Natural Costa Rica | January 19th, 2025

Price $5199 $4899 13 Days/12 Nights
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Natural Costa Rica | January 19th, 2025

$5199 $4899 per person

*Prices are CAD per person, based on 2 people sharing and reflects early booking discount (land only). 

*Single Supplement rate is $6699 CAD (this includes the early booking savings). If you’re a single traveler and looking to be matched up with a roommate, of the same gender, please reach out to us for details.

*Prices are subject to change without previous notice depending on any significant increase in rates, taxes, fuel or due to availability problems.

*This group departure will take 16-24 participants maximum.

*Air Round Trip International Airfare routing/pricing based on requests. Depending on your departure gateway, an overnight flight, and/or, pre or post nights may be required.

Early Booking Price Expires May 31st, 2024 (or until sold out)!

Dates: January 30-February 3, 2025

*Total of 4 nights (3 nights at Isla Chiquita / 1 night in San Jose)

Welcome to Isla Chiquita Glamping Hotel! 

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit as you forge a meaningful connection to nature at Isla Chiquita Glamping Hotel. Perched on the tiny island of Isla Jesusita in Costa Rica’s picturesque Gulf of Nicoya (in the province of Puntarenas), this hotel is the first and only destination of its kind in the country.

Cascading from the cusp of the island, the 18 premium tents at Isla Chiquita Glamping Hotel are interspersed in a tiered layout, providing a sense of privacy and seclusion. Designed to offer both rustic charm and modern convenience, each tent includes an en-suite bathroom with local, organic products, deluxe bedding, cooling ceiling fans, and a spacious private lounging deck with remarkable ocean or tropical forest views.

Tent Suite:

These tents offer either one king or two comfortable double beds, an en-suite bathroom, a mini refrigerator and a lounging deck with breathtaking ocean or forest views. Their King Tent Suites also include a day bed.

Premium Tent Ocean View:

In addition to their signature glamping comforts (king bed, lounging deck, and private shower & bathroom), these lodging options include special amenities including a plunge pool, and a Welcome to the Island Mini-Bar stocked with beer, beverages, and local snack (once per stay).


Rates (based on a 3 night stay at Isla Chiquita):
  • Tent Suite: $999 CAD per person (double occupancy) | +$600 single occupancy
  • Premium Tent Ocean View: $1199 CAD per person (double occupancy) | +$800 single occupancy

*Above prices are based on a minimum of 4 passengers taking this extension

  • Private transportation from Manuel Antonio to Isla Chiquita (Puntarenas) and from Isla Chiquita (Puntarenas) to San Jose hotel.
  • A la carte breakfast daily, self-guided kayak and paddle board.
  • 3 night stay (January 30th, January 31st, and February 1st – checkout on the 2nd, 2025).
  • *Premium Tent includes special amenities, a “welcome to island minibar” (once per stay).
  • The last night of this extension, January 30th, will be in San Jose at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cariari San Jose (*if you are taking this Isla Chiquita extension, the rate for this last night at this hotel in San Jose, which is included on the base program for January 30th, will be replaced with February 2nd).
  • Shuttle from hotel in San Jose to San Jose International airport on February 3rd.
  • $250 CAD per person | no deposit required until May 31st, 2024
  • After May 31st, 2024 the $250 deposit becomes non-refundable and remaining balance is due at final payment (November 1st, 2024)

Natural Costa Rica: January 19-31, 2025

Experience this incredible small group adventure through nature’s paradise, with Trip Merchant Journeys! Costa Rica is full of volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches, rainforests, wildlife, culture and much more…

Costa Rica has been blessed with a huge diversity of natural resources that they have tried to keep through the many protected areas like National Parks, Biological reserves, wildlife refuges among many others. Also, there are many cultural and educational attractions will help you get to know, where the Costa Ricans come from and why they are well known for being a pacific and democratic country with very kind and smiling people (or smiling sloths). Pura Vida!

