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Colorful Costa Rica

From
  • $1999
     
  • 9
    Days
  • Average Tour Review

TORTUGUERO, ARENAL VOLCANO, & MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST

On this exotic adventure with airfare included, be dazzled by Costa Rica’s vibrant beauty and culture. Begin with a captivating boat ride through the rainforest and arrive at Tortuguero National Park where you’ll discover beautiful flora and fauna, and pristine beaches. On your way to Arenal, admire the agricultural landscapes and make an exciting stop at a pineapple plantation. The following day, visit the Arenal Volcano area to admire breathtaking views and spectacular scenery. At the lush Monteverde Cloud Forest, partake in fun activities like zip-lining, traversing suspension bridges, and other fun options. We’ll also join a local family for a cooking class. Finally, in San José explore the city’s best sights including the Gold Museum and the National Theater.

Itinerary at
a Glance

2020 Itinerary:

  • 1 night in San José
  • 2 nights in Tortuguero
  • 2 nights in Arenal
  • 2 nights in Monteverde
  • 1 night in San José

2021 Itinerary:

  • 2 nights in Sarapiqui
  • 2 nights in Tortuguero
  • 2 nights in Arenal
  • 2 nights in Tamarindo

Tour
Highlights

2020 Highlights:

  • Tortuguero Village
  • Arenal Volcano
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Oxcart Factory in Sarchi

2021 Highlights:

  • Visit to Finco Ecoorganica – a family operated organic farm (Sarapiqui)
  • Tortuguero Village
  • Arenal Volcano
  • Make tortillas and enjoy traditional Costa Rican coffee (Arenal)
  • Tamarindo Beach

Activity Level: Discoverer 

Your Tour
Includes

  • Round-trip international airfare from Miami
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • Accommodations in Superior First Class hotels
  • 2020 Itinerary – 18 Meals: 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 6 dinners
    2021 Itinerary – 19 Meals: 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 6 dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours as per itinerary
  • English-speaking Tour Director throughout

2020 Itinerary

Click the Day by Day itinerary above (or swipe on mobile devices) to see the experiences that await on each day of your tour.

USA to San José

Your unforgettable adventure to Costa Rica begins as you depart Miami today. Later today, arrive in San José where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner this evening. Radisson Hotel (D)

San José to Tortuguero

Early this morning depart from San José Central Valley to the Tortuguero area. On the way, you will pass through the Braulio Carrillo National Park, a sanctuary for flora and fauna alike. From the comfort of the bus you may see open pasture lands and small farming towns. You may also notice a change in the climate as you travel and the temperatures become warmer. Along the way, stop at a local restaurant for breakfast.
 
Travel deeper into Costa Rica’s Caribbean side where boats wait to transfer you to your lodge. A two-hour boat ride will take you through the canals…

Tortuguero

Today, explore Tortuguero, an exciting destination for ecotourism lovers. During the day you can explore the secondary canals of this paradise where you can see different species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Here, much of the National Park extends along unspoiled beaches that serve as a refuge for sea turtle nesting and hatching, with hatching typically taking place between July and September. After your tour, the balance of the day at your leisure. (B,L,D)

Tortuguero to Arenal

This morning, continue your adventure with a boat transfer back to the disembarking point. From here, you’ll travel to the Guapiles area where you’ll enjoy lunch. Continue towards the northern lowlands enjoying the beautiful scenery which includes amazing views of the mountains and one of the major sources of revenue in the area: the agriculture. Stop along the way at a local pineapple plantation where you can learn more about the local agriculture and enjoy an opportunity to taste the delicious fruit. Afterwards, continue to La Fortuna de San Carlos where you’ll check-in…

Arenal

After breakfast, visit the Arenal Volcano area! Known worldwide for its near perfect cone shape, Arenal volcano has become a must-see when visiting Costa Rica. Its volcanic activity and its surrounding natural beauty make this a very exciting hiking tour.

Ever since the 1500’s, locals considered Arenal to be a mountain. However, everything changed on the morning of July 29, 1968 when this supposed mountain suddenly erupted. The eruptions continued non-stop for several days covering the surrounding area with lava, rocks and ash and affecting three towns. From this eruption until…

Arenal to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

After breakfast at your hotel, begin your journey to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Monteverde is famous for a reason – its cloud forests are brimming with plants and animals, its zip lines and suspension bridges are the longest and most exciting in the country, and its coffee is tasty, local and cheap. Each of these diversions, as well as countless other activities, can be enjoyed through a number of exciting tours. Some tours combine several of these activities into one action-packed, fun-filled day.

