Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jennifer/Rob & Kids Costa Rica 2012

Day 1 ---------- Arrive and Drive to Pacific Coast (Necochea Inn)

Today you will be met outside the airport by your private bilingual guide and driver. We will drive three hours to your first lodging which will be the small, beautiful Necochea Inn. This is a place we have used for years and is off the tourist path and all our guests absolutely love the remoteness and hidden feeling of being in the jungle with views of the Pacific. You will have two very luxurious rooms.  The sounds of a rippling creek,  ocean, and jungle are all part of the ambiance at the Necochea. (Meals: Dinner)


Day 2 ---------- Rappel Nauyaca Falls (Necochea Inn)

Today we will get this adventure started off correctly. We will take you to Nauyaca Falls which is in our opinion, is the most beautiful waterfall in all of Costa Rica. Our mode of transportation will be driving off road in the SUV and then use ropes to make our way down this waterfall. After rappeling down we will be at one of the most picturesque and pristine swimming wholes you will ever see. We'll then hike up to the top where lunch will be waiting for us. The view from the top of the waterfall is incredible. In the afternoon we will have time to visit the beach and then back to the Inn to relax and enjoy the sunset. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 3 ---------- Surf Classes (Necochea Inn)


Today you will get some lessons on how to surf. This is a great day and the kids will love it. We promise you will get up on the board before the end of the day and the beach is perfect with waves just right for learning how to surf. After the lessons you can fine tune your newly acquired surfing skills or just hang out at the beach.  On the way back to the Inn we'll stop at a neat swim hole with a Tarzan swing, I'm sure Rob will love. In the evening we'll take you to a restaurant for dinner.(Meals: Breakfast)

Day 4 ---------- Travel to Arenal Volcano (Tabacon Resort)

Today we will head north to the Arenal Volcano. We can make the nice scenic drive which is around five hours or you can take an in-country flight which will be much shorter.  You will be staying at the Tabacon Resort, a beautiful place that happens to have the best hotsprings in the area. The Arenal Volcano is a perfectly cone-shaped volcano and a must-see for your first visit to Costa Rica. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 5 ---------- Zipline (Tabacon Resort)

Today it is zipline time. I think there are almost 100 different companies of ziplines now, some of which seem to be just dental floss strung in a banana plantation while others are the real deal. The one we use in the Arenal area to this day is still our favorite and I can assure you that you will think the same. With cables that measure 1km long and go as high as 700ft it makes for quite the amazing adventure. After the zipping we will have time to visit the local town of La Fortuna. There are shops and other interesting places in the area and/or some time to relax and enjoy the Spa at Tabacon. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 6 ---------- Nature Reserve & Waterfall Hike (Tabacon Resort)

Although much of your trip will be surrounded by nature we will be visiting one very interesting nature reserve today. This is a reforested area and will give you and the kids some upclose looks at much of the wildlife including, birds, sloths, poisonous dart frogs, butterflies and much more in their natural habitat. After the reserve we thought we would visit another beautiful waterfall since it will be almost 3 days without seeing a jaw-dropping waterfall. In the evening it is back to the Tabacon to enjoy your last night of the hotsprings and see if the kids can break their record on the fastest down the slide! (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 7 ---------- Travel to Turrialba (Casa Turire Hotel)

Today is a travel day to Turrialba. The drive is only a little over three hours and it is a very scenic drive. We will be making an interesting stop along the way where the kids can meet some Tico kids and do a local crafts class. This will be our lunch stop and then we will continue on to the Casa Turire Hotel, another supurb place with perfect views of the nearby smoking Turrialba Volcano. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 8 ---------- Raft Pacuare River & Travel to Your next Destination

You know how much we love this river and along with everyone else that has been on it, it just seems to be a chance to see the heart of Costa Rica and see it at it's finest. The Pacuare River will be a day rafting trip and a chance to get soaked. We will stop for a river lunch along the way as it is prepared privately just for you and the kids while you relax on the river bank surrounded by primary rainforest. In the evening it is off to where you will be spending you next night. If you plan on going to Los Suenos it might make sense to spend one more night in Casa Turire Hotel or spend a night in Grano de Oro Hotel in the San Jose area and then drive to Los Suenos on day nine. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Dudes Weekend

Day 1 --------- Arrive & Drive to Dominical (Casa Belmar)


Today you will be met at the airport and I expect to be greeted with a bag of $500's worth of B-B-Q. We will then make our way down the coast to the area of Dominical which happens to be one of the best spots in the country and the only true spot to spend 7 days and stay active as you will see below.


Day 2 --------- Zipline & Explore Beaches (Casa Belmar)


Today we will head down to the zipline. Here you will find dental floss strung between tree branches and gullable tourist like ourselves paying money for a thrill ride. The cables are a couple hundred feet high and fabulous views of the pacific ocean. In the afternoon we will check out some beaches and then go hang at the house.


Day 3 --------- Rappel Canyon (Casa Belmar)


Today will be the day of full adventure. We will be rappeling down a canyon that no tourist has ever rappeled in Costa Rica. This will officially put you on the who's who of Costa Rica magazine and we can get a group to be posted in next months edition. This is simply one of the most beautiful places I have seen and it is an easy couple rappels but involves other activities like swimming when you get to the bottom and avoiding the crocodiles and piranha's.


