Costa Rica Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano 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

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Jun 29 – Jul 6
  • Jul 20–27
  • Aug 10–17
  • Sep 14–21
  • Oct 12–19
  • Nov 23–30
  • Dec 19–26

2015

  • Jan 11–18
  • Feb 8–15
  • Mar 1–8
  • Mar 29 – Apr 5
  • Apr 12–19
  • Jun 28 – Jul 5
  • Jul 19–26
  • Aug 9–16
  • Sep 13–20
  • Oct 11–18
  • Nov 22–29
  • Dec 19–26

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-16

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Kayaking
  • Hiking
  • Rafting
  • Zip-lining
  • Snorkeling

Accommodations:

Hotels, 5 nights; Jungle lodge, 2 nights; Arenal Volcano Extension: Small hotel, 2 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Explore Costa Rica's lush jungles and dramatic seacoasts by foot and kayak
  • Take a zip line ride, glimpse village life, and whitewater raft the Rio Savegre
  • Seek out exotic wildlife, from sea turtle and basilisk to sloth and caiman
  • Stay in wonderful hotels and jungle lodges while following expert local guides
  • Extend your stay with a 3-day trip to Arenal Volcano

The small country of Costa Rica is home to an astonishing amount of biodiversity. Our classic Jungle and Sea Adventure spans the nation's wild jungles and virgin rain forests from coast to coast. We start in Tortuguero National Park, accessible only by boat or plane. Exploring by kayak, we get an up-close look at the amazing plant and animal life that thrives here.

Next, we set out for the Caribbean coast to paddle the clear waters of Laguna Nueve, hike along a pristine beach, or just relax in the comfort of our remote jungle lodge. On the Pacific coast, we take an amazing zip-line canopy tour en route to renowned Manuel Antonio National Park. Here, we set out in search of a fascinating array of wildlife, from white-faced capuchins and howler monkeys to sloths, basilisk lizards, toucans, and more. Our adventure concludes with a thrilling whitewater rafting trip down the Rio Savegre followed by a day of outrigger canoeing.

Looking to extend your trip? Add our 3-day Arenal Volcano extension to hike on the flanks of the mountain and relax in natural hot springs.

Traveling with kids under 18? Check out our Costa Rica Family Adventure.

See more trips in Costa Rica.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Pura Vida! Our jungle and sea adventure begins in San Jose.
  • Day 2 - Travel to Tortuguero for spectacular kayaking and wildlife viewing.
  • Day 3 - Paddle in Tortuguero's canals; walk the beach to Tortuguero village.
  • Day 4 - Travel to Quepos; hike the trails and beaches of Manuel Antonio Park.
  • Day 5 - Hike, swim, and explore at the community-owned Campesinos Reserve.
  • Day 6 - Take a raft trip down the warm whitewater of the Rio Savegre.
  • Day 7 - Enjoy a rainforest zipline tour; kayak the central Pacific Coast.
  • Day 8 - Our Costa Rica Jungle and Sea 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 jungle and sea adventure begins in San Jose.

    Our trip begins today in San Jose, Costa Rica. Depart your home city for San Jose, arriving by 5 p.m. A short orientation meeting will be held in the hotel lobby at approximately 6 p.m. this evening. The airport to hotel transfer is included. Meals on your own.

  • Day 2 - Travel to Tortuguero for spectacular kayaking and wildlife viewing.

    After an early breakfast, we depart by private minibus for Tortuguero National Park. Our scenic drive leads through traditional banana plantations and even a portion of Braulio Carrillo National Park en route to the boundary of Tortuguero, accessible only by boat or plane. From here, we'll board a boat (shared with other lodge guests) to the remote and secluded Mawamba Lodge where we'll settle in and fuel up with lunch as we prepare to explore. From here, we'll load up our kayaks, learn the basics with a safety briefing and some practice strokes, then set off for a relaxed day of calm-water paddling and wildlife spotting. We kayak today through Tortuguero's primary and secondary rain forest, abundant in Costa Rica's rich indigenous bird and mammal populations. Your guide's skills at spotting wildlife and their near-encyclopedic knowledge of each butterfly, bird, reptile and monkey will delight and astonish you as the rhythm of your paddle carries you further down these peaceful, canopied canals. We'll make our way back to Mawamba for dinner and reflect on the day over a great meal at our secluded jungle lodge. Overnight at the Mawamba Lodge for the next two nights. All meals included.