Itinerary Routing:
2 Nights: San Jose – Hilton San Jose Sabana
2 Nights: Tortuguero – Mawamba Lodge
1 Night: Sarapiqui – Hacienda La Isla Boutique Lodge
3 Nights: Arenal – Hotel Arenal Manoa
3 Nights: Manuel Antonio – Hotel Parador Resort & Spa
1 Night: San Jose – Hilton DoubleTree Cariari Hotel
  • Visit Poas Volcano National Park and the La Paz Waterfall Gardens
  • Admire the biodiversity of an astonishing protected area in Costa Rica as you drive through Braulio Carrillo National Park towards Tortuguero National Park
  • Enjoy 2 nights in Tortuguero National Park (the “Amazon of Costa Rica”) where you will explore the canals in small, open boats to observe the diverse local wildlife such as birds, monkeys, two and three-toed sloths, caimans and other endangered species
  • Enjoy tours throughout your journey where you will learn all about chocolate, coffee, sugar cane and pineapples – some of the best quality in the world!
  • For 3 nights you will be staying at Hotel Arenal Manoa, where you have stunning views of Arenal Volcano and you are surrounded by the La Palma River, that goes around the hotel making it an ideal refuge for the great diversity of birds, mammals, along with a large variety of plant species.
  • Take a light hike in Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Relax in the thermal springs that await you at EcoTermales Fortuna
  • Take a private Jungle River & crocodile adventure in Tarcoles before making your way to Manuel Antonio
  • To conclude your trip in Costa Rica, you will have 3 exciting nights at the Hotel Parador Resort & Spa, perched high above the sweeping Central Pacific coastline on 12 acres of tropical rainforest
  • In Manuel Antonio you will explore the flora and fauna of the Park which comprises of 683 hectares of land; surrounded by a lush tropical wet forest and in the paths you can  observe capuchin monkeys, sloths, coatis, raccoons, iguanas, and many species of birds, as well as the squirrel monkey, endemic to Manuel Antonio.
  • Enjoy a relaxing leisure day at Manuel Antonio Beach!
What’s Included:

All sightseeing and meals as per itinerary (24 meals: 12 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 7 Dinners) | All tipping for drivers and guides | All entrance fees as per itinerary | Group arrival and departure transfers | Private English Speaking guide throughout the entire trip | Local specialty guides | Private air-conditioned coach | All taxes | Only 16-24 passengers!

*GROUP ARRIVAL TRANSFER INCLUDED – This transfer will be based on the timing of the majority of flight arrivals. If flights are booked outside of this then a $50 CAD per person cost will apply. 

Not Included: 

International airfare (Trip Merchant is happy to assist you with booking the international airfare from your preferred Canadian air gateway) | Optional excursions (as listed in the day by day itinerary) | Optional post extension to Isla Chiquita | Costa Rica departure tax | Out of Country Cancellation and Medical Insurance is mandatory (proof of insurance coverage will be required)

Terms and Conditions:

$500 per person deposit | If you cancel prior to May 31st, 2024, then $250 per person is refunded and the remaining $250 per person becomes a Future Travel Credit to be used on any TMJ group departure up to 2 years beyond original date of travel. Deposit becomes non-refundable and cannot be converted to a Future Travel Credit after May 31st, 2024

Final Balance: November 1st, 2024 (100% non-refundable after final payment)

“Costa Rica is a must visit. Beautiful country with friendly people. Birds, lizards, monkeys, frogs to name a few that brought me so much excitement and joy. My first ziplining experience was so much fun.”

“Thanks guys for your amazing arrangements. I cannot imagine getting a better feel for Costa Rica than from this tour or more information than from Oscar!”

“Best trip we have ever taken.”

“We had a wonderful trip with Trip Merchant. We really felt with your itinerary that we got to see a great deal of Costa Rica. The guides, bus drivers, and boat drivers were all first rate. Thanks for a great experience and super holiday. We hope to travel with you again!”

“We really got to experience so much of Costa Rica in just one trip! From the tropical rainforest to the sunny beaches and everywhere in between. This trip had so much value packed into it. We are very grateful and definitely will be visiting again.”

“Another amazing trip that more than fulfilled my wishes.”

“This was our first Trip Merchant trip. We had seen their marketing in our retiree association newsletter so when our friends suggested a trip with them we thought we’d give it a go. Little did we know that both owners of the company would be travelling with us. Right off the bat, we were impressed with the effort and enthusiasm Ryan and Tom put into their company. They were a pleasure to deal with every step of the way, from the initial booking of our trip, to the countdown and the actual day to day activities we did together. The expected bumps along the way were handled very professionally and considerately. Much care and attention to detail went into the planning on our tour. There is no way that we would have done or seen so much on our own for the cost we paid. We had a fantastic trip and will not hesitate to turn to Trip Merchant for our next getaway as well as recommend them to our friends!”

