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9-Day Costa Rica Family Caribbean Adventure

Costa Rica Family Caribbean Adventure -- Trip Photo of Costa Rica tour  Costa Rica map

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Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive San Jose, transfer, and overnight

Visiting: San Jose, Costa Rica

Arrive at the San Jose, Costa Rica Airport (SJO). A driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area. Private transfer to your San Jose Hotel. There, relax or enjoy an evening in downtown San Jose. Overnight in San Jose.

  • Meals: None
  • Standard Lodging: Crowne Plaza Corobici

Day 2 : Travel San Jose to Tortuguero National Park

Visiting: Tortuguero National Park

Early in the morning you'll be picked up at your San Jose hotel for the 4-hour drive to the Atlantic cost, traveling through the verdant tropical rainforest of Braulio Carrillo National Park, which is one of the largest in the country. Banana plantations dot the highway en-route to Cao Blanco (or La Pavona), where you will take a scenic boat ride on the La Suerte River, the Tortuguero River, and onward through the Tortuguero Canals. The boat trip offers lovely views of the forest and mangroves, which are teeming with such exotic wildlife as sloths, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, coatimundis, raccoons, crocodiles, egrets, parrots, and jaguars among others. Arriving at Pachira Lodge, you'll enjoy lunch and have a free afternoon to relax and explore the grounds on your own. You'll be spending the next two nights at the lodge, which offers optional tours, a refreshing pool, and nightly turtle-watching tours in season (approximately June 20-October 20).

  • Meals: BLD
  • Standard Lodging: Laguna Lodge or similar

Day 3 : Explore Tortuguero National Park

Visiting: Tortuguero National Park

This day you will enjoy and boat tour through the canals of Tortuguero National Park giving you the opportunity to explore the canals winding through the rainforest, which is home to unique wildlife, from egrets to crocodiles to monkeys to butterflies.

Keep your eyes open for sea turtles: Tortuguero has many highlights, but it is named in honor of the four species of sea turtles that nest in the region. Tortuguero's coastline is considered one of the world's most important nesting sites of the green sea turtle, which can be found by the thousands in the summer months. The baby turtles hatch from July through early November, emerging from their nests to scrabble across the sand to the waiting waters of the Atlantic.

Also be sure to take advantage of the miles of beach and jungle trails in Tortuguero National Park.

*** Optional: June 20-October 20 Sea Turtle night walks

This tour has two different schedules, from 8pm to 10pm and 10pm to 12pm.

The tour starts in the lodge lobby 15 minutes before the tour. The night walks focus is to witness sea turtle nesting since four species of sea turtles nest in Tortuguero! This tour is available only during the spawning season, from June 20th to October 20th.

This tour has a current (2016) price of $35 per person, subject to change, and travelers would book this directly with the property during your stay.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Standard Lodging: Laguna Lodge or similar

Day 4 : Travel Tortuguero to Sarapiqui

Visiting: Sarapiqui

Start the day off early with a boat ride back to the dock, then a 1.5 hour van transfer to Guapiles where you'll have lunch at a restaurant on the way.

After lunch, continue your transfer to Sarapiqui (2 hours away), where you can spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring the lush La Tirimbina Biological Reserve. Overnight here in a Coquette room. The main lodge has 18 rooms with A/C, private bathroom, hot water, Wi-Fi, telephone, radio alarm clock and a small, private terrace with rocking chairs and view of the gardens. Here you can observe a variety of birds, including the rare and beautiful Black-crested Coquette hummingbird.

One option this afternoon is to enjoy a self-guided walk in the hotel's private rainforest reserve. 9 kilometers of maintained trails meander through the reserve's 750-acre mid-elevation tropical forest. On the walk, you will traverse rustic trails and cross suspension bridges to discover the rainforest at your own pace. You'll receive a trail map which outlines all the trails and their distances along with important safety instructions regarding walking solo in the forest. Don't forget to ask the front desk for the brief natural history booklet with information about a few of the trails and the forest itself. Open hours for self-guided walks are between 7 am and 5 pm. No prior reservations required.

Let us know in advance if you have any interest in joining other tours at the reserve, since they require advance reservation (at extra cost). These include a 6 am bird walk plus unique evening tours that include a frog tour (7:30 pm), a naturalist guided night walk (7:30 pm), and a bat program (7:30 pm). There is also a naturalist led guided hike offered at 3 PM. The reserve also offers an educational chocolate tour on request, both during the day and at night.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: La Tirimbina Lodge

Day 5 : Sarapiqui rafting / Travel to Puerto Viejo

Visiting: Caribbean Coast (Puerto Viejo)

This morning enjoy some fun whitewater river rafting on a seven-and-a-half-mile stretch of the clear waters of the Sarapiqui River. You'll begin in the small community of La Virgen, and raft through exciting class II and III rapids like Hueco Gringo, Confusion, Superman, Montana Rusa y Fuerza Aerea, among others. The rapids alternate with crystal clear still-water pools, where you'll have the chance to stop for a refreshing swim and a tropical snack, savoring whatever delicious fruits are in season. You'll then continue your rafting trip, fully enjoying the wonders of the landscape with the help of your naturalist rafting guides. You'll exit the river at the tiny community of Chilamate. From here, you'll be transferred to Puerto Viejo. Overnight in Puerto Viejo.

*** Note on minimum ages for the rafting:

If you have really young kids, our advice today would be transfer direct to Puerto Viejo and perhaps later this afternoon, make time to visit the sloth sanctuary or spend more time on the beach.

* Rafting the Sarapiqui River, minimum age: 9 years

* Easy float trip on Sarapiqui river, minimum age: 6 years

* Optional rafting on the Pacuare River, minimum age: 12 years

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Villas del Caribe Hotel

Day 6 : Free day on the beach

Visiting: Caribbean Coast (Puerto Viejo)

Enjoy a free day on the beach or enjoy an optional tour. Some of the best excursions include visiting the Sloth Sanctuary, taking a guided hike in nearby Cahuita National Park or Manzanillo-Gandoca National Wildlife Refuge, or enjoying a sea kayaking or snorkeling trip.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Villas del Caribe Hotel

Day 7 : Free day at the beach

Visiting: Caribbean Coast (Puerto Viejo)

Free day to enjoy as you wish.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Villas del Caribe Hotel

Day 8 : Free morning / Travel back to San Jose

Visiting: Caribbean Coast (Puerto Viejo)

Free morning. Say goodbye to the ocean, and head out this afternoon for your trip back to San Jose. Overnight San Jose.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Crowne Plaza Corobici

Day 9 : Depart

Visiting: San Jose, Costa Rica

You are free to depart anytime - we will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight out today.

Please note that there is a US$29 departure tax payable at the aiport with US$ or Costa Rican Colones or VISA, Matercard or American Express. This tax must be paid before you check in for your flight.

  • Meals: B

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