    Kayaking: 2 hours.

  • Day 3 - Paddle in Tortuguero's canals; walk the beach to Tortuguero village.

    Ambitious birders can start the day with an optional "early bird" walking tour to make the most of our opportunities here. Our official start to the day is a bit later, with a delicious buffet breakfast at the lodge before we board a support boat for a ride to our next launch point. Back aboard our kayaks, we paddle through more of Tortuguero's winding canals in solitude while spotting exotic birds and monkeys in the lush beauty of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. We return to our base at the Mawamba Lodge for lunch, then set out together on a short, easy beach walk to Tortuguero Village. Explore this small, remote and colorful village with your guide for an inside look at village life, Caribbean folk art and architecture before returning to the lodge for another great dinner. During our July departures, consider an optional nighttime tour to observe the green turtle migration during nesting season (check for availability, there is an additional cost). Tortuguero beach is the most important nesting site of the endangered green turtle in the Western Hemisphere and giant leatherback, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles are also found here on occasion. These gentle and rare creatures are truly a wonder to see. All meals included.

    Kayaking:  2 hours; Additional afternoon paddling options are also available.

  • Day 4 - Travel to Quepos; hike the trails and beaches of Manuel Antonio Park.

    This morning, we say goodbye to our jungle lodge and return to San Jose on a small plane. From San Jose we transfer overland (3 hours by minibus) to Quepos on Costa Rica's Pacific coast and set out to explore Manuel Antonio National Park, one of Costa Rica's most beautiful rain forest reserves. Manuel Antonio is composed of three long strands of magnificent white-sand beach bordered by lush jungle, teeming with wildlife. Despite its relatively small size, the park is home to over 180 species of birds and 109 species of animals including two- and three-toed sloths and a subspecies of the "titi" monkey, found only in this park and in danger of extinction. We overnight at a lovely hotel with stunning ocean views for the next three nights. Breakfast and lunch included. Dinner is on your own.

    Hiking:  2 hours.

  • Day 5 - Hike, swim, and explore at the community-owned Campesinos Reserve.

    After breakfast at our hotel, a 45 minute drive transports us to our trailhead in gorgeous Campesinos Reserve. The reserve, located in a picturesque mountain range between the Naranjo and Savegre Rivers, is part of the community of Quebrada Arroyo and is managed by local farmers. Upon reaching Campesinos, we'll have an opportunity to swim in a natural pool at the base of a spectacular nearby waterfall. We'll finish the day with a lovely hike before returning to Quepos tonight for dinner. Breakfast and lunch included. Dinner is on your own.

    Hiking:  5 hours.

  • Day 6 - Take a raft trip down the warm whitewater of the Rio Savegre.

    Our whitewater rafting excursion on the Rio Savegre (Class II-III) begins at the small village of Silencio. The stretch of river we paddle lies in protected primary rain forest. Our guides help us spot and identify a multitude of bird species that live along the banks including egrets, osprey, toucans, parrots and kingfishers to name just a few. In addition to wildlife-viewing, we'll float past spectacular waterfalls, stop at the best swimming spots, and cheer as we paddle through the thrilling warm-water rapids. At the take-out point, we'll be met by a shuttle that transports us back to Silencio for a late lunch. We return to our hotel this afternoon in time to relax and experience another colorful Costa Rican sunset. All meals included.

    Rafting: approximately 2 hours.

    Note: The water levels on the Rio Savegre may be low on March and April departures as this is the end of the dry season. Our certified professional guides are trained to navigate the river when water levels are low and the rafting is a bit more technical. Total river running distance is approximately 7 miles, but depends on water levels.

  • Day 7 - Enjoy a rainforest zipline tour; kayak the central Pacific Coast.

