Costa Rica is nature at its inspiring best. From impressive volcanos to the wild jungles of the Caribbean coast, it is also one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. Monkeys, sloths, coatimundis, and an array of colorful birds accompany us on our journey.
Our adventure unfolds in Arenal Volcano National Park, which seems to pack all of Costa Rica’s allure into one place: incredible hiking, impressive views of the Volcano, and abundant wildlife. Next, we head to Bagaces to our wonderful jungle property tucked away in 600 acres of natural reserve. Awaiting us is an exciting zipline canopy tour and plenty of time to soak in the geothermal Rio Perdido. Finally, we culminate our exploration on the northern Pacific Coast in untamed Gulf of Papagayo. This expansive wilderness is known for its spectacular views, excellent bird watching opportunities, and beautiful palm-lined beaches featuring long stretches of powder white sand lapped by calm, aquamarine waters.
Arrival in Liberia
Our trip begins upon the arrival of your flight into Liberia. After clearing customs, you are met by your Boundless Journeys guide, who will introduce you to the country during the transfer to your hotel in Arenal Volcano National Park, about a 3-hour drive. To unwind from your travels, you may enjoy a swim, walk in the beautiful gardens, or a spa treatment. This evening, your guide will meet you for a welcome dinner.
Arenal Springs Resort & SpaLa Fortuna, Costa Rica
Hotel Arenal Springs Resort & Spa is a 4-star property surrounded by exotic gardens, and beautiful views of Arenal Volcano. Set in the middle of the rainforest, guests can enjoy a restaurant offering a variety of national and international dishes, swimming pools, free yoga, and private hot springs. Each room has a terrace with rocking chairs for ultimate leisure and bird viewing.
Sloth tour and rafting
We start our day at the Sloth Watching Trail in Arenal. Here, we have the opportunity to learn about Costa Rica's most beloved animal and see sloths in their natural habitat. As we walk through the forest, your guide will point out some of the other incredible animals that make their home here including a variety of birds, snakes, insects, and frogs.
After observing the slow-movements of the sloths, we speed things up a bit on a class II-III rafting adventure on the Balsa River. Following a safety and instruction briefing, our expert guide navigates us through 6 miles of white water rapids. We have the opportunity to stop along the way to rest, swim, and enjoy some fresh fruit.
At day's end we return to our hotel to enjoy the activities and amenities there.
Transfer to Bagaces
We say goodbye to Arenal as we make our west to Bagaces in the province of Guanacaste. Our home for the next two evenings is nestled in a 600-acre private reserve along the geothermal Rio Perdido, a unique heated river.
We stop for lunch en route and arrive at our hotel mid-afternoon with plenty of time before dinner to explore the grounds or perhaps enjoy a spa treatment.
Rio Perdido HotelBegaces, Costa Rica
Located on a 600-acre reserve in a unique dwarf forest, this hotel was designed to be in harmony with its surroundings while providing a superb experience for guests. It’s surrounded by natural hot springs, miles of hiking trails, and beautiful exotic flora and fauna. Families can relax in their own private bungalows while enjoying this restorative retreat.
Ziplining and thermal river
This morning, we seek out more thrills with a zipline tour through the Rio Blanco Canyon. We soar above the canyon on zip lines and sway over the river on a Tarzan swing.
After an adrenaline-filled morning, it's time to wind down and replenish with a delightful lunch of regional dishes and flavors with a spectacular view of the mountains.
This afternoon, we return to the tranquility of our hotel for the remainder of our day. Options include walking through the gardens, taking a dip in the thermal river or swimming pools on-site, and hiking around the property.
Gulf of Papagayo
Today, the northern Pacific Coast beckons us with the exquisitely untamed Gulf of Papagayo. This expansive wilderness area is known for its spectacular views, excellent bird watching, beautiful palm-lined beaches of powder white sand, and aquamarine waters. Surrounded by lush tropical forest and a dramatic volcanic landscape, the Gulf of Papagayo is the perfect destination for nature lovers eager to explore the magnificent national parks of Guanacaste or those looking to simply unwind on one of the area's idyllic world-class beaches.
En route, we stop in Liberia for lunch and to see a bit of the city. Liberia is a sunny rural city that features an attractive old quarter filled with historic buildings. Our guide leads us through town showing us important landmarks and explaining about the history.
Our hotel is reminiscent of a Pacific Island getaway and this afternoon we have the opportunity to enjoy its spa, pool, or stunning beach just a few steps away.
El Mangroove HotelGuanacaste, Costa Rica
Nestled among the trees, this bohemian-chic beach resort is ideally located near the national parks of Guanacaste and is just 15 minutes from the artsy and bustling town of El Coco. Ensuite rooms are light and airy, with plenty of comforts amidst the simple design. Amenities include wifi, A/C, and an onsite spa and restaurant.
