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COSTA RICA ODYSSEY

Valid until : April 2019

8 days
Land Arrangement only

$4075

About your trip

This package brings you the essence of Costa Rica – a classic, family-friendly journey that includes all the ‘musts’. Experience the pristine white sand beaches of Tamarindo. Get active on hiking trails, river floating, or paddling a sea kayak. Relax in a hot spring and in comfortable, environmentally friendly lodging. Spot exotic wildlife like howler and squirrel monkeys, tree frogs, sloths, turtles, butterflies and birds galore. Seek thrills on a zip line, tree canopy walk, and exploring Arenal – Costa Rica’s most beloved volcano. Costa Rica is calling all adventurers – time to answer!

Tour Highlights

Stand at the rim of a volcanic crater at Poas Volcano National Park

Get sprayed by the fine mists of a waterfall at La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Float on a raft down a rainforest river surrounded by jungle wildlife

Zip from treetop to treetop on a 7-cable long canopy tour

Hike around Costa Rica’s most active volcano – Arenal

Visit big cats under threat at a puma rescue center

Traverse 6 suspension bridges at the Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Snorkel among tropical fish, sea turtles and manta rays in secluded beach coves

Balance on a surf board and catch a wave as you learn the basics

Paddle a kayak along a saltwater mangrove estuary

Inclusions
  • Comprehensive pre-departure planning packet and expert travel advice.
  • All in-country transfers as scheduled (transfers on different days are additional). Ground transportation in comfortable private vehicles with professional drivers.
  • Local and return flight reconfirmation, in-country airport check-in and luggage assistance.
  • All accommodations in first-class (4 star) hotels as listed (or at similar hotels) on a shared basis with private bath.
  • Advanced bookings are recommended if you plan to customized the itinerary and arrive early or extend your stay.
  • Double rooms (with king/queen bed) for parents and/or Triple/Quadruple rooms for families can be requested in advance, but cannot be guaranteed, as most hotels offer very few rooms with Triple/Quadruple beds. Also very few connecting or adjacent rooms are available at certain hotels.
  • All meals indicated on the itinerary (B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner). Vegetarian diets accommodated on
    request (advance notification required). For other diets, consult your Southwind travel specialist before making a
    reservation.
  • All guided tours (as listed) conducted on a private basis (except the Arenal zip line and the Catamaran excursion at Tamarindo when other hotel guests or travelers may join) by knowledgeable, professional English-speaking native guides experienced with family travel (includes applicable entrance fees).
  • An English-speaking guide/escort will lead the entire trip (Day 01-08). An assistant guide is provided for groups
    with 9 or more participants.
  • Single Supplement provides single room accommodations in all hotels. Due to the limited number of rooms at the
    small hotels, there is a maximum of 2 singles allowed per group. If you require single accommodations, making
    reservations well in advance is recommended.
Itinerary

DAY 01: USA / SAN JOSE

Families arriving this afternoon to Costa Rica’s capital city, San José (3,845’), are met at the Juan Santamaria International Airport by a Southwind representative and transferred to the peaceful Hotel Bougainvillea nearby, located in a suburb of town on a beautiful 10-acre property surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Meals are on your own.

DAY 02: SAN JOSE / POAS PARK / LA FORTUNA

Today starts with an uphill scenic drive to Poas Volcano National Park, passing by coffee plantations and farms en route. After a stop at the visitor’s center and museum, a short walk takes us to a spectacular view of the main crater – rising up to 8,885 ft and measuring almost a mile in diameter! The crater’s sulfuric pool still bubbles and puffs smoke into the air, reminding you that it’s active. Continue walking half a mile through a dwarf cloud forest to the Botos Lagoon, a crystal clear rain-fed lake within an extinct volcano crater, surrounded by jungle. Don’t forget binoculars to spot some of the 80 species of birds found in this park. Back in the vehicle, we’ll have a 40 minute drive to La Paz Waterfall Gardens. At an altitude between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, both cloud forest and rainforest coexist here. Get ready for a truly magical experience. Here, you’ll find the largest butterfly observatory in the world, and five striking waterfalls. We’ll walk through the hummingbird garden where you may see up to 24 species of these vibrantly colored birds! Reach Colibries restaurant where a scrumptious local lunch awaits. After lunch, we continue our explorations with a nature walk along the La Paz River towards the lively waterfalls to feel their mists from above and below. Time permitting, we’ll also visit the nearby orchid garden and the frog pond. Afterwards, a 2.5 hour drive brings us to La Fortuna (1,150’) via Aguas Zarcas, stopping en route to stretch our legs. Check-in to the Arenal Springs Hotel, located just five miles outside town with a perfect view of Arenal Volcano. Families with children will enjoy the several thermal pools and cascades which vary in temperature nestled among the lush resort gardens. (B,L)

