• Lake of the Poas, Costa Rica,

    Introducing Coast-to-Coast Travel in Costa Rica

    <h2>Atlantic to pacific, the diversity is off the charts.</h2>   <p>The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costarica/" target="_blank">soundtrack of a day in Costa Rica</a> is a crazy mash-up. The macaws caw in a different key than the howler monkeys that are totally out of tempo with the tree frogs. But somehow, all of the twitters, raspy roars, buzzes, hoots, whirrs, howls, soprano trills and chuffs work just fine together until — as if somebody flipped a switch — they fade in unison at dusk.</p> <p>That’s the sound of biodiversity, and there’s more of it in this West Virginia-sized country than anywhere else on earth. That’s what makes <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/" target="_blank">coast-to-coast travel in Costa Rica</a> so amazing. After all, this is a nation where a “transcontinental” flight takes about an hour. It’s a land with Afro-Caribbean culture and cowboys. Don’t even try to count the keeled-bill toucans, orchids and river otters or the surprisingly different habitats where they live.<br><br><img alt="Toucan" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lV&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rBm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/" target="_blank">Coast-to-coast is how we took in Costa Rica’s diversity on our latest trip,</a> and now we’ve transformed our gee-whiz week into the newest Classic Journey. We start on the Caribbean side at Tortuguero National Park, a coastal landscape laced with freshwater creeks and lagoons. On a single kayak ride, you could spot white-faced Capuchin monkeys, caimans, tiger herons and … well, you get the idea. The local beach is one of the world’s most important nesting sites for sea turtles. In season, you may see the hatchlings emerging from the sand and making a break for the waves. In an isolated village (no cars, no streets), we hang out with the locals, visit their school and learn about their Afro-Caribbean heritage.</p> <p>Even a quick morning flight comes with a built-in geography lesson like no other. From the window, you get an egret’s-eye view of the rainforest and a trio of volcanoes … and you appreciate in a way no textbook ever taught you just how skinny Central America is. By early afternoon, you’re in a raft on the Tenorio River near the continental divide, ready to take on Class III/IV rapids or taking a walk to Llanos de Cortez waterfall. By dinner, you’re <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/" target="_blank">in a Pacific-view room at a resort in Guanacaste National Park</a>, on one of the country’s most pristine beaches.<br><br><img alt="Whitewater rafting" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lV&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rBr" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>Up there in Costa Rica’s northwest corner, the climate’s a little dryer, and ranches stretch toward the Nicaraguan border. In season, we check out the cowboy and rodeo festival. In these parts, we go for a<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/" target="_blank"> guided walk near the volcano in Rincon de la Vieja National Park</a>. The forest is ideal for a quintessentially Costa Rican zipline ride through the treetops. And this is habitat for a full cast of monkey species, sloths, tapirs, collared peccaries and even jaguars and pumas. Just in case you haven’t already racked up enough unique experiences, we’ll also head out for a catamaran-based snorkeling trip or, alternatively, you can go for a surfing lesson on Pacific waves.</p> <p>Sound like fun? Here’s a bit of news that will make you even happier. Every activity on the trip is included in the price you pay upfront; you won’t run into a single surcharge or equipment rental fee the way you do on cruises or some other tours. We’re also offering the trip two ways: as a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/" target="_blank">Luxury Eco-Adventure</a> and as a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoastfamily/" target="_blank">Multisport Family Journey</a>. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/coasttocoast/" target="_blank">Coast to coast, Costa Rica has more than enough variety</a> to spice up your life like no vacation ever has!</p>