    Our week concludes with an exhilarating guided zip-line tour through the tropical rain forest canopy. As we sail from tree to tree in our secure harnesses from suspended cables, we'll have the opportunity to learn about the various layers of the rain forest ecosystem from a truly unique vantage point. Afterward, we'll wrap up our adventure with a final kayaking excursion on the Central Pacific Coast. Driving north to the town of Jaco, we'll meet our paddling guides and board our kayaks. We'll glide beneath sea cliffs filled with pelicans and frigate birds and, weather permitting, stop to snorkel on the central coast. Returning to Jaco, we'll board our minibus for the drive back to San Jose where we'll celebrate our adventure with our traveling companions and newfound friends. Pura Vida! All meals included.

    Kayaking and snorkeling: 2 – 2½ hours.

  • Day 8 - Our Costa Rica Jungle and Sea Adventure ends in San Jose.

    Take the group transfer to the airport this morning for flights back to the U.S. or spend additional time in this beautiful country on our Arenal Volcano extension. Breakfast included.

    For those joining our See our Arenal Volcano trip extension today, depart San Jose this morning with your driver/guide for Arenal Volcano National Park.

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, including weather and terrain conditions.

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; transportation within Costa Rica as noted; airfare Tortuguero to San Jose; arrival and departure transfers; kayaks and related gear; guided canopy tour; entrance to national parks and reserves; rafting excursion and all related gear; outrigger canoe excursion and all related gear; local English-speaking guides and entrance fees to parks as indicated.

Not Included

Airfare to Costa Rica; airport departure taxes; 3 dinners; alcoholic beverages/soft drinks; guide gratuities; snorkel gear; excess baggage charges or insurance of any kind. Tortuguero night tour during turtle nesting season (July) is also not included and costs approx. $25 per person.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate [3].  It contains a variety of activities ranging from leisurely walks to short hikes, kayaking, rafting and snorkeling all leaning toward the easier side of REI's standard Moderate [3] rating. All activity options are suitable for novices. Participants should arrive in good physical condition and know how to swim. A regular exercise regimen consisting of walking and hiking and paddling/swimming (if possible) is highly recommended beginning at least 2-3 months prior to departure. The better shape you are in, the more you'll be able to enjoy all that the adventure has to offer!

Weather

Costa Rica enjoys the advantage of the perfect tropical climate. The average temperature in the lowlands varies from the high 70s to the high 80s. Conditions are pleasantly moderate all year long and are often compared to a never-ending spring. Although the July departure may encounter a slightly higher amount of rainfall, all day rain is very unusual at this time of year.

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 Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano 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.

Flight from Tortuguero to Quepos

There is a 25-pound baggage weight limit on your flight from Tortuguero to Quepos. You may send some of your gear directly from San Jose to Quepos at the beginning of the trip and bring only a small duffle bag with you to Tortuguero.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Kayaks and paddling gear
  • Rafting gear
  • Canoeing gear
Offical Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • Duffel bag or soft-sided suitcase (wheels and retractable handle are fine), sturdy and large enough to hold clothing and gear
  • Small duffel for 2 nights in Tortuguero
  • Passport security pouch or belt
  • Daypack
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
Outerwear
  • Waterproof, breathable rain jacket (or poncho) and pants
Clothing
  • Lightweight, easily washable items for city/evening wear or when traveling
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Windbreaker
  • Hiking shorts, quick-dry
  • Hiking pants, quick-dry
  • Lightweight fleece or synthetic top
  • Hiking socks
  • Liner socks
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuit
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Bandana
Footwear
  • Lightweight hiking boots or trailshoes, broken-in
  • Wetsuit booties or watershoes for kayaking/rafting/canoeing
  • Comfortable walking shoes or sandals
Kayaking Accessories
  • Small personal dry bag for camera, change of clothes, etc.
Travel Accessories
  • Watch with alarm or travel alarm
  • Two water bottles, 1-quart size or hydration system
  • Baby Wipes
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Toiletry kit
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Beach towel (Quick drying travel towel recommended)
Optional Accessories
  • Camera and accessories
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries/bulb
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Small binoculars (recommended)
  • Paddling gloves
  • Field guides
  • Laundry soap
  • Ziploc bags for easy storage
  • Favorite energy snacks and drink mixes
  • Pocket knife or pocket tool
  • Snorkeling gear (mask, fins, snorkel); available to rent but avid snorkelers may prefer to bring their own custom gear
  • Trekking poles (only for Arenal Volcano Extension)
  • Compact travel umbrella

