Arrive San José
Tour begins: 6:00 PM, InterContinental Costa Rica. A transfer is included from San José's Juan Santamaria International Airport to InterContinental Costa Rica in the heart of Costa Rica's capital city, San José. Meet your fellow eco-adventurers at this evening's welcome reception followed by dinner at your hotel, where your family enjoys Deluxe Rooms.
Toucans, chocolate & Tortuguero
A day of fun awaits your family today as you depart the capital, San José, and make your way to Tortuguero National Park, a tropical paradise in the heart of the coastal rainforest and your first taste of Costa Rica's incredible biodiversity! En route, pay a visit to the Toucan Rescue Center, where you'll tour the facilities and meet some of the toucans, sloths, monkeys and other wildlife the center's staff cares for. Next, learn everything you ever wanted to know about one of our favorite food groups - chocolate - at an artisan chocolatier! See the natural process of transforming the cacao fruit into chocolate during a hands-on demonstration, do a little tasting and have lunch. This afternoon, a boat transports you to your rustic rainforest retreat adjacent to Tortuguero National Park - where most travel is by water, toucans and blue morpho butterflies fly all around you, and howler monkeys provide a natural wake-up call! Enjoy a poolside barbecue for dinner tonight.
The natural treasures of Tortuguero
Wake up today in your rainforest lodge near the entrance to Tortuguero National Park, where 11 different habitats have been identified in the surrounding wilderness - providing homes to 60 kinds of mammals, 57 species of amphibians, 111 varieties of reptiles and more than 309 recorded species of birds! Your day begins with a morning canal cruise, where you'll do some birding and nature viewing with our local guides, then return to your lodge for lunch. This afternoon, take a boat to explore the village of Tortuguero; learn about the medicinal benefits of coconuts, and the "tree of life" they come from, during a coconut demonstration; and, if you wish, take an optional canal cruise inside Tortuguero National Park, or just relax at your resort. And if you're traveling with us between July and August, this evening we'll take an unforgettable nighttime trip to the beach to observe nesting green sea turtles in one of the world's top nesting grounds for these endangered animals. You'll have a chance to see them make their way up the beach from the water to dig their nests in the sand, leaving tractor-tread trails behind them!
Zip lining & more at Arenal
Depart your coastal lodge by boat this morning, then hop aboard a short flight to Costa Rica's Arenal region - home to Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal and Arenal National Park. Upon arrival, get an extraordinary bird's-eye view of cone-shaped Arenal Volcano, an actively "restless" volcano, on a thrilling zip-line ride* at Sky Trek Adventure Park, where you'll soar over and through the canopy of rainforest treetops! (Those not into zip lining can take a nature walk instead.) After lunch, continue to your luxury spa resort, your family's home for the next two nights; spend a free afternoon relaxing at the resort, where you'll have dinner tonight.
River float trip & a pineapple tour
Head to the banks of the Peñas Blancas River today, a quiet backdrop perfect for taking in the sights and sounds of the rainforest. Board a rubber river raft for a gentle float trip* through the jungle today; try to spot giant iguanas, sloths, monkeys, toucans, herons, kingfishers - maybe even crocodiles and caimans - that call the Peñas Blancas home, and stop along the way to meet a local farming family who have lived on the river all of their lives. Following lunch at a local restaurant, join us for a pineapple tour on which you'll taste pineapples fresh from the field, learn how to choose the best pineapple at the supermarket, and sample some local pineapple treats. Return to your resort for some time at leisure and dinner this evening.
Across Costa Rica to coastal Guanacaste
Head out from Arenal and across Costa Rica's interior today to Guanacaste on the Pacific coast, stopping for lunch on the way. Then continue on to your eclectic oceanfront resort, El Mangroove, on the shores of the Pacific in Guanacaste.
Outdoor fun & a beachfront farewell
A day of fun awaits your family today at Vandara Adventure Park & Spa in Guanacaste... where the only other guests will be your fellow Tauck travelers! You can choose from activities including horseback riding, a zip-line adventure*, waterslides, a dip in volcanic hot springs, or a massage. Whichever you choose, it's a great way to wind up your family's Costa Rica vacation! After enjoying a farm-to-table lunch at Vandara featuring products from the park's own organic garden, return to your oceanfront resort, where you'll celebrate the end of your amazing eco-trip with a farewell reception on the beach, complete with traditional Costa Rican music by a marimba band, followed by a farewell dinner.
Adios, Costa Rica!
Tour ends: Guanacaste. Fly home anytime. A transfer from El Mangroove to Liberia International Airport is included. You should allow a minimum of three hours for check-in at the airport.