Costa. Pura. Vida. Rica! | Costa Rica Unbound

From white water rafting down the Rio Balsa to surfing at Playa Guiones, join us for this action-packed, 6-day itinerary through beautiful Costa Rica. Zipline through the canopy of Monteverde Cloud Forest, cycle along rural laneways to small villages and go horseback riding at sunset to idyllic Playa Pelada. This is the Costa Rica Adventure you've been waiting for! 

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Day 1

Whitewater Rafting on the Rio Balsa

Your guides will meet you at the Hampton Inn & Suites for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Bajo Rodriguez where you’ll enjoy a light breakfast on the river banks. It’s here that you’ll meet your rafting guides who will give a briefing on safety and paddling techniques, with time to change into your rafting clothes. 

Then prepare for an adrenalin-pumping ride down more than 50 Class III rapids as you travel through lush wilderness on the Rio Balsa, fed by waters flowing off the Poás Volcano. Over the 9.5 mile trip, we will stop to swim in the calmer sections of the river and relax in the raft, with an authentic Costa Rican lunch awaiting at the other end. 

Then continue to your hotel for the night where you can relax in the pool or jacuzzi while taking in the views of Arenal Volcano before a group dinner this evening. 

ACCOMMODATION : Casa Luna Hotel and Spa or Hotel Arenal
MEALS INCLUDED : Light Breakfast | Lunch | Social Hour | Dinner

Day 2

Arenal Springs to Rainforest Chocolate Tour | Rainforest Chocolate Tour | Lake Arenal Boat Transfer

After breakfast at the hotel, your guides will fit you with a bike for the next few days and we’ll ride over a series of beautiful rivers to the small pueblo of Sonafluca. When you return to the hotel, there will be time to shower and change before we check out. 

It’s then time to learn about the origin and history of the cacao tree during a visit to Rainforest Chocolate, with the opportunity to taste their high-quality organic chocolate. After a picnic lunch, we’ll board a private boat and cruise across the scenic waters of Lake Arenal to meet a shuttle that will transport you the final leg to your hotel for the night, nestled high in the lush Monteverde Cloud Forest. You’ll enjoy a memorable evening here and dinner on the deck of the Celajes Restaurant, soaking up the views towards the Gulf of Nicoya. 

Biking Distance: Approximately 15 miles with 800 Feet of climbing

MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 3

Selvatura to Hotel Belmar | Canopy Tree Zipline & Tarzan Swing | Afternoon Yoga Class | Selvatura to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Begin the morning with an exhilarating, high-altitude ride down the mountain, taking in the magnificent views of the Gulf of Nicoya en route. Then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant of your choosing in Santa Elena before exploring this charming mountain town. 

Get ready for an adrenalin-pumping afternoon as we head to one of Costa Rica’s longest ziplines. Fly through this magnificent area of virgin cloud forest, home to more than 2,500 plant species and 400 bird species, before returning to your hotel where a complimentary yoga class will be held. Then relax over dinner at the Celajes Restaurant, dining at a time that suits you. 

Biking Distance: Approximately 9 miles with 1,400 feet of climbing

MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast | Dinner

Day 4

 Sámara to Playa Garza | Tico-Style Beach Cookout 

Today we will be venturing to the Pacific Coast, beginning with a 3 1/2 hour drive to Guanacaste Province. Grab a freshly-squeezed juice at Sámara Organics on arrival and change into your cycling gear. 

From Sámara we will cycle through small, rural communities along a dirt road to the fishing village of Playa Garza. Here you will meet a local fisherman and his family who will host a oceanfront lunch of freshly-cooked fish and delicious ceviche. 

We’ll then continue to our B&B for the evening where you’ll enjoy a private catered meal while soaking up the coastal views of Nosara.

Biking Distance: Approximately 11 miles with 700 feet of climbing

ACCOMMODATION : The Gardens Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast | Lunch

Day 5

Surfing Lesson at Playa Guiones | Sunset Beach Horseback Ride

Wake to a traditional Costa Rican breakfast of gallo pinto (rice and beans) before heading to Playa Guiones for a surfing lesson at one of Costa Rica’s safest beach breaks. Alternatively, you may opt to join a yoga class at one of Nosara’s studios (not included in trip price) or just relax by the pool soaking up the Pacific views. 

The rest of the afternoon is free to spend at your leisure before a horseback ride along the riverbank jungle trails to the pristine beach of Playa Pelada. Witness a magical sunset while enjoying your final group meal at the beachfront restaurant of La Luna.

ACCOMMODATION : The Gardens Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast | Social Hour | Dinner

Day 6


After breakfast on the terrace of your hotel, it’s time to say farewell to your guides and be transferred to the Nosara Airport, the village of Playa Guiones or Alajuela/San José for your flight home. Flights from Nosara to San Jose take around 45-minutes while the drive can be anywhere from 4-6 hours (road conditions and traffic permitting). If you decide to take the shuttle back to San José, we highly recommend overnighting in the capital rather than booking an evening flight.