DAY 03: ARENAL / LA FORTUNA

This morning we drive 30 minutes to Peñas Blancas River for a floating adventure on the river. The Peñas Blancas Safari Float, absorb the sensory stimuli of the jungle on a peaceful 2-hour float trip down the river. You will experience a relaxing ride, led by a bilingual naturalist guide that interprets the flora and fauna we see along the way. Animals like sloths, monkeys, toucans, crocodiles, Jesus Christ Lizards (they walk on water!) and turtles might cross your path. Overhead, the forest canopy is alive with the squawks and warbles of an array of birds and perhaps monkeys and sloths. Lunch today will bring us to a nice and cozy restaurant in La Fortuna (Cafe Mediterraneo Restaurant & Pizzeria). This afternoon, harness up for an adventure among the treetops at the Arenal Mundo Aventura zip line! Reaching the 60 ft tall observation deck, you will be guided to the first platform to start the canopy tour. All equipment is high quality and meets international safety code. The cables span lengths of at least 650 ft, and each of the seven cables is a different treetop thrill. Afterwards you can visit the Maleku Cultural Rescue Center. A tractor ride will bring you back to the start for a short drive back to the Arenal Springs Hotel. Dinner is on your own this evening to try the resort’s Ti-Cain restaurant featuring an array of vegetables and fruits that are cultivated in the hotel grounds. (B,L)

DAY 04: ARENAL / LA FORTUNA

To start the day, we’ll explore Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, located near Arenal Lake in a natural green wonderland. A journey of two miles covers 16 bridges (six of them are suspension bridges!) and visits a waterfall that cascades down from almost 150 feet. Here you’ll spot more than 700 species of plants and 300 species of birds. Favorite animal sightings are the toucans, poison dart frogs, howling spider monkeys and white-faced capuchin monkeys. Next stop is the Arenal Vida Campesina to experience a snippet of life in the Costa Rican countryside. Meet with a farming family that grows typical crops and practices sustainable agricultural techniques. Together, you’ll enjoy a traditional lunch with freshly harvested vegetables and tortillas that you can help make over a warm woodstove. By the end of the visit, you’ll be amazed with your newfound knowledge of sugarcane, coffee, bananas, biogas, organic foliar fertilizer, and the history of cacao. You’ll also help out with reforestation by sponsoring the planting of a tree. The afternoon takes us to Ecocentro Danaus, a forest regeneration project teaching sustainable use of the land. There are good chances to see two and three toed sloths, the poisonous red frog, the red-eyed tree frog, birds, guatusas, basilisks, and iguanas. Along the path, you’ll come upon a tree nursery, a butterfly farm and a natural lagoon, Maleku Indigenous Cultural House, and a garden of medicinal plants and orchids. Return to Arenal Springs Hotel to finish the day with a soak in the hot springs, where cascades provide a natural massage before dinner on your own to sample the resort restaurant’s tasty menu. (B,L)

DAY 05: ARENAL / TAMARINDO

This morning we drive to Arenal National Park, covering 29,692 acres with diverse species, innumerable rivers, waterfalls, thermal hot springs, and of course, the majestic Arenal Volcano (5,480 ft). The volcano looms large over the rolling green hills around its base. Although currently in a resting phase, Arenal remained the country’s most active volcano for the past 43 years. Since 2010, however, the volcano’s activity has decreased significantly. It’s still alive; it’s just sleeping. The gentle 3-hour hike begins in one the trails close to the volcano. This trail will take us through the dwarf cloud forest themed with rich bird life that includes Costa Rica’s national bird, the clay-coloured robin; renowned for its melodious song. We’ll get to walk over recent lava flows. Exploring the area around the volcano, we’ll see how the flora and fauna are reclaiming the formerly devastated landscape. Today the volcano quietly heats local spring waters that are diverted into hot springs resorts and spas. After hiking, take a lunch break in one of La Fortuna’s fine restaurants, Novillo del Arenal. Specializing in beef, this restaurant also has privileged view of Arenal Volcano. Then we’ll depart on a 4-hour drive to Tamarindo, in the Guanacaste region, with a special stop en route – a visit to the Las Pumas rescue center. This shelter helps to protect numerous types of Costa Rican jungle cats such as panthers, pumas, and ocelots that have been injured or abandoned and need rehabilitative care. It’s a good opportunity to see and learn about some unique animals, many of which are protected species affected by habitat destruction, hunting, and illegal animal trafficking. Then, we’ll continue driving into the seaside town of Tamarindo, on the Costa Rica’s northwest Pacific coast. Both nature lovers and beach bums will find plenty to do here. Tamarindo is famous for its stunning beaches, its marine national park and wildlife refuge. It is also a favorite place for surfers. Arrive in town and check-in at Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort. The beach front lodge is situated on a two-mile stretch of white sand and warm blue water. You’re free this evening to stroll along the beach at sunset and explore dinner options at the hotel’s poolside restaurant on your own. (B,L)

