11 Days Exploring from the Caribbean to the Pacific

11 days exploring starting with a vibrant journey. Activities include snorkelling and a rainforest hike with leisure days for optional activities to explore the area or just to relax and enjoy. Take in the history of San Jose and explore the city, enjoy the National Park in La Fortuna and relax on the beaches of Cahuita, plus plenty more to see and do on this magnifienct trip that you will never forget.

 

Location

Day 1
Destination: San José

Meals Included: Dinner

Juan Santamaría Int. Airport to San José Hotel

Your transfer will give you the chance to soak up the mountains of the Central Valley which offer a beautiful background to the capital of San Jose, a combination of small city and busy big city rush, modern buildings and architectonic landmarks, among friendly people, known as “Ticos”.

Total distance from Juan Santamaria International Airport to San Jose: 17 km / 10.5 miles.
Approximate driving time: 40 minutes.

San José:

The main entryway to the country is the capital city of San Jose in the Central Valley. Founded in 1738, it’s a modern city with bustling commerce and updated services for foreign visitors offering a variety of tourist, cultural and natural attractions, like the Costa Rican Art, Gold, Jade, National and Children’s Contemporary Art and Design Museums. The architectural jewel of the country, its National Theatre, plus examples of historical architecture in buildings and churches close to parks and monuments, worth visiting.
Restaurants for fine dining as well as casual cafeterias that are known as “sodas” that offer international and local dishes. It is not a big city, traffic may be challenging though. There are many boulevards that make it easy to walk to different attractions or there are many options to travel by cab or public transportation. The nightlife is active and there are options for every taste.

Accommodation:

Park Inn Hotel San José or similar, standard room.

Day 2
Destination: Puerto Viejo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

San José to Puerto Viejo Limón Route.

An enjoyable ride is ahead! Highway 32 crosses the marvellous Braulio Carrillo National Park, from high-altitude cloud forests to lowlands tropical rainforests it protects an abundance of the country´s biodiversity. Most of it is covered in primary forest, offering a unique snapshot of ancient ecological conditions of this land. Moving down the road, tropical vegetation announces the colourful Caribbean is closer. Pass busy towns like the port city of Limon. Then, the magnificent ocean greets you to a land where life and vibes move in different rhythm, as you reach the town of Puerto Viejo.

Total distance San Jose to Puerto Viejo Limon: 265 Km/165 miles. 
Approximate driving time: 5 hours

Caribe

The Costa Rican Caribbean extends from the San Juan River, bordered with Nicaragua, to the Sixaola River along the Panamanian border. It covers 200 miles of coastline, it is well known for its coral reefs, multi-coloured sand beaches (black, yellow, and grey), coastal vegetation, and medium-high forests.  This area of the country is marked by great ethnic diversity: African descent, Costa Rican indigenous groups, Afro-Caribbean, white and Chinese, each culture has enriched this region with their own traits, like nowhere else in the country. In the northern sector, the main attractions involve the turtles nesting grounds along the beaches of Tortuguero National Park and Barra del Colorado National Wildlife Refuge. Limon is in the centre of the area with historic spots and busy ports. Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, and Gandoca-Manzanillo, in the southern sector of the coast, offer amazing beaches with a myriad of activities involving adventure and natural history that exceptionally complement the Caribbean culture, gastronomy, music and colours.

Accommodation:

Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort - Superior Room, or similar.



Day 3
Destination: Cahuita

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cahuita Snorkelling & Rainforest Hike.

Cahuita has the largest system of Coral Reefs in Costa Rica, including 6 species of coral, a wide range of colourful tropical fishes and the occasional encounter of a harmless reef shark or stingray.

This beach has a horseshoe shape, with the entrance of the park at one end and beautiful Punta Cahuita at the other end. We start with a scenic 20 minutes boat ride to have two snorkelling sessions. Then we get dropped off at the Punta to enjoy nicely presented fruit and snacks at the beach followed by a 1.5 hour/3.5 km`s guided hike in this wonderful coastal forest: monkeys, sloths, birds, iguanas and other interesting encounters are common and complemented with great info from your guide.

Accommodation:

Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort - Superior Room, or similar.

Day 4
Destination: Puerto Viejo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Free Day - Day at leisure for optional activities to explore the area or just to relax and enjoy the hotel`s premises. Please ask for details of activities that can be booked.

Accommodation:

Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort - Superior Room, or similar.

