Learn the secrets of Pura Vida - Costa Rica's inimitable zest for life that will linger throughout your effortlessly delivered encounter with a land that boasts no artificial ingredients. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow expeditioners for a Welcome Reception.
Journey to San Isidro de Heredia, where we'll 'Dive into Culture' with master chocolatiers, Julio Fernandez and George Soriano, to learn about the history of chocolate and how it is produced at this small workshop. Then, it's on to Siquirres where we'll embark on a river journey through protected wetlands to secluded Tortuguero. Immerse yourself in its vibrant Afro-Caribbean atmosphere as you stroll through the village streets. We enjoy dinner at our hotel this evening accompanied by the enchanting sounds of resident cicadas and tree frogs.
Cruise the canals and streams of the park today with a Local Specialist as howler monkeys watch from the treetops, toucans and egrets fly through the air and crocodiles ply the cool waters. Visit the Village of Tortuguero. If you are here between July and September, take an optional tour to see the sea turtles laying eggs on the beach.
Bid adiós to Tortuguero and head back to the mainland where we'll enjoy lunch before meeting the Tico family for a 'Dive into Culture' experience at their palm plantation. There you'll learn about and sample the delicate heart of palm. Tonight you'll enjoy a 'Be My Guest' with the owners of your hotel, providing a 'Connect with Locals' experience, as they prepare a special BBQ meal just for you.
Rise with the sun to get up close and personal with Costa Rica's exquisite nature during a leisurely hike. Keep a look out for the endangered great green macaw and connect with your beautiful natural surroundings. Embark on an optional rafting trip^ later this morning. We 'Connect with Locals' this afternoon, enjoying a 'Be My Guest' lunch at an eco-friendly hacienda built by the Quintana family as a retirement project. Today, it is home to an organic farm and related eco-adventures. 'Make a Difference' and learn how your visit contributes to the local community. Our journey continues to Arenal Volcano, on whose slopes we spend the afternoon relaxing in our resort's beautifully landscaped thermal pools.
Our soul-stirring encounter with Costa Rica's natural wonders continues after a morning at leisure. Straddle the Continental Divide and touch the sky in Monteverde Cloud Forest, where you'll have an opportunity to explore this biodiverse sanctuary, renowned for its collection of orchid species - more than in any other single place. Tonight, we'll meet a native Quaker, and Local Specialist, who will share stories of Old Town Monteverde and delve into the history of the American Quakers who settled in the area in the 1950s. This evening, relish some of the best views as you enjoy dinner.
This morning, join your guide for an excursion through the lush rainforests of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. We ascend to the treetops high above the jungle floor below, treading lightly along the Sky Walk^ suspension bridges amongst the wildlife that find sanctuary in the boughs of the surrounding canopy. As our epic eco-adventure nears its end, we share stories with newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner.
For now it's a fond hasta luego to Costa Rica, but not goodbye. Transfer to either Liberia or San José International Airports or travel on to Guanacaste Beach for those extending their stay.