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, hiking boots, a pair of shorts/shirt/fleece top/sandals and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene®, MTS® and Thermax®.
  • Bring clothing that is light in weight and color, which ventilates and protects you from the sun. It is always good to have a lightweight, long-sleeved fleece or synthetic top, especially for the evenings.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure boots are broken-in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate contents.
  • Plastic bags are the key to keeping clothing and gear dry. Use Ziploc bags to keep wet clothes separate from dry clothes.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, use a safety cord and bring an extra pair if possible. Contact lens users should also bring an extra set, or bring eyeglasses for a backup.
  • Space for luggage is limited. Pack lightly, fitting all clothing into one duffel bag. During the day, plan on carrying a small daypack with sunscreen, water bottle/hydration system and camera.

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 Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension
 
4.6

(based on 19 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Group camaraderie (16)
  • Well organized itinerary (16)
  • Activity level (15)
  • Guides (15)
  • Accommodations (14)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (12), Avid adventurer (6)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (15), All the details planned for me (14), I liked the itinerary (13), Destination (11), Commitment to sustainability (8)

      Reviewed by 19 customers

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      I had a great trip

      By ECLECL

      from Arlington, VA

      About Me First-Time Adventurer

      Pros

      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension:

          Jimmy was a fabulous guide, and I highly recommend him. I found this trip somewhat challenging at points as I had not kayaked or rafted before; nonetheless, it was a great experience and I am glad I tried everything.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Recommended by a Friend
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I always wanted to go to Costa Rica, and I was interested in trying some new things (e.g., kayaking).
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • I enjoyed it all, but the day with the long hike was my favorite - great pace, lots of animals, and a wonderful lunch at a remote lodge.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • As others have said, be prepared to be wet. It is essential to have good water shoes (I had a pair of closed toe Keens, and they were perfect). I wished I had a long sleeve shirt to wear during the water sports to protect me from the sun. Also, you might want to bring more cash than is recommended, and in small bills (to provide extra tips to some of the guides).
           
          5.0

          We are so jungle

          By GigiE

          from San Diego, CA

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          See all my reviews

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension:

              Our guide Luis was well versed in local history, culture, customs, native plants, and animals, and had an almost psychic ability to find even the tiniest wildlife. He spent 24/7 making sure we were all well taken care of, and were having a great time, there was no wasted time whatsoever. Clearly he loves his work and we all loved him!

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Recommended by a Friend
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • Every day had it´s own highlight. Every activity was excellent.
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Travel light with no cotton only REI quick dry clothes.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Superb break from winter

              By lieibr

              from Port Orchard, WA

              About Me Casual Adventurer

              See all my reviews

              Site Member

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Quality Equipment Provided
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension:

                  The scenery and guides attempts to ensure we saw the wildlife living in the areas we visited were well beyond my expectations. Our guide Jackie was delightful in every way. She was very organized, communicated our needs for upcoming activities, and encouraged us positively when I was hesitant. I love that REI takes care of all the details and Jackie made sure that REI lived up to it's reputation. There are two evening meals that are not included in the trip. I liked the way Jackie led the dinner excursions anyway since she really knew the GREAT places to eat!

                  • 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, Prior experience with REI, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • We wanted to go someplace warm during the winter and Costa Rica was a destination on our travel list. We also have friend living there we wanted to visit after the REI Adventure.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • There are so many. I had not been white water rafting or zip lining before and these activities were the highlights for me.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • I took more clothes than necessary due to other feedback stating the clothes didn't dry. Laundry is available at Manuel Antonio hotel as an option. We bought dry sacks and rain ponchos which turned out to be very well used! I highly recommend the purchase of both.
                   
                  5.0

                  "Everything I had hoped for and more!"

                  By Upbeat Barb

                  from Rockport, MA

                  About Me Avid Adventurer

                  See all my reviews

                  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 Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension:

                      This was our second REI Adventure trip and once again, our expectations were exceeded. We were a small group of 11 and enjoyed all of our fellow participants. Carlos did a great job making everyone feel comfortable; he thoroughly explained our adventures each day; and he was able to answer every single question that anyone asked him about Costa Rica as a country, its people, and the wildlife. My family of four thought it was one of our best vacations ever!