This afternoon is at leisure to explore the area, and after sunset this…

Monteverde Cloud Forest

One of the best ways to learn about a country and its culture is by learning about its flavors, spices, and traditions. Today you’ll have the chance to meet a local Costa Rican family and learn how Costa Ricans truly live and breathe life in one of the most bio-diverse areas of the planet. This afternoon is yours to explore Santa Elena town independently, or join an optional activity. (B,L)

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to San José

After breakfast today, depart for San José. On the way, stop at the Sarchi Oxcart Factory. The town of Sarchí is the home of an abundance of craftsmen. Here, you will have time to see the artists in their workshops while they make the famous oxcarts, declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Consider selecting a gift to take back home as a souvenir of your visit to Costa Rica! Afterwards, continue to San José where you’ll discover the culture and history of Costa…

San José to USA

After breakfast this morning, transfer to the San José International Airport for your return flight to the USA. Arrive home filled with memories from your Costa Rican adventure! (B)

2021 Tour Itinerary

Click the Day by Day itinerary above (or swipe on mobile devices) to see the experiences that await on each day of your tour.

USA to Sarapiqui

Our unforgettable adventure to Costa Rica begins today as we depart Miami for San José. Upon arrival we’ll be transferred to Sarapiqui, an off-the-beaten-path destination with an abundance of wildlife and tropical forest, and with less rain than Monteverde, increasing our chances of seeing the local wildlife! After we check-in at our lodge, we’ll have time to rest and relax or explore one of the beautiful hiking trails surrounding the lodge before our welcome dinner this evening.

Selva Verde Lodge & Reserve or similar | Dinner

Sarapiqui

After breakfast this morning we’ll visit a family-run organic farm at Finca Ecoorganica Sarapiqui where we’ll gain insights about organic and sustainable agriculture as well as the history of traditional products and how they’ve influenced the economies of local communities and impacted families looking to improve their quality of life. During our visit, we’ll also learn about a great variety of crops that have not only been infused into Costa Rican cuisine but transcend borders to other countries and continents like pineapple, passion fruit, cocoa tunnel (chocolate…

Sarapiqui/Tortuguero

After breakfast, we’ll begin our journey into Tortuguero National Park. This Caribbean Delta is a key nesting site for Costa Rica’s turtles and is known for its lush rainforest and tropical wildlife. At the port, we’ll board a motorboat and travel through the Tortuguero rainforest via its canals to our lodge where we’ll have time to rest and enjoy lunch. This afternoon, we’ll visit the colorful village of Tortuguero to learn the lifestyle of locals and their Afro-Caribbean handicraft shops. The village of Tortuguero depends on eco-tourism and the conservation…

Tortuguero

Today we’ll explore the area’s wildlife through the creeks and lagoons of Tortuguero National Park spotting birds, monkeys, caiman, and river turtles. Tortuguero is the primary nesting site for the Green Turtle from July through October. Arrive earlier in the season and we may be lucky enough to see the larger Leatherback Turtle come ashore to lay her eggs. Outside of turtle nesting season, there is plenty of wildlife to keep us occupied. November through January we may miss the turtles nesting, but we might have the chance to see baby turtles make their first dash into the…

Arenal

This morning we’ll continue our adventure by traveling to the Guapiles area where we’ll break for lunch at a traditional Costa Rican restaurant. After lunch we’ll continue to the northern lowlands, enjoying the beautiful scenery and amazing views of the mountains as well as views of the agriculture, a major source of revenue in the area.  After we arrive in La Fortuna de San Carlos, we’ll have time to relax before sundown. The evening is at leisure so we can rest up before tomorrow’s adventure!

Arenal Paraiso or similar | Breakfast, Lunch

Arenal

This morning we’ll embark on a hike high into the verdant forest of the Arenal Reserve. From the reserve’s hanging bridges, we’ll enjoy incredible views of the rainforest canopy, the Arenal Volcano, Arenal Lake, and the surrounding mountain range. During this morning’s excursion, we’ll gain insight into the native flora and fauna of the area with plenty of opportunities to spot birds and howler monkeys in the surrounding canopy. The afternoon is free to explore independently. This evening we’ll visit the home of Don Oscar and his family who own an amazing…

