Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension

From: $3,399

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jan-Dec - see all dates

Total Days: 8-10

Activity Level: 3

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Price:

2014

REI member: $3,399

Non-member: $3,750

2015

REI member: $3,499

Non-member: $3,850

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $899 Single rooms not available at Pacuare River Camp

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Jul 5–12
  • Aug 2–9
  • Sep 6–13
  • Oct 4–11
  • Oct 18–25
  • Nov 22–29
  • Dec 20–27
  • Dec 23–30
  • Dec 26 – Jan 2

2015

  • Jan 10–17
  • Jan 31 – Feb 7
  • Feb 14–21
  • Mar 7–14
  • Mar 21–28
  • Apr 11–18
  • Jul 4–11
  • Aug 1–8
  • Sep 5–12
  • Oct 3–10
  • Oct 17–24
  • Nov 21–28
  • Dec 19–26
  • Dec 26 – Jan 2
  • Dec 28 – Jan 4

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-16

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Hiking
  • Zip-line Canopy
  • Canyoning
  • Rafting
  • Cycling
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling

Accommodations:

Hotels/lodges, 6 nights; River camp, 1 night

Watch the Video

Trip Highlights

  • Hike, kayak, bike, and raft through Costa Rica's beautiful jungles and rivers
  • Enjoy a thrilling two-day whitewater rafting trip and relax at a river camp
  • Explore high and low while rappelling waterfalls and ziplining through forests
  • Visit Arenal Volcano National Park, Cherro Chato, Turrialba, and more
  • Extend your stay with a 3-day trip to Manuel Antonio National Park

On REI's multisport adventure, travel Costa Rica's remote byways by foot, rope, raft, and bike to get a true understanding of what Pura Vida life is all about. Journey deep into an eco-paradise, where steamy volcanic ranges and tropical rainforests meet a coastline awash in white ocean surf.

We begin at Arenal Volcano National Park with a relaxing soak in a natural thermal hot spring to quickly leave the worries of home behind. Next, a day of canyoneering deep in the tropical rainforest and zip-lining high above the jungle canopy reveals the intense biodiversity of Costa Rica from high and low. Then we're off to the wild and beautiful Rio Pacuare for two days of thrilling whitewater rafting before our final day cycling the rich, fertile slopes of the Occidental Central Valley.

Along the way, comfortable hotels and lodges serve as our base of operations. Our guides are trained naturalists who help unveil the fascinating secrets of Costa Rica.

Extend your stay with a three-day excursion to Costa Rica's Manuel Antonio National Park. We kayak, view wildlife, and relax on white sand beaches. Enjoy our boutique hotel with a gorgeous ocean view and partake in optional activities such as surf lessons or a sunset sail on a catamaran.

Traveling with kids? Check out our Costa Rica Family Adventure.


See more trips in Costa Rica.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Pura Vida! Our ultimate adventure begins in San Jose.
  • Day 2 - Travel to Arenal Volcano National Park for a hike.
  • Day 3 - Enjoy a canyoneering adventure and rainforest zipline tour.
  • Day 4 - Climb to the crater of Cerro Chato and peer into its emerald pool.
  • Day 5 - Begin a jungle rafting adventure on the Rio Pacuare.
  • Day 6 - Enjoy another day of great whitewater rafting adventure.
  • Day 7 - Mountain bike through quaint Costa Rican towns.
  • Day 8 - Our Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure ends in San Jose.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Pura Vida! Our ultimate adventure begins in San Jose.

    Our trip begins today in San Jose, Costa Rica. Leave your hometown and fly to San Jose, Costa Rica (your exact air itinerary can be worked out with a member of the REI Adventures air department). Arrive into San Jose anytime today and transfer to our hotel (airport to hotel transfer is included). Depending on your arrival time, you can opt to explore the city or just relax near the hotel. A group orientation is held at approximately 6:00 p.m. in the hotel lobby. Meals on your own; Hotel included.

  • Day 2 - Travel to Arenal Volcano National Park for a hike.

