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This classic Costa Rica trip takes you on an adventure amid waterfalls, hot springs and verdant forests in Arenal. Explore volcanic peaks and the lush countryside on hikes and treks in the San Jose Valley. Wind down by the Pacific Ocean in pristine Manuel Antonio as you while away time kayaking, snorkeling and sunbathing in solitude.

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Itinerary Summary

DayPlaceHighlightsHotel Options
1 - 2San José and Central ValleySpanish Colonial History, Museums and Contemporary Art, Saturday Markets, Vibrant NightlifeXandari Resort & Spa, Finca Rosa Blanca
2 - 5ArenalArenal Volcano National Park, Volcanic Peaks, Caves and Hot Springs, Hiking, Sky Trekking, Canopy Walks and KayakingArenal Kioro, Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort
5 - 8Manuel AntonioManuel Antonio National Park, White Sandy Beaches, WildlifePlaza Yara, Parador Resort & Spa
8 - 9San José and Central ValleySpanish Colonial History, Museums and Contemporary Art, Saturday Markets, Vibrant NightlifeXandari Resort & Spa, Finca Rosa Blanca

Ideal For

  • Adventure
  • Beaches
  • Landscape
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Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 2

International Arrival

Transfer to your Hotel

San José and Central Valley

1 Night

Cushioned in the valley between the Central American mountain ranges and volcanic peaks, the Costa Rican capital is surrounded by lush green landscapes.

Hotel Options
RoomPrima Villa
MealsBreakfast
StyleResort
RoomJunior Suite
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
Day 2 - 5

Drive from San José to Arenal (130 km, 3 hrs)

Arenal

3 Nights

The beautiful region of Arenal serves as the perfect base for exploring Costa Rica’s highland country of volcanic peaks, ancient caves, hot water springs and national parks. The drive up towards the Arenal Volcano National Park is spectacular.

Included Activities

Rainforest Canopy Hike at Arenal
Experience a fascinating tour of the rainforest with a walk over the treetops along Arenal’s famed hanging bridges. After an early breakfast in your hotel, take a comfortable half hour ride to the hanging bridges in the company of the guide. Enjoy a leisurely hike along the two mile-long trail of bridges that crisscross the dense forests spread out below. If you’re lucky, you could spot howler monkeys, spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, flocks of colorful birds, butterflies, armadillos, and a host of other wildlife on your jungle canopy walk! (Half Day Trip; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 2 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable boots, insect repellent and sunscreen).

Volcano Hiking, Hot Springs and Dinner at Arenal
If you’re fascinated by volcanic landscapes, this day trip may be your opportunity to watch an active volcano from a perfectly safe vantage point. After lunch at your hotel, drive over to the northwestern end of the Arenal volcano, which is less than a half-hour drive away. Get off ahead of the Las Coladas Trail and enjoy a leisurely hike through tropical rainforests and an old lava flow formed nearly three decades ago. Note the interesting lava formations along the trail, while your guide relates the region’s natural history. Watch out for local plants and wildlife too. If you’re lucky, you may come across a variety of primates, sloth bears, and birds, including toucans and hawks on your hike. The walking trail ends at an observation area that offers spectacular views of the volcano. Weather permitting, one can spot the fiery lava trickling down the mountainside. After the day’s hike, make your way to the Ecotermales Hot Springs. You could take a dip into the heated mineral waters of the spring to rejuvenate yourself. Explore the lush tropical gardens here, dotted with natural waterfalls and heated pools. Relish a delicious dinner before heading back to your hotel. (Full Day; Time of Day: Afternoon; Duration: 6 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Dinner; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable boots, insect repellent and sunscreen; Note: A bilingual guide will accompany you).

Arenal Oasis Frogs in the Dark
Discover exotic wild frogs and other nocturnal animals on this nighttime tour hosted by Arenal Oasis in its private frog sanctuary, home to as many as 28 wild varieties. Begin your tour with a briefing by an experienced local naturalist who will guide you through hidden rainforest trails. Learn how the dense undergrowth, as well as natural spring-fed ponds, make the ideal habitat for frogs. Listen to their croaking and get ready to spot the red-eyed leaf frog with its spectacular vertical pupils. Watch out for other nighttime creatures like snakes and lizards as well as insects expert at camouflaging. Walk to the frog ponds to catch glimpses of frogs going about their feeding and mating routine after which it is time to head back to the lodge to unwind over a drink. (Half Day; Private Activity; Time: 1745 hrs; Guide services, flashlights, entrance fee, transportation and drink included; Please note guests are requested to bring their camera and wear long pants, a waterproof coat & hiking or closed shoes).

