With its natural bounty of rainforest lagoons, towering volcanoes, and long, palm-fringed beaches, Costa Rica is a paradise for nature lovers. Almost 20 percent of the country is protected in national parks or nature reserves that are prime examples of Costa Rican ecosystems, including deciduous tropical forests, mangrove swamps, rainforests, cloud forests, and wetlands. On this Private Journey, you can hike, mountain bike, explore a tropical rainforest, and paddle by sea kayak in azure Pacific waters, all with expert naturalist guides at your side. Your journey includes mountainous Arenal Volcano National Park, the waterways of Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean Coast, and Manuel Antonio National Park on the sparkling Pacific. We also offer an extension to world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the outstanding nature reserves in the New World tropics, and an optional day of whitewater rafting on the wild Pacuare River.
We have been home two days and our hearts are aching to return to Costa Rica! Loved being able to see such different environments. Hotels were luxurious and the food amazing. It's a good thing we walked a lot or else we would have gained weight with such yummy food! We were pretty sure we'd love Costa Rica, but we loved it even MORE than we had anticipated thanks to your company and the partnerships you have in country.
— Sue B., Seattle, WA
Arenal, Mountain of Fire
After an overnight in a boutique hotel in San Jose, head out to scenic Arenal Volcano National Park. At Arenal, you can walk an elaborate network of spectacular hanging bridges that give access to the tree canopy of the park’s primary rainforest, where a colorful array of birdlife and butterflies reside. After an active day, enjoy an optional soak in a hot spring and watch the glow of Arenal from your private balcony at your cozy lodge.
Tortuguero, the Emerald Forest
Set along natural inland waterways of the Caribbean, Tortuguero National Park protects one of the last large areas of tropical rainforest in Central America. In this deep green world accessible only by boat, a maze of tranquil waterways overhung with rainforest provides a rich habitat for caimans, crocodiles, manatees, monkeys, three-toed sloths, river otters, and a dazzling array of birdlife. Explore this wondrous ecosystem by small boat or sea kayak (optional); Tortuguero is also a world-famous nesting spot for green sea turtles (July-October) as well as leatherbacks (March-May).
Manuel Antonio National Park, Jewel of the Pacific Coast
Try your hand at Costa Rica’s popular adventure sport—the zipline—for a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy! At Manuel Antonio, set beside the Pacific coast, walk through vine-draped forests where monkeys leap from tree to tree, sloths gaze down from the canopy, and iguanas sun themselves on logs. Optional activities include ocean kayaking, surfing, and a sunset sail featuring whale and dolphin watching. Depart on Day 8.