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zTreasures of Nature in Costa Rica

8 days

Never more than 16 guests.

Overall Rating
based on 24 Reviews

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Small Group Discoveries for our World Travelers

+ Enjoy dinner with a member of the Quaker community that founded Monteverde in 1951.
+ Explore by boat along the pristine canals of Tortuguero, the best way to appreciate this unique tropical wetland.
+ Visit the Monteverde Orchid Garden and then learn about coffee and sugar production on a real working plantation in the highlands.
+ At El Manantial Macaw Sanctuary, you’ll see rare species and learn how endangered animals are rescued and returned to the wild.
+ Venture into the colorful realm of the jungle canopy, teeming with life, on our suspended bridges tour.

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Day
1

Welcome to San José

On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the Real InterContinental. Join your Trip Leader Jorge to tour Casa Lago and dine tonight on this charming vineyard estate. meals d

Day
2

Onward to the Caribbean

Travel through Braulio Carrillo National Park and into the Tortuguero Canals. Check in to Evergreen Lodge and visit the village and Turtle Museum before dinner and a nature briefing. meals b+l+d

Day
3

Explore Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero is an exotic wetland filled with flora and fauna. Explore by boat along its canals, winding through the wildlife-rich vegetation. A guided walk along rainforest trails reveals other facets of this eco-system. meals b+l+d

Day
4

Fly to San Jose + Travel to Monteverde

At the El Manantial Macaw Sanctuary, you’ll see rare species and learn about their work to save Scarlet Macaws, sloths and monkeys that have been rescued from the illegal trade in exotic pets. After lunch, drive to Monteverde for a special dinner with a member of the Quaker community that settled here in 1951. Overnight at El Establo. meals b+l+d

Day
5

Monteverde Cloud Forest and Orchid Garden

Explore the Cloud Forest Reserve as Jorge deepens your understanding of this complex ecosystem. Then visit the Monteverde Orchid Garden, home to 400 varieties of these delicate plants. At working coffee and sugar plantations, learn how these daily staples come from the mountains to your breakfast table. Enjoy dinner tonight at Cabure. meals b+l+d

Day
6

Monteverde to Arenal

The subject of colorful tales and myths, bats are actually remarkable creatures that play an important role in maintaining healthy eco-systems. This morning’s Bat Jungle Tour promises fascinating insight into several different species. See more than 95 bats in a specially-designed exhibit that mimics the nighttime cloud forest and learn about their feeding and roosting habits and their unique ability to echolocate.  At the La Reserva Forest Foundation, a guided nature walk with the founder illuminates the group’s pioneering reforestation projects. Continue to the deluxe Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa where you’ll have private terrace views of the volcano. Tonight finds you relaxing in the Kioro’s soothing mineral pools and waterfalls. meals b+l+d

Day
7

Explore the forest canopy

Embark on a thrilling exploration of the jungle canopy as you walk safely along bridges suspended high in the treetops. Enjoy lunch and time to shop in La Fortuna. Or if you prefer, there are also options for hiking or horseback riding. Back at Arenal Kioro, there’s time again to indulge in your resort’s tropically landscaped hot-spring pools. meals b+l+d

Day
8

Back to the capital

We’ll take you back to the airport in San José for your onward flight. meals b

Extend Your Trip

Treasures of Nicaragua

8-Day Post-Tour Extension from $2,299

Discover the historic Colonial towns and amazing natural diversity of Nicaragua, from its lakes and islands to its volcanoes and pristine Pacific coast. We make it easy by including your international flight between Managua and Panama City.

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Day
8

Welcome to Managua

Check in to the upscale InterContinental Hotel.

Day
9

City sightseeing and Ometepe Island

Managua’s Old City and modern districts reveal past and future. Then travel to Ometepe, a most unique island formed by two volcanoes in the middle of Lake Nicaragua’s vast expanse. Check in to the Villa Paraiso Hotel. Meals B,L

Day
10

Exploring Ometepe Island

Your day begins on the forested slopes of the Maderas Volcano, once the site of an ancient civilization. Then visit the Ometepe Museum and continue into Charco Verde Nature Reserve, nestled at the base of two volcanoes. Meals B,L

Day
11

The Colonial Grandeur of Granada

Travel by ferry and over land to Granada, the oldest Colonial city in the Americas. Visit La Merced Church and San Francisco Convent, home to a collection of pre-Columbian sculpture. Enjoy two nights at the Plaza Colon. Meals B,L

