- Relax in volcanic hot springs
- Explore among the treetops by zipline and suspension bridges
- Spend a day sea kayaking and snorkeling on the Pacific ocean
- Laze on the white-sand beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park
|Day 1||Arrival in San José - Transfer to La Fortuna & Ecotermales La Fortuna, Hot Springs||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 2||Arenal Hanging Bridges - La Fortuna Waterfall||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 3||Arenal to Manuel Antonio||Manuel Antonio|
|Day 4||Free Day||Manuel Antonio|
|Day 5||Manuel Antonio to San José - Depart Costa Rica|
Day 1: Arrival in San José - Transfer to La Fortuna & Ecotermales La Fortuna, Hot Springs
Welcome to the land of Pura Vida!
After arriving at Juan Santamaria International Airport in Costa Rica's capital of San José, a private land transportation service takes you on a 2.5-hour road trip to La Fortuna, a perfect 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, soothe your muscles with a relaxing dip in one of the area's many mineral-rich hot springs.
Day 2: Arenal Hanging Bridges - La Fortuna Waterfall
Today, you will experience the best of the Arenal Volcano region on a three-hour hike of the rainforest.
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.
End the day with a nice dinner on your own at La Fortuna or at the hotel restaurant.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 3: Arenal to Manuel Antonio
This morning, you'll be transferred to Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast.
After checking in to your hotel, 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 one of the park's many trails (following the signs). 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 for pretty sunset views over a meal of fresh fish or steak.
Day 4: Free Day
Today you'll have a free day to enjoy the Arenal region at your own pace.
One perennially popular activity is the local zip-line tour. Take a high-altitude excursion over the rainforest canopy around Arenal for a high-flying, pulse-pounding adventure as you soar over the treetops with the iconic cone of Arenal Volcano in the background.
Another adventurous option is to explore the Arenal region by mountain bike. A scenic 15-mile (25-km) route follows an old road connecting Lake Arenal with the main entrance to Arenal Volcano National Park. From there, pedal towards the village of El Castillo, passing by forests and cattle farms.
If you're interested in something even more exciting, try braving the rapids of the Balsa or Sarapiquí Rivers (minimum age of 12.) Costa Rica is globally renowned for having some of the best whitewater rafting conditions in Latin America. After a lesson from a professional guide, you'll enjoy a memorable afternoon as you spend a few hours navigating one of these world-class rivers.
Day 5: Manuel Antonio to San José - Depart Costa Rica
It's time to say goodbye to Costa Rica!
After breakfast, make the 2.5-hour trip to San José, where you'll depart from Juan Santamaría International Airport.