Hotels have been chosen to accentuate the nature of this trip. You will spend nights at a rustic and homey lodge in Turrialba, at an isolated riverside lodge located in the rainforest, and on the lesser-visited Caribbean coast. From San Jose you will drive to the top of Irazu Volcano and through the beautiful Orosi Valley to the charming town of Turrialba, visiting a botanical garden and churches en route.
The Pacuare River is Costa Rica's premiere whitewater trip through the verdant rainforest. On the wilder Caribbean coast you will visit the Bribri Reserve, home to indigenous communities and families. You will spend part of one day in close contact with an indigenous family, experiencing their unique lifestyle and getting to know them. You will learn how to grind cacao into chocolate and be treated to a local family meal. Go snorkeling and hiking in Cahuita National Park. Here you will find pristine beaches, coral reefs, tropical rainforest home to several species of monkeys, sloths, frogs, butterflies, birds and more.
Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.
Upon arrival in San José, you’ll be taken to your downtown hotel to rest.
Your first full day in Costa Rica is a whirlwind of stunning sights. After breakfast, you’ll be whisked to the top of Irazú, Costa Rica’s highest active volcano, for a simultaneous view of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. With its eerie lunar landscape and green crater lake, this peak more than merits its indigenous name of “Thunder Point.” Next up: Cartago, the original capital of Costa Rica, with its ruins of the old Santiago Apostol church and the magnificent Basilica of the Virgin of Los Angeles, shrine of Costa Rica's patron saint. From there, it’s on to Lankester Gardens, a tropical botanical preserve graced with acres of cultivated orchids, anthuriums, and ferns—plus the hummingbirds and butterflies they attract. Finally, at the day’s end, you’ll have down time at your hotel in Turrialba, in Costa Rica’s charming countryside.
Heart-pumping adventure is on the agenda for Day 3, as you rappel down cliffs and waterfalls in Turrialba’s lush Puente Vigas Canyon. Zip-line through the forest canopy, after strolling across a 132-foot hanging bridge. Hold on to your hats!
National Geographic named it one of the ten best river trips in the world: after a short morning drive, you’ll see why, as you navigate the Río Pacuare in all its whitewater glory. Set amidst densely vegetated gorges teeming with monkeys, sloths, and jaguars, the river’s bends rush through surging rapids—perfect for even the most seasoned adrenaline junkies. In the afternoon, you’ll rest at the Pacuare Lodge, a unique jungle getaway nestled deep inside the tropical forest. There, pamper yourself amidst nature at its most pristine, as you head out on a peaceful evening walk.
Pacuare’s rainforest is stunningly primeval, and you’ll see it from above as you descend from the jungle-cloaked mountain near the lodge. Rappel down trees and slide along cables in a thrilling canopy adventure!
After breakfast, you’ll depart the lodge in a raft, passing through rugged canyons and Class III and IV rapids on one of the most exotic watercourses in the world. Then, after lunch, head to the town of Puerto Viejo, with its chilled-out surfer vibe and rustic bamboo bars. You’ll overnight at Shawandha Lodge, with an optional upgrade to the Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel.
The Bribri are an indigenous people dedicated to preserving their ancestral way of life. When you visit their riverfront community, you’ll have an opportunity to talk to five generations of one local family—all living under one roof. You’ll hear a medicine man lecture about the healing plants of the region, as well as participate in a chocolate-making process using pre-Colombian tools. A typical Bribri lunch, served in a banana leaf, caps off your visit. Afterwards, you’ll pause at the breathtaking Río Catarata waterfall before returning to your hotel.
Coral reefs and snorkeling: Cahuita National Park is renowned for its underwater beauty, and on this daylong excursion, you’ll immerse yourself in its blue depths as you go diving at two different points along its paradisiacal coastline. Angel fish and sea urchins provide the scenery. After lunch, you’ll head out on a naturalist’s hike to meet the park’s land denizens: keen-billed toucans, boa constrictors, egrets, blue jeans dart frogs, and more.
The morning is yours to spend at your leisure. In the afternoon, you’ll be picked up and transferred to the Limon Airstrip for a 25-minute flight to San José. Accommodations are at the elegant Villa San Ignacio in Alajuela.
In the morning, you’ll be transferred to San José’s airport, to catch your connection home.
Well managed with excellent guides and instructions. Better accommodations than expected. Considering the amount of sites and places we visited, managing all the trains, buses, airplanes, hotels, dinners, admission tickets, etc, we would have been truly lost. No pun intended.