Nov 29, 2023 - Dec 7, 2023
We'll visit the major Christmas markets as we sail down the Rhine!
17 spots left
Come join us as we travel to experience Costa Rica, both its mountains and its beaches! We’ll fly to the airport of Liberia in northwest Costa Rica, arriving the same day. After arriving in Liberia, we will make the short drive to our accommodations near the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, where dinner will be waiting for us in our private apartment on a 400 acre ranch. We will have views of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano from our balconies! After waking up in this tropical paradise and enjoying a traditional breakfast, we will head out for an all-day guided hike through the national park. We can appreciate the volcanic landscapes and wildlife before cooling off in the pool beneath a magical waterfall. Day 3 brings our privately guided cultural tour of Nicaragua, a country rich in history, and also known for its fresh warm water crater lakes.
Day 4 will be an exciting white water rafting trip that concludes with a 12 foot drop, “Cascabel Falls,” that will definitely get your adrenaline pumping! The next day will be a return to the canopies of the rainforest for ziplining, rushing down a water slide, horseback riding, and finally sinking into a pool of rejuvenating warm mineral waters. When we are done here, we will head to our beach villa in Tamarindo!
Our first day to sleep in, the next morning will begin with a leisurely brunch and some time on the beach before boarding a catamaran for a private tour of the Costa Rican coastline. Our last day offers a snorkeling adventure (with the optional upgrade to SCUBA dive) off the coast of the Catalina Islands, rich in aquatic life including manta rays, dolphins and sea turtles. The celebratory final dinner may be with the price of the trip – we will share in a 6 course meal prepared by Chef Gilberto while learning about the local seafood and organic produce used for our dinner. It will be a culinary delight!
Our trip will include traditionally prepared meals in our residences, as well delicious meals at local restaurants.
Our all-inclusive means that everything – yes everything – is included. Just bring tip money and money for souvenirs.
Our first four nights will be spent at a 400 acre family owned ranch about 30 minutes from Rincón de la Vieja National Park. Surrounded by nature, we will enjoy rustic accommodations in the shadow of the volcano with hiking trails, a pool, zip-lining, and horseback riding within steps of our apartment. Jorge and his family will also be providing delicious homemade breakfasts and dinners for us while we are staying with them.
Our last 3 night will offer a very special experience –
A beachfront oasis! Located along Las Baulas National Park & walking distance to downtown Tamarindo, we will be close to everything that Tamarindo has to offer – birds, fish, and other animals, as well as shopping, restaurants, and even world class surf spots!
Day 1: Arrival
We take a morning flight, arriving in Costa Rica late afternoon of the same day.
Once we land in Liberia, we will be driven to a private ranch about 30 minutes from the Rincón National Park, famous for its active volcano, which we will be able to see from our rooms. After settling in and enjoying a hike around this beautiful ranch, we will share a traditional Costa Rican dinner prepared by our host.
Day 2: Rincon de la Vieja National Park
This will be a day of volcanic landscapes, a 2.5 mile scenic trail hike along the Las Pailas trail complete with mini-geysers, iguanas, and spider monkeys. We will cool off in a pool at the foot of the Oropendola Waterfall before enjoying a local freshly prepared lunch.
Then we will drive to the Rio Negro mineral hot springs, which are made up of 10 thermal pools, naturally heated by the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. We can relax in the waters and also try the volcanic mud baths. There are even optional massages!
Day 3: Nicaragua
This privately guided tour into Nicaragua will be worth the very early start to the day! We will visit the active Masaya Volcano and the extinct Apoyo Volcano, hop on a small boat for a tour of small islands on Lake Nicaragua, and then tour Granada, one of the oldest Spanish colonial cities in central America.
While there, we will stop at a chocolate museum where we will indulge in a tasting while learning about local chocolate history. Before spending some free time shopping, we will get to dip our toes in the biggest warm freshwater crater lake of Central America, Laguna de Apoyo before having a traditional meal in Granada and heading back.
Day 4: Tenorio River White Water Rafting
This white water rafting adventure brings heart stopping and adrenaline pumping fun! In between navigating class III and IV white water rapids, we can also spot tropical birds, iguanas, monkeys, and other wildlife along the shores of the river. The tour ends with “Cascabel Falls,” a thrilling twelve foot drop waterfall. Following our 2 ½ hour rafting adventure, we will enjoy Casada, a traditional Costa Rica style lunch before heading back to the ranch for a delicious dinner on our last evening at the ranch.
Day 5: Monteverde Ziplining, Hanging Bridges Tour, and the Sloth Preserve
We will visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest, a fog filled ecosystem that supports a complex and far-reaching ecosystem. We will complete a 2 to 3 hour course of high adventure canopy zip-lining above the beautiful valleys of the forest.
Then we will visit the TreeTop Walkways, made up of a 1.9 mile trail that crosses through the Cloud Forest. We will walk on eight different bridges with various lengths ranging between 150 feet and 510 feet and altitudes ranging between 36 feet and 180 feet. From here, we will be able to explore the flora and fauna of the cloud forest up close.
Day 6: Beach and Catamaran
Wake early for coffee or a stroll along the beach before having a leisurely brunch prepared by our chef, complete with mimosas, fresh fruit, and local delicacies. Then we will head out for a relaxing afternoon and sunset sail on a 40 ft catamaran. Our only job will be to take in the coastal landscape and watch for dolphins, whales, and sea turtles. Upon our return to Tamarindo, we will have dinner at one of the local restaurants and have an opportunity to enjoy the nightlife.
