Our trip begins today in San Jose, Costa Rica. Arrive into San Jose by 5pm 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 6pm in the hotel lobby. Meals on your own.
It?s an early breakfast followed by a three hour drive to our first outing where we?ll visit a small farm and learn of local farming techniques and tour a sugar mill. After our tour, lunch will be served and we?ll have a chance to taste the bounty of country living with a typical farm meal. Then we?re off to Arenal Volcano National Park to hike on a trail that takes us to an old lava flow. If it?s a clear day we?ll be rewarded with spectacular views of Arenal Volcano. In addition to the volcano, the park encompasses thousands of acres of pristine rain forest and teems with tropical birds and wildlife. 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.
Driving: 4.5?5 hours; Hiking: 2.5 miles, 2?2.5 hours.
Adrenaline-pumping rappelling from spectacular waterfalls starts the day. Not only will we get a chance to see waterfalls from a new perspective, but we?ll enjoy spectacular scenery and beautiful trails along the way. Next we hike to La Fortuna Waterfall (500 steps down and back) where we?ll have a chance to cool off and possibly swim in the chilly water at the base of the falls. Later our day finds us at the famous natural hot springs of Arenal where water heated in the core of the earth travels through layers of rock, rising to the surface to form steaming hot-spring-fed pools. The remainder of the afternoon is spent in this luxuriant tropical setting, soaking in these restful natural hot springs. All meals included.
Driving: 2.5 hours. Canyoneering: 2 hours. Hiking: 2 hours.
This morning after a short transfer we board the Sky Tram for a bird?s-eye view of the jungle on a canopy tour ending in a thrilling zip line trip through the forest. We?ll soar from platform to platform on a series of cables spanning distances from 100'?2,640'; a clear day will provide panoramic views of Arenal Lake and Volcano. Afterward, we hike along trails and a series of suspension bridges for a more relaxing view of the flora and fauna of the forest canopy. We explore the tropical forest from ground to treetops, giving us two completely different perspectives. After lunch at our lodge we?ll set out and explore the expansive trail system around our accommodation. From here we?re afforded excellent views of Arenal Volcano. This area is home to more than 400 species of birds and an impressive number of monkeys. All meals included.
Driving: .5 hour. Hiking: 5.5 miles. Tram/zip line tour: 2 hours.
We?ll spend the next two days paddling 21 miles through one of the country?s most impressive landscapes as we run the world-renowned Rio Pacuare. Here 100' 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 our accommodations for the night. This remarkable eco-lodge features beautiful tropical gardens, open air pavilions with thatched roofs, and viewing decks where we can observe toucans flying overhead. This afternoon we?ll have a chance to explore the streams and pools and numerous waterfalls while hiking this 2400-acre private reserve. Our accommodations are rustic but comfortable, built from reclaimed lumber with beds and linens. Note: actual times on the water may vary greatly depending on the water level. All meals included.
Driving: 4.5 hours; Rafting: Class II?III whitewater: 8 miles, 2 hours.
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.
Driving: 1.5 hours; Rafting: Class III?IV whitewater: 13 miles, 3.5 hours.
Today we leave our hotel on bikes. Our ride takes us through the green and agricultural area of Turria lba. The landscape is filled with coffee plantations, fields of sugar cane and pastoral farmland. With cycling options for all abilities, we pedal our way to the small town of Tucurrique where we stop for lunch with a local family or at a small restaurant. After this tasty lunch, we continue our ride through the relatively flat but scenic countryside back to our hotel. Tonight we enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner and relive our week's adventure with our traveling companions and newfound friends. Note: Optional activities are available through the lodge (additional cost applies) for those not wanting to cycle. All meals included.
Biking: 25 miles, 4?5 hours; fully van-supported.
After an early breakfast, we transfer back to the San Jose Airport for homeward-bound flights. Trip members should schedule flights departing 2:30pm or later. Breakfast included.
Driving: 3?3.5 hours.