One World Trips - Natural Highlights of Costa Rica
One World Trips - Natural Highlights of Costa Rica

San José to San José

Natural Highlights of Costa Rica

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Home to volcanoes, lush rainforests, beaches, and unique wildlife, Costa Rica is a celebrated pioneer in protecting natural heritage. Forge your own path through this gorgeous country over nine days of outstanding adventure. Trek across the foot of a volcano to photograph electric blue butterflies, visit a coffee co-op, and search for monkeys while hiking park trails. Get in touch with nature’s best in Costa Rica.

Trip Details

Travel Style: 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.

On Sale

Natural Highlights of Costa Rica
9 Days / San José to San José

From

USD 1,444.15
was 1849.00
Trip Code: CRNNG

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Itinerary

Day 1San José

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head into the city to visit a museum, shop, or visit the main plaza in the city centre.

The plaza is a good place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere.

Costa Rica has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and is a top destination for nature lovers. As such, there is a lot of rain, regardless of the season, allowing for its lush green rain forests and cloud forest, in which flora and fauna thrive. Please come prepared for the possibility of wet weather and variations in temperature.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting1h    18:00

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Private VehicleJuan Santamaría International Airport - San José

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accomodation

Below is an example of the hotel we may use in this city. For the actual hotel your specific departure will be using, please check your voucher or the G Adventures App.

Radisson San Jose (or similar)Hotel

Day 2San José/La Fortuna

Visit a G Adventures-supported coffee cooperative with a coffee tour and local lunch. Continue to the adventure hub of La Fortuna. In the evening, visit a local home and learn the art of tortilla making. Afterwards, dig into a tasty “casado” - a typical Costa Rican dish that’s made with black beans, plantains, and the tortillas you’ve made.

Please also note that the town of La Fortuna is fairly small with shopping and some great restaurants, but most of the upgraded accommodations in this area are located outside of the main town centre - to take better advantage of the natural beauty and stunning landscapes of the area. Taxis are readily available to take you into town and back and can cost approx. $10USD each way.

Private VehicleSan José - La Fortuna    3h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Travel time includes lunch and coffee tour.

G Adventures for Good:    Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour

Find out where your cup of java comes from. Visit the Mi Cafecito coffee cooperative in San Miguel de Sarapiqui, see shade-grown coffee plants, learn about everything from harvesting, to husking, drying, and roasting the beans before enjoying the best part – a fresh cup! Enjoy a typical lunch of plantains, beans, and freshly caught tilapia fish. Feel good about all this eating and drinking knowing that you are supporting a G Adventures for Good project that helps 200 farmers and their families.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives:    Tortilla Making and Home Dinner

Learn the art of tortilla making from Doña Mara in her family home. Grind the corn, mix the “masa” (dough) into balls, flatten into circles, and then cook them up on a wood-burning stove. Relax with a fresh tropical fruit juice, get to know the family, and hear about the history of tortillas. Afterwards, dig into a tasty “casado” - a typical Costa Rican dish including black beans and plantains - complete with your own hand-made tortillas.

Accomodation

Hotel Monte Real (or similar)Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 3La Fortuna

Free day in La Fortuna for optional activities. Challenge yourself with a rafting adventure, canyoneering, or embark on a nature hike.

Free TimeLa Fortuna

Free day to set out and explore nature near La Fortuna.


Optional Activities - Day 3

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Tour     59USD per person Arenal - Caño Negro

Travel north to Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge near the Nicaraguan border. Take a guided tour by covered boat through one of the world’s most important wetlands; home to a vast array of plants, birds, reptiles, fish, and mammals. Keep your eyes peeled and you may see a three-toed sloth or a Jesus Christ lizard.

Hanging Bridges     66USD per person Arenal    1h30m-2h    3km

Come join the monkeys and perhaps spot a sloth lazing in the treetops of this protected rainforest that’s set in the shadows of the Arenal Volcano. Trek 3km (2 mi) of winding trails up, down, across, and over 16 different bridges. One of higher suspended bridges overlooks a gorgeous gorge and 60m (37 mi) waterfall. Look up and down to spot birds, snakes, frogs, lizards, howler monkeys, and more. Don’t forget to bring binoculars, bug spray, and a long lens as you reach new heights in the canopy of Costa Rica.

