Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Michael Sample Itin April 2012

Day 1 -------- Arrive and Stay in San Jose (Grano de Oro)

Today we will meet you outside of the airport with your private naturalist guide and driver. We understand you will have just had a long day of traveling with the kids and will take you straight to the hotel. The Grano de Oro Hotel is one of the finest and San Jose. It is a small hotel but a perfect setting close to the airport with the best restaurant in all of the city. (Meals: None)

Day 2 -------- Drive to Hacienda Tayutic & Visit Irazu Volcano  (Hacienda Tayutic)

We will go ahead and head out after breakfast. Your guide will give you a city tour on the history of Costa Rica from looking at the sites in the this capital city, San Jose. After the city tour we will make our way out of the valley and drive to the area of Turrialba. We will first stop at the tallest volcano in all of Costa Rica which is the Irazu Volcano where you will have a chance to make an easy hike to the top where you can experience the views of both the Pacific and the Caribbean Coasts.

When we arrive to Hacienda Tayutic you'll enjoy the amazing views of the smoking Turrialba Volcano. We decided to make Day 2 a travel day thinking you could get a full day's rest on Day 3 in this beautiful setting. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 3 -------- Day at the Hacienda (Hacienda Tayutic)

Today it is your day to rest from all the traveling. We will make it a relax day but we still have plenty of things we like to offer if the kids are up for it. The village (Sitio de Mata) around the Hacienda Tayutic is filled with little kids that enjoy meeting and interacting with visiting children. It can be a great opportunity for your 10 and 12 year olds to learn a little bit about the different culture of Costa Rica. We really enjoy visiting the local kids and organizing a recycle craft class, a soccer game, or just practicing a little Spanish. The rest of the day is back to resting up for the days full of adventure ahead. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 4 -------- Enter Pacuare River (Pacuare Lodge)

Rated as one of the top five rivers on the planet by National Geographic, I will not try and convince you that this is worth your time to make this part of the itinerary. It is actually so worth it we think spending the night on the river makes it even that much better. Don't worry Michael you will be blown away at how luxury has met the rainforest at the river bank of Pacuare. This is the Pacuare Lodge and is one of the best nights you will spend in all of Costa Rica. The morning will be filled with rafting some class II & III rapids. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 5 -------- Leave Pacuare River and drive to Caribbean Coast (Almonds & Corals)

This is day two of rafting and the only thing that can beat waking up to the flowing sound of the Pacuare River surrounded by pristine primary rainforest, is the rapids you will face today. Today you will run the Pacuare Canyon and since you will be coming in April it will be a little low and the kids will do fine but do plan on getting very wet. The canyons and waterfalls make for some of the most scenic areas in all of Costa Rica. We will be rafting for around two hours today as we make our way out of the Pacuare Canyon and end up on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. We will then drive to one of our favorite places that happens to be filled with wildlife called Almonds & Corals. This is an ecolodge just steps away from the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean. On the hotel's grounds, just getting to your room is a nature hike in itself. This is really a special place with a touch of luxury, but a true ecolodge in Costa Rica. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 6 -------- Snorkel & Nature Hike (Almonds & Corals)

With 35 different species of corals in the Caribbean and over 500 endemic species of fish, going snorkeling on the Caribbean side is a must. The area is beautiful and very remote allowing you to feel as if you and your kids were the first ever humans to venture into these waters. The day in the water makes for a great combo of seeing a little marine life and then walking back to the ecolodge and seeing more wildlife on land. The evening is for relaxing on the beach and taking a short nature hike with your naturalist if you are in the mood. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 7 -------- Nature Hike & Tree Rappel (Almonds & Corals)

This is a combo day--nature hiking and rappeling down trees. We will make our way up into the trees of the rainforest and get a view of the canopy from above. This is a great adventure that the kids will have no problem doing. It is a rappel down a tree and is a very exciting ride. We then continue our way through the jungle looking for more wildlife and then an afternoon relaxing at the beach. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 8 -------- Travel to Tortuguero (Manatus Tortuguero)

Today we will travel to Tortuguero. This is the Venice of the rainforst and I know you have done your research on this area Michael, and we can assure you it is worth it. You should know that March or April are not the high turtle nesting months. Without turtles there is still much to see. One of our favorite tours is a night hike allowing the kids to see the difference in the critters that come out during the day and those that come out at night. (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 9 -------- Canal Floats (Manatus Tortuguero)

Today you will ride through the canals on boats, your naturalist pointing out the many different animals you're floating by. In the afternoon you will have time to relax at the hotel and enjoy the view of the canals of Tortuguero. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 10 ------- Fly to Puerto Jimenez (Nicuesa Ecolodge)

Fly to Puerto Jimenez where you will then continue your journey to another one of our favorite ecolodges known as Nicuesa. You know it is a great spot when you can only arrive by boat. Here you will instantly realize the difference in the Caribbean and the Pacific as you start to see different species of flor and fauna. You again will be just steps away from the ocean and surrounded by jungle. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 11 ------- Sea-kayak & Nature Hike (Nicuesa Ecolodge)

Today you will venture out into the ocean where you will have the chance to see some dolphins. You will be doing the rowing as you make your way around the area by sea-kayak. In the afternoon there are a number of optional activities such as nature hikes and edable plants of the jungle. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 12 ------- Fly to Arenal Volcano (Nayara Resort)

Today you will fly to one of the best hotels in all of Costa Rica. If you are looking for a view of the Arenal Volcano this is the spot. The Nayara Resort has been one of the top hotels for the last three years in Costa Rica and continues to be a favorite of travelers from all over the world. You will make the flight from the southern zone in the morning and have time to enjoy the Nayara Resort in the evening. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 13 ------- Zipline, Waterfall Hike, & Organic Farm (Nayara Resort)

There are a number of different ziplines in the country and this is by far our favorite not only because it is the highest and fastest but it also happens to be the safest. We will spend the morning zipping through the rainforest. After the zipline we will hike to one of Costa Rica's most beautiful waterfalls, La Fortuna Falls. After the hike to the waterfall you will enjoy a delicious lunch at Don Juan's farm. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 14 ------- Canyoneering & Hotsprings (Nayara Resort)

One of the favorite adventures for kids is canyoneering. It allows them to be soaking wet in a tropical canyon making their way down on hands and feet. Then you get to some waterfalls where you will need to rappel the canyon. This is an amazing adventure that the kids will love. After the canyoneering you will head to the relaxing hotsprings to enjoy the thermal waters of the volcano. (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 15 - 20 ------ Relax at Capitan Suizo (Capitan Suizo)

These are your days to relax at the beach!

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