- Small Adult Group
- Food in Alaska is of good quality, but because of the high standard of living and the cost of transporting food to far away places, it is more expensive than in Europe; this particularly applies to eating out in restaurants. There is no lack of fresh produce with the exception of a few places far inland. There is an abundance of excellent fresh fish so if you like seafood, you can eat your heart out! Camp meals are western style, plentiful and can be as varied as the group likes. The trip cost covers meals whilst camping, but you will need to allow about USD100 for meals in Anchorage and the same again for McCarthy. Please note when eating group meals a tip of approx. 20% is automatically added by American restaurants to all bills.
- Accom: camping
- Accom: hotel/lodge
- Adult group
- Walking & Trekking
- All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners are included. In the itinerary we state which meals are included on which day. Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Costa Rican specialities include 'Gallo Pinto', a black bean and rice dish considered to be a staple part of the local diet. Soups and stews are also common, and fresh fruit is abundant and will no doubt be one of the highlights of your time in the tropics.
- New trip
- Guided Group
Start San Jose.
Those on group flights will arrive in the evening and be transferred from the airport to the hotel. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. This evening's welcome briefing is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers. Accommodation: Hotel Balmoral (or similar)
To Tortuguero N.P.; short coastal walk.
Our adventure begins early this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the north-east of Costa Rica to Tortuguero National Park. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero's vast network of waterways, canals and swamps is remarkably tranquil, unspoilt and devoid of noise pollution. On reaching the pier at La Pavona we board a small motorboat for the one hour fifteen minute journey to our lodge, which is nestled on a small strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and the main lagoon. This afternoon we visit Tortuguero village (which lies on a thin strip of land between the sea and the main canal) and take a short walk following a pathway parallel to the coastline. Tortuguero is probably most famous as a nesting site for the endangered Green turtle, which can be seen arriving onto the beach to lay eggs from late July to October (as part of an optional excursion). Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Giant Leatherback turtles also nest in this region, and during November to January baby turtles start to hatch and make their way towards the ocean. Today's travel time will be in the region of six hours including a break for breakfast. Total walking distance: 4km. Time: approx. 1 hour. Accommodation: Laguna Lodge (or similar)
Boat tour of Tortuguero; kayak the waterways.
An early morning boat trip enables us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero, passing serenely along the waterways. At this time of day wildlife is usually at its most active and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast by the river. This afternoon we take a kayaking tour through the jungle lagoons to have a different perspective on the forest, navigating the streams, canals and rivers. Alternatively the lodge is a tranquil spot to relax if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities this afternoon. Accommodation: Laguna Lodge (or similar)
El Toro Waterfall walk; to La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano.
We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived by taking a small boat to the pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the region of La Fortuna, passing huge banana, pineapple and sugar cane plantations. On the way we stop for a short walk in the area of Bajos del Toro, where the highest and most impressive waterfall of the country is located. Our walking trail takes us all the way to the bottom of the waterfall, which empties at a height of 90 metres into an old extinct volcanic crater. There are several fantastic viewpoints on the first 500 metres of the trail, which is generally flat and surrounded by forest. Over 27 species of hummingbird have been recorded here! The second part of the trail is steep, following concrete steps with hand railings which lead all the way to the base of the waterfall, where the striking rock formations and colours will leave you in awe. We continue our journey to Arenal, reaching the Arenal Volcano National Park in time for a short walk. Following a massive eruption in 1968, Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase. As well as the volcano, this region has much to offer, including thermal waters, waterfalls and dense vegetation. Total walking distance: 3km. Time: approx. 2 hours. Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari, Casa Luna or Lomas del Volcan (or similar)
Cerro Chato Volcano hike; walk to La Fortuna Waterfall; optional visit to Ecotermales Hot Springs.
Flanking the south east side of Arenal Volcano is Cerro Chato, a dormant volcano that has been inactive for 3,500 years. One of the first eruptions of Chato Volcano resulted in a lava flow which paved the way for La Fortuna Waterfall. As well as it's two peaks, there is a 500 metre wide former crater filled with water that has a mirror-like surface. Our hike will pass through dense rainforest and alongside the crystaline waters of the crater lagoon, where we can stop for a paddle. There are plenty of viewpoints across the San Carlos Valley and back towards Arenal Volcano, as well as the chance to see some of the regions plentiful wildlife. Our walk ends at La Fortuna Waterfall, where we can have a refreshing swim before returning to our accommodation. After today's hike there is an optional visit to Ecotermales Hot Springs to relax any aching muscles! Total walking distance: 10km. Time: approx. 6.5 hours. Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari, Casa Luna or Lomas del Volcan (or similar)
Walk in the Tenorio region, surrounded by forest, pasturelands and plantations.
