Costa Rica Family Journey: From Rainforest to Coast

Starting at $2499 per person
Start Date (San Jose) End Date (San Jose)Price per Adult^^
March 27April 4$2879
July 3July 11$2499
July 17 July 25$2499
July 31August 8$2499
August 14August 22$2499
Prices are per person and solo travellers will be paired with another traveller (own room option available +$1099
^^ Children 7-17 -$200
Includes

8 Nights Accomodation
Arrival transfer
Naturalist guided cloud forest night walk
Canyon canopy tour in Rincón de la Vieja National Park
Rio Negro Hot Springs and volcanic mud bath
Horseback riding and guided hike in Rincón de la Vieja National Park
Palo Verde National Park guided boat tour
All transport between destinations and to/from included activities


Your G for Good Moment: Cafe Monteverde Experience, Monteverde
Your Family Journeys Moment: Life Monteverde Community Lunch, Tour, and Cooking Class, Monteverde
Your Family Journeys Moment: Monteverde Institute Lecture & Reforestation Project, Monteverde.

Blanketed in pristine rainforest, lined by golden sands, and brimming with curious-looking creatures, Costa Rica is the ultimate family playground. Explore inland jungles and volcanic wonders in every way possible: soaring on a zip line, riding on horseback, and hiking misty trails. Then head for the Gold Coast on the Pacific Ocean for some sun, surf, and adventures out at sea.

  • Channel your inner Tarzan as you soar through the jungle canopy on zip lines
  • Join a naturalist on a night walk through the cloud forest
  • Keeping your ears open for the symphony of hooting owls
  • Croaking frogs
  • And chirping insects
  • Test your skills at a cooking class as you whip up delicious Costa Rican dishes
  • Jump into a natural mud bath
  • And swim in pools heated by area volcanoes

Duration: 9 days
Start/Finish City: San José to San José
Service Level: Upgraded
Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.Physical Grading: 2 – LightLight walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: National Geographic Family JourneysTrips for adventure-loving families in search of a meaningful way to discover the world together.
Trip Type: Small GroupSmall group experience; 20

Itinerary Notes
Prices are based on double occupancy; all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will accommodate triples/quads whenever possible. Please call for further details.
Family Journeys are designed for groups traveling with children between the ages of 7 and 17. Your group must include a child in order to book, and anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 SAN JOSÉ

Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.

Costa Rica has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and is a top destination for nature lovers. As such, there is a lot of rain, regardless of the season, allowing for its lush green rain forests and cloud forest, in which flora and fauna thrive. Please come prepared for the possibility of wet weather and variations in temperature.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

1h

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Arrival Airport Transfer

Juan Santamaría International Airport – San José

You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to start your adventure.

Accommodation

Below is an example of the hotel we may use in this city. For the actual hotel your specific departure will be using, please check your voucher or the G Adventures App

Hotel Radisson San Jose (or similar)

Hotel

DAY 2 SAN JOSÉ/MONTEVERDE

This morning, travel up into the misty cloud forests of Monteverde, where we’ll visit a working farm and coffee cooperative for an earth-to-table lunch, followed by a property tour. Learn the secrets of Costa Rican cuisine and test your cooking skills at an afternoon class, then attend a coffee-making demonstration. Enjoy some free time to get settled in our hotel. This evening, follow a naturalist into the forest to seek out the fascinating nocturnal creatures that spring to life after the sun goes down, from red-eyed tree frogs to spiny porcupines.

The town of Monteverde is fairly small with shopping and some great restaurants, but most of the upgraded accommodations in this area are located outside of the main town centre – to take better advantage of the natural beauty and stunning landscapes of the area. Taxis are readily available to take you into town and back and can cost approx. $10USD each way.

Accommodations tend to be a bit more simple here, with fewer amenities. Its important to remember that the cloud forest sits at a higher elevation and offers a cooler but humid climate – which is why hotels in this area do not have A/C. It can also feel damp in rooms which is unavoidable in such a climate.

Private Vehicle

San José – Monteverde3h-4h155km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Your G for Good Moment: Cafe Monteverde Experience

Enjoy a visit to Life Monteverde, a coffee cooperative made up of 12 local families, dedicated to educating Costa Rica and the world about sustainable farming and conservation. Your visit here directly benefits Life Monteverde’s educational programs, which provide free access to local school groups, and training for Costa Ricans. Walk through the plantations of various tropical plants including bananas and pineapples, and learn about coffee growing and production, as well as various sustainable agriculture techniques like converting animal waste to fuel. Also make sure to taste the delicious coffee before you go!

