Costa Rica

Northern Explorer

10 nights/11 days

From £4,970 per person

To book please complete the form below or call us on 01604 961931

Marvel at the wonders of the landscape in a thrilling helicopter ride over the cloud forest and giant volcanoes. Zip wire through the towering trees and take a white-water rafting adventure down the mysterious Pacuare River. Trek and abseil through this most beautiful of unspoilt lands.

Category:

Itinerary

Northern Explorer

10 nights/11 days from £4,970 per person (excluding international flights)

Day 1 – Arrival San José
On arrival at Juan Santamaría International Airport you will be met by your Avventura representative and taken by private transfer to your hotel, a journey time of 30 minutes.

Accommodation: Xansari Resort & Spa in a Prima Villa. Hotel upgrade options available – Hotel Grano de Oro or Finca Rosa Blanca.

Day 2 – San José (Alajuela)
Today is at leisure for optional activities such as a helicopter flight over the cloud forest and volcanoes, a coffee plantation tour or a San José city tour. Alternatively, just to sit back, relax and enjoy the resort’s surroundings and facilities.

The resort has a private forest reserve with rivers, five natural waterfalls and miles of trails offering excellent hiking, birding, and communion with nature. You may choose to start your day in the Yoga studio and save your swim for later at the hotel’s sunset pool.

Accommodation: Xansari Resort & Spa in a Prima Villa. Hotel upgrade options available – Hotel Grano de Oro or Finca Rosa Blanca.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 3 – San José to Turrialba
Your private transfer will depart early to Pacuare River, a journey of approximately three hours, with a stop on the way for breakfast. On arrival at Pacuare River you will receive all the equipment and security guidance for a guide-accompanied white water rafting* experience on the Pacuare River that will take you to your hotel.

* rapids are class III-IV deemed moderate to difficult.

Once in the hotel you will enjoy lunch and the rest of the day at leisure. Over your two-day stay at Pacuare Lodge you will have the option to take part in two from a number of exciting activities which include:

  • A rainforest canopy adventure – seeing the rainforest first-hand by abseiling towering trees and zip-wiring through the canopy
  • Canyoning El Tesorito Creek – a mix of trekking, abseiling and rock climbing in this beautiful setting
  • Cabécar indigenous hike – trek to visit the Cabécar, the largest group of indigenous people in Costa Rica
  • Birdwatching – the lodge is home to an extraordinary number of exotic bird species including sun bittern, red-throated ant-tanager, black-cheeked woodpecker and a variety of colourful toucans
  • Rural experience – together with your naturalist guide, you will explore the river basin and rainforest on foot and visit Bajo del Tigre, a small farming community.

Dinner this evening will be at the lodge.

Accommodation: Pacuare Lodge in a Garden Suite.

Meal Plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 4 – Turrialba
Following breakfast, you can choose either to enjoy the two experiences included in your stay or kick back, relax and enjoy the full serene ambience of this beautiful eco-lodge and its stunning surroundings.

Accommodation: Pacuare Lodge in a Garden Suite.

Meal Plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 5 – Turrialba to Arenal
After another great breakfast, you’ll depart by raft for an exhilarating day of white water rafting past gorgeous tropical scenery (approximately three and a half hours over class III-IV rapids). This stretch of the Pacuare River flows through canyons, past waterfalls and virgin rainforest. A deli-style lunch will be served on the riverbank en-route, and you’ll have a chance to change into dry clothes at our private facilities by the river take-out located in Siquirres. Once ready, you will have a private transfer to the Arenal area.

La Fortuna de San Carlos is home of one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world, cloud forests, a lake world famous for windsurfing and an incredibly diverse population of wildlife is just part of what you will find in this amazing area of Costa Rica. Near the volcano, you will find the country’s largest lake, Lake Arenal.

Your evening is at leisure.

Accommodation: Amor Arenal Hotel in a Canyon Casita. Hotel upgrade option available – Nayara Springs.

Meal Plan – Breakfast & Lunch.

Day 6 – Arenal
Following breakfast, your morning is at leisure.