    After an early breakfast we have a 3 ½ hour drive to Arenal Volcano National Park. In addition to the volcano, the park encompasses thousands of acres of pristine rain forest and teems with tropical birds and wildlife. After lunch and a tour at a small local farm, we'll hike on a trail that is an old lava flow and offers spectacular views of Arenal volcano on a clear day. After the hike we head to our lodge, our home for the next three nights, and have time to relax or enjoy a dip in the pool before dinner. All meals included.

    Hiking: 4 to 5 ½ miles, approximately 4 hours. Driving: 3.5 hours.

  • Day 3 - Enjoy a canyoneering adventure and rainforest zipline tour.

    Today is action packed! We begin with a morning of "canyoning". We'll transfer from the hotel to a canyon that lies deep in the tropical rainforest and is best explored through a series of rappels and short hikes. Our hike along these canyon trails lead to some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Costa Rica – ones not frequently visited by the casual traveler. After a thorough introduction to technique and equipment, we rappel down several waterfalls into crystal clear, knee deep pools as we move through the canyon. Tropical birds, monkeys and thousands of different plants and colorful flowers abound. This is truly a magical experience for everyone. After a typical Costa Rican lunch, we're off to our next high adventure. We'll board the Sky Tram for a bird's-eye view of the jungle on a canopy tour ending in a thrilling zip line experience above the rain forest. Secure in your harness, you'll soar from platform to platform on a series of cables up to 660 feet above the ground, spanning distances from 100 feet to 2,640 feet! On a clear day you'll have panoramic views of Arenal volcano and lake and gain a new perspective on the marvelous biodiversity of this country. Overnight back at Arenal. All meals included.

    Canyoning: approximately 3 hours. Tram/Zip-line tour: approximately 2 hours.

  • Day 4 - Climb to the crater of Cerro Chato and peer into its emerald pool.

    In the morning, we take a three-hour hike to the water-filled crater of Arenal's dormant partner, Cerro Chato. We hike from the base of the volcano ascending trails leading through gorgeous rainforest until reaching the crater's rim. We might like to cool off with a swim at lovely La Fortuna waterfall as well. The afternoon is left open to spend some time soaking in a splendid natural hot spring. At Arenal, water heated in the core of the earth travels through layers of rock, gathering a wealth of minerals as it rises to the surface to form steaming hot spring-fed pools. Here, temperature, mineral content and a truly splendid tropical setting combine to create one of the most rejuvenating and relaxing hot spring experiences to be found anywhere. All meals included.

    Hiking: 5 to 7 miles, 5 to 6 hours. Some steep terrain, with longer options available.

  • Day 5 - Begin a jungle rafting adventure on the Rio Pacuare.

    The next two days of our adventure are a true highlight as we run the world-renowned Rio Pacuare, considered by many to be one of the top 5 best whitewater rivers on earth! We're transported to our put-in point on the class IV Rio Pacuare, a protected tropical wilderness river and one of the most exciting and beautiful in all of Costa Rica. We'll spend the next two days paddling 21 miles through one of the country's most impressive landscapes, where 100-foot waterfalls cascade from the canyon rim directly into the river before us. Wildlife abounds and we revel in the thrill of running the warm rapids until we reach the unforgettable Pacuare River Camp. This remarkable rainforest eco-lodge is situated on a 1500 acre private reserve. Powered by clean, renewable energy Pacuare River Camp features beautiful tropical gardens, open air pavilions with thatched roofs, comfortable hammocks for enjoying the tropical breeze, and viewing decks where you can observe toucans flying overhead or watch the rapids churn on the river. In the open-air dining area, enjoy appetizers and a delicious freshly prepared dinner by candlelight. Rustic but comfortable, Pacuare River Camp is truly an ideal place to relax and spend a night along the river. All meals included.

    Rafting: Class II-III whitewater, approximately 3+ hours, 8 miles. Actual time on the water may vary greatly depending on the water level. Driving: 5 hours.

  • Day 6 - Enjoy another day of great whitewater rafting adventure.

