Highlights… Tortuguero National Park, Pineapple Plantation, Chocolate-Making Demonstration, River Rafting, Maleku Indigenous Tribe, Tenorio Volcano, Manuel Antonio National Park, Villa Blanca Cloud Forest, Farm Tour
Day 1: Sunday, January 15, 2017 San Jose, Costa Rica – Tour Begins Journey to Costa Rica and discover the fascinating tropical ecosystems of Tortuguero National Park, Sarapiquí Rainforest and Manuel Antonio National Park. Embark on many exclusive explorations of the country’s natural gems. Take time for independent personal discovery.
Day 2: Monday, January 16, 2017 San Jose – Tortuguero National Park Begin the day surrounded by dormant volcanos and crater lakes as you journey through Braulio Carrillo National Park en route to the Caribbean lowlands. Along the way, take in the mountain vistas and Caribbean-style villages. Later, discover the natural wonders of the rainforest of Tortuguero National Park as you cruise the rivers and canals with your guide. Enjoy a two-night stay at your eco-lodge surrounded by the beauty of a tropical forest and an array of wildlife. Learn more about your surroundings with a visit to the world’s first Green Turtle Research Station. Discover how to protect the turtle’s nesting habitat and eggs. Join your fellow travelers this evening for a welcome reception followed by dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 Tortuguero National Park Set out on an early morning bird-watching excursion* that explores the variety of local species and migratory birds that flock to this area. Find yourself surrounded by wildlife as you embark on a cruise through the park – keep an eye out for howler monkeys, sloths, toucans and caimans, as well as exotic flora. Tortuguero National Park, a study in rainforest, freshwater and marine biology, protects over 350 species of birds and mammals. Savor time to explore and seek out green macaws; 57 species of amphibians; 111 species of reptiles; and 60 mammal species, including 13 of Costa Rica’s endangered animals including jaguars, tapirs, ocelots, cougars, river otters and manatees. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 Tortuguero National Park – Sarapiquí – Tenorio Volcano Embark on a leisurely boat ride to the mainland as you travel to the fascinating Sarapiquí region. Make a stop at an organic pineapple plantation to learn about the various types of this exotic fruit and taste why Costa Rican pineapples are among the world’s best. At a cacao plantation, discover the history and continuing importance of cacao to Central America’s economy. Observe the process of producing chocolate from the cacao bean and sample the delicious finished product. Continue to your hotel at the foot of the Tenorio Volcano. (B)
Day 5: Thursday, January 19, 2017 Tenorio Volcano – River Rafting – Tenorio Volcano This morning, take an exhilarating river-rafting adventure on the Tenorio and Corobici rivers where you’ll experience breathtaking views. Later, meet some Tico artisans as you discover the world of the craft-brewing culture in Costa Rica on the shores of Lake Arenal. (B, D)
Day 6: Friday, January 20, 2017 Tenorio Volcano – Maleku Indigenous Village – Tenorio Volcano This morning, set out on a cultural adventure in a Maleku indigenous village. Interact with one of the last indigenous tribes of this region and learn about how they live. Sit down for lunch with them before heading back to your resort. This afternoon, enjoy some free time or perhaps take an optional hike out to the spectacular light blue waters of the Rio Celeste waterfalls. (B, L)
Day 7: Saturday, January 21, 2017 Tenorio Volcano – Manuel Antonio National Park Travel the beautiful checkered landscape of Costa Rica to the Pacific Coast, arriving at the world-famous Manuel Antonio National Park. After soaking up the sweeping views and a stop at a seaside village, experience the spice of life at the Villa Vanilla organic spice farm. Learn about biodynamic vanilla production and other spices. Then, indulge in some of the freshest sweets you can imagine. Later, take in the sunset from your hotel overlooking Manuel Antonio National Park and the Pacific Ocean. (B, D)
Day 8: Sunday, January 22, 2017 Manuel Antonio National Park Travel just minutes down the road to explore spectacular Manuel Antonio National Park, known for its pristine beaches and primary forest. Spend the morning leisurely walking the forest trails in search of native inhabitants like the three-toed sloth, agoutis, squirrel monkeys and iguanas. Take a swim in the inviting blue waters of its beaches. Relax for the remainder of the day by the pool and absorb the natural beauty of your surroundings. If you’re looking for an adventure, perhaps you’ll choose an optional zip-line tour in the afternoon or an optional nighttime nature reserve walk. (B)
