Day by Day Itinerary

Day 01: San Jose & the Central Valley

After arriving in San Jose, you’ll make the short transfer to Finca Rosa Blanca, located above the beautiful central valley, for two nights’ (bed and breakfast).

Day 02: Coffee Plantation Tour

This is a coffee lover’s idea of heaven. After breakfast you’ll get to experience coffee through the ages, learning how it was discovered, traded and consumed, before a taking stroll the lanes of an organic, sustainable coffee plantation and witnessing the entire process, from cultivation to harvest. If you’re here during the harvest season (Oct-Jan), you’ll even get to pick your own. It all ends in the roasting house, where you can have a go at roasting your own your own beans. Learn how the experts rate god coffee by participating in a “coffee cupping” (catación) session with an expert barista. We’ll finish up with a walk to the famous coffee bar, where you’ll learn how to whip up cappuccinos, lattes and espressos like never before. 
After all that, why not sit out on the spacious deck and soak up the views of the volcanoes and coffee fields, while sipping a cappuccino and enjoying fresh Rosa Blanca pastries. This tour plus the cupping session and the coffee break and pastries session will be about 2 hours.

Day 03: Rafting to Pacuare Lodge and the rainforest

After an early breakfast you’ll be picked at the hotel lobby for the transfer (2.5 hours approx) to Pacuare, where you’ll put-in at the river. Now it gets really exciting: over the next hour-and-a-half you’ll tackle class II-III rapids on your way to Costa Rica’s premier eco-lodge where you’ll spend the next three nights (FB).

Arriving at around between 12pm and 1pm, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch followed by an optional canopy tour (not included in package price), a waterfall hike or simply relax in your private bungalow.
Dine on gourmet delicacies by candlelight and then visit the upstairs lounge for a cocktail before enjoying the most restful night’s sleep you’ll have had in ages.

Day 04: Pacuare Lodge

Wake up to bird song and the soothing sound of the river nearby, then head over to the main lodge for a delicious breakfast. Today you’re free to enjoy the area around Pacuare; there are optional tours available or you can simply stay and take advantage of the hotel’s facilities (L,D).

Day 05: Pacuare Lodge

A day of leisure awaits you today. Why not take a forest canopy tour (not included in package price), waterfall hike or simply relax in your private bungalow.
Dine on gourmet delicacies by candlelight and then visit the upstairs lounge for a cocktail before heading to bed (B,L).

Day 06: Pacuare Lodge to Sarapiquí 

After a healthy breakfast you’ll head along the river by raft – stopping en route for lunch before taking a private transfer to Sarapiquí and your boutique lodge, Hacienda La Isla (B&B) for the next two nights.

Day 07: Chocolate tour at La Tirimbina and visit to the Indigenous Culture Museum.

Today you’ll discover the secrets behind everyone’s favourite snack: chocolate!
Originally from Central America, the cacao plant has an extraordinary history  being one of the most important products for the Mayan and Aztec cultures. Only when Columbus ‘discovered’ America did chocolate arrive in Europe and we’ve been helpless ever since.

La Tirimbina plantation was cultivated in the traditional way and is currently used for environmental education, showing the traditional processes. 
The tour crosses the Tirimbina suspension bridge and includes a guided 25-minute walk through the forest, to reach the plantation.

At the plantation you’ll learn about the traditional process used to transform cacao into chocolate (harvest, fermentation, drying). But best of all, you’ll get to try different types, all made with organic cacao by the Women’s Association ‘Amazilia del Caribe’, a group of rural farmers from Limon Province that have dedicated themselves to the production of organic chocolate.

This tour helps rescue one of Costa Rica’s native plants, and one of the most environmentally friendly crops, and it supports a community group which has envisioned chocolate as a means to improve their quality of life.

Day 08: Sarapiquí to Arenal Volcano

This should be one of the most dramatic days of the trip. After breakfast you’ll take a private transfer to Hotel Arenal Kiora for two nights (B&B), located nearby Arenal Volcano, one of the 10 most active volcanoes on earth, which spews molten lava into the sky on a daily basis. Not only does it look incredible, but it sounds striking, too. There are natural hot springs, nearby, which are great for your skin, so how about a dip beneath the stars?

Day 09: Natural history guided walk at Arenal and hanging bridges breakfast

Get up close and personal with some of Costa Rica’s exotic bird life. The hanging bridges are located along a corridor followed by birds migrating between North and South America.

As we negotiate a series of trails and bridges, get to see birds, flowers and the lush vegetation of this primary rain forest.

Day 10: Arena, Manuel Antonio National Park 

After breakfast you’ll take a private transfer to Manuel Antonio Parador, where you'll spend the next two nights (B&B).

Day 11: Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast

After breakfast, we’ll head over to Manuel Antonio National Park, where you’ll take the natural trails into the forest interior. There’s a huge variety of flora and fauna here, including white-faced capuchin monkeys, raccoons, rodents and birds. You’ll also have time for a dip in the warm waters of the Pacific.

After this two-and-a-half-hour walk, you’ll get to enjoy some local fresh fruits and refreshments, pausing to savour everything you’ve seen.

Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, a camera, sunscreen, bug spray, and your binoculars for the hike. And if you fancy that swim, best bring your bathing suit and a towel. Entrance fee to the park included.

Day 12: Manuael Antonio National Park

After breakfast, day at leisure to enjoy the white sand beaches.

Day 13: Manuel Antonio, San José

After breakfast you’ll transfer to Quepos Airstrip for your flight to San José. You’ll then take a private transfer to Finca Rosa Blanca.

Day 14: Homeward bound

After a delicious breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight home, with your head full of the amazing landscapes you’ve seen over the last 14 days.

We can tailor make any escape to suit your requirements so if you wish to amend the suggested itinerary in any way, just let us know.

Accommodation

  • Finca Rosa Blanca
  • Pacuare Lodge
  • Hacienda La Isla
  • Hotel Arenal Kioro
  • Manuel Antonio Parador

When to Escape

December to March

Generally considered the dry season.

May to November

Temperatures rise in April and the rains arrive on the Pacific side.

The Atlantic side has no specific dry season but there is less rainfall between March and September.
 In Costa Rica’s tropical rainforest it’s best to prepare for all kinds of weather. Expect most mornings to be sunny and clear followed by rain showers in the afternoon. During the day the weather will be hot and humid with temperatures around 28 to 30 degrees Celsius. Evenings are usually clear; occasionally you might need a light jacket.

“Pacuare is a true eco-lodge, the impact of its operations are kept to an absolute minimum. And when it comes to the rainforest activities, everything is geared around supporting conservation and providing benefits for nearby communities. Bird watch, hike, swim, fish, explore the rainforest canopy, visit a traditional indigenous community, or simply relax. It’s up to you.”

Escapa

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