Arenal/Tamarindo

Today we leave Arenal behind as we continue towards Tamarindo. En route, we’ll visit la Hacienda el Viejo for a cultural experience in the Palo Verde wetlands where we’ll experience the traditional Guanacaste farm life. We’ll visit an old-fashioned kitchen and traditional Guanacaste home and we’ll learn about sugar cane, the ox-powered trapiche (sugar cane mill), how to make tortillas, and try some tasty Costa Rican coffee with local treats. After lunch, we’ll continue to Tamarindo where we’ll check-in at our hotel. Tamarindo has some of the best beaches…

Tamarindo

Today is our free day to rest and relax or explore Tamarindo independently.

| Breakfast

Tamarindo to USA

We’ll depart our hotel early this morning as we make our way back to San José International Airport for our return flight to the USA. We’ll arrive home filled with memories from our Costa Rican adventure!

| Breakfast

Guided Tour Pricing

DepartReturnDepart - ReturnBest Value Pricing - Reserve by Jun 30, 2020Reserve after
Jun 30, 2020
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20202020w/ eCheck DiscountSaleAfter Sale
October 12October 20Oct 12 -
Oct 20
$2,199$2,299$2,599

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December 21December 29Dec 21 -
Dec 29
$2,299$2,399$2,699

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20212021w/ eCheck DiscountSaleAfter Sale
January 4January 12Jan 4 -
Jan 12
$2,199$2,299$2,599

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+1.800.337.7773

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February 1February 9Feb 1 -
Feb 9
$2,199$2,299$2,599

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March 8March 16Mar 8 -
Mar 16
$2,199$2,299$2,599

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April 19April 27Apr 19 -
Apr 27
$1,999$2,099$2,399

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May 10May 18May 10 -
May 18
$1,999$2,099$2,399

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July 5July 13Jul 5 -
Jul 13
$1,999$2,099$2,399

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October 11October 19Oct 11 -
Oct 19
$1,999$2,099$2,399

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November 22November 30Nov 22 -
Nov 30
$2,199$2,299$2,599

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Rates are based on double occupancy.
2020 Departures: Single room supplement is $449.
2021 Departures: Single room supplement is $499

Costa Rica Departure Tax ($29) not included. Departure Tax must be paid on departure directly by each traveler.

Mar 30 Departure: This is a women-only departure. To learn more about the added experiences, please click here.

For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:00-9:00 EST and Sat-Sun, 10:00-6:30 EST) at 800-337-7773.

Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made by phone (1-800-337-7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 per person non-refundable, non-transferable deposit which must be received at the time of reservation*. A second non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $300 is due 60 days after the date of your reservation. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. *If the reservation date is within 70 days of the final payment due date, both first and second deposits are due at the time of reservation. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.

Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.

To enhance and make your visit to Costa Rica more complete and memorable, you will be offered several optional tours. All rates are approximate in US dollars and are subject to change based on fluctuation of exchange rates and supplier rates. Payment should be made by cash (local currency or USD), or by American Express or MasterCard (a service fee may apply for payment by credit card). Additional optional tours may be added for your enjoyment and the optional tours listed below may not be available on all departure dates. Note that optional tours are non-refundable.

Tabacon Hot Springs

  • Arenal
  • From approx. $85 Per Person

Your choice of optional tours on Day 5:

Tabacon Hot Springs are considered a natural expression of Earth’s inherent energy. Geologically, Tabacon Resort’s thermal natural springs are 97% rain-based and 3% magma-based. Rainwater enters the earth through fissures on the surface and is then heated by magma found in the earth’s core. Once heated, the waters rise to surface, taking with them minerals found in the earth’s rocky stratus.

As the underground Tabacon River flows through the magma in the volcano, the springs absorb minerals. Hot…

Peñas Blancas Safari Float Trip

  • Arenal
  • From approx. $59 Per Person

Your choice of optional tours on Day 5:

Enjoy the sights and the sounds of the rainforest and experience its peacefulness as you quietly paddle the Peñas Blancas river. Monkeys, sloths, iguanas, crocodiles and numerous tropical birds await us! Our professional bilingual guide will share with you educational and interesting explanations of the plants and animals we encounter on the float.

You will truly appreciate the wonders of Peñas Blancas river and the surrounding rainforest as we travel down the river without a motor, this way you will enjoy the journey…

Arenal Hanging Bridges Tour

  • Arenal
  • From approx. $67 Per Person

Your choice of optional tours on Day 5:

Arenal Hanging Bridges is one of the most visited tourism attraction in La Fortuna, only 2.5 miles west of Tabacón within a 618-acre reserve of primary forest. Visitors who love nature can enjoy 14 bridges from 5 to 100 meters long, friendly design along 3 km rain forest circuit of interpretive trails built with paving blocks to prevent slipping.