Your Family Journeys Moment: Life Monteverde Community Lunch, Tour, and Cooking Class

Upon arrival, enjoy a brief introduction before having lunch made with fresh ingredients from their organic farm. Afterwards, tour the working coffee farm and meet some of the farm animals that help support this organic land. Then, get hands-on with a traditional Costa Rican cooking class followed by a coffee-making demonstration.

Guided Cloud Forest Night Walk

Monteverde

Join a naturalist guide for a 1.5-2 hour tour in the cloud forest after dark. Learn more about the habits of the area’s nocturnal wildlife including mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians, and keep your eyes and ears open on this slow-paced walk. You never know what you might see – it depends on the day and your luck!

Accommodation

El Establo Hotel (or similar)

Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast | Lunch

DAY 3 MONTEVERDE

Visit the Monteverde Institute, a research and educational organization supported by National Geographic. Hear about reforestation projects spearheaded by the institute, then roll up your sleeves and lend a hand in the tree nursery. The rest of the day is free for poolside relaxation or optional excursions in the clouds, including zip-lining, hiking in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, or a walk through the forest canopy across hanging bridges.

Free Time

MonteverdeMorning

Get up early to check out some of the optional activities on offer around Monteverde.

Your Family Journeys Moment: Monteverde Institute Lecture & Reforestation Project

The Monteverde Institute is a base for National Geographic-funded explorers and researchers studying the famed canopy of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. A researcher will present the various projects National Geographic has sponsored including new discoveries, insect and bird studies, and the reforestation of tropical regions. Then, play an active role in this project by visiting the National Geographic-sponsored research plot and getting your hands dirty by either planting trees to restore habitat or assisting in tree care in the nurseries.3

Optional Activities – Day 3

Hanging Bridges Monteverde

Monteverde35USD per person

Get up high to see the tree tops of Monteverde’s Cloud Forest from a bird’s-eye view. Cross a series of hanging bridges to discover what biologists once required (ropes and pulleys) to glimpse the lush, green vista accented by bromeliads, vines, and orchids. Wonder at this wet canopy, home to 90% of all the organisms in the forest, including thousands of species of birds, small animals, amphibians, and insects.

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Visit

Monteverde17USD per person

Pull on your poncho and boots and head into the cloud-covered forest, past over-sized ferns and exotic orchids. Harness your inner Tarzan as you imagine swinging from the forest’s giant vines, trudge along 12 km of trails, watch for wildlife and trek to the top of the observation tower. Be sure to stop and listen too. Hear the haunting hollow call of the bellbird and perhaps catch sight of the brilliant green and red resplendent quetzal. Feel good about protecting the preserve and sustaining the quality of local schools through payment of your park fees.

Ziplining

Monteverde3h-4h50USD per person

Buckle up your harness, don your helmet, and prepare to launch. Glide along cables suspended high above the cloud forest canopy. Dare to let go and reach top speeds as you zip past stunning scenery. Forget your fear as you spot a toucans or exotic orchids in this adrenaline-filled experience.

Accommodation

El Establo Hotel (or similar)

Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

DAY 4 MONTEVERDE/RINCÓN DE LA VIEJA VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK

Today we travel into Rincón de la Vieja National Park, an otherworldly land of smoking volcanoes, bubbling mud pots, and thermal hot springs—all shrouded in thick tangles of rainforest. Channel your inner Tarzan as you swing across zip lines strung through the forest canopy; then visit thermal hot springs and mud baths, where playing in the mud isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged. This evening, visit the local butterfly garden, if you like.

Private Vehicle

Monteverde – Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park4h-4h30m152km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Zip Line Rincon de La Vieja

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park1h30m-2h

Fly through the trees over a narrow river canyon while navigating zip lines, natural rock climbing walls, Tarzan swings, rappelling and hanging bridges.

Hot Springs and Volcano Mud Bath

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park1h

Visit natural hot springs which give rise to very hot mountain streams; sulfuric ponds filled with bubbling mud. Dare to step in and get muddy. Soak in the hot, therapeutic waters and feel invigorated and alive.

Free Time

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National ParkEvening

Take the evening to relax or opt to visit the local butterfly gardens.1

Optional Activities – Day 4

Butterfly Garden

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park15-20USD per person

Venture into the Butterfly Garden to see three of the larges families of butterflies in Costa Rica. Listen to a guide describe these colorful creatures and the importance they play in the region’s ecosystem.

