Arenal, Monteverde & Manuel Antonio

Itinerary in Brief: Experience Costa Rica’s diverse landscape, from Arenal and Monteverde to the beach

  • Active Arenal Volcano
  • Lush Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Central Pacific Coast beaches
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Great wildlife viewing
  • Outstanding small hotels
  • Can be customized

Day by Day Itinerary

Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)

Day 1       Arrive to San Jose

Fly into San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive, you might have time for a visit to one of the city’s museums, either the Jade Museum or the Gold Museum.
Grano de Oro

Day 2       Arenal Volcano

You will be picked up at your hotel for transfer to the region of Arenal Volcano. Along the way, stop to see the handmade crafts of Sarchi and the topiary gardens of Zarcero before arriving to your lodge. You will be staying at the same lodge used by the Smithsonian Institute in conducting its observations of the volcano. Approximately 4 hours drive.
Arenal Observatory Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 3       Arenal Volcano

Today you’ll join your guide and a small group of other travelers (max 6 people) from the lodge to take a morning hike around the base of the volcano, where you’ll observe the lava flow and enjoy spectacular views up to the smoldering crater (weather permitting). In the afternoon you will visit the Arenal Vida Campesina organic farm and learn about common Costa Rican crops such as coffee, bananas and plantains. You will enjoy a lunch prepared with freshly harvested vegetables. After lunch you will visit the 200 feet tall La Fortuna Waterfall. After walking down a steep but short path you will have the chance to swim in the cool water of the lagoon fed by the fall. This and the following excursions can also be done with a private guide for an additional cost.
Arenal Observatory Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 4      Monteverde Cloud Forest

Today you will visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges. This is a complex of suspension bridges and trails through the rainforest where you will likely be able to spot local fauna such as toucans and capuchin monkeys. In the afternoon you will travel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. You’ll be staying in a lovely small hotel with great views of the surrounding area.
Hotel Fonda Vela (B,L,D)

Day 5        Monteverde Cloud Forest

Monteverde is a uniquely beautiful, mountainous cloud forest environment, and if you appreciate nature you can’t help but be captivated by the place. In the morning you’ll start out on the Selvatura’s Canopy zip line, one of the longest zip lines of its kind, taking you through the virgin cloud forest canopy. For those who wish to have a bit more stable footing they can opt for the “skywalk canopy tour,” where you walk along a series of suspended bridges from which you can observe the jungle canopy. In the afternoon you have a guided walk through the forest allowing you to appreciate the dense jungle from below the canopy.
Hotel Fonda Vela (B,L,D)

Day 6       Manuel Antonio 

After visiting some more of this lovely area in the morning, you’ll be picked up at your hotel for transfer to Manuel Antonio, a stunningly beautiful small town overlooking the Central Pacific Coast (about 5 hours drive).
Arenas del Mar (B)

Day 7       Manuel Antonio

You will be picked up at your hotel for a 1/2 day guided visit to the National Park just south of your hotel This beautiful forest, pushed up against the Pacific Ocean has a wide variety of birds, monkeys and other wildlife which you will be able to spot as you walk along the trails. The afternoon is free for you to visit one of the beautiful beaches or stroll along one of the many trails.
Arenas del Mar (B)

Day 8       Manuel Antonio

Today you have the day at your leisure or go on one of the many additional activities offered in this area. Among the activities that we can set up are rafting, or a boat trip out to Damas Island (extra costs involved).
Arenas del Mar (B)

Day 9       Return to San Jose

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for a quick flight back to San Jose from where you will be transferred to the international airport for your flight home.