Classic Costa Rica Vacation
Classic Costa Rica Vacation: On this 10 day journey around the country, you’ll be immersed in Costa Rica’s natural beauty while staying in iconic hotels. Visit the immensely biodiverse and internationally recognized Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, where you’ll find over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, thousands of insects, and the world’s largest orchid population. Experience the cloud forest on a guided hike through the reserve, on a Sky Walk over hanging bridges at heights reaching 500 ft., and finally on a canopy zip-line. From Monteverde you’ll head to Arenal Volcano where days full of adventure and exploration concluded with nightly soaks in the world-famous Tabacon hot springs! Finally, head to the sunshine coast of Costa Rica, Guanacaste, for some salt water fun. Spend all day in the ocean waves and cap it off with daily sunset cocktails on the beach.
Destinations: Monteverde, La Fortuna, Tamarindo
Duration: 10 days
*Price Range: $$$
*Rates inclusive of full vacation experience – hotels, tours, domestic transfers, and tax (excluding international airfare). Actual price based on length of travel, number of travelers/rooms, seasonal rates (high, low, peak), number of tour activities, and mode of domestic transportation.
$$$: At or under $1,200 per person.
$$$: $1,200 – $1,800 per person.
$$$: $1,800+ per person
Fly into Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) where one of our local airport representatives will meet you before immigration holding a sign with your name on it. They will guide you through an expedited immigration process and to baggage claim. Outside the airport you’ll find your private transfer that will be waiting to help you with your luggage. Drive three hours from San Jose into the misty mountains of Monteverde for your stay in the cloud forest at El Establo. El Establo is a 155 room luxury boutique hotel that was once a cattle farm run by Quakers. Nowadays, this mountain resort offers an array of fine amenities, including one of the only hotels in the area to offer indoor heated pools, a gym and full-service spa. Tonight, enjoy dinner in one of two restaurants on site, Las Riendas, or the more upscale Laggus Restaurant.
After a buffet breakfast in Las Riendas restaurant, you’ll start your day of exploration with a guided hike through Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Your guide will help point out plants (close to 2,500 species), mammals (over 100 species), countless insects, and birds (over 400 species) within the variable climates and high altitudes of this extremely biodiverse region. You will walk along nine different paths within the reserve, one trail leading to the highest point, La Ventana, with panoramic mountain views. Return to El Establo for lunch and then explore the quaint town of Monteverde. Explore The Butterfly Garden or head to The Monteverde Cheese Factory to learn the cheese making process and sample >exquisite cheeses and ice creams. Have dinner in town this evening or back to El Establo.
A day of adventure in the cloud forest canopy awaits you today! Start with a guided tour over some of the longest suspension bridges in Costa Rica reaching heights of 500 feet. Afterwards, a faster-paced canopy zip-line tour will have you flying from treetop to treetop! In the evening make sure to enjoy a night walk back at El Establo to see a variety of nocturnal cloud forest creatures.
A tour transfer will take you from Monteverde to Arenal while experiencing the Don Juan Coffee and Chocolate farm. Learn how these popular beans are harvested and processed and enjoy samples of each before a satisfying lunch. Afterwards, you’ll be dropped off at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. Check into your room and head straight to their world famous natural hot springs! As a guest at Tabacon, you will have unlimited access to their hot springs, which are perfect way to wrap-up a day of adventure in Arenal.
Pick-up the pace today as you enjoy one of Arenal’s best adventure tours, Gravity Falls waterfall jumping along with a 140-ft waterfall rappel! This is a heart-pounding adrenaline tour that takes you deep into the rainforest and into a waterfall playground of jumping, rappelling, and swimming! After a delicious Costa Rican lunch at a local restaurant, head back to Tabacon to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening in the hot springs.
An hour north of Arenal is the majestic turquoise waters of Rio Celeste. Hike along the vibrant blue river bank and to the splendid waterfall. Continue onwards to find natural hot springs bubbling up from the river. Enjoy a typical Costa Rican lunch and head back to Tabacon to soak in the therapeutic hot springs.
Whitewater raft your way from Arenal to the golden coastline of Guanacaste! Paddle class III-IV rapids for a heart-pounding good time. For a more tranquil tour transfer, you can also opt for a safari float, which takes you on a more leisurely river journey to enjoy wildlife viewing. Refuel with a delicious Costa Rican lunch and finish the remaining ground transfer to Tamarindo. Check into your room at Cala Luna just outside of Tamarindo and make your way to the beach for a complimentary sunset cocktail.
Free day to enjoy the pool and beach! If you’re in a 2-or-3-bedroom villa, enjoy the day sipping on refreshing drinks from your private pool located in your outdoor patio. Enjoy a massage treatment in the open-air spa surrounded by tropical gardens with ocean breezes. In the afternoon or evening, walk or take a taxi into Tamarindo to explore many international restaurants and beach bars.
Enjoy your last day in paradise with a catamaran trip. Aboard the boat in the early afternoon and enjoy lunch, snacks, and drinks while you sail the Pacific waters in search of dolphins, turtles, and whales (seasonal). Jump into the ocean to cool off while you snorkel around volcanic rock formations and observe colorful schools of fish.
Take a private ground transfer to Liberia (LIR) for your international flight home.
- Walk across 500 ft. high hanging bridges through the Monteverde cloud forest
- Reach speeds of 40 mph at over 300 ft. high on a canopy zip-line in Monteverde
- Take part in the coffee and chocolate making (and tasting) process in a bean-to-brew and bean-to-bar tour
- Enjoy nightly retreats in Tabacon’s world-famous, natural hot springs
- Jump from waterfall cliffs with Arenal’s Gravity Falls adventure tour
- Watch spectacular sunsets with complimentary sunset cocktails at Cala Luna
Best for: Nature Lover, Family, Couple, Wellness/Spa, Romance, Honeymoon, Luxury, Group
Bucket list experiences: cloud forest, coffee, chocolate, volcano, rainforest, hot springs, waterfall, beach, snorkel
Accommodations & Location:
- El Establo, Monteverde
- Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resport, La Fortuna
- Cala Luna, Tamarindo
Every Central America Vacation itinerary includes 24/7 in-country support. We’re here with you every step of the way to insure the best experience possible, from the initial planning stages to the moment you’re on your flight home!