Embark on an active, weeklong adventure to three different regions of Costa Rica. The journey begins in La Fortuna—home to Arenal Volcano—where you can cross the hanging bridges, discover a beautiful waterfall, and soak in the natural hot springs. Then, head to Montverde to explore the Cloud Forest Reserve, along with an adrenaline-pumping excursion to Sky Adventures Monteverde Park. Next, spend some time lazing on Guanacaste's stunning Playa Hermosa. With some free time, soak up the sun, go kayaking, and board a sunset catamaran, before departing out of Liberia.

Highlights

  • Cross the hanging bridges surrounding Arenal Volcano
  • Visit La Fortuna Waterfall and soak in the Ecotermales Hot Springs
  • Tour and zipline through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Soak up the sun, go kayaking, and board a catamaran from Playa Hermosa

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival & Transfer to La Fortuna Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 2 Arenal Hanging Bridges & La Fortuna Waterfall Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 3 Transfer to Monteverde & Free Afternoon Monteverde
Day 4 Cloud Forest Reserve Guided Hike & Sky Adventures Excursion Monteverde
Day 5 Transfer to Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste Playa Hermosa
Day 6 Free Day - Gulf of Papagayo Playa Hermosa
Day 7 Depart From Liberia  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to La Fortuna

Views across Costa Rica's iconic Arenal Volcano
Views across Costa Rica's iconic Arenal Volcano

Welcome to Costa Rica! After arriving at Juan Santamaría International Airport in the capital of San José, transfer 2.5-hours north, by car, to the town of La Fortuna, best known as the base for embarking on adventures into Arenal Volcano National Park. You won't miss the namesake monolith—Arenal juts out above the San Carlos Plains like an arrowhead. 

Upon arrival, relax for a couple of hours and then enjoy the Ecotermales La Fortuna Hot Springs, along with a delicious welcome dinner made of local ingredients from the onsite farm. Enjoy the main springs, dozens of cascading waterfalls, and warm pools of varying temperatures, plus a cold-water pool with a thermal slide (and a swim-up bar for the adults).

Day 2: Arenal Hanging Bridges and La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall
La Fortuna Waterfall

Today, after breakfast, experience the best of the Arenal Volcano region. Head out early to Mistico Hanging Bridges Park, where visitors can wander along trails and cross over 15 bridges—some that are hundreds of feet long—for a once-in-a-lifetime view of Arenal Volcano. Gain an up-close look at the incredible biodiversity that occurs in this region, where the upland and lowland rainforests meet. More than 350 bird species, alone, can be found here.

Next, it’s time to head to La Fortuna Waterfall, at the base of the dormant Chato Volcano, a short drive outside of town. The falls drop some 210 feet, and a 1,500-foot downhill hike provides the opportunity to see it from the bottom up. Swim and relax in the La Fortuna River below the falls, before heading back to your hotel to unwind.

Lunch is included today, but dinner is at your leisure. Consider a few of the restaurants in La Fortuna: 

  • Café Mediterraneo, a friendly osteria serving up homemade pasta and pizza
  • La Parrilla de María Bonita, a must-visit for perfectly cooked steak, as well as Mediterranean dishes, like falafel and baba ghanoush
  • Rancho Perla, a popular open-air restaurant (you may even spot sloths hanging from the nearby trees) serving well-prepared Costa Rican staples

Day 3: Transfer to Monteverde and free afternoon

Monteverde Cloud Forest
Monteverde Cloud Forest

After breakfast at your resort in La Fortuna, transfer to the Monteverde region of Costa Rica. This is no ordinary route, however; skip the drive and board a boat, which will take you across the tranquil waters of Lake Arenal. This 3.5-hour boat ride provides ample opportunities to spot local birds, like heron and anhinga. 

On the other side of the lake sits  Monteverde, one of the world's most recognized cloud forest reserves. Monteverde’s variable climate and high altitude have helped produce extremely high biodiversity. It is home to more than 100 species of mammals, more than 400 species of birds, thousands of insect species, and around 2,500 species of plants—containing the largest number of orchids in the world. 

Upon arrival, enjoy some free time getting acquainted with your surroundings and take advantage of the hotel's facilities. The rest of the day and evening are at your leisure.

Plan your trip to Costa Rica
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Day 4: Cloud Forest Reserve guided hike and Sky Adventures excursion

Zipline through Sky Adventures Monteverde Park
Zipline through Sky Adventures Monteverde Park

After breakfast, transfer a short distance to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the jewels of Costa Rica's ecological crown. Known as the "Green Lung of Costa Rica," due to its rich biodiversity, this 26,000-acre reserve is located high in the mountainous northwest region of the country. Don't forget your camera; the views of the misty cloud forest are picture-perfect. Monteverde offers more than just sweeping panoramas. On a guided tour of this nature lover's paradise, get an up-close look at the incredible flora and fauna, where upland and lowland rainforest meet, along with chances to spot hundreds of birds, including the resplendent quetzal. 

In the afternoon, enjoy one of the most popular attractions at Sky Adventures Monteverde Park—an aerial amusement park that takes jungle excitement to the next level—where the Sky Tram network of gondolas will transport you from one adrenaline-pumping activity to another.

First, 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 are on full display, and specialized guides will point out the most interesting specimens. Later, ride in an open-air Sky Tram gondola. During this journey, 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. Connect to the Sky Trek, a zipline cable that stretches over the treetops and across canyons, ultimately returning you to the starting point at the main building of Sky Adventures. Sky Trek is regarded as one of the most thrilling ziplines in the country, as Monteverde is often credited as the birthplace of the canopy tour.

Following the active day, the evening is yours to enjoy back at the hotel.

Day 5: Transfer to Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste

An aerial view of Hermosa Beach
An aerial view of Hermosa Beach

Enjoy breakfast, and then it is time to head to the beach via private transfer. Playa Hermosa (Hermosa Beach) is located in Guanacaste, about 20 minutes from Liberia International Airport.

Playa Hermosa has made a name for itself with its idyllic beauty and lush surroundings. A 1.25-mile-long, gray- sand beach is encircled by tropical forests and ridges of volcanic rock.

Upon arrival, the afternoon and evening are on your own. There are many aquatic activities you can take part in, from snorkeling and scuba diving to sport-fishing and kayaking. Horseback riding and catamaran tours are also popular excursions from Hermosa Beach.

Day 6: Free day - Gulf of Papagayo

Enjoy a sunset cruise around the gulf
Enjoy a sunset cruise around the gulf

Enjoy free time on the beach today among the crystal-clear waters. Inquire about different tours and activities available through your hotel. Simply soak up the sun with a good book, go kayaking on the water, or enjoy a nice meal and a refreshing beverage (or two) with local company. 

Perhaps consider boarding a sunset catamaran on the Gulf of Papagayo in the evening, where you can take in the beautiful skies among dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish, and maybe even whales, while enjoying a delicious grand finale dinner at sea.

Day 7: Depart from Liberia

Farewell, Costa Rica
Farewell, Costa Rica!

It's time to say adiós to Costa Rica. After breakfast, begin the drive to the airport in Liberia for your departure flight home.

Map

Map of Active Costa Rica Adventure: Arenal, Monteverde, & Playa Hermosa - 7 Days
Map of Active Costa Rica Adventure: Arenal, Monteverde, & Playa Hermosa - 7 Days