Naturalist Encounter

9 Days / 8 Nights
8 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners

Day 1 Arrival – San Jose – Monteverde

You are greeted outside of the San Jose airport and helped with your bags to start a 3½ hours drive thru the mountains and on dirt roads full of unforgettable views, until you get to the Tropical Cloud Forest in Monteverde and check into your hotel. Check into your hotel and relax with the sunset overlooking the Nicoya Gulf and explore the gastronomy of this little town.

Overnight at Montverde, El Establo Hotel is situated in the heart of the tourist zone of Monteverde 7 km from the Santa Elena Rain Forest and 4 km from the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Quaker friendship awaits you at this hotel, set in a private 150-acre farm (50% protected primary forest) adjacent to the Monteverde Reserve. The hotel features 155 Rooms, Tennis, basketball and soccer courts, 2 indoor tempered swimming pools, 2 bars, Gym, Spa, Conference Center and 2 Restaurants.

Day 2 Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve Naturalist Hike – Selvatura Park Suspension Bridges

You will enjoy another wonderful breakfast and off you go again. We’ve hired a professional Naturalist Guide to escort you through an incredible part of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. This tour is an easy, guided hike where you will receive information about the interesting things that are there for you to witness up close and personal. Then in the afternoon, you will experience Selvatura’s Treetop Walkways. This is a 1.9 mile (approximately 3 kilometer) trail that crosses through Monteverde’s Cloud Forest. Here you will walk on eight different bridges with various lengths ranging between 150 feet (50 meters) up to 510 feet (170 meters) and altitudes ranging between 36 feet (12 meters) up to 180 feet (60 meters). After this tour you will dropped off at your hotel.

Day 3 Monteverde – Manuel Antonio Beach

Today, after enjoying your breakfast, you will be picked up for a private transportation to start a wonderful trip through the countryside. The scenic drive will take you to the lowland of the Central Pacific Coast where you will be driving to the coastal highway to reach Quepos and Manuel Antonio area. You’ll check into your mountain top hotel and enjoy marvelous views of the sunset and breathtaking scenery and wildlife.

Overnight at Manuel Antonio Beach, Arenas Del Mar Beach and Nature Resort. All guest rooms offer spectacular views of the Manuel Antonio National Park, the Pacific Ocean and the tropical rainforest. The great advantage of the guest rooms at Arenas Del Mar is that they are located on secluded beach a secluded beach. The rooms are designed to offer maximum comfort while taking into consideration the surrounding environment. The buildings housing the guest rooms were altered to fit around existing trees, water is heated with solar panels and grey water is reused for irrigation.

Day 4 Manuel Antonio National Park Nature Walk

Enjoy another great, healthy breakfast and then it’s off to meet your certified naturalist guide for a walk through one of the most fascinating national parks in Costa Rica. You will see Sloth, White Face Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, Iguanas, numerous birds and more exotic plant life than you can imagine. Your guide will have a complete and interesting story about everything you see. Following this walking tour you will take a short drive back to the resort. In the afternoon, relax or take an additional tour, to add more adrenaline to your trip with activities like a Sailing Tour, Snorkeling, ATV or visiting the Botanical Garden (not included). At night you could explore the surroundings for a great place to eat.

Day 5 Manuel Antonio Beach – Osa Peninsula

Today, after breakfast, you will be picked up to start your trip to reach Palmar Sur. There you will be taken by car on a 20 minutes ride to reach Sierpe. Once at Sierpe you’ll board one of the personalized tenders and begin a one and a half hour boat ride to the hotel, which in itself is a memorable experience. The first half of the journey includes a scenic ride down the Sierpe River, which is relatively flat and lined with towering bamboo trees and low-lying mangroves. At the midway point you’ll reach the mouth of the Sierpe River where it empties out into the Pacific Ocean. At that point you’ll head south along the rugged, lush coast until you disembark at Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge. You have now arrived! The rest of the day will be to enjoy the facility or the nearby beach.

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge, tucked away in the trees and cooled by the Pacific Ocean, is a 170 acre private reserve bordering Corcovado National Park. Carefully designed and built by an American naturalist with over twenty-five years of local experience. This unique lodge offers accommodations constructed with the highest concern for conservation in harmony with the landscape and the environment. Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge provides the ideal base for your in-depth rainforest experience.

Day 6 Corcovado National Park

After a delicious breakfast your adventure begins. Starting out from the lodge with your naturalist guide you journey into Corcovado National Park. The cool morning hours offer a good opportunity to spot wildlife and to observe some of the incredible variety of birds that abound in the park. Along the trail your guide will have a chance to tell you some of the fascinating stories about life in the rainforest and point many things out to you. Later, coming down through the forest you will find a river and then discover an incredible waterfall. Now is your chance to cool off in one of the shaded pools of the rushing river. Afterwards, you wind your way down the river until reaching the Park Station at San Pedrillo. There under shade trees on the beach you will enjoy a sumptuous picnic with fresh fruit and ice-cold drinks. After lunch there will be time to explore the beach or to just relax. In the afternoon it’s a short distance along the coastal trail to return to the lodge.

