Depart to San Jose. Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day free to relax and enjoy San Jose. Overnight in San Jose.
Corcovado, Arenal, and Monteverde
Experience Costa Rica’s wildlife and natural attractions on this fascinating tour. Visit Corcovado National Park, one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, and snorkel in the waters around Cano Island, ten miles off the Pacific coast. Hike El Silencio Trail around the Arenal Volcano followed by a thermal bath and dinner at Tabacon Hot Springs Resort. Observe migratory birds and other wildlife in Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, and, enjoy the unique micro climate of the Monteverde cloud forest.
Lodging, Meals, and Airfare: This tour includes accommodations for 9 nights (1 night in San Jose, 3 nights in Corcovado, 3 nights in Arenal, and 2 nights in Monteverde); 18 meals (9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 4 dinner); and domestic airfare.
Best Time to Go: December-April.
In the morning, you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Palmar Sur. You will have a short bus transfer to Sierpe dock, and then be taken by boat down the Sierpe River and along the Pacific coast to Casa Corcovado. Wet landing on the beach. Afternoon free. Overnight at Casa Corcovado Rainforest Lodge. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, you will hike from the lodge to Corcovado National Park. The park has a great range of biological diversity and has attracted the attention of tropical ecologists who wish to study the intricate workings of the rain forest. It is home to more than 400 species of birds and more than a hundred species of amphibians and mammals, including monkeys, scarlet macaws, coatimundis and other wildlife. According to National Geographic, this region of Costa Rica is “the most biologically intense place on earth”. This is a full day excursion. Overnight at Casa Corcovado Rainforest Lodge. (B,L,D)
Today, you will have a full-day excursion to Cano Island, 17 km. off the coast of the Osa Peninsula. Caño Island is an excellent destination for snorkeling, and also has a pre-Columbian burial grounds, which can be explored. Overnight at Casa Corcovado Rainforest Lodge. (B,L,D)
Morning transfer by boat up the Sierpe river to Sierpe dock, and by bus to Palmar Sur airstrip for your return flight to San Jose. Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Arenal (arriving late afternoon). You will have the rest of the day free. Overnight in Arenal. (B)
You will have the morning free to rest or enjoy an optional tour (not included). Mid-afternoon, you will have a guided hiking tour of El Silencio Trail in close proximity to the volcano. Your naturalist guide will point out indigenous rain forest plants and inform you of their medicinal properties. Frequent wildlife sightings include monkeys, toucans, White-Nosed Coatis, Oro Pendulas, Golden Eyelash Vipers, Boa Constrictors, White-Tailed Deer, and Great Curassows. Before dark, you will stop at the observation point, which offers the closest, most direct view of the Volcano’s lava flow. The day finishes at the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort for a relaxing mineral bath followed by dinner at the restaurant. Overnight in Arenal. (B,D)
Today you will visit the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, a lowland swamp near the border with Nicaragua, that is a popular landing spot for several species of migratory birds, including cormorants, roseate spoonbills, anhingas, and wood storks. The tour consists of a covered boat ride through tropical rainforest, and marshland. You will learn about the ecological history of the area, and have the opportunity to observe tropical flora and fauna including birds, caiman, turtles, sloths, and monkeys. Overnight in Arenal. (B,L)
You will be taken to the Arenal Lake Dam dock for a scenic 30 minute boat ride across the lake. Disembark at the Rio Chiquito dock on the other side of the lake, where a 4 x 4 vehicle will be waiting to take you by gravel road to Monteverde (+/- two hours). Monteverde was founded about 40 years ago by a small group of conservation-minded Quakers who were looking for a peaceful place to live. Its Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the most outstanding wild life sanctuaries in the New World. After checking in at your hotel, and lunch, you will visit the Monteverde Cloudforest Biological Reserve, a 10,500 hectare privately owned reserve that straddles the continental divide. The reserve has several well-marked hiking trails, and is popular with bird watchers, who come to see the Reserve’s more than 400 bird species, including the resplendent Quetzal (the Mayan bird of paradise). The reserve also contains over 3,000 plant species (including 500 orchid species), and a wide variety of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Overnight in Monteverde. (B)
Selvatura is a cloud forest conservation project located in the Monteverde area. You will have a guided Treetop Walkways tour through the cloud forest on eight different bridges of various lengths from 150-510 feet up. Each of the bridges are five feet wide, and are suitable for people of all ages. The tour also includes a Butterfly Farm, Hummingbird Garden, and a zip-line Canopy Tour. Lunch at Selvatura. Overnight in Monteverde. (B,L)
Transfer to San Jose International Airport for your return flight to your final destination. (B)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
- South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
- Round-trip airfare San Jose-Palmar Sur-San Jose.
- Airport/hotel and other transfers including baggage handling.
- Hotel accommodations including taxes and service charges.
- Excursions as indicated on the itinerary including all applicable entrance fees.
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary.
- English-speaking tour and naturalist guides.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- International airport departure tax ($29).
- Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
- Gratuities to tour guides, drivers, and hotel staff.
- Gifts and personal items.
- Travel insurance.
We will be happy to quote the cost of international airfare and travel insurance and to make these arrangements for you.
Group Private: All transfers are private except for the round-trip Palmar Sur to Corcovado transfers. All excursions are provided on a group basis.
Elevations: San Jose is 3,700 feet above sea level, Arenal is 1,600 feet, and Monteverde is 4,600 feet.
Passport/Visa: U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Costa Rican embassy in their country before traveling.
Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan.
To Book This Trip: We require a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person plus the cost of the international airfare (if we make the arrangements for you). The balance of the trip cost is due 60 days prior to departure.