“I honestly had something every day that was amazing – from watching leaf cutter ants, seeing a sleepy sloth, crocodiles, a new bird, learning about all of the vegetation from Oscar. The chocolate, coffee and pineapple plantation tours were excellent as were the samplings. The welcome and goodbye dinners that you planned were lovely. I loved the variety of places that we were able to experience – we would never have been able to do and see so much on our own.”

“I had a great time! Super itinerary, very nice fellow travellers, terrific tour leader in Oscar.”

“Oscar was amazing. So knowledgeable and entertaining. The guides on all the included tours were excellent too.”

Call for assistance: 1-800-481-9739 ext 507
Mention Group Booking Number: TMJCR0119
  • Destination
  • Arrival City
    San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Departure City
    San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Activity Level
    This tour includes moderate physical activity. The itinerary blends some longer days with shorter days and more leisure time. Walking tours, as well as walking slightly longer distances, up stairs, or on uneven walking surfaces should be expected.
  • Passenger Limit
    16-24 passengers
Sunday, January 19, 2025: Depart from Home/Welcome to San Jose, Costa Rica

Welcome to Costa Rica! Pura Vida! Upon arrival in Costa Rica once passing migrations, baggage claim and customs, you will get to the arrival exit where you will meet and greet with our representative (holding a sign bearing your name). You will be transferred to your hotel, Hilton San Jose Sabana. The drive from the airport to the hotel takes 25 minutes approximately.
Accommodation: Hilton San Jose Sabana, San Jose (Standard Room - 2 Nights)

Equipped King or Queen bed, desk area, A/C, mini fridge, free coffee, cable TV, phone, hairdryer, clock radio, and iron. Across from Costa Rica’s National Stadium and La Sabana Park, the hotel is surrounded by embassies, corporate offices, and tourist attractions. The city center cultural sites, restaurants, and museums are four kilometers away. Enjoy spectacular views of the city from our 31st floor pool or our restaurant on the 18th floor.

Monday, January 20, 2025: Visit to Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens

After breakfast in the morning at your hotel, you will drive towards the Poas Volcano National Park to start today's activities!  *Departure at 08:00 a.m.
Poas Volcano National Park – you will take a light hike at 10:00 a.m.: The Poas is a volcano that rises to 2,708 meters above sea level, since 1989 has increased markedly the emission of gases causing acid rain phenomena that have damaged the flora in some sectors of the park and surrounding agricultural plantations to the area. You will be able to visit the main crater for 20 minutes approximately. Today the volcano emits large amount of gas and water vapor from the different fumaroles that are in the inner cone of the crater.
Important: according to the new regulations of the park, it is required to carry an identification document to enter (applies to nationals and foreigners). The volcano has a constant activity, so the visit is subject to restrictions and / or cancellations without prior notice.

Next we will visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens (located only one hour from San Jose). La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a private reserve of more than 70 acres (28 hectares). It features five waterfalls, safe hiking trails and animal exhibits among other interesting attractions. The property allows you to wander through 2 miles of paved trails which takes you to awesome waterfalls. In the park, you will enjoy incredible views of the falls for great photo opportunities. The Hummingbird Garden attracts 26 different species, at the Butterfly Garden and on-site laboratory you will have the opportunity to observe the most colourful species while learning about the lifecycle and metamorphosis of these beautiful creatures.

La Casita de la Paz is a farmhouse reproduction that gives a cultural insight into the lives of rural Costa Ricans. The park has also a refuge for wild birds and felines. These animals came from a center that lost funding and had to close, so they were placed under the care of La Paz Waterfall Gardens. These specimens were injured or had been exposed to humans for too long to be released back into the wild; many of the birds have been captured illegally by hunters and confiscated by the government or donated by their owners and lack the basic skills to survive in the wild on their own. We will then drive back to our hotel for our welcome dinner this evening.

Accommodation: Hilton San Jose Sabana, San Jose
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
*What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes (preferably with a thick tread for hiking the trails and hundreds of stairs), shorts or comfortable pants and a lightweight jacket or raincoat.
*Important note: The Park ranges in altitude from 5,200 feet to 4,200 feet so it can get chilly when the clouds roll in.
Tuesday, January 21, 2025: San Jose - Tortuguero National Park

Early this morning we will depart the hotel early to make our way towards Tortuguero National Park.
You will admire the biodiversity of an astonishing protected area in Costa Rica as the bus drives through Braulio Carrillo National Park. We will stop on route to have a delicious typical breakfast. Along the road, you can observe many kinds of products grown in this area such as pineapples and bananas.

