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Day 1: San Jose, Costa Rica- Pura Vida. In English, it translates to “the simple life.” But pura vida is so much more: it’s an attitude; a celebration of life in the moment. It’s time to experience what pura vida means to you. You’re on your way to explore a place that’s unlike anywhere else in the world, where pura vida is an unofficial motto and a way of life. Welcome to the emerald of Central America: Costa Rica.
Day 2: San Jose - Tortuguero National Park- Seemingly endless mountain horizons. Complex evergreen forests. These are the wonders of Tortuguero National Park. Head down the rivers and canals to the world’s first green turtle research station and go behind the curtain of this jungle paradise. Later, get away from it all and relax at your incredible lodge, an oasis in the middle of the jungle. Let the monkeys lull you to sleep as lush rainforest and wildlife surrounds you.
Day 3: Tortuguero National Park- Begin the day on an excursion to spot the elusive green macaw and other unique winged creatures that flock to Tortuguero. If you’ve ever wondered what life was like on the other side of a rainforest’s lush green walls, a nature cruise through the park is your special glimpse. To float on these waters is to live a day in the life of the jaguars, manatees, ocelots, and more.
Day 4: Tortuguero National Park - San Carlos- Cut through the mists of the rainforest on a languid boat ride towards Sarapiquí and Tirimbina Rainforest Center. On land, an experience for the senses awaits at a cacao plantation. Observe the process of converting this magical seed from bean to bar, and taste for yourself why cacao is called “food of the gods.” Later, arrive at your secluded nature resort, nestled on the edge of the San Carlos River. Stroll the butterfly and botanical gardens lined with fruit trees, including lemon, soursop, guava, mango and tangerine.
Day 5: San Carlos- Explore the beauty of your surroundings on a Peñas Blancas River Safari. Paddle and float down the river on a peaceful adventure, taking in the sights and sounds of the rainforest as your naturalist guide explains the rich wildlife. Visit the farm of a local family and try speciality snacks such as banana bread, Costa Rican gourmet coffee and more. Then, it’s your choice! Continue to explore the rich landscape on horseback -ORparticipate on a guided walk through a private, primary forest reserve. Either way, learn about the various flora and fauna that populate the trails and hear how the native species interact in this rich ecosystem.
Day 6: San Carlos - Finca Don Juan - Hanging Bridges - Arenal- Envelop yourself in Costa Rican culture at Finca Don Juan. Explore the family-owned farm during an educational tour of its vegetable and fruit gardens, organically grown through the concept of sustainability. Taste some of their exotic fruit harvest and experience the traditional way to process sugar cane. Enjoy a sip of cane liquor and conclude your visit with a cooking demonstration followed by a farm-to-table lunch. Later, suspended over the rainforest floor, relish in a birds-eye view of the jungle on a guided tour of Arenal’s famous hanging bridges. High above the jungle canopies, marvel at a cloud forest taking shape around you. Settle into your resort where you’ll be surrounded by striking views of Arenal’s famous volcano for the next three nights.
Day 7: Arenal- Today, it’s your choice! Since Costa Rica is the birthplace of zip lining, glide over the canopies on a mind-blowing rip through the jungle -OR- make your way across lava fields for an up-close-and-personal look at the volcano on a moderate hike along the trails formed by lava during the 1968 eruption. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the town of La Fortuna or the naturally heated pools of the hotel.
Day 8: Arenal- The Arenal Volcano goes by many names: Pan de Azúcar, Canaste, Volcán Costa Rica. Ultimately, it can be translated to a single declaration: Extraordinary. In the shadow of this famous monolith, the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt for the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge cruise or an exhilarating white water rafting experience.* Or, simply hang back at the resort, opt for a spa service, explore the grounds, and soak in one of Arenal’s famous hot springs.
Day 9: Arenal Volcano - Tarcoles - Manuel Antonio National Park- Rendezvous with wild crocodiles among the remarkable mangroves of Tarcoles’ Rio Grande. On this exhilarating jungle crocodile safari, you’ll float along beneath the towering jungle, looking just below the water’s surface for a glimpse of these incredible creatures. This afternoon, check in to your resort, located just outside Manuel National Park. Before dinner, watch the sun set over the Pacific alongside birds in every colour of the rainbow.
Day 10: Manuel Antonio National Park- Welcome to the jungle, a truly remote experience with nothing around you except the wonders of Manuel Antonio National Park. The rich idyll of rugged rainforests and white sand beaches is the definition of untouched beauty. In this natural wonderland, circuit the trails where the wild things are, or go for a swim in the turquoise waters of a beach as wildlife rummages in the canopies.
Day 11: Manuel Antonio National Park - Coffee Plantation - San Jose- This morning, wake up and smell the coffee at a local coffee farm that produces some of Costa Rica’s well-known beans. Then say goodbye to the coast and hello to San Jose. Toast to the pura vida of Costa Rica tonight over a farewell dinner.
Day 12: San Jose- Tour Ends
All Long Haul destination tours are operated by The Big Journey Company a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and ATOL number T7282.Financial Protection: The flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please request this and check to ensure that everything you have booked (flights, hotels and other services) are detailed. Please see The Big Journey Company booking conditions for further information or go to WWW.ATOL.ORG.UK for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate.