From misty cloud forests to ancient volcanic landscapes fringed by jungle, Costa Rica brims with natural wonders. Encounter wildlife and wild places close up as we float, hike, and zip-line on a fun-filled family adventure. Peer at white-faced capuchins, jaguars, howler monkeys, sloths, caimans, and toucans. Swing through the cloud forest canopy on a zip line and splash down the Corobicí River on a rafting trip. Immerse yourselves in local life on visits to a cacao plantation, a rural village, and the lively markets of San José.
Bienvenidos! Your tropical adventure begins! Meet fellow travelers and our expedition leaders—both “ticos,” or native Costa Ricans—at a lively welcome dinner.
Intercontinental San José
Explore the beauties of San José—from tropical fruit stands at the Mercado Central to the Teatro Nacional and the glittering Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold. After lunch in the central square, head north to the cloud forests of Monteverde. Go on a twilight forest walk as nocturnal creatures awaken.
El Establo or Hotel Fonda Vela
Hike with a local expert through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Spot some of the 500-plus species of orchids, and look for wildlife such as howler monkeys, tapirs, sloths, snakes, and frogs, and colorful birds and butterflies. Visit the hanging bridges or opt to ride a zip line through the forest canopy. Have dinner tonight in a tree house.
El Establo or Hotel Fonda Vela
Head to Guanacaste Province, full of fast rivers, volcanic scenery, and deep canyons. Float on the Corobicí River through the tropical dry forest, keeping your eyes peeled for otters, crocodiles, monkeys, and large birds like storks, herons, and roseate spoonbills. See wild cats up close at the Las Pumas Rescue Center: jaguars, pumas, ocelots, or jaguarundis. Our home for the next three nights is hidden away on a “lost river” deep in a protected forest.
Spend the day on an excursion in and around the canyons of Río Blanco—a wild, arid landscape of hot springs and age-old rock formations. Go on an aerial adventure amid the forest canopy: clamber on canyon platforms, walk across hanging bridges, zip-line across the rushing river, and swing and hike through the treetops and canyons. After lunch, opt for a scenic hike with opportunities to swim in the river and soak in thermal pools.
Start the day at a sustainability-focused ranch, wander through an organic garden, and take a tractor-pulled cart ride among macadamia orchards, tropical flowers, and groves of cacao trees. Learn how cacao beans are transformed into finished chocolate. Spend the afternoon at Colonia Libertad, a farming community that maintains a traditional lifestyle closely connected to nature. Kids meet children from the local school, play soccer, and forge new friendships. Gather for a farewell dinner tonight.
Transfer to the airport in Liberia for your flight home this morning.
- Costa Rica Family: Papagayo Bay Extension
Head to the Pacific Coast to continue your adventure amid the ocean wonders of Costa Rica. From our base on Papagayo Bay, learn how to paddle-board and pole yourself along the coast. Then spend a day snorkeling with a marine life expert and spot all kinds of species, including rays and maybe even a hammerhead shark!
After breakfast, transfer to Papagayo Bay on the Pacific Coast and check into our beachfront hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day to relax and explore the beach.This evening, enjoy time relaxing with your family at the hotel for dinner or head into town and try something local!
Start the day in the water, where we’ll join instructors for a lesson in paddle-boarding. Then set off along the coast to neighboring Coco Beach, kneeling or standing on your board as you paddle through the gentle waters. Stop for a swim along the way. Wander through the tiny village of Playas del Coco before our return journey. Tonight, we’ll meet a representative of Misión Tiburón Association, a local non-profit organization working for the conservation of sharks and other marine life.
In the morning, board a boat and cruise out to the Papagayo Gulf with a marine expert from Misión Tiburón. Don your snorkel gear and jump into an amazing underwater world. With the help of a Marine Field Guide, identify all kinds of marine species and look for the rays and sharks that Misión Tiburón is trying hard to protect. Enjoy lunch during our ocean adventure and return to the hotel for an afternoon at the beach.
After breakfast, transfer to Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia for your flight home.