Travel: 16 days, 15 nights
Max 20 guests
Max 20 guests
Teeming waterfalls, and steaming thermal springs… Join our very own Costa Rica expert, Maxine Monk, as she returns to this unspoiled paradise. Maxine loves to share her knowledge of the wildlife, ecology and culture of Costa Rica. You have to join her!
Our Costa Rica Expert
To say Maxine is passionate about Costa Rica is an understatement. “I have visited this paradise more than 40 times since 2001. I love it so much, I now live part of the year here,” she says. Maxine has designed and escorted Costa Rican getaways for individuals, families, school and senior groups. After more than 20 years as a Maritime Travel advisor, Maxine thought she’d take a break from leading Costa Rica tours. “I couldn’t stay away. I miss it too much. The fun, the new friendships, the camaraderie, and of course, the country itself.” Join Maxine for a true insider’s experience of Costa Rica.
Contact your Maritime Travel Advisor for more information & to book!
Monday, February 5 – Travel to San Jose, capital of Costa Rica. After clearing customs and Immigration, and claiming your luggage, you will be met outside by Maxine and transferred to HOTEL STUDIO BOUTIQUE (2NT), located in Santa Ana, 15km from the airport and 12km from downtown. The hotel features beautiful Costa Rican and international art and views of the surrounding Central Valley. In order to arrive in time for orientation, participants should book flights that arrive in San Jose no later than 2:30pm. Tonight, we enjoy a WELCOME DINNER and meet our guide, driver and travelling companions. D
Tuesday, February 6 – Following breakfast, our adventure begins with a visit to DOKA COFFEE ESTATE located in the foothills of POAS VOLCANO. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where we will experience firsthand how a choice bean is transformed into our morning cup of coffee. We then continue our adventure as we travel to LA PAZ WATERFALL GARDENS AND PARK, a private animal sanctuary with over 100 species of animals. We will hike with our guide along the La Paz River past five amazing waterfalls and enjoy a delicious Costa Rican lunch prior to visiting the exciting areas of this park located in a cloud forest and rainforest setting. You will not want to miss the cat and bird exhibits, the butterfly observatory, hummingbird gardens, snake and frog exhibits and much more. The balance of the day/evening is at leisure. B L
Wednesday, February 7 & Thursday, February 8 – We begin our adventure today with a drive through scenic and mystical BRAULIO CARRILLO NATIONAL PARK, with cascading waterfalls set amidst Jurassic Park-like jungle. Crossing the Continental Divide to the Caribbean side of the country, we continue on past banana plantations to board the boat and travel along rivers and canals through jungle waterways to EVERGREEN LODGE (2NT), located in the middle of TORTUGUERO’s tropical forest. You will be in the heart of nature at it’s very best! Being awakened at 5:25am by howler monkeys in the trees directly above you is an experience you will never forget. This is considered one of Costa Rica’s most exotic areas. While here, we will enjoy guided boat tours through striking canals of TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK. You might find spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and white-faced Capuchin monkeys swinging through the trees, as well as hundreds of bird species and wildlife including tiger herons, macaws, boas, caimans, bats, iguanas and more. During our stay we will visit to the tiny village of TORTUGUERO, visit the TURTLE MUSEUM to learn about the conservation of the green sea turtle, and during a short beach hike, do our part in cleaning a portion of one of the most important nesting beaches for marine turtles in the world. B L D (each day)
Friday, February 9 – Following breakfast, we traverse the canals and rivers to continue our adventure. We will meet up with our chofer and coach, enjoy a typical lunch in GUAPILES, then continue on to enjoy the CARIBBEAN RAINFOREST AERIAL TRAM. You will travel through 2.6km of rainforest from forest floor to tree tops, accompanied by our own naturalist guide. Following this, we travel to SARAPIQUI region and check in to SELVA VERDE LODGE AND RAINFOREST RESERVE (2NT), located in the lush lowlands of the north-central area of Costa Rica. Fauna such as keel-billed toucans, great green macaws, sloths and howler monkeys can be spotted in the lodge area so be ready and do not miss the experience of walking together with thousands of other species! Dinner tonight is included at the lodge restaurant. B L D
Saturday, February 10 – Free morning to relax, take an early morning hike with our guide, enjoy the pool, hike lodge trails or take a local tour. If enough interest is shown we could do an exciting pineapple tour in the area. Midday we will take part in a “charla”. What better way to learn about rural community life than to visit a home and meet a member of that community. We will visit a local casa and discover how a Tico family makes cheese, “arepas” and patacones. We will have the opportunity to ask questions about life in this area. This project is arranged by SCLC, (Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center), located on the lodge property. Following dinner, you might choose to explore the rainforest on a night walk with our guide. All meals are included today at the lodge. B L D