Day
12

Mombacho Volcano Crater Tour

Enjoy a guided nature walk around the crater and learn about this unique eco-system, home to more than 90 species of orchids. Your afternoon is free to explore more of Granada’s Colonial-era ambience at your own pace. Meals B

Day
13

Masaya Volcano and Colonial Leon

Explore Santiago Crater, active since 1946, and experience daily life at the Masaya Market, also a great place to find artisan handicrafts. In Leon, founded in 1524, you’ll visit the Cathedralc, the largest in Central America. Overnight at the charming El Convento Hotel. Meals B,L

Day
14

Juan Venado Nature Reserve

Explore by motorboat in this pristine reserve, where mangrove forests and a barrier island are home to abundant animal life. Return to Leon in the mid-afternoon. Meals B,L

Day
15

Farewell, Nicaragua

Our program finishes this morning. Meals B

Panama City and the Canal

With its world-famous Canal, rich bio-diversity and Colonial history, the neighboring country of Panama is the perfect complement to your adventures in Costa Rica. We include 3 nights deluxe hotel, extensive sightseeing and a Canal transit from the Culebra Cut to the Pacific Ocean.

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Day
1

Welcome to Panama City, Panama

Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to your choice of deluxe hotel in the heart of the city: The Bristol Hotel or the Hilton Hotel.

Day
2

The Panama Canal + Casco Antiguo

An unforgettable day begins this morning as you embark on a Canal transit from the Culebra Cut all the way to the Pacific Ocean. This half-day adventure takes you through the Pedro Miguel Locks and the Miraflores Locks. You’ll sail across Miraflores Lake and see the Centennial Bridge that crosses the Canal. As you make the descent from central Panama to the Pacific Ocean, you’ll enjoy lunch onboard and have plenty of opportunity to marvel at the enormous ships transiting through the Canal. Before disembarking at the Flamenco Marina, you’ll sail under the Bridge of the Americas and take in the splendid views of the Bay and the skyline of Panama City.
 
After your transit, you’ll enjoy an expertly guided walking tour through Casco Antiguo, founded in 1673 and noted for its fine Colonial architecture. Before heading back to your deluxe hotel, you’ll explore the bustling Seafood Market where city residents come to procure the day’s catch brought in by local fishermen from the bountiful offshore waters.  Meals B

Day
3

Miraflores Locks and BioMuseum

Marvel at the ships entering the Canal via the Miraflores Locks as your expert guide shares fascinating history and insight into the operation of this engineering wonder. Later, at the unique BioMuseum designed by Frank Gehry, you’ll learn how Panama’s vital role as a land bridge between North and South America has impacted biodiversity and human life on both Continents. Return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of this day at leisure to enjoy and explore at your own pace.  Meals B

Day
4

Depart Panama

We’ll take you to the airport today for your onward flight.  Meals B
 
[Note: Our Panama Canal excursion on Day 2 also operates in the reverse direction starting from the Flamenco Marina. You’ll ascend through the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks and voyage across Miraflores Lake and through the Culebra Cut. Upon disembarkation, you’ll enjoy the same walking tour through Casco Antiguo. The direction of your Canal cruise depends on your date of travel and can be confirmed to you upon booking.]

Private Tour Add-Ons

Corcovado National Park on Osa Peninsula

Our 4-day FreeStyle Touring with a choice of fine lodges, all meals at the lodge, comprehensive naturalist-guided excursions, and roundtrip air from San José with airport transfers to your lodge

Guanacaste's Glorious Beaches

Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package includes a choice of fine beach resorts, daily breakfast and our signature private car transfers from the convenient Liberia Airport.

Manuel Antonio

With its beautiful beaches, spectacular rocky headlands and dense tropical forests alive with wildlife, Manuel Antonio is a gem among Costa Rica’s National Parks! Enjoy roundtrip transfers from San Jose, your choice of first class or deluxe resort and two full days to experience the diverse wonders of the region!

Costa Rica MapSearch

Add the Treasures of Nicaragua... 8 days from $1,999

Discover the Colonial towns and amazing natural diversity of Costa Rica’s neighbor to the north with our Small Group Sampler trip to Nicaragua. We even include your international flight between Managua and San Jose! Click here for the complete itinerary of this Nicaragua journey.

Trip Type

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

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