Description of Luxury Guided Tour - Costa Rica and Nicaragua Pacific Coast ULCA03
- The chance to glide through the forest canopy on a wire glider and get’ a bird’s eye view of the rainforest
- Driving on the Pan American Highway with the Pacific Ocean on one side and one of the world’s largest fresh water lakes on the other.
- A scenic boat ride long the Nicaraguan Coast on the way to your beach front resort
- Staying overnight in Granada, one of the oldest cities in the Americas
- A boat trip to Nicaragua’s Isletas, uninhabited islands teeming with wildlife
Today you board your flight for the trip south to Costa Rica, a friendly and peaceful country with a large population of American expatriates who appreciate its customs, culture and climate. Upon arrival, your personal guide will meet you and take you the Hotel Finca Rosa Blanca situated on the knoll overlooking the central valley. You are free to walk the grounds or relax in your suite until Dinner. Tonight a special four course meal set up around the fireplace has been reserved for you.
Day 2 Braulio Carrillo and Tortuguero
Refreshed by a good night's sleep a hearty breakfast will set you up for today's day of exploration. You personal travel guide will meet you in the lobby as the hotel's staff loads your bags into your vehicle. You then head off for the coast which will take the best part of the morning. Your guide will explain the sights as we pass them and you have the chance to see one of the most impressive rain forests, the Braulio Carillo National Park. We arrive at the docks having passed banana plantations along the way. We board the hotel's boat and head up the river to the hotel. The name Tortuguero comes from the Spanish word "Tortuga" or turtle. Strong Caribbean currents have provided a long, straight 22 mile expanse of beach which is a favored nesting ground for sea turtles. Hawksbill, Loggerheads and Pacific Green turtles nest from July through October. The Leatherback, the largest sea turtle species in the world nests from February to July. Upon arrival you are taken to your deluxe bungalow for a chance to freshen up before lunch. After lunch you will take short trip to the village of Tortuguero with its 700 inhabitants. Upon returning to the hotel you enjoy an a la carte dinner by candlelight.
Day 3 Exploring the Tortuguero Canal
Today you will awaken early both by the sounds of the jungle around you coming to life and because this is the best time to explore the small canals that surround the lodge. Sustained by biscuits and coffee you see the jungle from ground level (or canal level) and become part of the environment. Along with you will be Barbara Hartung a noted naturalist and interpreter of the natural environment. Invigorated by her observations and the boxed breakfast thoughtfully prepared for you, you finish your canal exploration and return to the lodge for a brief rest. You then rejoin Barbara for an intriguing walk through the rainforest where both flora and fauna will come alive for you. Upon returning to the lodge, an a la carte lunch fortifies you and you can select your afternoon activities with your personal guide including the option of taking a nap. Tonight you can reminisce about your adventures over another candlelit dinner held on the dock with the flames reflecting in the canal. A sound sleep will surely follow.
Day 4 Journey to the Fire Mountain
After breakfast you reluctantly part from your bungalow for the boat ride to the mainland town of Siquirres where transportation from the hotel will pick you up and deliver you to Roberto's restaurant in Guapiles for Lunch. Following lunch tour personal guide will be waiting to take you into the land of fire. In 1952, La Fortuna was declared a district of the city of San Carlos but, in 1968, the Arenal Volcano which, until that time had been an inauspicious hill, erupted and buried the community of Pueblo Nuevo killing more then 100 inhabitants. The area was economically decimated but. Oddly enough, tourists began to arrive to see the light show of the active volcano. It was not easy to get there but in 1982, the building of a new road eased entry and Arenal became a major tourist center and the most significant source of revenue for the community. You arrive in Arenal in the late afternoon and check into your suite which has two balconies overlooking the volcano ( but at a safe distance) You have the chance to unwind at the hot springs near the hotel before relaxing in your suite and, if lucky, enjoying the spectacle of the lava flow on Arenal .