Day 4 --------- Raft Savegre (Casa Belmar)


The all around best activity in Costa Rica is rafting. This is a great little river with some excellent jungle around with views of more waterfalls. We will run this class three section in the morning and make a day out of being on the river.


Day 5 --------- Visit Corcovado (Casa Belmar)


Today we will make a visit down to Corcovado. We have the option of doing the tour in by boat or just driving down until we get the car stuck.


Day 6 --------- Beach Day maybe a day tour to Manuel Antonio (Casa Belmar)


This is Rus's day to work with the Bolivian's (thats code you guys might not understand but after initiation in the jungle we can fill you in). Although Rus I have to say now looking at this you might want to make your Bolivian day on the day you arrive or day 2 that way if you need something like a paper or something needs to be done and you sign it there is a work week to get things done. That would be my idea considering nothing ever happens with one meeting around here.


Day 7 --------- Fly Home!


Today we will make the drive back to the airport or we will continue shooting flares into the sky because we are still lost somewhere in Corcovado from day 5.







Thursday, December 8, 2011

Alison March 16th - 23rd

Arenal Volcano
March 16th: Arrival and drive to Arenal area (Manoa Resort)


Today you will be met outside the airport by your private driver and guide. Your mode of transportation will be a beautiful modern, spacious, 20 passenger motorcoach with A/C & refrigerator. From the Airport we will drive 2/12 hour drive to the Arenal Volcano. The Los Lagos hotel is full and much of the places we have been looking are full but we were able to get rooms in Manoa. This is an upgrade from Los Lagos but it does not have the water-slide. It has a big beautiful pool and I promise you we will keep the kids busy on this adventure. (Meals: None)

March 17th: Zip Line and visit to the Arenal National Park (Manoa Resort)


Today we will start the week with some adventure as we head to the best zipline in all of Costa Rica. Not only does it have amazing views of the volcano and lake but it also has a wonderful gondola ride along with cables that zip 700ft above the rainforest floor. After the zipline we will make go to the nearby Arenal Volcano National Park where you will have the chance to walk on the old lava flow and get a much closer look at the Arenal Volcano. The evening can be spent relaxing in the pool at the hotel or we can take you to the town of La Fortuna and take you to some of our favorite local spots. (Meals: Breakfast)

March 18th: Canyoneering and Hot Springs (Manoa Resort)


One of the favorite adventures of all is the canyoneering. As you make your way down the lush tropical rainforest you will be rappelling down waterfalls. This is an adventure you will not forget and a chance to be completely surrounded by nature from start to finish. In the afternoon it will be time to enjoy an amazing meal and relax in the hotsprings. Here is where the kids can enjoy a great waterslide. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinnner)

March19th: Rafting on Toro river (Manoa Resort)

Today you have the option of rafting the Rio Toro or we can make a longer trip and raft the Pacuare River. The Pacuare river is listed as one of the top five scenic rivers in the world by National Geographic and just might be the most picturesque place in all of Costa Rica. If you are interested in rafting the Pacuare it will be running easy and low this time of year and we take groups with kids. It is a trip that runs from 6am when we leave the hotel and returns at 5pm. So it is a full day, but how many times do you get to raft one of the top five rivers on the planet. If you just want a half day river trip no worries we can raft the nearby Toro River. Note: If you did the long rafting day I might raft on the 18th and make the 19th canyoneering and Hotsprings which gives you an easier day before traveling to Manuel Antonio. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

March 20th: Drive to Manuel Antonio (Costa Verde Hotel)


See you at the Park Alison!
Today we will wake up and have breakfast and then make the drive to Manuel Antonio. This is around a four hour drive but really is not that bad. It is filled with unforgettable scenery and also a chance to make some interesting stops along the way. We will arrive to one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Costa Rica just after lunch. You will be staying at Costa Verde Hotel which is a great location because it is up on a cliff giving you great views but also in walking distance to the beaches below. (Meals: Breakfast)

March 21st: Visit to Manuel Antonio National Park (Costa Verde Hotel)



Get ready to see some monkeys as we make the hike through the phenomenal National Park of Manuel Antonio. Here your naturalist guide will teach you different facts about the rainforest and leave you plenty of time to enjoy the fabulous beaches. In the afternoon you can relax at the beach or the hotel and we can take you out to some of our favorite places to eat. (Meals: Breakfast)
Manuel Antonio National Park (View from Costa Verde)

March 22nd: Relax at the Beach (Costa Verde Hotel)



Today is your day to relax at the beach. There are some other option tours we can do and you can also take advantage of having the motorcoach and explore some of the other nearby beaches with your guide--it is up to you. (Meals: Breakfast)



March 23rd: Drive to the Airport and fly home!


