A small group eco-adventure featuring the sights and sounds of the rainforests, the calm of thermal pools, with volcanic walks and sandy beaches. It’s travel beyond the expected!
Next Departure: Winter
DAY 1 (Toronto-San Jose) On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, located just 11 miles away in the historical city center of Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. Built in the 1950’s and recently renovated, the Balmoral Hotel, provides comfortable spacious smoke free rooms with safes, and flat screen TVs.
DAY 2 (Sarapiqui) After your included breakfast, depart the hotel for a visit to the National Theater, which is considered the finest historic building in the capital, and is known for its exquisite interior. After your visit begin your adventure to see Costa Rica’s natural wonders. Enroute to your accommodations in Sarapiqui travel via a small village, Vara Blanca with a photo stop at the El Angel & San Fernando Waterfall. Comfort and refreshment stops will also be made along the way. Your home for 2 nights will be at the La Quinta Sarapiqui Country Inn, situated on 10 acres, and surrounded by tropical gardens. Rooms have air conditioning, hair dryers, safes, and a thatched roof porch where you can enjoy the view. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.
DAY 3 (Sarapiqui) After your included breakfast travel to Selva Verde for a hike at La Selva Biological Station, a great way to learn about the flora and wildlife. Without even getting on the trails you can see strawberry poison dart frogs, two-toed sloths and collared peccaries. On the bridge over the Sarapaqui River spot crocodiles and caimans swimming and sun bathing along the shores. Other common sights include hummingbirds, toucans, owls, monkeys. La Selva is one of the most rich, dynamic rainforest habitats left on the planet.
In the afternoon learn about the life of the Costa Rican coffee producers. See how the coffee fields work in harmony with nature … how the seeds germinate, grow to the state of small plant with two false leaves and then to the final phase of harvest. Then taste a delicious cup of coffee, cappuccino or espresso. Mi Cafecito coffee is first quality and should you wish you can purchase it in the souvenir shop, where they also have some local crafts … a wonderful afternoon before returning to your country inn for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4 (La Fortuna) After your included breakfast, your morning is at leisure. In the afternoon travel to Ecotermales Hot Springs, a family operated natural hot springs heated from the heart of the Arena! Volcano. The volcano is more than 1,600 metres high and towers over the beautiful countryside that surrounds it. The Hot Springs is an exclusive hidden gem which combined with the peace of the surrounding rainforests make for a relaxing oasis. The natural volcanic hot springs have created 5 pools with temperatures ranging from 99° to 106° F. After your hot spring experience travel a short distance for your accommodation tonight, the Arenal Palace Hotel. Guests enjoy such in-room amenities as Air-Conditioning, Swimming Pool, Internet Service, private bathroom, hot and cold water, as well as a view of the Arenal Volcano, (weather permitting). Includes Breakfast and Dinner.
DAY 5 (La Fortuna) After breakfast visit one of the world’s most spectacular volcanoes, Arenal. Before the active period of 1968, a lavish canopy of vegetation covered the Arenal Volcano. People that climbed Arenal’s summit related that inside the crater there were big trees and at night, they slept in places where there was some heat due to small steam outlets.
You will enjoy extraordinary views of the Arenal Volcano on a gentle 2.5 hour hike along the volcano’s base on a trail that will take you through a private forest and the area destroyed in 1968 which is now in the process of regeneration.
In the afternoon you have the opportunity to take a Sky Walk…this option has an extra fee. Sky Walk uses trails and a series of suspension bridges for a more relaxing introduction of the flora and fauna of the forest canopy. It allows a vision of the forest from a different perspective which starts with a hike on the ground and then taking you to explore the treetops, a hardly discovered habitat called the “canopy”. Sky Walk’s bridges span across canyons and bring visitors face to face with the upper level of the forest canopy. Includes Breakfast and Dinner
DAY 6 (Monteverde) After your included breakfast, you will cross the lake to Monteverde, meaning Green Mountain. This area was founded by the Quakers in the 1950’s but is most famous for its cloud forest reserve, one of the most outstanding tropical wildlife sanctuaries in the world. An excursion through the reserve has been arranged for you.
After your cloud forest excursion transfer to Santa Elena, a very small mountain town where you can have lunch (not included). The main part of town is where three roads come together forming a single block triangular center. Everything in Santa Elena can be seen on foot. After your visit you transfer to the Monteverde Country Lodge, your home for the next 2 nights. The lodge features laundry facilities, Free WiFi in public areas, a safe and cable TV. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.
DAY 7 (Monteverde) After breakfast travel to nearby Curi-Cancha wildlife refuge, a private forest refuge in the Cloud Forests of Monteverde. Trails are pretty, peaceful and good for wildlife and birding! There are fantastic views from the ‘Mirador’ looking across the continental divide and several trails of varying distances.
Begin your walk at an expansive overlook of the Gulf of Nicoya surrounded by 1800 newly-planted saplings critical to the disappearing birdlife including the Resplendent Quetzal. Follow a circle of natural trails into the depths of the forest to learn more about this amazingly complex and diverse habitat with your guide.
This afternoon visit the Monteverde Ecological Sanctuary and Wildlife Refuge, a private reserve dedicated to forest conservation. The Sanctuary works together the Bellbird Association to maintain and plant over 1000 trees each year. The Bellbird Association’s mission is to reforest those areas where the Bellbirds make their home. The forest in the sanctuary is characterized by an abundance of fruit-bearing trees that make the reserve an ideal habitat for a vast variety of birds, mammals, and exotic butterflies which are usually not seen in dense forest or cloud forest. Today you will have an opportunity to zip-line (extra cost). Includes Breakfast and Dinner.
