Natural Wonders of Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano
9 Days from $2,066 per person

From San José and Sarapiquí to the Los Angeles Cloud Forest and Carrillo Beach—the urban highlights and natural wonders of Costa Rica are revealed on this in-depth adventure. 

You'll enjoy Insider moments like... waking up to something new and exciting every morning and trekking through some of the most biodiverse regions of the world. Experience the locals in the urban cities and breathe in deeply the fresh air of tropical rain forests. From active volcanoes and dry plains to coastal beaches and green cloud forests, every day is a new adventure.

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
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  1. Welcome to San José. Your journey begins with a warm greeting at the airport from a local host and a transfer to your hotel. At 6 p.m., gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and traveling companions for a Welcome Reception.
    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Studio
  2. This morning, head toward the Poas Volcano area, where you visit a local coffee plantation. Learn about coffee production in Costa Rica from the owner and sample a cup of gourmet coffee. Then, continue to Sarapiquí, an off the beaten path and rarely visited area surrounded by dense rainforests and full of wildlife. Here you are welcomed by Don Alberto and Doña Ana Quintana for a Be My Guest experience at their beautiful home, Hacienda Pozo Azul. Enjoy a tour of the plantation before sitting down for a luncheon with your hosts. Afterward, continue to La Fortuna de San Carlos, home of the giant Arenal Volcano. The afternoon is free for you to relax by the pool or in the hotel's beautifully landscaped hot springs.
    meal(s):FB, BG, D
    hotel:Arenal Kioro Hotel Suites and Spa
  3. Start the day with an informative visit at the Asis Project, a wildlife refuge where you will learn how the center helps preserve the life of endangered animals and get up close and personal with a wide variety of animals. Then, savor a typical Costa Rican lunch before an entertaining Cultural Insight, brightened by the dances of children at a local education center. Afterward, enjoy a guided visit to the Arenal Hanging Bridges where you can walk eye-level within the lush canopy, observing monkeys, sloths and colorful chattering birds up close.
    meal(s):FB, L
  4. Today, head toward the Guanacaste province. Famous for its cowboys and cattle ranches, you'll be surrounded by breathtaking views of open fields. View Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, a smooth cinder cone volcano made up of 9 contiguous craters before arriving at your hotel in Borinquen. The beautiful resort offers spectacular sights and an abundance of relaxing activities.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Borinquen Mountain Resort and Spa
  5. The day is free for you to pursue your own interests. Thrill seekers can bike the miles of trails, zip line, take a hike or set off on a horseback ride. The property's thermal hot springs and natural steam room are available if pure relaxation is what you're after. There are dozens of unique options.
    meal(s):FB, D
  6. Today, descend to the pristine Carrillo Beach at Nicoya Peninsula. This white sand beach is a secret paradise framed by mountains. En route, enjoy a boat ride on the Tempisque River through the famous Palo Verde National Park. Cruise through 12 different types of habitats, including 4 different species of mangrove trees, 55 aquatic plants and 150 species of trees, a real treasure for those who love and appreciate nature. After a typical lunch served in the park, continue the journey to your hotel where the rest of the day is at leisure.
    meal(s):FB, L
    hotel:Nammbú - Beachfront Bungalows
  7. A white sand beach right off your bungalow, pristine and warm water and a beautiful blue sky is the perfect way to enjoy the "pura vida" way of living of the locals. If you wish, take the shuttle to the township of Samara for lunch at one of its casual restaurants, do some shopping, or perhaps embark on an optional experience such as snorkeling, kayaking or surfing—the options are endless. Your Travel Director is on hand to help plan the perfect day.
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  8. Mid-morning, travel back toward San José, but not before one last stop in the Los Angeles Cloud Forest. In this beautiful reserve, the weather is much cooler, and rain is expected during the afternoons. Join your Travel Director for a different type of experience as you are taken on a nocturnal visit through the Cloud Forest—when the sun goes down, the Cloud Forest transforms itself like no other habitat in the world. You'll see countless species of animals, birds, insects and plants. Later, share experiences with your fellow travelers at a Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):FB, FD
    hotel:Villa Blanca Los Angeles Cloud Forest
  9. Travel back to San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport for your flight or extend your stay at the Studio Hotel.
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30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals

Meal Summary

8 nights' accommodations, 8 full breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners.

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

Cultural Insight

  • Watch a performance by local children.

Be My Guest

  • Travel to Hacienda Pozo Azul to meet Don Alberto and Doña Ana Quintana for a special lunch in their home.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Visit Sarapiquí, a local coffee plantation, Arenal National Park, Borinquen, Carrillo Beach, Palo Verde National Park and the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve
  • View the Arenal and Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and Samara Beach
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price AvailabilityPrice
20 Jan 17 28 Jan 17 checkmark $2,295pp
$2,295 pp
17 Feb 17 25 Feb 17 checkmark $2,295pp
$2,295 pp
24 Mar 17 1 Apr 17 checkmark $2,295$2,066pp
$2,295 $2,066 pp
14 Jul 17 22 Jul 17 $2,295$2,066pp
$2,295 $2,066 pp
15 Dec 17 23 Dec 17 checkmark $2,495$2,246pp
$2,495 $2,246 pp

Crossovers: These departures will operate as per the 2016 itinerary; hotels and inclusions may vary.

undefinedFestive Departures: Christmas or New Year's Eve celebration for these departures.


Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $725.

Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $95 per person.

Hidden Journey itineraries have a maximum of 26 guests.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here 

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to Costa Rica must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Costa Rica.

  • The currency in Costa Rica is the colón.  You’ll usually find the best exchange rates in your destination and can pay with your debit or credit card in many places.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Costa Rica. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. In Costa Rica food mild and simple with many dishes centered on rice, beans, vegetables and meat.  Try the local ceviche prepared with octopus, shrimp, tilapia and seabass cured with lemon juice and spices. You’ll find an abundance of fresh produce to enjoy including plantains, coconut, papaya and mango. Costa Rican coffee is strong and rich; try it black or order it with milk (café con leche).

  • Costa Rica has an enjoyable climate with sunshine throughout the year. We suggest bringing a variety of comfortable, lightweight clothing that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Sturdy walking shoes are important. Insect repellant and sunscreen may come in handy, as well as a light jacket and reusable water bottle.  For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

     

  • Restaurants in Costa Rica are required by law to add 13 percent tax and 10 percent gratuity to the bill. For this reason Costa Ricans do not tip. If you would like to leave an additional tip to reward good service, it’s appropriate to leave 5-10 percent for your waiter.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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