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  1. Day 1
    Arrive San José
    Meet up with your Contiki team this morning before it’s time to start the trip right & start exploring. First up, we’ll head out into San Jose city & Poás Volcano National Park for our first look at this amazing city & its lush natural environment.
    On our way to the park, keep your eyes peeled for coffee plantations, fields packed with flowers & dairy farms & cool locals as you travel. When we reach the volcano there’s time to check out the impressive main crater with its sulfur fumaroles (or vents where volcanic gas escapes) & frame up some shots of this unique landscape and we’ll hike the trail for the chance to see the beautiful Botos Lagoon.
    This afternoon it’s back to the city, where you’ll get a look at San José’s best spots on our locally guided tour. It’s easy to see why this city is such a popular place to head – with consistently warm weather & year round events this place is always buzzing, so keep your eye out for cool locals, or maybe some music & action around the city streets. Some of the main sights include La Sabana Metropolitan Park, Costa Rican Contemporary Art Museum, the National Gymnasium & with us you’ll see them all. Get the insider knowledge from your Tour Manager before we finish up with a visit the San José Central Market & the see the beautiful National Theatre.
    Tonight, we’ll head out to a cute local nightspot after dinner with the group, it’s the perfect way to relax, get to know your travel mates & get amped for an awesome 12 days.
    Keep it moving later, San José is the perfect place to start with a night out. Known for its awesome nightlife, ask your Tour Manager where’s hot to head for what you’re into – from cute cafes & intimate bars to bigger clubs for dancing, there’s something for everyone.
    Accommodations: Hotel
    Meals: Dinner (1) day

    Day 2
    San José to Tortuguero
    Say farewell to the big city vibe as we get an early start and depart San José for Tortuguero National Park. We’ll make our way there through Braulio Carrillo National Park, where you’ll check out the beautiful views & native vegetation found here.
    Tortuguero is one of Costa Rica's most popular eco-tourism destinations & is famous the world over. The canals and rivers are known as a place for studying the rainforest, freshwater and marine biology, especially its sea turtles. The park and small village of Tortuguero itself can only be accessed by boat or small aircraft, so we’ll head there by boat – perfect for a different angle on this stunning region & a cool way to get your local fix. This place will leave you impressed, with little lodges & hotels, friendly locals & is known as one of the world's major nesting sites for the Atlantic green turtle & if you’re here during July through October then you might even see them.
    We’ll make a stop for breakfast before continuing on past banana plantations to the dock where we’ll board the boat to the lodge. As we make our way through the Tortuguero canals keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way. We’ll arrive around early afternoon, where lunch will be served, then after a short stop in the village to check out the local vibe, we’ll head back to the lodge for a chilled afternoon working on your tan by the pool and getting to know your travel mates.
    Accommodations: Contiki Special Stopover
    Meals: Lunch (1) day, Breakfast (1) day, Dinner (1) day

    Day 3
    Tortuguero is all about getting deep into nature, so get ready to see some amazing wildlife up close today...the animals get up early and so will you! We’ll start out today, with a boat tour through the canals of Tortuguero to admire the awakening of the wild life of the National Park. Keep an eye out for caimans, howler monkeys and toucans. A camera and binoculars are essential!
    After the tour its back to the lodge for breakfast & time to chill before grabbing your walking shoes for a guided nature walk. Our expertly trained Tour Manager will give you the inside track on this amazing haven for wildlife, where you’ll learn all about the unique flora and fauna found here & have the opportunity to ask questions about this incredible spot.
    Later, it’s back to the lodge for lunch, with the afternoon free to explore the way you want. Maybe take a siesta, take a dip in the pool or relax. If you’re feeling like something more active then grab a kayak or go for a walk along the beach or just sit back with a book or a drink & work on your tan.
    Tonight will impress – see the National Park on a different angle as you kick back in true Costa Rican style...enjoy a drink & relax with your mates on an afternoon boat ride along the canals. Calypso beats are the perfect live music to listen to as you chill with your travel buddies on this awesome experience in a blissful setting.
    Accommodations: Lodge
    Meals: Lunch (1) day, Breakfast (1) day, Dinner (1) day

    Day 4
    Tortuguero to Sarapiqui (Pozo Azul Adventures Lodge Special Stay)
    Today is the start of the next leg of this adventure! After breakfast, it’s time to say farewell Tortuguero as we hit the water again en route to Sarapiqui, where our driver will be waiting at the end of the canal.
    We’ll make a lunch stop as we head towards Sarapiqui & our Special Stay experience at Hacienda Pozo Azul Camp, our Rainforest Special Stay overnight. These tent suites will impress – imagine waking up to the sounds of the jungle, yet in comfort, privacy & immersed in nature! It’s a seriously awesome experience. With comfy queen sized beds, ensuite bathrooms with hot water, in-room WiFi & balconies this place is the ultimate way to get back to nature & relax.
    Today you’ll discover the rainforest on our Tirimbina Chocolate tour to learn about one of mankinds favourite treats, before a delicious BBQ dinner. Then head back to your room for a blissful night sleeping in this incredibly lush environment.
    Accommodations: Contiki Special Stopover
    Meals: Lunch (1) day, Breakfast (1) day, Dinner (1) day

