Itinerary & Activities
San Jose and the Central Valley
Our once-in-a-lifetime summer adventure begins as we touch down in the vibrant city of San Jose and the lush Central Valley of Costa Rica. We’ll check in to the beautiful Costa Rica Marriott as we get to know each other during fun introductions at our group orientation. Experience the natural beauty of this area as we pass through coffee and sugarcane plantations on our way to Poas Volcano, one of the largest active volcanos in the world. Walk along nature trails that lead through cool cloud forests to Lake Botos, an extinct crater lake. Afterwards we head to one of Costa Rica’s most visited ecological attractions, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, home to stunning natural beauty and exotic wildlife.
We’ll head north to our next stop, the Arenal Volcano. Known worldwide for its majestic conical volcano, lush green rainforests, and exciting adventure activities, this amazing area is a must-see destination when traveling through Costa Rica. We’ll marvel at the views from our charming mountain lodge, Lomas del Volcan. Get ready for an experience you will never forget as we explore some of Costa Rica’s most fantastic waterfalls during the exhilarating Pure Trek Canyoning Tour! After a fun 4x4 Ride into the rainforest, our trained guides will help us Rappel down the center of several gushing waterfalls into pristine jungle canyons. Next, we head to the famous Hanging Bridges, keeping our eyes open for monkeys and sloths as we hike through the dense canopy, crossing 16 suspension bridges high above the jungle floor. We’ll spend a relaxing evening soaking in the geothermally heated pools and rivers at Baldi Hot Springs. The soothing purity of the water, believed to have restorative properties, will help us re-energize as we head off to our next amazing adventure.
Rincon de la Vieja
Considered one of Costa Rica's best-kept secrets, Rincon de la Vieja National Park is home to bubbling mud pots, rushing creeks, towering waterfalls, and views of magnificent mountains and active volcanoes. We will stay at Buena Vista Lodge, a sustainable and cozy mountain hotel and home to its very own adventure park. You’ll experience pure adrenaline and excitement as you splash 400 meters through the tropical forest on an incredible Mountain Water Slide! We'll visit the Natural Thermal Pools and have an opportunity to enjoy the healing benefits of a Volcanic Mud Bath. To round out our mountain adventure, we will be joined by a professional ecologist and learn about the benefits of recycling, growing organic foods, and renewable energy on our Sustainability Tour.
Next up – Paradise! Our group travels to the exciting Tamarindo Diria resort for fun and sun on the beautiful northern beaches of hip Tamarindo. Our ocean-front hotel allows easy access to pristine beaches and gorgeous sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. Our professional surf instructors will teach us how to Hang Ten on one of the world's best learn-to-surf waves, just down the beach from our hotel. We’ll climb aboard our Catamaran Cruise for a not-to-be-missed Costa Rica sunset. Swim in our hotel's refreshing pools, eat in delicious restaurants, and experience what the Costa Ricans refer to as Pura Vida, the Pure Life!
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Set atop Costa Rica's continental divide, Monteverde is a place of cloud forests and coffee plantations, monkeys, mist, and friendly locals. The Cloud Forest astounds visitors with its beauty and great amount of biodiversity, home to more than 2,000 species of plants and trees, 100 species of mammals, over 400 species of birds, and roughly 1,200 species of amphibians and reptiles. Get ready for the adrenaline-pumping Aventura Canopy Tour, home to the longest zip-line in Latin America! We’ll fly from tree-top to tree-top as we cruise over the cloud forest on 11 exciting zip-lines. Grab a flashlight and put on your hiking shoes as we spot nocturnal birds, insects, and mammals on our Twilight Hike through the jungle. Working with a local environmental group, our group will have the opportunity to help preserve the natural beauty of the forest during an afternoon of volunteer work. End each day watching the sunset through the trees and the mist of this breathtaking paradise.
The journey continues as we head to the glistening aqua-green waters and black-sand beaches of Playa Herradura and the Central Pacific Coast. Tucked between the Pacific Ocean and the rolling green mountains is our beautiful first-class hotel, Los Suenos Marriott Ocean Resort. Relax on the resort's beaches, swim in refreshing pools, and work-out in the top-notch fitness center. We’ll cruise through the Gulf of Nicoya on a Super-Catamaran to palm-tree lined Isla Tortuga, an unspoiled island paradise. Delighting visitors with its diverse marine life, Tortuga is one of Costa Rica’s best Snorkeling destinations. Swim in the turquoise waters, play volleyball on the beach, and soak up the sun as the crew prepares lunch during this unforgettable experience.
Manuel Antonio National Park
The next stop on our adventure is Costa Rica's natural jewel and one of the most bio-diverse locations in the world, Manuel Antonio National Park. We’ll check in to Hotel Playa Espadilla, a rainforest lodge located just steps from the beach. We’ll grab our paddles for a guided kayak tour to Damas Island, one of the country’s most important remaining eco-systems. Keep your eyes open for monkeys, sloths, and ant-eaters as we paddle through the mangrove tunnels. It’s time to get psyched for your next adventure – White-Water Rafting the Rio Savegre! You’ll be astounded by the awesome canyons, hidden waterfalls, and primary rainforest as you paddle hard over the rushing rapids. An easy hike around Punta Catedral takes us into the heart of the national park, where we will be treated to teeming wildlife and spectacular white-sand beaches. No stay would be complete without dinner at El Avion, a must-see restaurant built into the mountainside inside an old C-123 Fairchild cargo plane. You won’t believe the views as the sun sets over this tropical paradise.
A short drive south takes us to the laid-back beach town of Dominical, where cascading jungle cliffs meet the deep-blue Pacific Ocean. Our home is Villas Rio Mar, a relaxing eco-hotel built into the rainforest. We’ll trek to the famous Nauyaca Waterfalls for a swim in the cool blue waters of the Natural Swimming Pools. This breathtaking attraction sits in a wide canyon covered in lush greenery, made even greener from the constant mist of the cascading water. Next, we’ll head to one of Costa Rica’s newest national parks, Marino Bellena, a relatively unvisited stretch of white and golden sand where green marine iguanas bask in the sun. We’ll marvel at such sites as El Tombolo and La Isla de Tres Hermanas on our guided tour of this magnificent stretch of coastline.
We’ll drive back to San Jose and the Costa Rica Marriott for the last night of our incredible journey through Costa Rica. We will spend the evening at our farewell dinner at the city’s newest hot-spot, the Hard Rock Café, before we say goodbye to our new friends and bask in the unbelievable memories of our adventures together in paradise.