Get your heart pumping and the adrenaline flowing in gorgeous Costa Rica as you travel from the Arenal Volcano region to Manuel Antonio. Each day lets you choose your own adventure on this AAA Member Favorite, from whitewater rafting to horseback riding, and from zip line touring to hiking, kayaking and even canyoneering.
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• Choose from a variety of exciting activities perfect for travelers who love adventure.
• You can add additional days, destinations and activities to this suggested itinerary.
• When it's time to relax, do it in style at your choice of 1st-class and deluxe resorts.
In a week that will fly by as fast as a zip line through a rainforest canopy, you’ll challenge yourself daily on this customizable Costa Rica vacation. You'll have the opportunity to try several sports in a nation that’s also fast becoming an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
Nonstop recreation keeps the adrenaline pumping and the excitement level high. Each day you can choose your own adventure. In the Arenal Volcano area, choose to raft Class III whitewater on the La Balsa River or opt for a more tranquil Class II float or river tubing adventure. The next day take on a mountain biking adventure, a trip along suspension bridges or rappel down a tropical canyon. Another day you can let your hair down on a horseback ride through the rainforest, tie your horse up while you hike or take zip line canopy tour.
A change of scenery to Manual Antonio brings even more choices like an outrigger kayaking adventure along the coast or a zip line canopy tour that crosses a waterfall. Experience Manuel Antonio's wildlife on a hike led by a naturalist. Here you'll see the natural habitat of rare animals such as endangered squirrel monkeys, as well as two-toed sloth, white-faced capuchin monkeys and others. Spot crocodiles and rare birds on a jungle safari, horseback ride on the beach or ride to a waterfall where you can take a refreshing swim. And paddle along the winding coastline to explore a series of coral reefs. No matter what activities you choose, you’re sure to experience the many facets of Costa Rica’s endless natural bounty.
• 7 nights accommodations: 4 nights in Arenal Volcano area and 3 nights in Manuel Antonio National Park
• Meals - Daily breakfast and 1 lunch
• All on-tour transportation and transfers
• Two half-day activities in Arenal on Days 3 and 4: Your choice of canyoneering, mountain biking, suspended bridge tour, horseback riding, hiking or zip line canopy tour
• Two half-day activities in Manuel Antonio on Days 6 and 7: Your choice of canopy tour, hike, horseback rides, kayak tour or coastal paddle
• Two more activities – Rafting, float trip or river tubing in Arenal on Day 2 and outrigger canoeing/kayaking, crocodile and bird safari or zip line canopy tour en route to Manuel Antonio on Day 5
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, hot springs and tours
• Stay at all-inclusive hotels and resorts and/or those that engage in environmentally sustainable practices
Note: Please provide the activity choices for each person when making your reservation. Additional nights in Arenal and Manuel Antonio are also available, subject to availability.
Day 1 - Arrive in Costa Rica
Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica where you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to the Arenal Volcano area. Relax and take a swim at the hot springs pools at the hotel.
Accommodation: Arenal Paraiso Hotel or Montana de Fuego Hotel - 4 nights
Day 2 - Rafting or Float
Today choose one half-day activity:
• Rafting Balsa River Class II & III - This trip is a fun combination of whitewater thrills plus areas where the water is docile enough to jump in and go for a swim; perfect for a family adventure and for beginners. Wildlife abound in this section of the Balsa so keep an eye out for sloth, iguanas, howler monkeys and a vast array of tropical birds. There is no better way to observe wildlife than floating down a river.
• Peñas Blancas River Safari Float Tour - Enjoy a nature float on a raft down the Peñas Blancas River. Experience the peacefulness of the forest with the opportunity to observe many animals like monkeys, sloths, iguanas, tortoises, crocodiles and several types of birds.
• Arenal River Tubing - Hop aboard special tubes designed to run on small rivers and equipped with handles and tough, protective bottoms. The tubing course is about 500 meters long in total but you can choose to run just the lower section which is only about 180 meters and maintains total visibility with the group’s open viewing area to make tubers feel more comfortable. Children should be a minimum of 5 years old and need to know how to swim. This tour may be cancelled if water levels in the river exceed certain levels.
Day 3 - Arenal Area
This morning choose one half-day activity:
• Canyoneering - Experience a sport that’s becoming very popular the world over. Canyoneering (or canyoning) in the Lost Canyon in Arenal is a wonderful experience. Imagine yourself surrounded by lush rainforest atop a magical canyon waiting to rappel down a jungle waterfall. Near the Arenal Volcano, the rugged, mountainous terrain is ideal for incredible canyoneering options and huge, breathtaking waterfalls. This activity combines rappelling, down-climbing and river tracing in a deep, tropical canyon.
• Mountain Biking - Enjoy easy to moderate riding on a gravel road at the base of Arenal Volcano; flat with a few short hills. This is an ideal tour for beginner riders and the whole family.
