Our trip begins today in Liberia, Costa Rica. Depart your home city for Liberia, arriving no later than 4pm today. A group orientation is held at approximately 6pm in the hotel lobby. Meals on your own.
This morning we depart Liberia for Arenal Volcano. Along the way we have lunch at a locally owned farm and learn a bit about the life of the resident people. Here we milk cows and make hot tortillas in the local tradition. Continue on towards Arenal, stopping to visit La Fortuna Waterfall. The 200' waterfall receives its cool clear waters from the pristine forested mountains of Arenal Volcano National Park. The waterfall is located in a small canyon surrounded by lush forest?the idyllic lagoon at the base of the falls is perfect to jump into! Top off this adventure filled day with a visit to the nearby hot springs for a final relaxing soak.
We then continue to our lodging at Arenal where we spend the next two nights. Arenal is an active volcano that has experienced eruptions since 1968, and daily rumblings are not unusual. Enjoy a dip in the pool before dinner. All meals included.
Hiking: 1 hour, including 500 steps down and back. Driving: 3 hours.
A day of high adventure awaits us: We?re off for a morning of "canyoning"! We head 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 leads 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. Tropical birds, monkeys and thousands of different plants and colorful flowers abound. This is truly a magical experience for the whole family?it's a kid-friendly activity; no experience is required.
After lunch we take a 20-minute tram ride to the highest point within the Arenal Reserve for a zip lining tour. We fly above the treetops on a series of zip lines, roughly 1.7 miles of cable that criss-cross from platform to platform. While the ride is thrilling, it also provides a panoramic view of the scenery for which Costa Rica is renowned. Overnight back at Arenal. All meals included.
Canyoning: 2.5 hours, some hiking included over rolling terrain with some elevation gain; Sky tram/zip line: 2 hours. Driving: 3 hours.
Get up close and personal with Arenal Volcano this morning, heading out on a lava hike with your guide. Explore the area around the volcano, learn about its fascinating history, and check out crazy lava formations left behind by the last eruption.
After lunch, transfer to Lake Arenal where you will board a boat to cross the southern end of the lake. Meet your 4x4 at the landing and continue your journey overland through the Monteverde cloud forest to your lodge. After settling in, head out on a night walk with your guide to explore the area around the hotel and experience life in the forest after dark. All meals included.
This morning we rise early for an optional birding tour at the grounds of the hotel. Then, we?re off to explore the cloud forest from the bottom up! Starting from the forest floor, you?ll scale some of these forest giants, allowing you to view the trees like never before while learning about the intricate systems of the trees and the forest around you. After lunch, ascend into the canopy for a different perspective on jungle life and take off on a walk across Monteverde?s hanging sky bridges. These bridges allow you to experience life in the canopy so make sure you keep a sharp eye out for toucans, monkeys, and quetzals! Head back to the lodge for dinner. All meals included.
Tree climbing: 2 hours; Hanging bridges: 2 hours. Driving: 1 hour.
Today we say goodbye to the jungle of Costa Rica and travel to Playa Hermosa. We drive through the countryside until we reach the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, we make several stops to stretch our legs and take in the views. Our lunch stop is at a family-friendly locale. Once we arrive at our hotel overlooking the Pacific, you?ll see why Playa Hermosa, "beautiful beach" in Spanish, was given that name. The two-kilometer long sandy beach is encircled by tropical forests and ridges of volcanic rock and is an idyllic spot to spend the next two nights. After settling in, we?ll gather the group for a pick-up game of Costa Rica?s favorite sport?soccer!?before settling down on the beach for a quintessential Pacific Coast sunset. Dinner is at the hotel tonight. All meals included.
Driving: 4 hours.
Today you head out on the water to tour the magical Gulf of Papagayo on stand up paddle boards. We?ll learn the basics of SUP before embarking on our exploration of the gulf, considered one of Costa Rica?s most stunning bays. Glide the clear inlets and get an aerial view of the busy marine world that lives under the surface. Continue on to a well deserved lunch, full of local flavor and a true Guanacaste experience. This afternoon is free. Join a visit to Coco beach local town to experience local life and shop or choose to relax by the beach. All meals included.
Stand up paddle boarding: 2.5 hours.
Morning transfer to the international airport for flights home. Breakfast included.