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  • Sloth in Costa Rica

    Why Our Costa Rica Itineraries Just Made an Evolutionary Leap

    <p>My first scouting <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costarica-walking-tours/" target="_blank" title="Costa Rica Adventure Tours">trip to Costa Rica</a> about 20 years ago wasn’t what you would call an unqualified success. Among other things, I ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere on the road to Monteverde Cloud Forest. Fortunately, a farmer had a few gallons to spare – and the native ingenuity to turn a banana leaf into a funnel so he could get the fuel into my tank.</p> <p>Misadventures aside, I fell in love with Costa Rica, and ultimately our guests did too. For most of the last two decades it has been a top selling destination for Classic Journeys. Because of its proximity to the U.S. and a climate that’s mild all year, the country makes for an easy getaway in just about any season. Families really love all of the activities it offers. And the people of Costa Rica just do a better and better job of preserving their amazing eco-system and enhancing their tourism infrastructure.</p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costarica-walking-tours/" target="_blank" title="Costa Rica adventure tours">LEARN MORE ABOUT ADVENTURE TRAVEL TO COSTA RICA </a></h3> <p>So why did we decide near the end of 2014 to rethink our itinerary – when we could have just as easily left well enough alone? Our philosophy at Classic Journeys has always been that we want our trips to be exactly the kind of trips we’d like to take ourselves. And my family and I had one very special (and slightly different) experience that last time we went to Costa Rica. We’d been even busier than usual at home. So we decided to streamline things a bit and go to just two of our favorite parts of the country, rather than three as we had in the past. We spent a few days at a resort near the foot of Arenal Volcano – walks on hardened lava flows, hot springs, ziplining and forest canopy walks. And then we went straight to Manuel Antonio Park – Howler monkeys, amazing Pacific beaches, river-rafting and kayaking.<br><br><img alt="Arenal Volcano" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pQG" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>In the middle of the week, we had one of those “aha” moments. “Wait,” my wife and I marveled to each other, “we can do Costa Rica, but only re-pack and unpack once!” With a single transfer between two great boutique resorts, we also spent less time in transit from place to place. On top of that, we scheduled a slightly earlier flight back home on our last day. Some guests had told us that they’d rather end soon enough on the last day to fly right out, rather than spending an extra night in San Jose. The fact is, we still had a great final day…AND made it to the airport with time to spare.</p> <p>Back at home, we experimented by turning our own experience into a revised itinerary to test how it would work. We brainstormed with our local guides and hoteliers, and everybody agreed that a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costarica-walking-tours/" target="_blank" title="Costa Rica adventure tours">6-day, 5-night trip </a>would work beautifully. By simplifying the in-country logistics a bit, we were actually able to reduce our costs – savings that we pass along to guests. And we can continue to offer all included activities at no extra cost. So, unlike other companies, the options we offer such as ziplining and whitewater rafting don’t up the price of the trip. The whole trip fits very comfortably into a week, though if you’re looking for a longer vacation, you can also pair it up with the Galápagos or add an extension to Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica.</p> <p>Just like that, the new itineraries for both our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costarica/" target="_blank" title="Costa Rica vacation packge">luxury eco-adventure</a> and our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costaricafamily/" target="_blank" title="Costa Rica family journey">Family Journey </a>came together. They take effect with departures in March. We’ll keep on asking every guest what they think of our Costa Rica trip, and we’ll factor their comments in just like always. We’re also thinking that we should just go back ourselves again as soon as humanly possible to enjoy the trip again. Field research that includes counting butterflies and kayaking in a mangrove lagoon is really tough work, but we’re happy to make that sacrifice for you!</p> <p>Read more about Costa Rica:</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/the-true-account-of-how-classic-journeys-does-a-costa-rica-family-vacation/" target="_blank" title="The true account of how Classic Journeys does a Costa Rica Family Vacation">First-hand account of a family’s Classic Journey to Costa Rica</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/guides-favorite-moments-costa-rica-morocco-croatia/" target="_blank" title="Guides Favorite Moments: Costa Rica, Morocco, Croatia">Guides Favorite Moments</a></p> <br> 

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  • Water view of boats and mountains in Vietnam

