Upon your arrival at the San Jose’s International Airport, clear customs and immigration and exit the Airport, a representative from our company will meet you and give you the welcome kit with your vouchers and travel information. As well as an introduction to all practical things to know for your brief stay in San José City.
We will provide the transportation for you to the hotel of your choice in a drive that takes less than 20 minutes (Traffic dependant time).
The capital of Costa Rica, San Jose is located in the heart of the Central Plateau or Central Valley.
With a mild climate and temperate weather, San Jose province fancies warm to moderate temperatures during the year, wavering around 70 F° (19°C).
This is the most populated region of Costa Rica with half of its population living in the outskirts of the four main cities that form what we call “The Great Metropolitan Area, (GAM)This near perfect weather plus the fact that the main income sources in Costa Rica are located here, make the San Jose province the most populated in Costa Rica. Today thousands of visitors seek out the Central Highlands, where coffee-covered mountains lead into a lush green valley.
One night´s accommodations in San Jose at the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel (double executive floor) or similar. (B included).
Welcome to Costa Rica! Voted by Conde Nast as one of the best hotels in Central America and Mexico, this Marriott Costa Rica Hotel is a beautiful colonial hacienda set on a 30-acre coffee plantation.
With its unique architecture and beautiful antiques, this luxury hotel in San Jose Costa Rica features captivating areas, exceptional service, and a relaxing atmosphere. Whether you are here for business or an adventurous Costa Rica vacation, enjoy magnificent natural attractions such as volcanoes, rainforest trails, and canopy tours.
Enjoy fine dining, exquisite wines, and tapas, at La Isabela, recognized as one of the premium restaurants in San Jose Costa Rica.
Day 02: San Jose – Arenal
Morning overland transfer to the north slopes of the country (driving time: 3 hours approximately).
The Arenal Volcano region is known because of its rich biodiversity, and its vast array of activities that have made it a must for any visitor to Costa Rica.
The Arenal Volcano region started as a hot travel destination in the early 90’s with the touristic boom of Costa Rica in the World. Its scenery though changed much earlier with a violent eruption that happened in July 1968 leaving behind more than 80 casualties and hundreds evacuated.
The landscape of the region transformed forever.
Some few years after the eruption, Costa Rica decided to create the Lake of Arenal for the most significant hydro-electrical project of the country (In those days).
By the late 1980’s tourism started to thrive in the country and Arenal, a fully active volcano then became one of the strongest attractions in the country. Farms and pasture lands were turned into hotels. The livestock was sold or moved to create hot springs complex and tours. And again, Arenal changed.
By 2010, the volcano slowed down its intense activity and started in a more passive stage with a couple of fumaroles up at the top of the volcano. By then, this zone had already become a hub for adventures, spas, and hot springs.
With some of the most diverse rainforests in Costa Rica, the area of the Arenal, volcano and lake is, by now, a compulsory stop for the newcomers to the country and an agreeable place to visit twice, three or four times for the abundant visitors that turn Costa Rica to be their favorite vacation spot.
For those travelers who enjoy the outdoors, the fishing in Lake Arenal is very good, as there are plenty of Rainbow Bass and other freshwater fish found here. For the more daring, windsurfing in the lake is a great way to spend the day. With strong winds lasting from November to April, Lake Arenal attracts world-class windsurfers from all over the globe.
If you like, you can also take some lovely nature hikes in the region of the Arenal, getting the chance to see various birds and animals, such as the monkeys, sloths toucans, hawks, all sorts of tanagers and mixed flocks.
Two nights´ accommodations in Arenal at The Springs Resort & Spa Hotel (double Altavista suite) or similar. (Breakfast included).
With natural hot and cold springs, four unique dining experiences, an impressive full-service Spa and a magnificent view of the Arenal Volcano, The Springs Resort, and Spa at Arenal guarantees to overwhelm their guests in every aspect of quality, service, and design.
The resort perches one thousand feet above the Arenal Valley on a mountain elevation around four miles (6 Km.) north of the Arenal Volcano having probably the best view of the volcano and its surrounding rainforests, towns and pasture areas in the region.
Its greater height comparable to other hotels in the area provides for not only the exceptional view of the volcano but also allows the exquisite breeze that cools off your vacations in the tropics.
The hotel actually has a usual daytime temperature of 80˚F in the shade and nighttime lows averaging 70˚F, and in this particular way, you will enjoy the tropical nights swinging softly on your balcony hammock, dining in one of the multiple choices of the restaurant or simply floating on the hot springs of the hotel pools with the most comfortable climate around.
Arenal Hanging Bridges
Today you will depart early to visit an engineering delight: The Arenal Rainforest Hanging Bridges. An amazing complex placed in a gorgeous rainforest reserve and in 2900 acres (250 Hectares) of protected land.
You will start walking through a gorgeous orchids garden to enter finally in the rainforest of Costa Rica. It is a totally paved trail completely surrounded by primary and secondary forests. And you will see them in all possible perspectives.
At first, the bottom of the forest at the trail, 6 bridges where you can enjoy the jungle floor and it is dark, mysterious and chaotic at times. Dark soils covered in a thousand plants and fallen leaves with an infinite amount of palm trees and big-leafed heliconias, ferns, and other bushes, trying to get as much sun and rain in this area that receives less than 20% of the fierce tropical sun and pouring rains.
Then, you will be in the middle, with the growing trees and the epifite plants, the orchids, the incredible amount of life that happens up or the higher branches where more sun and water feed everything.
