Costa Rica 8... Naturally!
March 24: Arrival-San Jose – Bosque de Paz (D)
Arrive into San Jose. On arrival our local tour manager will meet us after baggage claim and escort us to our private bus. Our local manager will provide a welcome kit with a welcome letter, map and a detailed itinerary of our holiday in Costa Rica.
Bosque de Paz, a lush rainforest paradise, surrounded by magnificent cloud and rain forests, barely 1 ½ hours from the capital, San José. Here we discover great natural beauty, an abundance of crystal waters and the richness of some extraordinary forests where the privacy and personalized attention form a unique and unrepeatable experience. Live the experience of being able to breathe the purest mountain air, while resting or walking through the rainforest, devoid of environmental pollution.
Dinner and overnight at Bosque de Paz
March 25: Botanic Trail (B/L/D)
This is one of the best trails at the lodge, and one of the most beautiful and important trails of the reserve, exhibiting the limitless biodiversity of the plants and animals to the visitor. The Botanic Trail is set in the oldest forest area of the mountains and displays a number of orchids as the majority of these prefer high altitudes and trees with perfect conditions to thrive. The relationship between the corpulent Strangling Fig trees and the rest of the wildlife is impressive. Along this trail you will find important figs which, due to decomposition, are completely hollow. Today we will have the opportunity to observe birds including the sought-after radiant Quetzal, which inhabits the reserve. High in the treetops we can see the Bat Falcon and Swainson’s Hawk and mammals like the Spider and Colored Monkeys, the Howler Monkey (or Congo Monkey) and in the lower branches we will observe other birds such as the Common Bush-Tanger, and the Sooty-Capped Bush Tanager. Here we also find unique species of tropical frogs, and depending on the weather, the hardworking Army Ants and Leaf-Cutter Ants. The trail is approximately 1 km long and is accessible for all ages and all physical conditions. The Botanic Trail is the perfect escape to the wilderness, characterized as a little denser forest than the other trails in the Reserve.
The waterfall hike: This walk can take up to 3 hours round trip at a slow pace to watch and enjoy the rich biodiversity. This is the longest trail in the Reserve, with a combination of primary rainforest in the higher areas and secondary rainforest in the lower area. The trail starts at 1500 meters above sea level and reaches 1900 meters with the breathtaking Fatima Waterfall at a height of 60 meters (180 feet approx). The waterfall was named in honor of the Virgin of Fatima and there is an interesting story to be shared during the hike. It is possible to spot the Resplendent Quetzal, not only because it is a bird that inhabits the heights, but also because the trail is full of its favorite fruit trees; fig, avocado, and Dama “Lady”. Other birds found along this trail are the Collared Redstart, Slate-throated Redstart, Collared Trogon, Orange-bellied Trogon, Prong-billed Barbet, Emerald Toucanet, and many more.
Overnight at Bosque de Paz
March 26: Palo Verde Safari / Monteverde (B/L)
After breakfast continue to Palo Verde the largest protected area in Guanacaste and possibly one of the most important ones in Central America. This area offers refuge and a temporary home for birds to nest and raise their chicks. Sightings will include the Roseate Spoonbill, the Wood Stork, the Northern Jacana, Ospreys, at least 4 species of king fishers, dozens of species of egrets, trogons, motmot… and the list goes to over 300 species of birds. In addition, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies… Palo Verde is definitely one of the richest places when we discuss wildlife and plants in Costa Rica.
Continue to Monteverde Cloud forest: Green, breezy and cool, Monteverde Cloudforest is one of the most exciting destinations in Costa Rica. Set on a high mountain ridge, its tiny village, Santa Elena, was founded in the 50´s by a small group of conservation-minded Quakers who were looking for a peaceful place to live. Its Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in the tropics.
Overnight at Monteverde Country Lodge
March 27: Santa Elena Reserve Tour (B/D)
This Reserve, located in the Cordillera de Tilarán, is managed by the Administrative Board of the College of Santa Elena. Their invaluable contribution is that a percentage of the money they earn is donated for the education of the youth of the community. The Reserve has an area of 310 hectares of Cloud Forest, and in its territory are the springs of the Chiquito and Caño Negro rivers that, combined with the Aguas Gatas canyon, constitute a large percentage of the water that reaches the Arenal Hydroelectric Plant.
Don Juan coffee tour, Chocolate Tour & Sugar Cane demonstration: This tour begins with a brief insight into the wonderful world of coffee followed by the history of the Costa Rican beverage, and its importance in socio-economic development. Later we cover other aspects of the Costa Rican culture and traditions. The tour starts with an introduction to the life cycle of a coffee plant from the coffee seed, through its fascinating evolutionary cycle (the harvest, drying, toasting and grinding of the bean). We then continue with the chocolate tour, where we will be immersed in the world of chocolate, enjoying its delicious aromas and learning about its history. We participate in the chocolate making process and have the opportunity to taste the fruit of the cacao; we observe how small cocoa beans are magically converted into a rich tasting chocolate drink. Finally, we learn the historic reason why many farmers had sugarcane mills on their farms. We then grind cane, tasting the cane juice and succulent cane.