Today you will make the two hour drive to the airport with your driver and guide. (Meals: Breakfast)

The price per person is:
Single room: $1,957
Quadruple room: $1,198


Includes: All private transportation with bilingual drive and guide, all meals listed, all tours and adventures, all lodging listed.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Jeff Couch May 1st - May 5th

Nayara Resort
Day 1 --- Arrive & Drive to Nayara (Nayara Resort)

Today we will meet you outside of the airport and drive you 2 1/2 hours to the beautiful resort of Nayara. This is one of the finest yet small hotels in Costa Rica voted year after year as TripAdvisors top choice. It was also voted top five romatic hotels on the planet. If you don't like it, I don't know what to tell you! (Meals: None)

Day 2 --- Zipline & Waterfall Rappel (Nayara Resort)

Today we will start with some adventure and do the zipline. There are over 77 different ziplines in the country now and this is by far one of the best. Not only are the cables high and fast (highest cable is 700ft high) but the scenery is unmatched. You have incredible views of the Arenal Lake along with the world famous Arenal Volcnao. After the zipline we will go to the canyoneering spot where you will have the chance to enjoy another great adventure as you rappel down a canyon hidden in the tropical jungle and amid beautiful waterfalls. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 3 --- Fly to Quepos (Arenas del Mar)

Today we will catch a flight to Quepos which will save you the five hour drive. The flight is just about 30 minutes and also very beautiful, viewing Costa Rica from the air. The beach at Manuel Antonio is one of the best and scenic beaches in all of Costa Rica surounded by wildlife. The hotel Arenas del Mar is perfectly situated on the edge of the Pacific looking out over Costa Rica's remarkable Manuel Antonio. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 4 --- Beach Day (Arenas del Mar)

Today is your day to relax on the beach and enjoy the Pacific. You can also do an optional hike to the National Park. If you wanted we could squeeze in a rafting trip in the morning but it is up to you. (Meals: Breakfast)

Could be you Jeff!
Day 5 --- Fly Home!

Today we will make the two hour drive back to San Jose to catch your flight home. (Meals: Breakfast)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nick Itin 2012 Feb. 11 - 19

Day 1 --------- Arrive & Drive to Manuel Antonio (Arenas del Mar)

Hola Nick

Today we will meet you at the airport and travel to the Arenas del Mar Resort on the Central Pacific. This will be around a 2 hour drive and will work fine with your 3:05pm arrival. (Meals: None)

Day 2 --------- Visit Park (Arenas del Mar)

Today we will make the easy hike into the National Park of Manuel Antonio. We will get to see some monkeys along with Costa Rica's most beautiful beaches. This will be an activity all of the family can do. In the afternoon there will be time to relax at the beach or the hotel. We will take you out to dinner to one of the nearby places we recommend for eating. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 3 --------- Rafting in Savegre (Arenas del Mar)

Manuel Antonio
Today is the rafting adventure. We will make our way to the Savegre River where you will get the chance to raft some rapids, get wet, and see a beautiful waterfall. This is a half day on the river and a chance to enjoy the water, sun, & jungle. In the afternoon it is back to the beach or hotel where you can relax. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 4 --------- Beach Day (Arenas del Mar)

Today is an off day to relax. We can take the kids to the nearby kids rainforest club and we can look into doing some other tours if you are interested such as a mangrove kayak tour, rainforest spice tour, and many others. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 5 --------- Beach Day (Arenas del Mar)

Another day of relax with optional tours if you would like. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Nayara Resort
Day 6 --------- Travel to Arenal Volcano (Nayara Resort)

Today is a travel day. We will leave after breakfast and arrive to the Arenal Volcano just after lunch. When we arrive we will be staying at the beautiful Nayara Resort which happens to be our favorite place in all of Costa Rica. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)


Day 7 --------- Zipline, Finca Don Juan, & La Fortuna Falls (Nayara Resort)

Today is a full day that all can take part in. The little one will not be doing the zipline but will not have a problem on the tram ride through the canopy. We will start the day with the zipline and then make our way to the best tasting lunch in all of Costa Rica at Don Juan's farm. Don Juan will make us a completely organic lunch and give us a quick tour of his farm. After lunch we can go look at the nearby La Fortuna Waterfall. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)
Tram Ride

Day 8 --------- Canyoneering & HotSprings (Nayara Resort)

Today is a day of adventure. You will get the chance to make your way down a beautiful canyon doing different rappels at waterfalls. After the rappels we will make our way to the Hotsprings. This is a chance for the ultimate relaxation along with a great meal. The perfect way to end the trip. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 9 ---------- Fly Home!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Alison Sample Itin March 17th - March 24th

March 17th --------- Arrive and Drive to Turrialba (Casa Turire Hotel)

Today your private guide and driver will meet you outside the San Jose Airport (SJO). If you arrive on an early afternoon flight, that would work best for this itinerary. We will make the drive through the capital city of San Jose where from the window you will get a quick city tour. After we get through the city we will begin to get into the the beautiful mountains and rural areas of Costa Rica. Our final stop will be at the base of the smoking Turrialba Volcano in a beautiful hotel called Casa Turire. This happens to be one of my favorite hotels in the country. (Meals: None)

18th --------- Hiking and Visit Local Village (Casa Turire Hotel)

After a long day of travel, today is a day of local culture, hiking, and some time to relax at the pool. We will allow you to sleep in and then embark on our first hike. We'll walk to a local village that is one of the most beautiful places with amazing views. Here we will be welcomed by a local family where they will have lunch prepared for us. We will also get the chance to experience a little show put on by the local kids. After the time in the village it is back down to the hotel to relax in the pool and get ready for the next five days of adventure. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

19th --------- Enter Pacuare River (Pacuare Tent Lodge)