ACCOMMODATION : The Gardens Hotel

Dates & Rates

Supplementary Information

Single Supplement: $500

•    Gratuities for all scheduled events, restaurants, hotels, local guides and transportation during your trip
•    Private tours
•    Entrance fees to all group events and activities
•    All transportation while on tour
•    All activities as outlined in the itinerary
•    All meals as outlined in the itinerary
•    Accommodations for five nights
•    All necessary equipment for activities

Not Included: 
•    Airfare and transportation to and from the trip pick-up and drop-off locations
•    Lodging before and after the tour
•    Items of a personal nature
•    Optional activities not included in the itinerary
•    Gratuities 

FAQ & More

What language do they speak in Costa Rica?

Spanish is the official language in Costa Rica. Because Tourism is one of the principal industries in the country, today many ticos speak English as well. If you feel like using your Spanish while traveling, go ahead! Ticos love to practice Spanish with visitors. It doesn't matter if it is poor or very good, just give it a try and add more words to your Spanish vocabulary.

How much and what type of currency should I bring?

The Costa Rica National currency is the colon. Credit cards (VISA - MASTER CARD) are widely accepted. US dollars are accepted in almost every part of the country. It is always good to take at least $300 per person, in case of any emergency, as well as for souvenirs and tipping.

What type of weather can I expect?

Costa Rica is a tropical country situated between 8 and 11 degrees above the equator. It has only two seasons: dry and green. The dry season runs between late December and April and the green or rainy season lasts the rest of the year May through November, and still offers sunny mornings. The Caribbean coast stays green all year round due to the humidity. Average temperature ranges in San Jose are from 57 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in December to 63 to 81 ° F in May. The coasts are much hotter, with the Caribbean averaging 70° F at night and over 86° F during the day. The Pacific side is a few degrees warmer still, but due to a lower humidity it tends to be more comfortable.

Do I need a passport to travel to Costa Rica?

U.S. Citizens traveling to Central America are required to carry a valid U.S. passport. Your passport must also be valid for six months after your return date from Central America to the U.S. If you are not a U.S. Citizen, contact the embassy, consulate or national airline of the country you are traveling to for entry requirements.

What type of food will I eat?

Wherever you go in Costa Rica, the abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables and grains will make of your meal a "must to eat it all experience". Many people think the cooking is like the way Mexican people cook, the answer is No. The ingredients we use are similar but the difference is that in a Costa Rican meal, rather than a spicy/ hot flavor, the food has the freshness of all of the ingredients in each bite. The Typical Costa Rican breakfast is called "Gallo Pinto". A mixture of rice and beans, cilantro and spices will be always on any menu in the country. Beef, chicken and seafood are also part of the Tico's diet.

What type of tipping is recommended?

•    13% tax and 10% gratuity are already added to restaurant bills. 
•    $1 per bag at check-in and check-out and for bellboys. 
•    $5.00 - $15.00 per person, per day for guides. 
•    $3.00 - $5.00 for drivers, transfer guides and river guides per person, per day 
•    $1.00 - $2.00 per night for housekeeping personal. 

For example, for a 4-day trip with a private driver and guide for two people, an average tip would be $80 for the guide, and $40 for the driver.

What is the departure tax?

A $29.00 departure tax has to be paid when leaving the country. Before your check- in process, go to the bank counter inside the airport and pay the fee; the amount could be paid by cash / credit card. Complete the form on the back of the document and present it at the airline counter. You can also request the operator in Costa Rica to do this beforehand for you, you just need to provide copy of the passports and pay $2 extra per person.

How do I know when my pick up times will be?

Estimated pick up times are indicated in your itinerary. Please note that sometimes, the final confirmation for the pickup time might not match the one you have in your itinerary, as in certain occasions is necessary to change it due to bad traffic, or other type of situation that might affect that specific logistic. The pickup times have been scheduled based on avoiding rush hours, with extra cushion for any delay along the road, stops for lunch etc. If you decide to make any changes to the pickup times scheduled, it would be under your responsibility.

Are there luggage requirements for domestic flights and small boats?

There is a 40 lb. per person baggage weight limit for transportation on domestic airline flights and small boat trips within your itinerary, though you are allowed one small carry-on and a small personal purse, or camera bag. The airline and boat operators enforce these limitations on your checked baggage for safety reasons. If you have extra luggage, you can leave it behind with the operator, and on the way back from that portion of the trip you will get it back. Please let us know before hand so we can coordinate are traveling to for entry requirements.

What should I pack?

When you book your reservation you will receive a full packing list with your reservation materials? 

What are the bike rides like?

Average Daily Mileage: 11 Miles
Terrain: Hilly
Average Daily Elevation: 950 ft.

On all of our vacations, Trek Travel strives to find quiet, paved secondary roads or bike paths to experience a region; busy roads are avoided as much as possible. Costa Rica is best suited for our Type 2 Riders. Our Trek Travel guides can also easily accommodate Type 1 Riders, who seek less mileage or fewer uphills, with a boost in the support vehicle. The terrain is mostly non-technical on rough dirt roads with some sections of pavement, with some steep grades. We will ride hardtail mountain bikes on this trip due to the nature of the riding--although we will always be on roads, these roads sometimes have large potholes and some washboard surfaces that make mountain bikes the preferred method of travel. See itinerary for specific daily ride distance and elevation options.

Custom or Private

You love this itinerary but want to change it a bit to make it perfect for you?  Or, are you wanting to simply make it private?  Either way, we can do it!

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