Overnight at Monteverde Country Lodge
March 28: Monteverde – Arenal (B/D)
After breakfast transfer to Arenal. Arenal’s perfectly symmetrical shape makes it a sightseer’s dream, while its abundance of outdoor activities makes it an easy place to check things off your “must-do in Costa Rica” list. Here we visit one of the most spectacular volcanoes in Costa Rica, cloud forests, a lake world-famous for windsurfing and an incredibly diverse population of wildlife. After the hotel check enjoy some free time to shop and lunch on your own.
Late afternoon we visit EcoTermales (Arenal's Only Truly Natural Hot Springs), an escape into nature’s paradise and combined with all the necessary comforts to make our experience memorable. Here, filled with tropical rainforest serenity and impressive views of the Arenal Volcano, the heat nourishes the waters.
Overnight at Villas Eco Arenal
March 29: Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge by Boat (Pantoon)/ Sarapiqui (B/L/D)
The wildlife reserve Caño Negro is one of the most important reserves for birding and observation of wildlife in Costa Rica and home to sloths, monkeys, caimans, bats and numerous tropical plants. After a welcome drink and a snack, we slowly and silently cruise to this exceptional national refuge in our comfortable boat and enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna. On our return we will be served a typical, delicious lunch in the “El Caiman” restaurant located on the Rio Frio riverbank.
Overnight at Villas Eco Arenal
March 30: Natural History Walk in Arenal Hanging Bridges- Sarapiqui (B/D)
Today we take you through the abundant biodiversity of the nature reserve. A naturalist guide will open the doors to the fascinating and colorful tropical rainforest through his knowledge of natural history. Here we visit the new attraction on the Waterfall Trail and enjoy the beautiful waterfall in the rainforest. The imposing views of the volcano from the hanging bridges over the forest make a perfect combination for an unforgettable experience.
After lunch continue to the Sarapiqui area
Set on the banks of the Puerto Viejo River, Sarapiqui has become an important destination for tourists seeking for adrenaline adventure or to relax in an ambience surrounded by nature. The area is known as one of the richest areas for bird watching. Multiple tours are available here including canopy, horseback, hiking, birding and rafting on the Sarapiqui River, a scenic river surrounded by tropical jungle.
Overnight at La Quinta Country Inn
March 31: Pineapple Organic tour / Palmitour (B/L)
Pineapple Organic tour: Our enthusiastic expert guides us through a wonderfully charming rural adventure as we travel into the fields on a specially designed coach pulled by a tractor. During our tour we discover the different sections, aspects and stages of the growth of organic pineapples and the production process from seeding through harvesting. We’ll be introduced to the history of the indigenous roots raised in plantations across Costa Rica and learn about other sustainable crops produced here; yucca, lemon, guanabanas, and peppers. At the end of the tour, we hear more about traditional Costa Rican folklore as we relax and savor delicious smoothies and slices of fresh, organic pineapples, that will impress our palates.
Palmitour: A family-run business offers a variety of products made from palm hearts. Our guide describes the working of the palmito plantation where we can understand the production process. At the end of the tour we are welcomed in a rustic ranch, with food tasting based on a variety of heart of palm products. Lunch is included here.
Overnight at La Quinta Country Inn
April 01: La Selva Biological Station Hike (OTS) / Earth University (B/L/D)
After breakfast we visit La Selva Biological Station Hike (OTS) Half day, guided walks schedule at 8:00 a.m. A bilingual naturalist guide leads the walks that provide a glimpse of the leading-edge research conducted at La Selva Biological Station. Here we discover the amazing natural history of the tropical forests, its flora and fauna. Each walk takes place primarily on cement or wood trails suitable for all ages.
Continue to Guapiles. Earth University Institute is a private educational foundation located in the humid tropical Guapiles area of Costa Rica. Our stay here include a nights lodging in the Posadas Hotel (on site), 3 meals including a special open grill, pool side dinner of typical Costa Rican cuisine, an expert naturalist guide assisted by EARTH students who have an in-depth knowledge of all Earth's activities. EARTH also has an amazing level of biodiversity on campus, with three species of monkey, two species of sloth, armadillos, bats, ocelots, poison dart frogs, and nearly 300 species of birds. The purpose of this aspect of our tour is to provide our group accessibility to conservation and integrated agricultural ideas to ecotourism.
Upon arrival lunch, & general tour through the University campus and presentation of the institutional video.
