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Natural Highlights of Costa Rica

9 days, San José to San José

Travellers visiting a waterfall at Arenal National Park in Costa Rica

Home to lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and an astonishing diversity of wildlife, Costa Rica has long been a leader in conservation and the protection of natural heritage. Experience this gorgeous Central American nation on a fun-filled adventure, taking you from the foot of an active volcano to the misty highlands and Pacific coast. Hear from a researcher at the National Geographic–supported Monteverde Institute, learn the art of tortilla-making with a local family, and seek out the country’s unique creatures—from blue morpho butterflies to howler monkeys—on hikes through the forest.

9 days - San José to San José

From$1779USD
Valid on May 15 2021
Trip Code: CRNNG

Need a flight? We can help.

Search for the perfect flight at time of booking.

Round-trip to San José from

Looking for another airport? Search when you book. (details)

Home to lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and an astonishing diversity of wildlife, Costa Rica has long been a leader in conservation and the protection of natural heritage. Experience this gorgeous Central American nation on a fun-filled adventure, taking you from the foot of an active volcano to the misty highlands and Pacific coast. Hear from a researcher at the National Geographic–supported Monteverde Institute, learn the art of tortilla-making with a local family, and seek out the country’s unique creatures—from blue morpho butterflies to howler monkeys—on hikes through the forest.

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 2 - Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 16, Avg 12.

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Visa Requirements

9 days - San José to San José

From$1779USD
Valid on May 15 2021
Trip Code: CRNNG

Need a flight? We can help.

Search for the perfect flight at time of booking.

Round-trip to San José from

Looking for another airport? Search when you book. (details)

Creating ripples that change lives

The Ripple Score is an honest evaluation of how often we use local businesses and services to create each tour. With this score you can see the percentage of our local expenses that stay in the communities you visit. Learn more

Ripple Score

100

Costa Rica seems to contain the entire world within its small compass…, from cool Swiss alpine forest to steamy Amazonian lowland jungle.” — Christopher Baker, National Geographic Traveler: Costa Rica guidebook, 2013

Map of the route for Natural Highlights of Costa Rica

Places visited

  • Costa Rica

Itinerary

Day 1San José

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Day 2San José/La Fortuna

Awake in the Costa Rican capital and take a tour of a G Adventures–supported coffee cooperative. Meet local farmers, observe shade-grown coffee plants, and gain insight into the process of coffee production, from bean to cup. After a typical lunch—accompanied by an aromatic cup of coffee—continue to the town of La Fortuna, situated at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano. This evening, we’ll visit a local home to learn how to make tortillas. Chat with your welcoming hosts and dig into a traditional Costa Rican meal of black beans, plantains, and your own handmade tortillas.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your G for Good Moment Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour| Your Journeys Highlight Moment Tortilla Making and Home Dinner

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 3La Fortuna

Spend the day on your own, exploring La Fortuna and its surrounding areas. In 1968, the Arenal Volcano erupted after centuries of laying dormant, converting this quiet agricultural town into a hot spot for adventure travel. Choose to go stand-up paddleboarding on the tranquil waters of Lake Arenal; rappel down a rushing waterfall on a canyoning excursion; relax in the shadow of Arenal Volcano at a naturally heated outdoor spa; take a boat tour of Ca?o Negro Wildlife Refuge, one of the world’s most important wetlands; and more.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Discover Moment

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 4La Fortuna/Monteverde

Travel from La Fortuna to the leafy cloud forests of Monteverde—a nature lover’s paradise. This afternoon, choose to discover Monteverde’s breathtaking wilderness on horseback, riding along picturesque mountain trails and looking out for toucans, monkeys, and sloths. Or, embark on a zip-lining adventure in the birthplace of the canopy tour, gliding high above the treetops or zooming through the misty foliage at exhilarating speed.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 5Monteverde

Set out on a hike in the stunning Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, treading past giant ferns and vibrant orchids. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the resplendent quetzal—a sacred bird in Maya and Aztec cultures. Afterward, visit the Monteverde Institute, a research and educational organization supported by National Geographic. Hear from a researcher about some of the institute's conservation initiatives, including a successful reforestation project.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Monteverde Institute Lecture

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 6Monteverde/Manuel Antonio

Leaving the cloud forest behind, head to Costa Rica’s sweeping Pacific coast and settle into your hotel in the seaside village of Manuel Antonio. Soak up the laid-back atmosphere of the area, and opt to go surfing, horseback riding, or dolphin watching on a catamaran. You can also spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 7Manuel Antonio

Discover the lush tropical forests and white-sand beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. Costa Rica’s smallest national park—yet one of the most spectacular—boasts an abundance of wildlife, including monkeys, armadillos, sloths, iguanas, and countless species of birds. Hike through the dense forest, climb up to rocky outcrops for views of the dazzling Pacific Ocean, and go swimming in the park’s lovely lagoons and tidal pools. Opt to take a surfing lesson, or head out for a snorkelling excursion on the nearby reef.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 8Manuel Antonio/San José

Return to San José. Tonight, choose to join the group for a farewell dinner at a popular local restaurant.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 9San José

Depart at any time.

Meals included:

Breakfast
View full itinerary

What's Included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Tortilla Making and Home Dinner, La Fortuna
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Monteverde Institute Lecture, Monteverde
  • Your G for Good Moment: Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour, Sarapiquí
  • Your Discover Moment: La Fortuna
  • Arrival transfer
  • Guided nature walk in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Guided excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Hotels (8 nts).

Meals

8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
Allow USD340-445 for meals not included.

Transportation

Private vehicle, walking, boat.

Staff & experts

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.

Available extras (Add these to your tour when you book)

Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle - From $149.00

CANYONING (Half-day Arenal) Rappel, down-climb, river-trace, and descend huge waterfalls in the rugged mountains and lush rainforests around Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano. ZIPLINING (Half-day Monteverde) Get a true bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy as you soar through the trees on a Tarzan swing, a giant rappel, and a 137-meter-high (450-foot) zipline. Please note that passengers must weigh between 45-100kg (100 – 220 lbs) and be at least 130cm (4'3 ft) tall to participate in these activities.

Manuel Antonio Catamaran Cruise - From $95.00

Cruise along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica aboard a beautiful catamaran, taking in the impressive scenery and lush jungle that has made Manuel Antonio famous. Be sure to look out for sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, and whales (seasonal) as you look out to the blue water that surrounds your boat. Cruise past Olocuita Island and Isla Verde, which were previously used as burial grounds by the Quepo Indians. Stop at Biesanz Beach for the perfect opportunity to throw on a mask and some flippers and jump in the waters to snorkel. This cove nestled between Quepos and Manuel Antonio houses 30+ species of tropical fish and has great conditions for clear underwater viewing. Hop back in the boat after your leisure time to towel off and enjoy a meal onboard while sailing back to the marina.

My Own Room - From $659.00

If you're travelling solo and would prefer to have your own private room throughout your trip, select this option during the online booking process.

Make it a private tour

Book this tour as a private departure - with your own CEO and all the benefits of a G Adventures group tour - for any group, big or small (even just one traveller).

Natural Highlights of Costa Rica

| 9 days - San José to San José - from $1779 USD
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