Costa Rica – An Eco Paradise

Boutique Small Group Travel Costar Rica Eco-tourism Arenal Volcano (women only)

Fully escorted 11 days, 10 night tour with a minimum group size of 6 and maximum 12

Wednesday 17th to Saturday 27th October 2018.

Costa Rica , in Central America, extends majestically from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea.  Its land occupies only 20 thousand square miles but whilst it might be small in landmass, Costa Rica is within the top 20 richest countries in biodiversity on Earth in terms of species density.

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This spectacular country offers almost limitless possibilities that include extensive rainforests, volcanoes, rivers travelling through mountains, beaches and natural resources all safeguarded by national parks and reserves. Working with our local guide we have selected locations and experiences for you to enjoy which will give you an opportunity to marvel at the beautiful scenery, lush jungles and unique wildlife.  In addition you’ll also learn about the culture and history, have a chance to mingle with locals, enjoy the delicious fresh cuisine and meet some local chefs and find out for yourself why Costa Rica is considered the happiest country in the world.

Accommodation:

3 nights in deluxe rooms at Finca Rosa Blanca, which is ranked as one of the 10 best hotels in the world.  It’s both a coffee plantation and luxurious inn that crowns the Central Valley Mountain highlands of Costa Rica.  Located only a short distance from the San Jose International Airport it has long offered eco-travellers a luxurious, sustainable boutique hotel experience.  All of the well-appointed rooms include private verandahs overlooking the green Central Valley, the volcanoes above and secluded patios surrounded by tropical gardens and flowers.

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3 nights in luxury suites at the Lost Iguana Resort, Arenal Volcano.  This boutique hotel is on 120 acres in primary rainforest.   Every room has perfect views of the Arenal Volcano.  The resort offers trails through the jungle, a hot swim-up bar plus a secluded spa.

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3 nights in deluxe rooms at Si Como No in Manuel Antonio.  Si Como No Spa Resort and Wildlife Refuge is located along Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast.  The hotel sits upon one of the most idyllic hillsides in Manuel Antonio.  The resort’s lush jungle terraces and brilliantly vivid gardens overlook the sparkling ocean just above world-renown Manuel Antonio Park.  costa-04 Rooms feature panoramic ocean and jungle views from every window and a private balcony. 1 night at the Grano de Oro Hotel in San Jose.   Converted from a tropical Victorian mansion, this boutique hotel maintains the warmth and comfort of a private home with all the amenities of a fine hotel.  A true oasis in the heart of the city.

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Inclusions:

  • Meet and greet at San Jose Airport for individual transfers
  • English speaking guide for the entire tour
  • 10 nights’ accommodation
  • 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Comfortable air conditioned transport for transfers and excursions
  • Visit to Cartago and Lankester Gardens
  • Visit to Poas Volcano National Park and La Paz Waterfall Gardens
  • Coffee Tour of Finca Rosa Blanca coffee plantation
  • Walking tour of San Jose and the Central Market
  • Tour of Arenal Hanging Bridges and Eco Termales thermal  hot springs
  • Safari float tour of Penas Blanca River
  • Visit to Tarcoles
  • Santa Juana tour
  • Nature walk at Manuel Antonio Park
  • Group transfer to San Jose International Airport
  • Entry fees for scheduled visits
  • Tips for drivers and guides
Itinerary: days 1 - 11
Day 1: You will be met individually and escorted through immigration in the VIP lines out to the waiting driver for the transfer to your hotel.  Meet your fellow travellers over pre-dinner drinks and dinner at the hotel.

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costa-07Day 2: Today we will visit Cartago, home to the country’s largest cathedral.  When Spanish Governor, Juan Vasquez de Coronado founded the city of Cartago in 1563, he claimed that he’d never seen a more beautiful valley.  The Spanish went on to construct the most majestic colonial buildings in the country. Lush green fields encircle the city, coffee seems to grow everywhere on the steep mountain slopes.  Cartago is the gateway to Lankester Botanical Garden and the Orosi Valley which we’ll have an opportunity to explore. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel restaurant which is known for its fresh local ingredients and mix of exotic indigenous foods.

Day 3: costa-08This morning we’ll visit Poas Volcano National Park and La Paz Waterfall Gardens, where we’ll stop for lunch. Poas Volcano is one of the largest caldron volcanoes in the world.  La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a private rescued wildlife preserve home to over 100 species of animals, a hummingbird garden and the most famous waterfalls in Costa Rica.

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After lunch you’ll have an opportunity for a little down time back at our hotel before heading to Tiquicia for a fun evening of typical Costa Rican food and folkloric dances.  Kick back, have a drink or two and practice your dance moves!