Visit: Planting for the Future: Enhancement of Agroecology (PFTF) Project The intention of this project is to work with local communities, students, and professors to develop strategies to promote community food security, and to educate people about sustainable agricultural systems in economically disadvantaged communities. Another important aspect of the project is the creation of a training of trainers’ program for local residents to provide an opportunityfor them to learn about peri-urban agriculture and teach workshops, and share knowledge.
Overnight at the Earth University, La Posada Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
April 02: Tortuguero (B/L/D)
Morning departure to the canals lining the Atlantic Coast, where the boat trip to Tortuguero starts. One of Costa Rica's most popular eco-tourism destinations, the canals and rivers of Tortuguero National Park are a study in rainforest, freshwater and marine biology. The park and small town of Tortuguero can only be accessed by boat or small aircraft. The lodges provide comfortable accommodations, knowledgeable natural history guides, boats and family-style dining for their guests. Considered one of the world's major nesting sites for the Atlantic green turtle, one can see these great creatures between July and October.
Arrive at the lodge for lunch. The lodge will then schedule a tour to the village in the afternoon. This tour will provide detailed information on its history, culture and work in favor of conservation of the sea turtles and the flora and fauna in general.
A visit to the Sea Museum of the "Caribbean Conservation Corporation" is also included, but the donation of USD 2 per person has to be paid directly to the CCC.
Overnight at Evergreen, lunch & dinner included
April 03: Tortuguero National Park (B/L/D)
After breakfast guests will enjoy the boat tours along the canals of Tortuguero. Visit the canals within the National Park to discover a large variety of birds and receive detailed information on the flora and fauna of the area. Return to the lodge for lunch and the balance of the afternoon open for individual exploration.
Overnight at Evergreen
April 04: Tortuguero – San Jose (B)
After breakfast, flight back to San Jose. On arrival visit National Theater Opened in 1897, the National Theater is a monument to the musical and artistic heritage in Costa Rica. This magnificent architectural and cultural masterpiece presents a variety of entertainment, theater productions, plays, shows, opera, dance, and music performances. The National Symphonic Orchestra season runs from March to November. International legends such as Prima Ballerina Anna Pavlova of the Bolshoi Ballet and Andres Segovia have graced its stage.
Lunch (not included) can be very reasonably purchased at the National Theatre café). When we leave the theatre, we will go to our hotel. We’ll be facing west, with the city’s main east bound corridor, Avenida 2 to your left. Walk 1 ½ blocks west along Avenida 2 to the Parque Central the city’s nucleus, and the Catedral Metropolitana the National Catholic Cathedral, The flamboyant Teatro Popular Melico Salazar. Continue west along the pedestrian zone to the century old Mercado Central. This is an interesting place to observe and share with average Costa Ricans. Walk through the narrow passages where we see hundreds of traditional toys, pets, wood and leather crafts, candles, religious images and smell the great mix of spices, coffee, flowers, natural herbs, fruit and food. It is a great place to stop and enjoy a typical dish "Casado", "Ceviche" or "Olla de Carne". Sodas (small restaurants) are very cheap and most of them prepare nice dishes with fresh ingredients. Our travelers can return to the hotel easily through the pedestrian streets.
Overnight at Presidente Hotel. Breakfast included.
April 05: Departure (B)
Breakfast a leisurely morning and then an on-time transfer to the airport for our departure back to Canada.
- Total Tour price per person / double: CAD $4,785
- Land only cost per person: CAD $3,795
- Single rate full tour: CAD $5,485
- Single rate land only: CAD $4,495
Single occupancy is extremely limited on this tour due to the nature of our accommodation. We offer the opportunity of share single. In this case we will attempt to provide suitable share accommodation for single requests however this is not guaranteed.
- Per Passenger deposit requirements:
$750.00 per person
- Final Payments due as follows:
75-Days prior to departure
We strongly recommend adequate travel insurance and provide details of insurance suggestions for US citizens at the time of booking.
Complete terms and conditions will be provided to all travellers at the time of booking. Insurance is strongly recommended and optional insurance suggestions will also be provded at the time of booking.
Penalties will vary based on the time the cancellation is received by Frederick Travel Waterloo.
- From deposit to 61 days prior:
- From 60 to departure:
In the event that we are able to find a replacement from wait-lists or other requests received for the land tour between date of booking and 31-days prior to date of departure, a flat $50.00 p.p. administration charge will be assessed. Within 31-days prior, we regret that all payments become non-refundable with or without a replacement. We do not guarantee a replacement.
