Day 1: arrival – Hotel Bougainvillea
Upon arrival you will be welcomed by an English-speaking representative of Aratinga Tours and transferred to Hotel Bougainvillea, located in a nice neighborhood at the edge of San José. The well-maintained gardens of the hotel offer a great introduction to your nature tour in Costa Rica. Here you can expect to see some common birdspecies like Great Kiskadee, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Blue-gray Tanager, Palm Tanager and Blue-crowned Motmot, beautiful butterflies and several tropical plant families well represented like gingers, heliconia’s and bromeliads.
Day 2 + 3: Mawamba Lodge – Parque Nacional Tortuguero
The next day you will travel to the Caribbean lowlands, en route passing through the vast wilderness of Parque Nacional Braulio Carillo. In Caño Blanco you will continue by boat to Mawamba Lodge, a nice jungle lodge with beautiful gardens and a swimming pool at the edge of the rainforest. On day 3 you will be able to explore the beautiful rainforest of Parque Nacional Tortuguero by motorized canoes. Slowly you will pass small jungle canals in search of birds like Keel-billed Toucans, Red-lored Parrots, Anhinga’s and Bare-throated Tiger-heron. Attention will also be given to other animals like White-faced Capuchin Monkeys, Howler Monkeys, Green Iguana’s, Emerald Basilisk, and many more…Besides that the beaches of the Tortuguero area are one of the most important nesting areas for the Green Turtle. During breeding period (July – October) it is possible to do a night tour to watch these giant reptiles come to land and deposit their eggs.
Day 4 + 5 : Selva Verde Lodge – La Selva
Selva Verde Lodge is located in the biodivers area of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. The surrounding rainforest and Sarapiqui river attract many beautiful birds like 3 species of Toucans, Trogons and Tanagers. Also the colorful Poisson Dart Frogs area easily seen here hopping around the hotel gardens, especially after a downpour. On day 5 you will go on a guided walk in the La Selva biological station through a nice piece of virgin rainforest. Here you will be able to see huge canopy trees, strangler figs, leafcutter ants, termite nests, and some interesting birds and mammals like White-collared Pecarry, Agouti’s and up to 3 species of monkeys.
Day 6 + 7: Arenal Observatory Lodge – Arenal Volcano
From Arenal Observatory Lodge you will have the best views Costa Rica has to offer on the country’s most spectacular volcano: the Arenal. This geometrically almost perfect cone is mildly active with regular production of smoke, which can be enjoyed from your hotel room…But Arenal Observatory Lodge is also known for its unique and remote setting at the edge of the rainforest. On day 7 you will make a guided walk through the canopy of the rainforest along large suspension bridges. This makes it easier to explore the fauna and flora of the treetops. During this walk you might see up to 3 species of monkeys, the colourful Eye-lash Pitviper and the cute White-nosed Coati’s, or some interesting birds like Rufous Motmot or Great Currasow…
Day 8 + 9: Hotel Villa Lapas – Parque Nacional Carara
You will descend towards the Pacific Ocean and continue southeast following the attractive coastline. Underway you can stop at the Tarcoles river to enjoy the view of big American Crocodiles sunbathing on the sandy riverbanks…Your next days will be spent in Hotel Villa Lapas, a nice hotel with swimming pool near Parque Nacional Carara. This is one of the best places to see the spectacular Scarlet Macaws. On day 9 you will go on a guided hike to Parque Nacional Carara. You local naturalist guide will help you identify and spot the many animals that can be found here…
Day 10 + 11: Hacienda Barú – Dominical
After a drive along extensive palm plantations you will arrive in the Dominical area, where you will be staying in nice bungalows at the edge of the rainforest in Hacienda Barú. The diversity in habitats, from primary and secondary forest to tropical beach, pastureland and mangroves makes this a biological paradise. Besides many rainforest mammals you can find here one of the endemic Poisson Dart Frogs of Costa Rica: Dendrobates Granuliferus. On day 11 there is a guided rainforest hike scheduled; your local guide will do his best to show you both 2-toed and 3-toed Sloth, and try to spot birds like Toucans and Parrots.
Day 12, 13 + 14: Caletas Lodge – Drake Bay – Parque Nacional Corcovado
Your next destination is the Osa Peninsula, one of the most biodiverse areas of Costa Rica. After a scenic boat ride through the Sierpe mangroves and the virgin Osa coastline, you will get to the isolated Caletas Lodge, a simple lodge with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean,a few steps away from the beach and the rainforest near Parque Nacional Corcovado. This national park is one of the largest protected areas with virgin lowland rainforest in Central America and one of the most biologically intense places on the planet with large predators like Jaguars, Puma’s and Harpey Eagles at the top of the food- pyramid. On day 13 you will make a guided excursion to the Sirena sector of Parque Nacional Corcovado. This is the heart of the national park and considered to be the best place in Costa Rica to spot wildlife…with some luck you might spot the endangered Baird’s Tapir and one of the 6 cat species of the country… on day 14 you will visit Caño Island, a small island covered with tropical vegetation where you will have the possibility to snorkel in a colorful underwater world. On the way to the island you have good chances of encountering a group of dolphins and with some luck even a Humpback Whale…
Day 15 + 16: Hotel Savegre – San Gerardo de Dota
You will leave the coast behind and head towards the mountains again. After having climbed up the Cerro de la Muerte (3400 m) you will descend towards San gerardo de Dota in the beautiful valley of the Savegre rivier. This area is covered with cloudforest and is the best area in Costa Rica to see the spectacular Resplendent Quetzal, many think this is the prettiest bird of the Western hempisphere… Hotel Savegre is a nice and comfortable hotel at the edge of the cloudforest and the Savegre River. It is the ideal starting point for exploring the interesting avifauna characteristic for the area. On day 16 there is a guided birdwalk planned in search of the Resplendent Quetzal.
Dag 17 + 18: Hotel Buena Vista – Alajuela
You will return to Alajuela, where you will spend your last night in Hotel Buena Vista. IN the late afternoon your rental car will be picked up in the hotel. The next day (day 18) you will be transfered to the airport. End of trip.
What is included ?
- All accomodations in double rooms with private bathrooms
- 3 meals a day from breakfast day 2 untill breakfast day 18
- English meet-and-greet + transfer to first hotel on day 1 and airport transfer on day 18
- Guided tours with English-speaking guides as mentioned above
- Shuttle transport (comfortable transport shared with other tourists) from day 2 til day 4
- Boattransfer from and to Caletas Lodge on days 12 and 15
- Rental car Daihatsu Bego 4 x 4 from day 4 until day 17; including full cover insurance + mobile router that generates Wifi signal + cel phone with 60 min credit for local calls
- Detailed information package with practical information, backgroundinformation, road-description, roadmap and birdchecklist.
- Acces to English-speaking help-desk of Aratinga Tours during your Costa Rica tour. 7 days a week, during office hours
- Personal expenses
- Entrance fees to the protected areas (in this case only 10 usd pp for Parque Nacional Carara, to be paid at the entrance; the rest of the entrance fees is included)
- International flight
- Tips to local guides
Price (per person, staying in double rooms):
- 01/05 – 30/06/2017 + 01/09 – 15/11/2017: 2700 usd
- 01/07 – 31/08 2017: 2750 usd
- 16/11/2017 – 30/04/2018: 3050 usd
- 01/05 – 30/06/2018 + 01/09 – 15/11/2018: 2855 usd
- 01/07 – 31/08 2018: 2910 usd