AT A GLANCE
Why this photo tour
Costa Rica is a destination with varied landscapes composed of valleys, mountains, volcanoes, sandy beaches, mangroves, exuberant tropical forests. A country rich in natural diversity, with 6% of the world’s biodiversity present in the territory, and a welcoming population with the motto “Pura Vida”.
The preserved biodiversity of Tortugero Park
The meeting with the Bribri Community
The azure waters of the Caribbean coast
the hanging bridges of the Arenal Volcano Park
The sloths and monkeys of Manuel Antonio Park
The impressive waterfalls of Nahuyaca
day by day
Welcome to Costa Rica
Welcome to Costa Rica: welcome by your English-speaking photography instructor and transfer to your hotel.
Your stay begins with a first night in San José. Located at 1,200 meters of altitude, the capital and its agglomeration regroup half of the country’s population. The city is located in the heart of the central valley surrounded by different volcanoes, such as Poas, Irazú or Turrialba, and in the south by the Talamanca mountain range, which is the highest mountain range in the south of Central America.
Meeting at the reception of your hotel with your local Spanish-speaking driver for a short flight to the pier of Tortuguero. Arrival in the town of Guapiles and breakfast in a local restaurant, before taking a boat to Tortuguero National Park, winding through the canals, in the heart of the rainforest. Arrival at the lodge for lunch.
Tortuguero is the small Amazon of Costa Rica, its intense rainforest is home to an incredible fauna and flora, providing a guaranteed change of scenery. The Tortuguero site is part of the protection of wetlands under the Ramsar Convention with special attention to waterfowl habitats. In the afternoon, you will leave to discover the small Caribbean village of Tortuguero. End of the afternoon free to enjoy the facilities and walk around the area.
Breakfast at the lodge.
Boat trip to visit the canals of Tortuguero Park to discover the nature at its awakening. Frequent stops to observe a great variety of birds, monkeys, crocodiles and caimans…
Return to your Lodge.
Stroll along the paths of the Lodge to discover its fauna and flora. Your guide will familiarize you with the inhabitants of this exuberant secondary forest (boots and ponchos lent on site if necessary).
Return to the Lodge at the end of the morning for lunch.
Free afternoon to enjoy the facilities of the Lodge (swimming pool, …) or optional activities on site: fishing, additional tour in the canals …
Dinner and overnight stay.
Return to Guápiles by boat (semi-collective transfer with other guests of the lodge), then lunch in a local restaurant. Meeting with your Spanish-speaking driver (attention it is not a guide) to begin your circuit with your private transport. Departure to discover the Bribri community. Located in the Bribri reserve, near the small village of Bambu, the Ditsöwö lodge blends into the surrounding nature, and thanks to its open structure, you will be able to appreciate all the facets and treasures. Built with natural materials using traditional Bribri techniques, the lodge offers an alternative experience to traditional accommodation: no closed rooms with air conditioning, but waking up to the sounds of birdsong! All meals are prepared at the lodge over a wood fire using simple and rustic products that are part of everyday life.
Today your local BriBri guide (Spanish) will accompany you on a cocoa and medicinal plant tour to a nearby farm in Bambú, where in addition to cocoa, you will learn about the building materials of traditional Bribery houses, such as suita and chonta.
Discovery and bathing in a waterfall if the weather allows it. Return to the hostel and continue to the South Caribbean. A unique atmosphere awaits you in this small fishing village on the Caribbean coast characterized by its multicultural atmosphere and its calypso music, reggae from the Afro-Caribbean culture.
Discovery with a local guide of the magnificent national park of Cahuita. The white sandy beaches, miles of coconut trees, the calm sea and the protected coral reef of 240 hectares make Cahuita one of the most beautiful parks in the country. You can walk around for a while and then stop and relax on an almost deserted beach. Wildlife is easily observed, especially howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, iguanas, raccoons, pacas, sloths, white-nosed coatis and birds.
Lunch included during the day.
Continue your day by car to enjoy the beautiful beaches of the coast by going to the discovery of the refuge of wild life of Gandoca Manzanillo which is located for the latter in the South of Puerto Viejo.
