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Family Costa Rica Adventure

A Fully Guided, Family-Focused Rain Forest Adventure of Fun and Discovery!
Day 1: San José
Our family Costa Rica trip begins upon arrival in San José, where we'll transfer to our hotel. We meet our Expedition Leader at an orientation dinner this evening.

Day 2: Poás Volcano / Sarapiquí
This morning we travel to Poás Volcano National Park, where we see smoke rise from vents in the earth near a bubbling blue-green sulfur lake. Water is constantly seeping through cracks in the hot rock, building pockets of steam that rocket forth under pressure into explosive geysers. Later, we learn about bats at Tirimbina Rainforest Center. On a night walk into the forest we find the mist nets that scientists have erected to trap bats.

Day 3: Sarapiquí
The protected rainforest around Sarapiquí is an outstanding ecotourism destination. This morning we experience the thrill of a jungle rafting excursion or horseback ride at Hacienda Pozo Azul, a working ranch that offers some of the best nature adventures in Costa Rica. In the afternoon, we learn about global efforts to conserve rainforests on a guided walk through La Selva, an international biological research station. During our short hike we may see monkeys, sloths, peccaries, iguanas and up to 400 different kinds of birds!

Day 4: Sarapiquí / Arenal
During the Chocolate Tour at Tirimbina Rainforest Center, we learn how the cacao bean is transformed into the locally made organic chocolates we have a chance to sample. Later, we drive to the Arenal area, stopping en route for lunch. This afternoon, we absorb the sensory stimuli of the jungle on a float trip down the Río Peñas Blancas. From our raft, we watch and listen for monkeys, parrots, toucans, sloths, iguanas, frogs, crocodiles, turtles and “Jesus Christ lizards” (they walk on water!) along the riverbanks. Overhead, the forest canopy is alive with the squawks and songs of an array of birds. We overnight across from the volcano at Arenal Observatory Lodge.

Day 5: Arenal
This morning, we explore the treetops on a canopy tour. A tram ride takes us 125 feet above the forest floor, moving slowly to experience the diverse life of the rainforest at varying levels. To descend, there are two choices: the Sky Trek canopy zip line tour, zinging down a series of cables running between the mountains, or a more sedate return via the tram. (Minimum age for the zip line is eight years.) We finish the day with a soak in the hot springs, where a waterfall offers a natural massage.

Day 6: Arenal / San José
This morning, return to San José, where we spend our final evening at Xandari Plantation Hotel. Those who have booked beach extensions will continue by road from Arenal to Costa Rica’s North Pacific Riviera.

Day 7: San José / Home
Our family Costa Rica trip comes to a close today as travelers transfer to the airport for homeward flights, or continue with the Tortuguero extension.

Physical Rating: Easy / Flexible

+ Interested in adding a few days to your trip? Click here to view our Extension Options.

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