We depart towards the Tenorio region, where the famous Rio Celeste National Park is located. We begin in Neuvo Arenal and from here taking country roads our walk encompasses pasturelands, cattle farms, patches of secondary forest and wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. Our overnight location is in Tenorio, where we stay for the next two nights. Total walking distance: 16 km. Time: approx. 5 hours. Accommodation: Celeste Mountain Lodge or Rio Celeste Hideaway (or similar)
Walk along the river in Rio Celeste National Park.
After breakfast we travel to the Rio Celeste National Park where we join a hiking trail along the river towards 'Tenideros'. After merging with a small creak this section of the river takes on a striking blue turquoise colour, the result of components such as copper and sulphur reacting together. There is a legend that says the colour was created when God washed his paintbrushes in the river after painting the sky. It's a beautiful trail, leading towards the magnificent Rio Celeste Waterfall and a thermal springs where bathing is allowed. This afternoon we return to our hotel and have the afternoon at leisure to rest and enjoy the hotel facilities. Total walking distance: 7km. Time: approx. 4 hours. Accommodation: Celeste Mountain Lodge or Rio Celeste Hideaway (or similar)
Hike from Miravalles Volcano to Aguas Claras with views of Rincon de la Vieja N.P.
We depart early towards the area of Rincon de la Vieja, an area that combines dry forest with enchanting waterfalls and is best known for its bubbling mud pots, steaming vents in the earth, hot springs and a whole host of wildlife. The starting point of our hike will be close to the Miravalles Volcano, from which we walk towards Aguas Claras town along a gravel road. Taking in pasturelands and patches of secondary forest, we have great views of the tropical savannah and the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. At the end of today's walk we continue by bus to our hotel, which we should arrive at later this afternoon. Total walking distance: 16 km. Time: approx. 5 hours. Accommodation: Hacienda Guachipelin (or similar)
Follow walking trails to the 'cauldrons' and waterfall in Rincon de la Vieja N.P.
Covering some 14,804 hectares, Rincon de la Vieja National Park is full of geological features and has the active Rincon de la Vieja Volcano (1895m) within its boundaries, as well as a series of other craters and volcanic peaks. This region is still relatively undiscovered but is starting to attract more visitors. This morning we walk inside the national park, widely regarded as one of Costa Rica's hidden gems. We have a one and a half hour hike through the park along a pre-defined trail, the highlight of which is likely to be our visit to Las Pailas, the bubbling mud pools that flank the volcanic crater. Steaming fumaroles and hot springs are also found in park, attesting to how active the volcano is! This afternoon we take La Cangreja Waterfall trail walking through tropical forest and Guanacaste savannah. If we are lucky we may see Howler monkeys, White-faced Capuchin monkeys or any of the 257 species of birds present here. The waterfall is spectacular, plunging 40 metres and forming a clear blue pool at its base as a result of the dissolved copper minerals from the volcano. Total walking distance: 8.5 km. Time: approx. 6.5 hours. Accommodation: Hacienda Guachipelin (or similar)
Hike in Guanacaste Conservation Area; to Samara beach on the Pacific coast.
We drive towards the Horizontes Dry Forest Experimental Station this morning, located in the Gulf of Papagayo and connected to the Santa Rosa National Park. Once a cattle ranch, the area was rescued by the Guanacaste Conservation Area for protection of the dry forest ecosystem. Our hike will take us through the forest, following the river and leading us to another fantastic waterfall. After today's walk we continue to the Pacific coast and Samara beach, our home for the next two nights. Total walking distance: 14 km. Time: approx. 5.5 hours. Accommodation: Samara Beach Hotel (or similar)
Free day to enjoy Samara beach or sign up for an optional activity.
Samara beach is one of the best kept secrets in Costa Rica! The broad, shady bay stretches for 4 km and is backed by coconut palms. The water is calm and safe for swimming thanks to a coral reef just out to sea on which the normally large, Pacific waves break before reaching the beach. There are plenty of facilities in Samara but there's a noticeable absense of big resort hotels, which makes for a nice atmosphere. Today has been left free for you to spend at your leisure. Spend time relaxing on the beach or join one of the optional excursions available in the area such as a boat tour to see dolphins, kayaking tour or mountain biking. Accommodation: Samara Beach Hotel (or similar)
Free morning at Samara; to San Jose.
This morning is free to enjoy Samara beach before we leave the Nicoya peninsula and transfer back to San Jose, a journey of approximately 4.5 hours. Accommodation: Hotel Balmoral (or similar)
End San Jose.
The trip comes to an end today after breakfast and it's time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye. Those on the group flights will be transferred back to the airport, whilst land only clients are free to make their own arrangements.