Today we will make the short drive to the area where we put in for the Pacuare River. National Geographic has this listed as one of the top five scenic rivers on the planet and in our opinion no doubt the most scenic area in Costa Rica. We will spend around two hours rafting today stopping for a river lunch which will give you time just to enjoy the water and swim around the river bank. After lunch we will raft for a bit more and then arrive to the tent-lodge. This is a beautiful area and yes it is camping but not roughing it by any means. There are showers, bathrooms, and above ground tents that make for some of the best sleeping since you're surrounded by the rainforest and the sound of the river nearby. All your meals are prepared fresh for you at the campground and it is just a night of fun, food, drink, jungle, stars, and the sound of the river. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

20th --------- Raft Pacuare Canyon & Drive to Arenal Volcano (Casa Luna Lodge)

River Lunch for 8
Today will be two hours of the trip you will not forget. The second half of the Pacuare River which we will be running today has two hours of the most scenic and largest rapids of the river. It is a great run and fun from start to finish. We will wake up and have a hearty breakfast and the make our way down the river. When we take out of the river we will clean up, dry off, and then head to the Arenal Volcano. This is long day of travel but it really is not that bad with the scenery and after coming out of the jungle for a night, the ride just seems to be irrelevant to a nice comfy seat in the van. We will have dinner waiting for you at Casa Luna. The hotel has a beautiful pool, great food, and excellent views of the volcano. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

21st ---------- Zipline & Hike National Park (Casa Luna Lodge)

If the rafting was not enough adventure for you then maybe hanging 700ft above the rainforest floor will do the trick. This is an amazing adventure and with over 100 different ziplines in the country we think the one we take you on is still the best. After flying through the clouds with great views of the volcano we will take you to the National Park of Arenal which has an interesting hike around the lava rock and gives you an up-close view of the volcano. In the evening you can go back to your hotel and enjoy the pool and just relax with views of the volcano. (Meals: Breakfast)

22nd --------- Rio Celeste (Casa Luna Lodge)


Arenal Volcano
If you are in for some more  hiking today, one of the more beautiful hikes in the country is at the Rio Celeste. Here you will hike flat ground, hills, and then use all fours to climb on some rocks. It is a great day of hiking that most all can do. The reward is the river that is the color of the sky. It is due to the nearby volcano and the mixture of gases that give it this almost fake looking color. The Rio Celeste has thermal waters also that are completely natural. It has an enormous waterfalls which is actually the sky blue color. A day at Rio Celeste is a little off the beaten path but worth the visit if you enjoy hiking and jaw-dropping scenery. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

23rd ---------- Canyoneering & Hotsprings (Casa Luna Lodge)

The canyoneering is a must-do adventure for those looking for fun and excitement. The canyon you will be rappeling, climbing, hiking, whatever it takes to get you down is near the hotel. This is a half day adventure where you will rappel three different waterfalls the highest being 140ft. After the canyoneering you can have some time in town to do souvenir shopping or just relax at the pool as we get ready for the hotsprings. The hotsprings you will be going to in the evening are basically very luxurious pools. It is a great last night to celebrate all of the adventures accomplished and start planning the next Costa Rica adventure! (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

24th ---------- Fly Home!

Today we will make the transfer to the airport which is around two hours. Having a flight around mid afternoon would be best from the San Jose Airport.  (Meals: Breakfast)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sample Itin Feb. 12th - 19th


Feb. 12th --------- Arrive (Grano de Oro)


Arenal Volcano
Today you will arrive and being a long day of travel I have you staying near the airport at a very nice hotel called Grano de Oro. This is a small hotel but one of the finest places to eat and a beautiful setting. It is sort of the pearl of San Jose because there is not much for kids to really enjoy in the city. If you arrived on mid-day or early afternoon flight I would say we make the 2 1/2 hour drive to Arenal to get the trip started which would give an extra day at the beach on the later end of the trip.  With this extra day at the beach we could do some rafting in a nearby river which is through the jungle and chance to see some beautiful waterfalls and enjoy a river lunch. (Meals: None)
Nayara Resort


Drive Time: 20 minutes from airport to Grano de Oro Hotel


Feb. 13th --------- Drive to Arenal Volcano (Nayara Resort)


Today we will make the trip to the famous Arenal Volcano. This is a perfectly cone-shaped volcano which is exactly what you picture a volcano to be compared to the many others volcanos in the country that just look like your average mountain. The drive is around 2 1/2 hours and we will check in to the hotel and enjoy the grounds and the view of the volcano. (Meals: Breakfast)

Drive Time: 2 1/2 hours from Grano de Oro Hotel to Arenal Volcano (Nayara Resort)


Feb. 14th --------- Zipline & Waterfall Hike (Nayara Resort)


Today we will zipline. There are many ziplines in the country but I feel this one will work the best. The little ones will not be able to take part but they can enjoy the ride in the gandola tram through the canopy with your naturalist guide while you guys ride the ziplines that have excellent views of the volcano and hang 700ft above the rainforest floor. In the afternoon we will take a hike to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of Costa Rica. This is chance to swim at the bottom but you do have to hike 500 steps down and up. The little one can stay at the top with the nanny from the view point where they can see the waterfall from above. (Meals: Breakfast)

Drive Time: All tours are local today


Feb. 15th --------- Organic Farm/Canyoneering & HotSprings (Nayara Resort)