                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                      • My husband and I, along with our two grown daughters, wanted to go away over Christmas. This trip still had availability and even though we had been to Costa Rica just two years prior, we knew that REI would give us a completely different experience of the country.
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • The abundance of wildlife that we saw. Our guide, Carlos [@] was incredible at spotting the animals. We saw monkeys, sloths, iguanas, a boa constrictor, and all kinds of birds (and that's the short list). We even saw a river otter, which Carlos said was a rare sighting.
                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                      • Expect to get up early every day and be on the go! Be prepared for wet weather when in Tortuguera (Although we were extremely lucky and had sunshine). Pack light - no fancy clothes needed on this trip.
                       
                      5.0

                      Fantastic trip that was over too soon

                      By SzB

                      from Boston, MA

                      Pros

                      • Group Camaraderie
                      • Guides
                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension:

                          I just got back from this trip, and cannot recommend it highly enough to others. It was just the right combination of activity and relaxation in a wonderful setting.

                          The Costa Rican rainforest is amazing and to be able to dip your feet in the Caribbean sea in the morning and be swimming in the Pacific ocean in the afternoon is only possible with great organization and planning. I wouldn't normally do a tour (or write a gushing review afterwards!) - but after this trip I am a convert. REI did a great job and we were able to do so many more activities than if we had organized it ourselves. Also, the value-add we got from our guide, Marco, was amazing.

                          Having read reviews of Marco prior to the trip my expectations were high but he still managed to surpass them. His passion and enthusiasm for his country and its wildlife and ecology are infectious. It was because of Marco that the group got to experience and see as much as we did of Costa Rica in only a week, whilst also having an enormous amount of fun. He is a credit to Costa Rica and to REI.

                          Almost every activity we did I wanted to stay and do it for longer - so all in all it really was over too soon.

                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • Kayaking in Tortuguero in the rain was a really special experience and I felt sorry for the tourists stuck on boats. Paddling is really the best way to go! Other highlights included the beautiful beaches on the Pacific coast and the ziplining. Shooting along a wire above the canopy is something I won't forget for a long while. The short internal flight also gave us wonderful views.
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • Bring plenty of wet weather gear for the first few days - a poncho in a kayak works well and a proper dry-bag is useful. A waterproof camera would be great as well and save you a lot of hassle in trying to keep your camera dry!

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Trip of a lifetime

                            By adsimpson999

                            from McLean, VA

                            About Me Avid Adventurer

                            Pros

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

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension:

                                Great trip. Be prepared to get wet and stay wet. Bring a good camera as you will want to remember your experiences forever.

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Recommended by a Friend
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • Marco was awesome. He is truly an Ambassador of Nature and of Costa Rica.

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                4.0

                                Excellent

                                By pjarosz99

                                from Colorado

                                About Me Casual Adventurer

                                Pros

                                • Activity Level
                                • Exceeded Expectations
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Guides
                                • Lot's of water activities
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension:

                                    REI retains the best guides for a reason, the guides enjoy their work and are very good at it. Alex spent time with every traveler and made sure that all needs and requests were met. His knowledge of the flora and fauna is excellent and makes the adventures even more enjoyable.

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • Spouse choose it to celebrate 60th birthday. She loves warm salty water and soft sandy beaches.
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • Meeting new friends, returning home completely relaxed and longing to plan another a trip!
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • Travel clinics tend to take the most conservative approach to vaccinations, malaria and other conditions. Use your own judgement, Costa Rica is a great place to visit and I will return.

                                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Wonderful trip, fantastic guide

                                    By Dan the Hiker

                                    from San Mateo, CA

                                    About Me Avid Adventurer, Casual Adventurer

                                    Site Member

                                    Pros

                                    • Accommodations
                                    • Group Camaraderie
                                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                                    Cons

                                    • Food

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension:

                                      Ask me to go on a 10-day hiking trip and I can be packed and ready to go in 15 minutes. Ask me to explore a wetland rain forest in a kayak and I'm stymied for months. But in the end this was a great way to expand my adventure horizons and I recommend it to anyone wishing to do the same.