    Rise and shine to some of Costa Rica's best coffee and a delicious breakfast. It is another day of heart-pounding whitewater as we resume our journey down the Rio Pacuare. Some of the river's most exciting rapids await today, as we run Upper and Lower Huacas rapids, Cimarron, Dos Montanas and many more, whose names have become synonymous with adrenaline! We'll also watch the riverbank for monkeys, sloths, ocelots, and an incredible variety of birds and insects. After enjoying our final exhilarating day on the river, we take-out in the afternoon and set off for the lovely Turrialba Valley, filled with coffee and sugar cane plantations and the location of this evening's accommodations. The evening is on your own to explore the grounds, enjoy dinner at your leisure, and soak-in the hotel's beautiful setting. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on your own.

    Rafting: Class III-IV whitewater, approximately 3 ½ + hours, 13 miles. Actual time on the water may vary greatly depending on the water level.

  • Day 7 - Mountain bike through quaint Costa Rican towns.

    Enjoy a full day of cycling in the Turrialba region today. After a 40-minute drive, we unload our bikes and start our day's ride at an elevation of 5,000'. After visiting the Ujarras Ruins, an ancient church built by early Spanish settlers and now preserved as a historical monument, we then pedal our way to the town of Tucurrique, named after native Cacique people that used to inhabit the area before the Spanish settlers arrived. Once in town, we stop for lunch at a little local restaurant reserved just for us. After a delicious lunch, we head back off-road through relatively flat but scenic countryside. Tonight we enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner and celebrate our week's adventure with our traveling companions and newfound friends. All meals included.

    Biking: 35 miles; Terrain: rolling hills in the morning, flattening out in the afternoon, combination of paved and dirt roads. Fully van-supported.

    Note:Optional activities are available through the lodge (additional cost applies) for those not wanting to cycle.

  • Day 8 - Our Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure ends in San Jose.

    After breakfast we depart early morning for a group transfer back to the San Jose Airport for homeward-bound flights. If you are not joining the group for our Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension, your journey ends in San Jose. Trip members should schedule flights departing 3 p.m. or later. Breakfast included.

    Extend Your Stay: Join us for our Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension, a perfect compliment to our multisport trip, to experience some of the world's most beautiful beaches on the Pacific coast and visit world renowned Manuel Antonio National Park. Explore the wild habitat of the park with your local guide, kayak the pristine waters, enjoy a walk on the beach and take time to relax.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

All accommodations; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; airport transfers; transportation within Costa Rica; local English-speaking guides; zip line canopy tour and canyoning tour; entrance to hot springs near Arenal; all rafting gear (life vests, helmets, etc.) and mountain bikes.

Not Included

Airfare to San Jose, Costa Rica; 2 dinners; alcoholic beverages or soft drinks; optional guide gratuities; laundry fees; excess baggage charges or insurance of any kind.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. All participants should be in good physical condition, have some previous cycling experience and know how to swim. The itinerary (including the extension) contains a variety of activities ranging from cycling to rafting, hiking, paddling, snorkeling and swimming. Some parts of the cycling day fall into the moderate plus category, although van support will be available for those wanting to take a break from riding. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest beginning a regular exercise regimen at least 3 months prior to departure. Recommended exercises include hiking, jogging, cycling and/or swimming. The better shape you are in, the more fun you will have.

Biking

The cycling portion of the trip is accompanied by a support van and led by a cycling guide. Anyone not wanting to cycle the more difficult parts of the route can ride in the support vehicle. Snacks and refreshments are provided during cycling, but we encourage you to bring any easy-to-carry, high-energy treats you enjoy. We cycle approximately 35 miles on day 7. There are some long climbs but again it's completely van supported, so all levels are welcome. Bikes, water bottles, and helmets are provided.

Weather

Costa Rica enjoys a nearly perfect tropical climate. The average temperature is 72° F in the highlands and ranges from the high 60s to the low 90s in the lowlands. There is a rainy season (or green season) from May to November when various parts of the country experience higher amounts of precipitation, and a dry summer season generally lasting from December through April. As we are in the tropics, rainfall is a possibility during any month of the year making adequate raingear a necessity.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure Video

Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To obtain maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you choose your clothing and gear for this trip. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Bicycles - 21-speed mountain bike
  • Bike helmet
  • Rear bike rack
  • Water bottle cage
  • Rafting helmet and life jacket
  • Kayak gear
  • Mask & snorkel (for extension only)
Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • Duffel bag(s), sturdy and large enough to hold all your gear.
  • Small daypack or fanny pack, for carrying water bottle(s), rain gear, camera
  • Daypack rain cover
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
City Clothes
  • Lightweight, easily washable items for city/evening wear or when traveling
Cycling Clothing
  • Padded cycling shorts
  • Cycling shirt
  • Padded cycling gloves
  • Cycling jacket or windbreaker
Clothing
  • Hiking shorts, quick drying
  • Midweight fleece or wool sweater
  • T-shirts, synthetic
  • Long-sleeve shirt for evenings and for extra sun/insect protection
  • Lightweight pants, quick drying
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks and liners, synthetic
  • Swimsuit
Outerwear
  • Lightweight rain jacket - waterproof and breathable
Headwear
  • Sun hat or visor
  • Bandana
Footwear
  • Casual, comfortable shoes for evenings
  • Lightweight hiking boots
  • Water footwear (for rafting, canyoning and kayaking on the extension) ; closed toe sandals are recommended
  • Cycling shoes (optional)
Accessories
  • Two (2) one-quart water bottles or hydration pack
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Toiletry kit
  • Sunscreen and lip protection
  • Sunglasses and strap
  • Insect repellent
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries/bulb (necessary for the river camp)
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Plastic bags for wet clothes
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera & accessories
  • Compact binoculars (recommended)
  • Reading and writing material
  • Laundry soap
  • Earplugs
  • Your own bike helmet (if custom fit is desired)
  • Mask & snorkel (if personal gear is desired for extension, otherwise provided)
  • Saddle (without the post)
  • Pedal and shoe system
  • Trekking poles (available to borrow)
  • Compact travel umbrella

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing (including hiking boots and/or cycling helmet if required), and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Space for luggage is limited—please pack lightly!
  • While rafting the Pacuare River there is very limited space for luggage. This may entail separating your belongings into two bags -- one to leave on the bus and one to take down river. You can bring a small second duffel for this purpose, or simply use a stuff sack. Rafts carry heavy-duty whitewater bags for storing everyone’s overnight clothes and gear.
  • Bike helmets are provided, but consider bringing your own for personal comfort and fit.
  • Standard bike pedals are provided, but consider bringing your own clip-in pedals and shoes if you prefer.
  • Cotton is ideal in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet it drains your body heat, and takes a long time to dry in a humid jungle climate. Plan on bringing at least one synthetic shirt that maintains its warmth when wet, yet dries quickly. Examples of these fabrics are Capilene®, MTS® and Thermax®.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • A poncho is wonderful for the hiking portion of the trip but does not work well during the biking portion—you may want to bring both a poncho and a rain jacket.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting your gear. Use different sizes and colors to differentiate the contents. Plastic bags work great for sorting out dirty or wet clothing.
  • You may want to bring a rain cover or some trash bags to protect your daypack, should it rain.

 

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresCosta Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension
 
4.8

(based on 26 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organized itinerary (25)
  • Guides (24)
  • Accommodations (22)
  • Activity level (22)
  • Group camaraderie (22)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (17), Avid adventurer (7)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Destination (25), Active adventures (24), I liked the itinerary (21), All the details planned for me (20), Commitment to sustainability (14)

      Reviewed by 26 customers

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      4.0

      Visit this beautiful country!

      By carolyn the comfort seeker

      from Washington State

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      See all my reviews

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension:

          I am a regular bike rider and I found the bike ride to be my least favorite activity. Don't be embarrassed to get in the van. I did that two different times and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and chatted with our wonderful driver. It would be good to have wrap around glasses for the last half of the bike ride. It is on a dusty dirt road and when trucks go by you will be happy to have them. You will love the accommodations. Each place was unique and lovely. Great food! Costa Rica is calling for our return!

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, We Have Traveled With Rei
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • We have wanted to see Costa Rica and this trip sounded wonderful. We liked the itinerary and the way REI plans every detail so thoroughly. In our experience with REI, the local guides are always outstanding. This trip was no exception.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • I loved the zip lining best and the white water rafting was so beautiful. Once I relaxed and realized I wasn't going to fall out of the boat, I had a great time. The other highlights to me were the times we stopped and met the local people at their farms. They were so wonderful, each one showing a love of their land and a love of life. People everywhere we so welcoming. Jackie was a great guide.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Go with the flow. There were several activities that we had not done before and I was apprehensive, especially about rappelling and zip lining, but it was great! They turned out to be my favorites!
           
