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Poas, Arenal, Monteverde & Manuel Antonio

Itinerary in Brief: Experience Costa Rica’s diverse landscape

  • Scenic Poas Volcano region
  • 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 / Transfer to Poas Volcano Region

Fly into San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. You will be met at the airport for your private transfer to your lodge, located at the edge of the breathtaking Poas Volcano National Park.
Poas Volcano Lodge

Day 2       Poas Volcano National Park & La Paz Waterfall

You will be picked up at the hotel by your private guide, who will take you into the Poas Volcano National Park for a full day tour. Your tour will take you to the edge of the Poas craters, where rain-fed sulfuric pools still bubble and emit smoke and geysers spout water up to 820 feet in the air. On a clear day, both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Costa Rica are visible from this area. Your visit will include time at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, located on the slopes of the Poas Volcano. Here, platforms and trails wind their way around a series of stunning waterfalls, through a hummingbird garden, orchid garden, serpentarium, and butterfly observatory.
Poas Volcano Lodge (B,L)

Day 3       Transfer to Arenal Volcano

Today your private guide will pick you up at the hotel for your transfer to the Arenal Volcano region. Along the way, you will stop to see the handmade crafts of Sarchi and the topiary gardens of Zarcero. In the late afternoon you will head to Ecotermales Hot Springs, luxurious thermal pools heated by the active Arenal Volcano, where you can relax, unwind, and have dinner.
Arenal Nayara Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 4       Arenal Volcano National Park, Organic Farm, and La Fortuna Waterfalls

Today you’ll join your guide for a morning hike around the base of the Arenal Volcano, where you can see how the lava has flowed and hardened over the centuries and, weather permitting, enjoy spectacular views up to the smoldering crater. In the afternoon you will visit the Arenal Vida Campesina organic farm and learn about traditional 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-foot La Fortuna Waterfall, where you will have the chance to hike down and swim in the waterfall-fed lagoon.
Arenal Nayara Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 5      Arenal Hanging Bridges and transfer to Monteverde Cloud Forest

Today you will visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a complex of suspension bridges and trails through the rainforest that will give you a unique perspective on this beautiful area. Here, 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 and arrive to your hotel, a family-run lodge nestled in the mountaintops of the Monteverde Reserve.
Monteverde Hotel Belmar (B,L,D)

Day 6        Monteverde Cloud Forest and Zipline Tour

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. Those who prefer to have a bit more stable footing can opt for the skywalk canopy tour, where you walk along a series of suspended bridges to observe the jungle canopy. In the afternoon you will have a guided walk through the forest, allowing you to appreciate the dense jungle from below the canopy.
Monteverde Hotel Belmar (B,L,D)

Day 7       Transfer to Manuel Antonio 

You will have some more time this morning to continue exploring the cloud forest around your hotel before being picked up for transfer to Manuel Antonio, a gorgeous small town overlooking the Central Pacific Coast. Your beachfront hotel is within walking distance of Manuel Antonio National Park, considered one of the world’s most beautiful national parks.
Arenas del Mar (B)

Day 8       Manuel Antonio National Park

You will be picked up at your hotel for a half-day guided visit to the National Park just south of your hotel. This stunning park comprises tropical rainforest at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Due to its location, the park has a variety of ecosystems, including freshwater lagoons, coral reefs, beaches, and mangroves, and is home to a wide variety of birds, monkeys and other wildlife which you will be able to spot as you walk along the trails. You will have the afternoon free to relax and explore on your own, visiting one of the beautiful beaches or strolling along one of the many trails.
Arenas del Mar (B)

Day 9       Free Day at Manuel Antonio

Today you have the day at your leisure to relax or check out one of the many additional activities offered in this area. Among the activities that we can set up are beach trips, rafting, culinary events, or a boat trip out to Damas Island.
Arenas del Mar (B)

Day 10       Return to San Jose / Depart

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for a quick flight back to San Jose. Depending on your international flight time, you may be able to visit some of the city’s museums or go out to eat prior to your international flight.