Lost Canyon Adventures Canyoning     89USD per person Arenal

Hold on tight and get ready to rappel down the face of rushing waterfalls. Fear and fun collide in the rainforest as you throw caution to the monkeys and launch yourself into nature. Get soaked and feel completely alive. Trek through rivers, wobble across a hanging bridge, and keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds and wildlife. Let the action begin!

La Fortuna Waterfall Swim     14USD per person La Fortuna

Take a walk, taxi, or horse just outside the town of La Fortuna to the nearby waterfall. Once at the gate, pay a fee then start the descent on rough steps (more than 500 of them!) to get to the base of the falls. The water cascades 65m (200 ft) down the side of the dormant Cerro Chato. Sit on the rocks, get sprayed, watch for iridescent blue morpho butterflies and then plunge into the cool waters.

Gravity Falls Waterfall Jumping     113USD per person Arenal

Hold on tight and get ready to rappel down the face of rushing waterfalls. Fear and fun collide in the rainforest as you throw caution to the monkeys and launch yourself into nature. Strapped securely in your harness, descend deep into the canyon, get soaked and feel completely alive. Trek through rivers, wobble across a hanging bridge and keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds and wildlife. Let the action begin!

Extreme Volcano Hike     77USD per person Cerro Chato    4h-5h

Feel like getting a sweat on? This intense hike cuts through the lush rainforest to the crater of the inactive Cerro Chato Volcano, where there’s now an emerald green lake. Hike back down and enjoy the lush landscape, then cool off in the waterfall of La Fortuna.

Venado Caves Exploration     76USD per person La Fortuna

Duck your head and enter an underground world formed some 15 million years ago. The Venado Caves are 45 min NW of Fortuna. Ford rivers, crawl through caverns, and marvel at the strange stalactites, stalagmites and subterranean inhabitants including bats, frogs, and spiders. Not ideal if you get anxious in closed spaces. Great for those who want to channel their inner Indiana Jones.

Stand Up Paddle (Lesson and Tour)     62USD per person Arenal

Grab a long wide board and show those surfer dudes how it’s done without waves on Lake Arenal with the volcano looming above. Tour picks up from the hotel and includes a tour of the west-end of the Lake while you’re getting the hang of the paddle board. Enjoy the amazing view, with chances to spot wild birds like Great Blue Herons or even Howler Monkeys. Learn more about the area while exploring the lake and snack on some tropical fruit before heading back to the hotel.

Mountain Biking     71USD per person Arenal    3h-5h    13-15km

Rent a bike and head off along one of the backroads outside of town. Take the road to San Ramon and turn right on the road toward the waterfall. Or take a guided cycling tour and pick one of three routes of varying difficulty.

Hot Springs     42-84USD per person Arenal Volcano

Relax in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano immersed in therapeutic waters heated by the earth’s magma and infused with healing minerals and salts. Rejuvenate your muscles, detox your cells, and stimulate all your senses in nature’s thermal spa. Breathe in the pure rainforest air and marvel at the mystic surroundings of these outdoor pools of paradise.


Accomodation

Hotel Monte Real (or similar)Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4La Fortuna/Monteverde

Travel from La Fortuna to the cloud forest of Monteverde - a nature lover's paradise.

The town of Monteverde is fairly small with shopping and some great restaurants, but most of the upgraded accommodations in this area are located outside of the main town centre - to take better advantage of the natural beauty and stunning landscapes of the area. Taxis are readily available to take you into town and back and can cost approx. $10USD each way.

Accommodations tend to be a bit more simple here, with fewer amenities. Its important to remember that the cloud forest sits at a higher elevation and offers a cooler but humid climate - which is why hotels in this area do not have A/C. It can also feel damp in rooms which is unavoidable in such a climate.

Private VehicleLa Fortuna - Monteverde    4h    60km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accomodation

Hotel Heliconia (or similar)Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5Monteverde

Enjoy a nature hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. After, visit the Monteverde Institute, which has served as the base for numerous National Geographic-funded explorers and researchers. Enjoy a lecture by one of the researchers outlining the various research and conservation projects that National Geographic has sponsored to support the reforestation of tropical regions. This afternoon, opt to visit a butterfly garden, zipline through the canopy, or go horseback riding.

