Our Costa Rica adventure tour begins on arrival in San Jose, where we transfer to our hotel. This evening, gather for a welcome dinner with our Expedition Leader.
Day 2: Tortuguero National Park—Private Boat Cruise
A morning chartered flight takes us directly to Tortuguero, considered by many the best place to view wildlife in Costa Rica. We’re quickly immersed in
Please Note: All travelers will have the complimentary opportunity to "adopt" an endangered sea turtle during our visit to the Sea Turtle Conservancy. The adoption process includes material about this conservation program, an adoption form and a free one-year membership to the conservancy. Membership allows participants to track the status of their turtle. Guests traveling from July through October may be able to book an optional excursion to see sea turtles on the beach late at night. Though we can't book this activity in advance or guarantee availability, our Expedition Leader can arrange it upon arrival through the lodge, if space is available.
Day 3: Tortuguero—Private Boat Cruise & Hike
A dawn birding excursion is an option for early risers. Tortuguero is home to hundreds of different bird species including the endangered green macaw, Amazon
Day 4: Tortuguero / Osa Peninsula—Corcovado National Park
Our destination today is the Osa Peninsula, which juts out into the ocean at the southern end of Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Just getting to our accommodations at Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge is an adventure. We fly direct via chartered plane to the
After a late lunch, we walk the Sendero Azul, a short private trail on the lodge reserve. Woody vines, towering trees
Day 5: Exploring Corcovado National Park
Explore more of Corcovado's treasures on two nature walks today. As our long journey to reach this place attests, the Osa Peninsula is a wild and remote locale. It supports one of the world's largest remaining lowland
Day 6: Isla del Caño / Corcovado National Park
Bird lovers can rise early to join our Expedition Leader on an optional birdwatching outing. After breakfast, we board a boat for a 45-minute cruise to Isla del Caño Biological Reserve. En route, we may see a variety of marine life including flying fish, dolphins, frigate birds and whales. Caño is a forested island biological reserve with a beautiful sandy beach and clear waters that protect an abundance of marine life best appreciated from below the surface. While snorkeling this morning, we discover many species of fish and coral as we explore the underwater rock formations on the ocean floor. After a picnic lunch back at the lodge, an afternoon nature walk unveils more wildlife as we learn more about the intricate ecosystems of Corcovado.
Please note: Our green season departures during July and August include an extended boat excursion to Isla del Caño to look for whales, dolphins and other
Day 7: Corcovado / San Jose / Monteverde Cloud Forest
Return to the Drake Bay airstrip via boat and 4x4 for the short chartered flight back to San Jose. Then, leaving the city behind, we begin the winding drive from coastal lowlands into the cool heights of Monteverde. Monteverde means “green mountain,” though moisture here doesn’t typically come from rain but rather from the constant mists that swath the mountaintops. Straddling the spine of Costa Rica’s continental divide, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve supports 2.5% of worldwide biodiversity including 100 species of mammals and 161 species of amphibians and reptiles. Many of these are indicator species that act as “canaries in the coal mine,” which means they are sensitive to environmental changes and can alert us when an ecosystem is threatened. Some of these unique creatures are found only in the high mountains of Costa Rica and neighboring Panama.
Day 8: Exploring the Cloud Forest—Canopy Skywalk
The entire day is devoted to discovering Monteverde. This magnificent example of tropical montane cloud forest is the most studied in the world, and one of the world's most threatened ecosystems. Monteverde harbors an estimated 2,500 species of plants, including giant strangler figs, a profusion of epiphytes that drape the forest from canopy to floor, nurtured by the perpetual mists that blow in from the coast, and 300 different kinds of orchid. On a morning walk in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, spot wild relatives of many familiar houseplants such as philodendrons, bromeliads, ficus trees, and ferns, and look for colorful butterflies flitting among the leaves. More than 400 tropical bird species flourish here, including the rare resplendent quetzal, the iridescent bird sacred to the indigenous people of these remote mountains. Other highland endemics include the three-wattled bellbird, umbrella bird
The intricate web of life in the cloud forest is on display via the Skywalk, a network of suspension bridges that lifts us into the canopy for a
Day 9: Curi-Cancha Reserve / Xandari
Our day begins with a nature walk through the cloud forest habitat of the Curi-Cancha Reserve, within the greater Monteverde region. This private nature sanctuary is laced with trails that beckon exploration, and frequented by a great variety of birds including the resplendent quetzal and bellbird. Curi-Cancha is 50% virgin forest, with most of the remainder restored to native forest from pastureland over the past five decades. With fewer visitors than the Monteverde reserve, Curi-Cancha offers a more serene experience of wild nature. Mammal sightings may include agouti, coati, armadillo, kinkajou, ocelot, sloth, and three species of monkey: mantled howler, white-faced capuchin and spider monkey.
After this final forest immersion, we return to San Jose, stopping en route for lunch. Our destination, Xandari Resort & Spa, lies
Day 10: San Jose / Depart
Our Costa Rica adventure ends with a transfer to the airport this morning for departing flights, or an onward journey to Arenal Volcano for guests who have booked that extension.