Classic Costa Rica 9 days / 8 nights SIC

One trip to the 3 most inportant National Parks of Costa Rica from San Jose to Totruguero, Arenal volcanic area and Monteverde Cloud forest Biological reserve

This trip will give you the opportunity to travel to some of the most visited areas in the country. You will be arriving in the Central Valley for a visit to the Poas Volcano National Park and also to learn about one of the most important crops in the country, in Doka Coffee Plantation. A visit to La Paz Waterfall Gardens will give you a nice introduction to Costa Rica’s flora and fauna, before arriving to the lush canals of Tortuguero National Park. Located in the heart of the country, you will visit the city of La Fortuna and the impressive Arenal volcano. Accompanied by a bilingual guide, walk over the rainforest in the Hanging Bridges and enjoy the most extraordinary views of the volcano. The next destination is Monteverde, to visit the renowned Cloud Forest Reserve, before heading back to San Jose to go back home.

  • Excursion to Poas VolcanoDoka Coffee TourLa Paz Waterfall Gardens
  • Explore Tortuguero National Park
  • Two-hour boat ride through the canals in Tortuguero
  • Visit the small town of Tortuguero
  • Visit Arenal Volcano and its hanging bridges.
  • City tour in Monteverde
  • Excursion to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve

Book the Tour

Day 01: Arrival
Meet and greet at Juan Santamaría International Airport. Transfer to your hotel.
Night at Studio Hotel, Standard room
Interesting: Studio Hotel owns a large collection of Costa Rican art, with more than a hundred works from major exponents such as Rafa Fernandez, Isidro Wong and other internationally renowned artists.

Day 02:  Poas Volcano – Doka Coffee Tour – La Paz Waterfall Gardens (B, L)
Breakfast included in the hotel.  Guided visit to Poas Volcano, Doka Coffee Plantation and La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
To get to the different attractions included during this tour, we will drive by the city of Alajuela passing by the Agriculture Monument, the Monument to Juan Santamaria and the famous Mango Park. First stop, will be in Doka, a third-generation coffee plantation to learn how coffee is picked, milled, ground and roasted. As we continue towards the Poas Volcano, we will notice the change in temperature and vegetation; we will see coffee plantations, fern, flower and strawberry farms along the way, creating a colorful landscape. The Poas is one of the most spectacular volcanoes in the country, with its enormous crater measuring one kilometer in diameter and 314 meters deep. The crystal blue sulphur pools will amaze you along with the steam rising from the various volcanic vents. We will also hike to the beautiful Botos Lagoon. The tour continues to discover La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a natural park where we will walk through some spectacular trails leading to the White Magic Waterfall. We will also visit the largest butterfly observatory and the impressive hummingbird gallery, the serpentarium, the old house, the bird house and the frogs’ exhibit. After lunch, we will head back to San José.
Night at Studio Hotel, Standard room

Day 03: San José – Tortuguero (B, L, D)
The fascinating Afro-Caribbean culture, a combination of Jamaican, Italian and Chinese immigrants, predominates in this region and fills the atmosphere with fragrances, tropical rhythms and brilliant colors, which mixes with the daily work of many of the inhabitants on the banana plantations and the ports of Limon and Moin.  After the South Pacific, this is the rainiest region in the country and this factor, combined with high temperatures, makes it a very humid area throughout the year.
The extensive Caribbean plains are beautified by the Pacuare, Estrella, Reventazon and Parismina rivers, which join in some sectors with the Tortuguero canals, of great importance for their scenic splendor and as a site of refuge for the marine turtles to lay their eggs.
Along this area you can observe small groups of houses among the plantations of cassava, annatto, and bananas, as well as a vast number of beautiful beaches on the southern part of the coast, coral reefs, and protected areas with small trails which permit the access into the heart of the tropical forest. After an early departure from San Jose, driving through the spectacular Braulio Carrillo National Park, stop in Rio Danta private restaurant for a delicious typical breakfast. The bus ride continues through banana plantations to the pier. A two-hour boat ride through the canals will take you to Mawamba Lodge… just in time for lunch.
In the afternoon, a visit to the small town of Tortuguero is included before walking back to the lodge by the beach. Before dinner, free time to enjoy the pool or just to relax in a hammock. Dinner is served in the pool restaurant from 7:30 pm.
From July to September
Optional night tour (not included in the package) to observe the turtle nesting.
From September to early December
Green Turtle Hatching Season
Two months after the turtles nesting season starts, baby turtles emerge from the sand to make their way to the Ocean. It is a very special moment to witness the little turtles emerging from the sand and starting their new life. Baby turtles do not like to emerge when the sand is too hot, so the best time to be at the beach is either early in the morning, between 5:00 to 6:00 am, or in the late afternoon, around the same time (5:00 to 6:00 pm). There is no cost for this activity, just make sure to be at the beach on time. Do walk around a little bit for added opportunities.

Our advice:

  • Don’t pay anyone who offers to find a nest for you. This is a natural process and nobody should disturb the turtles just to earn some money.
  • Don’t touch the baby turtles. They need to feel and recognize the beach where they are born, as it is said that they will return to the same beach where they were born to nest.
  • There are predators and as hard as it is, we must not interfere in the process.
  • Don’t touch the nests.