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Guided TourMonteverde    2h-3h

Pull on your poncho and boots. It’s time to head into the cloud-covered forest, past over-sized ferns and exotic orchids. Harness your inner Tarzan and Jane as you imagine swinging from the giant vines. Trudge along 12km (7 mi) of trails, watch for wildlife, and trek to the top of the observation tower. Be sure to stop and listen, too. Hear the haunting call of the bellbird and perhaps catch sight of the brilliant green and red resplendent quetzal. Feel good about protecting the forest and sustaining the quality of local schools through payment of your park fees.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives:    Monteverde Institute Lecture

Visit the Monteverde Institute which has served as the base for numerous National Geographic-funded explorers and researchers studying the famed canopy of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Enjoy a lecture by one of the researchers outlining the various projects National Geographic has sponsored including new discoveries, insect and bird studies, and the reforestation of tropical regions.


Optional Activities - Day 5

Ziplining     50USD per person Monteverde    3h-4h

Buckle up your harness, don your helmet, and prepare to launch. Glide along cables suspended high above the cloud forest canopy. Dare to let go and reach top speeds as you zip past stunning scenery. Forget your fear as you spot a toucans or exotic orchids in this adrenaline-filled experience.

Monteverde Butterfly Garden Visit     15USD per person Monteverde

Get close to butterflies, bump into giant bugs, and make friends with hairy eight-legged spiders in this collection of gardens nestled in the mountains of Monteverde. Observe caterpillars, take prize-worthy photos of the iridescent blue morpho butterfly, and check out the leaf-cutter ant colony. The nature centre is home to 30 species of butterfly, a whole bunch of insects, as well as white-faced monkeys, coatis, motmots, and more.

Monteverde Horseback Riding     40USD per person Monteverde    2h30m-3h

Enjoy Monteverde’s breath-giving wilderness by horseback. Spot toucans, bellbirds, and parrots as you ride through private mountain trails along the primary and secondary forest. Meet monkeys, see sloths, and possibly glimpse the Gulf of Nicoya through the clouds. Take photos, inhale the pure air, and let your horse lead you on this memorable meander in misty Monteverde.

Sky WalkMonteverde

Get up high to see the tree tops of Monteverde’s Cloud Forest from a bird’s eye view. Cross a series of suspension bridges to discover the early ropes and pulleys that early biologists required to glimpse – a lush, green vista accented by bromeliads, vines, and orchids. Wonder at this wet canopy, home to thousands of species of birds, small animals, amphibians and insects (making up 90% of all the organisms in the forest).

Serpentarium Visit     15USD per personMonteverde

Frog Pond Visit     14USD per personMonteverde


Accomodation

Hotel Heliconia (or similar)Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6Monteverde/Manuel Antonio

Continue to the stunning Pacific coast. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the area with options to surf, go horseback riding, dolphin watching on a catamaran, or visit other nearby picturesque beaches.

Hotels in Manuel Antonio are not located on the beach, they are scattered along the cliffside road, overlooking the stunning coast line and lush jungle. The beach, National Park, markets, shops and restaurants are easily accessible by frequent public bus (safe and easy to use) or taxi.

Private VehicleMonteverde - Manuel Antonio    6h    267km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.


Optional Activities - Day 6

Whale and Dolphin Watching     65-80USD per person Manuel Antonio

Take to the open seas in search of spotted dolphins and migrating humpback whales. Costa Rica’s warm waters create ideal conditions to grow plankton – the primary food source for these delightful creatures. Keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles and manta rays as well. Navigate small islands, past jagged cliffs and big boulders, the nesting grounds of marine birds such as pelicans, ibises, and boobies.

Surfing     55-75USD per person Manuel Antonio National Park    1h-5h

Slather on the sunscreen, strap on a leash, pull on a rash guard, and get ready to hit the waves. Experience the surf at the beaches near Quepos and Manuel Antonio with their left, right, and well-shaped beach breaks. Take a lesson, learn tips and techniques, then hang ten like a local.

Horseback Riding     69USD per person Manuel Antonio

Throw on some long pants, grab the reins, and hop up on a well-trained horse. Trail ride through the tropical forest and rivers and across the area’s most beautiful landscape. Look for toucans in the trees and admire the ocean views. End your horseback journey with the opportunity to swim under a beautiful waterfalls.


Accomodation

Hotel Villas Lirio (or similar)Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7Manuel Antonio

Take an excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park, famed for its stunning beaches and abundant wildlife. Look for monkeys, sloths, and some 350 species of birds.