In the afternoon, you have a private transfer to the Arenal 1968 trail where you will see the most extraordinary view of the Arenal Volcano as you hike along its base and flanks. Your walk follows the route of the devastating 1968 eruption lava flows which buried the villages of Tabacón, Pueblo Nuevo and San Luís tragically killing more than eighty people.
You will walk on rocky terrain, feel the power and serenity of nature and enjoy amazing views of the Arenal Lake and the Monteverde mountains. The location also provides a great opportunity for birdwatching and animal encounters.

Your evening is at leisure.

Accommodation: Amor Arenal Hotel in a Canyon Casita. Hotel upgrade option available – Nayara Springs.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 7 – Arenal
After an early breakfast, you will be met by your guide and leave by private transfer for the Tenorio Volcano National Park, the home of the Rio Celeste. You will then take a five-mile guided hike (approximately four hours) through the tropical rain forest to “Los Teñideros”. This is the site where two streams of crystalline water come together to form the heavenly blue colour that gives the river its name.

Returning along the trails, rich with ecological wonders, you will learn about the natural hot springs and the Tenorio Volcano. You’ll seek out the volcano’s furnace vents that expel extremely high temperature gases. On your decent you will get to see the spectacular Rio Celeste waterfall, the unique colour of which makes it one of a kind. The final reward is an exquisite lunch before your private transfer back to the hotel for an evening at leisure.

Accommodation: Amor Arenal Hotel in a Canyon Casita. Hotel upgrade option available – Nayara Springs.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 8 – Arenal to Santa Teresa
After breakfast, you will be met for a private transfer to Arenal Airstrip for your 40 minute private flight to Tambor.

Upon arrival, you will be met for your private transfer to Nantipa Hotel on Santa Teresa beach.

The rest of your day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Nantipa Hotel in a Nanku Room. Hotel upgrade option available – Florblanca.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Days 9 & 10 – Santa Teresa
After breakfast, it is time to completely relax and enjoy this fantastic beach resort at your leisure.

On the day of your choosing, you’ll enjoy a private surfing lesson. Costa Rica is well known as a surfing destination and this is the opportunity to experience it for yourself. The two-hour surfing lesson takes place at Playa Carmen or Playa Hermosa and will be with an experienced and certified instructor. Rash guards, boards, leashes and transfers are all provided so you just need your suit, some sun block and a learning attitude for this surfing adventure.

Accommodation: Nantipa Hotel in a Nanku Room. Hotel upgrade option available – Florblanca.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 11 – Departure
After breakfast, you will depart by private transfer back to Tambor Airstrip for your 40-minute private flight back to Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José.

Upon arrival to San José, your Avventura representative will welcome you at the domestic terminal and transfer you to International Departures for your flight back home.

Location

Accommodation options

SAN JOSÉ

XANDARI RESORT & SPA

Xandari Resort & Spa is a piece of art spread over a 40-acre coffee plantation, overlooking the Central Valley. Conveniently located just 20 minutes from San José airport, the resort offers a luxurious experience in another world, completely secluded and immersed in wilderness. The property features spacious villas with a spa village, yoga facilities, outdoor pools and over four kilometres of nature trails.

Grano de Oro

Originally a Victorian private residence, Grano de Oro or “Grain of Gold” is a charming boutique hotel set in a quiet suburb of San José. The hotel’s décor is in keeping with its turn of the century heritage but it has all the luxury amenities of a modern property. Guest services feature a Jacuzzi terrace, massage treatments and a fitness centre. The restaurant is excellent serving an eclectic mix of French cuisine and traditional Costa Rican “Tico” dishes.

FINCA ROSA BLANCA COFFEE PLANTATION RESORT

Perched on the top of a hill in Costa Rica´s Central Valley, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort is listed among Fodor’s Best 100 Hotels in the World. Set in an elegant rural mansion on a working coffee plantation, the property enjoys many desirable facilities including an ionized swimming pool, Jacuzzi and ten acres of private land. Combining luxury and sustainability, the resort helps to support its local community not just through employment but through environmental education and providing incentives for people in the area to protect the precious natural world around them.

While staff at Finca Rosa Blanca are rightly proud of the coffee grown here, that’s not all they produce. Ingredients for the kitchens are freshly picked each day from the resort’s own organic greenhouse, orchards and gardens. Here Costa Rican cuisine meets international and Latin fusion dishes of the highest quality.

