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COSTA RICA'S NATURAL HIGHLIGHTS

San Jose. La Fortuna . Monteverde. Manuel Antonio National Park
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Home to volcanoes, lush rainforests, beaches, and unique wildlife, Costa Rica is a celebrated pioneer in protecting natural heritage. Forge your own path through this gorgeous country over nine days of outstanding adventure. Trek across the foot of a volcano to photograph electric blue butterflies, visit a coffee co-op, and search for monkeys while hiking park trails. Get in touch with nature’s best in Costa Rica. This is a National Geographic Journey.

from $1699
per person sharing

9

days

PRICE INCLUDES:

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Tortilla Making and Home Dinner, La Fortuna

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Monteverde Institute Lecture, Monteverde

Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour, Sarapiquí

Arrival transfer

Guided nature walk in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

Guided excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park

All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
 

NOT INCLUDED:

International airfare; tipping; meals unless noted otherwise, personal expenses

 

GRACE NOTES:
Giveback: Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour, Sarapiquí

 

ITINERARY:

DEPARTURES: Year round

Day 1: San Jose

Arrive at any time.  Rest of day at leisure until your welcome meeting in the evening.  

If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head into the city to visit a museum, shop, or visit the main plaza in the city centre.

The plaza is a good place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere.

Accommodation: Radisson San Jose

Day 2: La Fortuna

Visit a coffee cooperative for a coffee tour and local lunch.  Find out where your cup of java comes from. At the Mi Cafecito coffee cooperative in San Miguel de Sarapiqui, you will see shade-grown coffee plants, learn about everything from harvesting, to husking, drying, and roasting the beans before enjoying the best part – a fresh cup! Enjoy a typical lunch of plantains, beans, and freshly caught tilapia fish. Feel good about all this eating and drinking knowing that you are supporting a giveback project that helps 200 farmers and their families.

 

Continue to the adventure hub of La Fortuna. In the evening, visit a local home and learn the art of tortilla from Doña Mara. Grind the corn, mix the dough into balls, flatten into circles, and then cook them up on a wood-burning stove. Relax with a fresh tropical fruit juice, get to know the family, and hear about the history of tortillas. Afterwards, dig into a tasty “casado” – a typical Costa Rican dish including black beans and plantains – complete with your own hand-made tortillas.  (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Hotel Monte Real

Day 3: La Fortuna

Today is a free day to follow your own interests. There are myriad activities on offer in this beautiful area, whether you are an adrenaline junkie or prefer more sedate pastimes. Challenge yourself with a rafting adventure, or embark on a nature hike. Optional tours to join include a Wildlife Refuge tour, Waterfall Jumping, a Hanging Bridges Wildlife Spotting walk and a visit to local hot springs. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Monte Real

Day 4: Monte Verde

Travel from La Fortuna to the cloud forest of Monteverde — a nature lover's paradise. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Heliconia

Day 5: Monte Verde

Enjoy a nature hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. Harness your inner Tarzan and Jane as you imagine swinging from the giant vines. Watch for wildlife, and trek to the top of the observation tower.  Hear the haunting call of the bellbird and perhaps catch sight of the brilliant green and red resplendent quetzal. After, visit the Monteverde Institute, which has served as the base for numerous National Geographic-funded explorers and researchers. Enjoy a lecture by one of the researchers outlining the various research and conservation projects that National Geographic has sponsored to support the reforestation of tropical regions. This afternoon, opt to visit a butterfly garden, zipline through the canopy, or go horseback riding.  (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Heliconia

Day 6: Manuel Antonio

Continue to the stunning Pacific coast. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the area with options to surf, go horseback riding, dolphin watching on a catamaran, or visit other nearby picturesque beaches. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Villas Lirio

Day 7: Manuel Antonio

Take an excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park, famed for its stunning beaches and abundant wildlife. Look for monkeys, sloths, and some 350 species of birds. Manual Antonio offers four white-sand beaches, separated by jagged rock outcrops and tidal pools. Swim, snorkel, surf, and sunbathe. The park also has abundant wildlife, and a great trail system for those who want to spend the day hiking. Look for monkeys, armadillos, coatimundis and sloths.(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Villas Lirio

Day 8: San Jose

Return to San José where you will have time to shop for souvenirs and enjoy an optional farewell dinner on the town.(B)

Accommodation: Radisson San Jose

Day 9: Depart

Depart at any time. (B)

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