You expect paradise to be beautiful. But who knew it was so much fun? Costa Rica blends adventure and nature like nowhere else. A quarter of the country is protected paradise for everything from anteaters to orchids. The best part is how easy and exciting it is. You don’t just look at the cloud forest canopy. You stroll through it on suspended bridges or glide through on a zipline. You can high-five a monkey from a kayak or slalom down a colorful tropical jungle river by raft. And you’ll explore with expert naturalists who make sure you spot the best fauna and flora. You’ll meet the native ticos, too, and learn about local life. The trip features stays at the foot of Arenal Volcano and in Manuel Antonio Park, and all activities are included at no extra cost. Because Costa Rica is temperate and close to the U.S., you can join us in almost any season—and it’s a great spur-of-the-moment getaway.
DAYS 1-2 - SAN JOSÉ / ARENAL
After meeting in San José our Costa Rica travel adventure heads straight for the rainforest with a walk that weaves beside and behind five waterfalls. You’ll also step into a cloud of thousands of butterflies and come nose-to-beak with 26 species of hummingbirds.
At the foot of Arenal Volcano (2 nights), our inn is the perfect spot to start a walks through the frozen lava flow on the lower slopes. We’ll head right up to the teeming canopy of the forest where you can choose either a zipline ride or a naturalist-guided walk on hanging bridges. (There’s no extra cost for either option.) In seasons when class is in session, we visit the kids and teachers at a small local school. Then we hop a boat for a river safari in search of crocodiles, scarlet macaws and kingfishers.
DAYS 3-6 - MANUEL ANTONIO PARK / SAN JOSÉ
Manuel Antonio Park is the crown jewel of Costa Rica parks. Our lodge sits on a forested promontory overlooking a crescent Pacific beach (3 nights). Capuchin and squirrel monkeys provide your wake-up call and keep you company at open-air breakfast. Naturalists take us for walks to spot some of the 109 mammal species and 184 kinds of birds—everything from sloths and coatis to toucans. We set aside a beach afternoon for snorkeling, boogie boarding, or sunning. On our final full day, you can head off for whitewater rafting in Class II-IV rapids or slip into a 1- or 2-person kayak to paddle among the mangrove trees for more wildlife spotting.
On our way back to San José, we’ll see how Costa Rica’s world-famous coffee is grown, harvested, and roasted on a working plantation. Of course, we’ll do a tasting too.
Starting Point:San José – 9:00 am – Lobby of Costa Rica Marriott Hacienda Belen
Ending Point:San José – 1:00 pm – San José Airport
Why Choose Classic Journeys
Travel + Leisure has awarded Classic Journeys the #1 World's Best Tour Operator multiple times and says, "Classic Journeys provides unbeatable access to experiences around the globe." Here's what that access means for you.
- Experience the world on foot and at eye level. Each day, join your guide on the most cinematic footpaths in the region.
- Exceptional full-time local guides who become your well-connected friend. Our amazing guides are with you throughout each day of the tour, share their lifelong connections as well as engaging anecdotes about the history and culture of the region.
- Small groups that provide you unrivaled access. An average of fewer than 10 guests per departure means we can offer you special access to sites like Stonehenge so you experience the stone circle when it's closed to the general public, a guided visit to Zion Narrows that other companies cannot arrange because of larger group sizes, and vineyard walks with a count and countess in Tuscany.
- Award-winning hotels are waiting for you at the end of every day. Luxuriate in the finest and most distinctive accommodations in the region you're exploring, including rainforest lodges, 16th century villas, and award-winning properties that show up on World's Best and Gold lists.
- Eat like (and with) the locals. Food is a foolproof way into the hearts, homes and history of the places you visit with us. From gourmet picnics to coveted local restaurants, our meals offer you opportunities to explore native food traditions and fine dining.
- Handcrafted itineraries with all activities included. With our long-term friendships, we know our walking tour regions more personally than anyone else. So you get thoughtfully curated itineraries that combine explorations of the villages, organic farms, archeological sites and the people who know them best.
- Sustainable travel that supports the places you're visiting. We put our local currency into the pockets of the people who live where we travel. It's your guarantee that you'll have authentic, up-close experiences on your trip. Best of all, our person-to-person approach helps sustain their ways of life.
Dates & Prices
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Select our “Family Departure” to travel with other families.
- Breakfasts, 3 lunches & 3 dinners
- Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip and handle behind-the-scenes logistics
- Admissions to scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary
- Gratuities for hotels, meals, and baggage
- All land transportation during the trip
Above & Beyond Benefits
- When your group arrives, we whisk you and your bags to your room immediately. No waiting – no tipping.
Privileged Access Events
- One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.
- 7 days
- Starting at $6,595
- 7 days
- Starting at $5,495
- 9 days
- Starting at $9,195
- 6 days
- Starting at $4,995