Experience the best of Costa Rica on this tropical adventure vacation, while based out of two comfortable lodges, one of which is considered one of Central America’s most legendary eco-lodges.
Longing for a week-long Costa Rican vacation to raft the best river in Latin America, explore the unique wildlife of Costa Rica’s rainforest canopy and the coastal beaches of Tortuguero National Park? Join this small guided group tour for a week-long escape, rafting the best river in Central America, exploring the unique wildlife of the rainforest canopy, and witnessing the turtle nesting miracle in Tortuguero National Park.
Day 1: Arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport. A driver will meet and transfer you to the hotel. Meet your fellow travelers in your small group and relax in preparation for tomorrows adventure!
Day 2: This morning, get an early start to begin the overland journey to the Caribbean coast and Tortuguero. On the way way, stop at a popular restaurant for a Costa Rican style breakfast. Travel the rural roads while enjoying views of the surrounding landscape and communities that make up this region. To reach Tortuguero requires an hour boat ride.
Upon arrival to the lodge, enjoy lunch along with the scenes, sounds and scents of this tropical beach location. Nestled between the Tortuguero Canals and the Caribbean Ocean, this laid-back jungle lodge in a Caribbean atmosphere allows discovery of the natural beauty that Tortuguero has to offer.
In the afternoon, kayak one of the many canals within the park. Explore where motorboats can’t go and where wildlife is most abundant. Find yourself immersed in a world where the forest merges with the river as you paddle your kayak through the calm water.
As the day comes to an end, nocturnal animals and insects awaken. A twilight tour is an opportunity to enjoy the sounds of the rainforest at night, a completely different experience from daytime outings. With a naturalist guide in the lead, the walking tour will introduce you to the magic of the rainforest as it turns dark. The trail has been carefully built, raised from the ground and in cement, to allow for a comfortable walking experience. After an evening walk, return to the lodge for a much deserved dinner.
Day 3: Awaken to the sounds of life – the ocean waves, birds, and monkeys. Another hearty breakfast provides fuel for another day of adventure in this tropical paradise. Explore the canals, full of flora and fauna, and home to more than 350 bird species, including 3 out of the 4 species of monkeys of Costa Rica, caimans, toucans, and sloth.
After lunch back at the lodge, a tour of the village of Tortuguero is offered. The village center is made up of local artisans and businesses. After dinner, gather in hopes of witnessing an Atlantic Green Sea Turtle nesting on a nearby stretch of beach. Once located, stand a few feet from the 300 pound turtle while she lays 80-100 eggs, covers up her nest, perhaps digs a false nest to throw off predators, and after more than an hour, returns to the sea.
Day 4: The stay in Tortuguero comes to an end as the group travels to reach the renowned Rio Pacuare and begin the whitewater rafting adventure! Upon arrival at the river, the guides will give an orientation and safety talk. Then it’s into rafts for fun and exciting whitewater action on Class II-III rapids. Soak in the surrounding natural beauty of the primary and secondary rainforests. Water level and time permitting, your guide will lead a hike up one of the many gorgeous creeks that spill into the Pacuare.
Arrive at the lodge and spend the evening relaxing in a hammock or soaking in the natural pools by the river. After settling-in to your room, the open-air dining area will have fresh appetizers and the guest-acclaimed famous “jungle punch.” As the sun dips behind the hills and the twilight fades, be treated to a delicious, freshly prepared dinner.
The lodge is built as a sustainable eco-lodge—including the building materials, waste management system, recycling practices and the clean, renewable energy that powers the entire facility. The lodge is a great starting place to explore the surrounding rainforest on self-guided trails or with a naturalist guide, relax in serene water pools or in a hammock overlooking the river, fly through the canopy on a zip-line tour or watch the variety of birds and other animals in this wonderful location.
Day 5: Wake up to the beauty of the light through the forest, the sound of toucans and the smell of coffee. This day is designed to enjoy the lodge and its natural surroundings. Here you will have the unique opportunity to experience the wonders of the rainforest canopy on the zip line course. The distinctive platforms blend in seamlessly with the natural surroundings, giving you an amazing perspective of life in the roof of the jungle.
In addition to the 9-line canopy tour, you can choose to join a couple hikes—a short nature hike near the lodge or a two-to-three hour hike to a nearby waterfall, with a natural slide and pools. This spacious property offers limitless places to get away from it all and enjoy nature. Just a short walk from the dining area, the lodge offers a sheltered hammock area that makes for the perfect spot to catch up on your reading, enjoy a cool drink or just relax and take in the stunning beauty of this amazing retreat.
Day 6: After a hearty breakfast and loading the rafts, paddle downriver through the Class III-IV Pacuare Gorge, past gushing waterfalls, serene pools and pounding rapids. A quick stop by the riverside allows you to explore a waterfall and pool. An adrenaline-packed morning running rapids like Upper and Lower Huacas, Cimarron, Dos Montañas and many more will have you cheering ecstatically.
The river journey ends with lunch at the operations base where showers and changing rooms are available. From here, travel back to San Jose, arriving to the hotel in the late afternoon. Relax or take advantage of nearby museums, restaurants and colorful local businesses. The hotel offers a restaurant, gym, and coffee house.
Day 7: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before the transfer to the airport for the return flight home.