And then, you will be on the taller bridges, to see the forest down, like a raptor flying. The stars shaped fern trees, the amazing amount of green shades, the pink bromeliads flowers glowing from the top branches, calling the hummingbirds. You may even be lucky enough as to see the monkeys playing from above. There a couple of bridges to see that, one of them, the Waterfall over 200 ft. (60 meters) over the floor of the rainforest, the Tyra Bridge, almost 350 feet long to have time to walk and see the different aspects.
In this natural paradise live over 350 species of birds, including species of high altitude, low altitude, and migratory species. As well as mixed flocks. On November and February, you may be able to witness the massive raptors migration to the South and back.
In the park, you may also see snakes, colorful poison dart frogs, different sorts of lizards, and a great array of mammals. As well as thousands of amazing insects like the Morpho butterflies, rhino beetles, leaf-cutter antes in huge trails or the golden orb weaver spider and their complex webs.
Travel Day to Monteverde
Morning transfer back to the lake shore to board a speedboat that will cross the lake in about 45 minutes, at the other end a private car will be waiting for you to transfer you to the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
Monteverde, for those who know that name, the word smells like wind, drizzle, and fog.
Very well known because of the astonishing Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, the region is the center of a dynamic place full of fun adventures, luscious rainforests, gorgeous landscapes, and fantastic hotels.
The word Monteverde means “Green Mountain.” the area was developed by a group of Quaker families that came from the United States looking for peace. Creating at first a progressive dairy farmers community, they formed the reserve to keep the water source for their properties.
Later on, as the travel industry grew in Costa Rica, small hotels were made for people to visit the rare cloud forest and see the Resplendent Quetzals (Abundant in the area), the bell-birds and the enchantment of the reserve itself. You will find as you arrive that Monteverde has spread and from miles before arriving you will se all sorts of hotels, houses, tours, restaurants, and the usual in popular touristic areas. The reserve is quite a while away from the center of Santa Elena town.
Surprisingly the locals of Monteverde still live the rural style of life, and as you go through the area, you will feel the peaceful setting getting to your mind and calming you.
In town, there are banks, ATMs, supermarkets, pharmacies, cafes, restaurants and bars.
The weather here is quite tricky as Monteverde is located right on the continental divide. However, it is usually chilly so bringing a good sweater or jacket is a good idea.
In Monteverde, there is an activity for all, fascinating rainforest hikes, ziplining tours, bird watching, coffee, chocolate and sugar mill tours, butterfly gardens, bat jungles and frog ponds. And the second reserve with a different type of rainforest called Santa Elena Cloud Forest.
Day 04-06: Monteverde
2 nights´ accommodations in Monteverde at El Establo Hotel (double suite) or similar. (Daily breakfast included).
Quaker hospitality expects you in El Establo. This amazing property located in a private 150 acres farm (50% protected original forest) next to the Monteverde Reserve. You will enjoy an accommodation that has a bit of everything! Tennis, basketball and soccer courts, 2 bars, Gym, Spa, 2 indoor tempered swimming pools, a Conference Center, 2 Restaurants, and a rainforest zip lining tour.
Day 05: Monteverde
This day you will enjoy a four-hour nature tour through the renowned Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. A local professional naturalist guide will show and explain you about all the different macro/microflora and fauna.
As you enter the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, you will see that the cloud forest might be a bit different to the rainforests you have seen to this point. The fact that this area is in the continental divide, makes it a unique climate and creates a realm where fog is almost permanently around the tops of the trees.
You may be able to see the gorgeous Resplendent Quetzal, the Three-Wattled Bell Bird, more than 26 different species of hummingbirds, including the big Violet Sabrewing and the Magenta-throated Woodstar.
Epiphytes like Bromeliads, Orchids, and Mosses. Trees like Strangler Figs, Wild Avocados, and Cecropias. And a broad array of insects, reptiles and mammals, and reptiles.
In the afternoon visit the Monteverde Sugar Mill, this extraordinary experience will enable you to meet and share with a typical Costa Rican family and learn from our culture. You will learn about the process of the sugar cane up until you get the sugar on your table. You will also see the banana, chocolate and coffee processes.
Day 06: Monteverde – Guanacaste
Morning private overland transfer to the Guanacaste north beach area (driving time: 4 hours approx).
Gorgeous beaches, long and warm days, howler monkeys sounds, fantastic sunsets, and great mountains framing it all… That is Guanacaste! Our North Pacific province in the Nicoya Peninsula.
Guanacaste is like a magnet for people looking for super comfortable vacations on a stunning shoreline, but it is so much more than that. It is a region that encompasses beaches, aquatic sports, rainforest adventures, volcano activity, fantastic surfing and incredible bird watching.
With a great array of hotels from cozy bed and breakfasts to huge all-inclusive resorts, Guanacaste allows you to enjoy a vacation that can have it all.
Day 06-08: Guanacaste
2 night´s accommodations in the Guanacaste Province at the Punta Islita Hotel (double ocean view) or similar (breakfast included).
Developed in full synergy with its neighboring communities, Hotel Punta Islita is a premium beachfront getaway featuring the charm, culture, and bewildering natural biodiversity of Costa Rica and its Guanacaste province. Perfect for family vacations, romantic getaways, honeymoons, and relaxation escapes.
Hotel Punta Islita’s tiered layout grants spectacular ocean views and seclusion. This luxury Costa Rica resort offers world-class facilities for fine dining, relaxation, spa treatments, soft adventure, and beach activities.
Hotel Punta Islita has been known by travel publications and responsible tourism organizations for its top-level service and commitment to sustainability.
Day 07: Guanacaste
Free day to relax, explore the area on your own and enjoy the resort´s facilities.
Day 08: Guanacaste – USA
Departure transfer back to the International Airport in time to take your flight back home. Due to local regulations, international travelers need to check in around 3 hours before flight departure. End of services.
8 days / 07 nights