Sunday, February 11 – Early morning , we cross the Sarapiqui River to enter the Primary Forest Reserve of old growth and secondary forest to observe this unique ecosystem with a naturalist guide. After lunch we will travel towards the northern region and one of the most famous volcanoes in the country. The major attractions here are the splendid ARENAL VOLCANO and manmade LAKE ARENAL. It’s an exciting destination for nature lovers and explorers with loads of adventure activities for all levels. We will stop at the picturesque town of LA FORTUNA, a great place to take photos and shop for snacks, before making our way up the mountain to ARENAL OBSERVATORY LODGE (2NT). Boasting impressive views of the volcano and lake, this hotel is the only one within ARENAL NATIONAL PARK. After settling in to our “rooms with a view” enjoy the lodge surrounded by the wonders of the rainforest. Enjoy a GROUP DINNER in the lodge restaurant this evening. B D
Monday, February 12 – Are you an early riser?!! Our alarm clock this morning might be a Howler Monkey or a Montezuma Oropendula bird. Enjoy breakfast overlooking the lake and viewing the mighty volcano. The morning is free. You might wish to spend an hour with our guide, hiking the trails around the lodge or choose to experience real adventure in Costa Rica!! Arenal area is considered the adventure capital of the country loaded with activities including the famous canopy tour (zip lines), mountain biking, ATV, horseback riding, fishing, wind surfing or kayaking on Lake Arenal, volcano and hanging bridges hikes, rappelling, white water rafting, spelunking, bird watching, wildlife refuge tours and more. Later afternoon, we visit ECOTERMALES HOTSPRINGS and escape into this family owned natural paradise surrounded by the tropical rainforest with views of the impressive Arenal Volcano. Enjoy time bathing in the hot springs, strolling through the lush tropical gardens of this secret paradise or sipping a cool drink at the pool bar. You will have time to enjoy all this before savouring a dinner highlighting the art of Costa Rican cuisine. B D
Tuesday, February 13 – Today, following breakfast, we cross man-made LAKE ARENAL by boat and journey to the beautiful and mystical area of MONTEVERDE, where trees grow to heights of more than 100 feet! Enjoy the view as we transition from rainforest to cloud forest. We will be amazed by the emerald-green foliage and the symphony sung by Monteverde’s animal kingdom. We will arrive at FICUS SUNSET SUITES HOTEL (1NT) where our driver and coach will meet us. Located in the heart of Monteverde and within walking distance from the small town of SANTA ELENA, you will find great local restaurants, shops and a grocery close by. Following lunch, we head to SELVATURA HANGING BRIDGES – a reserve that abounds with wonderful trails, suspension bridges, and outstanding natural areas. Count on up-close encounters of Costa Rica’s famous forest ecosystems and possible close encounters with cloudforest inhabitants. If we are fortunate, we may spy the “resplendant quetzal” bird – the wish of many travellers who venture here. We will spend the remainder of the day and night here so be prepared to experience amazing sunsets and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. You might wish to explore the shops and sights in the quaint little town or simply enjoy sitting on your balcony or patio while watching colourful birds and exotic animals that might frequent the branches near your suite. Our guide will be available to arrange a night hike if enough interest is shown. Enjoy a group dinner tonight in a local restaurant. B D
Wednesday, February 14 – This morning we leave the mountains of Monteverde Cloudforest behind us and journey west and south to the Pan American Highway (longest highway in the world) towards the Central Pacific, home to beautiful beaches, national parks and refuges. The region is home to many ecosystems that serve as habitat for numerous plant and animal species, many of which reside protected within wildlife reserves. Many activities here involve sun, sand, nature , adventure, honeymoons, relaxation, and water sports. Destination – the NICOYA PENINSULA , separated from the mainland of Costa Rica by the GULF OF NICOYA. We will cross the gulf by ferry from the port of PUNTARENAS to PAQUERA port and continue on to TANGO MAR BEACHFRONT SPA & GOLF RESORT (3 NT). This intimate and exclusive small, deluxe resort, located on a 150-acre priate beachfront reserve, offers the ultimate relaxation escape or an active eco- vacation. Tango Mar is the recipient of the Costa Rican Ecological Blue Flag Certification award. Guests here have access to a world of fascinating and exciting soft and adrenaline-rush activities:horseback riding, kayaking, canopy zip lining, hiking, bird watching, golf, incredible sunset cruises, nature and ecological tours to nature wildlife reserves including CURU BIOLOGICAL NATURE RESERVE or POCHOTE MANGROVE ESTUARY TOUR. This is the time to relax, enjoy the beach and pools or check out the area and get rested for our journey back to reality! A GROUP DINNER is included tonight in the restaurant overlooking the stunning Pacific Ocean. B D
