Costa Rica Wildlife Family Adventure
Discover Flexible Fun & Adventure
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
This Costa Rica family trip treks across the lush rainforests, cloud forests, mountains and coastline encounters a wealth of wildlife, but also allows time to bond with the friendly people during a relaxing dinner with locals and tour of a coffee plantation — encompassing the natural and human history of this rich land. Forming a natural bridge between North and South America, this peaceful country contains a phenomenally diverse concentration of birds, primates and butterflies, and its far-reaching national parks and reserves have long-been considered the showplace of tropical conservation. For a true rendezvous with nature, Costa Rica travel is calling!You’ll spend your days on our Costa Rica tour with a host of wildlife! As you travel through the lowland jungles, monkeys create a commotion in the canopy, in the company of toucans and macaws. Daily guided rainforest excursions with our Master Naturalists are the perfect time to take in Costa Rica’s symphony of wildlife.Not only will you experience the volcanic fireworks of Arenal, swim in natural hot springs and glide along Caribbean waters, the tour features your choice of horseback riding, white-water rafting, trying a canopy zip-line and more!While the friendly locals in Costa Rica are often called “ticos,” you’ll be calling these welcoming people “friend!” Your small group will be welcomed like family to a traditional meal hosted by Dona Mireya at the Hidalgo Family Hot Springs and when meeting Monteverde’s Quaker settlers on our Costa Rica tour.
* Wildlife excursions on land & by boat
* Choice of horseback riding, white-water rafting, canopy zip line & more in
* Tour of local coffee farm
* Arenal Hanging Bridge excursion
* Daily rainforest walks
* Swimming in natural pools & hot springs
* Traditional dinner with Doña Mireya
* Flight to Tortuguero
* Visits to two Butterfly Gardens
* Guided tours & enriching lectures by Master Naturalists
* Nightly briefings on history, wildlife & conservation
* 22 meals
* Tips to porters & to waiters for included meals
* Bottled water on transfers
* All entrance fees
* Transfers on group arrival & departure dates
Fly independently to San José
Fly independently to San José, where we meet our guide and transfer to Grano de Oro Hotel. *Accommodation*: Grano de Oro Hotel
Depart for the primary forests, swamps and banana plantations of Sarapiquí.
Depart for the primary forests, swamps and banana plantations of Sarapiquí, an important region for conservation of birds, butterflies, insects and plants. The crystal Sarapiquí River snakes through the region, beginning in the old crater of the Poas Volcano – joining with the waters of several tributaries such as the Rio Sucio and Rio Puerto Viejo. The moderate rapids are particularly attractive to rafting enthusiasts, and we spend our morning rafting and ziplining through the rainforest canopy. Hike the jungle trails at La Selva Biological Station, home to 79 bird species as well as monkey and sloth. The station is operated by the Organization for Tropical Studies, a consortium of universities and research institutions from the United States, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico Once we reach the station, discuss cutting-edge research being done to conserve the tropical rainforest with one of the scientists in residence.*Accommodation*: Selva Verde Lodge or similar
Listen to the morning songs of the forest’s birds and frogs as we enjoy a
morning of hiking.
Listen to the morning songs of the forest’s birds and frog as we enjoy a morning of hiking and tasting exotic fruits at a locally owned organic farm. Sit down over a homemade lunch with the owners before catching the boat to Tortuguero.*Accommodation*: Evergreen Lodge or similar
We visit the flooded forests of Tortuguero.
Our Costa Rica tour visits the flooded forests of Tortuguero, established to protect the largest nesting ground of green sea turtles in the Caribbean and the surrounding lowland rainforest — home to jaguars, manatees and the endangered great green macaw. During the summer months, thousands of turtles come ashore on these world-famous beaches to lay their eggs. By boat, we glide along the black waters surrounded by towering trees, looking for keel-billed toucans, colorful parrots and the basilisk lizard, also called the “Jesus Christ lizard” because it runs across the water! As we explore the park’s canals, look for all six species of New World kingfishers, as many as eight species of parrots, toucans, oropendolas and more, as well as the raphia palm, which has the largest leaves of any plant. Capuchin and spider monkeys may be seen crossing the river in daring leaps.*Accommodation*: Evergreen Lodge or similar
After breakfast, fly back to San José. From there, drive to the Arenal area.
After breakfast, fly back to San José. From there, drive to the Arenal area. Explore the Arenal Hanging Bridges, fourteen bridges designed to blend with the environment. As we walk these trails, we’ll see flowers and wildlife typical of the rainforest, and enjoy imposing views of Arenal Volcano, active since 1968. In the afternoon we visit the Hidalgo Family Hot Springs for a chance to enjoy soaking in thermal waters surrounded by rainforest.*Accommodation*: The Arenal Lodge or similar
Enjoy a morning of hiking along the trails at the private Ecocentro Danaus
Enjoy a morning of hiking along the trails at the private Ecocentro Danaus Ecological Reserve. As you stroll through the secondary forest, your naturalist points out sloths, iguanas, poison dart frogs, caimans and emerald basilisk lizards, as well as many tropical bird species. Meet members of the local Tonjibe community at the Maleku Indigenous Cultural House, which is dedicated to preserving the tribe’s traditional language, dances, diet, dressing, and the use of natural medicines while helping them adapt. After lunch, hop on a tractor to tour an estate before learning about Tico-style coffee and trying your hand at making corn tortillas! Cap off our day by joining local youth to learn folk dances and watch as they entertain with a demonstration.*Accommodation*: The Arenal Lodge or similar
A boat takes us across Lake Arenal to an ecological farm, where we enjoy
lunch and continue our Costa Rica tour.
A boat takes us across Lake Arenal to an ecological farm, where we enjoy lunch and continue our Costa Rica tour. Travel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, the richest and most complex tropical cloud forest in the New World. The abundance of life associated with the cloud forest is astounding. Within the general heading of “cloud forest” there are actually six distinct forest types at Monteverde, each with its own separate, yet interwoven, plant and animal life. The Monteverde Cloud Reserve contains over 2,000 species of plants, including a wide array of orchids, mosses, ferns and bromeliads. Specialized guides will point out the most important aspects of coffee, its harvesting and processing on an afternoon tour. Your coffee guides will also highlight the importance of the golden bean on Costa Rica’s social, cultural and economic development. We’ll be visited by one of the area’s original Quaker settlers to learn about the history and current issues of this sprawling agricultural community. The community was founded in 1951 by a group of American Quakers, most from the state of Alabama.*Accommodation*: Monteverde Lodge & Gardens or similar
Our morning is spent at the wildlife enthusiast’s paradise of Curicancha
Our morning is spent at the wildlife enthusiast’s paradise of Curicancha Reserve. Alongside your guide, watch for resplendent quetzal, three-wattled bellbird, blue-crowned motmot and orange-bellied trogon. Other wildlife frequently spotted includes armadillo, coati, agouti, kinkajou, ocelot, two-toed sloth, and three species of monkey: mantled howler, white-faced capuchin and spider monkey. Tour the Butterfly Garden, with many kinds of brilliantly colored native butterflies along with medicinal plants and a leaf-cutter ant colony. After lunch, head back to San José. Savor a farewell dinner of French Mediterranean and tropically-influenced cuisine, while learning about Casa Luz, a community project supported by the restaurant. Casa Luz provides a safe environment for at-risk young mothers and their children.*Accommodation*: Grano de Oro Hotel or similar
Survey the city of San Jose, including stops at the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum
and The National Theater.
Survey the city of San Jose, including stops at the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum and The National Theater. Transfer to the airport for your independent flight home.