Total tour price includes:
- Tour escort Janice Bock, Canadian Tour Manager who has escorted seven previous groups in Costa Rica
- Return air flights from Toronto to Costa Rica including all air taxes
- Flight from Tortuguero to San Jose
- 12 Nights bed and breakfast in lodges and hotels
- 7 Lunches
- 9 Evening dinners; all 3 course with choices on each course plus tea / coffee
- Modern air-conditioned private coaster for 13 days
- Experienced local guide throughout and all expenses
- Admission to all the listed visits & attractions
- Pre-travel get-together in January in K-W with Tour Manager and Travel Agent
- Bosque de Paz: 7 standard room 2 queen beds+ 1 standard room with one bed
- Monteverde Country Lodge: 2 double beds
- Villas Eco Arenal: 2 double beds
- La Quinta: 2 double beds or 1 King
- EARTH: 2 double beds
- Evergreen Lodge: 2 queen beds
Our tour requires a mínimum of 12 travellers and is limited to an absolute maximum of 16. We recommend that you make your reservations early to avoid disappointment.
Toronto April 6
Bosque de Paz
At Bosque de Paz, you will discover great natural beauty, abundance of crystal waters and the richness of some extraordinary forests where the privacy and our personalized attention form a unique and unrepeatable experience and will be an important personal contribution as well as an extra ecological support against the environmental damage affecting the world. In addition, live the experience of being able to breathe the purest air of the mountains, while resting or walking through the jungle, without any environmental pollution and in evident contrast with the daily life of a world full of stress, worries and scares.
Monteverde Country Lodge
Focused in family trips and looking forward to providing guest with the most typical Costa Rican lodging experience, Monteverde Country Lodge was remodeled assuring the maximum comfort, yet preserving the real essence of traditional rustic lodging of the Monteverde from 20 years ago. Wooden finishes and gorgeous gardens keep our guests in touch with nature; personal service and accommodating staff complement a renewing experience for fellow Costa Ricans and guests from around the world. By rescuing concepts like sustainability, helpfulness, quietness and delicious traditional Costa Rican recipes, Monteverde Country Lodge orients its efforts on lending your trip a hand to become the most authentic adventure in this amazing forest.
Villas Eco Arenal
Eco Arenal Hotel is located just outside of La Fortuna and situated in the northern lowlands of Costa Rica, near the magnificent Arenal Volcano. Popular amongst nature lovers and eco tourists, both the hotel and the surrounding area are rich in local vegetation and fauna. The individually designed and decorated rooms at Eco Arenal Hotel offer the ultimate eco sanctuary in the heart of the Costa Rica tropical forest. Designed to reflect the natural beauty of the lush forest, brilliant gardens and the magnificent Arenal Volcano. All rooms have marvelous views of the volcano, gardens and streams. Standard in-room comforts include a mini-refrigerator, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private balcony.
La Quinta Country Inn
Located in the northeastern portion of Cost Rica, in Sarapiqui, just 60 miles from San Jose, La Quinta Country Inn is comprised of nine acres, including frog and butterfly gardens and meandering trails built with wheel chair accessibility. Surrounded by tropical rainforest, private reserves and La Selva Biological station, this resort is recognized by the National Accreditation commission for sustainable tourism. People who are seeking a place for enjoying eco-tourism and to river raft down the Sarapiqui River.
Earth University, La Posada
Finca Organica: Clean and environmentally-friendly lodging in the heart of EARTH’s academic campus. Posadas Hotel: Located at the entrance of Manuel Antonio National Park, listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the 12 Most Beautiful Parks in the World. Explore all this beautiful park has to offer and it is only a three minutes walk to the most spectacular, vibrant and magical beach in all of Costa Rica-Manuel Antonio.
The one and only hotel in tortuguero inserted in the heart of nature. Evergreen is located in the northeastern corner of Tortuguero, 5 minutes by boat from the main entrance to Tortuguero National Park, and accessible only by air and water and is the ideal location from which to explore this unique and magical area, surrounded by towering trees and exuberant vegetation and are adorned with tropical designs. Comfortable rooms, all are spacious, with comfortable beds, private bathrooms, hot water, and ceiling fans, swimming pool. The beautiful main dinning room with soaring ceilings provides first class meals in an atmosphere that reflects and compliments the jungle paradise surrounding it.
Located in the heart of San José and 100 m from Costa Rica’s National Theatre and boasts unique designed interiors. Many of the city’s best museums and galleries, as well as public parks, shops, restaurants and bars are within easy walking distance. Make a toast at sunset on the rooftop at Azotea Calle 7, our pride-and-joy bar/restaurant. Everything is here to unwind after exploring in San José and its surroundings. Settle in and enjoy comfortable beds, air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and flat-screen TVs – not to mention room service, a mini-fridge, and laptop-sized safes. The bathrooms offer hair dryers and showers with relaxing hot water! Hotel Presidente is the proud recipient of a “4 leaf” rating by the Costa Rican Tourist Board’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program.