          5.0

          A Trip of Thrilling Adventures!

          By Tutor

          from Philadelphia, Pa.

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          See all my reviews

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Awesome Activities
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Quality Equipment Provided
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension:

              I didn't like the long van rides, but I liked seeing all areas of Costa Rica.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • To see Costa Rica in an active way
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • Everything was fun!
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Bring lots of clothes that dry quickly and extra hiking shoes.
               
              5.0

              You're gonna love it.

              By Dobo

              from Washington, Dc

              About Me Casual Adventurer, Fairly Fit At 56 And 67

              Site Member

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
              • Quality Equipment Provided
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension:

                  All aspects of this delightful adventure were handled with aplomb, competence and professionalism, from the mundane matters of daily logistics to the thrills of rappelling and shooting raging rapids.

                  Tip: bring a simple mask or bandanna for dust from occasional passing vehicles, in case the gravel biking road is dry.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • Outdoor recreation and adventures combined with wildlife and cultural interest.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • Our tour guide extraordinaire, Marco "Tex" Fallas, whose boundless enthusiasm and passion for Costa Rica and its natural treasures took our already fabulous experience to new heights of enjoyment, for it was he who iced the cake in every aspect of this splendid trip.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • You will love this trip.
                   
                  5.0

                  You won't be disappointed!

                  By Slothwhisperer

                  from Oshkosh, Wisconsin

                  About Me Casual Adventurer

                  Site Member

                  Pros

                  • Accommodations
                  • Activity Level
                  • Exceeded Expectations
                  • Food
                  • Group Camaraderie
                  • Guides
                  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                  • Quality Equipment Provided
                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                  Cons

                  • Saying Goodbye At The End
                  • Went Too Fast

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension:

                    I don't know where to begin! If you are fortunate enough to get "Tex" as your guide, you will have the most amazing trip ever! The passion/love he has for his country and fellow Costa Ricans is indescribable:). The knowledge he has about wildlife, birds, flowers, plants, bugs, etc is amazing! You will learn everything you want to learn about Costa Rica from him. His energy, smile and laugh is infectious! You will fall in love with him. Our driver Henry was a complete joy to have as well. They both became "family" to us! As for the adventures.......WOW! My husband and I have done these activities in the past but nothing compares to them in Costa Rica! This trip has set the bar so high that I can't imagine having a better vacation!!!!!! We had 9 other amazing people from different states that we now have as lifelong friends!!! The 3 different places we stayed at were great.....we LOVED the accommodations on the river. Wish we could've stayed there longer. The rappelling guides, zip line guides and rafting guides were wonderful too. We discovered that Costa Ricans are very happy people! The "surprise trips" that Tex arranged for us were awesome too. You will NOT be bored on this trip! On that note, I will end with saying our trip was "PuraVida"!!!!

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • Both my husband and I had never been there. We wanted an action packed trip and thought this looked perfect!!
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • Hard to pick just one! Besides our guide Tex, we would have to choose either rappelling down waterfalls or white water rafting!!
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • If you're contemplating whether or not to do this trip.....DO IT!! You will not regret it:). Bring electrical shoe warmers....best purchase ever!!! Highly recommend an underwater camera; came in very hand for the rappelling and rafting!! Do some biking before you go. The hills are a lot tougher than we expected. We still loved it though! Bug spray and sunscreen is a must.
                     
                    5.0

                    Such a great Adventure!!

                    By Up4Adventure17

                    from Central Coast, CA

                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                    Pros

                    • Accommodations
                    • Activity Level
                    • Exceeded Expectations
                    • Food
                    • Group Camaraderie
                    • Guides
                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                    • Quality Equipment Provided
                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension:

                        I cannot say enough about Alex and Marco as guides! Both were extremely knowledgeable, personable, and were able to adapt to any circumstance. The whole trip is exactly as advertised and is so worth it! If you really want to experience all that Costa Rica has to offer in a short time frame this is the way to do it. Just sign up, you will not regret it!