Visiting the Organic farm is fun because it is a farm that is run organically and has animals and the owner of the farm is a high energy guy with a machete that kids usually enjoy. Not to mention the meal is one of the best in the country. This would just be for a lunch visit. Another option would be to go canyoneering which even the 7 year old can take part in. This is a great adventure that I know the little guy will love but the 3 year old will have to stay with the Nanny at the hotel. In the evening we will make our way to the Hotsprings where you can enjoy the thermal waters. We will visit the hotsprings that have a slide which the kids love and even our guides enjoy. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Drive Time: All tours are local


Feb. 16th --------- Drive to Manuel Antonio (Arenas del Mar)


Today we will drive to Manuel Antonio. Although it is a long travel day it is not that bad. We will make some stops on the way and be to the Pacific Ocean by lunch time. The Manuel Antonio area is one of the finest beaches you will find in Costa Rica. It is home to where the mountains and rainforest meet the white sandy beaches. They say there are still more monkeys than people in the area. The place you will be staying at is Arenas del Mar which has one of the best views of the Pacific and you hear the waves crashing below and also have a private beach that is a nice option if you want to get away from the crowds. (Meals: Breakfast)


Drive Time: 4 1/2 hours
Hola Nick!


Feb. 17th --------- Visit National Park (Arenas del Mar)


Today we will all make our way into the National Park. It is located near the hotel and we will make the flat walk between two of Costa Rica's most beautiful and protected beaches. The park is filled with wildlife and a chance for everyone to see it up close. Your naturalist guide will keep you informed on the tropical rainforest and the different animals in the area. In the afternoon you can enjoy the beaches more or make your way to the beaches and just relax. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)




Manuel Antonio
Feb. 18th --------- Enjoy Beach (Arenas del Mar)


Today is a day to enjoy the beach. You can finish the book you were reading or we can take you down to do some snorkeling in the area as we discussed on the phone. It is not the best but some days you do get lucky and see quite a bit of fish so you never know and it is a great day of swimming in beautiful water  that is around 80 degrees and sunny during Feb. (Meals: Breakfast)


Feb. 19th -------- Fly Home!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

West Hills Camp Costa Rica

Surf Classes
Day 1 ---------- Arrive and Drive to Dominical (Beach Hotel)

Today we will meet you outside of the airport and make the drive to the Pacific coast. We will be staying in small little beach town called Dominical. This is a great place in walking distance to the water. It will be a long travel day and we will get you in the hotel and rested for the weeks adventure. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 2 ---------- Surf & Enjoy Beach (Beach Hotel)

Today you can sleep in and then it is up for some surfing after everyone gets rested. Your group will be privately instructed on how to surf and every kid will get a board. This is a great learning activity and a chance to spend the day on the beach. In the evening it is back to the hotel and enjoy a meal as a group. If you are interested in doing evening activities as part of West Hill curriculum we can do them during the evenings. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 3 ---------- Enter Cavern & Rappel Waterfall (Sleep in Cavern)

Today we will enter the cavern. This is one of Costa Rica's most beautiful areas and a chance to challenge the kids on a 2 hour hike that is a bit strenuous (nothing your average high school kid can not handle). When we arrive to the cavern we will eat lunch behind 3 waterfalls and then rappel the largest fall. This is a rappel of over 120ft and absolutely beautiful. We will then hike to a 600ft fall and have amazing views from the upper area. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 4 ---------- Hike to Pools & Drive to Turrialba (Casa Turire)

Today we will hike to the pools where you will have the chance to jump off a waterfall into the pools below. After we jump off the waterfall it will be time for lunch. We then will make our way over to the Turrialba area driving over Costa Rica's tallest mountain range. This is a beautiful drive. After sleeping in the cave we like to give everyone a good nights rest so we will be staying in the Casa Turire hotel which is a great spot close to the river for the next day of adventure. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 5 ---------- Raft Pacuare River (Camp on River)

Camp Pacuare
Today it is what we consider the best adventure of the week. National Geographic has this listed as one of the top 5 rivers on the planet. The world rafting championships were held here last month and we are proud to say our guides placed 9th in the planet (3 of our own river guides were on the Costa Rica National Team). Here we will put in the river and have a half day of rafting as we make our way to the campsite. This is a great camp site where everything is set up for you with tents above ground and we prepare the food for you. If you would like to do some evening activities this is a great place to do some games along side the river surrounded by primary rainforest. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 6 ---------- Raft & Drive to Arenal Volcano (Arenal Hotel)



The first 2 hours of rafting today are some of the best you will find on the planet. Not only are the rapids good but you get the most scenic part of the Pacuare River. Here you will see canyons and waterfalls that fall into the river. If the river was not enough beauty for you the day will end by driving to the pefectly cone-shaped Arenal Volcano. This is like nothing you have seen in NY and a spot worth visiting when in Costa Rica. When we arrive to the hotel we will have dinner waiting for you upon arrival. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 7 ---------- Zipline (Arenal Hotel)


If you are going to zipline in Costa Rica there are over 100 different ones to choose from. We highly suggest picking the one on the side of the Arenal Volcano. This is one of the highest (700ft), fastest, and not to mention it has a close up view of the volcano. In the afternoon the kids will have chance to do some souvenir shopping and enjoy their last night in Costa Rica. We will plan an evening farewell activity. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 8 ---------- Fly Home!

Today we will make the drive to the airport and catch the flight home!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Round 2 from Chi-Town!

