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TNN’s Costa Rica Tour

October 28 - November 8, 2023

Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful and naturally-diverse countries in Central America. From lush tropical rainforests filled with rich biodiversity to picturesque white-sand beaches with great surfing and diving, Costa Rica is a natural paradise. On this tour, we’ll do a bit of everything, from hiking in the wilderness to going wildlife spotting to sitting on the beach to visiting waterfalls and staying with local families.

The diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica has led the country to become a beloved ecotourism destination, with never-ending adventure activities, gorgeous beaches, abundant wildlife, delicious food, and friendly people. Combine all of that with the relaxed, “pura vida” pace of life, it’s no wonder Costa Rica is always high up on people’s lists of favorite countries.

Using our local connections and deep experience here, we’re going to showcase not only the natural beauty of the country but also the people. You’ll meet locals who will explain what it’s like to live in the region, gain insights into the food and culture of the country, see tons of wildlife, do lots of hiking, and enjoy some time on the country’s famous beaches. We’re going to show you what makes this country so special!

This tour is for people looking to see more than just the famous sites— it’s for travelers who want to understand the region’s culture, history, and food more deeply.

If you’re the kind of person who wants a more authentic and nuanced experience, this tour is for you.

Options

Twin Share Room, Single Room

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To reserve your spot on a tour, a 40% deposit is required. This deposit is 100% refundable for 30 days. See our terms and conditions for more on our refund policy.

Tour Itinerary

You can arrive any time today. Our guide will be around to welcome you and answer any questions that you have. We’ll meet for an orientation meeting in the early evening before taking you to one of our favorite spots in San Jose for a welcome dinner.

This morning, we’ll leave the hotel and head to the Caribbean lowlands on a 4-hour scenic (and a bit bumpy) drive to Tortuguero National Park. We’ll board a small boat and journey for 1.5 hours into the depths of the Costa Rican wilderness. This biodiverse area is full of freshwater lagoons and rainforest many animals call home, including jaguars and turtles. In the evening, we’ll enjoy an informal Spanish lesson and relax with the sounds of nature at the jungle lodge.

Today, you’re free to explore the park at your own pace. You can do a sunrise canoe trip, walking tour, or just relax around the lodge. There’s a lot here and we’ll be sure to guide you to an activity that suits your desires.

Today, we’ll leave the rainforest and head on a 3-hour journey to Santa Rosa de Pocosol for a memorable homestay experience. On arrival, you will be led around the farm to see all the local and organic produce grown here. Pick some of the fresh food that is grown, and head back to your homestay for a small cooking lesson. Alternatively in the afternoon, you can take a soap-making workshop or a guided hike to a nearby waterfall. In the evening, we’ll enjoy a home cooked meal together.

After breakfast, we’ll drive for 2 hours to Tenorio Volcano National Park, where you’ll visit the Rio Celeste. On the way, stop off to visit an indigenous Maleku community, where you’ll meet the locals and share a traditional Maleku meal with them. With only 650 people left, the Maleku Indian tribe is the smallest in Costa Rica.

On arrival at the Tenorio Volcano National Park, take a leader-led hike around Rio Celeste, and spend the afternoon exploring the sky-blue falls and streams. To end the day, we’ll continue with a 2-hour drive to get to La Fortuna.

Enjoy a free day to explore La Fortuna as you wish. Go caving, visit the La Fortuna waterfall, Lake Arenal, the Cano Negro Reserve, or a the nearby hot springs. Do one or many! We’ll be there to get you signed up. After the end of the day, we’ll meet again for dinner.

A morning of travel by bus and boat leads to incredible Monteverde. Settled by North American Quakers in 1951, the area was initially used as an environmentally conscious agricultural community and is now a biological preserve. We’ll spend the afternoon doing a tour of the cloud forest, looking out for hummingbirds, quetzals and sloths. In the evening, you can take an optional night walk through the forest (it’s fun) or join us for an optional group dinner.

Today is a free day to explore the jungle. There are also several local communities that operate cooperatives worth visiting, as well as zip lining, coffee plantations, and suspension bridges through the canopy. In the evening, we’ll meet again for a group dinner.

After a 4-hour drive, we’ll get to Manuel Antonio, one of the most beautiful parks in the country, where we’ll have a guided tour and look for monkeys and other wildlife. We’ll wander the park and have some time for the beach. In the evening, we’ll have a seafood dinner together.

Today is free for you to do as you please. Enjoy the beach, head around the park, rent a kayak, go on a boat tour. There’s a lot to do and our guide will help you arrange any activities. In the evening, you can join the group again for an optional group dinner.

Today, we bid farewell to the coast and return to San Jose via public bus. You’ll have the afternoon to yourself to do any final sightseeing and, in the evening, we’ll have for farewell dinner together as a group.

