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Costa Rica – Pura Vida (BBC Earth Journey)

8 days with Tauck   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Welcome to Costa Rica
Tour begins: Hotel Grano de Oro, 6:00 PM. A transfer is included from San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport to Hotel Grano de Oro in Costa Rica's capital city, San José. Meet your fellow eco-adventurers at this evening's welcome reception followed by dinner at your hotel. (D)

Day 2 Glittering gold, toucans & on to Arenal
Kick off your Costa Rica travel today with a visit to San José's Museo del Oro (Gold Museum), home to a priceless collection of thousands of gold artifacts and artworks from the pre-Columbian period. Then head to the Toucan Rescue Center, where you'll tour the facilities and meet some of the toucans, sloths, monkeys and other wildlife the center's staff cares for. Return to your hotel for lunch before departing San José and traveling to the Arenal region for a two-night stay at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, where you'll enjoy Orchid Rooms. (B, L, D)

Day 3 River float trip & thermal resort leisure
Your Costa Rica travel adventure continues in the jungle today with a float trip* down the scenic Peñas Blancas River aboard a raft; your bilingual guide helps you look for wildlife ranging from sloths to crocodiles to giant iguanas along the shore. Visit a farming family who have lived on the river all their lives, like their ancestors before them, without modern technologies. Return to your thermal resort in the heart of one of Costa Rica's most richly diverse ecosystems for lunch, followed by a free afternoon to enjoy the resort's hot springs and other amenities. Join us for dinner tonight at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Zip lining at Arenal & on to Monteverde
Today starts off with an extraordinary bird's-eye view of cone-shaped Arenal Volcano, an actively "restless" volcano, on a thrilling zip-line ride* at Sky Trek Adventure Park - one of the world's most highly regarded zip line operations - where you'll soar over and through the canopy of rainforest treetops! (Those not into zip lining can take a nature walk instead.) After lunch at a local restaurant, travel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, where you'll spend the next three nights in the heart of the cloud forest at Monteverde Lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 5 A walk through the canopy, butterflies & more
An exciting day of biodiversity awaits in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. First, join two of Costa Rica's foremost naturalists for a memorable walk through the cloud forest canopy at the Selvatura Hanging Bridges, as they provide an incredible overview of the cloud forest ecosystem. After lunch and some free time back at your resort, see more than 50 of over an estimated 1,000 native Costa Rican butterfly species, including the stunning blue morpho, at the reserve's enclosed Butterfly Garden; our naturalists pass along their expert insights on the butterflies' complex life cycles. Continue on to Sofia, an acclaimed local restaurant featuring eclectic Costa Rican and fusion cuisine in a lovely tropical setting, for a private lecture by one of the Monteverde Reserve's pioneering naturalists, followed by dinner. Tonight, relax amidst the orchid-filled gardens of your eco-lodge, where your room boasts bay windows looking out on the cloud forest! (B, L, D)

Day 6 King Coffee & free time at your resort
Rise early and head to Monteverde Reserve for a guided walk through the reserve with a naturalist. Then... there's nothing like fine Costa Rican gourmet coffee... and today you'll get to see how it's produced, from the seed to the cup, with your local guide on a private tour of the Don Juan Coffee Plantation; learn about the various stages of coffee cultivation and production and its importance to Costa Rican history, and have lunch. Following an afternoon spent relaxing or enjoying free time as you please back at Monteverde Lodge, you may want to join us for an optional nighttime nature walk; because most of the cloud forest's animals are nocturnal, it's a wonderful opportunity to view wildlife that are typically asleep during the day. Have dinner at the lodge tonight. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Return to San José & celebrate chocolate
Depart Monteverde today and return to the capital city of San José, arriving in time for lunch at a local restaurant. After checking in and spending some free time at your hotel in the heart of the city, head over to Sibu, a noted artisan chocolatier, where you'll learn everything you ever wanted to know about chocolate! Observe the natural process of transforming the cacao fruit into chocolate during a demonstration (with a little tasting, of course), and say goodbye to your memorable Costa Rica trip at a farewell reception followed by dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Journey Home
Tour ends: San José. A transfer is included from the InterContinental Costa Rica to San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport. Allow 3 hours for flight check-in. (B)
Map
All This Included
Earth Journeys, created by Tauck and BBC Earth! Active volcanoes, misty cloud forests, inland rivers, coffee plantations, tropical gardens and the mysterious jungle - all on an eco-rich Costa Rica travel adventure! One of our most popular trips immerses you in the Earth Journeys experience, featuring custom-made BBC Earth on-tour film vignettes and when the opportunity arises, the use of field equipment. Visits to a butterfly garden within Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a float trip along an inland jungle river, and sightseeing excursions with expert naturalists offer insights into the region's unique ecosystems, birds and wildlife. Stays at acclaimed eco-resorts... a guided tour of a working coffee plantation... a zip line adventure in the rainforest canopy tour... a stay at a thermal resort featuring volcanically heated hot springs... a visit with a farm family that has lived on a jungle river for many generations... close-up views of a dizzying array of native flora and fauna... and a farewell celebration at an artisan chocolatier in San José are all among the highlights of Tauck's Costa Rica travel experience!
  • On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts
  • Use of field equipment if the opportunity arises
  • Privately guided exploration within Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
  • "Sky walk" on suspension bridges through the cloud forest canopy
  • Exotic wildlife viewing on a float trip along the Peñas Blancas River
  • Presentation by one of Monteverde Reserve's original Quaker settlers
  • Guided tour and lunch at Don Juan coffee plantation
  • Visits to the private home of a local farmer and Monteverde Reserve's Butterfly Garden
  • Farewell reception and dinner at an artisan chocolatier in San José
  • Two-night stays at acclaimed "eco-resorts" in Costa Rica's rainforests and cloud forests, including an award-winning thermal hot springs resortAirport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • All meals - 20 (7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners); gratuities to local guides, taxes, service charges, admission fees and porterage
Highlights
  • Earth Journey created with BBC Earth
  • Experience Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
  • Walk across suspension bridges through the cloud forest canopy
  • Visit a coffee plantation and a butterfly garden
  • View exotic wildlife on jungle river float trip
  • Go zip lining in the rainforest
  • Stay at eco-lodges including a thermal resort
  • Enjoy a farewell reception and dinner at an artisan chocolatier in San José
Accommodations
San Jose: Hotel Grano de Oro
La Fortuna: Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort
Monteverde: Monteverde Lodge
San Jose: InterContinental Costa Rica
Notes
  • Costa Rica departure tax is not included.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Tauck terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.