At 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Board a comfortable boat upon arrival to Caño Blanco / Pavona pier and let this extraordinary exotic paradise enchant you, as you travel through the Tortuguero canals.

Around noon you will enjoy a refreshing cocktail and a delicious lunch as you arrive to the lodge. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided visit to Tortuguero Village - a couple of blocks wide at most and a main street that stretches between guest houses, tourist shops, mini-supermarkets, and restaurants.
Visit the Turtle Museum in Tortuguero village, which is very important due to the conservancy efforts that they constantly make. Additionally, it is an essential place where you can learn about different marine turtle species, especially those that nest and lay their eggs in this incredible spot. You will learn about the Tortuguero village history and will understand why is important to protect these species, especially those that are in danger of extinction.
Dinner will be available from 7 p.m.
Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge, Tortuguero (Standard Room - 2 Nights)
*Hotel information: Mawamba lodge is located on a land strip between the Tortuguero canals and the Caribbean Sea. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens, with direct access to the beach and only a few steps away from the town. The lodge has 50 Standard rooms and 06 Standard superior rooms. These rooms are a wonderful option for Honeymooners. Services and facilities include a restaurant, a bar and game room, a cafeteria with free WIFI access, swimming pool, souvenir shop and free access to the private trails, the butterfly gardens and the frog farm in Mawamba Park (guided visit included in the two night package). All tour packages are led by a bilingual naturalist guide (English/Spanish) and include land and boat round trip transportation from San José, all meals and activities according to the number of nights at the Lodge.
Includes: Lodging, boat transfers, all meals & tours
Important notes:
  • Three-day package includes: a guided walk on the private trails of the lodge and the guided visit to Tortuguero National Park.
  • The order and logistics of the itinerary may change depending on weather conditions.
  • Alcoholic beverages, sodas or bottled water are not included
  • We recommend using dark color clothes when taking the night tour during the nesting season.
  • Luggage is limited to 25 pounds (12 Kg) per person. *Our group is exempt from this limit.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Wednesday, January 22, 2025: Tortuguero

After potentially being woken up by howler monkeys, you will enjoy breakfast then take a guided walking tour through the trails. You will have some free time before lunch, perhaps to take a dip in the hotel pool. In the afternoon, you will visit Tortuguero National Park, exploring the canals in small, open boats to allow for better visibility.

Tortuguero is a network of navigable lakes, rivers, and canals (both natural and man-made) that are used for transportation and are a great place for observing local wildlife such as birds, monkeys, two and three-toed sloths, American crocodiles and caimans.

The canals also provide shelter to endangered animals such as the Oriental Indian Manatee, crocodiles, a large variety of crustaceous and about 30 species of sweet water fish, including the Gaspar, considered as a living fossil. You will have free time before dinner.

Tortuguero was declared a national park on Sept. 24, 1970, and its boundaries were extended three times (1980, 1995 and 1998). Its area has increased from 64,701.45 hectares to 76,937. Of that area, 50,284 hectares are marine territory, and 26,653 are on land. Of the land area, 99% is used for absolute protection of resources, and 1% is used for visitation facilities. The marine area is 100% designated for absolute conservation.
Tortuguero National Park (TNP) is in northeaster Costa Rican and is one of the country’s main tourist icons, internationally recognized for its protection of the largest green turtle nesting beach in the Western Hemisphere.
Far-removed from the city and composed of an extensive network of rivers and streams, access is possible only on small boats. Tortuguero National Park is a place like no other, where small communities around the protected area – such as Barra del Tortuguero and San Francisco – still retain their traditions and move around on bicycles as the only means of transportation. All of this makes a trip to Tortuguero a genuine encounter with Caribbean culture.
The Tortuguero National Park also is a paradise for research and ecotourism, as the area’s ecosystems are so complex and diverse that visitors can expect anything during tours, from complete tranquility to discovering typical species of flora and fauna that are characteristic to the Costa Rican Caribbean.

