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13 Day itinerary in Costa Rica, Central America & Caribbean

Coast to Coast Trip, The Highlights of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is translated as “the rich coast”, and this is the main goal of this trip experience: You will get in one trip program the best highlights of Costa Rica. Get ready to explore the jungle of Tortuguero, to visit the golden coast of Puerto Viejo Beach, be prepared to conquer the rapids of th... Read More

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AlbertoKarlaDiego

By Alberto, Karla and Diego

Overview

Physical Difficulty

Average
help_outline

Recommended Age

Everyone

Operated in

English

GUIDANCE

On Some Day Trips

starting point

San José

trip type

Private

trip attributes

Cycling

Kayaking

Hiking

Rafting

Snorkeling/Diving

Skiing/Snowboarding

Outdoors & Nature

Adventure

Start

End

Highlights

1

Tortuguero Safari Boat Tour

2

Caribbean Cooking Class

3

Whitewater Rafting at Pacuare River

4

Combo Tour: Hanging Bridges, Volcano Walk, La Fortuna Waterfall

Itinerary

Mid-Range Accommodation expand_more

Day 1

place Welcome to Costa Rica

Arrival at the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). After customs and enter Costa Rica, a representative will be waiting for you outside the airport. You will have a private transfer to your hotel located in San Jose.

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Park Inn by Radisson San Jose, Costa Rica
Day 2

place Traveling to the North Caribbean Coast

You will begin your travels plundering deeper into nature as you transfer from San Jose to Tortuguero National Park via a shuttle that takes you past many banana plantations and through colorful, Caribbean villages. At La Pavona Dock, you will load your things onto a specially designed riverboat that will take you to your hotel in Tortuguero. Lunch will be waiting for you at the hotel. The afternoon will be jam-packed with exciting facts and history about the town of Tortuguero as you explore it with the company of your guide. Enjoy a delicious dinner at the restaurant of hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Pachira Lodge
Day 3

place Discovering the Tortuguero National Park

Sometimes referred to as “The Amazon of Costa Rica”, Tortuguero is home to an extensive assortment of wildlife and plants hidden deep within the jungle. Your guide will bring you on a boat tour that will slowly propel you through winding canals and deep into lagoons where he will spot different animals that are nearly invisible in camouflage among the trees and vines. With the possibility of monkeys jumping from tree to tree overhead, this tour is sure to make you feel 100% part of the jungle. NOTE: The entrance fee to Tortuguero National Park is not included ($15 USD per person). Moving from water to land, your guide will then take you on a walk through the jungle to get a closer view of the surrounding flora and fauna. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore or relax with a cocktail by the pool. Lunch and dinner will be included.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Pachira Lodge
Day 4

place Puerto Viejo Beach

Exiting by boat the same way you entered, you will be leaving Tortuguero to travel by land to the Caribbean Coast of Puerto Viejo Beach. On the way, you will enjoy a delicious typical lunch in a local restaurant. Puerto Viejo Beach is located in the South Caribbean, it is a perfect destination for beach lover and travelers that want to know about culture and traditions. Puerto Viejo was a small fishing village, that has become a popular destination offering a wide variety of restaurants and bars for vivid nightlife.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Azania Bungalows
Day 5

place Caribbean Cooking Lesson

In the morning, let the tropical ocean breezes guide you as you decide how to spend your free day. Enjoy the golden sand beaches while the sound of the waves hitting the beach soothes you, do an optional tour such as snorkeling, or simply just relax and enjoy the multicultural vibes of Puerto Viejo. Late afternoon, as mouthwatering aromas fill the air, you will learn how to cook like a Costa Rican during your cooking lessons with a highly experienced local chef. Of course, you will get to taste your masterpiece at the end (dinner included).

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Azania Bungalows
Day 6

place Whitewater Rafting at Pacuare River

Unleash your adventurous side today and prepare yourself for a day filled with exhilaration because you will be whitewater rafting down one of the top ten rivers in the world, the Pacuare River. This tour includes a delicious lunch. After the tour, when your adrenaline is starting to dissipate, you will be transferred to the Arenal Volcano area.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Los Lagos Hotel, Spa & Resort
Day 7

place Combo Tour

Get your walking shoes on and your cameras ready because today you will experience the many different hues of vivid greens as you explore the rainforest for the very first time, both from the ground and from the treetops, as you will be crossing over the jungle via hanging bridges. The pristine forest only grows in beauty and awe as you continue your trek toward the looming La Fortuna Waterfall, where you can feel one with nature as you swim in its waters. Let’s make a break to enjoy a delicious typical lunch. After you are refreshed and refueled, the adventure will conclude with a leisurely nature walk through the Arenal Volcano National Park.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Los Lagos Hotel, Spa & Resort
Day 8

place Van-Boat-Van Transfer

Let’s go to your next destination, Monteverde Cloud Forest. Van-Boat-Van transfers from Arenal Volcano to Monteverde, crossing the Arenal Lake by boat. In the afternoon, the Trapiche Cultural Tours is waiting for you! You will learn more about the production of coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane candy. During the tour, you will walk around a real Costa Rican farm. You will even have the opportunity to make your candy!

