- Go on a birdwatching trip in the jungle at sunset, when avian activity peaks
- Hike in the rainforest and enjoy sandy beaches in Corcovado National Park
- Spot nocturnal plants, insects, snakes, and deadly frogs on a guided forest hike
- See slow-moving sloths in the wild while walking through their natural habitat
|Day 1||Arrive in San José, Explore Downtown||San José|
|Day 2||Transfer to Drake Bay & Take a Birdwatching Tour||Drake Bay|
|Day 3||Hike in Corcovado National Park||Drake Bay|
|Day 4||Spot Nocturnal Wildlife at Ecocentro Danaus||La Fortuna|
|Day 5||See Sloths & Birds in the Wild, Visit Proyecto Asis||La Fortuna|
|Day 6||Arenal/La Fortuna to San José, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in San José, Explore Downtown
Welcome to Costa Rica! A driver will transfer you from the airport to your hotel in San José. After settling in, go for a self-guided walking tour of downtown. Depending on your hotel's location, you can walk or take a taxi to your first destination: Mercado Central (Central Market), featuring over 200 shops, food stalls, and sodas (traditional restaurants). It's a short walk to Central Park, a small plaza always bustling with activity. Pass various outdoor sculptures as you walk through the park toward Catedral Metropolitana and continue walking down Central Avenue until you reach the 19th-century Teatro Nacional.
Your first museum stop is the Museo del Oro Precolumbino, accessible from beneath the Plaza de la Cultura and holds the most extensive Pre-Columbian gold collection in Latin America. Next, head to the Museo del Jade, the world's largest collection of pre-Columbian jade artifacts. As you wander among thousands of unique jade pieces, you'll gain an even deeper appreciation for Costa Rica's rich history.
Day 2: Transfer to Drake Bay & Take a Birdwatching Tour
Return to San José International Airport this morning and board a short flight to Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula. When you land, you'll be transferred to your hotel. The luxurious Lapa Rios Lodge is an excellent option.
This evening, you'll embark on a birdwatching adventure. Starting in time to see the sun setting over Drake Bay, the tour will take you into the wild jungle at one of the peak times for avian activity. Your experienced guides will help you to identify the bird species, pointing out different species' behavior and food sources, as well as their colors, sizes, and calls. You may spot various tanagers, toucans, motmots, trogons, flycatchers, hummingbirds, and several birds of prey.
After your jungle hike, you'll return to Drake Bay. For more travel inspiration, you might like to check out the Ultimate Guide to the Osa Peninsula.
Day 3: Hike in Corcovado National Park
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Starting at Agujitas Beach on Drake Bay, today's exciting adventure takes you to an interesting and remote part of Corcovado National Park. The park is home to species including the endangered giant anteater, harpy eagle, tapir, and jungle cats like the jaguar and puma.
Begin your journey with a 30-minute boat trip south down the peninsula's western shore to the San Pedrillo Ranger Station, one of the park's checkpoints. Boats here come in bow first, and you must splash the final distance to shore—an exciting experience reminiscent of what early explorers of this remote region would have done. You'll be in the San Pedrillo area for approximately five to six hours, with time for hiking, wildlife spotting, relaxing on the beach, and cooling off in waterfalls and swimming holes. Afterward, you'll return to Agujitas Beach by boat.
Find out more about activities in the area by reading this article on the best things to do on the Osa Peninsula.
Day 4: Spot Nocturnal Wildlife at Ecocentro Danaus
Catch a flight to San José this morning, then transfer to La Fortuna and check into your hotel.
You'll head to Ecocentro Danaus in the afternoon, a private ecological reserve located 2.75 miles (4.5 km) east of La Fortuna. Here, you'll wait for nightfall to embark on a guided nature hike and discover the reserve's nocturnal creatures. As you walk, your guide will point out various insects, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Enjoy spotting bullfrogs, the iconic red-eyed tree frog, the translucent glass frog, and perhaps the brightly colored poison dart frog, one of the planet's most poisonous frogs.
Day 5: See Sloths & Birds in the Wild, Visit Proyecto Asis
Go on a hiking excursion today along the so-called "Sloth Trail." This nature trail cuts through a habitat for sloths (both two-toed and three-toed) who like to hang on the branches of the trees and feed on bright green leaves. It's fun to look for these slow-moving creatures overhead! On this two-hour guided hike, you'll see a few of these animals and perhaps even spy a mother sloth and its baby. During the walk, your bilingual guide will also point out other animals common to this area, like the famous red-eyed tree frog.
In the afternoon, you'll visit Proyecto Asis, a rehabilitation and rescue center for local animals. The tour, led by a naturalist, begins with a brief introduction to the center. As you walk along the center's trails with your guide, you'll likely see anteaters, snakes, monkeys, parrots, and sloths. You'll also learn about animal conservation, sustainability, and the impact of tourism in the region. Enjoy some hands-on time to help with the animals. You'll have the opportunity to learn how to prepare and give the animals their food. When you leave the center, you'll have a much greater knowledge of local wildlife.
Learn more about visiting Proyecto Asis.
Day 6: La Fortuna to San José, DepartThe trip ends today. You will transfer to the airport to catch your flight out. Safe travels!
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