From rumbling volcanoes to sweeping, sandy beaches, Costa Rica’s beauty is evident in every corner. On this action-packed adventure we try grade II, III and IV whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River, have a go at zip-lining in the forest and try canyoning and rappelling through spectacular waterfalls. Our adventure ends in the lush Manuel Antonio National Park, where we can appreciate the picture-perfect coastline on another kayak excursion before snorkelling in the Pacific.
All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 1 dinner included. Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style, with toast, cereal, eggs, fruits and tea/coffee all available. For lunch and dinner, the tour leader will recommend various options in convenient locations, usually booking restaurants and eating with the group. Vegetarians are generally well catered for in Costa Rica but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Costa Rican specialities include 'Gallo Pinto', a black bean and rice dish considered to be a staple part of the local diet. Soups and stews are also common, and fresh fruit is abundant and will no doubt be one of the highlights of your time in the tropics.
The group flight usually arrives into San Jose this morning. Free arrival transfers are avaialble for all clients. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. This evening is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers. Accommodation: Balmoral Hotel or Park Inn (or similar)* *
Leaving San Jose we head towards the Pacuare River, an area blessed with abundant vegetation and scenic beauty in the middle of the rainforest. This is a great spot for adventure seekers and one of the best rivers to raft in Costa Rica! After a safety briefing and instructions, we board 6-person rafts and begin our grade II and III whitewater rafting excursion. Rafting is the only way to reach this evening's accommodation - an eco-lodge surrounded completely by nature. Please note that we need to pack overnight bags for this experience, which will follow separately on another raft. We can access our main luggage again tomorrow. Our journey takes us through 13km of exhilarating rapids and clear pools of the Pacuare River, with rainforest towering over the river at either side and colourful birds flying overhead. There will be a short stop for lunch and plenty of time for a refreshing swim near a waterfall in one of the calm sections of the river. On arrival at the Rio Tropicales eco-lodge a welcome drink and snacks await us, and we'll have plenty of time to relax and soak up the tropical surroundings and vibrant sounds of the jungle. Accommodation: Rio Tropicales Lodge (or similar)
After a healthy breakfast at our eco-lodge, we pack up and prepare to continue our expedition on the Pacuare River through lush rainforest. Today see's us raft class III and IV rapids on the lower Pacuare and gorge, which is sure to be an adrenaline boost and gives us another chance to experience the intimate nature of the rainforest. Eventually we reach our exit point from the river and will continue our journey by road from here on. Today's destination is the area surrounding Arenal Volcano. Following a massive eruption in 1968, Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase. As well as the volcano, this region has plenty to offer, with thermal waters, waterfalls and Lake Arenal waiting to be discovered. The drive time takes around 3 hours. Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel (or similar)
There is a guided hike this morning through Arenal Volcano National Park. The park has a great system of trails passing through secondary rainforest and near lava fields created by previous eruptions. The high vantage points on this walk allow great views overlooking Lake Arenal, and the birdlife is plentiful. Waterfalls are abundant in the region of Arenal and this afternoon we visit La Fortuna Waterfall, a 65 metre cascade of water plunging into an emerald pool below. A short trail through the rainforest brings us to a relatively steep set of steps that we must descend to reach the waterfall and then ascend to the exit - the hike/climb takes around 20-30 minutes and is within the capabilities of anyone with reasonable fitness. Reward your efforts with a dip in one of the natural pools punctuating the foliage to cool off! Alternatively you could visit the lookout point and wait for the group. There is a lot of geothermal activity in the area and you'll have the chance to visit one of the excellent hot springs in the late afternoon, as part of an optional excursion. Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel (or similar)
We start today with a canyoning adventure in a spectacular rainforest slot canyon around 30 minutes drive from La Fortuna. If you haven't tried canyoning before, you're in for a real adventure! Find yourself rappelling down waterfalls from 18 to 50 metres in height, and hiking along rainforest trails from waterfall to waterfall as we pass through the canyon. There are four rappels (3 waterfalls and 1 rock wall) to complete, a monkey drop (zip line and rappel) and a rock climb as part of today's adventure. All necessary equipment is included and full training and safety instructions will be given - just come prepared to get wet with a stomach for heights! In the afternoon, once we've dried off and changed clothes, we'll board the Sky Tram for a gondola ride to an observation platform across the highest point of Arenal Reserve where you can enjoy views of the volcano, lake and surrounding forests. From the observation platform our Sky Trek zip-lining adventure begins, crossing canyons and flying inbetween the tree tops as we cover around 3 miles of cables to reach the bottom. There are 10 different zip lines ranging in height from 30 metres to 200 metres. Full training and a safety briefing will be given, and all equipment is provided. There is also a free locker available to store your belongings whilst on the tour. In the late afternoon we return to our accommodation to relax after an exciting day! Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel (or similar)
