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Family Adventure Memory-Maker
Sarapiquí, Arenal, Monteverde, Guanacaste
7 - day itinerary
Our Family Adventure Package has been carefully tailored to help you and your family enjoy an exciting and unforgettable time together in the midst of nature. First, a thrilling class III, moderate white water rafting trip on the scenic Sarapiquí River awaits you. Then, head over to the Monteverde Cloud Forest to discover nature’s secrets amid a spectacular rain forest setting. Feel the exhilaration of Monteverde's SkyWalk tour as you zigzag your way through deep canyons at the level of the treetops! Or you may explore the numerous trails that weave their way through this virgin mountain paradise. The excitement continues as you reach one of Costa Rica's most famous attractions, Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. Arenal's perfect cone-shaped volcano frequently rewards visitors with spectacular displays of natural fireworks and billowing columns of dense smoke and ash that rise hundreds of feet into the sky. Lastly, relax with your children inside the crystal-clear thermal waters that naturally flow from deep within Arenal Volcano. The last three days of your Family Adventure are spent enjoying a sun-swept tropical beach along the indigo blue waters of the northern pacific coast.
Day 1 - Arrival in San José
You will be picked up at the airport and taken to San José for an overnight stay at the Hotel Don Carlos, located in the center of the capital city’s cultural district. This elegant Victorian home was built at the turn of the last century and has been completely refurbished and restored. This fine hotel’s tastefully designed and decorated rooms will provide guests with a pleasant ambience and a restful night’s sleep.
Day 2 - Rafting down Sarapiquí River and overnight in Arenal
The fun begins early as we pick you up from your hotel and travel to the humid tropical lowlands of Sarapiquí’s northeastern region, which is enveloped by untouched tropical rain forests and rich secondary forests. This region lies next to Braulio Carrillo National Park and is home to more than 500 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, thousands of insects, and 2,000 species of plants - including 800 species of trees that have been identified in this biologically unique zone. The Sarapiquí forests are a haven for tapir, jaguar, sloth, white-nosed coati and white-faced capuchin and howler monkeys. We will stop at a local restaurant along the way for a savory Costa Rican breakfast, before continuing on to our river put-in.
Before starting our exciting river adventure, our experienced guides will instruct you on all necessary safety precautions. This class III, low-volume river is ideally suited for first timers and families, all of whom will delight in its moderately flowing rapids. Lush overhanging trees and thick verdant vegetation provide a haven for diverse species of birds that include colorful parrots, hummingbirds, and the ever-popular toucan. The 9-mile Sarapiquí experience includes many peaceful stretches of water that pass through exquisite virgin rainforest, allowing your mind and your spirit to soar.
Your family will enjoy a delicious picnic lunch served under the soft shade of copious trees along the riverbank, before concluding this rafting adventure. Leaving the river in the early afternoon, our private facilities will provide a pleasant place for you to change into dry clothes and have a small snack before departing.
Your journey continues in a comfortable minivan or rental car in route to the wondrous Arenal Volcano area. Your children will stare in awe as you approach Alajuela's gentle green hills and the volcano's picture perfect cone. Distant peals of thunder, accompanied by mushroom clouds of multi-colored smoke, will startle and delight you. After an action-packed day, you will arrive at the unparalleled Tabacón Resort, built amid diaphanous streams of thermal waters which originate naturally from the nearby Arenal Volcano. You may wish to soak in the soothing crystalline waters, while the whole family marvels at the nightly cascade of incandescent rock and lava showers, spewing from the lips of this magnificent crater.
Day 3 - Half-day in Arenal & towards Monteverde Cloud Forest
After tasty breakfast, you will begin a guided bike tour along a beautiful trail to the area where the forest, the Arenal Volcano, and Arenal Lake converge. We will start our journey at Arenal Lake Dam and travel over an old trail into the forest before arriving at the entrance to Arenal Volcano National Park. From here we will visit the Arenal Observatory Lodge and later return to the main road.
This exhilarating, yet peaceful ride will allow you to observe a large variety of colorful bird species such as toucans and trogons, while enjoying the exquisite beauty of the Arenal area. At the end of this enlightening journey you will be taken back to your hotel for a delicious lunch, before continuing on to more excitement and adventure in the cloud forest!
