Friday, August 5, 2011

Sandi: Sample Itin March 2012

Day 1 March 31st ---------- Arrive Grano de Oro (Grano de Oro)

Poas Volcano
Today you will be met at the airport by your private guide and driver. He will take you to your first hotel. This is a beautiful hotel located in the capital city of San Jose. There is actually much to see now in San Jose. The city has made incredible improvements in recent years. One of the gems of the city though has always been the Grano de Oro hotel which we know you will love. When you arrive to the hotel you will have a chance to sit down with your guide and go over the itinerary getting a quick orientation on what to expect and a feel for the week. (Meals: Dinner)

Day 2 April 1st  ---------- Poas y Cafe (Grano de Oro)

After you enjoy one of the best breakfasts in San Jose at the hotel, we will make our way to the Poas Volcano crater. This is a beautiful crater that is around 9,000ft and is very easy access making you able to walk right up to the edge of the crater and look deep into it's center. This is a beautiful day and a chance to see the entire landscape of the country from one of Costa Rica's tallest points. After the 
You Girls drink coffee?
Poas Volcano visit we will visit a coffee plantation.  But first we will stop for one of the best lunches in all of Costa Rica. The lunch is called the Casado and you can find it almost everywhere, but the Casado that is made at Freddy Fresas on the slopes of the Poas Volcano is like non other. Costa Rica has been growing on coffee for the last 150 years and it is a large part of the country's heritage to show off their coffee crop. This is a very educational tour where you will learn the history and the process of how the coffee goes from getting harvested on a tree to being the sweet tasting cup of joe you enjoy in the morning.

We plan to send you three girls back experts on Costa Rica. Your guide today will talk about the formation of Costa Rica and the types of volcanos and how they have affected the landscape and history of the country. Your guide will also give you a city tour giving you the history behind the city of San Jose. Don't worry I have not forgotten you will have the later part of the afternoon to get some R&R back at Grano de Oro. (Meals:Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 3 April 2nd ---------- Villa Blanca Night Hike (Villa Blanca)

Hola Sandi!
Enough with the city it is time to get you out into what Costa Rica is known for. Today you will make the 1 1/2 hour drive into the cloud-forest of San Lorenzo. Here you will be staying at what just might be our favorite hotel in the country. The Villa Blanca is the former vacation home of an ex-president and when he sold it, the new owners turned it into a beautiful hotel in the middle of the cloud-forest. We will get an early start and you will have the entire day to enjoy the grounds which are filled with amazing views, hiking trails, and perfect for relaxing. In the evening it will be time for a night hike. No sense going to Costa Rica if you just go to see things during the day because most of the wildlife comes out at night. During the night hike it is an very flat easy hiking trail that will take you through the cloudforest with your guide and flashlights learning about this amazingly bio-diverse area at and how it differs during the day. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 4 April 3rd ---------- Travel to Manoa Relax (Manoa)

Arenal Volcano
You will casually wake up with the morning sounds of the cloud-forest and enjoy an easy morning of taking pictures of the views and if it is clear you can even see the Arenal Volcano far in the distance. After you spend a quiet morning we will make the drive to the Arenal. This is a 1 1/2 hour drive that will take you to the the perfectly cone-shaped Arenal Volcano and you will be staying in a hotel that is the spot for excellent views and relaxing at the Arenal Volcano. The name of the hotel is Manoa and you will have very spacious rooms with balconys that look out at the volcano. There is a pool that should be at most 5 -Star resorts and hottub that just so happens to have the best view of the volcano. But even better than that, this hotel has hotsprings which are thermal water from the volcano. The afternoon will be your chance to just relax at the hotel and enjoy the scenery. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 5 April 4th ---------- Sky Tram & Don Juan (Manoa)

Today you will visit a completely different type of forest as you ride the aerial tram and are guided through the canopy of the rainforest. This is not the zipline it is more of a gandola ride. You will have the chance to ride for miles on a gondola ride through the canopy of the rainforest seeing all the different species that live in the canopy. Along with the canopy you will have breath-taking views of the volcano and the Arenal Lake below. Your guide will be with you to explain everything  you need to know and keep you informed on some of the most interesting facts of the rainforest and Costa Rica. 