Hacienda Tayutic
Day 1 ------ Arrive & Drive to Turrialba (Hacienda Tayutic)

Today we will meet you at the airport and make the drive to the Turrialba area. You will be staying in the Hacienda Tayutic which is a beautiful Hacienda actually located in the village you visited the last time you were in the area. It is a beautiful place with amazing views of the valley below and the smoking Turrialba volcano. It will give you a chance to enjoy a "real experience" which I know you guys love. (Meals: None)

Day 2 ------ Duckies in Pejibaye River (Hacienda Tayutic)

I also know you guys love the water so it is another trip filled with plenty of water. Since you are the experts after having rafted some of Costa Rica's best this time we will be taking you on the Pejibaye river which is a smaller river of class II & III rapids but we will make it challenging by allowing you to be in your own private raft. This is a one person raft and you will have a kayak paddle as we play follow the leader down a beautiful river and a chance to stear your own boat. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 3 ------ Enter Pacuare River (Pacuare Lodge)


You know this river well and this year we will be starting about 5 miles higher up river than we did last time. We will have a nice day of rafting, hiking, and then a river lunch as we make our way to the half way point where you will be staying in the beautiful Pacuare Lodge. This place is amazing and one of the finest hotels you will find in the country and it just happens to be tucked away in the jungle on the Pacuare River. If you have to sleep in the jungle you mine as well treat yourself to a little luxury. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 4 ------ Leave Pacuare River and Drive to Caribbean (Almonds & Corals)


Today we will raft the famous Pacuare Canyon which is home to the class IV rapids and the most scenic areas of this river. We will make our way to the low land where we will then drive to the Caribbean Coast. Fortunately the Pacuare River drains to the Caribbean side so much of our travels was done in the river. Our final stop will be the Almonds & Corals which is a true eco-lodge. It is an amazing place that is covered in wildlife. It is more jungle and one of the only true beachfront eco-lodges I know of. It is of little to no impact to the environment with a very pleasant splash of luxury all around. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 5 ------ Snorkel Reefs (Almonds & Corals)

With over 35 different species of corals and 500 edemic fish species you will really enjoy snorkeling on the Caribbean side. This is a beautiful day in the water and some time to enjoy the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean. In the evening you can just relax at the lodge and enjoy the sounds of the many howler monkeys around your room.. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 6 ------ Visit Indigenous Tribe Bri-bri (Almonds & Corals)

If there is one group that I know would enjoy this visit it is you guys and it is a real experience as we make our way deep into the Bri-bri territory and experience a true ancient culture. We will spend the day with members of the indigenous tribe of Bri-bri as they introduce us into their culture, language, and food. In the evening it is back to the lodge to enjoy and relax at the beach. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 7 ------ Travel to San Jose (Grano de Oro)


Today you can spend the morning on the beach and then we will make the drive back to San Jose. You will be staying in the Grano de Oro hotel in San Jose which is one of my favorite hotels in all of Costa Rica. It is a great spot to stay after being jungl-fied for the last week. (Meals: Breakfast)




Day 8 ------ Fly Home!


Back to Chi-Town and start planning for writing that blog!!!

Sample Itin Pacuare, Arenal, Manuel Antonio

Day 1 -------- Arrive & Drive to Turrialba (Casa Turire Hotel)

Today we will meet you outside the (SJO) San Jose airport and your private guide and driver will take you to the Casa Turire Hotel which is a beautiful hotel located in the valley of Turrialba. You will have excellent views of the smoking Turrialba volcano. (Meals: None)

Day 2 --------- Raft Pacuare River & Drive to Arenal (Casa Luna Lodge)

Rated as one of the top rivers on the planet for rafting the Pacuare River is a must do when looking for adventure and unmatched scenery. We will get an early start and spend the full day on the river. Your trip is privately run by our company allowing you to go at your own pace. After the rafting we will make our way to the Arenal Volcano where you will be staying in the Casa Luna Lodge which has excellent views of the Arenal Volcano. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 3 --------- Zipline, La Fortuna Falls, & HotSprings (Casa Luna Lodge)

There are many ziplines in Costa Rica and this is by far the best their is. It measures up to 700ft high and 1km long on 8 different cables. The best part is that you get an upclose look at the side of the Arenal Volcano. After a morning of zipline we will make our way to La Fortuna Falls where you can hike your way down to the bottom and take a swim. In the evening we will be making our way to the hotsprings where you will have a chance to relax in the thermal waters with views of the Volcano. (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 4 --------- Canyoneering & Drive to Manuel Antonio (Beach Hotel)

A great trip and a chance to get wet, enjoy some adventure, and make your way down a canyon. We will make our way through the jungle on our hands and feet and then rappel 3 different waterfalls that measure up to 120ft each. It is a perfect morning that usually gets everyone sleeping for the afternoon drive to the beach. We will plan on trying to get to the beach before sunset so you can enjoy the view. If you want to stay in Manuel Antonio it is a touristy area and there are a number of places to stay but we do offer a place just 30 minutes south that is isolated and tucked away in the jungle it would be your own little private villa with breakfast served for you. It is really a unique place as you can see in the video. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 5 --------- Visit National Park (Beach Hotel)

Today no matter where you decide to stay an easy day trip to the Manuel Antonio National Park will be a must as you get a chance to see all the monkeys you can ever want to see. It is a beautiful park with some of Costa Rica's most pristine beaches. In the afternoon you will have the time to relax back at your hotel or just enjoy some more time in the sand. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 6 --------- Relax at Beach (Beach Hotel)

Today is your day to relax on the beach. An option might be to take on some surf lessons. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 7 --------- More Beach Time (Beach Hotel)

Another day of just relaxing by the beach or we can add some more activities. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 8 --------- Fly Home!