What to bring? Flip flops or sandals to walk on the beach, odourless insect repellent, and comfortable clothes.
Night at Mawamba Lodge, Standard room

Day 04: Tortuguero (B, L, D)
After breakfast, guided visit to Mawamba Park’s private trails, visiting the butterfly gardens, and the iguanas and a frog gardens. The Bio-digester, a system where the sewage waters are treated and converted in a natural source of gas to heat up the kitchen stoves.
After lunch, in the afternoon, enjoy a canal boat tour through Tortuguero National Park.

About Tortuguero National Park:
Created to protect the most important nesting site of the green turtle in the Western Hemisphere, Tortuguero National Park extends along 14 miles (22 Km) of shoreline and 19 miles (30 Km) out to sea. The Canal de Tortuguero runs through the park, connecting a labyrinth of deltas, canals, and lagoons.
With 11 distinct life zones ranging from raffia palm forest to herbaceous swamps, the park offers one of the most rewarding nature experiences in the country. This watery world is best seen by boat, the wide canals allow grandstand wildlife viewing, and silent approaches on the water permit unusually close contact with the fauna. River otters, caimans, and howler monkeys are easily sighted as are birds such as oropendolas, toucans, and jacamars and other waterfowl. For most visitors, the star attraction is the green turtle, which nests between June and November. Three other species of marine turtles also come ashore throughout the year, although in lesser numbers.
Free time before dinner.
Night at Mawamba Lodge, Standard room

Important Notes

– The order and logistics of the itinerary may change depending on weather conditions.

– Alcoholic beverages, sodas or bottled water are not included

– During turtle nesting season, dinner will be served at 6:45 pm, to allow visitors to join the tour

– We recommend to use dark color clothes when taking the night tour during the nesting season.

– Luggage is limited to 25 pounds (12 Kg) per person

What to bring?
We recommend fast drying/light clothes, bathing suit for swimming pool use, comfortable walking shoes, a pair of flip flops or sandals, flashlight, hat or cap, insect repellent, camera and binoculars (are a great help to spot animals up in the trees and behind bushes) and sunblock. If you are visiting during turtle nesting season (July to September) and you are going to join the evening tour, please note you will need dark (black) clothes.

Day 05: Tortuguero – Arenal Area (B, L)
After breakfast, shared boat transfer back to the pier, where the trip will continue by bus to your next destination. Lunch is included in Rio Danta Restaurant.
Transfer from Guapiles to Arenal area according to selected mean of transportation:
San Carlos offers a landscape of exceptional beauty with its forests, lagoons, fields of crops, rivers with hot springs, and the most active volcano of Costa Rica: Arenal. In other words, sanctuaries where one can breathe peace, purity and the majestic power of nature.
Night at Volcano Lodge, Superior room

Day 06: Arenal Area (B)
Breakfast. In the morning, natural history walk in the Hanging Bridges.
Located within the corridor followed by birds migrating between North and South America, the trails and bridges of this project will bring the visitor as close as any person could ever imagine observing the birds, the flowers and the lush vegetation of the primary rainforest.  It is a 250-hectares primary-forest property, made of paths and bridges built to maintain the utmost harmony between man-made structures and nature. The property has impressive views to Arenal Volcano and to the lake that feeds the largest hydroelectric plant in Costa Rica. This walk is a fun and educative option to learn more about the forest and the local environment and enjoy the close contact with nature. While walking along the trails, the fascinating world of the tropical forest will open to you. Along these three kilometers of trails, visitors will be immersed in the diverse fauna and flora of this rainforest admiring colorful birds and tropical plant species.  More than 50 species of birds can be count in this site, one of the most productive bird watching walks of the region. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
What to bring? Comfortable clothing, long pants, hiking shoes, raincoat (especially during green season), camera, binoculars, sunscreen and insect repellent.
In the afternoon, see from up close the activities of the Arenal Volcano.
Few sites in Costa Rica inspire more respect and admiration than Arenal Volcano.  At 5437 feet, its tall and conical shape stands imposing over the pastured green hillsides that surround its base. Although currently in a resting phase, Arenal remains Costa Rica’s most active volcano for the past 43 years. Its history is charged with eruptions – both major and minor – that have intimately affected the region and the people who live here.
This tour will allow you to enjoy the most extraordinary views of Arenal Volcano during a gentle hike along the lower slopes of the colossus. The walk begins in one of the trails close to the volcano and continues through the forest until reaching the area destroyed in its first eruption, back in 1968. This tour takes approximately 2 ½ hours.
Included: Entrance fee, guide and transfers
What to bring? Camera, binoculars, light sweater, long pants, raincoat, hiking shoes, sun lotion and insect repellent.
Night at Volcano Lodge, Superior room

