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Costa Rica: Hike, Bike & Raft

If you’re looking for a Central American thrill, take on an eight-day active adventure through one of the world's greenest countries. Dive into Costa Rica’s wilderness and cascade down the rapids of Pacuare River in a raft, hike misty jungle trails in the Monteverde Cloud Forest and cycle along the coastline of Puerto Viejo. With plenty of free time to customise your adventure depending on your interests, you might opt to surf the Caribbean waves in palm-fringed beach towns or go stand up paddleboarding on Lake Arenal. Costa Rica is the perfect place for wildlife lovers (how many sloths can you spot?), active adventurers and those seeking a natural paradise.

8 days, from


per person


12 people max


Trip code: QVXC
Style: Original
Theme: Multi-Active Adventures


Countries Visited:  Costa Rica
Accommodation: Hotel (6 nights), Lodge (1 nights)
Transportation: Shared vehicle , Public bus , Raft , Bicycle
Included Meals:

  • 6 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Swap the concrete jungle for real jungle on a guided hike into the Monteverde Cloud Forest, home to Costa Rica’s amazing range of exotic animals.

  • Raft Costa Rica’s Pacuare River – an area ranked in the top five rivers of the world for whitewater rafting. You’ll tackle Class 3 and 4 rapids on an unforgettable river adventure.

  • Cycle the quiet palm-fringed roads and drop in at hidden beaches along the Caribbean coast.

  • Opt to ride some waves with surfing expedition at Manzanillo beach. You’ll be away from the crowds and hanging ten in no time!

  • Explore the rich urban centre of capital San Jose, with time before and after your active adventure to really get to know the Costa Rican way of life.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: San Jose

Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a city with colourful markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. If you do happen to arrive early, a good place to start exploring is the main plaza. Artisan booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. Have a look at the Gold Museum which has an amazing collection of indigenous gold art. If these cultural gems get you in the mood for a bit of shopping, head to the San Jose Handcraft market or the Central Market, where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.

Day 2: Monteverde

A morning of travel by bus (approximately 3-4 hours) leads to incredible Monteverde. Settled by North American Quakers in 1951, the area was initially used as an environmentally conscious agricultural community and is now a biological preserve. Make the most of your free time in lush Monteverde and organise a local guide to take you on a nature walk. There also several local communities that operate cooperatives worth visiting. You may wish to get a different perspective on the forest by walking through the canopy on suspension bridges, or perhaps watch butterflies at play in the Butterfly Garden. More than 2000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Monteverde home, and no matter what you choose to do, be sure to keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal, one of the most elusive birds in the world.

Day 3: Monteverde Cloud Forest hike & La Fortuna

The forest near Monteverde has near-constant cloud cover, providing consistent rainfall, which also gives the area an enchanted feel. Spend the morning in the cloud forest on a leader-led nature hike, looking out for hummingbirds, quetzals and even lazy sloths among the mist early in the day.

After your hike continue take a 3-hour drive, skirting the impressive Lake Arenal, to La Fortuna, a small but vibrant town with an abundance of hot springs and natural pools to enjoy. Here you have the rest of the day to do as you please. In the evening, why not grab a classic local dinner with your travel buddies? Chifrijo (fried pork, salsa, beans and tortilla chips) is a great dish to try.

Day 4: La Fortuna

Enjoy a free day to explore La Fortuna as you wish. The region offers a range of sights such as stunning lush forest, rare plants, animal watching and water-based sports on the lake. The volcano’s inner workings also mean that the area has plenty of thermal springs where hot, lava-heated water gushes to the surface. These springs, often surrounded by foliage, make the ideal place to relax. Active types could try stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Arenal with the incredible backdrop of the volcano and rolling green hills. Animal lovers will have a good chance of spotting sloths, monkeys, crocodiles and basilisk lizards skipping across the water on a boat tour of Cano Negro Reserve. Have a chat with your leader about the options available.

Day 5: Pacuare River white water rafting & Puerto Viejo

This morning, leave the towering volcano behind and drive 3 hours east head to the adventure-filled Pacuare River. Pacuare is renowned for its natural beauty and what better way to experience it than an adrenaline-filled white water rafting adventure. While not an overly challenging or technical river the 29 kilometre (18 mile) one day run includes an amazing 52 rapids, guaranteeing you a day of fun on the water. And when you’re not surrounded by white water remember to relax and enjoy the natural beauty all around. Flanked by green gorge walls, tumbling waterfalls and tropical rainforest this is Costa Rican nature at its best. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife as well, with sloth, parrots, toucans, and colourful butterflies and frogs a common sight.

Afterwards continue by vehicle (approximately 4 hours) to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca for a taste of Caribbean seaside – think reggae bars and palm-fringed beaches.

Day 6: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Cycling

After breakfast get to know the area better as you enjoy a relaxed bicycle ride along the palm-fringed coastal road, stopping at various beaches and inlets so you make your way south.

Along the way stop at a local restaurant for lunch, and what better way to get to know the local cuisine than making it yourself at a Caribbean cooking class. Experience African, indigenous, and Spanish flavours as you mix coconut milk, spices, fruits, curry, and sea food in a melting pot of culinary traditions and cultures.

Return to Puerto Viejo for the evening. Hit the bars or chill out at the beach, the choice is yours.

Day 7: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca & San Jose

This morning is free for you to choose what activity suits you best. Rise early to take the public bus to Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge – an area that encompasses several rare habitats, including a lowland rainforest, a wetland, a coral reef and a mangrove swamp. Spend around 2 hours exploring and keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, reptiles, toucans and macaws. Otherwise relax on the Caribbean shores or take to the waves for a beginners surf lesson. Learn some basic pointers to ride a wave, or if you've done this before, grab a board and hang ten!

Around midday take the bus back to San Jose (approximately 5-6 hours). With time to explore the historic buildings and bustling food and artisan markets, you’ll see a more urban Costa Rica, quite different to the past few days of travel. After so much activity in Costa Rica, you may instead be up for a quiet night, so perhaps head out for a group dinner and become acquainted with the city's night scene – your group leader will know a good place to go.

Day 8: San Jose

After breakfast, you are able to leave at any time, with no activities planned for the day. If you’d like to explore San Jose in more depth, why not book in an Urban Adventures tour like the San Jose Bites & Sights tour. If you wish to spend more time in San Jose, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).