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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. Costa Rica is truly a nature lover’s paradise, home to five unique ecosystems and at the forefront of eco-travel and sustainable tourism. This active vacation gives you 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. The next day take on a mountain biking adventure, a zip line tour or rappel down a tropical canyon. Another day you can let your hair down on a horseback ride through the rainforest or tie your horse up while you hike.
A change of scenery to Manual Antonio brings even more choices like an outrigger kayaking adventure along the coast or a canopy zip line 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. 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 hotel accommodations: 4 nights in Arenal Volcano area and 3 nights in Manuel Antonio
• Daily breakfast and 1 lunch
• All on-tour transportation and transfers
• Class III rafting or Class II float trip in Arenal
• Two activities in Arenal: Canyoneering, mountain biking, suspended bridge tour, horseback riding or hiking
• One half-day activity en route to Manual Antonio: Outrigger canoeing or waterfall canopy tour
• Two half-day activities in Manuel Antonio: Canopy tour, hike, horseback ride, kayak tour or coastal paddle
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 Arenal Kioro - 4 nights
Day 2 - Rafting or Float
Today choose between two half-day activities:
• 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.
• Penas Blancas River Safari Float & Tour - Enjoy a nature float on a raft down the Penas Blancas River. 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 3 - Arenal Area
This morning choose between:
• 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 tour:
• 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)
Day 5 - Arenal / 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: Villas Loria (garden room) or Si Como No (superior room) - 3 nights
En route choose between:
• 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.
• Waterfall Canopy Tour - Visit an important ecological transitional zone between Costa Rica's drier northwest and more humid south. Zip along cables as high as 100 feet above the ground for a bird's eye view of the rainforest canopy, which is home to an estimated 60% of rainforest species! The canopy tour consists of 13 platforms, seven zip lines, a Tarzan Swing, a three-story tree house, suspension bridges and a 90-foot rappel.
Day 6 - Manuel Antonio
Choose one half-day tour:
• 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 tour:
• 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 Finca Valley - The Valmy Farm takes you on a tour to see the most unforgettable views surrounded by primary and secondary forest, observing birds and animals along the way. End at the waterfalls and enjoy a snack, bathe in the lagoon and waterfall, or simply rest. Return to the farm via the river where you pass butterflies, birds and marlin fish. Occasionally you might see raccoons walking around, as well as other types of four legged creatures.
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.)
Limitations & Restrictions
*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.
CST #1003968-80. Registration as seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.