After your gandola ride it will be a visit over to Don Juan's Farm. This is a fully organic farm. Don Juan is a farmer who teaches with a passion and he invites us into his two acre farm where we will learn organic, speak organic, touch organic, and best of all taste all the organic food Don Juan has. The lunch at Don Juan is without question the best lunch in all of the country. In the afternoon you can just relax at Manoa. If you want we can take you in to the city of La Fortuna and do some shopping. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch) 

Day 6 April 5th ---------- Visit Cano Negro (Manoa)

Hanging with Don Juan
Today is wildlife day. We will be making an hour drive to the northern wetlands of Costa Rica where you will have the chance to float on a boat and enjoy the wildlife. The name of the this area is called the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge and it is filled with all the animals you want to see from sloths, monkeys, caymens, and hundreds of different species of birds. We will visit the Cano Negro in the afternoon and take about a 2 hour float as your guide explains all the interesting facts and symbiotic relations of the different wildlife and the wetland ecosystems. This is a half day trip and again you will have time to enjoy your evening in the Manoa Hotel. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 7 April 6th ---------- Travel to Monteverde (Monteverde Hotel)

Today you will travel to Monteverde. Monteverde is one of the most biodiverse places in Costa Rica. It is an area that put Costa Rica on the map as it was one of the first areas for conservation and the study of biodiversity of the tropics. The tempatures are cool and you will be staying around 7,000ft. It is an absolutely beautiful area and you actually feel like you are in some sort of movement with clouds rolling in and clearing throughout the day. Your travels to Monteverde will be a tour in itself. You will travel by bus and your guide to the lake. From there you will hop on a boat taxi to take you 40 minutes across the lake and then your bus will meet you and take you to your Monteverde Hotel. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 8 April 7th ---------- Visit Reserve & Hanging Bridges (Monteverde Hotel)

You will visit the Monteverde Reserve which is one of the most recognized reserves in all of the world. It is a mystical place where the forest is in full form. You will spend the morning just walking through the easy flat trails and your guide will explain the importance of this area on a local and global scale. After visiting the reserve you will have the chance to go to the hanging bridges. The hanging bridges are quite an adventure as you will be 200 ft above the rainforest floor walking on a suspension bridge. This is another excellent way to see different angles of this magical forest. In the afternoon you will have time to relax in your hotel. ( Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 9 April 8th ---------- Travel to Manuel Antonio (Espadilla)

You will be leaving the Monteverde area and traveling to the Central Pacific. We will make the drive with your private driver and guide to the area of Manuel Antonio. This is without question one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Costa Rica. It is an area where the rainforest meets the ocean. They say there are still more monkeys than people in this area and I believe it because they are everywhere. The travel time today is around 3 1/2 hours and you will get a free back massage leaving Monteverde which I am sure you girls won't mind. The free back massage is actually the 1 hour of bumpy road on your way out from Monteverde but it is really not that bad.

When you arrive to the Pacific side you will be there just in time for the sunset. You will be staying at the Espadilla hotel which is just steps away from the National Park and the public beach.  (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 10 April 9th --------- Beach Day (Espadilla)

After a day of traveling we decide to give you a full day free. The National Park is closed on Mondays and
looking at the calendar you girls wil have to wait till tomorrow to do the National Park tour. Today you can just relax at the beach or we can set up some other tours such as snorkel, zipline, sea-kayak, rainforest spice tour or things of such. (Meals: Breakfast)

Manuel Antonio
Day 11 April 10th -------- Visit National Park Manuel Antonio (Espadilla)

One of Costa Rica's most visited National Parks is Manuel Antonio. If it were up to us we would make you girls the only ones allowed in this day but it turns out there is a lot to see and everyone wants to see it. We will plan on going in when the crowds are not there but it is a beautiful hike that opens up to some amazing views of the Pacific coastline. Your naturalist guide will walk you through giving you a tour and explanation of this different type of ecosystem and how it relates to the different areas you have seen in the last week. In the afternoon you can relax on the white sandy beaches of National Park

Day 12 April 11th -------- Relax at Beach  (Espadilla)
Two-toed Sloth

Today is your final day to relax fully either at the beach or just hanging at the hotel pool. Again we can set up some options for you if you would like. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day  13 April 12th ------- Travel to San Jose (Airport Hotel)

Today we will make the 2 1/2 hour drive back to the Central Valley. You will have the option to spend the morning at the beach and we can head back in the afternoon. When we arrive to the Central Valley you will be staying in an airport hotel that will put you close to the San Jose International Airport (SJO). (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 14 April 13th -------- Fly Home!

Today we transfer you to the airport and you can start planning your return trip to Costa Rica with CRR! There is still a lot more to see. (Meals: Breakfast)

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