Today we will transport you back to the airport to catch your flight home. This would be the SJO San Jose airport and an afternoon flight would be best. (Meals: Breakfast)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Muir Itin Feb. 2012 #2

Day 1 ------- Drive to Villa Blanca Cloudforest (Villa Blanca)

Today we will pick you up at the airport an take you on a short drive just outside of the San Jose area to a beautiful cloudforest called Villa Blanca. Here you will be staying in a really neat hotel with views out over the cloudforest. The Villa Blanca hotel is a hotel that was a former home of an ex-president and now is made into a hotel that is very isolated but not far from the airport just over an hour. It is a bit chilly but not freezing and will give you a chance to see one of the most biodiverse area of the tropics. In the evening there will be a night hike where you will get the chance to see all the critters that come out at night! (Meals: None)


Day 2 ------- Visit Poas Volcano Crater (Villa Blanca)

Today we will visit the Poas Volcano Crater. This is a good starter day as it is a very easy access to the crater. We will drive to a flat short hike that is 9,000ft in elevation and is only 600mt hike on a flat service to look into the active crater of Poas. After the Poas Crater the best part of the trip is having lunch at Freddy Fresas. Here we will have the best plate of beans and rice you have ever had. We can also fit in a coffee tour on this day or just head back to Villa Blanca to enjoy the cloudforest in the afternoon. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)


Day 3 ------- Travel to Arenal (Manoa or Nayara)

Today we will make the short travel day to the Arenal area. Unlike the Poas Volcano the Arenal volcano we will have to look at from a distance. The drive for today is very easy and is just over one hour. You will be dropping in elevation and see the difference of the lowland tropical rainforest as compared to the cloudforest you will be coming from. Today we will arrive to the Manoa of the Nayara Resort. I put the two options because they are both very nice but if you wanted to cut cost for the trip then we could take out Nayara and replace it with Manoa. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 4 ------- Zipline & La Fortuna Falls (Manoa or Nayara)

Today we will do the zipline of the cables that run 700ft above the rainforest floor. Those that want to do the gandola ride and view the canopy will have the option along with just taking a short nature hike. In the evening we will visit the La Fortuna Falls where the older crowd can walk in and see the waterfall from a distance and the more adventurous can see it from down below if they want to hike the 633 steps down and up. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 5 ------- Canyoneering & Hotsprings (Manoa or Nayara)

Today will be the canyoneering and the hotsprings similar to the last itinerary. (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 6 ------- Travel to Turrialba & Chocolate Tour (Casa Turire)

Today we will travel to Turrialba which is the long day of travel of around 4 hours. The good part is that it is on flat low land which makes the travel time not that bad as compared to the windy mountain roads of Costa Rica. We will stop along the way at a Cacao plantation and you will get the chance to learn about how chocolate is made and the impact it has had on the tropics.  When we arrive to Turrialba you will be staying in one of my favorite hotels Casa Turire which is a perfect spot especially if the Muir's have 7 rooms you will have half the place rented. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 7 ------- Raft Pacuare River (Casa Turire)

No doubt in my mind this is the best of Costa Rica. The Pacuare River is rated by National Geographic as one of the top 5 on the planet. It is truly a scenic area that is one of a kind even in Costa Rica. The rapids are great and the 3 hour run is something that you can say you did that the Mader's did not because Martha was too young. We will do a river lunch on the river. The older crowd will relax at the Casa Turire or we can have a side tour planned if they want but it is not a bad place to hang out. The Casa Turire also has amazing views of the smoking volcano of Turrialba. Also if we are in the Turrialba area we can take your for a local dinner in a nearby mountain village. This is an amazing experience where you kids can get the chance to see some local dance by kids there age that we have perform and meet the locals. The Mader's actually lived with one of the families in the village.  (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 8 ------- Fly Home!

Today we will catch the plan and fly home!

Muir Itin Feb. 2012 #1

Nayara
Day 1 ----------- Arrive & Drive to Arenal (Arenal Volcano)

Today we will meet you outside of the airport. We will make it a full day of traveling as we continue to the Arenal Volcano. You will be staying in one of Costa Rica's most unique hotels called Nayara. This is a great spot that all will love which will have a great view of the Volcano from your room. (Meals: None)

Day 2 ----------- Zipline & Nature Reserve (Arenal Volcano)


The area around the Arenal Volcano has some of the best adventures in the area. During the first day we plan to start this trip off right doing a 700ft high zipline. It is run on 8 different cables and the Mader's can tell you about this one because they did it at night. They don't do it at night anymore I guess the Mader's were the only ones crazy enough to sign up for that tour. The best part about this zipline is that it has a gandola ride that the older couples can ride and get an upclose look at the canopy of the rainforest. In the evening we will take you to a nature reserve that is very easy hiking on a small reserve. This will allow everyone to get an intro to the rainforest and see some animals including the poisonous dart frogs which the kids always get a kick about. (Meals: Breakfast)


