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GATEWAY TO COSTA RICA

Viva la Pura Vida in Costa Rica! Pura Vida, Costa Rica’s motto, means “pure life” or even “real living”—and that’s exactly what you will experience on this trip to paradise found between the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Experience active volcanoes, coffee plantations, rainforests, cloud forests, and, of course, diverse wildlife and plant life on this 8-day vacation. Begin in the country’s capital, San José, the perfect base to explore Poás Volcano, the largest active crater in the world, and Doka Coffee Estate, one of Costa Rica’s most prolific coffee plantations. Two nights in Arenal National Park area gets you up close to nature, including active Arenal Volcano and the beautifully serene hot springs found throughout the area. You also will walk the treetops on hanging bridges suspended in the rainforest canopy as your expert Naturalist introduces you to the area’s flora and fauna—an experience you won’t soon forget. Next, head into the mountains of Costa Rica to the hot spot for ecotourism: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. A walk inside the reserve through ancient forests reveals a fascinating wildlife sanctuary, home to more than 120 species of mammals, over 400 species of birds, lush plant life, and 420 types of orchids. This is the best place to spot Costa Rica’s national bird, the Resplendent Quetzal. After experiencing all of this in a week, you will truly know what Pura Vida means!

  • Suggested Itinerary

    DAY 1
    SAN JOSE
    Welcome to Costa Rica. Upon arrival in San Jose, you will be met by your Cosmos representative, who will help you get acquainted with this fascinating city.
    DAY 2
    SAN JOSE. EXCURSION TO DOKA COFFEE ESTATE & POAS VOLCANO
    Start your day at POAS VOLCANO, considered the largest active crater in the world, with frequent geyser-like eruptions. A walk along the incredible trails leads you through cloud forests filled with stunted and twisted vegetation from the volcanic emissions and cold, windy, high-altitude habitat. If weather conditions allow, you will have the chance to see Lake Botos, which fills an extinct crater. The area is also home to many cloud forest birds, like hummingbirds, tanagers, flycatchers, toucanets, clay-colored robins, and the resplendent quetzal. Next, visit DOKA ESTATE, one of Costa Rica's premium coffee plantations and producer of internationally acclaimed coffees. From the picking of the coffee berries to the roasting and grinding of the coffee beans, you will see how Costa Rican premium coffees are processed and prepared. Be sure to take a walk through the BUTTERFLY GARDEN, home to 15 species that undergo the complete metamorphosis within these walls. (B,L)
    DAY 3
    SAN JOSE-ARENAL
    Your journey continues to the Arenal area, with a visit of Sarchi town en route. Along the way, enjoy amazing views of the mountains as well as a major source of revenue in the area: agricultural crops that include pineapple, bananas, and sugar cane. This afternoon, arrive at La Fortuna Village, situated in the shadow of mighty Arenal Volcano. The evening is at leisure to do as you please. (B)
    DAY 4
    ARENAL
    Nature lovers from around the world come to visit the ARENAL HANGING BRIDGES. Journey through the rainforest with an expert Naturalist to learn about the surrounding wildlife and vegetation and take in nature's beauty at its most pristine state. With 15 bridges ranging from 5 to 100 meters long, one at a height of 45 meters, you will get a 360-degree view of the tropical rainforest. Plus, if the weather is on your side, you will see the most amazing views of Arenal Volcano. Tonight, you may opt to spend time relaxing in the thermal, healing waters at Tabacon Hot Springs. These natural springs are heated by magma found in the earth's core and they carry minerals found in the earth's rocky stratus, which your body absorbs as you soak in the natural pools here. (B)
    DAY 5
    ARENAL-MONTEVERDE
    Depart Arenal for Monteverde, considered one of the most biologically diverse areas in the country. This is why MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST RESERVE is continuously visited by nature lovers. Chosen as one of Costa Rica's Seven Wonders and one of the most important private reserves in the country, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve gives you the chance to explore a different type of forest, allowing you to make your very own comparison between the biodiversity found in a rainforest and a cloud forest. (B)
    DAY 6
    MONTEVERDE
    Today, your Naturalist will show you the different types of ecosystems found in the region on your guided WALK in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Learn more about the unique wildlife, much of which is endemic to the area, and see the beautiful flora and fauna of the northern region of Costa Rica. If you are lucky, you might spot the beautiful quetzal, the three-wattled bell bird, or the black-faced solitaire roaming through the forest. However, the most recognized animal in Monteverde is definitely the golden toad, also endemic to the area. Equally impressive is the unique plant life, such as orchids, bromeliads, and strangler figs, which only adds to this forest's already impressive beauty. Your afternoon is free to explore the region on your own. (B)
    DAY 7
    MONTEVERDE-SAN JOSE
    This morning, bid adios to Monteverde and return to San Jose for your final evening of your holiday. (B)
    DAY 8
    SAN JOSE
    Transfer to San Jose International Airport, where your holiday ends. (B)
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