Day 1: San José, Costa Rica
Day 2: Sarchi, Coffee Plantation
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Welcome to the “rich coast,” friendly land of democracy and rare natural beauty. During your Costa Rica vacation, you'll see exotic birds and wildlife, hike in jungle rainforests, view volcanoes, soak in hot springs and cruise through biological reserves. We provide transfers from the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San José, Costa Rica to your hotel for a two-night stay. Rooms are available for check-in after 4:00 p.m. Join us for an 8:00 p.m. welcome briefing. Dinner is served until 9:30 p.m. at your hotel.
Day 3: Wildlife Rescue Center, Fortuna
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Day 4: Caño Negro Cruise, Hot Springs
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Day 5: Hanging Bridges, Guanacaste
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Day 6: Leatherback Turtle Park, Guanacaste
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Day 7: Bird Watching Cruise, Manuel Antonio
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Day 8: Manuel Antonio
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Day 9: San José
This morning, head through Costa Rica's Central Valley. Stop at the artisan village of Sarchi, nestled on the slopes of the Central Mountain Range. Here you can shop for colorful, traditional Costa Rican handicrafts. Visit an oxcart factory where oxcarts are hand-painted with elaborate designs. Considered the national symbol of Costa Rica, oxcarts were historically used for the transport of coffee beans and supplies. Continue through Costa Rica's famous coffee growing region. Lunch. Enjoy a guided tour at a coffee plantation. Sample locally grown coffee. Costa Rica's climate and rich soil help create exceptional coffee. Visit a butterfly garden. Then, return to Costa Rica's capital, San José. Dinner.
This morning drive by San Jose’s Plaza de la Cultura, Central Park, and the National Theatre. Next, visit a wildlife rescue center. Here, injured animals are rehabilitated for release back into the wild. Lunch. Continue to Fortuna in the San Carlos Valley for a two-night stay. Dinner.
Head north this morning, passing through sugar cane, teak, pineapple, and orange plantations. Then, cruise on the Rio Frio, gateway to the world famous Caño Negro wildlife refuge, home to many migratory birds found nowhere else in Costa Rica. Look for black turtles, whistling ducks, roseate spoonbills, cormorants, anhingas, blue heron, and northern jacanas. Watch for caimans, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, green iguanas, and water-walking lizards. Lunch. Return to Fortuna. This afternoon enjoys a relaxing soak in the volcanic hot springs. Dinner.
Morning visit to the Hanging Bridges. With a naturalist guide, hike the suspension bridges. Weather permitting, enjoy views of majestic Arenal Volcano. Next, enjoy a scenic drive around Lake Arenal. Lunch. Then, to Costa Rica’s beautiful Pacific Coast. Continue to the J.W. Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa for a relaxing two-night stay. Dinner.
Morning visit to Leatherback Turtle National Park. The leatherback is the largest marine reptile in the world, weighing over 1,500 pounds. Learn about Costa Rica's efforts to protect this endangered giant. Lunch. The remainder of the day is free to enjoy your magnificent world class beach resort. Visit the elegant spa or swim in your hotel’s infinity pool, the largest in Central America. Time to beachcomb while strolling your resort’s pristine beach. Dinner.
This morning drive though the cattle ranches of Guanacaste. Stop at the Monteverde Cooperative. Lunch. Next, cruise on the Tarcoles River, adjacent to the Carara Biological Reserve. Float through a mangrove forest. Enjoy bird watching and crocodile spotting. Look for white and snowy egrets and the amazing nests of the montezuma oropendola. This tropical bird and wildlife sanctuary are a nesting site for the scarlet macaw. Continue to Manuel Antonio. You'll stay at the only hotel next to the National Park, conveniently located directly at the entrance. Dinner.
Early morning visit to world famous Manuel Antonio National Park, a natural habitat for the white face monkey, the rare squirrel monkey, and the three-toed sloth. Hike through rainforest and along spectacular beach coves. Look for toucans and parrots. (Tours beginning on Mondays will visit the adjacent public beach instead due to park closures.) The rest of your morning is at leisure. Enjoy your hotel's pools and rooftop terrace or visit nearby artisan shops. Lunch at your Manuel Antonio hotel. Then, return to San José. Farewell dinner tonight.
Your tour ends after breakfast this morning at your hotel. Breakfast begins at 6:30 a.m. We provide transfers to the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San José, Costa Rica arriving at 5:00 a.m., 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. Thanks for vacationing with us. ¡Hasta la vista!