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • I've always wanted to experience Costa Rica and this seemed like a great way to do it. It was also my first time traveling outside of the US, so I liked the idea of everything being planned out for me (perfect!)
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Alex & Marco our guides were fantastic and so friendly! They made the trip extra fun! The rafting, ziplining, and rapelling were my favorite parts of the trip as well as seeing all the wildlife and learning about the country.
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • Bring a waterproof camera--you'll be happy that you did. Also invest in a GoPro to capture all the action on the ziplines, rafting, and while zip lining. Do laundry at the hotels whenever you can. Your stuff will not dry no matter how long you leave it out and will be very very smelly. It is worth the money to have your laundry done. Also bring lightweight merino wool clothing. Wool is a natural fiber so it will not hold odor like synthetic fibers will. Try all the food...it is delicious!! Also if you can try to at least learn some spanish before the trip it will make your experience even richer. It is definitely not needed, but the locals will appreciate your attempts and can add to your trip experience!

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Get Marco as guide!

                        By PuraVida

                        from Raleigh, North Carolina

                        About Me Casual Adventurer

                        Pros

                        • Activity Level
                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Food
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                        • Quality Equipment Provided
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension:

                            The overall trip was amazing and highly recommended. Our tour guide Marco made the trip. His passion for his country, boundless energy, knowledge about Costa Rica history, plants, wild life, etc was impressive and very educational. I strongly recommend getting him if you can. My only complaint was about the bike ride and we caught it during the time of year where the sugar cane factory was in full force so lots of trucks on a gravel road so lots of dust for several miles. Otherwise the adventure parts were fantastic. The river lodge stay was great. The Rios Tropical company that accommodated us was a highlight of the trip. Brandon "Chino" ran a tight crew and they were excellent. Overall, you won't regret going on this trip. I will definitely be looking at future REI trips and see if Marco can come along. :)

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Recommended by a Friend, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • I always wanted to visit Costa Rica and perform the activities ink the itinerary
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • Zip lining and rappelling down a 165' waterfall.
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • Get Marco, aka "Tex", as your tour guide. For the biking part. Bring biking gloves/padded biking shorts. Also a bandana was very useful tied around your neck for the adventure parts. Get a GoPro to capture the action. Pricey but worth it in the end. When will you ever be zip lining 600+ feet above the rain forest at 35mph? Mind as well capture it on video
                             
                            5.0

                            Wonderful Wonderful!!

                            By Kelly Adventurer 21

                            from Walnut Creek, CA

                            About Me Avid Adventurer

                            Site Member

                            Pros

                            • Accommodations
                            • Activity Level
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Group Camaraderie
                            • Guides
                            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension:

                                1) Hotel food was just so-so. Local tour guide recommended restaurants were awesome.
                                2) Get ready to get wet everyday!!

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Active Adventures
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • Want to see Costa Rica and do active vacation but didn't speak the language and don't have time in our busy lives to research and look up best places to stay and do stuff and hire outfitters. REI did all the thinking for us and planning. With the knowledge of the local tour guides - it took the hassle and research out of my hands and frees us up just to have fun.
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • All the different wildlife was the best part.
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • 1) Don't need to pack any snacks (unless you want specifially American snacks - like power bars, trail mix) - the tour guides have a budget for snacks and H20.
                                 
                                5.0

                                Fantastic Trip. Highly Recommend it

                                By MilaKatie

                                from Larkspur, CA

                                About Me Casual Adventurer

                                Site Member

                                Pros

                                • Activity Level
                                • Exceeded Expectations
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Guides
                                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                • Quality Equipment Provided
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension:

                                    Alex was a great guide. Fun, relaxed, great sense of humor. I would certainly do another REI trip and probably will next year.

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • We wanted to travel in January to someplace warm so settled on Costa Rica. We loved the multi-sport idea and REIs trip looked great
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • Hard to pick one...I think the river rafting was really exhilerating and beautiful
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • You will have an action packed week. Be open to meeting new people, going with the flow and having a blast.

