Costa Rica Volcano, Jungle and Beach Explorer | Under 35

Trip Length 7 Days
Group Size 4–8
Activity level
Starting from
$1,999 for REI Members
$2,199 for non-members
Departures Sep 2020-Dec 2020

Spend 7 days hiking, biking, and rafting as you travel from Costa Rica’s verdant jungles to its pristine Caribbean coastline.

Costa Rica is a top destination for active and adventurous travelers, and this trip squeezes every ounce of adrenaline out of the Central American treasure. Trek through a jungle at the base of an active volcano—keeping an eye out for monkeys and sloths along the way! Learn how to surf on one of the best surf beaches in the world, but only after you swing through a jungle canopy and rappel down a cascading waterfall. Every day brings a new lesson from the locals on how to live life pura vida style.

Designed for travelers aged 18–35 (but open to anyone 18+), this exhilarating 7-day journey packs in culture, flavor, adventure and plenty of sun. It's a trip with a small group of like-minded friends—you just haven't met the friends yet. Our expert local guides introduce us to the stunning coastal and jungle landscapes of this remarkable country, where we overnight in eco-chic lodges and a beachside hotel. We'll do most things together—like ziplining through the jungle or biking to a farm for lunch—but you'll have plenty of free time to do your own thing too. After all, that's what pura vida is all about!

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Trip Highlights

  • Fly through the trees on an exhilarating zipline tour
  • Bike to a local farm and learn to make tortillas the Costa Rican way
  • Enjoy a thrilling whitewater rafting trip on the Pacuare River
  • Take a surfing lesson on the Caribbean coast

Activities

This trip is rated Easy Active [2]. Participants should be able to hike up to 8 miles without major discomfort over varied terrain with some elevation change, ride a bike for 25 miles, and be competent swimmers. Activities include hiking, cycling, rafting, zip-lining, canyoning, and swimming.

  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Rafting
  • Zip-lining

What's Included

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

Accommodations

Hotels/lodges; 6 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Costa Rica!

Our trip begins today in San Jose, Costa Rica. After meeting the rest of the group at 10am we hop in the van and head to Arenal. En route to our hotel, we stop at 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 rainforest and is teeming with tropical birds and wildlife. After this impressive introduction to the region, we continue to our hotel for the next three nights. A group orientation is held at 6pm in the hotel lobby, followed by dinner.

Hiking: 3 miles, Elevation gain/loss: Minimal; Van transfer: 3 hours

Day 2

Fly through the jungle canopy

After breakfast this morning, we transfer to a canyon formed on the flanks of Arenal’s volcanic slopes. Our activity this morning shows us the best of Costa Rica’s jungle beauty—with an adrenaline-filled twist! For the next two hours, we complete four rappels down canyon walls and through waterfalls, hike through crystal clear streams, clamber over rock walls, cross a series of hanging bridges, and explore the forest canopy from an exhilarating zipline—complete with incredible views of the imposing volcano itself. After that adventure filled morning, we head back to the hotel where we have the rest of the afternoon free. La Fortuna town is a great place to explore on your own and there are many restaurants to choose from for tonight’s dinner. Breakfast included.

Walking: 2 miles; Ziplining: 2 hours

Day 3

Bike to a family farm and swim in waterfalls

Get ready for a multisport day! We start off getting fitted for our bikes in La Fortuna town. From there, we cycle sleepy back roads through local communities and breathtaking landscapes until we reach a local family’s coffee farm. We have the chance to learn about local life in this part of Costa Rica, explore the coffee farm, and try our hand at making tortillas the Costa Rican way! After lunch with the family, we head back towards our hotel, stopping to visit La Fortuna Waterfall on the way. The 200' waterfall receives its cool clear waters from the pristine forested mountains of Arenal Volcano National Park. It flows through a small canyon surrounded by lush forest, and the idyllic lagoon at the base of the falls is perfect for a quick dip! Breakfast and lunch included.

Cycling: 25 miles; Hiking: 2 hours (includes 500 steps down and back)

Day 4

Rafting the Pacuare River

We bid a fond farewell to Arenal and head towards the Pacuare River—rated one of the top rivers in the world. On today’s journey, we raft through incredible rainforest on 16 miles of Class III–IV whitewater. We paddle deep into the heart of one of Costa Rica’s most impressive primary rainforests and tackle exciting rapids along the way. Lunch is included on the river. After arriving at the end of the run, we continue heading east towards the Caribbean coast and the seaside town of Puerto Viejo. Puerto Viejo is an old fishing village with a unique blend of Latino, Afro-Caribbean and Bribri indigenous cultures. It’s also renowned as one of the best surfing destinations in the world, an amazing place to catch a wave whether you’re a beginner or a pro. We check into our hotel for the next two nights and start embracing that relaxed, Caribbean coast life. All meals included.

Rafting: 16 miles, Whitewater: Class III–IV; Van transfer: 6 hours

Day 5

Beach day!

This morning we rise and shine… whenever we feel like it! Today’s your day to do whatever you’d like. Your guide will be around to help organize activities or you can just relax on the beautiful sandy beach right outside the hotel door. You could take a morning surfing lesson, make an afternoon visit to the Jaguar Research Center, or go snorkeling and hiking in Cahuita National Park (costs not included, but payable on site). Breakfast included.

Optional activities available: Cost not included, paid on site

Day 6

Free morning at the beach and afternoon in San Jose

Enjoy one final morning at the beach. Choose to relax on your own or your guide can set up surf lessons for this morning as well (payable on site). In the early afternoon we head back to San Jose and check into our hotel. This evening, we’ll gather one last time over dinner and toast to a good trip, new friends, and pura vida. Breakfast and dinner included.

Van transfer: 4–5 hours; Optional activities available: Cost not included, paid on site

Day 7

Our Costa Rica adventure comes to an end

After breakfast, we take a short van ride to the San Jose Airport for homeward-bound flights. Flights can depart at any time today. Breakfast included

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.

What to pack

Contact Us

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 REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.