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Costa Rica is not a country that can be fully appreciated in just a week. But if a week is all you can spare, let us at least make sure you see some of the best bits.
On arrival into San José you’ll be transferred to the charming Hotel Grano de Oro where you’ll overnight.
This morning you’ll take an early flight to Tortuguero National Park. The short but scenic journey takes you over pristine rainforest before landing at a simple airstrip by the side of the canals. A couple of minutes by boat and you’ll be at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, your home for the next two nights. Enjoy a leisurely day exploring the hotel gardens, have a swim in the lovely pool or just settle into a hammock and take in the views.
Before breakfast there’s an option to join a bird and nature walk with one of the hotel’s naturalist guides. Later, you’ll leave the lodge by boat with your guide to explore the canals of the national park. The park is teemimg with wildlife and here you can expect to see monkeys, caimans, terrapins and a vast array of birdlife. After lunch your guide will take you on a tour of Tortuguero village. Dinner is taken back at Tortuga Lodge’s delightful canalside restaurant.
After breakfast, you’ll leave Tortuguero by boat, heading for the town of Guápiles where you’ll pick up your onward private transfer for the 3-hour drive to Arenal. Your long journey is richly rewarded when you reach Nayara Springs, one of the best hotels in Costa Rica. You’ll have two nights to enjoy this luxurious retreat, staying in a Springs Villa with a private plunge pool fed by natural mineral hot springs. (Note: Nayara Springs is an adult-only hotel. Families can be accommodated at Nayara Resort, just next door).
You’ll spend today exploring the Arenal area, with the first activity being a ride on the Sky Tram gondolas. Ascending the mountain you’ll have panoramic views of the rainforest and will be accompanied by a guide to point out the different flora and fauna. At the top, you’ll reach an observation platform and have the option to walk the trails and suspension bridges of the Sky Walk. In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a private guided hike around the base and flanks of the Arenal Volcano to see the lava fields created by the 1968 eruption.
After breakfast your private transfer will take you to Manuel Antonio National Park, considered to be one of the most beautiful in the country. After the 5-hour drive you’ll want to relax by the beach at your hotel, Arenas del Mar, where you spend the next two nights.
Today, a private guide will take you on a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park. Common sightings here include sloths, monkeys, birds and reptiles and your knowledgeable guide will be able to give you plenty of information about everything that you see. You’ll also have time for a dip at one of the park’s pretty beaches.
Transfer back to San José for your flight home.