    Day 5
    Sarapiqui to Arenal/La Fortuna
    This morning, its all go! We leave it up to you, with choices of rafting the rapids on the Sarapiqui River, a canopy tour (zipline) for birds-eye views over the rainforest or rapelling (abseiling) for that adrenalin fix, whatever you’re into is included! With your adrenalin fix had, it’s back on land before heading to Costa Rica’s famed Arenal Volcano after lunch.
    Arenal’s perfectly symmetrical shape will impress, and being home to loads of outdoor activities makes it an easy place to check things off your “must-do in Costa Rica” list. The area is also known for its spa & mud pool treatments, so if you’re feeling up for it then it’s the ideal place to treat yourself & relax.
    Accommodations: Hotel
    Meals: Lunch (1) day, Breakfast (1) day

    Day 6
    Arenal/La Fortuna
    This morning get into the adventure that Costa Rica is known for, adventure and nature! Maybe visit La Fortuna waterfall or try canyoneering/rappelling through a rain forest canyon. This afternoon relax by the pool or head into town for a bit of shopping.
    Later on this afternoon experience the traditional Costa Rican "Tico" way of life. Our visit to Rio Fortuna La Casona will start by introducing us to the students of a local school where they will perform their local folk dances. You’ll love meeting the local students & watching them perform live. Even better is that we are giving back too, with our visit proceeds go towards supporting the school.
    A place full of history, culture and traditions this country estate allows us a peek into the way life used to be here. We'll see how sugar cane was processed and after we'll head to a local farm where we will tour the plantation and meet the owner.
    Later, we’ll head back to La Casona for a delicious home-cooked dinner, done the old fashion way on a wood stove. It's your chance to get hands on as you learn how to make traditional Costa Rican coffee & delicious fresh made tortillas. Learning from the locals is a great way to get that authentic angle & pick up some new skills in the kitchen. We think indulging in the results is the perfect way to end the lesson too. Yum!
    You’ll love this unique meal & you’ll love the way it’s served, dished up in the traditional way on a banana leaf. No meal would be complete without some fresh coffee, famous homemade coffee liquor, with entertainment from our hosts Milton & Eli. It’s the perfect end to the day.
    Accommodations: Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast (1) day, Dinner (1) day

    Day 7
    Arenal/La Fortuna to Monteverde
    Today we head to the cooler highlands for a change of pace, starting with a lake crossing on our way to Monteverde.
    Monteverde Cloud Forest is Costa Rica’s most popular reserve, founded about 40 years ago by a small group of Quakers who were looking for a peaceful place to live. Its Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the most outstanding wild life sanctuaries in the tropics, filled with cloud forests, coffee plantations, monkeys, mist, and friendly locals. Its high elevation rain forest offers miles of trails with excellent opportunities for watching the species found here so you will really get back to nature today! The amazing Quetzal bird is sighted up here from January to July, so ask your Tour Manager & the locals for what to look for.
    This afternoon we hike into the Santa Elena Cloud Forest reserve. Located high on the Caribbean slopes of the Cordillera de Tilarán (5,000ft/1,500m), the Continental Divide of Costa Rica, the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the first community managed reserves in the country. With the help of Youth Challenge International, a Canadian Non-Profit Organization, the Costa Rican government and the Santa Elena Community, the Reserve officially opened in March 1992. The reserve comprises an area of 310 hectare or 765 acres, and together with the Children's Eternal Rainforest, the Arenal Conservation Area and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve constitutes a conservation area of approximately 28,000 hectares or 69,000 acres. Plans are underway to raise funds to buy and restore adjacent farmlands for future inclusion into the Santa Elena Reserve. Current conservation efforts in the area are centered around establishing forest corridors from the central conservation area down to lower altitudes, as many of the forest fauna, such as the Resplendent Quetzal, American pumas, jaguars, ocelots, and Red Brocket deer found here require large territories to breed.
    This evening is yours to explore the bohemian, artistic town of Santa Elena or relax in the spa at the hotel.

