Experience the natural beauty and friendly agricultural communities of Costa Rica on this 8-day itinerary from San José. Gain an insight into the country’s coffee industry on a guided finca tour, get off-the-grid at a sustainable ranch nestled at the base of Arenal Volcano and enjoy the rural lifestyle of Santa Juana on the edge of Manuel Antonio National Park.
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Arrival San José – Naranjo
Fly into the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José where you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to the Chayote Lodge in Naranjo, Alajuela. This unique accommodation features bungalows inspired by the Central Valley’s rich coffee culture, resembling Costa Rica’s traditional recibidores or “coffee receiving stations”. Each element of the property has been designed to tell the story of coffee pickers and their lifestyle and the role they have played in Costa Rica’s cultural history.
Begin the day with a tour at Espiritu Santo Coffee to get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making your morning brew. Learn about all stages of the coffee production process, from seed to cup, and take in the magnificent views across its coffee-swathed hills. Then continue on to the Municipal Market of Naranjo to photograph the piles of fruits and vegetables which are sold here, together with meats and other products. Sample some of the local tropical fruits and enjoy an authentic Costa Rican lunch at one of the market eateries.
After lunch, you will visit the local church, Basilica of the Lady of Piedades, which has been rebuilt after successive earthquakes, before returning to the Chayote Lodge for an afternoon at your leisure.
Chayote Lodge – Arenal
This morning you’ll be transferred from the Chayote Lodge in Naranjo to Arenal and the Rancho Margot eco-lodge. This sustainable operation is dedicated to preserving the natural environment while employing local people from the surrounding communities. Learn how power is generated by hydroelectric turbines to provide electricity and manure is transformed into rich compost, with fruit, vegetables and medicinal plants all grown on the property.
Gain a better insight into the self-sufficient practices of Rancho Margot on a guided tour of the property. Learn about the organic farming techniques used here and the ranch’s approach to carbon neutrality, being completely off-the-grid and sustainable in their operation.
Then spend an afternoon enjoying this natural paradise at your leisure, perhaps kayaking on Lake Arenal, horseback riding beneath the volcanic peak or spending some time in Rancho Margot’s on-site yoga studio.
Arenal – Manuel Antonio
This morning you will depart Arenal on the six-hour drive to Manuel Antonio, stopping en route to enjoy a home-cooked traditional Costa Rican lunch in the Pacific coastal town of Tárcoles. Then jump into 4x4s for the final stretch of the journey to your lodge at the Santa Juana Community Project in Naranjito, Quepos.
Set on the jungle-covered slopes of the Central Pacific Mountains, this lodge offers an authentic rural experience, allowing guests to gain a better understanding of Costa Rica’s agricultural traditions. Its beautifully-appointed, freestanding cabins are set on the edge of a ridge, offering panoramic views across to the Pacific Ocean, while it is staffed by locals from the tiny pueblo of Santa Juana.
Spend the day with local guides as you explore the natural beauty of Santa Juana, hiking along the jungle-covered slopes and swimming in natural waterfall pools. Go fishing to catch tilapia in the lake or visit a local sugar mill which is still powered by oxen, then enjoy a Campesino-style lunch while taking in the views towards Manuel Antonio National Park. You’ll also have the opportunity to adopt your own tree as part of the Carbon Offset/Native Tree Reforestation Program, helping to conserve this vital ecosystem.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Depart the Santa Juana Community for the short transfer to Manuel Antonio National Park which has been identified as one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. Lush forests descend to picture-perfect stretches of white sand which meet the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Go hiking along the walking trails to encounter squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys, sloths, black iguanas and agoutis, before continuing on to San José.
You’ll spend your final night in Costa Rica at the Grano de Oro, a Victorian mansion which has been transformed into one of San Jose’s finest hotels.
Depart from San José International Airport
It’s time to say goodbye to Costa Rica as you are transferred to the San José International Airport for your international flight home.
Dates & Rates
• Transportation and guide services
• All meals as outlined in the itinerary
• Equipment needed for all included activities
• Local fees and taxes
• Full service of our Adventure Consultants
• Airfare to and from Costa Rica
• Travel insurance
• Meals or lodging not specified on the itinerary
• Alcoholic beverages
• Items of a personal nature (hotel extras, souvenirs)
FAQ & More
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
• 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.
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.
When you book your reservation you will receive a full packing list with your reservation materials.