Make it truly your own. Start with this TailorMade sample itinerary, then work with our Private Travel team to customize the tour. Costa Rica leaves you breathless in so many ways, with countless adrenaline-pumping adventures to pick and choose from and an incredible spectrum of wildlife. After you zipline through Monteverde's cloud forest and sip coffee at the co-operative where it's produced, you'll be itching to take in all that this incredible country offers.
- Travel Style : Classic
- Service Level : Standard
- Physical Grading : 3 - Average
- Merchandising : Wifi
- Merchandising : Planeterra Project
- Merchandising : IDB Project
- Trip Type : TailorMade
- What's Included:Your G for Good Moment: Cafe Monteverde Experience, Monteverde
Your Wellness Moment: Hot Springs, La Fortuna. Guided cloud forest night walk (Monteverde). Jungle lodge stay. Nature trail walk with swim (Sarapiquí). Free time in Quepos, Monteverde, La Fortuna, Tortuguero, and Puerto Viejo. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Join a naturalist guide on a cloud forest night walk, Relax in the hot springs of the Arenal Volcano, Catch some waves with a surf lesson in Puerto Viejo
- Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
- Itinerary Disclaimer:While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
- Important Notes:1. Please note that these Trip Details are based on the sample itinerary that was used to create your customized tour, meaning that some things listed here may no longer apply, including the service level, physical grading, and inclusions. For the specifics related to your particular personalized tour please refer to your tour vouchers or consult with your Private Travel GCO or travel agent.
2. Costa Rica will not be allowing anyone to enter the country without proof of a departure ticket (bus, airplane, boat, etc.). If you are travelling through a few countries in Central America, you will need to show proof of your itinerary and a departure ticket from your last destination. Please print the itinerary and voucher and bring it with you.
3. The access to Sarapiqui rainforest is difficult and can seem extreme for those who are not mentally prepared for the experience. The tractor ride to get to the rainforest is an extreme adventure. Thus it’s not recommended for pregnant women or people with serious back problems. Also, all trails are natural, with uneven and sometimes slippery footing, so it’s not recommended for people with difficulty walking on uneven terrain. The lodge is rustic and most likely multi-share.
- Meals Included:12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 2 dinners
- Meals:Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is affordable.
- Transport:Private vehicle, tractor, public bus, boat, walking.
- Accommodation:Hotels (13 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts, multi-share).
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:On your TailorMade trip, you will be met by a G Adventures Representative on Day 1 with more information about your tour. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have. If you have an arrival transfer, please meet your transfer representative in the arrivals area; they will be holding a G Adventures sign.
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel or refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
- Emergency Contact:Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica
During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 4001 8474
After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
- What to Take:We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
- Packing List:Costa Rica Water Activities:
• Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
• Sport Sandals or Water Shoes (if you plan to do waterfall rappelling and/or rafting)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: Please bring two pairs of long socks (knee high) to wear with rubber boots.
Note: A head lamp (for the stay at rustic jungle lodge in Sarapiqui Rainforest) is highly recommended.
- Laundry:Laundry facilities are available at almost every stop on the trip. If you would prefer to do your own laundry, we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap. Please note that it may be difficult for your clothes to dry quickly due to the high humidity of Costa Rica.
- Visas and Entry Requirements:All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
As of November 1st, 2007, the Costa Rica government, requires those entering Costa Rica from certain countries in South America and Sub-Sahara Africa, to have an International Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever. Those affected countries are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guiana and Venezuela.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure.
- Spending Money:Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
- Money Exchange:Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards with travellers cheques as backup is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
Please be advised that during the first week of this trip, it may be difficult to exchange travellers' cheques and visit functioning ATMs, so it is advisable to withdraw enough cash to last for the first week while you are in San Jose prior to leaving. There are ATMs along the way on Days 2 and 3, but these have been known to malfunction. As of Day 7, there are plenty of ATMs for cash withdrawal.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn US dollar notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Departure Tax:Costa Rica airport exit tax: $29USD
- Tipping:It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Please note that in Costa Rica, a 23% charge is added on to almost every meal (13% tax, 10% tip). Further tipping for wait staff is appropriate in the case of excellent service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service.