The park has fabulous beaches, abundant wildlife, and a great trail system for those who want to spend the day hiking. Look for monkeys, armadillos, coatimundis, sloths, and some 350 species of birds that are present in the park.

Manuel Antonio National Park VisitManuel Antonio    5h

Pack your sunscreen, snack, beach shoes, and prepare for a great day in Costa Rica’s smallest yet no less stunning national park. Manual Antonio offers four white-sand beaches, separated by jagged rock outcrops and tidal pools. Swim, snorkel, surf, and sunbathe. When you’re all beached out, head to the shade of the nearby hiking trails to search for sloths, monkeys, and armadillos. Climb to the lookout to capture views of the pristine Pacific Ocean and the area’s off-shore islands.


Optional Activities - Day 7

SailingManuel Antonio National Park

Slap on some sunscreen and hop aboard as we set sail along the rugged Pacific Coast of Manuel Antonio National Park on a catamaran. Bask in the beauty of the white-sand beaches and small islands that accent the shoreline. Keep watch for dolphins, rays, and migrating whales. Hop into the warm water and snorkel with more than 50 species of colourful tropical fish.

Surfing     55-75USD per person Manuel Antonio National Park    1h-5h

Slather on the sunscreen, strap on a leash, pull on a rash guard, and get ready to hit the waves. Experience the surf at the beaches near Quepos and Manuel Antonio with their left, right, and well-shaped beach breaks. Take a lesson, learn tips and techniques, then hang ten like a local.

SnorkellingManuel Antonio

Book a special boat trip or simply rent a mask and fins on Playa Espadilla, just north of the entrance to Manuel Antonio’s national park. Explore the reefs and volcanic rock formations in the warm salt water. Float amongst schools of tropical fish. Look for crabs and clams. Don’t forget your sunscreen or, better yet, wear a t-shirt so you don’t burn your back!

Kayaking     69USD per person Manuel Antonio National Park

Choose to kayak the calm waters of the mangroves or paddle the waves of the Pacific. In the Damas Island estuary, the ocean meets fresh water rivers and creates a protected home for birds, snakes, crocodiles, and white face monkeys. For the more adventurous, opt for an open-seat ocean kayak and paddle along the shoreline and nearby islands, keeping an eye out for frigates, boobies, and jumping fish.


Accomodation

Hotel Villas Lirio (or similar)Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8Manuel Antonio/San José

Return to San José and enjoy an optional farewell dinner on the town.

Private VehicleManuel Antonio - San José    5h    190km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accomodation

Radisson San Jose (or similar)Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9San José

Depart at any time.

Departure Day

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

Meals included: Breakfast

Natural Highlights of Costa Rica map
Places visited
  • Costa Rica

On Sale

Natural Highlights of Costa Rica
9 Days / San José to San José

From

USD 1,444.15
was 1849.00
Trip Code: CRNNG

What's Included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Tortilla Making and Home Dinner, La Fortuna
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Monteverde Institute Lecture, Monteverde
  • G Adventures for Good: Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour, Sarapiquí
  • 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, 1 lunch, 1 dinner.
Allow USD355-465 for meals not included.

Transportation

Private vehicle, walking.

Staff & experts

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

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

Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle - From €120.00

CANYONEERING (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 Tour - From €69.00

Cruise along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica aboard a 100ft catamaran, taking in the impressive scenery and lush jungle that has made Manuel Antonio famous. Keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins who call these waters home before stopping to snorkel, swim, or ride one of the boat's water slides into the ocean. If you're wanting to relax and experience what the locals call Pura Vida (pure life), then look no further.

My Own Room - From €739.00

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.

On Sale

Natural Highlights of Costa Rica
9 Days / San José to San José

From

USD 1,444.15
was 1849.00
Trip Code: CRNNG
Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2017 and onwards Last Updated: August 3, 2018
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Introduction

Home to volcanoes, lush rainforests, beaches, and unique wildlife, Costa Rica is a celebrated pioneer in protecting natural heritage. Forge your own path through this gorgeous country over nine days of outstanding adventure. Trek across the foot of a volcano to photograph electric blue butterflies, visit a coffee co-op, and search for monkeys while hiking park trails. Get in touch with nature’s best in Costa Rica.

