- Go horseback riding in the jungle
- Get a rush of adrenaline as you navigate whitewater on a raft
- See underwater wildlife on a snorkeling adventure
- Learn to surf some on some of the best waves in the world
|Day 1||Arrival in San José||San José|
|Day 2||San José to Río Pacuare||Río Pacuare|
|Day 3||Explore the Jungles of Pacuare Lodge||Río Pacuare|
|Day 4||Pacuare Lodge - Rafting Adventure - Transfer Arenal||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 5||Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Hanging Bridges||Arenal/La Fortuna|
|Day 6||Arenal/La Fortuna to Manuel Antonio||Manuel Antonio|
|Day 7||Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling in Manuel Antonio||Manuel Antonio|
|Day 8||Surf Lesson at Playa Scull||Manuel Antonio|
|Day 9||Manuel Antonio to San José, Departure|
Day 1: Arrival in San JoséYour driver will be waiting for you just outside the customs area holding a sign with your name on it. From there, you will be taken to your hotel in San Jose (around 45 minutes to 1 hr depending on traffic).
Spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the city.
Day 2: San José to Río Pacuare
In the early morning, you'll transfer from San José and will continue east for three hours down the Atlantic slope of the Talamanca Mountains towards the Caribbean coast, you will arrive in Turrialba, where the adventure begins. Launch your raft into the Pacuare River and paddle deep into the heart of one of Costa Rica's most impressive primary rain forests. Pass through overgrown rainforest gorges, enjoy wonderful cascading waterfalls, and relax in serene natural pools. Common sightings include parrots, toucans, deer, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, butterflies, and more.
Your destination is the Pacuare EcoLodge. As the name suggests, this rainforest lodge is located on the banks of the Pacuare River. This is not only one of the world's premier whitewater rafting destinations, but it's also a highly biodiverse region home to many exotic flora and fauna.
The scenery around the river is characterized by lush primary rainforest, lowland tropical forest, and dramatic waterfalls. The lodge is situated in the midst of all this natural beauty, offering visitors both rustic rainforest accommodation and comfort stay.
Upon checking in you'll have time to relax, tour the grounds, and learn a little bit about the lodge and all the activities on offer, such as waterfall hikes, canyoning, and river rafting excursions.
Day 3: Explore the Jungles of Pacuare LodgeExplore the Jungles of Pacuare Lodge (6 hours)
You have experienced the jungles of the Río Pacuare from the riverbanks, today you can choose two of the following activities that are included in your package.
- Canyoning - Tesorito Creek Experience. El Tesorito experience begins and ends with a 15-minute hike through the rainforest and includes safety training and equipment and an introduction to rappelling. You will rappel down shorter walls – between 2 and 20 meters (6 to 65 feet) – before undertaking the thrilling rappel down a 30-meter (90-foot) cliff. This tour can be taken right after breakfast or lunch.
- Pacuare Canopy Adventure. After a 15 minute hike into the private reserve, you will reach the first platform: be ready to enter an unspoiled realm of magnificent scenery. The area surrounding the ecolodge is a haven for bird watchers and nature seekers and offers an unprecedented glimpse of Costa Rica’s biological diversity. Before exploring the canopy’s delicate environment you will receive a thorough review and demonstration of all safety guidelines. Then you are off to face the exotic beauty of the rainforest head-on. This adventure tour offers dramatic views, rappelling down towering trees and sliding along cables from tree to tree as you descend the jungle-cloaked mountain toward the Pacuare Lodge. The final, thrilling rappel leaves you steps away from our main lodge! This tour takes around two hours.
- Cabécar Indigenous Hike. The Talamanca Mountains are host to the Cabécar, the largest indigenous group in Costa Rica, and one that retains many of its traditional customs and beliefs. The trek to visit these family clans is challenging due to the difficult conditions of the trails; nevertheless, the trail offers a wonderful opportunity to discover many secrets of the forest, interact with the ecosystem, and hike the same trails the Cabécar have for centuries. After visiting with a Cabécar family, begin your trek back down to the lodge.
