stop at a waterfall, where you can cool off with a swim and capture some photographs. From here, it is an easy 20 minute ride back to the river where you will catch a Gondola back across the river and return to the lodge.
Option G: Cabecar Indian Hike
The Cabecar Indians are the largest indigenous group in Costa Rica, and one of the most traditional. They inhabit the Talamanca Mountains. You can visit a Cabecar family from the Pacuare Lodge, and learn more about their way of life while also appreciating the beauty of the surrounding tropical rainforest.
Walking to visit the families is a challenge unto itself. The trails are difficult, but they do offer a wonderful insight in to the secrets of the forest. These are the trails that Cabecar Indians have used for centuries.
You won't spend too long with the families, they have only had such minimal interaction with the outside world that the experience can be overwhelming for them. You may have the opportunity to talk with a Shaman or medicine man while you are here, a more enriching experience again. The Cabecar can be quite shy and reclusive, and this will guide the duration of the trip. Please also keep in mind that the Cabecar do not like to be photographed, a wish that we respect greatly. We strongly recommend that you request the permission of your guide before taking any photos.
A percentage of the tour price will go directly to the family you have visited, and will also help to fund sustainable projects for this community.
The tour will take four to five hours in total. Keep in mind that it is quite demanding physically.