Costa Rica may be small but it’s loaded with opportunity for adventure and that's exactly what this journey is packed with. Drop by a National Geographic-supported reforestation project, visit a sea turtle conservancy program, opt to zipline above the lush canopy, and soak in volcanic hot springs. Getting your hands dirty (and clean again) never felt so good.

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Why We Love It

Enjoy guided boat trips and wildlife viewing through the canals and coastal jungle.

National Geographic Journey: Get insider access, greater exploration and the freedom to roam.

Enjoy a nature hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.

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Day by day Itinerary

Explore Costa Rica

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Day 1

San Jose

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

Day 2

Tortuguero

Travel to Tortuguero National Park and enjoy guided boat trips and wildlife viewing through the canals and coastal jungle. In leisure time, relax at the secluded lodge or (on this evening) take an optional night boat excursion. (B)(L)(D)

Day 3

Tortuguero

Enjoy a guided boat trip and jungle walk. Search for caiman, monkeys (spider, howler, and white-faced capuchin), sloths, and basilisk lizards. Also visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy, a non-profit organization co-founded by Archie Carr, a National Geographic grantee. Learn about the research and conservation initiatives that have been instrumental in saving the Caribbean green turtle from extinction. (B)(L)(D)

Day 4

La Fortuna/Arenal

Depart early and visit a G Adventures-supported coffee cooperative. Take a tour of the co-op and dig into a local lunch. Arrive in La Fortuna in the evening and relax at the pool as you take in jungle and volcano views. (B)(L)

Day 5

La Fortuna/Arenal

Explore Fortuna with numerous optional activities. In the evening, visit a local home and learn the art of tortilla making. Once the tortillas are ready, dig into a tasty “casado” – a typical Costa Rican dish that’s made with black beans, plantains, and your very own tortillas. (B)(D)

Day 6

La Fortuna

Free day in La Fortuna. Options include rafting, waterfall rappelling, soaking in local hot springs, or taking a boat tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. (B)

Day 7

Monteverde

From La Fortuna, we make our way by road and boat up to the misty mountain air of the Monteverde cloud forest. Spend two days exploring the town and nearby Forest Reserve, truly a bird lover’s paradise. (B)

Day 8

Monteverde

Enjoy a nature hike in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. You’ll also have some free time after to zip line, walk the hanging bridges, or explore the town. (B)

Day 9

Monteverde

Visit the Monteverde Institute, which has served as the base for numerous National Geographic funded explorers and researchers studying the famed canopy of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Enjoy a lecture by one of the researchers before playing an active role in this project, visiting the National Geographic sponsored research plot and planting trees, assisting in the nurseries, or collecting data.

Day 10

Manuel Antonio National Park Area

Drive to Manuel Antonio. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the Pacific coast with options to surf, go horseback riding, or visit nearby picturesque beaches. (B)

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