Costa Rica - Mountains to Sea
8 days with Alexander+Roberts Rating:
Day 1 Welcome to San Jose, Costa Rica
On arrival at the airport, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the Studio Hotel. Settle in to your spacious Superior Guestroom here at our deluxe boutique hotel and then join your guide to explore its highly regarded art collection, featuring more than 100 works by internationally renowned artists and many of Costa Rica’s leading contemporary painters. (D)
Day 2 Onward to Arenal
After breakfast and check-out, you’ll join Jorge for a tour of the Doka Estate. Here on this working coffee plantation, you’ll learn about – and see firsthand - the sustainable processes that bring the fine beans of the Central Valley to your morning cup of coffee. Enjoy lunch here on the coffee estate before continuing your scenic journey to Arenal. Check in to your spacious suite at the Arenal Kioro Hotel and take in the spectacular view of the Arenal Volcano from your balcony or en suite Jacuzzi. Before this evening’s dinner, you’ll also have time relax by the pool or enjoy the soothing thermal waters of Kioro’s hot springs. (B+L+D)
Day 3 From the Forest Canopy to Town
This morning’s Sky Tram adventure offers an exciting and enlightening view of the dense forests that surround Lake Arenal and the volcano. Ascending the mountain, traveling gently through the canopy high above the forest floor, you’ll gain a new perspective on this eco-system. These open-air tram cars afford spectacular views of the lake and Arenal Volcano, and immerse you in all the sights and sounds of the forest. At the top of the mountain, you can just enjoy in the panoramic vistas from the wide observation platform or join a guided nature walk along the forest trails of the summit.
After this aerial adventure, continue to the Fortuna Waterfall for lunch. Close to the restaurant, an observation platform offers terrific views of the waterfall. You’ll also have some free time to explore the charming town of La Fortuna at your own pace. You can stroll through the town’s central garden with its fine views of Arenal Volcano, mingle with locals along the town’s lively main street, shop for handmade artisan crafts, or stop by POPS for their much-loved coconut ice cream. Tonight’s dinner will be highlighted by authentic Costa Rican dishes that you’ll prepare during our lively hands-on cooking class! (B+L+D)
Day 4 Hanging Bridges Adventure + On to Monteverde
After breakfast and check out, you’ll join Jorge for another rainforest adventure. Ranging in elevation from just 5 feet above the ground to more than 145 feet high over the forest floor, this network of bridges and hanging bridges winds its way through the jungle and offers a unique way to view the biodiversity of this eco-system - from the darkened forest floor to the sun-dappled canopy.
Sit down to lunch at Café & Macadamia, a charming restaurant with wonderful views of Lake Arenal. Then check in to the Aguti Hotel and Reserve where your private bungalow features a spacious balcony with captivating views of Monteverde’s cool cloud forests. (B+L+D)
Day 5 Explore the Aguti Cloud Forest Reserve
After breakfast, you’ll join Jorge for a guided nature walk into the cloud forests of the Aguti Wildlife Reserve. With moisture-laden trade winds blowing upward along the mountain slopes of the region, you’ll find clouds and fog hovering almost continuously in the upper canopy of the forest. Condensing onto the leaves and plants below, the moisture contributes to the extraordinary biodiversity of the Cloud Forest. With expert insight from Jorge, you’ll learn about the myriad species that thrive here: More than 2,000 varieties of plants (420 of which are orchids!), 400 species of birds including the elusive Resplendent Quetzal, 5,000 different types of moths, 400 mammal species including cats, deer, tapir and sloths, and 1,200 species of reptiles and amphibians!
Following lunch, visit the Monteverde Orchid Garden to see and learn about these extraordinary blooming plants. In a natural tropical forest with well-maintained paths, you’ll discover an impressive collection of more than 460 species of orchids. Many of them are miniature varieties that are indigenous to the Monteverde region, including some with delicate flowers measuring less than one inch! After dinner at Morpho’s Restaurant, we’ve arranged for you to spend time with Marvin Rockwell, one of the original Quaker pioneers who settled in Monteverde in the 1950’s. Engaging conversation in his home offers insight into one of the Costa Rica’s most colorful chapters of history. (B+L+D)
Day 6 Macaw Sanctuary + Onward to the Pacific
Descending from the cool of the Cloud Forest this morning, you’ll visit the Natuwa Macaw Sanctuary where you’ll see a variety of endangered bird and mammal species. Established in 1994 to protect Scarlet and Great Green Macaws from threats to their habitats, this pioneering conservation sanctuary has grown into a refuge, breeding and rehabilitation center for numerous animals including primates and big cats.
Sit down to a delightful lunch at Villa Caletas, set on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific. Then continue to the Parador Resort and Spa where your spacious Premium Guestroom offers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding forest and Pacific Ocean. (B+L+D)
Day 7 Discover Manuel Antonio National Park
This is one of the country’s smaller national parks, but with pristine tropical forests, spectacular ocean beaches and dramatic rocky headlands, Manuel Antonio is regarded by many as the crown jewel of Costa Rica’s extensive system of National Parks and Reserves. In Jorge’s engaging and knowledgeable company, you’ll set out after breakfast to explore along the accessible and well-maintained trails of the Park. Learn about the unique flora and biodiversity of the region and keep your eyes peeled for its wild residents - including sloths, iguanas, the rare squirrel monkey, diminutive red land crabs, and a wide variety of tropical birds.
In the afternoon, you’ll discover another one of Manuel Antonio’s remarkable eco-systems. Setting out in a covered boat, you’ll explore the pristine estuaries and lush mangroves that surround Damas Island. In addition to the unique plant life that thrives in these brackish wetlands, this adventure offers a chance to espy white-faced monkeys, colorful birds and a variety of reptiles and amphibians. This evening you’ll dine at Café Milagro. (B+L+D)
Day 8 Depart San Jose
After breakfast, we’ll take you to the airport in San Jose for your departure flight. (B)
All This Included
With never more than 16 guests, our activity-filled itinerary takes you from the forested mountains of Arenal and Monteverde to the pristine shores of the Pacific. And every step of the way, our expert Trip Leader, Jorge Leiton, will immerse you more deeply in the flora, fauna and unique eco-systems of his native land.
San Jose: Studio Hotel
Arenal: Arenal Kioro Hotel
Monteverde: Aguti Hotel & Reserve
Manuel Antonio: Parador Resort & Spa
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* 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.