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Rainforest Adventure - Overland Trip

2 weeks: San Jose to San Jose (IMT-LTRA)

Intro

Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise with an overwhelming breadth of scenery and wildlife. There are active volcanoes that belch lava and clouds of sulphur, lush rainforest that teems with birdlife, remote cloud forest that offers unrivalled wildlife spotting opportunities and perfect white tropical beaches. We take in the best of the country’s National Parks and get up close to a wide range of animals and birds.

Group Size

Max 15

Activities

Hiking in National Parks, optional snorkelling, boat excursions

Accommodation

13 nights tourist class hotels and lodges

Transport

Bus, boat

Airport Transfer

To hotel day 1

Fully Escorted

By Imaginative Traveller tour leader, services of guides in Tortuguero NP amd Monteverde

Entrance Fees

Included for Tortuguero NP. Allow US$40 for visiting other National Parks

Day 2 - Itinerary change

In January 2009 a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Costa Rica, where the epicentre was located 40Km from San Jose, near the popular tourist destination  of "La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Poas Volcano", near the Poas Volcano National Park.

Only this area has been affected, all other tourist areas in Costa Rica are functioning normally. However, we have amended our excursion on Day 2 of the tour, from La Paz Waterfall Gardens and/or Poas Volcano as it may take some time for this area to get back to normal. Instead we will be visiting the Irazu volcano.

Irazú Volcano

We take the Pan-American Highway South, to start ascending the large “Iztaru”. The winding road travels through fertile lands cultivated with all kinds of vegetables as we enjoy a lovely panoramic view.  At the top of the volcano you can observe the main craters and on a clear day both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans can be seen.

As we descend to the city of Cartago we will stop at the Virgin of the Angels Basilica, which is an important site of pilgrimage for many believers.

Itineraries

Day 1,SAN JOSE

Arrive and transfer to hotel.

Day 2,SAN JOSE

Today we head out to the smoking Poas Volcano, in the heart of the lush tropical rainforest. In the afternoon we return to San Jose. (B) Please see itinerary change note at bottom of page.

Day 3,SAN JOSE - TORTUGUERO NP

Travel by bus and boat into the Tortuguero National Park, home to howler monkeys, brightly coloured parrots and a wide variety of other wildlife. This is where green and leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs once a year (June-September). We spend two nights in a lodge in the rainforest.  (BLD)

Day 4,TORTUGUERO NP

We spend a full day exploring the jungle waterways of the park by boat. (BLD)

Day 5,TORTUGUERO NP – CAHUITA

We leave the rainforest behind and head by boat and bus to Cahuita National Park on the Caribbean coast. Cahuita's main attractions are its white sandy beaches, miles of coconut groves, tranquil seas and coral reefs.  (B)

Day 6,CAHUITA

A full free day. You can explore the National Park where white-faced monkeys and sloth are very common, go snorkelling on the impressive reef, or simply relax on the beach. In the evening we can visit Cahuita village where there are lots of little restaurants and bars. (B)

Day 7,CAHUITA - FORTUNA

Leaving the Caribbean coast behind, we head through mountains and typical small villages to Fortuna, a small town nestled at the base of Arenal Volcano.  (B)

Day 8,ARENAL VOLCANO

Arenal Volcano is highly active and its cone-shaped peak constantly emits explosions of sulphurous gases, streams of red-hot lava and loud rumbles. We have a full free day. You can explore around the lower slopes of the volcano or soak in one of the hot springs nearby. (B)

Day 9,FORTUNA - MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST

Head south to the Cloud Forest Reserve of Monteverde, a beautiful park that teems with flora and fauna. Monteverde has gained international renown as one of the most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries in the tropics. (B)

Day 10,MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST

A full free day. You can explore the reserve, following trails that wind through the most spectacular sections or trying the spectacular canopy walks. There is abundant wildlife and if you are lucky you might see the beautiful quetzal as well as a variety of monkeys, wild cats and reptiles. (B)

Day 11,MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST - MANUEL ANTONIO NP

Drive to Manuel Antonio National Park, where we spend two nights. This park features some of Costa Rica’s finest beaches, with long stretches of beautiful white sand backed by lush jungle. (B)

Day 12,MANUEL ANTONIO

A full free day to relax on the beach or follow hiking trails through the tropical forest. (B)

Day 13,MANUEL ANTONIO - SAN JOSE

After a relaxing morning we travel back to San Jose.  (B)

Day 14,SAN JOSE

Tour ends. (B)

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Last updated: 22nd October 2009

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