Costa Rica | Mountains to Sea

person sliding on zip line in forest, tree and man in Costa Rica

The Land of Beauty and Abundance

Learn about the process that brings these fine beans to your morning cup of coffee at a working coffee estate in the lovely Central Valley of Costa Rica. Take guided nature walks, ride the SkyTram, and walk along hanging bridges as you explore the tropical jungle and cool cloud forest. Enjoy an engaging conversation with Marvin Rockwell, one of Monteverde’s original Quaker settlers. Learn about the diverse flora and fauna of Manuel Antonio National Park, considered to be Costa Rica’s crown jewel. Explore the park’s trails and mangrove estuaries by boat.

Day One | Welcome to an Jose, Costa Rica

As soon as you arrive at the airport, you’ll be greeted and escorted to the Studio Hotel. Our deluxe boutique hotel features spacious Superior Guestrooms, as well as a highly regarded art collection featuring over 100 works by internationally renowned artists and Costa Rica’s leading contemporary painters.

Day Two | Onward to Arenal

Following breakfast and check-out, you’ll join your guide for a guided tour of Doka Estate. During your visit to this working coffee plantation, you’ll learn about – and experience – the sustainable processes that bring the fine coffee beans of the Central Valley to your cup. During your scenic journey to Arenal, enjoy lunch on the coffee estate. Take in the breathtaking Arenal Volcano view from the balcony or en suite Jacuzzi of your spacious suite at the Arenal Kioro Hotel. As a bonus, you will also have time to relax by the pool or soak in the healing thermal waters at Kioro’s hot springs before dinner.

Day Three | From the Forest Canopy to Town

The Sky Tram adventure this morning offers an exciting and enlightening view of the dense forests surrounding Lake Arenal and the volcano. Climbing the mountain will give you a unique perspective on this ecosystem as you travel gently through the canopy high above the forest floor. The open-air tram cars offer stunning views of Arenal Volcano and the lake, as well as a chance to immerse yourself in the forest’s sights and sounds. On the summit, you can take a guided nature walk along the forest trails or just enjoy the panoramic views from the observation platform.

Afterwards, continue your journey to Fortuna Waterfall for lunch. There is an observation platform near the restaurant that offers terrific views of the waterfall. There will also be some free time for you to explore the charming town of La Fortuna at your own pace. The central garden of the town offers fine views of Arenal Volcano, you can mingle with locals along the lively main street, enjoy handmade artisan crafts, or sample coconut ice cream from POPS. As a part of our hands-on cooking class, you’ll prepare authentic Costa Rican dishes for tonight’s dinner!

Day Four | Hanging Bridges Adventure + On to Monteverde

Following breakfast and check-out, you’ll continue your rainforest adventure with your guide. From just 5 feet above the ground to more than 145 feet above the forest floor, this network of bridges and hanging bridges winds its way through the jungle and provides a unique opportunity to view the biodiversity of this ecosystem – from the darkened forest floor to the sun-dappled canopy.

Located on the coast of Lake Arenal, Café & Macadamia is a charming restaurant with a great view of the water. You can enjoy captivating views of Monteverde’s cool cloud forests from your private balcony at the Koora Hotel.

Day Five | Explore the Aguti Cloud Forest Reserve

Join your guide for a guided nature walk in the cloud forests of the Aguti Wildlife Reserve after breakfast. In the upper canopy of the forest, you can find clouds and fog hovering almost continuously due to moisture-laden trade winds blowing upward along the mountain slopes.

By condensing onto the leaves and plants below, moisture contributes to the Cloud Forest’s extraordinary biodiversity. Learn about the myriad species that thrive here with expert insight from your guide: 2,000 varieties of plants (420 of which are orchids), 400 species of birds including the elusive Resplendent Quetzal, 5,000 moth species, 400 mammals such as cats, deer, tapirs and sloths, and 1,200 reptiles and amphibians! Visit Monteverde Orchid Garden to see and learn more about these extraordinary blooming plants. An impressive collection of over 460 orchid species can be discovered in a natural tropical forest with well-maintained paths. Miniature varieties of these plants are native to the Monteverde region, some of which have flowers measuring less than an inch wide! Spend time relaxing after lunch before continuing your exploration of the natural world at the Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond, where over 30 species offer fascinating insight into their life and habitat.

Day Six | Macaw Sanctuary + Onward to the Pacific

As you descend from the cool of the Cloud Forest, you’ll see some endangered bird and mammal species at the Natuwa Macaw Sanctuary. In 1994, this pioneering conservation sanctuary was founded to protect Scarlet and Great Green Macaws from threats to their habitats. Today, it is also a breeding and rehabilitation center for primates and big cats.

You can enjoy a delightful lunch at Villa Caletas, an idyllic hilltop retreat with a breathtaking view of the Pacific. You can then explore the surrounding forest and ocean from your spacious Premium Guestroom at the Parador Resort and Spa.

Day Seven | Discover Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s smaller national parks, but with its pristine tropical forests, spectacular ocean beaches, and dramatic rocky headlands, it is regarded by many as the jewel in the crown of the country’s extensive National Parks and Reserves system. The well-maintained trails of the park are accessible and well-maintained, so you can explore them in your guide’s company after breakfast.

The region’s unique flora and biodiversity will keep you on your toes with sloths, iguanas, squirrel monkeys, red land crabs, and tropical birds.

In the afternoon, you’ll discover another remarkable eco-system in Manuel Antonio. As you sail along the pristine estuaries and lush mangroves surrounding Damas Island, you’ll enjoy the panoramic views. This adventure offers a chance to see white-faced monkeys, colorful birds, and a variety of reptiles and amphibians, as well as the unique plant life that thrives in these brackish wetlands.

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