• Arenal Suspended Bridges - Experience the rainforest from three perspectives: from the ground, from the midst of the jungle canopy like a white-faced monkey, and high above like an eagle. Follow 3 kilometers of hanging bridges, one of which extends 98 meters and crosses a waterfall. (4 hours)
Day 4 - Arenal Area
Today choose one half-day activity:
• Horseback riding to Fortuna Waterfalls - This tour encompasses the perfect combination of light exercise: first a horseback ride to the reserve entrance, then a short hike to the falls followed by a refreshing dip in the crystalline waters at the foot of the waterfall. (4 hours)
• 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, you may catch a glimpse of a shower of bright volcanic rocks. (3.5 hours)
• Arenal Zip Line 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.
Day 5 - Arenal to Manuel Antonio
Transfer to Manuel Antonio and enjoy your selected tour on route. During your stay in Manuel Antonio, you may want to visit Manuel Antonio National Park, one of Costa Rica's premier tourist destinations. It combines natural primary and secondary forests, exuberant wildlife, and pristine beaches in one amazing location on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Located 100 miles south of San Jose on the Pacific Coast (a pleasant three-hour drive), Manuel Antonio was declared a national park in 1972, and is the natural habitat of species such as the endangered squirrel monkey, white-faced capuchin monkey, raccoons, three and two-toed sloth, white-nosed coaties, brown pelicans, black-collared hawks and green kingfishers. They share the space with primary and secondary forests bursting with cedars, bully trees, and silk cotton trees. A mangrove swamp covers about 44.5 acres, adding to the biodiversity of the region.
Accommodation: Si Como No (superior room) or Hotel California - 3 nights
En route choose one activity:
• Outrigger Canoeing or Kayaking - Paddle to the most beautiful beaches in Jacó area. Your tour includes a bilingual guide, snorkeling (when conditions permit), bottled water, fresh fruit buffet on a beautiful beach, and a cold drink upon return to Playa Agujas.
• Jungle Crocodile & Bird Adventure - This tour is specially designed for adventurers and bird watchers yet safe for the whole family. The adventure takes place on the Tarcoles River, one of four rivers flowing into the Nicoya Peninsula. This is home to one of the world's largest crocodile populations in the wild with individual crocs growing up to fifteen feet long. In addition to the crocodiles, over fifty different kinds of birds can be seen on site, including the very rare scarlet macaw and a great variety of resident and migrant waterfowl. Iguanas and Jesus Cristo lizards are very common as well.
• Vista Los Suenos Zip Line Canopy Tour – This tour is designed not only as an extreme adventure but as a way to enjoy nature without harming the environment. Enjoy spectacular views of the Herradura Bay and Island as well as the Gulf of Nicoya. You may have the opportunity to view scarlet macaws, chestnut mandible toucans and white-face monkeys. Begin on a 15-minute ride aboard a specially designed tractor that takes you to top of a mountain where bilingual guides will explain step by step all the safety procedures you most follow to enjoy your adventure. Then descend to the bottom via a series of zip lines, including 14 platforms and 12 cables with a total cable distance of 3.5 kilometers including the longest cable in the area (2400 ft.).
Day 6 - Manuel Antonio
Choose one half-day activity:
• Canopy Tour - Travel through the primary Costa Rican tropical jungle on suspension cables as you move through the tree canopy with your bilingual guides and safety spotters from platform to platform.
• Manuel Antonio Park Hike - Enjoy a leisurely hike with a Costa Rican naturalist guide through the bio-diverse tropical rainforest preserved in Manuel Antonio National Park. Watch sloth and numerous species of monkeys travel through the tree canopy, hunt for nocturnal silky anteaters and several types of monkeys or iguanas resting in the tropical rainforest, and listen to the songs of the various birds as they glide above.
• Beach Horseback Riding - Learn first hand about Costa Rica’s exotic plants and bio-diverse wildlife while you ride through the tropical jungle and head towards world-class beaches. After a relaxing ride along the beach, enjoy a guided, short nature walk through the exotic plant and animal life in the area.
Day 7 - Manuel Antonio
Choose one half-day activity:
• Damas Island Kayak - Spend a few hours paddling with the currents as your naturalist guide reveals the protected inland waterways of the Damas Estuary and mangrove habitat. Explore an unforgettable plethora of flora and fauna as you learn about and experience the magical Costa Rican mangrove and tropical rainforest ecosystem.
• Coastal Paddle - This somewhat challenging adventure winds along the Manuel Antonio coastline and includes a refreshing swim and delicious local snacks. Explore three small but growing, active, and astounding coral reef systems nestled very close to the shore of Biezans Bay. Near Manuel Antonio National Park you may see the nearby nesting islands where exotic boobies and frigates live year round.
• Horseback Riding at Tocori Falls – Take a horseback ride to these scenic waterfalls where you can enjoy a snack, bathe in the lagoon and waterfall, or simply rest.
Day 8 - Depart Costa Rica
Transfer back to San Jose International Airport for departure. Please book your return flight for an afternoon departure as the transfer to the airport takes at least four 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 based on children 10 years of age and under sharing a room with two adults. Maximum of two adults and two children per room. Must be at least 9 years old to participate in Class III rafting. 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.
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