DAY 8 (Tamarindo) After your breakfast depart the Monteverde area for Tamarindo. The distance is not far, but the road to the Pacific coast is winding and hilly … about a 4 hour drive to this beach town where you will overnight for the next two nights at the Hotel Esplendor. Hotel Rooms have balconies, which provide sweeping views of the oceanfront. There is a wellness center in the hotel where you can make an appointment for a massage or a beauty treatment. The hotel has a laundry service, rooms have safes and WiFi, and there is an outdoor pool.
In the afternoon visit the Las Baulas National Marine Park which covers a large ocean front area on the Guanacaste Gold Coast including the Tamarindo Estuary. The beach at Playa Grande is known as one of the largest leatherback turtle nesting sites in the world. Every year between October and March, hundreds of leatherbacks come ashore to lay their eggs. These Jurassic reptiles, the largest of all sea turtles, can weigh upwards of 1,500 pounds (680 kg.) and measure 6-feet (1.8 m.) in length. Even though over 800 nesting sea turtles visit these beaches annually, the giant leatherback remains highly endangered and at risk of extinction. A small museum and interpretive center at the main entrance of the park focuses | on the natural history of leatherbacks. Tonight, accompanied by your guide you will visit the beach to perhaps see the turtles returning to the white sand beaches. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.
DAY 9 (Tamarindo) After a late wakeup, your day at leisure to relax at the beach or at your hotel. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.
DAY 10 (La Ensenada Lodge) After breakfast depart for the Gulf of Nicoya, a shallow water body between the peninsula and Costa Rica’s mainland. Your home for the next 2 nights is the family operated Hacienda La Ensenada and National Wildlife Refuge. The Hacienda offers accommodations with spacious terrace, from which you can enjoy an unforgettable sunset ; relaxing in a hammock, and a swimming pool. Part of a national wildlife refuge, this is a most comfortable base for bird-watching, crocodile spotting, and nature appreciation on this side of the Rio Tempisque. The 1,000-acre property is also a cattle ranch and salt producer, with nearby salt flats and a freshwater lagoon that attract wading birds (and crocodiles that snack on them) Included Breakfast and Dinner.
DAY 11 (La Ensenada Lodge) After waking up to the sounds of nature, you will have breakfast and another opportunity to see an abundance of wildlife on a leisurely covered boat ride down the Tempisque River while enjoying the natural wonders that Costa Rica has to offer. The Tempisque River is located within Palo Verde National Park which is a slice of wetland sanctuary in the middle of Costa Rica’s driest province. The 45,500-acre park is a mosaic of 15 different habitats, including mangrove swamps, grassy savannahs, marshes, salt ponds, pastures and evergreen forest, all bordered by sloping limestone hills. It is considered a migratory and resident waterfowl refuge and contains the greatest concentration of shorebirds and waterfowl in Central America. Up to 250,000 birds reside here at once, with the most common being egrets, herons, storks, spoonbills, ibis, grebes and ducks.
The park’s mammal life is no less impressive. In addition to deer, coatimimdis, armadillo, howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys and peccaries, Palo Verde is home to the largest jaguarondi population in Costa Rica. American crocodiles, which can reach up to 15 feet long, are another park mainstay. Return to the hacienda for your afternoon at leisure. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.
DAY 12 (Manuel Antonio) After breakfast depart for Manuel Antonio National Park. Although it might be small – less than 700 hectares – its rainforest and waters are a natural habitat for the white face monkey, the rare squirrel monkey and the three toed sloth. You can look for toucans and parrots. This afternoon enjoy a leisurely hike through this exotic, bio-diverse tropical rainforest with a guide. Your accommodation tonight is the Hotel California, an ocean view hotel in Manuel Antonio. The rooms have air conditioning, ceiling fans, and satellite television. Set on a mountain and surrounded by rainforest, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.
DAY 13 (San Jose) After breakfast your morning is at leisure before your afternoon drive back to San Jose. Dinner and your accommodation tonight will be at theCountry Inn & Suites, conveniently located near Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). The hotel features two beautiful swimming pools and free high-speed Internet access. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.
DAY 14 (Fly Home) After breakfast you have time for your own activities or perhaps to explore a local craft market before your transfer to the International Airport to catch your flight home. Includes Breakfast.
All prices are in Canadian Dollars
|$3,799 / person||Double occupancy (excluding taxes)|
|$4,608 / person||Single occupancy (excluding taxes)|
|Should you pay by cash or cheque, there will be a $100 per person discount.|
|Airfare from Toronto with United Airlines||Cancellation and Out of Country Health Insurance|
|Motorcoach transportation in Costa Rica||Airline Taxes & Surcharges (approx. $272 CAD pp) plus airline baggage fees (Airline Taxes are subject to change until time of ticketing)|
|13 Nights accommodation at small inns and lodges, taxes included||Local Airport departure tax in San Jose (approx. $29 USD pp)|
|Local English Speaking Guide||Gratuities to driver, local guide and for meals|
|Entrance Fees to Sites indicated in Itinerary||Items of a personal nature as well as any items not mentioned in the itinerary.|
|Pre Departure Get Together|
|** Escorted from Toronto by Janice Bock who is pleased to return to Costa Rica for the 6th time to help others discover its stunning variety of landscapes, microclimates and superb wildlife viewing.|
Escorted by: Janice Bock
A deposit of S350 per person
plus Emergency Excess Hospital and Medical
and Cancellation Insurance premium (if desired)
is due at time of booking.
Final payment is due by December 1st, 2015
Please contact Jessica at Bullas Travel for additional information.
Telephone (519) 578-7740
All Travellers must have a passport
valid for at least 6 months following return to Canada
Days before departure | Penalty
76 days or more | Deposit
75 to 51 days | 50% of tour cost
50 days or less | 100% of tour cost
No refunds for unused services, hotel nights or unused portion of airline tickets, for any reason