Rainforests and Volcanoes
"A sunrise experience through the national park rainforest on a boat has to be the highlight of our trip. Seeing and hearing the rainforest come to life, the colours changing and being absorbed in nature was fantastic, a lifelong memory."
The Tate family, April 2016
This family activity holiday is a great way to explore in comfort and get the most out of Costa Rica's varied natural environment - including mountains, volcanoes, swamps, rainforest and beach.
The trip is positively packed with exciting activities so you'll learn about all aspects of the country. A comprehensive programme of optional excursions, such as white-water rafting, zip-wires, a hot springs visit and a walk in a rainforest canopy, guarantees something to interest everyone in the family.
Here's a taster of your itinerary. For more details please see the itinerary tab and trip notes.
Day 1 - Fly to San Jose.
Day 2 - Visit Poas Volcano & waterfalls.
Day 3 - Travel by road & boat to Tortuguero.
Day 4 - Boat along Tortuguero's canals.
Day 5 - Head to Sarapiqui's rainforests.
Day 6 - Jungle & chocolate tour.
Day 7 - Arenal cultural tour & night hike.
Day 8 - To volcanic Rincon de la Vieja.
Day 9 - Walk among boiling mud pots. Transfer to the beach.
Day 10 - Free day at the beach
Day 11/12 - Fly home.
Why not extend your stay?
Why not make the most of your time with an extra few days in Costa Rica? Set on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, the Tamarindo Diria is set in a beautiful location which overlooks the ocean. The hotel offers stunning scenery and plenty of family friendly facilities, including a large swimming pool, nearby tennis courts, a tour desk and a variety of local restaurants, making it the perfect place to unwind after an active family holiday. Alternatively for a more luxurious option, consider Capitan Suizo. Please contact us for more details on all possible extensions.
- Day 1. Fly to San Jose
- Arrive into San Jose and make your way to the group hotel, or we can arrange a transfer for you.
- Day 2. Visit Poas Volcano and waterfalls
- This morning, you'll travel out of San Jose past dairy farms and flower plantations to Poas Volcano National Park. At 2,800m above sea level, Poas is an active volcano. Walk along trails to Botos Lagoon, an ancient crater and admire the volcanic vegetation. Continue to La Paz Waterfalls and Gardens. Here there are 3.5 kilometres of walking trails and educational animal exhibits. Enjoy the different attractions: Aviary, Butterfly Observatory, Hummingbird Garden, Serpentarium, Jungle Cats Exhibit and Frog Exhibit.
- Day 3. Travel to Tortuguero
- Travel to Limon through the Braulio Carrillo Cloud Forest National Park. Experience the weather, temperature and landscape variations. In the lowlands, you will see many large banana plantations. Board a boat to Tortuguero and admire the great diversity of flora and fauna on the way: sloths, monkeys, crocodiles and turtles, among others. In the afternoon, visit the small village of Tortuguero and the tiny Sea Turtle Conservancy Centre.
- Day 4. Tortuguero National Park
- You have a sunrise boat tour through the natural canals of Tortuguero. This is a system of natural and man-made canals and navigable lagoons that cross the park from southeast to northwest, which are of great scenic beauty. There are 309 species of birds and spectacular migrations can be seen. There is also a possibility of seeing white face and howler monkeys, three-toed sloths, freshwater turtles, manatees and crocodiles.
- Day 5. Sarapiqui
- After breakfast, you will take the boat back through the canals. Continue by road to Sarapiqui.
- Day 6. Rainforest and Chocolate Tour
- Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve is an educational, scientific and eco-tourism destination, situated between forests and rivers of the northern region of Costa Rica. The reserve protects pristine forests containing great biodiversity. Discover the secrets and wonders of chocolate. Learn about the history and culture of cacao and the process for making chocolate: harvesting, fermentation, drying and grinding. Taste chocolate samples of organic cacao produced by the Amazilia Women Association. Continue to La Fortuna.
- Day 7. Arenal and around
- Today you have a tour in one of the most important agricultural areas in the country. Your guide will explain details about the products and the methods used to harvest various crops (tapioca, plantains, pineapple, papaya, among others). Continue to visit the local school at Zona Fluca and enjoy a Tico style fiesta, prepared by the students and teachers of the school, including a presentation of typical dances that will provide you with an insight into Costa Rican culture. Later you have a night tour. Admire amphibians and reptiles interacting in natural ecosystems. There is a possibility you'll be able to observe other nocturnal species too like birds, mammals, insects and bats.
- Day 8. From Arenal to Rincon de la Vieja
- In the morning, visit Arenal Volcano National Park. After sleeping quietly for more than 400 years, the volcano erupted with tremendous force in July 1968. The volcano has an almost perfect cone, which soars 1,633m above sea level and has a crater 140 metres deep. The volcano is now in a dormant phase. Later, travel around Arenal Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Costa Rica and then along the Pan American Highway passing the city of Liberia to arrive at Rincon la Vieja, in the province of Guanacaste.
- Day 9. Rincon de la Vieja National Park
- Visit Rincon de la Vieja National Park. This park is home to an active strata volcano. There are giant trees and more than 257 bird species. At the foot of the southern flank enjoy Las Pailas, and area of hot springs, lakes, and holes that expel clouds of steam. Or in Azufrales relax in the small pools with hot springs. Transfer to the beach.
- Day 10. Free day at the beach
- Free day to spend on the beach in the Papagayo Gulf.
- Day 11. Departure
- Drive back to the airport for your onwards flight, or extend for more time at the beach.
- Where will we stay? : 10 nights in hotels and lodges
- What meals are included? : 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 2 dinners
- How do we travel?: Minibus, boat, on foot & zip wires
- Flights: Various options
- Trip Code: FCRA
- Age guideline: 5 - 18