A day at the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
Explore the ecological treasure trove of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge on this exciting day trip. This vast wetland region is lush with precious plant and animal life, forming a particularly rich biodiverse zone of Central America. After an early breakfast at your hotel, drive up to the charming little village of Los Chiles with your local guide. Admire the changing landscape during this approximately 1.75 hours’ drive towards the Nicaraguan border. Refresh yourself with some light snacks before setting off into the wetlands on a boat safari. Home to hundreds of species of birds, the Caño Negro is a paradise for bird lovers from around the world. Other native wildlife include the emerald basilisk, iguanas, river turtles, caimans and jaguars. As you drift along, look out for sloth bears, various primates, bats, colorful lizards, and a variety of interesting trees and flowers native to these wild wetlands. At the end of your boat safari, stop by a riverside restaurant for a delicious Costa Rican lunch. Drive back to Arenal after lunch. (Full Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 9 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Snacks & Lunch; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please bring comfortable clothes & shoes, insect repellent & sunscreen; don’t forget your camera; Note: Water & a bilingual guide are available for you).

Hotel Options
Arenal Kioro – Opt 1
RoomSuite
MealsBreakfast
StyleResort
RoomOrchid Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleResort
Day 5 - 8

Drive from Arenal to Manuel Antonio with your Guide (230 km, 5.5 hrs)

Manuel Antonio

3 Nights

The little seaside village of Manuel Antonio serves as the entry to the lush tropical rainforests of the Manuel Antonio National Park.

Included Activities

Walking Safari at the Manuel Antonio National Park
Discover the natural history of the lush rainforests at the Manuel Antonio National Park on this trip. After breakfast at your hotel, take a half hour drive to the national park with your local guide. Take a leisurely hike through one of the most popular walking trails at the park. Absorb interesting information about the rainforest that your guide shares as you walk along. Take in your gorgeous surroundings, stopping to take advantage of numerous photo ops along the way. Watch out for the various tropical primates endemic to the park. About halfway into your trip, take a half hour break by the Third Beach. Refresh yourself with a snack by the seaside, take a dip in the sea, or just admire the seascape before getting back to the trail. Look out for exotic birds and butterflies, various orchids and tropical plants, as well as sloth bears. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 3.5 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please bring comfortable hiking shoes, sunscreen & sunglasses; don’t forget your camera; Note: Park closed on Mondays; Telescopes, water & a bilingual guide are available for you).

Kayaking and Snorkeling by Biesanz Bay
Enjoy a snorkeling and kayaking trip along the beautiful coastline of Biesanz Bay. Take a half hour drive down to Quepos pier with your local guide. Set off in your kayaks for the lovely inlet of Biesanz Bay, drifting past tiny islands and flocks of water birds roosting by the waterside. Make a half hour pit stop at Biesanz Bay, stretching your legs and catching refreshments. Go snorkeling and explore the rich marine life by the bay. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot parrotfish, starfish, angelfish, and even elusive sea turtles! Paddle back to Quepos pier, watching out for flocks of pelicans, flying fish, and other exotic sea creatures on your way. Leaving your kayak behind, relish a delicious homemade lunch over conversations with your local hosts. (Half Day; Time of Day: Afternoon; Duration: 4 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Beverages & Lunch or Dinner; Fitness Level: Hard; Please bring sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat & beach towel; don’t forget your camera; Note: a bilingual guide will be provided for you).

Hotel Options
Plaza Yara – Opt 1
RoomSuite
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
RoomPremium Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleResort
Day 8 - 9

Drive from Manuel Antonio to San José (170 km, 3 hrs)

San José and Central Valley

1 Night

Cushioned in the valley between the Central American mountain ranges and volcanic peaks, the Costa Rican capital is surrounded by lush green landscapes.

Hotel Options
RoomPrima Villa
MealsBreakfast
StyleResort
RoomJunior Suite
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique

Transfer to the Airport

International Departure

 Price & Inclusions

  • Option 1 From $ 4,090 /person
  • Option 2 From $ 4,490 /person

Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in one double room for 9 days / 8 nights.
  • Meals as indicated
  • All activities as listed :
    • Arenal: Rainforest Canopy hike at Arenal
    • Arenal: Volcano Hiking, Hot Springs & Dinner at Arenal
    • Arenal: Arenal Oasis Frogs in the Dark
    • Arenal: A day at the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
    • Manuel Antonio: Walking Safari at the Manuel Antonio National Park
    • Manuel Antonio: Kayaking and Snorkeling by Biesanz Bay
  • An air-conditioned vehicle with chauffeur for the activities specified in the itinerary
  • If your itinerary includes self-drive travel then all such travel comes with CDW insurance for an unlimited number of kilometers. For further details about the type of car please speak to your Travel Consultant.
  • All activities specified in the itinerary, including entrance fees, accompanied by your tour guide
  • All airport and hotel transfers as indicated above
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
  • On request: A printed set of your travel documents by post
  • Fees and taxes

Not Included

  • Tips, additional meals and personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Travel, health and cancellation insurance
  • International airfare (from your home country to your destination and return)
Inquire Now
Classic Costa Rica: Arenal and Manuel Antonio

9 days $ 4,090 / person

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