DAY 06: PACIFIC COAST / TAMARINDO

After a short drive to the nearby marina, you’ll join other adventure-seekers for a morning excursion aboard a sailing catamaran named Marlin del Rey, New Marlin or Lazy Lizard, giving us access to some of the most beautiful secluded white sand beaches and snorkel locations in Costa Rica. You’ll have the chance to spot marine wildlife such as dolphins, sea turtles, tropical fish, manta rays and perhaps whales. How you want to experience the pristine Pacific and marine fauna is up to you – choose from guided snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, fishing, or simply relaxing on board. The crew will keep you refreshed with snacks, fruits and cold drinks. Lunch today will be at one of the best local restaurants in town – The Seasons by Shlomy or Dragon Fly Bar & Grill. Back at the hotel we have some time at leisure to prepare for our next adventure. This afternoon we head back to Tamarindo beach, one of the best beginner surfing areas in Costa Rica. After being outfitted with a board, leash and rash guard, a bilingual instructor and his assistants will give you a safety talk and the art of surfing begins! When you feel confident enough to get out into the water, your instructor will accompany you into the waves. You’ll get plenty of individual attention, with a ratio of three students per instructor. Children under 10 need a private lesson so an instructor can provide extra attention to them. After an active day working up an appetite in the water, relax back at the Ocean front Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort, and peruse the facilities with a delightful dinner at the Hotel’s Matapalo restaurant on your own. (B,L)

DAY 07: PACIFIC COAST / TAMARINDO

Just outside of Tamarindo lies a lovely 1500-acre estuary, a salt water river surrounded by mangroves that are home to an abundance of wildlife within the Las Baulas National Marine Park. The best way for nature lovers to explore the area is by kayak (departure time according to tide). Guides will take you through a safety briefing and fit you with your kayak (double or single), life jacket and paddles before setting off into the natural mangrove ecosystem. Spend 3 hours paddling along the estuary found between Tamarindo Beach and Playa Grande and spotting an array of wildlife like howler monkeys, iguanas, raccoons and crocodiles. Look out for great herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills, kingfisher, ibis and osprey along your way. Back at the resort, have lunch on your own and relax for some time at leisure. This afternoon, you’ll have a different adventure to complete your stay in Costa Rica. A relaxed 2-hour horseback ride excursion in pristine nature on a 1,500 acre private ranch with a local cowboy guide. Horses are well trained and friendly. No traffic or cars – just green jungle trails. You will see a gorgeous 360 degree sunset view when you reach the top of the mountain. It’s a beautiful and laid back Costa Rican experience. You will also see amazing trees and wildlife such as howler monkeys, iguanas, and exotic birds. After the activity, return to the Black Stallion Ranch for a special farewell BBQ buffet feast cooked before your eyes under the stars of Guanacaste. You’ll savor organic farm-raised chicken, ribs, steak, pork, and Chorizo sausage, plus veggies, drinks and a delicious tropical dessert. It’s a truly authentic regional farewell experience. Vegetarian BBQs available on request. We make sure it’s a fun and delicious evening that will not be forgotten. Bring a camera and a good appetite! Return to Hotel Tamarindo Diria for the final night of your Costa Rican family adventure. (B,D)

DAY 08: TAMARINDO / LIBERIA / USA

After a leisurely breakfast, soak up some final beach time this morning, followed by a 1-hour drive to Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International Airport to board your international flight home. Arrive in the USA this afternoon and make onward connections home.

Transportation

The Land Cost DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY FLIGHTS. Round-trip international air from US gateways (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta) is approximately $700-$1,000 per person. Airlines offering service arriving to San Jose and departing from Liberia airport include American, United, and Delta. In this program there is no need for in-country flights. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you more information about booking flights to match your land itinerary.