Day 5
Destination: Fortuna

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Caribe to Fortuna

From the lower lands of the Caribbean, you will take the highway towards the Braulio Carrillo National Park.  This is a wonderful ride where you go across this amazing protected area, bursting with lush vegetation and passing small rustic towns. As the road takes you to the north, the striking Arenal Volcano may show up on the horizon when clouds fade away. Soon you will be reaching your destination, get ready, whether you stay there for a quiet and renovating experience, an adrenaline-charged adventure or a mix of both, it will truly add to great memories of your holiday.

The total distance from Caribe to Fortuna: 285 km/ 177 miles.
Approximate driving time: 5:00 hours.

La Fortuna

La Fortuna has an elevation of 350 feet above sea level and is best known as the base from which to explore the magnificent Arenal Volcano and National Park. Located north of the Tilaran Mountains, this spectacularly beautiful, cone-shaped volcano rises out of the flat San Carlos Plains. Naturally heated thermal springs originate from its depth, so several places in the area offer the chance to be surrounded by nature while soaking and relaxing on the mineral waters. The fabulous mountains, lake, natural reserves, rivers, canopy tours, culture tours, hot springs and rainforest, make this a favourite holiday destination.
From Arenal is easy to get to Monteverde and other Guanacaste areas, the rural roads take travellers through the splendid landscape of vast pasturelands.

Accommodation:

Arenal Springs Resort & Spa - Junior Suite Room, or similar.

Day 6
Destination: Arenal

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Arenal 1968 & Tabacón

The beautiful and impressive Arenal Volcano will amaze you from the beginning of the trip. Your guide will wait for you at the hotel lobby to lead you to one of the comfortable vans with air conditioning and talk briefly about the tour itinerary and information about the volcano and the area in general.

You'll walk through different kinds of vegetation and see the local fauna. You will also stand at a viewpoint incredibly close to the volcano and step on ancient lava flows since turned into to stone.
At the end of the hike, you will visit the hot springs, so you can relax in the pools and choose among the different temperatures to suit. After the baths, we will lead you to the restaurant, where a delicious dinner waits for you.

Accommodation:

Arenal Springs Resort & Spa - Junior Suite Room, or similar.

Day 7
Destination: Papagayo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fortuna to Papagayo

See the Arenal volcano and parts of the volcanic mountain range of Guanacaste, as the road takes you west towards the fabulous Pacific coast. The ride lasts about 4 hours, going through small villages, valleys and flatlands. Stop for a bite and enjoy traditional foods or fresh local fruits. Moving forward, glimpses of the deep blue ocean will give you a warm welcome to the Papagayo area, with a variety of nice hotels, shops and restaurants, water sports, adventure tours or dreamy, lazy walks down the beach for you to enjoy.

The total distance from Fortuna to Papagayo: 163 km / 101.2 miles.
Approximate driving time: 3:00 hours.

Papagayo

The Papagayo area is formed by spectacular beaches along this part of the northern Pacific Coast in Guanacaste. Formerly part of Nicaragua, before being annexed to Costa Rica in 1824, Guanacaste has a long history as cattle raising area. Its “Sabanero”, cowboy culture, still defines the personality of the province with traditions, foods and music. With a variety of luxurious hotels or quiet retreats near the clear sand beach, restaurants and tourist activities, this area offers plenty to do and see for the active traveller as well as plenty of peace and quiet for those looking to get away from it all in a tropical paradise.

Accommodation:

Villas Sol Hotel - Standard Ocean View Room or similar

Day 8
Destination: Papagayo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Free Day - Day at leisure for optional activities to explore the area or just to relax and enjoy the hotel`s premises. Please ask for details of activities that can be booked.

Accommodation:

Villas Sol Hotel - Standard Ocean View Room or similar

Day 9
Destination: Papagayo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Free Day - Day at leisure for optional activities to explore the area or just to relax and enjoy the hotel`s premises. Please ask for details of activities that can be booked.

Accommodation:

Villas Sol Hotel - Standard Ocean View Room or similar.

Day 10
Destination: San José

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Papagayo to San José

The Papagayo area with its spectacular beaches will stay in your memory as you go away and cruise the flatlands of Guanacaste towards the Pan-American Highway, sit back and enjoy the scenery which limits with imposing blue peaks, some of them are active volcanoes. Once on the highway, you will move southbound towards Puntarenas, with the Pacific Ocean to your right and then move up through mountains and valleys to the capital city of San Jose.

Your final night is back at the Park Inn San José in the capital city of Costa Rica.

The total distance from Papagayo to San Jose: 240 km/ 149 miles.
Approximate driving time: 4:30 hours.

Day 11
Destination: Airport

Meals Included: Breakfast

Private Transfer Hotel - Airport
Meet our driver at the hotel´s lobby for your transfer to the San Jose International Airport.

End Of Tour