This itinerary offers you the chance to explore some of the most remote and beautiful areas of Costa Rica. Starting with a 3 day rafting adventure into the wilds of the Pacuare rainforest, you then head to Manuel Antonio National Park, before adventuring off-road to stay with a local community, guardians of a beautiful reserve that is home to hidden waterfalls, stunning vistas and one of the most impressive hanging bridges in Costa Rica. To top it all off, spend 3 nights in the remote Osa region at the incredible Playa Nicuesa Lodge, which is surrounded by the rainforest and can only be reached by boat.
Day 1: Arrive at the international airport of San José, where you will be met by one of our representatives and taken to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive, you may have time for a walking tour around the centre of town.
Day 2: Depart very early in the morning for your rafting adventure on the Pacuare River. Class III rapids welcome you to the beauty of the Pacuare gorge as you raft deep in the heart of the primary rainforest. Spend the afternoon at the unique Rios Tropicales Lodge relaxing, hiking or soaking in their waterfall and pools. (B/L/D)
Day 3: Today you can enjoy some of the many activities that this amazing lodge offers. Experience the wonders of the rainforest canopy on a zip line or try a variety of beautiful hikes into the reserve. Optional tour: Hike to the nearby Bajo Tigre community for a chance to learn about their sustainable subsistence farming and environmental responsibility. The tour fee goes 100% to fund their community projects. (B/L/D)
Day 4: After breakfast, continue with your rafting experience on the Lower Pacuare (Class IV). Paddle down the Pacuare gorge past gushing waterfalls, serene pools and pounding rapids like Upper and Lower Huacas, Cimarron, Dos Montañas and many more. Afterwards you’ll return to the Operations Centre a few miles up the road for lunch and then return to San José. (B,L)
Day 5: It's time to say goodbye to the Pacuare river as you are driven to your next destination: the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park. Enjoy the rest of the day at the beach or at the hotel. (B)
Day 6: Today is for exploring Manuel Antonio National Park where you can find tropical forest, walking trails, beautiful beaches and a variety of plants and animals including iguanas, white tailed deer, raccoons and many more. (B)
Day 7: Today your bilingual guide will take you inland to the Los Campesinos reserve along dirt roads surrounded by pristine forest and rivers. At the village of Quebrada Arroyo, you will meet the former vanilla farmers that founded this reserve, who will introduce you to the village, the Vainilleros Association and their spectacular jungle home. Then your local guide will take you for a walk on the Mirador El Pacifico Trail (approx 2.5 hours), sharing stories of his adventures in the forest and explaining the uses of native plants. Part of your journey will involve crossing a forested gorge by aerial tram, from where you can look out over the Rio Savegre Valley and the Pacific Coast.
Upon your return, you will be served a tasty typical lunch, prepared on a wood stove. In the afternoon, take a short walk across a 40m high, 127m long suspended bridge next to the impressive Los Chorros waterfall to swim in the transparent natural pools. Then in the evening, share stories with the locals while enjoying a homemade dinner. (B/L/D)
Day 8: In the morning, travel to Golfito where you will be picked up by a Playa Nicuesa representative. This rainforest lodge is so unique, pristine and private because it’s only accessible by boat. Dramatic views of the mountains along the Pacific coast welcome you to the lodge where you can relax and in the afternoon, perhaps choose one of the guided tours that they offer. (B/L/D)
Days 9-10: Playa Nicuesa is a very special place and for the next two days you can enjoy some of the wonderful activities that are available, such as a kayak tour of the Golfo Dulce, rainforest and waterfall hiking in Piedras Blancas National Park, or a snorkelling trip. (B/L/D)
Day 11: In the morning, leave the sea and drive inland to San Gerardo de Dota, a region famous for the pure Savegre River and old growth oak forests, habitat of the Resplendent Quetzal. Check in to your lodge and after lunch, try a unguided 2 hour walk along forest trails to a waterfall in the cloud forest. (B/L/D)
Day 12: Depending on your flights, you may have time for an morning early guided tour to find the famous Resplendent Quetzal, a unique bird with iridescent green feathers, long, graceful tail and a bright red breast. Then check out and transfer to San José airport for your flight home with happy memories of Costa Rica! (B)
Price: From £1695 per person
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, entry fees, English speaking guide.
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
This is a suggested itinerary. Dates, stops & activities are all flexible.
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