Costa RicaCosta Rica

       forest reflections on tortuguero canal
  - Costa Rica

7 Day Nature Lovers

7 Day Nature Lovers

Investigate Costa Rica's biological diversity in Tortuguero and Arenal, two of the country's most spectacular destinations.

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Tortuguero & Arenal

Day 1: Arrival

Fly into San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). Explore downtown San Jose and spend the evening relaxing at your hotel.

Day 2: Off to Tortuguero

A shuttle will pick you up in San Jose, stopping first to enjoy a typical Costa Rican breakfast before boarding an open-air boat to Tortuguero. The hour-long ride affords glimpses of wetland wildlife, including tiger herons, green iguanas, and the occasional caiman. In Tortuguero, you’ll take a guided tour of the lodge’s grounds, which include a butterfly farm, iguana nursery, frog garden, and botanical gardens. In the evening, lounge by the pool, help release baby frogs into the wild, or take an optional night hike into the Caribbean rainforest.

Day 3: Canal Explorations

Discover Tortuguero’s incredible wildlife on an early morning kayaking tour, beach walk, or guided hike. Later, you’ll take a short boat ride to the lodge’s private hiking trails, which meander through tropical rainforest. Listen for howler monkeys, and keep your eyes peeled for camouflaged wildlife: sloths, frogs, lizards, and waterfowl are common sightings. Your afternoon hours are filled with an exciting canal tour, which takes you on a journey to the area’s hottest wildlife spots. In the evening, gear up for Tortuguero’s biggest attraction: nesting sea turtles. Depending on the season, you may observe leatherback, loggerhead, hawksbill, or green sea turtles lay their eggs on the protected beach.

Day 4: Arenal & Hot Springs

A final canal ride brings you to your shuttle transfer to Arenal. You’ll enjoy lunch en route before arriving in town mid-afternoon. In the evening, finish the day with dinner and relaxation at Arenal’s famous volcano-fed hot springs.

Day 5: Birdwatching

Grab your binoculars at dawn and set out on an unforgettable birdwatching tour. Depending on the season, your trained naturalist guide will take you up to Arenal Volcano, to a private reserve, or to Lake Arenal for the area’s best birding spots. Get ready to spot keel-billed toucans, Montezuma oropendola, laughing falcons, and other species. Don’t forget your field guide!

Day 6: Hiking and Hanging

Arenal’s hanging bridges are one of our favorite hiking locales. Almost two miles of beautiful hiking trails weave through dense rainforest along a series of fixed and suspension bridges, ranging from 16 to 330 feet long, allowing for exceptional bird and wildlife viewing. Discover new foliage, learn about the delicate forest ecosystem, and glimpse animals only seen from this vantage point. After lunch, if you’re up for it, take an exhilarating canopy tour, where zipline cables sending you flying past a smoking Arenal Volcano.

Day 7: Return to San Jose

If you have a morning flight, take an early transfer to the international airport. If you have more time and an adventurous spirit, enjoy an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip on Balsa River (Class II-III) or Toro River (Class III-IV). Where the river lulls, your guide will point out sleeping sloths, sunning iguanas, and colorful birds.

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