Additional Information

EXCLUSIONS

  • US domestic nor International flights.
  • Local Costa Rica airport departure taxes ($29 per person).
  • Seven (7) meals at about $20-35 each.
  • Tours, meals or other services not listed on the itinerary.
  • Early check-in or late check-out at hotels.
  • Alcoholic beverages nor items of a personal nature; such as clothing, equipment, laundry and phone calls.
  • Tips to the local staff.
  • Expenses incurred in trip preparation such as, but not limited to, non-refundable airline tickets, travel insurance, and additional expenses resulting from flight delays, schedule changes, cancellations, or missed connections.

VISA INFORMATION

A tourist visa is NOT required for US or Canadian citizens. To enter the country you need a valid passport and a valid airline ticket for onward travel. Costa Rica does impose a departure tax of $29 per person to leave the country through either one of the two international airports. For those traveling with a passport from a country other than the US or Canada, visit the Costa Rica embassy website for more information.

WEATHER INFORMATION

Costa Rica enjoys a warm tropical climate year-round, with a rainy season between May and November. Average high temperatures are in the lower 80s, with average low temperatures in the mid 60s year-round. The weather varies considerably based on the region, with microclimates that depend on elevation and geography. The climate on the Pacific coast is humid and warmer, and in the highlands expect less humidity and cooler temperatures. Costa Rica is a year-round destination, but ideal time to visit is during the “summer” dry season of December-April.

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. YOUR HOLIDAY RESERVATION

On receipt of your deposit, subject to availability and at our discretion, World Juanderer will reserve your place on your selected holiday. A contract is only made between you and us upon your booking being confirmed and accepted by us.

  1. PRICE 

Prices are subject to change without prior notice. Each package tour and its add-ons are subject to change based on the tour operators and number or participants in the tour.

  1. IF WE CANCEL OR CHANGE YOUR HOLIDAY

3.1 World Juanderer reserves the right to change or cancel your booking in accordance with operating requirements or circumstances beyond its control.

3.2 If an alternative is not available or acceptable, you will be entitled to either a full refund of monies paid by you to us or transfer to another World Juanderer holiday without payment of any transfer fee.

3.4 If the change or cancellation is due to force majeure (i.e. circumstances like political unrest, war or threat of war, riots, bad weather conditions etc.), we will give a full refund of any monies paid to us less reasonable expenses incurred by us in respect of your booking.

3.5 World Juanderer is not responsible for the costs of any other travel arrangements affected due to our cancellations or rescheduling of any trip departure.

  1. HOLIDAY DETAILS AND CONDITIONS

4.1 With our personal experience in traveling and joining these tour packages, World Juanderer will do our best, at our discretion, to select accommodation, sightseeing trips, and transportation to give you good value for money.

4.2 World Juanderer constantly strives to improve trip itineraries and features. If such improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels. World Juanderer is not responsible for any other travel arrangements affected due to our cancellations.

  1. LIABILITY

5.1 We will be entitled to keep for each account any interest earned on such monies.

5.3 All monies paid by you to us, whether in respect of the deposit or full payment, may be disbursed by us as and when we see fit, in respect of the services to be provided and/or fees payable under your selected holiday. The payment of a deposit or any other monies in respect of your holiday shall be deemed to be an authorization to disburse thereof as aforesaid.

  1. BOOKING YOUR TRAVEL

1.1 In order to reserve your holiday, you must inquire and get in touch with the Travel Specialist to check the preferred travel package. World Juanderer accepts the deposit as a first installment of the holiday price only once World Juanderer has confirmed the booking in writing.

1.2 Deposit and final payment will be converted to the local currency (if payment is non-Philippines Peso) at point of booking. Conversion is based on the prevailing exchange rate at time of full/balance payment and what is released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

1.3 World Juanderer cannot guarantee special add-on requests nor will it assume any responsibility or liability if clients’ special requirements are not fulfilled.

  1. PAYMENT

2.1 If payment isn’t made by the due date, World Juanderer may assume that you have cancelled and World Juanderer will levy cancellation charges in accordance with clause 3 below.

2.2 Tickets and other documents will not be forwarded until we have received full payment.

2.3 In the case of Late Bookings made within 45 days of your departure from your home country, the full cost of the holiday will be payable immediately on booking and we reserve the right to provide all travel documents at the holiday departure point.