                                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    BEST ADVENTURE VACATION SO FAR

                                    By NM small hiker

                                    from Las Cruces, NM

                                    About Me Avid Adventurer

                                    Site Member

                                    Pros

                                    • Accommodations
                                    • Activity Level
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Food
                                    • Group Camaraderie
                                    • Guides
                                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension:

                                        Marco kept us fed well--excellent food and snacks. Each hotel was more amazing than the last--amazing views from all. The bike ride was tough, I flagged down Henry for the big hill, then went on after that--still fun. The rappelling and zip lines were a lot of fun and very safe. It was great to be rafting in warm water--have done a lot when the water is 50 degrees--this is more fun. Our group went from age 27 to 64 and we were totally bonded by day two. Fun folks. If you are a geocacher, take your GPS. Low point--having to return home and breaking up our travel group. Hope to meet them all again.

                                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                        • Wanted a fun trip for my 60th birthday that did not require a long, jet lag flight, in a politically stable country that welcomed Americans. I wanted daily fun activitiies and a chance to see a lot of the country
                                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                        • My favorite day began with an optional 6AM bird/wildlife walk before breakfast with our stellar guide Marco, followed by a hike up Cerro Chato (great views of Arenal Volcano) a great lunch provided by Henry our bus driver, then a hike to a waterfall pool for a swim, then a visit to a gorgeous hot springs for a welcome soak and cocktails. Plus all the snakes, birds, critters etc we saw with Marco.
                                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                        • BOOK IT NOW! Take good rain gear and good hiking shoes. Travel light. ASK FOR MARCO AS YOUR GUIDE--he was truly amazing--great passion for his country, the flora, fauna, the cuisine, his people, eco-sustainability. Very knowledgeable and a lot of fun. He took good care of us the entire trip. A powerhouse. Take a waterproof camera, binos.
                                         
                                        5.0

                                        PURA VIDA in COSTA RICA!!!

                                        By Gem needs a vacation

                                        from Blacksburg, VA

                                        About Me Casual Adventurer

                                        Site Member

                                        Pros

                                        • Accommodations
                                        • Activity Level
                                        • Exceeded Expectations
                                        • Flexible itinerary
                                        • Food
                                        • Group Camaraderie
                                        • Guides
                                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                            Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure and Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension:

                                            If you are lucky enough to have Marco (Tex) as your guide, then there is no way you can have an unenjoyable trip. His excitement & passion for all things Costa Rican are absolutely infectious. He is an expert spotter-of-wildlife, is super knowledgeable about local flora, fauna, history & conservation efforts and knows how to work an itinerary like nobody's business. He made sure we avoided the big crowds & worked around the weather to ensure that we had the most enjoyable experiences possible.

                                            The opportunity to eat what the locals eat, to dine in their homes, to interact with them, to explore their towns was such a gift. It was so great to see Costa Rica from a Costa Rican point of view.

                                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                            • I was looking for an active adventure to go on with my sister. I liked the variety of activities - both familiar (hiking, kayaking) & new ones (waterfall rappelling) and the jam-packed itinerary. I liked that we would be interacting with locals. I've always wanted to visit Costa Rica!
                                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                            • This is a trip full of highlights. But one that stands out is the waterfall rappelling. It was thrilling & so much fun! My only complaint is that it was over too soon. I wish we could have done it all over again!
                                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                            • Try all the food passed your way! Expect to have a few loads of laundry done. Use trekking poles on the big hike. Bring a waterproof (not just water-resistant) digital camera. Bring a good-quality, breathable rain jacket. Go on any optional hikes offered. Wear padded bike shorts for mountain biking.

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                                            For guests booked on our Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure, we invite you to enjoy more with our Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension.


                                            Activities:
                                            Kayaking
                                            Trail walking

                                            For those continuing on to the Manuel Antonio & Beaches Extension, we will leave mid-morning and drive to our beach and jungle destination, Manuel Antonio National Park. The park is made up of beautiful white sand beaches and by the surrounding vegetation of the forest that grows adjacent to the coastline. This is one of the country's most beautiful natural environments and not to be missed!