- Optional Activities:Manuel Antonio National Park
- Surfing (55-75USD per person)
- Kayaking (69USD per person)
- Horseback Riding (35-45USD per person)
Tortuguero National Park
- Tortuguero National Park Guided Night Boat Tour
- Turtle Nesting Night Excursion (Seasonal) (51USD per person)
- Guided Kayak Excursion (35USD per person)
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
- Bike Rental
- Health:Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information.
- Safety and Security:Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
- Trip Specific Safety:Please note: Like any city where tourism is on the increase, crime also tends to increase and while San José is not a noticeably dangerous city, there are certain precautions you should take. Make sure that you are aware of your things at all times and don't go out carrying expensive gear or jewelry. Puerto Viejo has a fairly big drug trade, be very cautious at night and bring a buddy with you.
- A Couple of Rules:Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts yourself and those around you at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy.
- Travel Insurance:Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
- Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation:The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
- Feedback:After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
- Newsletter:Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
- Group Leader:Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Itinerary (13 days)
Arrive at any time. Your arrival transfer is included.
Travel to the Pacific Coast town of Quepos, just outside Manuel Antonio National Park. Spend the afternoon in Manuel Antonio National Park. The park offers excellent hiking, spectacular views, and abundant wildlife viewing. The park boasts beautiful white-sand beaches and the warm turquoise water. Hike, swim and see the wildlife that makes this park so special. Opt to go on a night out and perhaps learn how to salsa.
In the morning, set sail with a Manuel Antonio Catamaran Tour. Soak in the sun from a 100ft catamaran, with an included snorkel excursion. Spend the rest the day relaxing on the beach, hiking, learning to hang 10, kayaking, fishing, or horseback riding.
Travel through the stunning Costa Rican scenery up into mountains and on to Monteverde Cloud Forest. Stop at Life Monteverde, a coffee cooperative for coffee tastings, and a tour of their farm to learn about sustainable agriculture. In the afternoon, take time to venture out and explore the mountainous town of Monteverde. In the evening, take an included guided night walk to learn about nocturnal life in the jungle firsthand.
In the morning, explore the cloud forest in a totally new light with a guided tour of the Santa Elena Cloud Forest. In the afternoon, continue to take in the best of Monteverde from a bird's eye view flying across the the canopy on a series of ziplines.
Travel by bus and boat across Lake Arenal through the stunning Costa Rican scenery from Monteverde to La Fortuna. Upon arrival into La Fortuna, get right in the swing of things with an afternoon of canyoning past waterfalls in the jungle. In the evening and chill at the pool as you take in views of the surrounding jungle and volcanoes.
Take in the sights of the river with a day of adrenaline packed white water rafting on the Sarapiquí River. Like much of Costa Rica, the area is a birders’ paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents. In the evening, relax in the soothing waters of the local hot springs.
In the morning, transfer by road then boat through the famous canals of Tortuguero. This tropical eco-paradise is home to countless bird and animal species, and you will have many opportunities to view and photograph wildlife. This unique village has walking paths that extend into the national park, a fantastic place to see wildlife even when turtles aren't in season. The tropical rainforest gives way to prime secluded beaches, ideal nesting grounds for green turtles (nesting July through October), loggerhead, hawksbill, and leatherback turtles (nesting March through June). We cannot guarantee you will see turtles, but that odds are fairly good from July through October. Opt to visit the nesting grounds of the green and leatherback turtles at night (seasonal).
On your second day, take a guided boat tour through the canals and view the wildlife. Search for caiman, monkeys (spider, howler, and white-faced capuchin), sloths, and basilisk lizards. In the afternoon, opt to wander through the town.
Tortuguero/Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
After a morning boat ride back to the mainland, head to the picturesque village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, with spectacular scenery en route. This seaside town is perfect for relaxing. Upon arrival check out the beach and the sea creatures with an afternoon of snorkeling.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
In the morning head to one of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca’s 14 kms of incomparable white- and black-sand beaches. Surrounded by exotic tropical vegetation, test your balance and coordination with an included surf lesson. The warm turquoise water is ideal for swimming, fishing, kayaking, boogie boarding, and surfing. In the afternoon head into Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge for a hike. Don't forget to try some fantastic Afro-Caribbean cuisine.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca/San José
Enjoy a free morning in Puerto Viejo and soak up the sun on the Caribbean. In the afternoon, start the journey by private transfer back to the capital.
Depart at any time. Your departure transfer is included.