Accommodation: Mawamba Lodge, Tortuguero

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Thursday, January 23, 2025: Tortuguero - Sarapiqui

After breakfast, we will take a shared boat transfer back to the pier and then make our way towards our next destination.
Lunch is included in Guápiles
Reserva Biológica Tirimbina: Regular Chocolate tour/tasting
This 2.5-hour tour will open the secrets and wonders of one of mankind’s favourite foods: chocolate. Originally from Central America, this plant has an extraordinary history; it was one of the most important products for the Mayan and Aztec cultures, as well as other Central American cultures. The discovery of America led to the introduction of chocolate in Europe, transforming it into the product we all know today. The cacao plot, which is not in commercial use, was formerly cultivated in the ancient way – mixed with other forest trees. It was used for research purposes several decades ago and is currently used for environmental education, showing the traditional processes. The tour will be led by a trained guide across the suspension bridge and a sector of the Tirimbina forest to a former cacao-growing plot.
During this light hike, the natural and cultural history of the cacao tree will be explained. Upon arrival at the plot, the artisanal process by which cacao fruit is transformed into chocolate will be demonstrated (harvest, fermentation, drying, etc.), while the story of pre- and post-colonial chocolate is told. At the site, the visitors can taste different kinds of chocolate, which are prepared on the spot in the traditional way. By showing this processing of cacao to chocolate, the tour aids in the conservation of one of our native plants, the cultivation of which is one of the friendliest to the environment. Furthermore, in its desire to improve the life of the community, Tirimbina is connected to the Amazilia del Caribe Women’s Association, composed of rural women from Pueblo Nuevo de Guácimo, in Limon Province, which has dedicated itself to the production of hand-made organic chocolates. These may be found in the souvenir shop, and through their purchase visitors can assist in the well-being of the whole community.
Requirements: closed shoes or boots always. / Recommendations: water, insect repellent, poncho or umbrella, binoculars, and camera.

Accommodation: Hacienda La Isla Boutique Lodge (Superior Room - 1 night)

*Hotel information: This beautiful Spanish colonial-style Hacienda is located in Horquetas de Sarapiqui, just an hour and a half from San José. It has 14 rooms and one suite. All the rooms are decorated and named in different ways that recalls the colonial past of Costa Rica. Guests can relax at the swimming pool, built with an environmentally friendly ionization system that avoids chlorine or chemicals, or just enjoy a walk through the gardens. The Restaurant was planned as an open area, with thatched palm roof. It serves a created fusion cuisine using the freshest spices, fruits and vegetables of the region or from the lodge’s own organic plantations. In addition, the hacienda is located in a location close to many of the country's tourist attractions.
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Friday, January 24, 2025: Sarapiqui to Arenal

Breakfast at Sarapiqui Hotel
Do you enjoy coffee?? Costa Rica is well known for its coffee of course! This morning we will visit Mi Cafecito Coffee to learn about coffee and Trapiche.

During this activity you will know the life of the Costa Rican coffee grower, you can also admire coffee plantations produced in harmony with nature. You will know the process from when the seed starts its germination to the final phase and tasting a delicious cup of coffee.
You will also enjoy an educational ecological walk in the forest to appreciate the beauty of the exuberant and colourful landscape in the surrounding mountains. You will know a great diversity of flora and fauna, trails, and viewpoints. It includes a “trapiche” (sugar mill) tour to learn more about the Costa Rican culture.

You will visit a 33-hectare organic pineapple plantation located in La Virgen Sarapiqui, an area characterized for the richness of its soils and surrounding nature. Organic Paradise Tour is on a rural place where people will have a unique and authentic organic agricultural experience.

Twenty years ago, the beauty of this area drew the Costa Rican owner to this place with a dream of making it his home and the belief that organic agriculture is the future of humanity. Since then, he has worked to bring more employment to the community through the foundation of Pinas Organicas SOGO and through continuing growth and diversification of production with varieties of crops such as yucca, lemon, rambutan and guanabana. His dream has come true today and he and his family moved to this paradise.
On the journey the experts take the people on an excellent rural adventure across the farm. From a specially designed tractor they can see and learn about the different sections and stages of growth of the organic pineapples and plantation. Through this they will get to know tips regarding the production of pineapple along with the history of the indigenous roots in the plantations of Costa Rica. At the end of the tour, while surrounded by paradise and listening to traditional music, the participants get invited to drink a delicious juice, enjoy fresh slices of the organic pineapple and the home-made jelly.

Accommodation: Hotel Arenal Manoa (Junior Suite - 3 nights)
*Hotel information: These rooms were designed to find a pleasing atmosphere for your stay. Each one is equipped with two queen sized beds, air conditioning, satellite television, private bath with hot water and a hair dryer, telephone, terrace with a view of the volcano, refrigerator, safe-deposit box and coffee maker.

