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Natural Wonders of Costa Rica

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Arenal Volcano
Tour Style: First Class
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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  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. The village of Carrillo is famed for its crescent-shaped beach and the beautiful backdrop of mountainous forests that form beyond it. Here you will stay for the next two nights, and get to venture into the verdant landscape that makes up Palo Verde National Park, where the Tempisque River also flows. Enjoy lunch together in the park before heading back to the beach-side retreat of Carrillo for more rest and relaxation. 

    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.
    meal(s):FB
  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.
    meal(s):FB
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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.

2018 Preview

Preview itineraries and content are based on selected vacations featured in our 2017 Collection, however, items such as (but not limited to), hotels, meals, sightseeing inclusions, trip destinations, transfers and transportation, are subject to change. The final composition of your trip will be published in our 2018 Collection due out in September. By paying your deposit, you are agreeing to accept the finalized version of your trip itinerary.

  • 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 Discount Availability Price
19 Jan 18 27 Jan 18 $2,295$2,066pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
16 Feb 18 24 Feb 18 checkmark $2,295$2,066pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
23 Mar 18 31 Mar 18 $2,495$2,246pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
9 Nov 18 17 Nov 18 $2,495$2,246pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Dec 18 22 Dec 18 $2,495$2,246pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now

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 $950.

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.

Reviews

Trip not yet reviewed

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Arenal

Arenal Natura Ecological Park

Adult Price: $38.00 | Child Price: $26.00

At this wonderful park you will have the opportunity to experience Costa Rica’s wildlife up close and personal where beautiful frogs, birds, reptiles, and their natural habitats will have the starring role. This package includes a frog sanctuary, bird watching, a serpentarium (home to different species of snakes found in Costa Rica), a reptile lagoon (to observe crocodiles) and a heliconia garden. Total duration is approximately about 2 hours. (Minimum 2 Guests)

Arenal

Arenal Volcano Hike

Adult Price: $61.00 | Child Price: $31.00

Ever since the 1500s, locals considered Arenal to be just a regular everyday mountain. However, everything changed on the morning of July 29, 1968, when the mountain erupted spewing ash and lava over the region. Up until 2010, the volcano was quite active but has settled down in recent years. Your guided hike will allow you to see up close the areas that were destroyed in the 1968 eruption. Hike through recent lava flows, and see how Mother Nature has brought life back to the region. Total duration is approximately 4 hours. (Minimum 2 Guests)

Rincon De La Vieja

Canopy Tour

Adult Price: $55.00 | Child Price: $30.00

"Feel the maximum adrenaline rush on these 12 high-adrenaline platforms! Soar above the tree tops over one of the lushest tropical forests in Guanacaste. The trip to the first platform can be done on horses or with our Off-Road Vehicle. The tour ends across from the stables in the hotel premises. Child rate for 11 years or under. (No Minimum) "

Rincon De La Vieja

Hidden Waterfall On Atv

Adult Price: $40.00 | Child Price: $40.00

A journey through the mountain and the forest. Enjoy a wonderful view of Guanacaste's Pacific Coast, pass by the Hidden Waterfall on your way to the magical Mystery Waterfall and relax and cool down by the crystal clear waters. Some hiking required to reach the waterfall site. Must be 16 years or older.

Rincon De La Vieja

Hidden Waterfall On Horse

Adult Price: $35.00 | Child Price: $18.00

A journey through the mountain and the forest. Enjoy a wonderful view of Guanacaste's Pacific Coast, pass by the Hidden Waterfall on your way to the magical Mystery Waterfall and relax and cool down by the crystal clear waters. Some hiking required to reach the waterfall site. Child rate is 11 years and younger.

Arenal

Kayak On Lake Arenal

Adult Price: $59.00 | Child Price: $30.00

Arenal Lake is the largest in the country and home to a wide diversity of birds, both resident and migratory, such as flycatchers, kingfishers and great blue herons. Kayaking on Arenal Lake is a great way to take part in an outdoor activity while you enjoy the amazing, one-of-a-kind views of Arenal Volcano. Along the shoreline watch for howler monkeys enjoying the good life high in the trees. Total duration approximately 4 hours. (Minimum 2 Guests)

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