Tentative dates are from November through April

This 7-day trip is ideal for travelers looking to experience the highlights of Costa Rica.

You’ll go for a dip in the area’s famous hot springs, have the chance to spot monkeys and other wildlife during a visit to Mistico Hanging Bridges Park, where visitors can wander through the rainforest along trails and across 15 suspension bridges—some that are hundreds of feet long.

Cross the Arenal Lake and move to Monteverde where the Cloud forest is located. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world, but really, you’ve reached the central point of the nation’s continental divide.

Finally, spend a few days in Manuel Antonio National Park where you can enjoy the flora and fauna in the park, or just enjoy some time on the beach.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a waterfall hike in Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Visit a working coffee farm and learn the secrets to Costa Rica’s amazing beans
  • Take a sunset catamaran cruise around the tropical beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Sky Adventures Park
  • Embark on a nocturnal wildlife tour in Monteverde

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Private guided Transfer to La Fortuna. Ecotermales La Fortuna entrance with Dinner.

Welcome to the land of Pura Vida!

After arriving at Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José, Costa Rica’s capital, your shuttle service will meet you for a 2.5-hour road trip to La Fortuna, best known as the base for exploring the Arenal Volcano National Park.

Located north of the Tilaran Mountains, the cone-shaped Arenal juts out above the San Carlos Plains. After checking into your hotel, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore.

If you want to get close to the volcano, kayaking on Lake Arenal provides spectacular views of its peak, as does a mountain bike ride through the park toward the village of El Castillo. Or, opt for a zip-line tour over the forest canopy, where you’ll see the La Fortuna and Pino Blanco Waterfalls, along with the majestic Arenal Volcano.

In the evening, you’ll soothe your muscles with a relaxing dip in the mineral-rich waters of Ecotermales La Fortuna Hot Springs, which have been used as therapeutic baths for more than 200 years.

Afterward, dinner is included for you.

Overnight: Arenal/La Fortuna

Meals included: Dinner

Accommodation

Casa Luna Hotel & Spa

Day 2: Arenal Hanging Bridges & La Fortuna Waterfall.

Today, you will experience the best of the Arenal Volcano region. Head out early to Mistico Hanging Bridges Park, a network of hiking trails that involves crossing 15 bridges—some hundreds of feet long—before arriving at lookout points affording sweeping views of Arenal Volcano. You’ll also get an up-close look at the incredible biodiversity in this region. More than 350 bird species can be found here alone.

Next, it’s time to head to La Fortuna Waterfall at the base of the dormant Chato Volcano, a short 15-minute drive outside town. The falls plunge some 210 feet, and a hike down 500 steps to the base provides an opportunity to see it from the bottom up. You can swim and relax in the La Fortuna River, located right below the falls.

Free afternoon and evening on your own to explore the area and visit any of the thermal waters located in the area.

Overnight: Arenal/La Fortuna

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Casa Luna Hotel & Spa

Day 3: Boat from Arenal to Monteverde – Coffee Tour.

After breakfast in La Fortuna, you’ll transfer to Monteverde, but this is no ordinary route. You’ll bypass the road trip and instead travel by water. After arriving at the shores of Lake Arenal, your captain will welcome you, you’ll board the boat, and you’ll begin the 3.5-hour journey to the other side of the lake.

Upon arrival, you’ll officially be in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica. From the lakeshore, you’ll transfer by shuttle to a working coffee farm for an educational guided tour. You’ll participate in the entire farm-to-cup process, from picking the beans to roasting them. Of course, frequent coffee tastings will be provided.

After the tour, check into your hotel and relax for the rest of the afternoon. Maybe visit nearby Santa Elena, a charming town with Quaker influences known for excellent coffee and cheese. You’ll find various restaurants here, including vegetarian options and those serving Costa Rican standards like ceviche and arroz con pollo (rice with chicken).

(Optional add-on.) Take a night nature tour of Monteverde. On this three-hour hike, you’ll be accompanied by a naturalist guide who will point out many nocturnal animals and insects. These include bats, red-eyed tree frogs, snakes, and coatis.

Coffee tour: 2.5 hours

Overnight: Monteverde

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation

Fonda Vela Hotel

Day 4: Sky Walk, Sky Tram and Sky Trek Zipline. Free afternoon.

Sky Adventures Monteverde Park is an aerial amusement park that literally raises jungle excitement to the next level. Its Sky Tram network of gondolas transport visitors from one adrenaline pumping activity to another. First, you’ll start with a guided Sky Walk, which combines trails and suspension bridges that ultimately reach heights of up to 984 feet above the jungle canopy. The flora and fauna of the region will be on full display, and our specialized guides will point out the most interesting specimens. Later, you’ll ride in an open-air Sky Tram gondola. During this journey, you’ll ascend over the rainforest and enjoy sweeping views over the mountains.

Upon reaching the end of the line, the exhilarating adventure of whizzing down the mountain begins. You will connect to a zip-line cable that stretches over the treetops and across canyons, ultimately returning you to the starting point at Sky Adventures’ main building. Sky Trek is regarded as the most thrilling zip line in the country, and this makes sense considering that Monteverde is the birthplace of the canopy tour as we know it.

Overnight: Monteverde

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Fonda Vela

Day 5: Private transfer from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio.

This morning, you’ll be picked up from Monteverde and driven to the Pacific coast at Manuel Antonio National Park, where you can take your pick and wind down on one of the park’s four beautiful beaches—some of the best in Costa Rica. If you’re hungry for more adventure, you can also hike on one of the park’s many trails (following the signs) and get up close to capuchin monkeys, sloths, and over 200 species of birds. Snorkeling is also accessible from multiple points along the beaches.

In the evening, head to the town of Quepos for dinner at Gabriella’s to watch the sunset over fresh seafood and steak.

Overnight: Manuel Antonio

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Karahe Beach Hotell

Day 6: Free Day in Manuel Antonio

Today is yours to enjoy unencumbered by schedules. Beyond amazing wildlife hikes, there are a number of activities to choose from.

Consider an optional boat tour to the Damas Island Estuary. This adventure is a Disney Jungle Cruise come to life. Along with a guide, you’ll make your way down a network of mangrove canals as white-faced capuchin monkeys swing from branch to branch and exotic birds fly overhead. You might spot caimans or even a crocodile or tw

Overnight: Manuel Antonio

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7: Manuel Antonio to San José, Depart Costa Rica

Nov 7, 2019

It’s time to say goodbye to Costa Rica!

After breakfast, you’ll transfer back to San José where you’ll depart Juan Santamaría International Airport for your journey home.

All visitors must be at the International Airport three hours before departure flight.

Meals included: Breakfast