Located 7 kilometers west from La Fortuna and surrounded by the La Palma River, that go around the hotel making an ideal refuge for the great diversity of birds, some mammals, and lizards, besides a large variety of plants. Surrounded by gardens, pastures and animals, their rooms have been designed to offer you a panoramic view of the volcano. Visitors can take advantage of the spacious gardens for walking and meditation as well as the opportunities to see the daily operations of a typical Costa Rican farm. The hotel features an international restaurant, two swimming pools, Jacuzzi, wet bar, souvenir shop, Internet access at the reception, laundry service and private parking. Also, a farming tour is included on the room rate. Each of their 80 rooms is equipped with two queen sized beds, air conditioning, satellite television, private bath with hot water and a hair dryer, telephone, terrace with a view of the volcano, refrigerator, safe-deposit box and coffee maker.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Dinner
Saturday, January 25, 2025: Arenal (Leisure Day)

With Arenal Volcano in the background, enjoy your breakfast at the hotel. Today, is a full leisure day to enjoy Arenal/La Fortuna! Perhaps you can go into La Fortuna and see the La Fortuna Waterfalls, go Ziplining or simply relax at the hotel and enjoy its amenities/views of Arenal Volcano.

Accommodation: Hotel Arenal Manoa
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Night Experience + Costa Rican Dinner: This evening there is an optional experience offered where you have a private night experience + Costa Rican typical dinner (around 05:00 p.m.). INCLUSIONS: transfer, guide, entrance & dinner included. This tour is ideal for those who wish to take advantage of the night to know the nocturnal wonders of Costa Rica. We begin with a transfer of approximately 40 minutes until we reach the town of La Tigra. Once there, we enter a path next to a small patch of forest in regeneration with some water mirrors that facilitate the observation of nocturnal animals such as some birds, mammals, insects, amphibians, and bats, among others. The walk goes around the water mirrors until you reach the frogs sanctuary, a site for the natural reproduction of many of these amphibians such as the hammer frog and the bullfrog, as well as the spectacular, red-eyed frog, and the beautiful glass frog. Once the tour is finished, we will have a delicious typical Costa Rican dinner made with wood, with the night-lights of the plain of San Carlos in the background; after dinner, we will go back to La Fortuna. What is included? Naturalist guide, entrance to the sanctuary, lantern, bottled water and typical dinner.

Day Time Optional Excursions:
Sky Adventures: Regular Arenal Sky Tram & Trek tour. INCLUSIONS: entrance fee, guide, and equipment. This can be done today or tomorrow, on day 9. The tour will begin with the Sky Tram which is a tour for all ages. Before you start you will have a brief explanation by your guide about security measures and will provided you with the equipment that you are going to need for this adventure. The slow-paced Sky Tram gondolas soar smoothly, offering impressive views of the rainforest, the Arenal volcano and the lake. Accompanied by a bilingual guide, the ride takes around 20 minutes with the possibility of short stops to take one-of-a-kind photographs or to spot a tropical bird. The Sky Trek will return you to the starting point, you will slide through cables that extend in the middle of the forest and canyons. You will be able to have views of the tropical forest that only a bird could experience. The canopy tour includes 8 cross-sectional cables with a total length of 1.7 miles and a maximum height of 660 feet. What to bring: comfortable clothing, tennis shoes, binoculars, camera, sunscreen lotion and insect repellent.
Balsa River Rafting: Experience the excitement and adrenaline of the white water tour on this half day adventure!! Located at 50 minutes from La Fortuna, Balsa River provides an excellent setting to enjoy rafting for everyone. Get wet and wild through rapids such as “Magnetic Rock” and “Dredges”! A 15-minute break in the river allow us to taste delicious tropical fruit while enjoying a tropical setting, surrounded by monkeys, toucans, and other exotic species. In the way back to La Fortuna town you will enjoy a delicious lunch at “Vida Campesina” a traditional country estate with the aim to let visitors experience the genuine and peaceful way of country life in Costa Rica. You will enjoy a delicious typical lunch prepared on the original wood stove and served in a traditional way. What to bring: Bathing suit, t-shirt, sunscreen, change of clothing, water shoes or sports sandals.
Safari Float: During this tour, you will enjoy the sights and sounds of Costa Rica wildlife with the Safari Float from La Fortuna to Arenal. This trip takes place on Peñas Blancas river. For sure is a peaceful tour, which allows you to enjoy the tranquility of Costa Rica's rainforest soaking in all the sights and sounds of the tropical setting. Be sure to keep an eye out for a variety of monkeys, caimans, iguanas, Jesus Christ lizards and a wide assortment of colorful bird species. The river is home to small crocodiles that duck in the water when you cruise past. Your naturalist guide will share the local history, knowledge of the plants and animals you encounter on the float. You will spend around 2 hours, at a relaxing paddle pace exploring the riverbanks for rainforest inhabitants. After returning to the dock, you will depart for the tortilla making experience and visit a local family. At Doña Mara's home, you will get a better understanding of the meaning of "Pura Vida" experienced by rural Costa Ricans. You will be welcomed with a tropical drink at the "rancho" and enjoy a delicious typical lunch prepared on Doña Mara's rustic wood-fired ground corn "masa". You will learn how to flatten the dough into perfect circles, ready for cooking and you will get to taste them. It is highly recommended to wear quick dry clothing, change of clothes, sunscreen, water shoes (no flip flops), insect repellent, camera, and binoculars.
Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park: Entrance fee to Arenal Hanging bridges - Located within the corridor followed by birds migrating between North and South America, the trails and bridges of this project will bring the visitor as close as any person could ever imagine observing the birds, the flowers, and the lush vegetation of the primary rainforest. It is a 250-hectares primary forest property, made of paths and bridges built to maintain the utmost harmony between man-made structures and nature. The property has impressive views to Arenal Volcano and to the lake that feeds the largest hydroelectric plant in Costa Rica. This walk is a fun and educative option to learn more about the forest and the local environment and enjoy the close contact with nature. While walking along the trails, the fascinating world of the tropical forest will open to you. Along these three kilometres of trails, visitors will be immersed in the diverse fauna and flora of this rainforest admiring colourful birds and tropical plant species. More than 50 bird species can be count at this site that offers one of the most productive bird watching walks of the region. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
Sunday, January 26, 2024: Arenal