Our next stop is Monteverde, Costa Rica's world-renowned cloud forest. This 26,000-acre reserve is home to an astonishing diversity of plant and animal species, including many rarely observed endangered species such as the jaguar and the exotic and dazzling quetzal. Misty verdant forests of towering trees, adorned with a myriad of vibrantly colored orchids, await you as you explore this protected park’s countless trails. Our tour will include a visit to one of the local reserves where you will have a chance to see diverse species of birds such as the yellow-throated finch, spangled-checked tanager and silvery-throated jay. Although not as frequently observed, pumas, mountain deer and peccaries may also cross your path.
El Establo Hotel, a charming family oriented lodge, lies nestled in the heart of Monteverde’s protected zone, and is the ideal launching point for a variety of one-day excursions. Located within easy walking distance of the Ecological Farm and Butterfly Garden, the hotel takes pride in providing top-quality service and customer satisfaction. El Establo is located only seven kilometers from the Santa Elena Rain Forest reserve and four kilometers from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Attractive spacious grounds, and luxuriant gardens offer your children a safe outdoor environment, perfect for recreational activities. Other activities include a visit to the Butterfly Garden, the Serpentarium, the fascinating local Cheese Factory Tour, mountain biking, horseback riding, or experiencing the one of a kind Sky Trek Canopy Tour!
Day 4 - Monteverde Cloud Forest
As the light of dawn streaks across the hills, coloring everything in its path, the rain forest shivers, and slowly comes back to life. You are gently awakened to the soft soothing sounds of melodious birds, and the exquisite aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
A scrumptious breakfast will perk you up in preparation for the SkyWalk tour, a unique system of seven suspension bridges that crisscross through deep canyons at the level of the treetops. This attraction allows you to experience the cloud forest from a heightened perspective!
Take advantage of the afternoon’s remaining hours for a family hike along Monteverde's resplendent trails, or simply go bargain hunting for local arts and crafts. In the evening enjoy a peaceful family dinner at one of the area’s many appetizing restaurants.
Day 5 - Towards Guanacaste, Allegro Beach Resort or Hotel Capitán Suizo
The chill mountain air welcomes the new morning as you continue on to the next portion of your trip, either by private minivan or rental car. A five-hour scenic drive will take you to the province of Guanacaste, located in the northwestern region of Costa Rica. This dry-tropical area is famous for its countless exotic beaches of sugar white sand and lush vegetation. The weather around here tends to be hot, dry and sunny, with warm waters and year around clear blue skies. This area offers no shortage of exciting activities for you and your family to enjoy including deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling, horseback riding on the beach, or simply relaxing under the sun, or wading through the unspoiled waters of the Pacific Ocean. We recommend either of the following two hotel options:
Allegro Resort Papagayo, Manzanillo Beach - All-inclusive hotel: Allegro Resort is a 300-room hotel located on the Papagayo Gulf, on our Northern Pacific coast. Driving distance from Monteverde is approximately four hours. The hotel commands an exceptional view of gorgeous Papagayo Gulf, an area full of tropical vegetation, abundant sea life and azure blue waters.
The hotel features a host of excellent services and activities that includes a large swimming pool, solarium, sightseeing tower, medical services, laundry, tour desk, baby-sitting service and a rental car agency. The Occidental Fun Club will provide entertaining activities for the whole family, including beach volleyball, water sports, aerobics, hiking, archery, children's activities and family night shows.
Standard room amenities include two queen-sized beds, a/c, private bath with hair dryer, direct-dial phone, ocean-view balconies, electronic safety deposit box and satellite TV.
Hotel Capitán Suizo, Tamarindo Beach: Scattered along the famed golden expanse of Tamarindo Beach is the charming Hotel Capitán Suizo. Driving time from Monteverde is approximately five hours. Tamarindo Beach lies forty-five miles from the International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste's capital, and just two miles from the local airport in Tamarindo, from where you will fly out on your return to San José.
Right on the beach, surrounded by large native trees and colorful gardens, this laid-back retreat offers guests twenty-two rooms and eight cozy bungalows set amidst lush tropical gardens. Capitán Suizo’s main attraction is a large free-form swimming pool surrounded by radiant foliage - perfect for children to enjoy. You’ll have no trouble satisfying your palate, as this area is a magnet for varied types of international and local gourmet cuisine.