Day 7 Caño Island

Today you will enjoy an unforgettable tour. Directly offshore, mysterious Caño Island beckons to the intrepid traveler; here you can walk in the footsteps of ancient Indian kings and bloodthirsty pirates. The Tour starts after breakfast when your guide will help you select snorkeling gear. For those who want to explore the coral reefs around the Island, it’s a great opportunity to see a fantastic number of fish, rays and sometimes turtles. This is one of the best dive spots in Costa Rica. On most days there will be a chance to snorkel at the “Coral Garden”, which is an excellent spot for beginners or more experienced guests. Inflatable diving vests are used so that everyone can feel safe and select the amount of floatation they need. After the immersion in these pristine waters it’s time to check-in at the Park Station on the island and check out the beach. There is a beautiful beach sheltered by coconut palms, which has picnic tables where your guide will spread out a tablecloth and lay out quite a spread for lunch. There will be time to hike up to the burial grounds in the interior of the island or to contemplate awhile at the “viewpoint”. There will also be plenty of time to take a swim, beach-comb or to try your luck at snorkeling in the cove in front of the Park Station. Around mid-afternoon you’ll pack-up and head back to the lodge where you’ll have a chance to rest up before drinks and dinner.

Day 8 Osa Peninsula – San Jose

Today, after breakfast you will be taken to Palmar Sur airstrip for your domestic flight to San Jose for your last night in paradise.

Overnight at San Jose, Situated on a shady street just off Paseo Colon, San Jose’s main thoroughfare, Hotel Grano de Oro is a true oasis, a sanctuary in the heart of the city. Converted from a Tropical Victorian mansion, the 40-room hotel maintains the warmth and comfort of a private home. Hallways lined with period photographs and original art meander through the building and present lush tropical flower arrangements and luxurious plants at every turn.  The restaurant at the Grano de Oro is one of San José’s finest, serving continental cuisine in a warm and intimate atmosphere. Service is paramount and the perpetually smiling staff of the Grano de Oro welcomes guests home time and again.

Day 9 Departure

Today, you will be picked up and driven back to the airport at the appropriate time to catch your flight back home. It’s time to say goodbye to the new friends you have made in Costa Rica.

Pricing

High Season 2011: US $ 2,485 per person based on double occupancy.  Single supplement US$ 785

Valid from November, 2010 thru April, 2011 and from July, 2011 thru August, 2011

Green Season 2011: US $ 2,195 per person based on double occupancy.  Single supplement US$675

Valid from May, 2011 thru June, 2011 and from September, 2011 thru October, 2011

Notes

  • Price does not apply to New Year’s or Easter week and it is subject to availability of hotels and tours.

Package includes

  • 2 nights of lodging at El Establo Hotel (4 stars) in a Deluxe room.
  • 2 nights of lodging at Arenas Del Mar Beach and Nature Resort (4 stars) in an Ocean Breeze Superior room.
  • 3 nights of lodging at Casa Corcovado Lodge (3 stars) in a Bungalow Deluxe Room. (25 pounds of luggage per person allowed)
  • 1 night of lodging at Hotel Grano de Oro (4 stars) in a Standard room.
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve Naturalist Hike, including transportation, entrance fee, slide show and Naturalist guide.
  • Selvatura Park Suspension Bridges including transportation, entrance fee and guide.
  • Private transportation from El Establo Hotel to Arenas Del Mar Beach Resort in an A/C van with a semi-bilingual driver/guide.
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Tour including transportation, entrance fee and guide.
  • Private transportation from Arenas Del Mar Beach Resort to Palmar Sur in an A/C van with a semi-bilingual driver/guide.
  • Round Trip Boat Transportation Sierpe/Casa Corcovado.
  • Corcovado National Park Naturalist Hike, including entrance fee, transportation, box lunch and naturalist guide.
  • Caño Island Wildlife Refuge Tour, including entrance fee, transportation, snorkeling equipment, lunch and specialist guide.
  • Domestic flight from Palmar Sur to San Jose.
  • Transfer to your San Jose hotel.
  • Meals as described above (8 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners).
  • Meet and greet at San Jose airport with VIP service inside the terminal.
  • All airport transfers.
  • 24 hour travel assistance.

Not included

  • Airfare and Airport tax at your departure US $ 26 per person (cash only).
  • Meals and other services not mentioned above.
  • Gratuities for guides and providers based on quality of service.