Costa Rica Wildlife Exploration

10 days

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This distinctive, in-depth trip encompasses the northern and southern reaches of Costa Rica. Prolific wildlife roams the jungle, mountainous cloud forests conceal hanging bridges and volcanoes, and tropical beaches are fringed by palm trees. Costa Rica is home to friendly, beaming Ticos (local Costa Ricans) who exude the Pura Vida way of life. This voyage captures the heartbeat of a land where eco-friendly sustainability plays a pivotal role in protecting the precious rainforests and wildlife that call this beautiful country home.

Highlights

  • Spotting incredible wildlife species including sloths, toucans, monkeys, scarlet macaws and more
  • Adventures abound with jungle hikes, mangrove kayaking, and zip-lining the cloud forest canopy
  • Culinary immersions await with a candlelit rainforest dinner, a picnic on a secluded beach, and a farm-to-table cooking experience
  • Marine discoveries to witness humpback whales, dolphins, and bioluminescence
Costa Rica Wildlife Exploration03

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive San Jose – Tico Lunch and Walk en-route to Monteverde Cloud Forest

Welcome to the wildlife-rich jungles and beaches of Costa Rica. Upon arrival, take a scenic drive to the mountainous cloud forest region of Monteverde. En-route is your first taste of local Tico life; stop roadside for a thirst-quenching fresh coconut then savor local Costa Rican cuisine. Meander through a garden filled with vibrant bird and butterfly species. Arriving late afternoon, settle into your eco-lodge for the next three nights, Senda Monteverde.

DAY 2

Monteverde Cloud Forest – Hanging Bridges Birding Tour, Coffee Finca Tour

At sunrise this morning, meet your guide for a tour of Monteverde’s walking trails and hanging bridges suspended high in the canopies. Keep an eye out for sleepy sloths! This is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of intriguing birds, monkeys, lizards, and other wildlife as they wake for a new day. Drive to a family-owned coffee Finca (farm) and delve into what Costa Rica is famous for; the art of making an invigorating cup of coffee. Learn sustainable farming methods, and sample five different roasting styles to choose one perfect for you.

DAY 3

Monteverde Cloud Forest – Zip Lining, Gondola and Nocturnal Wildlife Walk

Explore the region from a different perspective. Take a hanging gondola to a scenic lookout point, then soar above the cloud forest and jungle canopy via two miles of zip line. Admire the views of Arenal volcano and the lush greenery below. After dark, embark on a wildlife walk in search of nocturnal creatures. Spot the poison dart frog, mammals such as coati and agouti, and perhaps even a tarantula.

DAY 4

Osa Peninsula – Beach Walk and Monkeys

Transfer to the airport and take a picturesque charter flight to the southern jungles of the Osa Peninsula, coined by National Geographic as the most biologically intense place on Earth. Relish in three nights at Lapa Rios, nestled among the treetops with breathtaking ocean views. Wildlife from the lodge is prolific, some of the best in all Costa Rica. Four species of monkey, toucans, countless bird species, and giant green iguana all call this home. Enjoy an afternoon stroll to a nearby beach, searching for sloths and monkeys en-route.

DAY 5

Osa Peninsula – Bird Watching Tour and Medicinal Plants Walk

As the jungle awakens to a new day, head out on a bird-watching exploration with your naturalist guide. Binoculars and a state of the art telescope will enable you to spot the myriad species of macaw, toucan, parrot, motmot, owl and more. A delicious lunch is served from the lodge, providing panoramic treetop views to the ocean. This afternoon, meander the local vegetable gardens to learn the medicinal properties of plants, and how the lodge embraces sustainability efforts to provide an eco-friendly experience to guests and the rainforest.

DAY 6

Osa Peninsula – Rainforest Hike and School Visit

Relish in a hike through the depths of the jungle and across scenic ridges and viewpoints, to spot wildlife and endemic plant species. Keep an eye out for spider and howler monkeys overhead! This afternoon, meet local children at the Carbonera school, built by Lapa Rios, for an opportunity to share and learn from the local community. After dark, torch in hand, embark on a guided walk to discover amphibians, reptiles, sleeping birds and unique creatures that come out at night.

DAY 7

Golfo Dulce – Beach Explorations, Private Candlelit Dinner in the Jungle

After breakfast, transfer to the boat jetty and take a leisurely boat across the Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf) bay to your next accommodation, the beautiful beachfront Playa Cativo Lodge for three nights. En-route, watch for dolphins and migrating humpback whales. This afternoon, delight in kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, or hiking a guided trail. We highly recommend indulging at the spa, where a complete holistic journey awaits. After dusk, a private candlelit dinner is served in a secluded jungle location.

DAY 8

Golfo Dulce – Marine Adventure, Farm-To-Fork Experience, Stargazing

Board a boat for a marine cruise, stopping at a secluded bay to snorkel. In the Golfo Dulce, dolphins commonly frolic beside the boat, and humpback whales migrate here to give birth and raise their young. Back at the lodge, meander a local hiking trail to a petite waterfall for a refreshing dip. This afternoon, a farm-to-table experience awaits, with a hands-on immersion into local Costa Rican cuisine. Handpick produce from the organic vegetable garden and cook with a local chef. Savor your delicious creations over dinner, before a guided exploration of the breathtaking night sky and constellations from a serene jetty.

DAY 9

Golfo Dulce – Birdwatching, Kayaking, Sunset Canapes, Bioluminescence Boat Tour

Head out on a guided stroll to marvel at prolific birdlife as the sun rises. Savor a delicious breakfast then embark on a kayak journey through the mangroves in search of wildlife. Paddle past secluded bays and dock at an exclusive beach for a scenic picnic lunch. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to savor your final moments. Celebrate your last evening in a romantic setting with sunset and canapes by the dock. Tonight, an incredible experience awaits; a boat whisks you into the bay to see the magical phenomena of bioluminescence, where plankton sparkles in the water. *This experience can only be done at certain times of the month and year.

DAY 10

Flight to San Jose – Begin Your Journey Home

Transfer to the airstrip for your charter flight to San Jose. Here you will connect with your onward flight home. Bid farewell to the magical jungles, beaches, wildlife and smiling Costa Ricans who have no doubt left you feeling the Pura Vida way of life.