Day 4: costa-10After breakfast and check-out we’ll take a tour of the coffee plantation before a relaxed walking tour exploring the capital city of San Jose.  We’ll visit the splendid and historic Teatro Nacional and the city’s gustatory crossroads, its Central Market.  You’ll have some time to explore on your own and perhaps return to the Central Market to sample some more delicious local food. After lunch we’ll head to the beautiful mountainous area of Arenal.  We’ll travel through rain forest, farm lands, and small towns.  Keep an eye out for toucans overhead and sloths in the trees. Enjoy seeing how some of your favourite tropical fruits and vegetables are grown as you pass pineapple and banana plantations, fields of papayas, and rows and rows of yucca.   Arrive in time to freshen up at our next hotel, the Lost Iguana, before joining us for pre-dinner drinks and dinner.

 

Day 5: This morning we’re off to a traditional Tico (Costa Rican) house where our host and hostess will take us farm to table with a unique cooking class experience followed by lunch. After lunch and your kitchen adventure it’s on to a more natural setting as you take a walk on the wild side via the famous hanging bridges of Costa Rica. The 3km trail has 16 state-of-the-art hanging bridges that introduce you to the forest’s rich biodiversity and loop you through the mountainous area.

costa-11 The forest is home to many animals and birds like howler monkeys, poison dart frogs, red frogs, toucans and parrots.  This fun and informative 2.5 hour walk will allow you to have close contact with nature and learn more about the primary forest. costa-12 After our hike in the rainforest it’s time to relax. We’ll head off to the nearby Eco Termales thermal hot springs, famous for their therapeutic benefits since ancient times. Spend a couple of hours bathing in the mineral enriched hot springs before enjoying an authentic, traditional Costa Rican meal at the Eco Termales restaurant.

Day 6: Today we’ll taste the best chocolate in Costa Rica!   In this 2-hour “hands-on” program, we’ll have an opportunity to participate in all the production processes of the traditional drink of Central American ancestors, and of course, enjoy a high quality organic chocolate. costa-14 After lunch it’s off for more adventure on a relaxing inflatable raft trip along the river where we’ll spot an array of tropical birds such as Oropendolas, Tucans, Kingfishers as well as animals such as monkeys, sloths, caimans and iguanas. Dinner tonight at your leisure.

Day 7: Checking out of the hotel after breakfast, we’ll head to the lovely beach town of Manuel Antonio on the Central Pacific Coast.  On the way we’ll stop on the Rio Tarcoles bridge for an up close look at the world’s second largest crocodiles.   Later, relax and enjoy the facilities of our hotel before dinner which is included here.

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Day 8: After an early breakfast today it’s off to enjoy one of the best adventures in Costa Rica, the Santa Juana tour. costa-16 Our journey will take us through the lush jungle to Fila Chonta Mountains.  At the top of the mountain, you’ll have the option of taking a guided horseback or 4WD tour down to the authentic sugar mill still run by massive white oxen.    From there it’s a scenic ride to the El Salto waterfalls.  Keep your eyes open for local wildlife including over 200 species of birds, squirrel and howler monkeys to name but a few. There is a small changing area next to the waterfalls for those seeking a relaxing dip. This is one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica for swimming in clean water tumbling from pristine mountains. costa-17Enjoy a Campesino style lunch overlooking the panoramic vista of Manuel Antonio Park before returning to the hotel, where dinner at the hotel is included.

Day 9: It’s your first full day of leisure.  Enjoy a pool-side breakfast at Si Como No and use this day to do a tour, go shopping or relax on the stunningly beautiful beach laid out at your feet or why not claim a chaise-longue by the private pool.  Lunch is on your own today and  dinner is at Si Como No and included in your package.

Day 10: costa-18After a Nature Walk to spot the wildlife in Manuul Antonio National Park, one of the most successfully managed parks in Costa Rica, we’ll begin our return journey to San Jose.  We’ll stop for lunch en-route during this 3.5 hour drive back to the exquisite Grano de Oro Hotel.  Our farewell dinner this evening is at the hotel restaurant, one of the best in Costa Rica. costa-19

Day 11: We will provide a group transfer back to San Jose International Airport for your onward flights.  As they say in Costa Rica, “Pura Vida!”

Customised Tours:  This tour can be customised and operate on any date for a group of minimum 6.

Costa Rica Tour costs

Costa Rica

(Per person)
$US6650/person
  • Reductions available for twin share. Not included:  Return airfares to Costa Rica.

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Contact Big Yellow Suitcase

Email: enquiries@bigyellowsuitcase.com.au

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