Costa Rica: Jungles & Rainforests (BBC Earth Journey, For Families)
8 days with Tauck Rating:
Day 1 Arrive San José
Tour begins: 6:00 PM, InterContinental Costa Rica. A transfer is included from San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport to InterContinental Costa Rica in the heart of Costa Rica's capital city, San José. Meet your fellow eco-adventurers at this evening's welcome reception followed by dinner at your hotel, where your family enjoys Deluxe Rooms. (D)
Day 2 Toucans, chocolate & Tortuguero A day of fun awaits your family today as you depart the capital, San José, and make your way to Tortuguero National Park, a tropical paradise in the heart of the coastal rainforest and your first taste of Costa Rica's incredible biodiversity! En route, pay a visit 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. Next, learn everything you ever wanted to know about one of our favorite food groups – chocolate – at an artisan chocolatier! See the natural process of transforming the cacao fruit into chocolate during a hands-on demonstration, do a little tasting and have lunch. This afternoon, a boat transports you to your rustic rainforest retreat adjacent to Tortuguero National Park – where most travel is by water, toucans and blue morpho butterflies fly all around you, and howler monkeys provide a natural wake-up call! Enjoy a poolside barbecue for dinner tonight. (B, L, D)
Day 3 The natural treasures of Tortuguero
Wake up today in your rainforest lodge near the entrance to Tortuguero National Park, where 11 different habitats have been identified in the surrounding wilderness – providing homes to 60 kinds of mammals, 57 species of amphibians, 111 varieties of reptiles and more than 309 recorded species of birds! Your day begins with a morning canal cruise, where you'll do some birding and nature viewing with our local guides, then return to your lodge for lunch. This afternoon, take a boat to explore the village of Tortuguero; learn about the medicinal benefits of coconuts, and the "tree of life" they come from, during a coconut demonstration; and, if you wish, take an optional canal cruise inside Tortuguero National Park, or just relax at your resort. And if you're traveling with us between July and August, this evening we'll take an unforgettable nighttime trip to the beach to observe nesting green sea turtles in one of the world's top nesting grounds for these endangered animals. You'll have a chance to see them make their way up the beach from the water to dig their nests in the sand, leaving tractor-tread trails behind them! (B, L, D)
Day 4 Fly to Arenal & Sarapiqui River rafting trip
This morning you’ll fly to Arenal before enjoying an exciting river-rafting excursion on the historic Sarapiqui River; a national monument today, the river played an important role in suppressing an armed incursion into Costa Rica in 1856, serving as a highway that transported soldiers, weapons and food. Board a rubber river raft for a Class II rafting trip* through the jungle; try to spot turtles, sloths, monkeys, iguanas and other wildlife along the riverbank that call the Sarapiqui region home. Following your fun rafting adventure, drive to your spa resort, where you’ll enjoy dinner at leisure this evening. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Zip lining at Arenal & a pineapple tour
In Costa Rica's Arenal region, get 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, where you'll soar over and through the canopy of rainforest treetops! (Those not into zip lining can take a nature walk instead.) Following lunch at a local restaurant, join us for a pineapple tour on which you'll taste pineapples fresh from the field, learn how to choose the best pineapple at the supermarket, and sample some local pineapple treats. Return to your resort for some time at leisure and dinner tonight. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Across Costa Rica to coastal Guanacaste
Head out from Arenal and across Costa Rica's interior today to Guanacaste on the Pacific coast, stopping for lunch on the way. Then continue on to your eclectic oceanfront resort, El Mangroove, on the shores of the Pacific in Guanacaste. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Dolphin spotting, snorkeling & a beachfront farewell
Enjoy a full day at your seaside resort today, either relaxing or taking an included dolphin spotting and snorkeling cruise in the morning or afternoon. Continue your personalized adventure today with lunch at the hotel, then join us for a farewell reception and dinner tonight, including traditional Costa Rican music played by a marimba band. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Adios, Costa Rica!
Tour ends: Guanacaste. Fly home anytime. A transfer from El Mangroove to Liberia International Airport is included. You should allow a minimum of three hours for check-in at the airport. (B)
All This Included
Life is pretty colorful on a Costa Rica family vacation, where even butterflies like the electric-blue morpho make visitors gape in awe. More than 850 different species of birds make their homes here, from emerald-green parrots, scarlet macaws and bright-billed "flying banana" toucans to purple-throated hummingbirds, orange-bellied trogons, and red and green plumed quetzals. Green turtles and iguanas, red frogs and white-faced monkeys are also a big draw too, as you’ll find out when you explore tropical rainforests and jungles on a rafting trip and a nature hike during overnight stays in riverfront lodges. One of our most popular trips immerses you in the Earth Journeys experience, featuring on-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts plus other select BBC Earth touches. Want to get the ultimate hands-on Costa Rica family vacation experience? Soar on a zip-line adventure through the rainforest, learn all about living along a jungle river, take a pineapple tour, and see – as well as taste – how the cacao fruit is transformed into chocolate. And the best part – share it all with your family on Costa Rica: Jungles & Rainforests.
San José: InterContinental Costa Rica at Multiplaza Mall
Tortuguero National Park: Aninga Lodge
Arenal: Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort
Guanacaste: El Mangroove
Terms and Conditions
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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.