Day 5 Exploring the Biodiversity at Arenal
After breakfast, a plethora of activities are at your disposal and since they are all half day programs you have two to choose. Do you want to glide through the forest canopy on a wire trolley? How about a canoe excursion on Lake Arenal or hiking in the National Park? Test your vertigo on the hanging bridges or try horseback riding to the waterfall at La Fortuna. You can choose any of these or you can choose one or none and spend time at the pool. This evening you dine at the best steak house in the area.
Day 6 Onward to the “White City”
Today your personal guide will be waiting to take you to the country's Pacific Coast and the province of Guanacaste, cradle of rich traditions and folklore and home of the most beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast. On your way you will stop in Liberia and experience the charm of this historical capital of Guanacaste and referred to as the White City for its many surviving 19th Century adobe buildings with their white lime coating. You have that chance to explore the town and enjoy lunch before driving north to Guanacaste. Your resort is secluded in the picturesque outskirts of the Rincon de La Volcano.
Day 7 Staying Active at Rincon de la Vieja
Once again you have a multitude of activities to choose from. One recommended day might include horseback riding to the water falls followed by an al fresco picnic of wine and fruit. After lunch you may wish to relax in the natural hot springs or use the volcano's natural heat as part of the steam room treatment. Regardless of the activity (or lack thereof) you will be well primed for tonight's meal which, weather permitting, will be held on a platform in the middle of the forest.
Day 8 The Journey to San Juan del Sur
After breakfast you will be driven to the border town of Penas Blancas which covers the crossings between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. A new travel guide will be waiting for you to expedite you through formalities and then set out north on the Pan American Highway. You are on a relatively narrow causeway of land with the Pacific Ocean on our left and in the distance to our right the shoreline of Lago de Nicaragua, the region's biggest lake. Arriving at San Juan del Sur you board a private boat for a scenic boat ride along the coast until you reach Hacienda Morgan's Rock, your base for the next two nights. After lunch and a chance to settle into your bungalow nestled in the dry forest, you may be tempted to take a dip from the resort's private beach. Dinner this evening will be served al fresco and, as with all meals served here, is a fusion of Nicaraguan and French cuisine.
Day 9 Eco-Activities at Morgan’s Rock
Today your private guide will be able to select the activities that best suit your mood. If you're feeling studious you can study the ecology of the tropical dry forest, the reforestation program underway or typical life in the Nicaraguan farmland. Depending on the time of year you can observe the nesting of the turtles. For the more active, there is horseback riding on the beach or kayaking at sea. For the more sedentary, there are the beach chairs by the pool or the soft sand on the private beach. A little of each might be good.
Day 10 Scenic Wonders of Nicaragua
After breakfast you have the chance for one final swim in the Ocean or the pool before your personal guide has the car packed and you are on your way. You will head north and towards the Lago de Nicaragua which is the tenth largest fresh water lake in the world. You will stop at the apoyo lagoon giving you one of the country's most panoramic views before driving through the "white pueblos" including the town of Catarina. Your next stop will be the market town of Masaya where your guide will show you around. Masaya is famous for its colorful hammocks. After a lunch time sampling of traditional food called "bocadillos" you proceed to the Masaya National Park where you have the chance to look deep down into the crater of the still-active Santiago volcano. In the afternoon you arrive in the charming colonial town of Granada, one of the oldest cities in the Americas. Your hotel dates back to the 16th Century and is considered to be not only the best hotel but also the best restaurant in the town.
Day 11 The “Isletas” of Granada and Managua
After breakfast you will take a walking tour of this well preserved colonial city which was founded in 1524 by Hernandez de Cordoba one of the conquistadors. You will walk the cobblestone streets, stroll through the colorful market and visit the Convent of San Francisco. After the walking tour you will board a boat to take a trip through Granada's famous Isletas, a chain of uninhabited islands teeming with wildlife and created years ago by volcanic activity. Returning to shore you have lunch and then head to Managua the country's capital. You will have an orientation tour of the city before checking into your deluxe centrally located hotel. Tonight you celebrate the end of your experience with a private dinner.
Day 12 Return to USA
After breakfast, your guide will take you to the airport for your return trip to the US.
Additional Pricing Information
- Transfers and sightseeing by private helicopter or aircraft as indicated on the itinerary
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)