The bridges are built of aluminum, galvanized steel and concrete, to ensure maximum security for their visitors. They were designed by structural engineers with the most…

Canopy Eco Glide (Zip-Line)

  • Arenal
  • From approx. $56 Per Person

Your choice of optional tours on Day 5:

The canopy Ecoglide Arenal Park is located 3.5km west of the Catholic church in La Fortuna de San Carlos, it was built according to the standards required by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute and the National Insurance Institute. It consists of 13 cables and 15 platforms, most of which are located in the trees so that visitors can have more contact and closeness with nature, flora and fauna of the rainforest.

The course is divided into 3 sections, the first consisting of 8 wires and 9 platforms with length of 210mts…

Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve

  • From approx. $81 Per Person

Your choice of optional tours on Day 6:

Monteverde is worldwide recognized as the perfect destination for those looking to spend some real time surrounded by nature. This region is considered one of the most biologically diverse areas in the country. This is why Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is continuously visited by nature lovers all around the world, marveling at its beauty. Chosen as one of Costa Rica’s Seven Wonders and one of the most important private reserves in the country, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has over 10,500 hectares and is located 6 km from…

El Trapiche Cultural Tour

  • Monteverde
  • From approx. $37 Per Person

Your choice of optional tours on Day 6:

This tour will give you the opportunity to visit a Costa Rican family-run business. The main portion of the tour is a walk through a farm that will offer you beautiful views of sugar cane, coffee and banana plantations, among others.

You will also have a chance to see the entire coffee process through which coffee is put to get it ready to fill your morning cup. From drying through roasting, passing by the grinding and peeling of the beans, you will learn important information about how high-quality coffees are…

Half-Day Canopy Tour (Zip Line)

  • From approx. $50 Per Person

Your choice of optional tours on Day 6:

Selvatura Park has its very own Canopy Tour adventure! Our tour is the only canopy tour built entirely inside the cloud forest. In this tour, visitors will cross through the
unique cloud forest canopy suspended over the forest while attached to a high weight capacity cable and using the best climbing gear, which combined, provides with a wonderful
experience that will not be easy to forget.

This tour not only combines the thrill of one of Costa Rica’s most safe and popular adventures, but also provides…

Reviews

Anonymous

Excellent tour which was attributable to a very large part to our guide, Cesar Flores. Cesar was knowledgeable, intelligent, patient, willing to go beyond the expected and personable. Our driver, Gerardo, was also excellent given the bumpy roads we sometimes encountered. We saw a lot of wildlife and some amazing scenery. The accomodations were very good with the exception of that in the rain forest, where the room was cooled with one lonely and pretty ineffective fan. However we tour, not to spend time in our room but to see things and we saw wonderful things. I highly recommend this tour to those who love scenery and wildlife and don't mind if things do not live up to North American standards.

Anonymous

Wonderful tour. I rate our tour guide, Cesar Flores, exceptional. He was personable, knowledgeable, intelligent, hard working and kind. He often went out of his way to show us things that were often not on the regular itinerary. The tour itself was great. Lots of wildlife, great locations, lots of things to do and see. We visited in May so as advertised we had high heat, humidity and some rain but that was balanced by the smaller crowds of tourists. Some of the accomodations were on the rustic side, especially in Tortuguero but you do not take a tour like this to spend time in your hotel room. Costa Rica is a wonderful country and the Smartours trip made our visit a great experience

James

The Ecotour of Costa Rica was very good. There was hiking, jungle river rides, village visits, and learned a lot about tropical agribusiness. Our tour guide, Viktur L. (SwissTour), is a naturalist so he was wonderful at identifying all the strange flowers, trees, animals, birds, butterflies--and an easy-going guy able to handle any crisis or change. We absolutely loved all the fresh ripe fruit available at every meal. Most of the buffet stops were very similar menus with rice, beans, cooked veggies and fruit. We had enough on-your-own meals to balance out the buffets but those buffets were all exactly alike. Overall, the tour was a nice balance of activities. However, it was awkward and disorganized to not have the tour guide, Viktur L. (from Swiss Tour) allowed at the beginning & ending dinners. He was wonderful and it was sad he wasn't at the farewell meal at the Radisson Europa.

Anonymous

Our trip to Costa Rica was wonderful. Our tour guide Victor was amazing and Our bus driver was very competent. The places we stayed were great and the food was delicious. Thank you!
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