Day 07:  Arenal – Monteverde (B)
After breakfast, transfer to Monteverde according to selected mean of transportation:
The town of Monteverde, located at the south end of the cloud forest, had its beginnings in the early 1950s with the impetus of a group of Quakers from the United States, a group that came to Costa Rica attracted by its pacific inclinations and disarmament. They established themselves in the region and devoted themselves to produce milk and quality cheeses. Monteverde is located 172 kilometres northeast of San José. The climate is template and humid, with an average of 17ºC (60ºF). The nights are cool and at times cold when the trade winds blow.
Night at Hotel Trapp Family Lodge, Mountain Suite room

Day 08:  Monteverde (B)
Breakfast. Morning visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, having 4% of all the known species of plants and animals in only 0.04% the earth’s surface. Due to its altitudinal variation and climatic factors that vary between the Pacific and Caribbean slopes, Monteverde is perhaps one of the richest regions in the country where there are 3,021 known species including a total of 755 species of trees.
One of the main attractions of Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is its 13-kilometer network of trails. While walking the trails, visitors are presented with a number of options. One alternative is to walk to “La Ventana” scenic overlook, where they may witness the contrasting panorama exhibited naturally by the Continental Divide, a geographical feature that traces the principal mountain ranges of Costa Rica. At this location, visitors can experience the force of the moisture-laden trade winds blowing in from the Atlantic coast, and witness how they descend at high velocity toward the Central Pacific and Northern coastal plains of Costa Rica. There are over 500 bird species live, including the majestic quetzal and the three-wattle bellbird, 120 species of reptiles and amphibians and more than 3000 plants among them, the highest diversity of orchids in the world. In the main building visitors will find a restaurant and a Gift Shop.
Includes: Entrance fee, tour with a bilingual naturalist guide, transportation and a 15 minute-stop at CASEM. (Local women’s handcraft cooperative).
Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the area or to take optional tours.
Night at Hotel Trapp Family Lodge, Mountain Suite room

Day 09: Monteverde – San José (B)
Breakfast. Transfer back to the international airport in San José according on selected mean of transportation:
Check in at airline counter must be done three hours prior to flight departure.

Shuttle Transfer Option throughout the program (Private transfer in and out included)
Prices p/p in Euros

Travel Period Dbl share p/p Sgl suppl Hotels Type of travel
16/12/20 – 30/04/21 1.380 480 4* & 4*sup Shared services
01/05/21 – 30/06/21 1.360 460
01/07/21 – 31/08/21 1.420 485
01/09/21 – 30/11/21 1.395 460

services Option
Prices p/p in Euros

Travel Period Dbl share p/p Sgl suppl Hotels Type of travel
16/12/20 – 30/04/21 1.600 475 4* & 4*sup Private services
01/05/21 – 30/06/21 1.580 455
01/07/21 – 31/08/21 1.640 475
01/09/21 – 30/11/21 1.620 455

Special conditions may apply during Easter Week (from March 26 to April 3 2021) Please ask us.


Travel Period: Range of time price are valid. Should your desired trip dates cover 2 different travel periods, rates should be recalculated and proposed to you by mail.
Type of Travel: vforvacation offers two types of travel:

a) Shared services which means “seat in coach” basis tours with multinational fellow travelers’ groups
b) Private services which means that all arrangements and land services are on individual basis

Single supplement: Cost of Single supplement is only valid on a basis of minimum 3 paying passengers travelling together.
For Solo travelers on private service tours, rates should be recalculated and proposed to you by mail.

  • Accommodation
  • San Jose: Studio hotel 4* sup, Tortuguero Mawamba Lodge 4*, Arenal Volcano Lodge 4* , Monteverde Trapp Family Lodge 4* sup
  • Meals
    Breakfast daily + 4 lunches + 2 dinners
  • Guides
    English Speaking Guide Accompanying the Clients during All the Visits
  • Transportation
    Shuttle transfers. All Used Coaches & Buses Always New Models, Air-Conditioned & Comfortable
  • Entrance Fees
    All entrance fees as in the itinerary

Included in details

  • Private arrival transfers with English speaking assistance
  • Daily breakfast
  • All meals, tours and entrance to the national park while in Tortuguero
  • Guided visit to Doka Coffee Plantation, Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens; lunch included
  • Natural history walk in the hanging bridges
  • Guided hike near Arenal Volcano
  • Guided visit to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • 2 nights in Studio Hotel, STD room
  • 2 nights in Mawamba Lodge, STD room
  • 2 nights in Volcano Lodge, Superior room
  • 2 nights in Trapp Family Lodge, Mountain Suite room
  • Lodging taxes
  • Private departure transfers
  • Shuttle transfers
  • Object of personal nature – like laundry, drinks, telefone calls, Tip to porter, driver, guide etc.
  • Air tickets
  • Tourist visa fees if required
  • Travel insurance
  • Eventual hike of the airport taxes or fuel surcharge, that may be varry without any prior notice
  • Any meal not manitoned in the program
  • Any thing that not mentioned in the section ‘INCLUSION’
  • In case of more travelers or groups pls request ad hoc and we’ll send you our proposal by mail
  • For special groups and ad hoc programs pls request and we’ll send you our proposal by mail

Only 1.360 / person

9 Days

Book the Tour

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