- Hike through virgin rainforest in Corcovado National Park
- Snorkel or dive off the coast of Isla del Caño Nature Reserve
- View wildlife from monkeys to macaws—and maybe even a jaguar
|Day 1||Arrive in Costa Rica - Experience San José's Culture and History||San Jose|
|Day 2||Fly to Osa Peninsula - Explore Puerto Jiménez||Puerto Jiménez|
|Day 3||Los Patos to La Sirena Station||Corcovado National Park|
|Day 4||Sirena to La Leona||Corcovado National Park|
|Day 5||Scuba Diving Isla del Caño||Corcovado National Park|
|Day 6||Transfer from Puerto Jiménez to San José - Depart Costa Rica|
Day 1: Arrive in Costa Rica - Experience San José's Culture and History
Welcome to Costa Rica, the land of pura vida! After arriving at Juan Santamaria International Airport, in the capital of San José, a local representative will meet you and escort you to your hotel. The rest of the day you'll have free to explore the city at your own pace. Perhaps take a stroll through the Mercado Central (Central Market), the largest in the city, with over 200 shops, food stalls, and "sodas" (traditional restaurants). Then visit the Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Church), whose interior combines Greek Orthodox, Neoclassical, and Baroque styles, and features wood carvings and stained-glass windows.
Be sure to explore Barrio Amón, a historic neighborhood home to cafetalero (coffee grower) mansions built during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of this area’s historic buildings have been converted into hotels, restaurants, and galleries, making Amón a popular bohemian district. For dinner, you could enjoy a gourmet restaurant in the hills of Escazú. This elevated region on the western edge of the city offers panoramic views of the valley below. No matter where you go, though, the whole city is filled with delectable restaurants serving everything from traditional local fare to forward-thinking fusion cuisine.
Day 2: Fly to Osa Peninsula - Explore Puerto Jiménez
Today you'll board a flight to Puerto Jiménez, the main transport hub on the secluded Osa Peninsula. It's the perfect base of operations as Jiménez is flanked on the west side by Corcovado National Park and the blue waters of the Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf) to the east. The beaches in this area are remote and many feature excellent surfing conditions. The Golfo Dulce is also a favorite playground for pods of spinner dolphins, so keep an eye out and your camera ready.
You'll have the rest of the day to relax in your upscale eco-lodge and enjoy the beaches until your heart's content. At night, it's time to head out. Don't be intimidated by the remoteness—Puerto Jiménez is one of the largest towns on the Osa Peninsula. It thus offers several gourmet dining options guaranteed to sate your appetite. Many of these restaurants feature world-class seafood and oceanfront tables.
Day 3: Los Patos to La Sirena Station
Awake early and enjoy breakfast at your hotel. You'll need the energy, as today you'll be hiking nearly 13 miles (21 km) through the heart of Corcovado. You'll begin at Los Patos Ranger Station, in the northeast of the park, and finish at La Sirena Biological Station in the southwest.
Along the way, the trail wanders through protected rainforest, so you'll want to keep a sharp eye out for exotic flora and fauna. You likely won't have to wait long—Corcovado is home to a staggering 5% of the world's biodiversity. Common animals spotted here include monkeys, agoutis, tropical birds, and reptiles. Do be aware of the white-lipped peccaries, as these pig-like animals travel in packs of up to fifty and can be aggressive.
Day 4: La Sirena to La Leona
You'll awake early in order to depart for the last station of your Corcovado hike: the La Leona Ranger Station. The trail leading there is 10 miles (16 km) long and follows the scenic coastline along the southern edge of the park. This path takes you through tropical forest and along deserted beaches where you can occasionally encounter tapirs, red brocket deer, opossums, and, yes, even pumas. After reaching the station, you will then exit the park and continue a short way to your next luxury hotel, located right on the beach.
Day 5: Scuba Diving Isla del Caño
Today, you'll explore the waters of the Caño Island Biological Reserve on a scuba diving excursion. This protected marine area is located just off the northern tip of the Osa Peninsula, by Bahia Drake (Drake Bay). The area is home to an abundance of marine life including reef sharks, sea turtles, parrot fish, eels, manta rays, puffer fish, snappers, sea cucumbers, octopus, and more. There's also a wide variety of coral-building organisms and 19 different species of coral, such as fan, head, and brain coral. You'll board a 30-foot Island Hopper and an expert will offer a safety lesson geared for all ages and experience levels. Then it's time to plunge into the water. Visibility is 30-100 feet throughout the year, making Caño Island a perfect site for underwater photography.
Day 6: Transfer from Puerto Jiménez to San José - Depart Costa Rica
It's time to say goodbye to Costa Rica! Wake up early and enjoy the sunrise over the beach. It will give you ample time to snap some photos and take a final dip in the ocean. After breakfast, a driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport, where you'll catch a short flight back to the capital of San José. From here, you'll connect to your flight home.