Palo Verde National Park & Guaitil
This morning, we explore the Palo Verde National Park via boat. This sanctuary is known for its diverse ecosystem that is home to an abundant variety of bird species. The park consists of two very different zones: spectacular wetlands and one of the last tropical dry forests in the world. Many of the resident birds nest on Bird Island, a small mangrove island in the Río Tempisque. Commonly spotted species include great curassows, scarlet macaws, blue-winged teal, roseate spoonbills, anhingas, jabirus, white ibis, and wood storks among many others.
We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the small town of Guaitil and visit a local artisan who makes unique pottery. We have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the hotel's spa, pool, and beach before dinner.
Kayaking and Tamarindo Beach
This morning, we again take to the water, this time through our own power via kayak. No experience is necessary as our guide instructs us in the basics before we paddle in a secluded area. Single or double kayaks are available.
We enjoy lunch en route to the horse shoe bay of Tamarindo, which offers more than a mile of white sand and azure waters. At this beachfront town, we find charming restaurants, shops, and a laid back vibe that epitomizes the Costa Rican term "pura vida." If the timing is right, we may have the rare opportunity to witness turtles nesting at National Park Las Baulas just outside town.
After breakfast, you are transferred to the Liberia airport (25 minutes) for your departure home or continued travels.
Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.
Daily departures on request.
From $4,595 Per Person
See single supplement policy below.
The above per person price is for a family of two adults and two children under the age of 12 during non-holiday weeks. Pricing varies based on group size, children's ages, and dates. Please call for more information.
Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.
If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!
*This may not apply to certain trips with unique accommodation arrangements. Please see specific trip information for more details.
Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. This trip is rated 1+, easy to moderate, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). The activities on this trip range from 1-3 hours. The walking terrain is usually gradual, although you may encounter occasional steep sections. Most walks are on unpaved paths and trails, with minimal vehicle support. Trails, at times, may be wet and slick with mud.
Liberia, Costa Rica
Most Convenient Airport:Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (airport code: LIR)
Meeting Time and Place:Your guide(s) will meet you on the first day at the airport upon your arrival.
Departure Time and Place:Your guide(s) will provide drop-offs at the airport after breakfast.
The temperature in Costa Rica is influenced by altitude, and varies little over the course of the year. When cold fronts move in, as they can at any time of year, the weather can turn cooler and wetter, typically for a few days. The coastal areas are typically much warmer, averaging lows in the mid to upper 70s and highs in the mid 90s. In the afternoons, humidity is in the mid-to-high 60 percent range. Temperatures in the highlands around Arenal are slightly cooler, averaging between mid-60s to upper 80s.
You may obtain more detailed weather information by visiting www.weatherbase.com.
Arenal National Park
Bagaces/Gulf of Papagayo
The dry season is from December to April. The highlands are truly dry at this time of year, typically with only one or two rainy days per month (although if a cold front comes in, a rainy pattern can prevail even during the dry season). The Caribbean coastal region tends to have more consistent rainforest weather patterns, and can have rain year-round, usually limited to afternoon showers in the dry season.
The rainy season (or green season) begins in May and lasts until late October. During the day, skies are generally sunny, though they often give way to afternoon showers.
It is important that you come prepared for a variety of weather conditions regardless of the time of year. Over the course of your trip, you will likely encounter both cool, rainy weather and warm, sunny weather. Please be prepared with clothing for both.
Costa Rican cuisine is simple, and chefs use few spices. Comida tipica, or native dishes, rely heavily on rice and beans, the basis of many Costa Rican meals. Gallo pinto, the national dish of fried rice and black beans, is commonly served as a breakfast staple, and eggs, fruit, and meats are available as well. At lunch, gallo pinto becomes casado: rice and beans supplemented with cabbage-and-tomato salad, fried plantains, and meat. Vegetables are not a large part of the diet; food staples primarily include carne (beef), pollo (chicken), and pescado (fish). Although a variety of seafood is not widely available, you will find sea bass and farm-raised, freshwater tilapia on some menus. Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice, though choices tend to be more limited.
Although Jimmy is now mostly settled in Costa Rica, he has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America. His travels have helped him acquire a unique understanding of other cultures that he has been able to apply as a guide. Jimmy admits that Italy is his favorite destination (after his native Costa Rica) and is where he discovered his talent for Italian cooking.
Jimmy is fluent in English, Italian, and French and has been guiding since 2000. With an exceptional sense of humor, he excels at sharing his knowledge of Costa Rican culture and nature with others.
A native "Tiko" (as Costa Ricans are called), Nancy was studying advertising when she was asked to train and guide in Tortuguero National Park. This experience led her to follow her childhood dream to work in nature, and she is proud to celebrate over 20 years of leading groups in her country and abroad.
Nancy has taken extensive courses in natural history, botany, ornithology, and archaeology, among many others. Along with her husband Glenn, she enjoys nature walks, bird watching, photography, music, traveling, and cooking.
Nancy is a gifted guide who always has a smile on her face and instills confidence in her group. Her knowledge and easy-going manner makes Nancy a favorite guide for family tours!
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
Walking, hiking, rafting, & kayaking 1-4 hours per day (no boating experience necessary)
This trip can be your own adventure by taking over one of our scheduled dates, or we can request a fresh one.
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