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!