Day 4: Pacuare Lodge - Rafting Adventure - Transfer ArenalToday after a delicious breakfast, it is time to say bye to this amazing and unique destination, you will continue downing the river on your raft, you will pass virgin rainforest, cascading waterfalls, and through water-carved canyons as you tackle the strongest rapids (class III-IV) of the trip. Make sure to take in the sights and sounds of the jungle as you go. Along the way to hike uphill to some natural pools featuring stone water slides.
Your whitewater adventure ends near the town of Siquirres. From there, a transportation service will transfer you to the northern plains of the country. Here, you'll see their tropical flora and pass by different plantations before arriving at La Fortuna, a beautiful small town at the base of the magnificent Arenal Volcano.
La Fortuna is known for its unusual combination of adventure and nature. You will have the opportunity to explore the town's beautiful surroundings and visit the incredible Arenal Volcano National Park. Enjoy spectacular views as you walk through trails in the rainforest and marvel at the great variety of flora and fauna that inhabits the area. You can also head to one of the hot springs resorts and let your worries melt away.
Day 5: Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Hanging BridgesThis horseback ride takes you along the ancient paths surrounding the Arenal Volcano. The trip begins at the stables where a seasoned guide will help riders saddle up. From the base of the mountain, the group will travel up through secondary forests, cattle fields, and a primary forest that takes you through a lagoon.
Along the way, your guide will point out the local flora and fauna. Continue upwards until you reach the highest point where you'll be met with incredible views of Arenal (be sure to bring your camera). Afterward, you will get to the majestic La Fortuna Waterfall and river, you will have the opportunity to take pictures, or climb in for a refreshing swim, or just enjoy the breeze off the water and the beauty of the river canyon of over 100 meters (320 ft.) in height.
Afterward, head to the hanging bridges for another adventure. You'll wander along well-marked trails that lead you over suspension bridges high above the treetops —some that are hundreds of feet long—for a once-in-a-lifetime view of Arenal Volcano. The trails are designed for all ability levels and cover a total of about 2 miles (3.2 km). You'll also get an up-close look at the incredible biodiversity that occurs in this region, where upland and lowland rainforest meet. More than 350 bird species, such as the iridescent, bright green and blue-ish Turquoise-browed Motmot, can be found in this park alone.
Day 6: Arenal/La Fortuna to Manuel Antonio
In the morning, transfer from Arenal/La Fortuna to Manuel Antonio. This service is an efficient way to get between these locations. It includes door-to-door pick up from your hotel in Arenal/La Fortuna to your hotel in Manuel Antonio. You can just sit back and relax and enjoy the view. When you arrive, spend some time relaxing on the beach.
Day 7: Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling in Manuel Antonio
Enjoy Costa Rica’s Pacific coast in a two-person, open-seat ocean kayak. This guided adventure begins near Pez Vela Marina in Quepos and winds along Manuel Antonio's coastline, one of the most unforgettable stretches of coastline in the country.
There will be ample time to relax on the secluded beach of Biesanz Bay, where you can go for a swim and enjoy a picnic on the sand. You'll also have the chance to see the area's gorgeous coral reef and marine life during a snorkeling journey along the shore.
Day 8: Surf Lesson at Playa ScullToday you'll learn the art of surfing on one of the most popular beaches on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. With your experienced instructor, you'll learn and practice the basics of surfing on land before heading out to catch your first wave.
Surf lessons are held daily in Playa Scull, a beautiful section of the main Manuel Antonio beach with waves that are perfect for learning. If you have always wanted to learn, now is your chance! With the guidance of your instructor, you'll spend the morning practicing your newly learned skills and techniques on the water.
After the lesson, feel free to extend your board rental and spend the rest of the morning practicing!
Day 9: Manuel Antonio to San José, Departure
The driver will pick you up in a private, air-conditioned minivan and drive you directly to San José International Airport (SJO). The drive takes around 2 & 1/2 to 3 hours depending on traffic.