Hotel amenities include a first-class, Swiss-style restaurant and bar, a boutique, laundry service and a free-form swimming pool in front of the ocean. Groups of howler monkeys and a variety of colorful birds are constant visitors to the hotel grounds. The spacious bungalows and rooms feature a mezzanine bedroom with king-size bed, and sliding doors that open to a patio or balcony. Halogen lamps inset in the ceiling provide superior lighting, while soft-lit lanterns cast a romantic spell. Private bathrooms include enclosed shower and deep bathtub with window view. Other amenities include telephone, FM/AM radio, a safety box and a small refrigerator.
Day 6 - Overnight in Guanacaste
A late afternoon swim in the ocean, or a leisurely horseback ride along a crimson beach will renew your strength and fill you with peace and satisfaction. Take advantage of the resort's peaceful romantic atmosphere to sneak away from the kids, for just a little while, to marvel at an exquisite sunset while a sweet breeze delicately caresses your skin.
Dinner is on your own tonight, so enjoy a meal at your hotel's restaurant or explore the area's variety of excellent menu options.
Day 7 - Fly into San José for an overnight
After a half day of leisurely fun and sunshine, a comfortable minivan will pick you up at your beach hotel around 12:30 p.m. If you are driving a rental car you will return it to your hotel. Your family will then be transferred to the closest airport, where you will board a light aircraft for your return to San José. Transfer from the airport to your hotel in San José will be taken care of.
You will have an intimate evening to reminisce about the highlights of this memorable family adventure, as you dine at your restaurant of choice. Stay overnight at Hotel Don Carlos or similar.
Day 8 Departure
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home or an optional extension.
Above itinerary includes: Two-night stay at Hotel Don Carlos in San José or similar accommodations with breakfast included; full-day Sarapiquí rafting trip with breakfast & lunch included; one-night stay at Arenal's Tabacón Resort, dinner, breakfast and guided mountain biking tour; two-night stay at Monteverde's El Establo Hotel or similar accommodations, breakfast included; visit to local reserve and SkyWalk tour in Monteverde; two-night stay at either Allegro Resort (all-inclusive) or Hotel Capitán Suizo in Guanacaste; all land transfers and one-way flight from Guanacaste to San José.
Semi-Private Transfer: The day after your arrival, Aventuras Naturales will pick you up from your hotel in San José in a comfortable minivan. We will drive you and other guests all the way to the Sarapiquí River’s put-in. At the end of the Sarapiquí Rafting trip, a comfortable mini-van will be waiting for you and your family. For your departure, we will transfer you to the closest airport to your beach hotel for a short flight back to San José. Once in San José, we will provide a private transfer back to your hotel.
Car Rental: The day after your arrival, Aventuras Naturales will pick you up from your hotel in San José in a comfortable minivan and drive you all the way to the Sarapiquí River’s put-in. You will be supplied with a rental car (Toyoya Rav4, manual) at the end of the Sarapiquí Rafting trip for you to continue your journey to the Arenal Volcano. You will then travel to Monteverde, and finally to your beach hotel in Guanacaste. You will return your car at your beach hotel; a transfer will be provided to drive you to the closest airport for your return flight to San José. Once you reach the airport in San José, we will provide a private transfer back to your hotel.
family will enjoy the thrill and adventure of rafting down a
moderately flowing tropical river filled with natural beauty.
the misty heights of world-famous Monteverde Preserve as you
zigzag your way through deep canyons at the level of the treetops!
to the Arenal Volcano to witness an awe-inspiring show of mother
nature’s might and majesty.
in Tabacon’s soothing hot springs, surrounded by tropical
gardens, lovely waterfalls and with the imposing Arenal volcano
as a back-drop.
the kids splash and dash amid a crystal sea and sun-swept beach
as you enjoy a salty breeze and delicious tan.
Ana Maria, I want to take this opportunity to thank you and
Aventuras Naturales for a spectacular Costa Rican vacation back
in August. Everything you arranged for us was top-quality --
the person who met us at the airport, the tour guides, the drivers,
the adventures, the hotels and the lodges. The level of safety
incorporated into the outdoor challenges was wonderful, and
on-the-road your van drivers were very responsible and friendly...
Great personalities running a great operation.”
Raul & Maureen