                                      No experience was necessary. I had never paddled a kayak in my life but it took all of 5 minutes to start cruising the river, scoping out wildlife and taking pictures. And it was a lot of fun.

                                      There's a lot of variety on this trip, which if you're a water-novice like me can present packing challenges. My advice: just get a good pair of multipurpose, closed-toe water shoes that you can also hike in or wear all day, have loads of quick-dry clothing, a good hat, and you're good to go. Leave the rest at home.

                                      The accommodations were great, I thought. What you would expect for an adventure trip. But this is not a foodie trip. You'll see a lot of rice and beans. But no matter, if what you want is a great adventure and to see a lot of wildlife, this trip will not disappoint.

                                      Oh, and btw, I expected to see a lot of bugs but rare was the time that I saw any. I would still recommend bringing mosquito repellent, but I wouldn't worry about it.

                                      No review of this trip would be complete without mentioning our guide, Marcos. He's very energetic, a great planner and cares deeply about your experience. But it's his passion for his country that is most infectious. He loves Costa Rica and wants to make sure you understand it and love it too.

                                      Pura Vida!

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, I Liked the Itinerary
                                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                      • My comfort zone is hiking -- it was time to try something new.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • Kayaking through wetland rain forests.
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • The days are packed -- this is a not a trip for loungers. Get ready for a lot of wildlife viewing -- binoculars and good cameras help.

                                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      I wish I could have stayed longer!

                                      By Laran

                                      from Minneapolis, MN

                                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                                      Pros

                                      • Accommodations
                                      • Activity Level
                                      • Exceeded Expectations
                                      • Guides
                                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about REI Adventures Costa Rica Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension:

                                          I think it would be very difficult to find a guide better than Marco! He loves to share his incredible knowledge of his country, he can spot the smallest wildlife and he has an ability to make every member of the group feel like part of the family - whether you share his love of birds or whether you are the last hiker trying to make it up (or down) Cerro Chato!

                                          The variety of activities allows for a different experience every day - not only from the activities themselves - but also the chance to meet other Costa Ricans. From the river guides to our drivers, everyone had much to share about their country. The sense of comraderie our group shared whether we spent three hours with a rafting guide, two days with kayak guides or the full 10 days with Marco was always present.

                                          I hated to leave and get back to my normal life! (Especially since it meant coming back to two feet of snow and subzero temperatures - oh to be back at the top of Cerro Chato after a hot three hour jungle hike up the mountain!)

                                          • 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?:
                                          • great mix of activities and ability to experience a variety of different areas of the country
                                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                          • kayaking in Tortuguero; learning all that Marco and the other guides had to share about their country and their ability to find all the wildlife viewing opportunities.
                                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                          • plan for very active days! invest in a book on the birds of Costa Rica before you go and bring your zoom lens!
                                           
                                          5.0

                                          Outstanding Trip - Lots of Fun !

                                          By George from Chicago

                                          from Chicago

                                          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 Jungle & Sea Adventure and Arenal Volcano Extension:

                                              The trip was well planned. We were on the go all the time. Leaving Tortuguero our flight landed, we dropped our luggage on the waiting tour bus and went to Zipling a short walking distance from the landing strip. Our Guide Marko was fun and very knowledgeable with a deep passion for his country.

                                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                              • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                              • The location with a great variety of activties. We also did the Arenal Extension.
                                              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                              • So many I can't choose. Ziplining, Whitewater Rafting, Kayaking, Swimming at the base of a huge waterfall, Hiking to the top of a dormant volcano, Seeing the Tortuguero baby sea turtles going from the nest to the ocean, The Hot Springs, Nice travel bus, Ocean Views at Mariposa Hotel, Great travel group and OUTSTANDING guide - Marko.
                                              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                              • Be prepared to get wet in the rain. With the warm weather, it was not a problem. For this trip pack light and take advantage of laundry service at the Mariposa Hotel. Book an extra night at the end of the trip to make the return trip home easier.

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                                              For guests booked on our Costa Rica Jungle & Sea Adventure, we invite you to enjoy more with our Arenal Volcano Extension.


                                              Activities:
                                              Hiking
                                              Hot Springs

                                              Arenal Volcano National Park is a geological wonderland and a true adventure travel mecca. Join us for three days at Arenal for some amazing hikes through newly formed lava flows and across hanging bridges and spend some time relaxing in the park's geothermal hot springs.

