Self Guided Adventure Package
For the independent and active traveler on a fixed schedule who is ready to experience Costa Rica's natural treasures, the self-guided ten-day Adventure Package offers a variety of experiences, including hiking in the cloud and rainforest, ascending to the forest canopy, kayaking a class III river, and river rafting some of the most impressive class III-IV white water in Latin America.
Day 1, Arrival in San José
You'll be picked up at the airport and transferred to San José for an overnight stay at the Hotel Don Carlos or similar. Included: transfer airport-hotel, hotel.
Day 2, Monteverde Cloud Forest
After an early morning breakfast you'll pick up your rental car and depart via the Inter-American Highway for Monteverde, Costa Rica's premier cloud forest. Home of the exotic and resplendent quetzal, the cloud forest is also the habitat of many endangered species, such as the jaguar. The forest stretches from the lush ferns and mosses that cover the ground, up to the darkest canopy formed by the tallest trees. Monteverde offers a range of private reserves, including Santa Elena, Monteverde, the Eco-Farm, and Sky Walk. Overnight at Hotel Sapo Dorado or similar. Included: breakfast at the Hotel Don Carlos, car rental (with obligatory insurance), dinner, and hotel.
Day 3, Monteverde's Cloud Forest Canopy Tour and Arenal Volcano
Today's adventure will begin with an
early morning pick-up from your hotel, and a transfer to the Original
Canopy Tour. The Canopy Tour offers the adventurer the opportunity to
ascend into the forest canopy and view jungle life from a perspective
previously available only to a select group of researchers and photographers.
On this tour you traverse from tree to tree and platform to platform
using pulleys on horizontal traverse cables, sailing through the treetops
and over the trails far below. Expert guides will assist you in this
exciting journey through the different layers of the virgin rainforest.
After lunch, your journey will continue to New Arenal. Here you'll encounter
Arenal Lake and Costa Rica's quintessential volcano, Arenal. Its perfect
cone emerges from Alajuela's gentle green hills, and from time to time
loud explosions can be heard, accompanied by mushroom clouds of gray,
brown and orange smoke. You'll end the day at Tabacón Resort, soaking
away tired muscles in the crystal clear thermal waters emanating from
nearby Arenal Volcano.
Day 4, Arenal Volcano
The morning is yours to enjoy. The Arenal Paraíso offers a variety of guided or unguided hiking options, or from the hotel it is a short drive to La Fortuna, where you can rent bicycles or horses for short tours of the area. After lunch, you will start the approximately 3 ½-hour drive to Puerto Viejo, where you will spend the night at Selva Verde or La Quinta de Sarapiquí Lodge. Included: breakfast, lunch, rental car and accommodations at Selva Verde Lodge or similar.
Day 5, Kayaking the Sarapiquí River
Today's kayaking trip down the free-flowing, crystal clear waters of the Sarapiquí River will offer you possibilities for spotting parrots, jacamars, hummingbirds, motmots and other exotic lowland tropical birds. During the colonial period, the wide Sarapiquí was used as an embarkation point for boats traveling north to the Rio San Juan, which forms part of Costa Rica's border with Nicaragua, and from there to the Atlantic. Our kayaking trip will take place on highly stable, two-person, inflatable kayaks. Their strict engineering specifications ensure you of the best-quality inflatable kayaks produced for use in fast-flowing waters. For your added safety, you will be provided with an approved life vest and a safety helmet. Prior to beginning the river excursion, you will receive instructions from our experienced guides on how to maneuver your inflatable kayak, so even beginners can enjoy this marvelous adventure. Afternoon drive to Turrialba to the Hotel Wagelia or similar. Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, kayak trip with bilingual Aventuras Natuales guide, rental car, and accommodations at Sueño Azul Resort or similar.