Today we will return to the mainland and journey to the beautiful and mystical area of MONTEVERDE, where trees grow to heights of more than 100 feet! Enjoy the transition to cloudforest and be amazed by the emerald-green foliage and the symphony sung by Monteverde’s animal kingdom. We will check in to FICUS SUNSET SUITES HOTEL. Located in the heart of Monteverde and within walking distance of the tiny town of SANTA ELENA, you will find great local restaurants, shops and a grocery store close by. We will experience amazing sunsets and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The remainder of the day is free to enjoy and explore. Later, a group dinner is included at our hotel. B D
Following breakfast, we head to SELVATURA HANGING BRIDGES – a reserve that abounds with wonderful trails, suspension bridges, and outstanding natural areas. Count on up-close encounters of Costa Rica’s famous forest ecosystems and possible close encounters with cloudforest inhabitants. If we are fortunate, we may spy the “resplendant quetzal” bird – the wish of many travellers who venture here. The afternoon and evening are free to relax or enjoy another of the many activities available in the area. B
Thursday, February 15 & Friday, February 16 – Two days at leisure to enjoy the resort. Our guide and driver will be available for local excursions if there is enough interest. B
Friday, February 17 – Today we will return to the mainland and the CENTRAL VALLEY via ferry from PAQUERA port on the Nicoya Peninsula to PUNTARENAS port on the Central Pacific. The 70 minute crossing is scenic and relaxing with great views of the gulf and the small islands inhabited by colonies of seabirds. You will spend the afternoon and evening at ZANDARI RESORT & SPA (1 NT). Time to relax and enjoy this piece of paradise in the Central Valley, filled with art & architecture on a 40-acre plantation amid a tropical forest reserve with lush gardens, rivers, waterfalls, hiking trails and several pools with magnificent views. B
Sunday, February 18 – Enjoy your farm-to-table menu for breakfast while enjoying spectacular views of the Central Valley. Spend the morning exploring the magnificent grounds and trails of Zandari Resort with our guide. Next we are off to SARCHI, Costa Rica’s main artisan town, used.San Jose. The brightly painted oxcarts that you noticed around the country are made here. Oxcarts were once to haul coffee beans over the mountains to the coast and remain a well known symbol of Costa Rica. We will visit the oxcart factory and see Guinness Book of World Records “largest oxcart in the world” located in the town square. This is the ideal place to purchase those last minute gifts and hand-crafted wooden items made from rare hardwoods for family and friends back home. Following lunch in the area, we then continue on to San Jose and check in to CROWNE PLAZA SAN JOSE COROBICI, (2NT) our home for the next two nights, located 15 minutes from the airport and 5 minutes from downtown. B
Monday, February 19 – This morning, following breakfast, our guide will show us the culture, history and architecture of San Jose. We will begin with a bus tour of the downtown and surrounding area, including residential areas and SABANA PARK, location of the first international airport and very close to our hotel. We will visit the beautiful NATIONAL THEATRE, one of the capital city’s cultural gems, the impressive PRE-COLUMBIAN GOLD MUSEUM, and the lively maze-like historical CENTRAL MARKET which has been providing fresh produce and local goods to San Jose residents since 1882. Following lunch downtown we will return to our hotel. Tonight we will gather together at FUJI RESTAURANT, located in our hotel, for a FAREWELL DINNER. Be prepared for an evening of fun as we raise a glass to shared experiences with new friends and bid “adios” and “pura vida” to our guide and driver. B D
Tuesday, February 20 – Departure day. Following breakfast, there will be transfers to the airport for your flights home unless you are choosing to extend your stay. Your adventure completed, you will have to agree that Costa Rica is an ecological wonderland and everything in this tiny country is indeed a natural wonder! B
B = BREAKFAST L = LUNCH D = DINNER
Term & Conditions: *Some itinerary details are subject to change. Price is per person based on double occupancy. Cancellation Policy: Once full payment has been received, the tour is considered non-cancellable. Deposit of $750 per person required at time of booking. Deposit is fully refundable if tour does not occur. Full payment required 60 days before start date of tour. Minimum number of 14 bookings required to guarantee departure.
Liability: Travel arrangements made by Maritime Travel Exclusive Escorted Tours and Holiday Escapes are subject to the terms, conditions and tariffs set out by our suppliers. Maritime Travel Exclusive Escorted Tours and Holiday Escapes will not assume liability for any refunds, losses, damage, costs or expenses arising out of injury, accident or death, loss of, or damage to, or delay in baggage or other property, delay, inconvenience, upset, disappointment, stress, frustration, or loss of enjoyment or loss of holiday time resulting from:
(i) the act or fault or omission by any party other than by Maritime Travel Exclusive Escorted Tours and Holiday Escapes or its employees;
(ii) mechanical breakdown, government action, weather, strike or any other action beyond its control;
(iii) being denied access to aircraft due to contravening the airlines conditions of carriage;
(iv) the traveller missing flight connections or departures or failing to follow instructions of tour representatives.