Today we set off to Manuel Antonio, located around four and half hours drive away on the Pacific Coast. We should arrive with plenty of time to explore the area, discover the beach and find a good spot for sunset by the sea! Accommodation: Playa Espadilla Hotel, Karahe Hotel, Plaza Yara or Villa Bosque (or similar)* *
Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica's smallest national parks. This morning we take a guided nature walk in the park to reach one of the higher elevations for incredible coastal views of dramatic rocky headlands, and we'll find a beautiful spot where the forest meets the sea. With the help of our guide we'll hopefully see monkeys (White-faced, Squirrel and Howler), iguana, sloths and agouti. Most of the walking trails lead to beautiful beaches within the borders of the national park. In the afternoon we put our paddling skills to use once more, this time to try sea kayaking along the Pacific Coast, passing islands, cliffs and rock formations. There are a number of nesting grounds for birds and marine wildlife here as well as plentiful vegetation, so seeing the area by kayak is an excellent way to approach quietly. We also have the chance to visit Bisanz beach, where we can don a mask and snorkel to discover the underwater world (parrotfish, angelfish and starfish might be seen). Please note that water visibility varies depending on the season and the snorkeling activity is weather permitting. Accommodation: Playa Espadilla Hotel, Karahe Hotel, Plaza Yara or Villa Bosque (or similar)
Manuel Antonio is a great area for some free time and so today has been left free for you to choose what to do. Visit the beach or join one of the half day optional activities available, such as horse-riding, catamaran or mangrove boat tour. Accommodation: Playa Espadilla Hotel, Karahe Hotel, Plaza Yara or Villa Bosque (or similar)
A four hour journey takes us back to San Jose, where those on group flights will be transferred to the airport in time for their return flight. Land only clients end in San Jose and are advised not to book a flight leaving San Jose before 4pm today, as arrival at the airport will be timed to co-incide with the group flight.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
With over 45 years’ experience of taking people on amazing adventure holidays, Exodus can help you reach some of the most incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries around the world. All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure, and some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus. But that’s not all. This reputable company is a Which? recommended escorted tour provider and has won many prestigious awards, including Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company at the 2018 British Travel Awards.
Exodus is all about adventure and helping others to achieve their travel dreams by offering a fantastic range of guided group holidays, self-guided trips, tailor-made getaways and escorted tours. So, if you’re looking to discover different countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts or even jungles, the expert team at Exodus can help you plan an unforgettable solo, group or family adventure.
Each tour and adventure has been created to give you maximum value for money, often including authentic activities, as well as flights, accommodation and a tour guide. And as the team has developed one of the very best and most exciting collections of guided-group tours and self-guided holidays, you’re guaranteed the adventure holiday of a lifetime, no matter which one you pick. Trips include everything from family adventure holidays and walking and cycling tours to mixed-activity tours and seasonal getaways. You can also ask Exodus to plan a tailored itinerary from scratch or tweak an existing one, which means you can book a bespoke holiday that is designed just for you.
Need some inspiration? You can enjoy varied walks in the stunning Spanish mountains, experience the magic of Italy in Tuscany or explore the rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike. Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings, ski through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness or embark on a journey through India’s tropical south. Visit Iceland and East Greenland, see the spectacular marine wildlife in the Maldives or cruise along the mighty Amazon River in Peru – the options are endless!
When it comes to travelling together as a family with Exodus, all family holidays are specifically designed to offer a mix of education and exploration, with plenty of downtime. Each adventure and tour has been created with one of three age ranges in mind, but children outside of the 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 age bracket are welcome to travel too. Plus, the price for children up to the age of 16 is 25% lower than the adult cost for Exodus guided holidays to help make your trip more affordable. From canoeing and cycling in the Dordogne to safari tours in Africa and dolphin watching in Costa Rica, Exodus offer family adventures all over the world.
Something that makes this adventure holiday and escorted tour operator unique is the loyalty scheme, the Exodus Collective. When you book your second trip, you’ll join the Collective and be given access to exclusive discounts, sales previews and special travel benefits. The more you travel with Exodus the more you’ll be entitled to, and your membership also grants you special access to exclusive travel content.
At Exodus, they make sure that everyone travels respectfully and courteously in a small group to minimise their impact and to ensure each holiday is a beneficial experience for all those involved. Where possible, they believe in putting money directly into the communities they visit by eating locally produced food and using locally owned and run accommodation. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible to make it simple for you to experience a memorable holiday, your way.