    Accommodations: Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast (1) day

    Day 8
    This morning we visit Selvatura Adventure Park to walk the Hanging Bridges and visit the Butterfly & Hummingbirds Gardens for a taste of the natural landscape found here.
    After is your opportunity to do a canopy tour (zipline), for an adrenalin rush as you fly through 15 cables and 18 platforms with the option of a Tarzan Swing at the end of the adventure. Awesome!
    Selvatura Park is one of the longest Canopy Tours in Costa Rica, and it's the only canopy tour located inside the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Not ready to conquer ziplining? You can head back into town for some shopping and leisurely lunch. We'll spend this afternoon on a coffee tour.
    You've already sampled this famous Costa Rican drink, but get ready to learn even more. Our guide will take you through all the stages of production, from the plants themselves, through to harvest, drying, roasting & the grinding of the beans. Later, sit back with a delicious cup & relax.
    With your caffeine fix all done, you'll be wide awake for a night out in this eclectic, fun town.
    Accommodations: Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast (1) day

    Day 9
    Monteverde to Manuel Antonio
    Pura Vida! Its all sun & good times this morning, we’re off to the beautiful beaches of the Costa Rican Central Pacific coast! First up is a stop in the surfing town of Jaco then its on to Quepos.
    Later, we’ll arrive at Manuel Antonio. This place is a popular destination for travellers, and is a haven for those who love to relax.
    Accommodations: Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast (1) day, Dinner (1) day

    Day 10
    Manuel Antonio
    This morning is all about relaxing the way you want. Hit the beach for a surfing lesson, head out to explore the town or just sit with a drink & work on your tan.
    This afternoon we set sail for an awesome afternoon on the water. Chill out on deck, and keep watch for (when in season) dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and unique birds of the Manuel Antonio Marine Reserve.
    Don’t forget your swimming gear, the tour includes snorkeling equipment if you feel like getting into some underwater exploring, and includes a tour of the offshore islands for an even more in-depth look at the area.
    We also stop for a leisurely swim at one of the incredible white sand beaches & if you’re up for it you could dive on the underwater reefs. What’s better, you’ll indulge in a feast of fresh fruits, grilled fish, pasta, salads, drinks with the amazing Costa Rican hospitality that you will have come to love.
    Accommodations: Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast (1) day

    Day 11
    Manuel Antonio
    It’s time to get active & walk with our expert guide through the exotic, bio-diverse tropical rainforest of Manuel Antonio National Park. This afternoon join us on an optional catamaran cruise. Set sail on our awesome boat trip to spot many dolphins, whales, sea turtles & birds. Don’t forget your swimming gear for swim stops & snorkelling.
    Accommodations: Hotel
    Meals: Breakfast (1) day, Dinner (1) day

    Day 12
    Manuel Antonio to San José
    This morning you can relax in paradise or for the adventure lovers get your final fix with a kayak excursion before we head back to San José where your tour ends on arrival. Pura Vida!
    Meals: Breakfast (1) day

