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Monkeys, Jungles & Volcanoes 2013 (For Families)

8-day tour with Brendan

Brendan Tour Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive In San Jose, Costa Rica
Pura Vida! Bienvenidos a Costa Rica! You’re going to have more fun than a barrel of  monkeys and spot more than a barrel of wildlifeon this incredible adventure. A local host will greet you at the airport and arrange your complimentary transfer to the hotel. Relax by the pool before meeting your Travel Director and fellow explorers at 6 p.m. for a Kick-off Party.

Rise with the roosters and head east through Braulio Carrillo National Park towards the Caribbean Sea. Stop at a banana plantation and learn about the Local Specialty of banana production while snacking on a just-ripe banana before arriving in Tortuguero National Park. You’ll also have the chance to taste the fresh juice of a coconut, another Local Specialty, after you find the most delicious “pipa” (a variety of coconut) to have cut open and sample. Board a river boat, gliding through canals, lagoons and lowland rainforest teeming with  wildlife. You’ll be amazed at how many kinds of animals live here – six species of sea turtles, monkeys, caimans, tons of exotic bird species plus rare and endangered ocelots, river otters and manatees. Join a Local Expert from the Sea Turtle Conservancy Foundation to learn about the incredible turtles that nest in Tortuguero. The afternoon is yours – hang out by the pool or on the beach, or head to Tortuguero Village to meet the students (when school is in session). Enjoy a buffet dinner at the resort’s open-air restaurant along the Tortuguero lagoon.(B,L,D)

Arrr, arrr, arrr! There’s nothing like the wakeup call of a troop of howler monkeys to start your day. Set off with your captain and guide to explore the lush canals and waterways of imagine yourself ziplining through the canopy Tortuguero National Park. You may want to start a tally of all the types of wildlife you’ll see. Look out for sloths, green iguanas, caiman, crocodiles and colorful toucans. Of course, you’ll spot tons of monkeys – agile howler and spider monkeys and white headed capuchins swinging through the dense rainforest canopy. This afternoon, you can venture back out on the canals to add to your wildlife tally or relax back at the lodge – the choice is yours! If you’re visiting during nesting season (Jul-Aug), join an optional night walk with a naturalist guide to witness some of the world’s largest turtles laying their eggs. Amazing! A buffet dinner is served at your hotel this evening.(B,L,D)

Bid adios to the monkeys for now as you boat back to the mainland and travel by motorcoach to Horquetas. Here you’ll visit a local Tico family palm plantation to learn all about and taste an exotic vegetable and Local Specialty you’ve probably never tried – the delicate heart of palm. Continue traveling to tiny Sarapiqui where you’ll visit a pineapple farm, the only farm of its kind in the world producing certified organic golden pineapples. After learning how it’s grown without hurting the environment, you’ll eat the juiciest, most delicious pineapple ever.(B,L)

Rise and shine as the jungle and volcano are calling! Start the day with a guided trek around the quiet side of the volcano at Arenal National Park. Walk through the old lava rocks and learn about the powerful forces behind the volcano’s past eruptions. Then head to the Arenal Hanging Bridges where you can walk eye-level within the lush canopy, observe the monkeys, sloths and chattering birds up close, and look out to see the rumbling, steaming Arenal Volcano. Relax or take a swim at the pool back at the hotel. End the day bubbling and soaking in the thermal mineral pools and hot springs at the awesome Tabacon Hot Springs followed by a scrumptious Highlight Dinner buffet.(B,D)

Day 6 Arenal / Manuel Antonio National Park
Head south to Manuel Antonio National Park, renowned for its warm blue waters, sparkling white-sand beaches and abundant exotic wildlife. Then, get ready for a blast! Imagine yourself soaring high above the jungle floor as you fly along ziplines through the treetops, eye-to-eye with the lush foliage and exotic rainforest creatures. Combined with Tarzan swings and rappelling, ziplining through the canopy is sure to be among the most amazing adventures of your lifetime! This evening, join the gang for a pizza night Highlight Dinner.(B,D)

Walking deep into the National Park with your guide, you’ll definitely check off a few more creatures on your wildlife list – at last count, there were 109 kinds of animals and 184 species of birds living here! Listen for those barking howler monkeys and the chattering of those mischievous squirrels and white face monkeys. Then, it’s time to hit the beach! You can laze in the warm Pacific or at the resort’s pool, or choose one of many incredible optional activities. Will it be a catamaran cruise to snorkel (and maybe even see dolphins, parrotfish and sea turtles), a surf lesson, mangrove kayak tour, horseback ride or white water rafting? This evening, join your fellow explorers and celebrate new friendships and awesome experiences with a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.(B,D)

Day 8 Manuel Antonio / Depart San Jose
Travel back to San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport for your flight (not included in vacation price) or to the hotel in San Jose for guests extending their stay. Or choose to linger longer in Manuel Antonio! Please do not schedule flights before 12:30 p.m.(B)
Tour Map
All This Included
  • Airport transfers in San Jose on Days 1 and 8
  • Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and tips for baggage handling
  • Kick-off Party with light appetizers and drinks (KP)
  • 7 full breakfasts (B); 3 lunches (L); 5 dinners, including 2 buffet dinners (D), Highlight Dinner buffet with drinks (HD), Pizza night Highlight Dinner with drinks (HD) and Farewell Dinner with drinks (FD)
  • Services of a professional English-speaking Travel Director
  • Modern motorcoach with air conditioning, reclining seats
  • Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges Headsets M for sightseeing so you can easily hear your guide’s commentary hidden delight A unique experience provided by your Travel Director
  • Portfolio of travel documents
  • Souvenir photo and My Journey booklet
  • Just 4 Kids Surprise Pack
Accommodations on this Tour
San Jose: Costa Rica Marriott Hotel (D)
Tortuguero N.P.: Laguna Lodge Tortuguero (MF)
Arenal N.P.: Hotel Arenal Manoa (F)
Manuel Antonio N.P.: Parador Resort & Spa (SF)
  • 2014 dates are subject to price and itinerary modifications. Details will be available in July 2013.
  • Young Traveler Discount available.
  • Guaranteed Room Share is not available
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package, at the price quoted.

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