Monday, March 28, 2011

Scott: 2 Week Sample Itin

Day 1 ---------------------- Arrive drive to Grano de Oro (Grano de Oro)

Today we will meet you at the airport and take you to your first hotel. This is a beautiful place only around 20 minutes from the airport which will give you a chance to rest up after your day of traveling. (Meals: None)

Day 2 -------------------------------- Cerro de La Muerte (Dantica Lodge)

We will leave San Jose after breakfast at your hotel and drive to Cerro de La Muerte. This is an area where we will be spending one night and going for one reason only. The reason is to give you the chance to see one of the most beautiful species of birds in all the America's. In the past Monteverde has been the usual spotting area for the Quetzal but now it is overcrowded with a Here at Cerro de La Muerte there are a few small lodges that will give us a 99% chance of seeing this bird and it is well worth it. We even take non-birders to these lodges when it fits in the itin and they never regret seeing the Quetzal. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 3 --------- Bird in Morning & Drive to Turrialba (Casa Turire)

Today we will drive to the Turrialba area with pictures of the beautiful Quetzal in our cameras and memories of course.  We will arrive at the Casa Turire Hotel which will give you great views of the smoking cone of Turrialba. This is a very nice hotel, small, and pretty good for birding if you want to get up early in the morning. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 4 --------- Raft Pejibaye River (Casa Turire)

Pejibaye River
Today you can sleep in and then we will take the short ride to the Pejibaye river. The Casa Turire Hotel is located on a lake and the Pejibaye runs into this lake so we finish the trip at the hotel. It is a small rapid but very scenic and has some little rapids but it is the kind of river we use for all families with young kids. We will plan on taking our time in the river. All of this is run privately. You will be in your own raft with your own guide throughout all the trip. In the evening you can have time to relax at the hotel or we can take you to a local village and introduce you to some of the local customs or we can have the kids learn how to make tortillas with some other kids if they are up for it. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 5 --------------------------------------------------- Drive to Sarapiqui & Chocolate Tour (La Selva)

Today we will drive to Sarapiqui and get your bird book out because we will be staying here for one night and plan on checking off big list of birds. Today is around a two hour drive and you can sleep a little bit but we will get somewhat of an early start. Today we'll do the Chocolate Tour when we arrive. This is an amazing tour and the best part about it is that it is hands on. You get to eat and eat chocolate but "real" high quality chocolate. (Meals: Breakfast)

Hola Scott
Day 6 --------- Birding in the Morning & Drive to Arenal Volcano (Nayara Resort)

We will get up before breakfast today and get some birding in. This is a great spot and we can bird as long as your heart desires. When we are done we will drive to the famous Arenal Volcano where you stay in the beautiful Nayara Resort which will give you a perfect view of the perfectly cone-shaped volcano. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 7 --------- Zipline & Visit Danaus Reserve (Nayara Resort)

Arenal Volcano
Let a little of the adventure begin as we take you on a zipline. This is in our opinion one of the best in the country because it has the best views of the Arenal Lake and of course the volcano. Also you see nothing but primary forest under you as you fly over the canopy. After we do the zipline we will go over to the Danaus Reserve. This is a small reserve but one of the best to take a short hike around with your guide. The birding is great here and you'll see many different species of poisonous frogs, three-toed sloths, boat-billed heron, and butterflies. Also the reserve is a great educational stop, proving the importance of reforestation. Just eleven years ago balsa trees were planted here that now look hundreds of years old. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 8 ----------------------------- Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall & HotSprings (Nayara Resort)

Manuel Antonio
Today we will take a hike to one of Costa Rica's most picturesque waterfalls. La Fortuna Falls is absolutely beautiful and a great place for the kids to swim down in the pools at the bottom. After the nice hike we will then make our way to the HotSprings where you have the chance to relax and enjoy a great meal and views of the volcano. (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 9 ----------- San Lorenzo Cloud-Forest & Night Hike (Villa Blanca)

Today we will leave the area of the Arenal Volcano and make our way into the cloud-forest. One option would be to go to the Monte-Verde Cloudforest which is a very nice area but if you wanted just a little bit less crowded there is nothing like the Villa Blanca Hotel in the San Lorenzo cloud-forest. This was the property of the former President of Costa Rica and now it is a beautiful hotel where the clouds might literally be joining you for breakfast or dinner. It opens up for a whole new level of flora & fauna. When you arrive we will check you in and it will be time for your night hike. Hiking through the cloud-forest at night is a great experience. With the knowledge of your guide you will be amazed at how much wildlife is out in the cloud-forest at night and just how interesting some insects can be. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 10 --------- Birding at Villa Blanca in the morning and Drive to the Pacific (Arenas del Mar)

Passerini Tanager
Today we will do some birding in the morning and then when you are ready we will make our way to the Pacific Ocean. Our destination will be the Arenas del Mar which is a perfect hotel looking over the waves of the Pacific. It has private beach, unusual in this Manuel Antonio.
(Meals: Breakfast)

Day 11 --------------------  Rainforest Spice Tour (Arenas del Mar)

If you want to learn some interesting stuff and eat some great tasting samples of spices from the rainforest then this is the place. This is a new, very well run educational tour and demonstration of where, how, and what needs to be done to get the spices from the jungles to your spoon. After the tour you can relax at the hotel or on the beach. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 12 ---------------------------------- Visit Manuel Antonio National Park (Arenas del Mar)

Our Naturalist Guide Eric in Manuel Antoino Park
Today we will make the hike to the Manuel Antonio National Park. If you have not seen all the monkeys you need to see then this is the spot. I still think there are more monkeys than tourists in this park. It is a great spot for the kids to see some mammals upclose such as coatis, white-face capuchin monkeys, and even the endemic squirrel monky. I was in the park last week and saw the Three-Wattled Bellbird which made that trip all worth it for me. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 13 ------- Visit Poas Volcano Crater Drive back to Airport Hotel Grano de Oro (Grano de Oro)

"Poor Man's Umbrella"
Today we will leave the beach and drive back to the airport hotel which will be the same Grano de Oro you stayed at when you arrived. We will make a day out of the drive back as we visit the Poas Volcano Crater where you will see some of the largest leaves ever and an amazing crater. This is a beautiful crater and a chance to drive through some very scenic countryside towns of Costa Rica. After we visit the crater we will have lunch at the best place in the country which is Freddy Fressas. He makes a strawberry drink that is well worth making a toast to the end of an amazing adventure. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 14 -------- Fly Home!

We will get you the airport a good few hours before you flight and send you on your way. (Meals: Breakfast)

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