    The Most BEAUTIFUL Places on Earth

    <h2>From natural wonders and jaw-dropping vistas to man-made masterpieces, our planet abounds with beautiful travel destinations. Here are a few of our favorites.</h2>   <p><i><b>HALONG BAY, VIETNAM</b></i></p> <p>For the ultimate in serenity, you can’t beat a morning on Halong Bay. Distant sounds of fishing boats gently pull you awake in the well-appointed cabin of a tradi¬tional junk. On deck, you watch the lazy choreography of fishing boats parting the emerald green water against a backdrop of dramatic limestone spires. The sun climbs. The junk creaks gently. Your mug of coffee steams. And it is absolute¬ly amazing to witness this world coming to life. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/vietnam/" target="_blank" title="Vietnam vacation packages">classicjourneys.com/vietnam</a></p> <p><img alt="Halong Bay" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pQf" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><i><b>THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN</b></i></p> <p>This tiny South Asian nation is the only country in the world to officially measure its development in Gross National Happiness. It’s easy to see why Bhutan’s citizens are among the happiest on Earth, living in the Himalayan highlands in a land carved by clear, swift-flowing mountain streams and dotted with Buddhist temples. Visit the Tiger’s Nest monastery, perched on a cliff high above a verdant valley, and you’ll be smiling in awe, too. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bhutan/" target="_blank" title="Bhutan travel packages">classicjourneys.com/bhutan</a></p> <p><img alt="Tigers Nest monastery" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pQk" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><i><b>COSTA RICA’S MANUEL ANTONIO PARK</b></i></p> <p>Every single reason you love about Costa Rica is distilled into a single view in Manuel Antonio Park, arguably the most diverse park on the planet. Your resort is more like a fantastic tree house than an earthbound hotel. Monkeys and a symphony of birds serenade breakfast. Down below, you can see the endless ranks of Pacific waves curving up the crescent beach. And if you think it’s paradise by day, just wait until the flair of a tropical sunset. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costarica/" target="_blank" title="Costa Rica vacations">classicjourneys.com/costarica</a><br><br><img alt="Costa Rica beach" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pQu" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank" title="ClassicJourneys.com">FEELING INSPIRED? CLASSIC JOURNEYS VISITS THESE AND MANY MORE OF THE WORLD’S MOST UNIQUE AND BEAUTIFUL  TRAVEL DESTINATIONS DURING OUR 5- TO 12-DAY CULTURAL WALKING ADVENTURES AND FAMILY JOURNEYS.</a></p> <p><i><b>THE SCULPTED SANDSTONE OF ZION NATIONAL PARK</b></i></p> <p>If wind and water are nature’s most inventive sculptors, then Zion Na¬tional Park is a gallery of their wild¬est works. Look up from the bottom of a narrow slot canyon no wider than your arm span. Scratch your head over how the soaring hoodoos and delicate arches are even possible. Oh, and just watch how the color of the sandstone morphs through a thousand tints of red and orange. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyon/" target="_blank" title="Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon walking tour">classicjourneys.com/grandcanyon</a></p> <p><img alt="Zion National Park" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pQz" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><i><b>CRETE AND SANTORINI, GREECE</b></i></p> <p>Sapphire. Turquoise. Lapis lazuli. Ultramarine. Azure. You quickly use up your whole list of adjectives for blue in the Greek isles. And there simply isn’t an ade-quate word for how a whiter-than-snow village looks, teetering on the edge of a volcanic caldera against an endless, cloudless sky. You have to wonder how the local olive pickers and bakers can stop gaping long enough to go about everyday life. Prepare to learn what it means to be dazzled to your very core. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/greece/" target="_blank" title="Greece adventure tours">classicjourneys.com/greece</a></p> <p><img alt="Santorini Greece" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pR4" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><i><b>EXIT GLACIER ON ALASKA’S KENAI PENINSULA</b></i></p> <p>Just a few miles outside of Seward, landlocked Exit Glacier both overwhelms and inspires visitors with its awesome size and beauty. An easy trail leads to the face of this slow moving sea of ice, where you can walk along the 3-mile-long and observe its fractured face as torrents of melted ice crackle and stream 2,500 feet down out of the Harding Ice field. Continue up glacier-scoured rock from the moraine to a beautiful vista of the glacier, waterfall and ice fields. It’s a quintessential Alaskan view. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank" title="Alaska&#39;s Kenai Peninsula adventure">classicjourneys.com/alaska</a></p> <p><img alt="Exit Glacier" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pRE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><i><b>MOROCCO’S MIDDLE ATLAS MOUNTAINS</b></i></p> <p>Many people think of the Saharan Desert when they think of Morocco, but this diverse landscape is much more than sand and sky. Drive an hour or two outside of Fès, for instance, and suddenly you’re immersed in fragrant cedar forests that line the foothills of the Atlas Mountain. Venture future into the High Atlas and the scenery shifts to tall peaks, deep gorges, and pre-Saharan hills and sand dunes scattered with medieval Kasbahs and clay villages. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank" title="Morocco travel">classicjourneys.com/morocco</a></p> <p><img alt="Moroccan mountains" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pRJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><i><b>TUSCANY’S CINQUE TERRE</b></i></p> <p>This string of five picturesque villages, perched on rocky cliffs along the Ligurian Sea, was once only reachable by an ancient footpath that connects the village. Perhaps that’s why they are so perfectly preserved. A coastal train and a ferry run the route now, but walking the path is still the best way to appreciate this timeless experience. Begin in Rio Maggiore, the southernmost of the five coastal villages, and follow the Via dell’Amore walking trail through olive groves along cliffs overlooking the sea to the five sister villages of Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank" title="Tuscany &amp; Cinque Terre walking tour">classicjourneys.com/tuscany</a></p> <p><img alt="Cinque Terre" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pRO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><i><b>ICELAND’S SNAEFELLSNES PENINSULA</b></i></p> <p>The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is sometimes called “Iceland in miniature” because it contains so many of the country’s finest sights. Lording over it all is the glacier-capped volcano that Jules Verne used as the setting for “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” Take in views of the mammoth glacier with its deep crevasses and startlingly blue estuary and you’ll see why Verne was so inspired. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland/" target="_blank" title="Iceland tours">classicjourneys.com/iceland</a></p> <p><img alt="Snaefellsnes Peninsula" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pRT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><i><b>INDIA’S TAJ MAHAL AT SUNSET</b></i></p> <p>Of all the man-made wonders of the world, none inspire as much admiration as the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute and tomb for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, construction began in 1632 and lasted decades uses fine materials imported from all corners of the country. The site is impressive anytime, but visit during sunset, when the sun’s rays paint the brilliant white marble façade in soft tones of ochre and pink, and savor a fleeting moment you won’t soon forget. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank" title="Tour India">classicjourneys.com/india</a><br><br><img alt="Taj Mahal" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002pRY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><br>Visit <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank" title="ClassicJourneys.com">ClassicJourneys.com</a> or call 800-200-3887 for more information.</p> <p> </p> <br> 

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