Sunday, January 8, 2012

Costa Rica Sample Itin 2012

I will see you when you leave San Jose!
Day 1 ------- Arrive (Grano de Oro)

Today because you get in at 7pm we will make the short drive to the Grano de Oro Hotel. You will be met outside the airport by your driver and guide who will be with you the entire trip. This will get you a good night's rest and the hotel is on the right side of San Jose to make the morning trip to the Caribbean. The Grano de Oro Hotel is a small boutique hotel and one of our favorites for arrivals and departures and no question our favorite in San Jose. (Meals: None)

Day 2 ------- Drive to Caribbean Coast (Almonds & Corals)

Today your driver and guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and get you on your way to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. You will be staying at Costa Rica's top ecolodge which is surrounded by rainforest and plenty of opportunity to take pictures of wildlife. The rooms are luxurious with a low impact on the environment. Some might call this extremely luxurious camping but most don't seem to mind the trade-offs of staying in an ecolodge and knowing you will see much more wildlife. We will arrive after lunch time and have the chance to enjoy the beach and take some walks around the lodge. In the evening dinner will be at the lodge and the food is excellent as you eat in a dining area surrounded by jungle with an occasional monkey making a visit. (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 3 ------- Snorkel & Nature Hike (Almonds & Corals)

The best snorkeling in the country is located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. With over 35 different species of coral and March being the best time it makes for the perfect visit to this area. The day will be a short boat ride out to a remote island where you will snorkel and then have lunch on a point that jets out into the sea. After lunch you'll take a nature hike through the famous Cahuita National Park. This park is similar to the Manuel Antonio National Park but much less touristy. In the evening it is back to the Almonds & Corals to shower up and get ready for another great dinner. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 4 ------- Travel to Tortuguero (Tortuguero Lodge)

Hola Alec!
Today we'll drive north and then take a boat ride through the canals. This area has been called the Venice of the rainforest and is a great chance to feel like your off the beaten path, headed deep into the jungle. When you arrive there are some nice lodges that will allow you a bit of luxury amist the wild jungle surroundings. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 5 ------- Wildlife Boat Float & Kayak in Canals (Tortuguero Lodge)

Tortuguero Canals
This is a full day of nature and mild adventure.  First, you'll take an early morning boat ride through the canals with your naturalist guide as you search for wildlife. In the afternoon after lunch you can do the kayaks through some of the more narrow canals which is a nice little float and a chance to see some more animals close up and navigate you way through the canals with your guide. In the evening you'll take a night-hike on the beach where the Leatherback sea-turtles are nesting their eggs. This is a hit or miss type of excursion and sighting is not 100% guaranteed but well worth the chance as you venture out onto 22 miles of protected beachfront in one of the most important nesting sites in all of the Americas.

Day 6 ------- Fly to San Jose and Drive to MonteVerde (El Establo Monteverde Hotel)

The and most efficient way to get to our next stop, Monteverde, is to take a 30 minute flight to San Jose and then drive to Monteverde. This really will not be that bad a day of traveling. You can look at the flight as your first tour of the day as you will get a great view of the layout of the country which is only on average around 55 miles wide. Flying over the top offers amazing views. After you land in San Jose your guide will be met by your driver and take you to the Monteverde area where you will be staying in El Establo which has excellent views of the Pacific slopes and the cloudforest. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 7 ------- Visit Monteverde Reserve (El Establo Monteverde Hotel)

One of the places that made Costa Rica famous was the Monteverde cloudforest which was settled by the Quakers and later discovered by scientists and is now one of the most renown protected areas on the planet. This is a great place to see the famous Resplentant Quetzal bird along with many different species of humming birds. If you wanted to include a zipline tour today we could fit it in, no problem. Another option and interesting activity in the area are the night hikes where you get to learn that just as much is going on in the rainforest at night as there is going on during the day. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 8 ------- Travel to San Jose (Airport Hotel)

Today is a travel day to San Jose where you will be staying in an airport hotel or the same Grano de Oro would be a nice option and way to end the trip. (Meals: Breakfast)

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

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