Breakfast at Arenal Hotel.
This morning is at leisure to rest or enjoy the hotel facilities.
In the early afternoon we visit Arenal Volcano National Park. Located 15 kilometers from Fortuna in the northwest part of Costa Rica, between the foothills of the Cordillera de Tilaran Mountain range and the San Carlos plains, Arenal Volcano National Park is one of the most visited destinations in the Northern Zone. Several trails—Heliconias, Coladas, Tucanes and Los Miradores—allow observation of much of the park’s flora and fauna, as well as the remains of lava tracts. The park covers a 12,124-hectare area. We will do a light/short hike in the park.

Next it is time to enjoy the thermal hot springs at Ecotermales La Fortuna. Ecotermales has 4 swimming pools where the temperature varies from 91°F to the hottest at 105°F. One of them has a waterfall that falls into misty water and is completely refreshing. One of the best things about Ecotermales is Doña Mireya's delicious food; in a traditional rustic kitchen she prepares the wonderful Costa Rican food. The restaurant is 18 years old and used to be the home of the Hidalgo family, nowadays it maintains its colonial architecture. Ecotermales is special for discretion and relaxation and no more than 100 guests are accepted at a time. Ecotermales is a wonderfully authentic environment that offers privacy and tranquility within the rainforest.

Accommodation: Hotel Arenal Manoa
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Dinner
Monday, January 27, 2024: Arenal - Manuel Antonio

After breakfast at your Arenal Hotel, we will make our way towards the coast to Manuel Antonio, visiting on route a Jungle River and crocodile adventure in Tarcoles.
Located on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, the Estuary of Guacalillo and the Tarcoles River offer the opportunity to observe one of the largest populations of American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in America, also discover the mangrove area with a high percentage biodiversity among which there is a large number of waterfowl and one of the most important conservation areas of the Scarlet Macaw in the country.

A boat will take you for a ride extensive mangrove ecosystem composed impressive four mangrove species, all of them represent an important nesting ground for birds that inhabit it, so that in turn represent their shelter and nutrients area for many fish and invertebrates also mangrove swamps are extremely important for marine productivity. As the boat approaches the sand banks around the river, you will have the opportunity to see up close crocodiles up to five meters long in its wild habitat. The crocodiles were common in mangroves and coastal shores, but in recent decades trappers severely decimated its population, today, thanks to conservation programs, the last inventory along the Tarcoles River in Carara Biological Reserve resulted in 50 to 150 individuals per kilometer.

Furthermore, in mangroves and the river can be found a population of over 250 different birds such as kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), roseate spoonbills (platelea ajaja) Basiliscus (basiliscus sp) heron (Ardea sinerea), anhingas (anhinga anhinga), Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) nocturnal birds and more. The Tarcoles River is one of the most important feeding sites for resident and migratory birds, and an important meeting place for mating and shelter for mammals and reptiles. *Includes: private boat tour and lunch.

