Costa Rica fits nearly any travel style and this customizable AAA Member Favorite is for those eager to sample all sides of paradise. Adventure lovers can choose two half-day tours in the Arenal Volcano area that could include zip lining and horseback riding. Nature lovers will enjoy Tortuguero National Park, a tour of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and two days enjoying the healing waters of Tabacon Hot Springs.
• Ideal for travelers who prefer to set their own pace and schedule.
• Experience the Doka coffee plantation and your choice of two activities in Arenal.
• You can add additional days, destinations and activities to this suggested itinerary.
This vacation is an excellent introduction to Costa Rica’s pristine and varied beauty. Here, you’ll choose your fun. Whether hiking in Arenal Volcano National Park, wildlife spotting in Tortuguero or soaking in the mist of a waterfall in Monteverde Cloud Forest, you’re sure to find an activity – and an ecosystem – to your liking.
After an overnight stay in historic San Jose, travel to the Caribbean coast and board a boat that will meander up the Tortuguero waterways with opportunities to view monkeys, tree sloth and tropical birds. Also enjoy visits to Tortuguero Village and the Caribbean Conservation Museum as well as a tour of a coffee and sugar cane plantation.
Spend two days soaking away stress in the healing waters at Tabacon Hot Springs Resort. In Arenal Volcano National Park, choose two of four exciting tours - from horseback riding and hiking to zip lining or a canopy tour. Conclude your adventure with a guided tour of Costa Rica's most famous wildlife spot, Monteverde Cloud Forest, home to 400 bird species (including the rare and resplendent quetzal), 100 species of mammals, and an estimated 2,500 species of plants, including 420 varieties of orchids.
• 7 nights accommodations: 1 night in San Jose, and 2 nights each in Tortuguero, Arenal and Monteverde
• Meals - Daily breakfast, 3 lunches and 2 dinners
• All on-tour transportation and transfers
• Sights – Guided boat tour of Tortuguero National Park, scenic pontoon-boat ride on Arenal Lake and guided tour of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
• Visits to Tortuguero Village, Caribbean Conservation Museum, and Doka coffee and sugar plantation
• Activities - Your choice of two half-day activities in Arenal area on Day 5
Add Manual Antonio National Park from $515 per person* - 4 Days
An optional 3-night extension to Manuel Antonio is also available. The area combines primary and secondary forests, exuberant wildlife and pristine beaches in one amazing location on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Package includes 3 nights accommodations, daily breakfast, a Manuel Antonio National Park & Beach Hike and land transfers from Monteverde and back to San Jose.
Create Your Own Costa Rica Itinerary
The beauty of Costa Rica lies not just in its lush rainforests and rich wildlife but in the variety of ways you can experience those natural attractions. AAA Sojourns can help you build a vacation that suits your interests and where you set the pace. Talk with your AAA Travel Counselor to begin planning which of the following options will make your journey to Costa Rica one to remember.
• High energy adventures such as whitewater rafting, snorkeling, hiking, zip lining, horseback riding and more
• Visits to Costa Rica’s many national parks
• Nature experiences at waterfalls, on the coasts and in wildlife refuges
• Family adventures that include hikes, outrigger canoes, hot springs and tours
• Stay at all-inclusive hotels and resorts and/or hotels that engage in environmentally sustainable practices
Note: Please provide a choice of activities for each person when you make your reservation. Additional nights in San Jose and Monteverde are available, subject to availability. Inquire at time of booking.
Day 1 - Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica
Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel Real Intercontinental (deluxe room) - 1 night
Day 2 - San Jose to Tortuguero An early morning departure takes you through Braulio Carrillo National Park on your way to Tortuguero. Arrive in Tortuguero in time for lunch. This afternoon visit Tortuguero Village and the Caribbean Conservation Museum. Tortuguero is the most important nesting site in the western half of the Caribbean for the endangered green turtle. Nesting season is July through September. Hatching season is November and December.
Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge - 2 nights
Day 3 - Tortuguero National Park by Boat
This morning after breakfast enjoy the weather, walk nature trails with your guide or just relax by the pool. This afternoon explore Tortuguero's network of scenic waterways in special boats designed for better visibility. (Note: A $10 per person Tortuguero Park entrance fee is not included and is payable directly at the entrance to the park.) As you wind your way through dense rainforest, keep an eye out for monkeys, tree sloth and birds. The natural vegetation of the area progresses from swamp forests in the lowlands near the coast to tropical wetlands and forests at higher elevations further inland. We will also visit Mawamba’s gardens and rainforest trail.
Day 4 - Arenal Volcano & Tabacon Hot Springs
Early breakfast followed by transfer to the Arenal Volcano area and Tabacon Hot Springs Resort. Relax and enjoy the natural hot mineral pools and waterfalls.
Accommodation: Tabacon Grand Spa Hot Springs Resort (superior room) - 2 nights
Day 5 - Arenal Adventure
Choose two of the following half-day tours (included in rate):
• Arenal Hike Old Lava Flow Trails - On this outing you may observe the exotic inhabitants of Arenal National Park including toucans, monkeys, oropendolas, eyelash viper, boa and frogs. You will also have the opportunity to see lava paths, cross a stream and, if conditions permit, catch a glimpse of a shower of bright volcanic rocks. (3.5 hours)
• Canopy Tour - The tour consists of a series of platforms mounted in the trees of the nearby rainforest. You move from platform to platform using high-angle equipment and techniques. There are a variety of platforms: 2 horizontal traverses (zip lines), 2 rappels and an inclined glide from the treetops to poolside. (2 hours)
• Horseback Riding to Fortuna Waterfalls - This tour encompasses the perfect combination of light exercise: first ride gentle horses to the reserve entrance, then take a short hike to the falls followed by a refreshing dip in the crystalline waters at the foot of the waterfall. (4 hours)
• Arenal Suspended Bridges - Experience the rainforest from three perspectives: from the ground, from the midst of a canopy like a white-faced monkey, and high above like an eagle. Follow three kilometers of hanging bridges, one of which extends 98 meters and crosses a waterfall. (4 hours)
• Peñas Blancas River Safari Float - Experience the peacefulness of the forest traveling on a raft on the Peñas Blancas River, with the opportunity to observe many animals like monkeys, sloths, iguanas, tortoises, crocodiles and several types of birds.
Day 6 - Arenal to Monteverde
Take the newest way to/from La Fortuna and Monteverde. Half tour, half transfer, a van picks you up early in the morning and drives you to the Arenal Lake Dam, where you take a 30- to 40-minute scenic ride aboard a comfortable and safe pontoon on Arenal Lake to Rio Chiquito. Drive to the village of Monteverde (approx. 3 hours) where you can explore a wealth of wonderful art galleries and handicrafts boutiques. The transfer to Monteverde also includes an afternoon coffee and sugar cane plantation tour.
Accommodation: Hotel Poco a Poco - 2 nights
Day 7 - Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the spectacular Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, rising nearly 5,000 feet into misty skies. The most famous wildlife spot in Costa Rica, Monteverde rainforests have majestically tall trees festooned with bromeliads, ferns, vines, mosses and 420 varieties of orchid. Visitors feel like they're walking in a grand green cathedral. The variable climate and large altitudinal gradient has helped produce an extremely high biodiversity. The area is home to thousands of spectacular bird, plant and mammal species including the jaguar, ocelot, baird’s tapir, three-wattled bellbird, bare necked umbrella bird, and the famously elusive resplendent quetzal. The afternoon is free to explore on your own.
Day 8 - Depart San Jose, Costa Rica
Transfer back to San Jose International Airport for departure. Please book return flights for afternoon departure as the transfer time from Monteverde to the San Jose airport is approximately 3.5 hours. (Note: There is a $29 departure tax for all visitors leaving by air. This tax must be purchased prior to check-in.)
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Child rate applies to children 10 years of age and younger sharing a room with two adults. Maximum of two adults and two children per room. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
CST #1003968-80. Registration as seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.