  • Devour a delicious lunch at a G Adventures-supported coffee co-op
  • Learn how to make tortillas in a local home
  • Listen to a lecture from a Monteverde Institute researcher
  • Hike the trails of cloud forest reserves and breathtaking parks
  • Search for wildlife while exploring the Pacific coast

Duration: 9 days

Start/Finish City: San José to San José

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

Physical Grading: 2 - Light
Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

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

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

What's Included

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Tortilla Making and Home Dinner, La Fortuna.
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Monteverde Institute Lecture, Monteverde.
G Adventures for Good: Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour, Sarapiquí. 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.

Highlights

Devour a delicious lunch at a G Adventures-supported coffee co-op, learn how to make tortillas in a local home, listen to a lecture from a Monteverde Institute researcher, hike the trails of cloud forest reserves and breathtaking parks, search for wildlife while exploring the Pacific coast.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. PROOF OF DEPARTURE
Costa Rica will not be allowing anyone to enter the country without proof of a departure ticket (bus, airplane, boat, etc.). If you are travelling through a few countries in Central America, you will need to show proof of your itinerary and a departure ticket from your last destination. Please print the itinerary and voucher and bring it with you.

2. WEATHER
Be prepared for rain and lower temperatures during the winter season (June-November), especially in Costa Rica's central valley.

3. EXTRAS
Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Extras! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, Extras are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Theme Packs must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales CEO.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, Avg 12.

Transport

Private vehicle, walking.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (8 nts).

About Accommodation

Hotels vary greatly throughout Central America and even within Costa Rica depending on the location. We do our best to pick comfortable accommodations, but in popular locations options can be limited and we often use various different hotel depending on seasonality. It also is important to remember that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common, even in upgraded hotels. We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

Please also note that La Fortuna and Monteverde have fairly small centres with shopping and some great restaurants, but most of the upgraded accommodations in these areas are located outside of the main town/city centre - to take better advantage of the natural beauty of these areas. Taxis are readily available in both areas.


My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops.

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.

Our driver will be waiting for you with a National Geographic Journeys sign with your name on it, and they will be waiting for you outside the luggage hall. There most likely will be many signs, so please check carefully for your name.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned.

Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival transfer or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica
During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 2224 5560
After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

Checklist

Costa Rica Water Activities:

  • Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
  • Sport Sandals or Water Shoes (if you plan to do waterfall rappelling and/or rafting)

Documents:

  • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
  • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
  • Passport (required) (With photocopies)
  • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
  • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:

  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
  • Cash, credit and debit cards
  • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
  • Ear plugs
  • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
  • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
  • Fleece top/sweater
  • Footwear
  • Hat
  • Locks for bags
  • Long pants/jeans
  • Moneybelt
  • Outlet adapter
  • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Shirts/t-shirts
  • Sleepwear
  • Small travel towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
  • Watch and alarm clock
  • Waterproof backpack cover
  • Windproof rain jacket

Smart Dress:

  • Smart outfit (For evenings out)

Warm Weather:

  • Sandals/flip-flops
  • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
  • Sun hat/bandana
  • Swimwear

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

As of November 1st, 2007, the Costa Rica government, requires those entering Costa Rica from certain countries in South America and Sub-Sahara Africa, to have an International Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever. Those affected countries are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guiana and Venezuela.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards with travellers cheques as backup is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Costa Rica airport exit tax: $29USD.

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Please note that in Costa Rica, a 23% charge is added on to almost every meal (13% tax, 10% tip). Further tipping for wait staff is appropriate in the case of excellent service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

Please see the full itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure.

Petty theft, bag snatching and muggings have been on the rise in San Jose. Though not common, there are certain precautions you should take when visiting the city. Although the cities visited on our tours are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions, as they are the safest and easiest way to avoid any issues one might encounter on the streets after dark. In addition, always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), credit cards and money that you won't be using in the hotel. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes in the room, or a general one at reception, this is always the safest method of storing your valuables. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc
. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organized from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:

www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety

Trip Specific Safety

Like any city where tourism is on the increase, crime also tends to increase and while San José is not a noticeably dangerous city, there are certain precautions you should take. Make sure that you are aware of your things at all times and don't go out carrying expensive gear or jewellery.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra - The G Adventures Foundation

The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.

G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

Dollar-a-Day Program
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Meals Included

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner.

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Minimum Age

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.


International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

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Natural Highlights of Costa Rica
9 Days / San José to San José

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USD 1,444.15
was 1849.00
Trip Code: CRNNG
One World Trips