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One Week In Costa Rica


Calling all nature lovers! Spend a week in Costa Rica beginning in San Jose – the thriving urban centre abundant with colourful markets, vibrant nightlife and spontaneous art fairs. Explore Monteverde’s Cloud Forest at your own pace, keeping your eye out for sloths and the elusive quetzal bird. Head to La Fortuna, shadowed by the immense Arenal Volcano, and enjoy free time to chase waterfalls and soak away your worries in the natural thermal hot springs. Explore Cahuita National Park with a hike and a swim, then enjoy some beach time on the Caribbean coast in Puerto Viejo. If you're lucky, spot sloths, hummingbirds, iguanas, monkeys, toucans, coatimundis, quetzals and racoons, then take a cooking class to learn the local cuisine. With a local leader with insider knowledge and a likeminded group of travellers – what better way to dive into Costa Rica?

8 days, from

$608

per person

GROUP SIZE

16 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: QBYC
Style: Basix
Theme: 18 to 35s

Details

Countries Visited:  Costa Rica
Accommodation: Hotel (7 nights)
Transportation: Shared Vehicle , Private Vehicle , Public Bus , Boat
Included Meals:

  • 1 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 16

  • Explore Cahuita National Park on a hike through the lush vegetation and coastal beaches (where you can take a dip) and look out for the abundant wildlife on the land and in the sky.

  • Take part in a Caribbean cooking class in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and sit down for lunch with the locals – a blend of African, Indigenous and Spanish flavours mixed with coconut milk, spices, fruits, curry and seafood.

  • Enjoy plenty of free time to choose your own adventure – maybe hike through the lush forest of La Fortuna, go wildlife spotting near Arenal Volcano or explore Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve looking out for sloths.

  • Kick back on the Caribbean coast in Puerto Viejo, surrounded by vibrant coral reefs – the perfect spot for some swimming, snorkelling, surfing or relaxing under the shade of palm trees.

  • Start and end your trip in San Jose, the urban centre of Costa Rica, to balance out the outdoor adventure with some nightlife, bar hopping, markets and museums.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: San Jose

Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica. Your adventure begins in San Jose, home to a lively cultural atmosphere and heaps to do. If you arrive early (it’s recommended that you stay an extra few days), maybe explore the markets – you might even be lucky enough to see a spontaneous art fair! If history is your thing, maybe head to the Gold Museum to see the collection of Indigenous gold art. Maybe visit Museo de Arte Costarricense if you’re an art lover or get your first taste of the rich coffee that Costa Rica is known for. You’ll have a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight at your hotel. After, maybe head out to a local restaurant or the Central Market where you can pick up some fresh seafood.

Day 2: Monteverde

Take a public bus to Monteverde this morning – settled by North American Quakers in 1951, this 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 by exploring the cloud forest at night with a local guide or heading out on a zip lining adventure. There are also several local communities that operate coops here, which are well worth the visit. Maybe walk through the canopy on suspension bridges or watch butterflies in the Butterfly Garden and Insects Farm. If food and coffee are more your thing, maybe head out on a chocolate and coffee tour.

Day 3: La Fortuna

This morning, head out on any active or leisurely adventures that you didn’t get the chance to explore yesterday. The forest near Monteverde has near-constant cloud cover, providing consistent rainfall, which gives this area an enchanted feeling. Maybe spend your time on a nature hike and look out for hummingbirds, sloths and the infamous (and seldom seen) quetzal birds. After, you’ll drive to Lake Arenal and take a boat to La Fortuna – a small but vibrant town with abundant hot springs and natural pools. Here you have the rest of the day free to take explore on your own. For dinner tonight, maybe grab a dinner with your fellow travellers at a local restaurant, trying some sopa negra (black bean soup) or pozole (stew made from pork, hominy, cilantro, bell peppers and achiote).

Day 4: La Fortuna

Enjoy a free day to explore La Fortuna today. Maybe you’d like to take a day trip out of town and go white water rafting. Costa Rica is renowned for its natural beauty, so an adrenaline-filled adventure on the action-packed rivers is highly recommended! Alternatively, stay in La Fortuna and head out on a hike through the lush surrounding forest or go stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Arenal to enjoy the incredible backdrop of Arenal Volcano from a new perspective. If you’re an animal lover, look out for sloths, monkeys, crocodiles and basilisk lizards skipping across the water on a boat tour of Cano Negro Reserve. Soaking in the local thermal hot springs is a popular activity here – these natural springs are fed by the volcano that overlooks the city and are the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the surrounding scenery.

Day 5: Cahuita National Park - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

This morning, leave the volcano behind and take a private transfer to Cahuita National Park, where you’ll explore the lush landscape on a 2-hour hike with your leader. You’ll also visit the beach here, where you can cool off with an ocean swim or go wildlife spotting, looking out for paca, iguanas, giant blue crabs, racoons, opossums, porcupines and the capuchin monkey. This is a great day for photos – so keep your eye out for that perfect Instagram op! Carry on to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, where you’ll spend the night. On the Caribbean seaside, you can spend tonight hopping to different reggae bars and watching the sunset on the palm-fringed beaches.

Day 6: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

After breakfast this morning, explore the area on a bike ride along the palm-fringed coastal road, stopping at various beaches and inlets as you make your way south. You can visit several beaches today, including Punta Uva Beach, where you can find a little hidden cave with a gorgeous view. Along the way, you’ll stop at a local restaurant for lunch – get to know the local cuisine by watching a Caribbean cooking demonstration. Experience a melting pot of culinary traditions using a mix of spices and fruits influenced by local Indigenous, African and Spanish cuisines. Then, return to Puerto Viejo for a free evening. Take part in an optional surf lesson, hit the bars with your fellow travellers for a drink (or 3) or chill out at the beach and watch the stars come out.

Day 7: San Jose

This morning, you might want to find a great spot to catch the sunrise before the journey back to San Jose. When you arrive, explore the historic buildings and bustling artisan markets on a leader-led orientation walk, where you’ll see a more urban side to Costa Rica. This afternoon is free for you to explore, hit the bars or wander. Tonight maybe head out for a group dinner to say goodbye to your fellow travellers and end it all by soaking up some much-needed nightlife.

Day 8: San Jose

After breakfast, there are no activities planned and your trip comes to an end. If you’d like to explore San Jose in more depth, why not book an Urban Adventures tour like the San Jose Bites & Sights tour? Unmask the beauty and culture of contemporary Costa Rican life on this San Jose walking tour that takes you through the busy streets, bustling markets and tranquil parks. If you want to spend more time in San Jose, just speak to your booking agent.