Today, our tour ends. Our guides will be around to help anyone getting to the airport or that has questions about staying longer.

Tour Essentials

Accommodation

Accommodation is 2 star hotels. If you book a twin share room and are traveling solo, you’ll be paired with someone of the same gender.

Transport

During the trip, we’ll travel via a private van and public bus throughout the country.

Meals

Daily breakfast, three lunches, and four dinners are included. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated with prior notice. Alcohol is not included.

Sustainability

We aim to offer as sustainable an experience as we can. The tap water is safe to drink so we encourage you to bring a water bottle. Trash is recycled whenever possible and we avoid mass tourism activities that cause harm to the environment and/or do not benefit local communities.

Small Groups

This tour requires a minimum of 10 participants and has a maximum of 15 participants in order to ensure the best small group tour experience. With such a small group, you’ll be able to enjoy unique, rewarding activities that would not be accessible with more people.

Expert guides

Your tour will be led by a licensed and local expert guide. Our guides are always on hand, every day of the trip, to provide additional information, create spontaneous activities, join the group for non-included activities and meals, and to ensure that the trip is as memorable, fun, and informative as possible.

What's Included

What’s Included

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation, including driver
  • All activities and entrance fees mentioned above
  • All included meals listed above
  • Local guides during activities
  • Expert Tour Leader throughout the trip

What’s Not Included

  • Flights to/from Costa Rica
  • Passport/visa fees
  • Airport taxes
  • Meals and activities not mentioned
  • Travel insurance (which is required)
  • Optional activities not listed

FAQ

What are your COVID policies?
This tour is currently open to all travelers. We will closely monitor any new policies and comply with any new restrictions or requirements needed. If the rules change, we’ll let you know.

What about COVID testing?
Should COVID testing be required as a condition of entry or exit, we will help you find testing locations, though you are responsible for the cost of the COVID test and for booking your own tests.

What is the age range of people on this tour?
Our tours see people from 22 to 75. They really run the gambit. In the past, the average age on this tour is about 40. As we’ve found age is only a number, the variety in ages has never been detrimental to the group dynamics!

Is there a lot of walking?
All our tours have lots of walking tours involved that last between 2-3 hours each. While there is no strenuous hiking involved on this tour, you should be prepared to be on your feet a lot. Our walks in the jungles are easy trails.

Tell me about your guides.
Our expert tour leaders are fully licensed guides. They’ll be responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the trip, handling all of the local logistics, and dealing with any unforeseen situations that may arise. Our tour leaders are always on hand, every day of the trip, to provide additional information, create spontaneous activities, join the group for non-included activities and meals, and ensure that the trip is as memorable, fun, and informative as possible. During the course of the trip, we’ll also use other guides for some of our day tours.

Will I have any time to myself?
Of course! We hate tours that book every minute of your day. While we will be busy, there will also be plenty of time for you to explore on your own. Travel is about adventure and discovery, so we emphasize that on our tours. We want you to see stuff that interests you specifically.

What am I going to do during the listed “free time”?
Our guides will be on hand to give you suggestions, help you decide what to do, and be around. If you want to go off on your own, we get that. We want you to explore and break out of your comfort zone! Our guides are here to help and, after you join the tour, you’ll be sent a list of potential activities you can do on your own.

How many spots can I purchase at once?
Reservations on the tour are limited to a maximum of two per person to ensure that everyone who wants to gets a chance to go.

What kind of rooms are we staying in?
We will be staying in 2 star hotels the entire trip.

Is airfare provided?
No, you’ll be responsible for your own airfare to and from the tour.

Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, all guests will be required to have travel insurance for the duration of the trip. We’ll be asking for proof before departure. If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to continue on the tour.

Is there an age requirement?
You must be at least 18 years old.

Will I need to fill out any release forms?
Yes, you’ll be required to fill out and sign a liability waiver releasing us from any and all liability related to the tour.

What about visas?
If you require a visa to enter any of these destinations, you’ll need to get that in advance at your own expense. We do not offer any help in this area.

What if I change my mind? What is your refund policy?
We understand plans change. Deposits are refundable up to 30 days after purchase. They can be transferred once in a calendar year to another tour. (You have to do so within 90 days.) Balance payments are due 31 days after purchase. Cancelations made between 90 – 60 days before the tour start date: 50% refund of the balance amount (the deposit is not included in the refund). Cancelations made between 59 – 0 days before the tour start date: 0% refund of the balance amount.

Is there a waiting list?
People sometimes rush to secure a spot but don’t always get the time off work and might need to cancel. If you’d like to be added to a waiting list, please email us at [email protected]

I still have questions. Can I contact you?
Of course! Our email is [email protected]

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