    San Jose
    San José tour including La Sabana Park, the Contemporary Art Museum, Central Market & National Theatre
    Visit Poás Volcano National Park
    Visit Braulio Carrillo National Park
    Look out for wildlife on our boat ride
    Contiki Special Stay: Jungle Lodge
    Wildlife boat cruise
    Only Contiki: Sunset canal cruise
    Contiki Special Stay: Rainforest Lodge
    Locally guided Tirimbina Chocolate tour
    Only Contiki: Try rafting, a canopy zipline or abseiling - your choice!
    Arenal (La Fortuna)
    See the incredible Arenal Volcano
    Guided tour of La Casona & its local industries
    Learn how traditional products are made & try making some yourself
    Cross Lake Arenal
    Hike the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
    Costa Rican coffee making tour
    Manuel Antonio
    Visit a local market
  3. Day 1 San José/Tortuguero National Park (B,L,D)
    Meet your guide at your hotel early in the morning (between 5:30am and 6:30am, depending on your hotel location - ask your sales agent for estimated pickup time) and hit the road to Tortuguero National Park. We stop on the way for a delicious Costa Rican breakfast and visit a banana plantation (time and weather permitting) where we learn about banana processing and packaging. Once you get to the port, hop on board the comfortable lancha (boat) for your incredible journey through the remarkable Tortuguero canals to your jungle lodge. Tortuguero National Park was created in 1975 to protect the four species of sea turtles which nest along the beaches. Our three-hour boat ride along rivers and canals starts just outside the town of Limón and ends in the village of Tortuguero, near the park perimeter. We may see herons, egrets, spoonbills, as well as amphibians and reptiles like the “Jesus Lizard” (it walks on water) and caimans. The tropical rainforest gives way to prime beaches, ideal nesting grounds for Green, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and Leatherback Turtles. The latter nests from mid-March to June, the rest from July to September. The Caribbean Conservation Centre, just outside of town, is an excellent source of information about the turtles and their tropical habitat. After lunch take an optional visit to Tortuguero, a small village made up of Hispanic, Miskito Indian (Nicaragua) and Afro-Caribbean people. Enjoy dinner to the sounds of forest at the Turtle Beach Lodge (or similar.
    Day 2 Tortuguero National Park (B,L,D)
    Join an early guided canal tour and experience the awakening of the jungle surrounding the canals as the animals start their day before returning back to the lodge for breakfast. Later, take a walk through the jungle with your guide, learning about plants, insects, and medicinal uses of both. During nesting season (June-August), a night excursion to see the nesting of the giant turtles is optional and arranged locally. Please note that you will need to pay a 10USD Tortuguero National Park entrance fee while on tour.
    Day 3 Tortuguero National Park/San José (B,L)
    After an early morning breakfast it is time to make your return journey back to San José. Travel south, back through steamy jungle canals and natural rivers to the port. Have lunch on the road, returning to your San José hotel between 2 and 5pm, depending on weather and traffic.
  5. Day 1 Arrive Tortuguero (B,L,D)
    Early morning pick-up from your hotel in San Jose for the drive out of the central highlands and down to our river port, stopping for breakfast on the way. Pass from the high cloud forest of Braulio Carrillo National Park down to the flat agricultural lowlands, filled with pineapples, rice, cattle, and banana plantations. After driving through various banana plantations, hop on board a lancha (boat) for your journey through the remarkable Tortuguero canals to our comfortable jungle lodge. On the boat ride we may see herons, egrets, spoonbills, as well as amphibians and reptiles like the “Jesus Lizard” (it walks on water) and caimans. The tropical rainforest gives way to prime beaches, ideal nesting grounds for green, loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback turtles. The latter nests from mid-March to May, the rest from July to September. Tortuguero National Park was created in 1975 to protect the four species of sea turtles which nest along these beaches. The Caribbean Conservation Centre, just outside of town, is an excellent source of information about the turtles and their tropical habitat. After lunch visit the sleepy Afro-Caribbean village of Tortuguero, take an optional hike or relax by the pool.
    Days 2-3 Tortuguero (2B,2L,2D)
    Wake early to the sounds and sights of the jungle as it comes alive. Enjoy guided hikes or an early morning canal tour to experience the jungle at its most active. Visit COTERC, the Canadian Biological research station to learn about the incredible biological diversity of the area. After lunch enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the lodge or sign up for optional guided tours such as kayaking, horseback riding, a canopy tour or a climb up muddy Cerro Tortuguero (Tortuguero Hill) for a great view over the park. Day 3 is a full day to enjoy Turtle Beach Lodge and its incredible surroundings. Take time to explore the gardens, beach and pool, or sign up for an additional tour (for a fee) with your guide. Speak with your guide for times and other options. During nesting season (June-August), a night excursion to see the nesting of the giant turtles is optional and arranged locally.
    Day 4 Depart Tortuguero (B,L)
    After an early morning breakfast it is time to make your return journey back to San José. Return south, back through steamy jungle canals and natural rivers to the port and transfer to the Turtle Bus. Have lunch on the road, returning to San José between 2 and 5pm, depending on weather and traffic.
  7. Day 1 San José (D)
    Morning transfer from San José to Playa Sámara. San José departure around 7:20am, depending on pickup location. You will be arriving to Playa Samara around 12.30pm. Enjoy your peaceful getaway from it all for the next 3 nights. If you want more time in San José or more time at the beach, you can organize pre- or post-accommodation at the time of booking. Just specify if you want your extra nights in SJ or at the beach and we can help you customize your trip to your liking!
    Days 2-3 Sámara (2B)
    Located on the coast of the Nicoya peninsula, Sámara is a cozy little beach village. Sámara is home to a long white-sand beach with shallow, calm waters perfect for swimming and is still a thriving fishing and farming community. Here you can fill your day with as much or as little as you like. Start off with an early yoga class or sleep in before setting off to explore nearby beaches in search of a perfect, tranquil spot for a day of relaxing along the beautiful Pacific coast. Carrillo beach is approximately 4 km from Playa Sámara, head there for a visit if you're looking for an even more calm and relaxed vibe. For those who prefer to stay active, try your hand at surfing, fishing, snorkelling or horseback riding along the beach. There is also a zip-line adventure tour through the tropical forest if you're looking to get a close-up view of monkeys, iguanas, and various other wildlife. If you’d like to strengthen some of the Spanish skills you’ve picked up during your time in Costa Rica, try out some classes at the local Spanish school. At night, enjoy a delicious seafood dinner at one of the beachside restaurants or sip a cocktail as you watch the town come alive.
    Day 4 San José (B)
    Morning transfer to San José, pick up 8:20 and arriving around 12:30pm. If you want extra nights in either San José or on the beach, we can add time to your Beach Break with pre- or post-accommodation.
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