Day 3 ----------- Canyoneering & Hot Springs (Arenal Volcano)

We will keep the adventure going as we make our way down the Canyon near the volcano. This is a great adventure and you will have the chance to rappel 3 different waterfalls during your trip down the canyon. You get soaked during this adventure and it is a great way to spend the day in the jungle. After the canyoneering we will head over to the hotsprings. The hotsprings basically are very luxurious pool area so you know but it is a nice place to spend the evening that the older couples can enjoy with a nice meal for eveyone. (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 4 ----------- Travel to Manuel Antonio (Arenas del Mar)

Arenal Volcano
Today is a travel day. It wil be a great way to see the country as we will take you to the Manuel Antonio area. You will be staying in the beautiful Arenas del Mar. This is a place that has one of the best views of the Pacific in all of Costa Rica at one of it's most beautiful beaches. The Manuel Antonio area is a bit of a touristy area but the nice part about the Arenas del Mar is that it is hidden from it all. It might be a good fit for the variety of age where there is something for everyone in the area. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 5 ----------- Surf Classes (Arenas del Mar)

Today it is time to take on some waves. The waves of Manuel Antonio are great for learning how to surf and if you already know then it is a great spot to work on your skills. Today will be a day just to relax and we can take you out to eat at one of the many sunset places to eat in the Manuel Antonio area. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 6 ----------- Raft Savegre (Arenas del Mar)

Surf Classes w/ Luigi!
This happens to be my personal favorite activities in the country. Since it is where you met the Mader's on a rafting trip I figured I would include it on this trip also. The Savegre River is a great river for rafting and filled with some beautiful waterfalls and some nice rapids. It will be a day on the water and a chance to get back in time to enjoy some time in the ocean. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 7 ----------- Visit National Park (Arenas del Mar)


We will spend the morning doing a nature hike through one of Costa Rica's most fascinating National Parks. This is a chance to see more monkeys than people along with the perfect beach. This is a morning hike along with spending some time in the water. In the afternoon you can make your way back to the hotel to relax or enjoy the rest of the day on the beach.


Day 8 ----------- Fly Home!


Today we will make the 2 hour drive to the airport to catch your flight home. (Meals: Breakfast)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sample Itin Dec. 17th - Dec. 27th

Nayara
Day 1 ---------- Arrive and Drive to Arenal Volcano (Nayara Resort)


Today you will be met outside the airport by your private guide and driver. You will drive to what has been voted one of the top hotels in all of Central America. The famous Nayara Resort sits right in front of the Arenal Volcano and is the perfect place to spend 3 days relaxing. (Meals: None)

Day 2 ---------- Zipline & Relax at Nayara Resort (Nayara Resort)

Today you can sleep in and enjoy the views of the volcano. We will make our way to the other side of the volcano and get ready for one of the best adventures in all of Costa Rica. The zipline will take you zipping through the rainforest with amazing views of the Arenal Lake and the active volcano. For the little one we have the gondola ride and a children's nature hike while the others are on the zipline. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 3 ---------- Visit Nature Reserve - Sloths, Frogs, & Monkeys (Nayara Resort)

Today we'll visit a small nature reserve in the rainforest. It is an easy hike and is home to some of Costa Rica's most well known animals. You will get an up close look at the poisonous dart frogs, sloths, and monkeys. In the afternoon it is back to Nayara to relax. (Meals: Breakfast)
Welcome to Costa Rica kids!

Day 4 ---------- Fly to Pacific Coast (Beach House Rental)

Today we'll take you to the airport that is just 10 minutes from the hotel where you will take a in-country flight to the airport that is located on the Pacific coast. This will put you in close proximity to your next stop which will be a seven night house rental on the Pacific ocean. The house rental is one of a kind and is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, two streams that pass infront and on the side, and views of the Pacific. It is not in walking distance from the beach as it is where the mountain meets the sea so it would be a steep hike. Ask David Bernstein about the hike. He insisted on hiking because he said it was excellent excercise and I have to give him credit he did an amazing job. Because of availability it is not the same house  David was at, but it is just as nice and located in the same area. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 5 ---------- River Rafting on Easy Class I & II rapids (Beach House Rental)

Today we will all be going rafting! Even the little one gets to go as we'll be rafting some smaller rapids and plan on keeping everyone in the boat on these small rapids. It is still great fun to raft through the jungle and get a little wet on this half day tour. In the afternoon we can relax on the beach or back at the house. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Table of 6
Day 6 ---------- Relax at Beach (Beach House Rental)

Today we will tone it down a notch and either explore some of the local beaches or just relax at the house with the beautiful views and sounds of the jungle. There are many other things to do in the area and if the kids are looking for more things to do we can make it happen. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 7 ---------- Horseback to Waterfall (Beach House Rental)


Today we will do another half day tour to a nearby waterfall which is one of Costa Rica's most beautiful. Another option would be to rappel the waterfall which David did but we would have to let the little one stay at the top. We could then hike down to the bottom with the little one. The other option in which all could participate would be the horseback to the waterfall. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 8 ---------- Relax at Beach (Beach House Rental)

Today is your day to relax at the beach. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 9 ---------- Relax at Beach (Beach House Rental)

Relax at the beach. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 10 -------- Fly Home!