A green, purple and yellow tropical bird. Emerald Toucanet.
A hanging bridge going through the jungle in Costa Rica.
A view of a calm bay in Costa Rica with white-sand beaches and an island.
white-face monkey on tropical rainforests & manuel antonio land tour in costa rica
A view of a misty rainforest with a river running through it in Costa Rica.
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Central America Costa Rica Land Tour

Tropical Rainforests & Manuel Antonio

Rainforests, volcanos and tropical beaches take center stage on this 8-day trip through Costa Rica. The journey begins with a climb in elevation into the forested highlands. Visit the renowned La Paz Waterfall Gardens, an aggregation of gorgeous waterfalls and a comprehensive rescued wildlife preserve. Continue on to Arenal Volcano, a steaming volcano whose steep, dark, conical slopes rise out of vast rainforests. 

The journey continues as you drop in on the misty Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and its unique rural Quaker/Tico community. And get a different perspective of the cloud forest, as you literally fly through it on a Costa Rica zip line canopy tour. 

Finally, experience one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful national parks, Manuel Antonio—famous for its tropical beaches and wealth of rainforest wildlife such as white-faced capuchin and squirrel monkeys, slow-moving sloths, coati mundis, agoutis, colorful black and scarlet land crabs, black iguanas, and a huge diversity of colorful bird species. If the names of these animals seem unfamiliar to you now, they won´t after just a few days with your expert private naturalist guide. A mangrove kayak tour caps off the journey on the final day in Manuel Antonio.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Costa Rica adventure tours.



Itinerary

Tropical Rainforests & Manuel Antonio Itinerary

The Tropical Rainforests & Manuel Antonio land tour operates round-trip from San Jose, Costa Rica, featuring a mix of activities and landscapes from inland rainforests and volcanoes to coastal tropical beaches.

Route map of Tropical Rainforests & Manuel Antonio land tour, operating round-trip from San Jose, Costa Rica, with visits to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Arenal, Monteverde & the national park.
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Day 1
Arrive San Jose, Costa Rica

Upon arrival at San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport and clearing customs, exit the airport terminal and be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel in San Jose.

Accommodations

Park Inn or similar

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
La Paz Waterfall Gardens to Arenal

This morning, be picked up at your hotel for a guided tour, stopping first at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. La Paz has manicured gardens, a rescued wildlife preserve with jungle cats and monkeys, a hummingbird garden, live butterfly and frog exhibits and more. Walk along a clear mountain river on an easy-access trail with great views of gorgeous waterfalls. After a delicious lunch at La Paz’s restaurant set amid the lush beauty of the gardens, continue into lowland plains amid tropical farmlands before arriving at your Arenal hotel.

Accommodations

Arenal Observatory Lodge or similar

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 3
Arenal Trails Hike & Arenal-Monteverde Lake Crossing

Enjoy a morning guided walk on the private trails within the property of the Arenal Observatory Lodge. Arenal Observatory Lodge lies in the heart of one of Costa Rica’s largest natural areas. Howler monkeys call from the forest and the rich volcanic soil supports primary and secondary rainforest teeming with butterflies, mammals, reptiles and 400 species of birds. Seven miles of manicured, well-marked walking, bike and horseback riding trail system traverses the property and provides safe, easy access to breathtaking natural beauty. The trails are never crowded. There is a hanging bridge, waterfall, Cerro Chato crater lake or hardened lava flow to explore. The guide will help interpret the lush landscape and stop along the way to discuss the volcano, flora and fauna. Afterwards check out from the hotel for a lakecrossing service from Arenal to Monteverde. Transfer to Lake Arenal to board a boat to cross the scenic southern end of the lake where you will be picked up at the Rio Chiquito landing and driven overland to your Monteverde hotel, approximately 2.5 hours in total. Lunch is included at a local restaurant en route.

Accommodations

Hotel Fonda Vela or similar

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 4
Canopy Tour & Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Monteverde is a small community in the Tilaran Mountains, below the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. In and around the community founded by Quakers and Costa Ricans, there are many restaurants and exhibits including butterfly gardens, horse rentals, an orchid garden, art galleries and the Monteverde Cheese Factory. After breakfast, take an exciting zip line canopy tour. Put on a safety harness assisted by guides, then navigate the horizontal cables that soar you along a series of platforms in the trees. In the afternoon take a guided tour in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which harbors wildlife adapted to its cool, misty forest environment.

Accommodations

Hotel Fonda Vela or similar

Meals

breakfast

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Day 5
Manuel Antonio

In the morning, ride overland from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast. Manuel Antonio consists of several beautiful beaches, a lush forest growing right to the beach’s edge, easy walking trails and abundant wildlife. Manuel Antonio’s outstanding beauty was recognized when Forbes Magazine listed it as one of the World’s 12 Most Beautiful National Parks. The area outside the park offers visitors a wide variety of gorgeous hotels, excellent restaurants and many optional activities such as rafting, surf lessons and horseback riding. In the afternoon, your guide will return to San José.

Accommodations

Si Como No Resort or similar

Meals

breakfast

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Day 6
Manuel Antonio National Park

Today, hike with a local naturalist guide in Manuel Antonio National Park. Best known for its gorgeous beaches, the park is also an important refuge for rare rainforest trees and wildlife. Search for white-faced capuchin, squirrel monkeys, sloths, raccoons, agoutis, black & scarlet land crabs, iguanas and a variety of birds. After the hike, enjoy free time at the beaches and their tropical Pacific warm waters.

