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Nice to meet ya, Costa Rica. Introducing the country encapsulating 'pura vida' (the simple life) to the extreme; a laid-back paradise where even the sloths are taking things easier than usual. After soaking up the culture in San Jose, hit the national parks of Corcovado and Manuel Antonio in search of unspoilt rainforest and deserted white-sand beaches. And did we mention the sloths? This is a trip for nature lovers among you: a 'best of' trip in Costa Rica, which just happens to quite possibly have the 'best of' biodiversity in the whole wide world. You won't regret it.
Day 1: San Jose
San Jose is this dreamy country’s capital, a bustling city flanked by mountains to the south and more mountains to the north, with a few volcanoes thrown in for good measure. This rapidly expanding city contains lively markets, historic neighbourhoods and a chorus of beautiful old theatres, with a big chunk of the country’s population living within its boundaries. You’ll get things started with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, after which you can look for your first taste of Costa Rican cuisine in the surrounding streets.
Day 2: Copey de Dota
At 9 am, after breakfast, take a leader-led walking tour of San Jose’s dynamic downtown area (around 1.5 hours). Around 11 am, you’ll take a private vehicle on a 2-hour drive to Costa Rica’s coffee capital, Zona Los Santos in Frailes. Here, visit the Don Cornelio farm, where you’ll learn how this expensive bean makes it from cherry to cup, with lunch and a delicious coffee tasting. In the afternoon, continue driving another 2 hours to Copey de Dota, and along the way, why not learn some Spanish phrases with an informal language lesson from your leader. The locals will love you for it! Spend the evening at a lodge close to the lush cloud forest.
Day 3: Drake Bay
Wake bright and early to depart San Gerardo de Dota at 6 am in a private vehicle and drive 2 hours to the Finca 6 museum and archaeological site. Spend some time learning about the mysterious, pre-Columbian spheres whose significance remains unknown to this day. Onwards to the port, ready for an 11 am boat trip to the natural beauty of Drake Bay, part of the Osa Peninsula and close to the Corcovado National Park. This is a great time to speak to your group leader about the activities on offer in the Osa Peninsula, including birdwatching, hiking, or snorkelling off the coast. Please note that most of the activities need to be pre-booked, so if there is something you want to tick off your bucket list, it’s best to get in early. With 13 major ecosystems, over 400 species of birds and all the monkeys, turtles and butterflies you’d ever wish to see, Corcovado is a nature-lover's dream. Enjoy dinner at a lodge hidden away in the rainforest.
Day 4: Corcovado / Drake Bay
Wake up in the lush jungle, ready for a hike at San Pedrillo. San Pedrillo is the northernmost park station in Corcovado, and there are multiple hiking trails that you can take, either along the beach or through the forest. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest, and maybe spot some spider monkeys, black-cheeked ant tanagers and tapir. Enjoy a lunch during your hike, and make sure you cool off in the Pacific shores of Llorona or Sirena Beach. At night, Corcovado comes alive in other ways, with new sights and sounds to be experienced. Consider an optional night jungle Walking tour, where you’ll see a great variety of reptiles, amphibians and insects that aren’t often seen during the day.
Day 5: Manuel Antonio
Depart at 7.30 am to take the boat and then drive 6 hours north to Manuel Antonio, a town nestled by a national park of the same name on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast. You’ll find yourself in certified sloth country. There’ll be an optional lunch stop on the way and the afternoon is yours to relax. Drop a towel on the white-sand beaches, take a swim or swing life away in a hammock. In the evening, you could choose to enjoy the Pacific sunset from the water on a sail boat, wishing another night away on your Costa Rican adventure.
Day 6: Manuel Antonio
Take today to experience the lush national park surrounding Manuel Antonio. Your park entrance fee is included and joining you will be a naturalist guide with all the info and knowledge that you need, so spend some more time discovering and learning about the beauty of the jungle, keeping an eye out for sloths and iguanas. Wander into the depths of the rainforest, and be aware of where your naturalist guide is telling you to look – they know exactly where to find the weird and wonderful that call this place home. Later in the day, you could book yourself in a kayak tour of the waterways and mangrove habitat, seeing the park from the water. You could also head to one of Manuel Antonio's famed beaches, rent a surfboard and spend some time catching waves in the water, and rays on the sand.
Day 7: San Jose
Good morning from beautiful Manuel Antonio. You'll have a free morning here before you head on your way to Costa Rica's capital. Why not hit the sand and go for a morning swim? Otherwise, the town of Manuel Antonio has some cool hangouts for a coffee. If you'd like to take a morning hike through the national park, we don't blame you! Please be aware that you'll have to cover your own entrance fees today. Later on, continue back to San Jose, where you'll arrive in the late afternoon. The rest of the evening is free for you relax and pick up where you left off exploring the city, but be sure to catch up with your travel buddies for dinner.
Day 8: San Jose
There are no activities planned, so once you’ve enjoyed your breakfast, you are free to leave at any time. Haven’t seen enough in San Jose? Check out the offerings of Urban Adventures tour, from craft beer tours to day-trips to the countryside. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/San-Jose-tours. There's a lot to see and do in and around San Jose, so if you'd like to extend your visit and need further accommodation, we’ll be happy to assist (subject to availability).
- Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
- San Jose - Leader-led walking tour
- Los Santos - Tierra Amiga Coffee Experience including lunch
- Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
- Palmar Norte - Finca 6 Sphere Museum (Entrance)
- Corcovado - San Pedrillo Station Hike
- Manuel Antonio National Park - Tour with a Naturalist Guide (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
7 Breakfast(s) Included
2 Lunch(es) Included
3 Dinner(s) Included
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
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The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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