                                              Highlights include:

                                              • Hike an old lava flow with impressive views of Arenal Volcano
                                              • Hike up a dormant volcano to its water-filled crater
                                              • Relax in natural hot springs heated by the volcano
                                              • Explore the lush jungle canopy via hanging suspension bridges
                                              • Amazing bird watching opportunities- toucans, parrots, colorful tanagers and more!

                                              Days: 3

                                              Price: $1,199

                                              Hide Details

                                              Trip Dates:
                                              2014

                                              Jan 19–21
                                              Feb 16–18
                                              Mar 9–11
                                              Apr 6–8
                                              Apr 20–22
                                              Jul 6–8
                                              Jul 27–29
                                              Aug 17–19
                                              Sep 21–23
                                              Oct 19–21
                                              Nov 30 – Dec 2
                                              Dec 26–28

                                              Trip Dates:
                                              2015

                                              Jan 18-20
                                              Feb 15-17
                                              Mar 8-10
                                              Apr 5-7
                                              Apr 19-21
                                              Jul 5-7
                                              Jul 26-28
                                              Aug 16-18
                                              Sep 20-22
                                              Oct 18-20
                                              Nov 29-Dec 1
                                              Dec 26-28

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

                                              Additional Fees:

                                              Single supplement: $299
                                              Small group surcharge (groups of 2-3): $150

                                              • Total Days: 3
                                              • Group Size: 4-16
                                              • Activity Level:3


                                              Day 1
                                              For those continuing on to the Arenal Volcano Extension, we depart San Jose this morning for Arenal Volcano National Park, enjoying lunch and a tour at a small local farm on the way. In addition to the volcano itself, the park encompasses thousands of acres of pristine rain forest and teems with tropical birds and wildlife. We'll hike on a trail that is an old lava flow offering spectacular views of Arenal volcano on a clear day. In the evening we return to our lodge for dinner and perhaps catch an impressive view of the nearby volcano. Lunch and dinner included.

                                              Driving time: approximately 3 ½ hours. Hiking: 3 to 4 hours on moderately challenging terrain

                                              Day 2
                                              In the morning, we take a three-hour hike to the water-filled crater of Arenal's dormant partner, Cerro Chato. The afternoon is left open to spend some time exploring and then we are off to soak 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. Breakfast and dinner included.

                                              Hiking: 3 hours, some steep terrain, with longer options available.

                                              Day 3
                                              This morning we'll set out to visit to the Arenal Hanging Bridges. The Hanging Bridges is a complex of six hanging suspension bridges rising above the jungle canopy and two additional miles of trails running through the surrounding lush rain forest. The bridges and trails provide an excellent vantage point to observe the flora and fauna from the ground level all the way to the treetops. During our exploration, we'll learn about the biological diversity and complexity of this unique ecosystem while having an opportunity to see many of the indigenous plant, insect and, with luck, mammal species with our own eyes. Finally we'll drive back to San Jose. We plan to arrive in San Jose by approx. 4 p.m. Flights back to San Jose that arrive at approximately 1:30 p.m. are also available at an additional cost for those wishing to arrive there earlier (these flight times can vary). Breakfast included.

                                              Hiking: 2 - 2 ½ hours.

                                              Included
                                              Two nights accommodations; ground transportation from San Jose to Arenal and return; meals as noted on daily itinerary; guide services; entrance fees to Arenal Volcano National Park, Arenal Hanging Bridges and Ecotermales hot springs.

                                              Not Included
                                              Airfare to Costa Rica; airport departure taxes; 2 lunches; alcoholic beverages/soft drinks; guide gratuities; excess baggage charges (for those taking optional flight back to San Jose at extension's end) or insurance of any kind.

                                              Qualifications
                                              This trip extension is rated Moderate [3] and participants arriving in shape for the Jungle & Sea Escape itinerary will enjoy the walks and hikes on the extension as well, but will likely find the hikes on the extension, particularly Cerro Chato, more challenging than the hikes on the Jungle and Sea Adventure.

                                              Days: 3

                                              Price: $1,199

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