A red macaw with blue wings nibbles on a nut, hidden among the trees of the rain

The sky and sea glow orange and red in this gorgeous sunset along the Gold Coast

A 7-day customized itinerary

Location highlights

Costa Rica

For years, Costa Rica was the well-kept secret of a few biologists, backpackers, and beachcombers, but that’s all changed. The secret is out. Today Costa Rica is the hottest destination in Latin America. The country is a major vacation and adventure-travel destination.

Despite this, Costa Rica remains a place rich in natural wonders and biodiversity, far from the maddening crowds. Here you can still find unsullied beaches that stretch for miles, small lodgings that haven't attracted hordes of tourists, jungle rivers for rafting and kayaking, and spectacular cloud and rainforests with ample opportunities for bird-watching and hiking.

Itinerary highlights

Day 1—Arenal
Arrive in Liberia, and your private driver/guide will transfer you overland to the Arenal Volcano National Park, which encompasses thousands of acres of pristine rainforest and teems with tropical birds and wildlife. Stay in the Observatory Lodge, which is situated only 1.6 miles south of the volcano, and where you have an impressive view of this “giant which rumbles” and erupts with spectacular displays of vapor and lava.
Day 2—Arenal
This morning, with your private guide, enjoy a hike inside the Arenal Volcano National park through rainforest where monkeys, toucans and parrots are frequently seen. In the afternoon, visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a complex of six hanging suspension bridges rising above the jungle canopy and almost two miles of trails through the lush rainforest. Walk the trails where you will see many varieties of heliconias, flowering ginger, hear howler monkeys and see many varieties of butterflies, as you learn about the complexity and beauty of the rainforest. This evening visit Ecotermales Hot Springs, with its five different pools of natural hot springs.
Day 3—Monteverde
Today, you will transfer to Lake Arenal for a scenic lake crossing. When you arrive on other side, you will transfer to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve area, one of the most diverse and richest tropical cloud forests in the New World. It is best known as home to the resplendent Quetzal but has hundreds of other birds, mammals and plant species.
Day 4—Monteverde
This morning, experience a thrilling canopy zip line tour located inside the actual virgin cloud forest of Monteverde. The adventure begins through each of the 15 cables and 18 platforms, at the end you may choose to take the optional “Tarzan Swing.” Following the tour, hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve with your guide, viewing the misty forest with its dense vegetation and majestic trees.
Day 5 & 6—Playa Conchal
Time for a change of pace, as you head to the north coast and Playa Conchal in the heart of Guanacaste’s “Gold Coast.” Spend the next two days at this beach paradise, where there are plenty of activities, including golf, horseback riding, scuba diving, and sportfishing.
Day 7—Depart
Transfer from Playa Conchal to Liberia for your return flight to the USA.