Costa Rica Family Experience

San José to San José

9 days from 1,129 pp

Nothing brings learning to life like real-world experience. This week-long trip’s engaging lesson plan gives kids an education in biology and ecology that can never be found in a textbook. Here, spend the days (and nights!) studying the flora and fauna that inhabit the cloud forest and Manuel Antonio National Park. Elsewhere, get in touch with the land by rappelling, rafting, swimming, horseback-riding, and even surfing all over it. Science + gym? You do the math.
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9 days San José to San José

From 1,129 per person

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Travel Style: Family

Trips built for adventurers of all ages

Just because you’ve settled down and had kids doesn’t mean your adventuring days are through. Family trips explore exciting locales — Tanzania, Thailand, the Galápagos, Europe and more — with age-appropriate activities and hotels that know how to cater to families on the move.

 

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

 

Physical Rating: 3 – Average

Some tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking in addition to walking.

 

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 20, avg 10

 

Age requirement: 6+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1: San José

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

Amid the hustle and bustle of this busy capital, San José has beautiful parks, museums and an ornate National Theatre. Start your exploration of the city in the central plaza, a great place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting:
1h

A G Adventures representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our joining point hotel. There are no planned activities so check into our hotel and enjoy the city.

 

Accommodation:
Radisson San Jose (or similar)
Day 2: San José/La Fortuna

Set off from the capital and enjoy the countryside of the Central Valley. Stop for a tortilla-making lesson, along with a typical Tico lunch.

A three-hour van trip brings us to La Fortuna, near the base of the spectacular Arenal Volcano. La Fortuna is a great base for active adventures. Along the way, stop to meet Doña Mara and learn the art of making (and eating!) tortillas.

Once we arrive, there’s time to relax in the hot springs that are heated by the volcano’s lava.

During our stay in La Fortuna, there is a wide selection of activities sure to please every member of the family. From river rafting, to rappelling down waterfalls, to floating along the canals of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge in search of caiman, there is no excuse to be bored!

Private Vehicle:
San José – La Fortuna3h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Local Living: Tortilla Making and Local Lunch:

Visit a local’s home to learn the art of tortilla making. Grind the corn, mix the “masa” (dough) into balls, flatten into circles, and then cook them up on a wood-burning stove. Afterwards, dig into a tasty “casado” – a typical Costa Rican dish including black beans and plantains – complete with your own hand-made tortillas.

 

Accommodation:
Hotel Monte Real (or similar)
Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 3: La Fortuna

Take to the lake for a morning of stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking on Lake Arenal, before a free afternoon.

This morning there is an included kayak/SUP activity on Lake Arenal. Half the group will start by kayaking and switch to SUP mid-way through, and vice versa.

Hands-On: Stand Up Paddle (Lesson and Tour):

Grab a long wide board and show those surfer dudes how it’s done without waves on Lake Arenal with the volcano looming above. Tour picks up from the hotel and includes a tour of the west-end of the Lake while you’re getting the hang of the paddle board. Enjoy the amazing view, with chances to spot wild birds like Great Blue Herons or even Howler Monkeys. Learn more about the area while exploring the lake and snack on some tropical fruit before heading back to the hotel.

Hands-On: Kayak Lake Arenal:

Zip up your life jacket, grab a paddle and get ready to be wowed by beauty in every direction. Admire Arenal Volcano as you kayak the blue-green waters of Lake Arenal, Central America’s second largest lake. Scan the shores for more than 300 species of birds, listen for howler monkeys and fish for sharp-toothed rainbow bass. Take time to float and soak in the stunning scenery of the rolling hills, secret coves and sky that stretches forever.

Free Time:
La Fortuna

Free afternoon in La Fortuna. Experience the outdoor adventures and amazing wildlife and natural wonders in this area.

 

Accommodation:
Hotel Monte Real (or similar)
Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 4: La Fortuna/Monteverde
Guided Cloud Forest Night Walk:
Monteverde Evening

Join a naturalist guide for a 1.5-2 hour tour in the cloud forest after dark. Learn more about the habits of the area’s nocturnal wildlife including mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians, and keep your eyes and ears open on this slow-paced walk. You never know what you might see – it depends on the day and your luck!

 

Accommodation:
Hotel Heliconia (or similar)
Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 5: Monteverde

Enjoy a free day in this lush cloud forest region. Opt to fly above the trees on a canopy zipline tour, go horseback riding in the hills or visit the butterfly garden.

Carte Blanche:
Monteverde Full Day

There’s plenty to see and do in Monteverde, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like ziplining, visiting the hanging bridges, and horseback riding. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

 

Accommodation:
Hotel Heliconia (or similar)
Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 6: Monteverde/Manuel Antonio

Take a guided hike through the national park keeping an eye out for the wildlife that can be seen through the trees.

The white sand beaches and warm Pacific waters are the ideal atmosphere to relax at the end of your adventure. Manuel Antonio NP offers excellent hiking, spectacular views, and abundant wildlife viewing. An included hike goes deep into the park, to explore everything that can be found here.

Enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches and discover why the warm turquoise water is ideal for swimming, fishing, kayaking, boogie boarding, sailing or surfing – the perfect finale to an exciting family adventure!

Overnight in Manuel Antonio.

Private Vehicle:
Monteverde – Manuel Antonio6h267km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike:
Manuel Antonio

Pack your sunscreen, camera, hiking shoes and bug repellent and prepare for a great day in Costa Rica’s smallest yet biodiverse national park. Manual Antonio offers four white sand beaches, separated by jagged rock outcrops and tidal pools. Head to the shade of the nearby tropical forest in search of sloths, monkeys, armadillos and iguanas. Climb to the lookout to capture views of the pristine Pacific Ocean and the area’s off-shore islands. Learn how the wildlife has adapted to their environment and enjoy your exotic experience.

 

Accommodation:
Hotel El Faro (or similar)
Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 7: Manuel Antonio

Enjoy a free day for several optional activities like mangrove kayaking, surf lessons, a sunset catamaran tour, or take some time to relax on the beach.

Carte Blanche:
Manuel Antonio Full Day

There’s plenty to see and do in Manuel Antonio, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like visiting Manuel Antonio National Park, mangrove kayaking, and surfing. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

 

Accommodation:
Hotel El Faro (or similar)
Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 8: Manuel Antonio/San José

Free morning to enjoy more time at the beach. Return to San José in the afternoon. Free evening in San José.

After one final morning to soak up the sun on the beach in Manuel Antonio, we return to San José, and have time to enjoy one final evening together with our group.

Private Vehicle:
Manuel Antonio – San José5h190km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Free Time:
San José Evening

Take advantage of your final hours in the capital and buy some last-minute souvenirs, sit in the park or just pack and relax.

 

Accommodation:
Radisson San Jose (or similar)
Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 9: San José

Depart at any time.

Meals included:

Breakfast

What’s Included:

  • Local Living: Tortilla Making and Local Lunch, La Fortuna
  • Hands-On: Stand Up Paddle (Lesson and Tour), Arenal
  • Hands-On: Kayak Lake Arenal
  • Arrival transfer
  • Kayaking and paddle-boarding in La Fortuna
  • Guided cloud forest night walk (Monteverde)
  • Guided hike in Manuel Antonio NP
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

 

Accommodations:

Hotels (8 nts).

 

Meals:

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch
Allow USD380-495 for meals not included.

 

Transportation:

Private vehicle, boat, walking

 

Staff & experts:

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

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