Accommodations

Si Como No Resort or similar

Meals

breakfast

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Day 7
Mangrove Kayak Tour or Surf Lesson

Today choose between a kayak adventure or a half-day surf lesson. For kayaking, explore the canals of the Damas Estuary and mangrove forest near Manuel Antonio with a bilingual naturalist guide by open-seat kayak. Tropical mangroves are fascinating and important ecosystems that serve as buffer zones to protect coastal land from the open ocean, wildlife refuges and nurseries for marine life. Adapted to a constantly changing environment due to tidal action, the mangrove trees have developed bizarre bases and root systems to survive in the intertidal zone. As you paddle along, the guide will explain the unique characteristics of these marvelous ecosystems and point out the variety of wildlife that lives here. For surfing, be met at your Hotel by a local surf instructor who will take you to where the best surf breaks are located, which can be at different points along the Manuel Antonio beach area. Also dependent on tides, wind and weather. After on-sand instructions, hit the water to tackle the waves with the objective of standing up on the surf board successfully to ride the waves. Take the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the beach, swimming pool and the ocean views from the hotel.

Accommodations

Si Como No Resort or similar

Meals

breakfast

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Day 8
Depart San Jose, Costa Rica

Today be picked up at your hotel for a private transfer to the local airstrip in Quepos, approximately 25 minutes. Take the local domestic flight from Quepos to San José, approximately 35 minutes. On arrival meet a transport representative for guidance to the International departures gate of the Juan Santamaria International Airport. Check in 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight time.

Note: Your departing flight must leave San Jose no earlier than 12:00pm in order to make the connection from Manuel Antonio. If your departing flight leaves before noon, then arrangements will be made for you to overnight in San Jose on day 7.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Lodging, transportation and meals as specified in the itinerary; entrance fees to national parks and private reserves; tours; guide services; applicable taxes; service fees and in-country ground operator support.

Exclusions

International airfare; airport departure taxes; meals not specified in the itinerary; alcoholic beverages; personal equipment; extras in hotels (laundry, phone calls, room service); gratuities or costs associated with changes in itinerary for reasons beyond our control. Holiday supplement may apply Christmas, New Year’s and Easter weeks; contact AdventureSmith for pricing and availability.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 50% of deposit
90 to 31 days – 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Tropical Rainforests & Manuel Antonio adventure begins and ends in San Jose, Costa Rica, at the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive in San Jose anytime on day 1 and depart anytime after 12:00pm noon on day 8 of the itinerary. If your departing flight leaves before noon, then we can make arrangements for you to overnight in San Jose on day 7. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

There is a 40 lb. weight limit for your checked baggage on all flights within Costa Rica (with an additional 10 lb. allowance for carry-on luggage). AdventureSmith Explorations suggests packing a small empty duffel bag inside of your checked baggage. Use this smaller bag for the segments of your trip where you will be flying. The remainder of your baggage can be left in a secure office in San Jose.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the guides can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, wildlife observation, horseback riding, birding, craft and gift shopping, zip line tours, bridge walks in forest canopies, swimming and kayaking. Optional, added-cost activities may include rafting, surf lessons and horseback riding.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at a $1,015 supplement (2019) in addition to the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Otherwise single travelers may request to share a same-sex room. If another single traveler is assigned then the single supplements will be waived. Triple rates may be available in select room categories; contact AdventureSmith for details.

Families & Children

Child rate applies for age 11 and under and valid if sharing room with two adults, maximum two children per room with adults.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife or National Park regulation. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

Departures available daily, year-round. Contact us for current rates and availability.

Accommodations

Learn About the Lodges & Hotels on Your Itinerary

Hotel
Park Inn

Park Inn by Radisson is a 117-room hotel located three blocks from Paseo Colón, San Jose's main avenue, and in walking distance of downtown.

Lodge
Arenal Observatory Lodge

Set high on a ridge facing Costa Rica’s most active and spectacular volcano, the Arenal Observatory Lodge offers adventure travelers a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Hotel
Hotel Fonda Vela

The Hotel Fonda Vela is located in beautiful Monteverde, Costa Rica, with spectacular views of the Gulf of Nicoya.

Lodge
Si Como No Resort

Si Como No Resort, which means "Yes, why not?," is a treasure of natural beauty surrounded by lush tropical rainforest in Manuel Antonio on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast. The resort's rooms are distributed on ten separate terraces located on ten acres of protected tropical forest.

Hotel
Hotel Bougainvillea

The unique and comfortable Hotel Bougainvillea is a place where guests can truly experience the world-famous beauty of Costa Rica, just ten minutes from San José.

Hotel
Hotel Heliconia

Hotel Heliconia in Costa Rica's famed Monteverde region is located on a stunning 6-acre property surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. The lodge offers panoramic views of Monteverde and hundreds of exotic birds and animals onsite.

Testimonial

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"We Had Such a Great Time!"

We had such a great time! Everything was handled so professionally, all we had to do was show up and enjoy ourselves! We most enjoyed seeing and learning about all the amazing wildlife. Great value for the money too.

Overall
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
4 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
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