Day 7: Catalina Islands Snorkeling & Diving
After breakfast, we will meet our captain at the Tamarindo Diving Center for a day of snorkeling or scuba diving. Spot dolphins, puffer fish, sea turtles, manta rays, and other marine life from our boat or from underwater after we arrive at the islands. We will visit two sites with fresh fruit and relaxation in between. Upon our return to Tamarindo, we will have lunch before heading back to the villa for some quiet time before our very special dinner.
After some free time for shopping or resting, we will be joined by Chef Gilberto with The Road Less Traveled Cuisine for an unforgettable authentic Costa Rican dinner. Over a glass of wine, we will get to learn about the fresh seafood and locally grown organic produce used to prepare our private farm-to-table farewell dinner.
Day 8: We’ll rise early for our transfer back to the airport.
Yes, all U.S. citizens are required to provide a current passport and also confirmed reservations for leaving Costa Rica upon arrival.
The official currency of Costa Rica is the Colón named after Christopher Columbus.
To get the most accurate exchange rate before you visit Costa Rica, it is worth checking online or with a bank, as the rates can fluctuate from day to day.
As a general rule, carrying cash is better than relying on credit cards. This is so all your Costa Rica adventures run as smoothly as possible, as more remote locations may not have ATMs or the electricity required to accept cards.
Most tourist areas in Costa Rica also accept US dollars. However, bills over the value of $20 may not be accepted.
If this is your first Costa Rica trip, you may be wondering how much to tip in restaurants or bars.
Tipping is not a normal part of local Costa Rican culture and is not usually expected. It is however highly appreciated. This may be one way for us to give back to the local community.
As a tourist, 10% is a standard tip for good service. This can be applied during Costa Rica guided tours and excursions at your discretion.
In order to ensure a smooth Costa Rica family trip, you should follow their guidance on requirements and restrictions. You must have your passport and proof that you will leave before your visa or entry stamp runs out. A return flight ticket is the best method of proving this.
Usually, you should plan your return flight within 90 days of you entering Costa Rica. Your country of origin will impact how long you can stay as a tourist.
When you are out on Costa Rica adventure tours or exploring on your own, have either a photo or a copy of your passport with your entry stamp on your person at all times.
Your Costa Rica travel agency can highlight any extra requirements you may need to take into consideration.
Nothing could be more frustrating than going on a Costa Rica tour, only to find you cannot charge your phone or camera to capture each magical moment.
The electrical outlets in Costa Rica are typically the same as those used in the US. If you are using a converter, ensure there are 2 prongs that are the flat type. This should mean you can charge and use electrical appliances when needed.
The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. It is spoken in a Costa Rican dialect and a few changes may take a little getting used to if it is your first visit.
Other languages, including English, are likely to be spoken on Costa Rica escorted tours, attractions, and in areas with a lot of tourist trade.
If you are on one of the Costa Rica tour packages, you can speak to your guide if you need help understanding Spanish.
A lot of phones are now equipped with translation apps or websites that can help as well.
Initially, health passes were required for Costa Rica tourism in response to the COVID pandemic, but from April 2022, this is no longer needed to visit the country. While health insurance is always recommended for travel, you no longer have to prove it if you are unvaccinated.
When on Costa Rica excursions, wearing a mask is no longer mandatory. It is recommended that you wash your hands regularly and take your temperature.
Each tourist activity may have its own health protocols that you should follow in order to enjoy your trip fully. You may be refused entry to certain venues if you do not comply with the protocols they have in place.
In brief, Visitors to Costa Rica are no longer required to present proof of vaccination status or a negative COVID test.
If you are travelling from the US, there is a restriction on how much cash you can carry when you enter and leave the country. At both points, you should have no more than 10,000 US dollars on your person.
Some incidents occurred against tourists in Costa Rica. To tackle this, the Costa Rican government provides additional security in tourist areas. To be on the safe side, never carry more cash than you need to get by on any given day of your trip. In case of an emergency, dial 911.
If you are travelling from certain countries in South America, you may need a yellow fever vaccination prior to travelling.
As with any holiday, the UK government recommends getting travel insurance to cover your trip.
There has been increased volcano activity which has led to some airport and national park closures, so be aware of this before you travel. You should also take care when swimming as there can be dangerous currents in the water.
Incidents of violent crime against tourists occur at times, so dial 911 in an emergency and opt for an English operator.
It is warm all year long in Costa Rica, with temperatures on average sitting between 80 and 90 Fahrenheit.
Between December and April, the weather is at its driest and brightest, making it a popular time to travel.
Green season is usually in May and June when the national parks are quieter. This is great if you want to explore without too much to distract you.
Hurricane season is normally between June and November, so take this into account when planning your trip. Hurricane season can cause closures at attractions and airports.
Costa Rica uses Central Standard Time (GMT-6) all year round, and the country does not observe daylight saving time.
If you are traveling from London, Costa Rica is 7 hours behind.
If you are traveling from Washington DC in the US, Costa Rica is 2 hours behind.
Nov 29, 2023 - Dec 7, 2023
We'll visit the major Christmas markets as we sail down the Rhine!
17 spots left
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