Puerto Limon (Free day)
can enjoy a swim in the warm Caribbean waters. Playa Chiquita, Playa Cocles or Playa Punta Uva await you. Between two sunbaths, take a relaxing break in one of the restaurants in the area and enjoy a cocktail or a good beer.
Arena & Fortuna
Today your trip will take you to the north of the country to reach La Fortuna, a town located at the foot of the Arenal volcano.
Costa Rica is known to shelter about 116 volcanoes among them and surely one of the most impressive the Arenal volcano. Despite its age of 7,500 years, it is the youngest volcano in the country. Culminating at 1,630 meters, this stratovolcano is no longer active since the end of 2010 but it is a delight for photographers (when it is uncovered) as well as for “amateurs” or “afficionados” of thermal waters.
Lunch on the way.
Hanging Bridges of Arenal
This morning Day 9 hike on suspension bridges with a local guide (activity included): this one is done in the natural private reserve of 250Ha of primary tropical rainforest for an observation of the fauna and flora at the level of the canopy; different points of view on the volcano. 3 km of easy trails, accessible to all.
After the suspension bridges, you will discover the Arenal Volcano National Park with your tour leader (walk without a guide): Take a walk in the National Park trail, characterized by its different stages of regeneration of the rainforest. You will meet the mythical kapok tree, due to its very high height, this immense tree was considered by the natives as the staircase to the heavens; you will climb on an old lava flow to observe the panorama shared on one side with the Arenal Volcano and the Arenal Lake. With your entrance tickets to Arenal National Park, you can then go 3km from the park entrance to the “Sector Peninsula” trail which is a 2 hour walk (round trip) allowing you to discover a tropical forest with different viewpoints offering a view of the lake and an observation tower giving a unique panorama for photos with the lake and the Arenal volcano in the background
Tenorio Park (or Free Day)
On DAY 10 your Spanish-speaking driver is at your disposal. You could leave to discover the Tenorio National Park (entrance USD$ 14/pers)
- Zip line (USD$ 80/pers)
- Sloth watching (USD$ 50/pers -USD$ 25/child under 12 years old)
- Bird watching (morning outing with transportation included: USD$ 55/pers – USD$ 28/children under 12)
28/child under 12 years old)
- Kayak or paddle trip on Lake Arenal
- Cayonning (USD$ 90/pers)
- Mountain biking (USD$ 60/pers or USD$ 90/pers for high level 19km)
- Chocolate tour (USD$ 20/pers)
- La Fortuna waterfall (USD$ 18/pers)
- Salsa and cooking classes (USD$ 60/pers)
- Cooking class (USD$ 46/pers)
- Farming experience (USD$ 40/pers)
Your adventure continues towards the center of the Pacific coast. Ideally located, you will have easy access to all the activities of the area: among others, you are close to the Marino Bahia Ballena National Park, Corcovado National Park and Manuel Antonio National Park. Each one of them recognized for their great natural wealth.
On the way stop at the bridge of Tarcoles to observe its impressive crocodiles.
Lunch along the way.
As an option, a stop at Carara National Park is possible (USD$ 15/pers).
Manuel Antonio Park
Departure this morning to discover the magnificent Manuel Antonio Park with a local guide (entrance included – park closed on Mondays). Classified since 1972 as a national park, this last one in spite of being an important tourist zone (the number of visitors is limited to 600 people per day and 800 people the weekend) is part of the natural pearls of the country with a great variety of animals of which the emblematic capuchin monkey. Among the many animals that hide in the fauna, we find the sloth, the squirrel monkey, howler monkey, the raccoon of which it is especially necessary to be wary if you do not want to be pricked your business or the iguana.
The park is also known for its beautiful beaches with Playa Manuel Antonio, Playa Espadilla Sur, Playa Escondida or if you venture a little further into the park Playa Gemelas.
Lunch snack planned during the day.
Return in the afternoon to your hotel in Dominical.
Nahuyaca Waterfalls (or free day)
Today the day is free and you organize it as you wish with your Tour Leader.
