10 hours 50 mins from London
£2999 per adult / £1599 per child
BEST TIME TO VISIT
November – April
YOUR COSTA RICAN TALE
A country epitomised by its peace-loving passivism, resulting in no hunting and no army! Which consequently has contributed to the country’s 96% literacy rate, whilst boasting 5% of the worlds biodiversity despite only amounting for less than .03% of the worlds land mass. But enough of the numbers… brace yourselves for an epic adventure of towering volcanoes and bubbling hot springs! Because you’re about to see the country the Tico (local) way, as you discover what the real power of the coffee bean can do for a culture.
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Chapter 1: THE BEGINNING – SAN JOSE
Welcome to Costa Rica, an eco-friendly haven that boasts the ‘pure life’ (pura vida) – the essential phrase to learn in response to any greeting or question – Costa Rica simmers in a calm and collected positivity that’s truly infectious, so get ready to soak it all up. Get your bearings and tread the town, explore the local attractions; museums, theatres and markets.
After a long trip to this tropical country, you’ll start the day with a well-deserved lie-in, followed by a guided tour of the city from our local ‘know-it-all’. Jump straight into the culinary culture of Costa Rica with a local lunch of ‘casado’ (rice, beans, salad, meat/chicken/fish, picadillos and a natural drink), chased with the renowned ‘helado de sorbetera’ (a local ice cream) from the Central Market. Venture out, for a break away from the city, to the small-town life of San Antonio de Escazú. Perched on the hills above the San Jose Valley, you’ll learn the local permaculture technique used to cultivate the land without causing lasting effects to the environment and paint your very own masquerades with a touch of the country’s history – soaked in colour. Connect with the agriculture and feed the animals, before they feed you for dinner at a farm to table restaurant… gulp!
Chapter 2: THE MIDDLE – POAS VOLCANO
Start your day with a breakfast of quest makers as we head off to the Poas Area, making a memorable stop at the Braulio Carrillo National Park. The high-flyers (and those old enough) amongst you will zip line your way through the jungle, balancing on hanging bridges amongst the tall treetops. Our little explorers will aerial tram their way down to meet you at the butterfly garden with an abundance of kid-friendly activities. Back together again, re-charge your sense of adventure with a tasty tico lunch before spending the afternoon in a self-guided nature walk of the surrounding area.
Brave close-encounters with passageways to the earth’s crust as we head out to the Poas Volcano National Park. Home to one of the wildest active craters of any volcano in the world and ironically, some of the most diverse bio-life too. Our local bilingual tour guide will lead you to the best views of the Central Valley, whilst seeking out spectacular examples of Costa Rica’s flora, fauna and birdlife – a truly enriching, once in a lifetime experience not to be missed! Follow it up with a visit to La Paz Waterfall Garden for a 4-fork rated (the highest score possible by the Costa Rican Tourism Council) buffet lunch. Recharged and ready to go, you’ll tour the five waterfalls of the cloud and rain forests. Seek out capuchin (white-faced) monkeys, the black-handed spider monkeys as well as a visit to the butterfly observatory and hummingbird garden for a hand-feeding demonstration of these amazing creatures.
Chapter 3: THE END – MUELLE
It’s destination three on our Costa Rican adventure as we head off to Muelle, home of the colossus Arenal Volcano with rock spanning as far back as 7000 years! But first, we prepare – align your chakras, stretch your limbs and get limber at La Fortuna Yoga, a beginners’ class for the whole family. We appreciate that some of the group might shift the energy a little too far from the spectrum of zen that we’re after this morning, so we’ve organized a separate room for yoga practice not requiring an ‘inside voice’ (we’re talking about kids here!) It’s refuel time at lunch, prior to ‘hanging’ out with the ‘coolest’ creatures native to the region… Did you get the clues? It’s the sloth! Keeping them totally chill, you’ll appreciate these darling mammals in their natural habitat away from crowds, noise and stress, a bit like your morning yoga.
It’s a day for forming the stories of legends, as you and your family experience the thundering activity of the Arenal Volcano (from a safe viewing area). Look out for lava flows and smoke clouds on your 3km hike, whilst learning the awesome facts about one of the most active volcanoes in all of Costa Rica. For the littler legs that’d be best suited skipping the hike and hanging at base camp, staff will be on hand for healthy snacks, games and explosively fun activities. We’ll be serving up some thermal tranquillity to go with your side of ‘thrill’ in the Baldi Hot Springs.
One for the thrill seekers – we head deep into the jungle for one of the most extreme activities in the region: Gravity Falls Waterfall Jumping! A #1 on the Costa Rica bucket list that’s not for the faint hearted. Kids remain at the Hunters & Gatherers base for some interactive and traditional dance lessons, the perfect location for a bit of hide & seek!
Get ready to be transported to an ‘out of this world’ terrain – once one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets (just a short while ago), the Rio Celeste leaves you feeling as if you just landed on Pandora from the movie Avatar – this magical river glows an azure blue that’s unbelievable to the eye! Slowing it down to a pace best suited for taking in such bio-diversity, you will spend the afternoon kayaking through the Rio Frio in rafts to accommodate both adults and the kids. With no detail ignored, lifejackets in all sizes are provided with an expert guide to accompany your journey. For those who’d prefer the kids on dry land, our team will be at the ready for nature inspired games and activities.
Kicking it up a gear, we return to the spectacular Celeste River to navigate its winding rapids and white water. We’ll keep the kids entertained and fed with a cookie and tortilla cooking class, learning the local techniques for whipping up these traditional treats.
It’s time to embark on the last part of your journey. Until next time Costa Rica… Take your time to share your family’s best felt memories with your fellow travellers, the key take-aways, life-changing moments and laughs over a final breakfast. Remember the hills of Antonio de Escazú? The capuchin monkeys of La Paz and zip-lining through their habitats? May your memories of Costa Rica be forever set to the backdrop of radiant blue rivers, glowing lava, lush green rainforests and waterfalls. It’s time to say goodbye to a place you never realised could feel like home, as we drop you to the airport, bound for your new quest of trying to explain it all to the family and friends you left behind.
OTHER ADVENTURES YOU MIGHT LIKE
OUR ITINERARIES ARE FULLY BESPOKE AND CAN BE TAILORED TO SUIT YOUR GROUP
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