TURRIALBA

PACUARE LODGE

Tucked away deep in the heart of the rainforest, Pacuare Lodge combines the privacy of an eco-retreat with earthy luxury and an array of outdoor adventures. The resort lies on the banks of the Pacuare River, in a private 840-acre rainforest reserve, home to numerous rare species. Pacuare Lodge was designed to blend majestically with its verdant surroundings and to minimize its impact on nature. Its thatched roof bungalows offer an experience that is rustic yet extravagant, blending the remoteness of the breath-taking setting with utter comforts and style. Inside each bungalow there are airy spaces, hard wood flooring and creamy soft linen on curtained beds.

ARENAL

AMOR ARENAL HOTEL

Amor Arenal Hotel offers serene elegance and understated luxury nestled in a wild verdant rainforest. The resort sits atop the foothills of Arenal Volcano where the higher elevation makes for cooler temperatures and constant breezes that are sure to lure you outdoors. Admire a front-row view of the towering Arenal Volcano from your Casita deck and spa-plunge pool. Right below the Casitas you’ll find paths to explore the surrounding jungle. The property’s trails are perfect for long walks through spectacular local flora and fauna. Your room features a warm mineral spring plunge pool and are elegantly decorated and overlook the rainforest canyon with direct views of the Arenal Volcano.

NAYARA SPRINGS

This ultra-exclusive adult only boutique resort comprises welcoming and secluded luxury villas deep within the lush vegetation of Arenal’s pristine rainforest. There are private plunge pools fed by natural mineral hot springs in every room.

The resort boasts some enviable facilities including an award-winning spa and yoga pavilion, a gym, two large infinity pools, a lap pool and swim-up bar. The premises are reached by a 75 metre (250 feet) long foot bridge above the canopy of the trees, ensuring your privacy.

SANTA TERESA

NANTIPA HOTEL

Nantipa is a word in the Chorotega language for “blue”. The Chorotegans were the native tribe that inhabited the Nicoya Peninsula at the time Columbus and before the Spaniards arrived in Costa Rica in the early 1500s. Nicoya is one of the World’s five Blue Zones, as recognised by UNESCO, for the healthy lives and longevity presented by its population.

The well-appointed, air-conditioned private bungalows are surrounded by carefully landscaped tropical flora. The hotel also features a pool, massage services and a beach-front restaurant serving international and traditional Tico dishes.

FLORBLANCA

Set perfectly in an unspoiled tropical jungle on the shores of the Pacific coast, Florblanca is an award-winning luxury resort. Almost every activity you wish for is available from horse-riding to surfing and from yoga to zip-lining through the tropical canopy. Guest villas are beautifully decorated, spacious and private. This wonderful property features a wide range of spa facilities, an air-conditioned gym and a restaurant serving seasonal Latin, Mediterranean and Asian influenced dishes.

Activities options

SAN JOSÉ – HELICOPTER FLIGHT OVER CENTRAL COSTA RICA

What better introduction to your Costa Rican adventure could you wish for? Departing from San José, you will enjoy an exciting helicopter adventure above the striking Central Valley. A highly qualified helicopter pilot and tour guide will take you on this spectacular flight over the Poás Volcano National Park, an active volcano with one of the largest craters on earth. Afterwards you will fly over Arenal Volcano National Park and its surrounding small towns.

Your last stop is the mystical cloud forest of The Monteverde Reserve, home to several endemic species and The Eternal Forest of Children, the country’s largest private nature reserve. Flying over this lush vegetation, you can feel a sense of energy emanating from these virgin forests.
On arrival back in San José, you will return to your hotel by private transfer.

CENTRAL VALLEY – POÁS, DOKA AND LA PAZ TOUR

En-route to Poás Volcano, you will drive to the city of Alajuela passing the Agriculture Monument dedicated to Juan Santamaria (Costa Rica’s national hero) and the famous Mango Park. As you ascend the Poás Volcano, you will notice the change in temperature and vegetation. You will also see coffee plantations as well as fern, flower and strawberry farms along the way – a beautiful landscape.