Accommodation

Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin (or similar)

Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast | Dinner

DAY 5 RINCÓN DE LA VIEJA VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK

Rise early for a full day of adventure in the national park. Saddle up for a horseback-riding excursion, get introduced to the park’s creatures on a naturalist-guided wildlife hike, and swim beneath the soaring canyons and tumbling waterfalls of the Río Negro. There is also the option to stay back at our hacienda and relax by the pool.

Free Time

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National ParkEvening

After the days’ activities, enjoy some free time to wander around or lay by the pool.

Horseback Ride and Hike to the Cangreja Waterfall

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park6h

Saddle up to ride from our family hacienda on a beautiful path until we reach the entrance of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Set off on foot and hike 5km (3 miles) into the park in order to get to the waterfall. Keep your eyes peeled for iguanas, white-faced howler or spider monkeys, armadillos, and many types of tropical birds. Spot La Cangreja Waterfall flowing down 130 feet from the rocks above. Relax with a picnic lunch as our naturalist guide explains how the volcano’s minerals create this unearthly blue pool at the bottom of the waterfall. After lunch take a dip in the clear blue water if you wish before heading back.2

Optional Activities – Day 5

Rio Negro Tubing Adventure

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park2h30m-3h35-55USD per person

Enjoy the great outdoors on an innertube, bouncing and splashing down 5 km (3 miles) of class 2 and 3 rapids on the Black River. There are plenty of quiet pools along the way to appreciate the beautiful tropical scenery. Opt to ride the ranch horses (or you can go by vehicle transport) along scenic trails through the forest to reach the river.

Hot Springs and Volcano Mud Bath

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National ParkFree-FreeUSD per person

Visit natural hot springs which give rise to very hot mountain streams; sulfuric ponds filled with bubbling mud. Dare to step in and get muddy. Soak in the hot, therapeutic waters and feel invigorated and alive.

Accommodation

Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin (or similar)

Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

DAY 6 RINCÓN DE LA VIEJA VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK/PLAYA POTRERO

Journey toward the Pacific Ocean to Playa Potrero on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica. The afternoon is free to play in the sand and surf; or opt to set sail across the bay and around the Catalina Islands.

Private Vehicle

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park – Playa Potrero2h110km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Free Time

Playa PotreroAfternoon

Spend the afternoon at leisure in this quaint beach town, or opt to go sailing.1

Optional Activities – Day 6

Sunset Sail

Playa Potrero85USD per person

Set sail in Potrero Bay and around the Catalina Islands on a sailing tour. Opt to snorkel, kayak or zayak with the fish and keep on the lookout for turtles and maybe even a shark! Enjoy sunset over the water from the deck of the boat.

Accommodation

Hotel Bahia del Sol (or similar)

Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

DAY 7 PLAYA POTRERO

The day is free to do as much or as little as you like. Relax at the pool or on the beach in this tropical paradise. Opt to join a yoga class, take a long walk along the beach, or go horseback riding.

Free Time

Playa PotreroFull Day

There’s plenty of exploring to do here, opt for a yoga class, horseback riding or choose to play at the beach or pool all day.2

Optional Activities – Day 7

Yoga – Playa Potrero

Playa Potrero1h-1h30mFree-FreeUSD per person

Find balance and be in the moment with this Sattva Yoga class in a palapa by the beach. A combination of Hatha and Raja Yoda, focus on your breath, movement and mindfulness.

Horseback Riding

Playa Potrero55USD per person

Throw on some long pants, grab the reins and hop up on a well-trained horse. Trail ride through the tropical forest and across the area’s most beautiful landscape. Look for birds in the trees and admire the ocean views.

Accommodation

Hotel Bahia del Sol (or similar)

Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

DAY 8 PLAYA POTRERO/SAN JOSÉ

Leave the beach behind for our return trip to the capital. Stop en route for a jungle boat cruise through Palo Verde National Park. The river is a wildlife-lover’s paradise: crocodiles glide beneath the water’s surface, monkeys swing through the surrounding treetops, and numerous winged wonders wade and fly at the river’s edge—including ospreys, wood storks, and roseate spoonbills. Continue to San José and celebrate our adventure at a farewell dinner.

Private Vehicle

Playa Potrero – Palo Verde2h82km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Palo Verde National Park Boat Tour

Palo Verde2h

Enjoy a boat ride, travelling along the Tempisque River to discover Palo Verde National Park. Learn about the park and the creatures that call this region home from our local guide on board. Keep a keen eye out as the guide helps spot wildlife in the water, trees, and sky.

Private Vehicle

Palo Verde – San José3h30m180km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation

Hotel Radisson San Jose (or similar)

Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

DAY 9 SAN JOSÉ

Depart at any time.

Departure Day

Meals included:

 Breakfast

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