                                            Highlights include:

                                            • Half-day sea kayaking, paddle past spectacular cliffs and calm secluded beaches
                                            • Beautiful boutique hotel with a stunning Pacific ocean view
                                            • Exploring the trails of Costa Rica's premier national park, Manuel Antonio, on the Pacific Coast
                                            • Animal spotting including monkeys, sloths, raccoons, coatimundis, caimans, and birds of every shape and color
                                            • Sign up for a surf lesson or scuba diving excursion

                                            Days: 3

                                            Price: $1,199

                                            Hide Details

                                            Trip Dates:
                                            2014

                                            Jan 2–4 *
                                            Jan 4–6 *
                                            Jan 18–20 *
                                            Feb 8–10 *
                                            Feb 22–24 *
                                            Mar 15–17 *
                                            Mar 29–31 *
                                            Apr 12–14 *
                                            Jul 12–14
                                            Aug 9–11
                                            Sep 13–14
                                            Oct 11–13
                                            Oct 25–27
                                            Nov 29 – Dec 1 *
                                            Dec 27–29 * H
                                            Dec 30 – Jan 1 *
                                            Jan 2–4 *

                                            * High season surcharge: $199 Nov 1 through May 15.

                                            H = Manadatory holiday supplement applies.

                                            Trip Dates:
                                            2015

                                            Jan 2-4, 2015 * H
                                            Jan 17-19 *
                                            Feb 7-9 *
                                            Feb 21-23 *
                                            Mar 14-16 *
                                            Mar 28-30 *
                                            Apr 18-20 *
                                            Jul 11-13
                                            Aug 8-10
                                            Sep 12-14
                                            Oct 10-12
                                            Oct 24-26
                                            Nov 28-30 *
                                            Dec 26-28 * H
                                            Jan 2-4, 2016 * H
                                            Jan 4-6, 2016 * H

                                            * High season surcharge: $199 Nov 16 through May 15.

                                            H = Manadatory holiday supplement applies.

                                            2014/2015
                                            REI member: $1,199
                                            Non-member: $1,325

                                            Additional Fees:

                                            Single supplement: $399
                                            Small group surcharge (groups of 2-3): $165
                                            Holiday surcharge: $475

                                            • Total Days: 3
                                            • Group Size: 4-8
                                            • Activity Level:2


                                            Day 1
                                            En route to Manuel Antonio we will have the opportunity to participate in a half-day sea kayaking, swimming and snorkeling tour at Agujas Beach. Paddle past spectacular cliffs and calm secluded beaches, snorkel (when conditions permit) and take a dip in the warm Pacific waters. After our kayak tour, we continue on to Manuel Antonio and check into our beautiful boutique hotel with a stunning ocean view, just in time to hopefully see an amazing sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Breakfast included (lunch and dinner on your own).

                                            Kayaking: 3 hours; Driving: 4 hours

                                            Day 2
                                            This morning we will have a guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park. While exploring the numerous trails that meander through the rainforest we may spot animals including monkeys (capuchin and howler for the most part), sloths, raccoons, coatimundis, caimans, and even ocelots. Birdwatchers will delight in this paradise as birds of every shape and color imaginable live here. The rest of the day is at your leisure to relax at the beach or participate in optional activities; perhaps an afternoon surf lesson, scuba diving excursion, or horseback riding on the beach (additional activity costs are on your own). Breakfast and dinner included.

                                            Trail Walking: 1-2 hours; Optional Activities: TBD

                                            Day 3
                                            Sleep in or get in a self-guided walk of Manuel Antonio's trails, perhaps spotting the endangered squirrel monkey. Late morning we drive back to San Jose in time for flights departing at 7 p.m. or later. Breakfast included.

                                            Hiking: 2 - 2 ½ hours.


                                            Included
                                            Two nights hotel; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; bi-lingual guide; kayak equipment; entrance fee to Manuel Antonio National Park; group transfer to San Jose International Airport.

                                            Not Included
                                            2 lunches; 1 dinner; alcoholic beverages or soft drinks; cost of optional activities; optional guide gratuities.

                                            Qualifications
                                            This trip extension is rated Easy Active [2] and participants arriving in shape for the Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure itinerary will enjoy the activities on the extension as well.

                                            Days: 3

                                            Price: $1,199

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