Arrive in San José at any time. There are no planned activities so check into our hotel and enjoy the city.
Following an early morning departure from San José we travel approximately 5 hours by bus to Playa Matapalo, a small village located on the central pacific coast. We spend the next 5 days working alongside local and international volunteers to help protect endangered sea turtles. The best time to visit this project is from June - November with the best chance of working with the turtles during these months. Volunteer activities include long night beach patrols to protect the nests, data collection, area clean-ups, general cleaning and maintenance, the construction of breeding grounds and other infrastructure, as well as the possibility of monitoring of the baby turtle hatchery, counting baby turtles and releasing them. Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours Approximate Distance: 220 km
Today we travel to the misty mountain air of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Spend two days exploring Monteverde and the Forest Reserve, truly a nature lover's paradise. Local guides are extremely knowledgeable about the area and passionate about conservation of this precious ecosystem. The unique community has several local co-operatives worth visiting including artist collectives and a cheese factory. If you're there at the right time of year, you may be lucky enough to see the Resplendent Quetzal, one of the most beautiful and elusive birds in the world. Optional activities include traversing a series of suspension bridges through the jungle canopy, a butterfly garden and a thrilling canopy zip line. Enjoy an included "El Trapiche Tour" to learn more about Costa Rican culture, including sugar cane processing, coffee production and other aspects of local agriculture. This hands on included tour is not to be missed and will leave you with a better understanding of Costa Rica.
Travel by bus, boat and bus to La Fortuna, a town located at base of the Arenal Volcano, an excellent base for area explorations. Take an unforgettable night hike around the base of the volcano to see the top glowing an eerie red, accompanied by a soundtrack of monkeys and the rumblings of the volcano in the distance. Hike the area’s nature trails, swim in chilly La Fortuna waterfall or join a canopy tour and catch a bird’s eye view of the forest greenery. Other optional activities include full-day white water rafting on the Toro or Arenal Rivers, mountain biking, caving, horseback riding, or a tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Like much of Costa Rica, the area is a birders’ paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents. Finally, after a long day of exploring, take a relaxing soak in lush cascading hot springs. Soak in one of the natural thermal baths and rivers under the shade of the surrounding canopy.
Return to San José for some last minute shopping and a final night on the town. Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours Approximate Distance: 150 km
Depart San José at any time.