Accommodation: Hotel Parador Resort & Spa (Garden Room - 3 nights)

Check-in: 15:00 – Check-out: 11:00 Located just steps from the resort’s restaurants, spa and primary pool area, the Garden rooms access the gardens directly from the terrace and include two queen size beds.

Perched high above the sweeping Central Pacific coastline on 12 acres of tropical rainforest once inhabited by the Quepoa Indians, Parador Hotel is a secluded beach hotel adjacent to the stunning sheltered cove of Playa Biezanz and just minutes from Manuel Antonio National Park, the neighboring fishing village of Quepos, and the local airport. It features 130 guestrooms of different categories; all rooms have cable TV, direct dial telephone, air conditioning, coffee and coffee maker, mini bar, safety deposit box, hair dryer, bath amenities, iron and ironing board, ceiling fan and balcony or terrace. Facilities and services include two infinity swimming pools with swim up bar, one adults’ swimming pool with cascading waterfall, one relaxation pool at Pacífica Spa, tennis court, fitness center, minigolf, green areas and nature trails, free high-speed wireless Internet throughout the public areas, souvenir and gift shop, private parking, meeting room for up to 60 persons, laundry services, self-service washing and drying machines, room service, baby sitting and medical service on request and shuttle service to Manuel Antonio beach.
Additionally, Parador offers an exclusive section for high-end guests with 32 one-bedroom Suites and two luxurious Master Suites located at the top section of the property, private adult-only infinity pool and Jacuzzi, casual dining in La Fragata Restaurant & Tapas Bar, a small meeting room, two elevators and a private concierge. Each Suite features a large bedroom with a King size bed, a spacious living area, sleeper sofa, 42” Plasma TV, fully stocked mini-bar, table clock with I-Pod deck, safety deposit box, and coffee-maker. The exclusive artwork of renowned Costa Rican painter Victor Chavarría adorns the entire Suite and wall-of-glass doors lead to a private Jacuzzi on an ocean-view balcony. All rooms are 100% smoke-free.
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch
Tuesday, January 28, 2025: Manuel Antonio

Breakfast at Manuel Antonio hotel.

Today is a full day at leisure to enjoy Manuel Antonio beach or your hotel amenities!
At the end of the day you are invited to farewell dinner hosted by Trip Merchant Journeys!

Accommodation: Hotel Parador Resort & Spa
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Dinner
*Ocean kayaking and snorkeling, ziplining, and catamaran (date/time specific)
Wednesday, January 29, 2025: Manuel Antonio

Breakfast at Manuel Antonio hotel.
Today you will take a light hike through Manuel Antonio National Park (group arrival at 09:00 a.m.). Manuel Antonio Park has 683 hectares, it has the most varied and beautiful landscapes. Surrounded by a lush tropical very wet forest and in their paths can be observed capuchin monkeys, sloths, coatis, raccoons, iguanas, and many species of birds, as well as the squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii citrinellus), endemic to Manuel Antonio, i.e., that is only in that part of the world, increasingly threatened, left only 1,500 individuals according to the most recent census.

The Park also protects 12 Islands that represent excellent shelter for several species of marine birds. It also has excellent beaches: Espadilla Sur, Manuel Antonio and Puerto Escondido. There is also a 14-hectare lagoon and mangroves. Cathedral point connecting Manuel Antonio and Espadilla Sur beaches is a place of great natural beauty. Important: Manuel Antonio National Park is closed on Tuesdays. Complete name, date of birth, nationality, and passport number are required to purchase the entrance. Please, send these details at the time of booking.
Accommodation: Hotel Parador Resort & Spa
Meals Provided: Breakfast
*Ocean kayaking and snorkeling, ziplining, and catamaran (date/time specific)
Thursday, January 30, 2025: Manuel Antonio - San Jose OR Post-Tour Extension

Breakfast at Manuel Antonio hotel.
Today we will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you from Manuel Antonio Hotel to San José (Driving time one way 3 ½ hours).
OR extend your time at Isla Chiquita!
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hilton Doubletree Hotel, San Jose
Friday, January 31, 2025: Transfer to International Airport for Flight Home

Breakfast at San José hotel (or box breakfast - on request basis)
Today take the Hotel shuttle to transfer you to the international airport on time to board your flight.
¡Hasta Luego!
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Call for assistance: 1-800-481-9739 ext. 507
Mention Group Booking Number: TMJCR0119

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