DAY 1 - ARRIVE TO SAN JOSE
We are greeted at the airport in San Jose transferred to the Hotel Bougainvillea, just 20 minutes from the airport.
DAY 2 - SELVA BANANITO - LA AMISTAD PARK
We depart with our guide over the cloud forests to the lowland Caribbean coast. After 3 hours we transfer to a 4x4 to travel another 40 minutes over rugged roads into the protected rainforests of La Amistad International Park.
We settle in at Selva Bananito Jungle Lodge where cozy eco-style cabins are built on stilts in traditional Caribbean style. In the afternoon we saddle up for a 2-3 hour horseback ride. After a candlelight dinner (there is no electricity at the lodge, water gets heated by solar panels), relax in your hammock. Overnight at Selva Bananito.
Day 3 - SELVA BANANITO - WATERFALL RAPPELLING!
Take a full day hike (5-7 hours) into the rainforest. We make over 60 river crossings, jumping in the river pools and learning about rainforest ecology. After rappelling down an 80-foot waterfall (optional), we enjoy a picnic lunch. Other activities are available for those who prefer a more mild outing. Overnight at Selva Bananito. [BLD]
Day 4 - SELVA BANANITO - ZIP LINE AND TREE PLANTING
Experience the canopy of the rainforest while gliding on a zip line 100-feet above the forest floor! This afternoon we take part in Selva Bananitos reforestation project. Our saplings will one day become part of the tropical rainforest. We are supporting the work of Fundacion Cuencas de Limon, a non-profit that works on watershed protection and environmental education. Overnight Selva Bananito Lodge. [BLD]
Day 5 - COOKING AND DANCING CARIBBEAN STYLE!
We leave for the drive to Cocles Beach (1 hr). Later we hop on our bikes for a ride to Puerto Viejo where we learn about the history of Afro-Caribbeans who settled along this coast. With local cooks, we learn to cook Caribbean-style and enjoy a delicious lunch including fried plantains, fish or chicken, with Caribbean style-sauce, and fresh fruit smoothies.
In the afternoon we have an opportunity to see some Salsa, Merengue, Calypso, and African music, and learn to dance from an local instructor. Proceeds from our visit go to benefit a local youth dance group. Overnight at Hotel Cariblue or similar. [BLD]
Day 6 - TALAMANCA - BRIBRI NATIVE WOMEN'S GROUP
Today we visit Yorkin in the Talamanca-Bribri indigenous territory, only accessible by a 1-1/2 hour dug-out canoe on the spectacular Rio Yorkin. This is one of the best places to see organic cacao and banana plantations, learn about medicinal plants, and interact with indigenous people of Costa Rica. They share their culture, local customs, typical food, mythology, and history.
We sit down for a Bribri style lunch at the Casa de las Mujeres, an association of indigenous women dedicated to preserving their culture. Save room for dessert because the women share their secrets of chocolate making! Overnight at Hotel Cariblue or similar. [BLD]
Day 7 - WILDLIFE OF THE CARIBBEAN - TURTLE WALK OR KEKOLDI RESERVE
Depending on the time of the year we feature any of these adventures:
KAYAKING-SNORKELING AT MANZANILLO AND TURTLE NIGHT WALK
March through June (turtle nesting season).
We head south for an adventure on the reefs off Manzanillo Beach. We paddle out on sit-on-top kayaks with snorkeling gear to a beach at the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. We will snorkel over underwater coral gardens and watch for parrot fish, angel fish, and snappers. Lunch is at Maxis, a local restaurant with a Rasta vibe!
Late afternoon (March through June) we head to the beach at Cahuita to look for leatherback sea turtles nesting in the sand at night. You will actually be standing a few feet from a giant almost 1,000 lb leatherback turtle while she lays eggs, covers up her nest, and returns to the sea.
KEKOLDI RESERVE AND OBSERVATION OF RAPTORS
August through November and February to May
The Kekoldi Reserve is home to approximately 230 people of the BriBri indigenous group who live on 2,000 hectares of land. Throughout the hike we learn about medicinal plants used by the indigenous residents and plants and wild edible fruits that are part of their diet. We'll see birds including toucans, aracaries, tanagers, hummingbirds, and parrots.
We share a traditional lunch with a localfamily and learn about their efforts to protect the endangered green iguana. In season, we climb a tower above the forest to observe the raptor migration from September to November and February to May. During the peak of the season there are thousands of birds of prey in a single day. Overnight at Hotel Cariblue or similar. [BLD]
Day 8 - SAN JOSE - AVIARIOS DEL CARIBE (SLOTH SANCTUARY)
Today we visit Aviarios del Caribe, a sloth refuge where we learn about these amazing creatures and the research and conservation program working to protect them. Return to San Jose. Farewell dinner and overnight at Hotel Bougainvillea or similar. [BLD]
Day 9 - DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport for return to the USA or extend your vacation. [B]
Prices & Dates
Featured Animals: Leatherback
Call us at 800-854-4204
Mon - Fri
9am to 5pm
All of our trips & volunteer expeditions:
- Directly support wildlife conservation
- Educate travelers about wildlife
- Support local communities
- Reduce environmental impact