Day 6, Tortuguero National Park
This morning you will be picked up at approximately 8:00 am for a scenic drive to the Caribbean coast, passing through a rich mixture of tropical forest, countless rivers and lowland banana plantations on the way to the embarkation point. There, you'll board a boat for a three-hour ride to your jungle adventure. Imagine a natural environment, with fresh air, exotic birds, sloths, monkeys, iguanas, turtles and incredibly colored butterflies in one of the most unspoiled jungles existing. You will meander through canals, rivers and lagoons of incomparable beauty during the next two days. Tortuguero National Park is located on Costa Rica's northern Caribbean coast, with the larger Tortuguero region a navigable network of lakes and channels crossing the national park. The region is the most important western Caribbean nesting site for the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), and in addition you'll be able to observe a wide diversity of flora and fauna along the canals. We'll arrive at our destination mid-afternoon, leaving the afternoon and early evening for you to experience the local culture and habitat at your leisure. Optional tours: fishing, night tours and turtle watching (seasonal, July-September). Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, ground and river transfers, guide, and hotel.
Day 7, Tortuguero Canals - Guápiles
After a hearty breakfast, you will take a guided boat trip through the smaller canals in Tortuguero in order to explore plant and wildlife more difficult to find on the main waterways. You will start your journey to Guápiles at mid-morning with lunch en route and prepare for your white water rafting experience. Included: breakfast, lunch, guide, morning tour, river and ground transfers, and hotel.
Day 8, Rafting the Pacuare River
You'll be picked up from your hotel in the morning and driven to the embarkation point at Tres Equis. It is here that you'll initiate your two-day Pacuare white-water rafting trip down one of the most exotic and scenic rivers in the world. This journey through unspoiled jungle wilderness offers an adventurous ride filled with stunning natural beauty and exciting rapids. Regarded as some of the finest white water in Latin America, this wild, untamed river may be the ultimate wilderness experience in the tropics. The Pacuare is a swiftly running and rapidly changing river, making it one of Aventuras Naturales' most invigorating rafting trips. Today's rafting journey will take you down remote rapids, where you will work as a team, skillfully running your small raft past steep cany9ons where cascading waterfalls plummet hundreds of feet into the river below. A stately jungle rises thousands of feet above the river banks, and rare birds and animals hide in the forest cover. Day 1 of rafting is filled with excitement as you squeeze through rapids. Action-packed adventure fills each moment of the day as the river weaves and bends, providing a stimulating ride. Your rafting adventure on the first day ends at our private jungle oasis, the Pacuare Lodge, nestled in the middle of an enchanting and captivating rainforest. Here, you are completely surrounded by nature in her purest and most primitive state. The two-story Pacuare Lodge has comfortable, rustic dining facilities on the first floor and lots of relaxing hammocks in an open-air lounge on the second floor. Modern wooden bungalows with thatched palm roofs have been carefully designed to blend into the forest. Each bungalow hides beneath giant trees that have stood guard over this forest for eons. As twilight descends, Happy Hour begins, followed by a delicious hot dinner served with wine. When you feel like calling it a day, you'll grab a lantern and head off to your bungalow, furnished with fresh linens and private bathrooms. Included: breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner with wine, guide, use of rafting equipment, accommodations at the Pacuare Lodge.
Day 9, Pacuare River
Morning arrives at the Pacuare Lodge with a deep stillness as you wake to the songs of exotic tropical birds and the rushing rapids of the Pacuare River. After a hearty breakfast, you'll experience the excitement of the bigger and more challenging rapids to come. At a designated point along the way, you will stop to visit pristine waterfalls and natural waterslides. Lunch will be served along the river. Upon arrival at the take our point, you will be transported to the Hotel Don Carlos for your last night in Costa Rica. Included: breakfast, lunch, guide for river rafting, transfer to hotel, and hotel.
Day 10, Departure from San José
After breakfast, a taxi or microbus transfer to the airport for your flight back home. Included: breakfast at the Hotel Don Carlos, airport transfer.
10-DAY SELF-GUIDED ITINERARY
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