Along the way you will also visit the Doka Coffee Estate for a delicious breakfast and a private coffee tour. Doka is a working coffee plantation where you will learn about the ancient techniques used to produce one of the best coffees in Costa Rica.

At Poás Volcano you will not only see the impressive main crater with its sulphur fumaroles but also learn about the different ecosystems that exist in this beautiful national park.

Later, at La Paz Waterfall Gardens you will stop for lunch and have a guided tour of the gardens. A trail leads to a spectacular waterfall in the middle of the rainforest. You will also have opportunities to visit the hummingbird gallery, serpentarium, birdhouse, butterfly garden and the frog’s exhibit.

SAN JOSÉ – PRIVATE CITY TOUR

This tour immerses you in the rich Costa Rican culture and history by exploring and experiencing the beautiful museums and historical sites of San José. You will visit San José central market with stalls of local produce, traditional herbal medicines, coffee and much more.

You will then continue to the National Theatre, filled with neo-classical architecture and paintings depicting Costa Rican culture and life. You will also visit the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, which has one of the largest collections of gold, ceramic and stone artefacts, some dating back to AD 500. You will learn about and immerse in the ancient civilizations, their culture, tools and lifestyle.

ARENAL – PRIVATE SLOTH TOUR

The Arenal area is well known for its diverse wildlife. Amongst its most beautiful and mysterious inhabitants are the two- toed and the three-toed sloths. The beguiling smiling face of the Costa Rican sloth is one of the most iconic symbols of Costa Rica’s amazing rainforest wildlife. Tucked away in their treetop hideaways these adorable creatures are not the easiest to spot but with an expert guide your chances are significantly improved.

On the search for these beautiful animals, your knowledgeable guide will drive you around La Fortuna’s beautiful spotting areas for more wildlife. Toucans, frogs, iguanas and monkeys could all feature during this delightful tour.

LA FORTUNA WATERFALL – PRIVATE HORSE RIDING OR HIKING TOUR

These demanding yet rewarding private professionally guided tours take you to La Fortuna Waterfall Reserve, with its stunning waterfall where the water falls over 200 feet into a natural pool where the brave can take a swim in the chilly yet fresh water below. You have options to travel on horseback or to hike.

Horse Riding – This four-hour guided horse trek takes you deep into the Costa Rican countryside. You follow the historic trails past the traditional cattle farms and small holdings before arriving at Fortuna Waterfall.

Hike – Your hike to the waterfall will take you along trails carved into the hillside. You guide will help you understand the local ecosystem and the wildlife inhabitants such as sloths, toucans and orioles.

ARENAL VOLCANO – PRIVATE HORSE RIDING ADVENTURE

This tour is for horse-lovers and those who wish to enjoy the most fascinating scenery in the Arenal conservation area. Your safety is of vital importance; hence, the professional and experienced guides will carefully choose the right horse for you and give you all necessary instructions for the best riding experience.

You will start your riding adventure through a private preserve, where the trails gradually go up through the farmlands, exposing the biodiverse surroundings, including a variety of plants from bromeliads to giant trees. Later, you will reach the “El Silencio” Observation Point, with magnificent views of the Arenal Volcano and its dry lava trails from its historic eruptions.

One of the highlights of this mounting adventure is a secluded small beautiful lagoon. You will then have a leisurely ride back to the stables.

CAÑO BLANCO – PRIVATE NATURE SANCTUARY EXPEDITION

This tour will take you up to the northern plains, driving through rural and exotic areas of Costa Rica, looking for a lost paradise. Some off-roading will be needed to find what is been hidden and lost deep in this private nature sanctuary.

Upon arrival, you will take a river cruise on a small motorboat, designed specifically to traverse the untamed channels which form a complex ecosystem of wetlands that irrigates these alluvial plains and evergreen forests. The wetlands are an important nesting area for several species of migratory and non-migratory birds. You will journey down the river arriving at Caño Blanco lagoon where you may spot mammals such as sloths and monkeys and a vast array of birds such as heron, stork, kingfisher, jacana and duck.

To end your Costa Rican expedition, you will have an unforgettable experience enjoying homemade delicacies with a Costa Rican farming family.

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