A 30 minute drive from Dominical is Ojochal and its Cascada El Pavon, a small but beautiful waterfall with a pool ideal for swimming at the bottom of the waterfall.
The area is not crowded and does not require an arduous hike to reach.
In addition, from your hotel you can reach the many beaches in the area, the Ballena Marine Park or the Nauyaca waterfall.
You could even dedicate the day to go to San Gerardo de Dota (about 2 hours and 10 minutes drive one way) to discover the Quetzales National Park or to go and meet local people dedicated to the coffee culture.
Another alternative is to discover the Corcovado National Park as an option.
Lunch is planned in a local restaurant along the way
End of the Adventure
Continuation to Juan Santamaria International Airport.
Lunch on the way.
Arrival at the airport and end of service of your guide and your driver.
It is necessary to present yourself at the boarding counter 3 hours before the takeoff time.
Holiday Inn Aurola
The Holiday Inn Aurola is perfectly located in the center of San Jose, close to all the main attractions of the city, and with panoramic views of the Central Valley from every room. In addition, the hotel has a beautiful indoor pool, as well as a gym, two restaurants and a bar.
Evergreen Ecolodge ***
Evergreen Lodge is located in the beautiful rainforest of Tortuguero, only 5 minutes from the main entrance of Tortuguero National Park. The Lodge has 29 rooms and 31 bungalows on stilts scattered in the rainforest where animals are easily observed and all offer excellent comfort (private bathroom, hot water, fans). The Lodge also has 2 restaurants, a bar, 2 beautiful swimming pools, one of which has a jacuzzi, and an Internet access. Many activities are offered on site such as canopy, fishing and kayaking, which is available to guests of the Lodge.
The lodge has 3 sleeping areas that can accommodate up to 120 people. The lodge has 4 basic shared bathrooms with toilets and showers (room temperature water). The lodge is located on the banks of the Telire River, surrounded by tropical fruit and cocoa plantations. Located in the Bribri indigenous reserve in the Talamanca region, on the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, Ditsöwö Ú is both an accommodation and a cultural center. The word “Ditsöwö Ú” has no simple translation but literally means “house of corn”, the sacred food of the indigenous peoples, which, with its hundreds of colorful varieties, represents the different cultures and indigenous communities. Danilo Layan, the creator of this project, dreamed of a cultural meeting place that would welcome people from all over the world, strengthen indigenous traditions, support local communities and teach us a form of sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism. Ditsöwö Ú brings all this together and offers an authentic and unforgettable experience.
Puerto Viejo de Limon
Kukula Ecolodge ***
The Kukula Lodge is located in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, near Playa Chiquita, next to the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica’s South Caribbean coast and the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Park and Jaguar Wildlife Rescue Center. 10 rooms are available for travelers looking for simple and pleasant accommodations in the jungle and near the Caribbean Sea. At Kukula Lodge, you can enjoy breakfast while listening to the sounds of the jungle; watch the sloths or curious iguanas; take a dip in the pool or simply read a good book immersed in the jungle.
Arenal Oasis Ecolodge ***
Only 5 minutes from the village of La Fortuna. The Arenal Oasis Eco-Lodge offers quick access to the activities of the area. 5 cottages are located in the heart of the forest in a peaceful setting. Bird watching, night walks in the forest, nature history, etc. VILLAS RIO MAR 3*South Pacific
Holiday Inn Aurola
The Villas Rio Mar hotel is surrounded by a lush tropical forest, a few hundred meters from the sea, near the beach resort of Dominical (attracting surfers).The complex consists of 54 rooms: 4 fully equipped villas, 4 standards (exclusive for the guide and driver), 13 junior suites and 32 superior rooms.The restaurant offers Costa Rican and local specialties, fine cuisine. The hotel also offers a bar, a swimming pool with wet bar, a spa, a meeting room with a capacity of 80 people, a laundry service, private parking, luggage storage, currency exchange and two computers.ideally located for walking in the Bahia Ballena National Marine Park and starting point of many excursions such as the Corcovado National Park, Isla del Caño, Nauyaca Falls …
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