August 11-18, 2018
Day 1, Saturday August 11: Toronto - Liberia, Costa Rica
Depart Toronto and fly directly to Liberia, Costa Rica's second largest city located in the northwest of the country. After arriving, Board the private air-conditioned motorcoach for your transfer to the hotel in Monteverde, a small local community and major eco-tourism destination. National Geographic described the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve as "the jewel in the crown of cloud forest reserves" and Newsweek declared Monteverde the world's #14 "Place to Remember Before It Disappears". After checking into Hotel Helonica Monteverde, enjoy a welcome dinner where you'll learn more about the region with an introductory expert talk on the fascinating history of the Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and the importance it plays in the area's ecology and economy.
About Hotel Helonica Monteverde. Spread across six private acres of lush landscapes and forest the hotel is constructed from fine local woods and decorated with tropical flowers. accommodations are comfortable and utterly gorgeous. All have large beds and orthopedic mattresses, private bathrooms, hot showers and bathtubs. This hotel affords superb views of the Gulf of Nicoya. Relaxing strolls through the hotel’s well-manicured gardens are pleasant, as are meals in the two on-site restaurants. These restaurants serve up a mix of Italian and Mediterranean food, as well as traditional Costa Rican cuisine. Heliconia’s bar hosts a daily happy hour and offers a wide range of both national and international refreshments. The onsite spa is a perfect place to relax and unwind.
Day 2, August 12: Monteverde's Cloud Forest Reserve and Tree-top Walk
After breakfast at the hotel, you'll embark on one of Costa Rica's most famous adventure activities: the hanging bridges of Monteverde. These treetop walkways will guide you both through AND above the rainforest! A series of 8 suspension bridges connected by trails totaling 3 km in length will provide you will unparalleled birds-eye views of the rainforest canopy. From these bridges you'll easily be able to study this unique tropical ecosystem, catching glimpses of birds, monkeys, sloths and more as they make their way across through the landscape. After lunch enjoy a nature walk at Sant Elena Reserve, a lush garden of mosses, ferns, flowers and epiphytes growing thickly on every tree. Clouds drift in and settle among the slopes, providing the plants with the continuous moisture they require. Dangling roots and vines sweep across the walking trails, while the sounds of birds and other creatures echo throughout the forest. Today's programme will be rich in artistic material and there will be the opportunity for arts instruction for those who are interested. Dinner included this evening.
Day 3, August 13: Monteverde - Arenal Volcano - La Fortuna
After breakfast at the hotel, check-out and board the coach for the journey to Costa Rica's most famous landmark: the Arenal Volcano. Enroute there will be time to stop and admire the outstanding natural beauty of the area and Lake Arenal. In the afternoon, you'll arrive at the base of the active Arenal Volcano for a hike through the rainforest at its base. This national park is filled with wildlife including monkeys, toucans, coati and a large variety of bird species. Your guide will help you spot wildlife and give you a detailed history of the volcano. Later, get to know the town of La Fortuna with a stroll before dinner in a local traditional Costa Rican restaurant. There will be time for an art activity for those who are interested. The rest of the evening you can enjoy the hot springs at Los Lagos Hotel and Spa, your home for the next two nights.
About Los Lagos Hotel and Spa: A wonderful Costa Rica experience is waiting for you in a hot springs hotel featuring a vast natural outdoor area adjacent to Arenal Volcano. The hotel is equipped with a wide range of services and facilities to allow you to contemplate and view this spectacular volcano safely but intimately. You can find areas of relaxation as well as fun at the pool & hot springs, which include health & beauty treatments at the spa. Let the natural mineral-rich hot springs of the Arenal volcano nourish your body and soul, as you immerse yourself in this unspoiled paradise.
Day 4, August 14: La Fortuna Waterfall
The Fortuna River Waterfall is a natural area and case-study in sucessful eco-sustainability managed. The Fortuna River waterfall is located in a biological reserve with an area of 210 acres of tropical wet forest at 520 meters over sea level, and is the origin of the water sources that cascade down the mountains and the waters of the Fortuna River. This waterfall is one of the most famous in the country, and after hiking down a staircase cut into the mountainside you can swim in the stream and gentle rapids below the falls. The rest of the day is free for you to luxuriate in the hot springs, participate in an art session, or if you're an animal lover consider spending an hour volunteering at a local dog rescue centre. The adorable pooches always need enthusiastic people to take them for a walk through the rainforest or through town!
Day 5, August 15: La Fortuna - Rio Celeste
Breakfast at the hotel before transferring via private coach to Rio Celeste, one of Costa Rica’s most incredible sights – the enchanting, electric blue-hued Río Celeste. The river’s spectacular color is the result of volcanic materials from the Tenorio Volcano seeping into the water and seeing this sky-blue river flow through a dense rainforest is an amazing visual (and photographic) experience! Your guide will lead you along trails while you search for monkeys, sloths, tropical birds and more. As the leisurely hike continues, you’ll soon arrive along the banks of the Río Celeste Waterfall. Have your camera ready, because you’re going to use it! The trail winds along the banks of the river, taking you upstream as you hike. The further upriver you travel, the deeper the color of blue in the water. You’ll eventually reach the point where this color is generated – the confluence of the Buena Vista and Roble rivers. Return to the hotel for lunch, relaxation, art, and contemplation. This evening's activity is a jungle night walk where you will experience the life, creatures, noises and mystery of the jungle after dark. Dinner at the hotel this evening.
About Celeste Mountain Lodge: Softly laying over a mountain top surrounded by primary forest reserves and the National Park Volcan Tenorio, the Celeste Mountain Lodge is nestled within a pristine nature environment, and boasts a unique contemporary design and ambiance. The Lodge offers the most outstanding views of both the Tenorio and Miravalles volcanoes, innovative Tica-fusion cuisine, and has a private 2 km trail through the pristine tropical jungle, all complimented by efficient and friendly service.
Day 6, August 16: Rio Celeste - Tamarindo
Breakfast at the hotel. Board your coach and transfer to Tamarindo with a stop at Llanos del Cortez. The Llanos de Cortez waterfall is considered to be one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful wonders in Costa Rica. The falls are wide and wispy, with thin streams of water tumbling along the mossy rocks. Rocky cliffs are visible through the transparent cascade. To add to the grandeur, thick forest surrounds the falls with many birds and sometimes even monkeys calling from the trees. There will be free time for lunch before continuing to Tamarindo, where after checking into the hotel you can relx by the beach or pool for the rest of the day. Tamarindo is a tropical paradise well-known for its surfing and laid-back vibe.
About the Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort Costa Rica: This beachfront resort sits along the magnificent Pacific ocean in one of the prime surfing areas of famous Tamarindo and is surrounded by lush green mountains and national parks. The Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort Costa Rica appeals to a wide range of travellers because of the equally wide range of things to do in and around the Resort featuring watersports, ecology activities, golf, tours and excursions, and beautiful swimming pools while sunbathing. Surf lessons are available.
Day 7, August 17: Tamarindo
Today is a free day to enjoy the beach, swim in the pools, attend an art class, or relax and do nothing! If you choose, optional day tours could be a catamaran sail with snorkeling or surf lessons with a private instructor (additional charge). This evening a farewell dinner will be offered at a local restaurant on the beach
Day 8, August 18: Tamarindo - Liberia - Toronto
After breakfast, check-out of the hotel and the private coach will wisk you back to Liberia for the return flight to Toronto.