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Monteverde Country Lodge
Day 9

place Monteverde Cloud Forest Hike and Canopy Tour

Fuel up on breakfast because today is full of energy-demanding adventure! As the mist from the clouds gently sprinkle on your face and a plethora of plants grow up around you, today you will enjoy the serenity and beauty of the cloud forest as you hike throughout it discovering and learning about the many different species of life that call this forest home. In the afternoon, experience life as a bird while “flying” above the canopy of trees through the Cloud Forest on this zip line tour. Enjoy the breeze through your hair and the birds eye view of this forest while taking part in one of Costa Rica’s most top-rated activity.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Monteverde Country Lodge
Day 10

place Transfer to Manuel Antonio with Crocodile Safari Boat

Today you will travel toward the Central Pacific side of Costa Rica to appreciate the purity of the white sand beaches of Manuel Antonio. The transfer will be split up along the way as you stop at the Rio Grande De Tárcoles to enjoy a crocodile safari boat tour with the reptiles who have inhabited this river for millions of years. Don’t forget your camera, as these creatures are sure to make an appearance and welcome you to their home. Enjoy a delicious lunch after this tour.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Hotel Playa Espadilla
Day 11

place Manuel Antonio National Park

Reinvent the meaning of the word “paradise” as you walk through the Manuel Antonio National Park with a local nature guide. Feel the crystal clear waves of the ocean rolling over your feet onto the glowing white sand beaches, hear the rainforest come to life with the sound of animals talking among one another, and see the natural beauty of flora and fauna uncovering itself as you walk underneath the canopy of trees.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Hotel Playa Espadilla
Day 12

place San Jose

This morning is at your own pace, enjoy the last morning at this natural paradise. Afternoon, take a shuttle transfer back to San Jose where you will enjoy the last night in Costa Rica, eat at a local restaurant, or just relax at your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Park Inn by Radisson San Jose, Costa Rica
Day 13

place Travel Back Home

It is not a “goodbye” but a “see you again” as you take your private transfer to Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) to travel back home and reunite with family and friends.

Meals: Breakfast

What’s Included

Accommodation expand_less

  • Park Inn by Radisson San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Pachira Lodge
  • Azania Bungalows
  • Los Lagos Hotel, Spa & Resort
  • Monteverde Country Lodge
  • Hotel Playa Espadilla

Meals expand_less

  • Breakfast (12)
  • Lunch (6)
  • Dinner (2)

Transport expand_less

  • San Jose Airport Pick up
  • Shuttle Share Transfers Between Destinations
  • Minivan-Boat-Minivan Transfer from Arenal to Monteverde, Lake Crossing
  • San Jose Airport Drop off

Activities expand_less

  • Tortuguero Village
  • Safari Boat Tour
  • Tortuguero Guided Walking Tour
  • Caribbean Cooking Class
  • Whitewater Rafting at Pacuare River
  • Combo Tour: Hanging Bridges, Volcano Walk, La Fortuna Waterfall
  • The Trapiche Tour
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Guided Walking Tour
  • Canopy Tour
  • Adventure Connection: Monteverde to Manuel Antonio Beach with Crocodile Safari Boat
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Walk

Not Included expand_less

  • International Flights
  • Meals not specified as included
  • Entrance Fee to Tortuguero National Park
  • Transportation to the cooking lesson in Puerto Viejo
  • Optional Tours
  • Departure Tax
  • Tips for Guides and Drivers

About Alberto

TEAM LEAD

+2 Local experts

verified Baboo Certified

star_outline 4.96 (14 reviews)

Expertise: 

Cycling

Kayaking

Hiking

Rafting

Snorkeling/Diving

Visit markets

Meet local people

Rural home stays

Indigenous culture

Wellness retreat

Outdoors & Nature

Food & Drink

I have been planning trips to Costa Rica for 15 years now. I like to do hikes, adventure and cultural programs let me help you with your next holiday here in Costa Rica.

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