Day 9: Monday, January 23, 2017 Manuel Antonio National Park – Villa Blanca Cloud Forest – San Ramon Say goodbye to the coast and travel north to the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest, originally owned by the former president of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Carazo Odio. Make a stop at the El Toledo Organic Coffee Plantation en route to discovering the natural growing methods used to make some of the best coffee in the world. Continue to the city of San Ramon – referred to as “The City of Presidents & Poets” – for a tour. Then, settle into your hotel overlooking the cloud forest and enjoy the amazing view from your individual casitas. (B)
Day 10: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Wake up to a cool breeze and spectacular views. Prepare to try your hand at organic farming. Local guides will take you on an immersive nature reserve tour: explore sustainable agriculture, farming techniques, and greenhouse cultivation. Get a taste of what they grow during a lunch created with ingredients grown on the farm. The afternoon is yours to relax and take in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Tonight, partake in a tree adoption ceremony followed by an incredible farewell dinner where we’ll toast the natural richness that is Costa Rica. (B, L, D)
Day 11: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest – Tour Ends Your tour comes to a close today. (B)
Experience It! The Chocolate of Sarapiqui
Chocolate as we know it today has its roots in Central and South America. Travel to Sarapiquí, located in northern Costa Rica, to visit a cacao plantation. Learn all about the history of cacao, which was an important product for both the Mayans and the Aztecs. Discover how the seeds of the cacao tree (Theobroma Cacao) are transformed into chocolate through harvest and fermentation. Find out how the traditional cultivation of cacao led to the eventual introduction of chocolate to Europe. A chocolate-making demonstration is included.
Taxes/fees to be paid in local currency or USD upon exiting the country are approximately $32 USD per person.
Single accommodations are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis.
IMPORTANT TRAVELERS INFORMATION
We want you to enjoy your tour with us; therefore, it is important that you know this tour is an adventure! You will view spectacular scenery while experiencing the culture and heritage of the region. We have selected small, comfortable hotels for their locations and they may be considered rustic. Air conditioning and elevators are not available in all properties used on this tour. Travelers must be in good health as sightseeing requires walking on uneven terrain; wheelchairs and walkers cannot be accommodated on this tour.
The days and order of sightseeing may change to best utilize your time on tour.
Smaller buses, which may not be lavatory equipped, may be used on this program. In this case, frequent stops are made during travel periods.
Hotel check-in on your day of arrival is 3:00 p.m. Rooms may not be available prior to that time.
Museum visits and shopping may be affected with observance of religious or local holidays.
For important reservation information visit https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/701974.
You can also find this information on your tour documents.
Due to luggage size and weight restrictions on the boats, please bring an overnight bag for the two-night stay in Tortuguero National Park. Your main luggage stays in San Jose and joins you upon your return to the mainland.
To complete your tour, we include roundtrip airport-to-hotel transfers when purchasing Explorations airfare with your tour. If you have arranged for your own air, we are pleased to provide you the option of purchasing these transfers. Please note that all transfers will leave at pre-scheduled times.
*Depending upon weather conditions (rain), the early morning bird watching excursion may be substituted with a canal cruise. The afternoon canal cruise will operate as scheduled.
Travel with just 24 passengers on this Explorations tour where a smaller group setting means a more personal travel experience.
This tour includes moderate physical activity. The itinerary blends some longer days with shorter days and more leisure time. Walking tours, as well as walking slightly longer distances, up stairs or on uneven walking surfaces should be expected.
Please be advised many airlines do not provide advance seat assignments until check-in at the airport. Advance seating will be subject to the airline’s terms and conditions.
Return flights should not be booked prior to 10:00 a.m. on the last day of your tour.
Economy air rate and schedule are applicable for groups of 10 or more traveling on the same flights and dates.
A deposit of $250 per person due upon reservation. Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis. Reservations made after the deposit due date of June 08, 2016 are based upon availability. Final payment due by November 16, 2016. Please note: deposits are fully refundable up until June 15, 2016, after that date certain charges apply.
CST#2006766-20 UBN#601220855 Nevada Sellers of Travel Registration No. 2003-0279