Bienvenidos a Costa Rica. Leave your gringo boots at the door and embrace the Pura Vida playground of Costa Rica. A local host will greet you at the airport and arrange your transfer to the hotel. Chill at the pool or go walkabout before meeting your Travel Director and fellow adventurers this evening for some fiesta fun at our Kick-Off Party.
Rise this morning and head east through Braulio Carrillo National Park toward the Caribbean Sea. Board a river boat, gliding through canals, lagoons and lowland rainforest teeming with wildlife. You'll be amazed at how many kinds of animals live here-six species of sea turtles, monkeys, caimans, tons of exotic bird species plus rare and endangered ocelots, river otters and manatees. Join a Local Specialist from the Sea Turtle Conservancy Foundation to learn about the turtles that nest in Tortuguero. This evening, we enjoy a buffet dinner at the resort's open-air restaurant along the Tortuguero lagoon.
There's nothing like the wake-up call of a troop of howler monkeys to start your day. Set off on a 'Family Fun' cruise through the park's canals with your captain and guide to explore the lush waterways of Tortuguero National Park. You may want to start a tally of all the types of wildlife you'll see. Look out for sloths, green iguanas, caiman, crocodiles and colourful toucans. Of course, you'll spot tons of monkeys-agile howler and spider monkeys and white-faced capuchins swinging through the dense rainforest canopy. This afternoon, venture back out on the canals to add to your wildlife tally or relax back at the lodge, the choice is yours. If you're visiting during nesting season (Jul-Sep), choose to join an optional experience night walk with a naturalist guide to witness some of the world's largest turtles laying their eggs. A buffet dinner is served at your hotel this evening.
Bid adiós to the monkeys for now as you boat back to the mainland and travel to Horquetas. Here you'll 'Dive into Culture' and visit a local Tico family's palm plantation to learn how they grow this exotic vegetable. Taste something you've probably never tried before, the delicate heart of palm. Continue travelling to quaint Sarapiquí where you'll 'Make a Difference' during your visit to the Snake Garden Wildlife Center, which rehabilitates animals that can no longer live in the wild. This evening, enjoy a pizza party in an open-air kitchen where you can make your own pizza.
Rise and shine as the forest and volcano call you back. Start the day with a guided trek around the quiet side of the volcano at Arenal National Park. Walk through the old lava rocks and learn about the powerful forces behind the volcano's past eruptions. Then, head to the Arenal Hanging Bridges to walk eye-level with the lush canopy, observe the monkeys, sloths and chattering birds up close, and look out to see towering Arenal Volcano. Later, relax in the thermal springs or take a swim in the pool back at the hotel.
Imagine yourself soaring high above the jungle floor as you zipline (Waiver Required) through the treetops, eye-to-eye with the lush foliage and exotic rainforest creatures for some 'Family Fun'. Later, head south to Manuel Antonio, renowned for its warm blue waters, beautiful beaches and abundant exotic wildlife.
Walking deep into the national park with your guide, you'll definitely check off a few more creatures on your wildlife list-at last count, there were 109 different animals and 184 species of birds living here. Listen to the whooping bark of howler monkeys and the chattering of mischievous squirrel and white-faced monkeys. Then, it's time to hit the beach. Laze in the warm Pacific or choose an optional Mangrove Kayak tour^ or Open Sea Kayak and Snorkel tour^ where you may see various bird species, reptiles, anteaters and white-faced monkeys. This evening, join your fellow explorers to celebrate new friendships over a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.
Travel back to San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport for your flight or consider extending your stay at the Sheraton San Jose.