COSTA RICA

Southern Experience

Highlights

Cloud Forest & Beaches

Corcovado National Park

Drake Bay & Isla del Cano

Amazing Wildlife & Birdlife

Hike, Snorkel, Kayak, Birding

Summary

This Costa Rica Southern Experience is a nature-lovers delight.  Enjoy a mix of the cloud forest, rainforest, beach, and culture. Visit some of the most beautiful and least crowded areas in the country such as San Gerado de Dota in the mountainous cloud forests, and Corcovado National Park, renown worldwide as one of thee most biodiverse spots on the planet. And, all this while experiencing the Pura Vida way of life.

Map of southern Costa Rica

At-a-Glance

Days: 8

Group Dates:
Mar 2021.. TBD
Nov/Dec 2021.. TBD
Jan 2022.. TBD

Private Dates arranged for groups of 4-10

Land Cost: $2,395 (airfare extra)

Single Supplement: $250

Group Size: 4-12

Minimum Age: 8

Level:  Moderate

Overview

Day 1: Arrive, San Jose

Day 2: San Gerado de Dota

Day 3: Nauyaca Falls, Dominical

Day 4: Kayak Dominical

Day 5: Drake Bay (3 nights)

Day 6: Corcovado National Park

Day 7: Isla del Cano

Day 8: Fly to SJO airport

Day 1 - San Jose

Welcome to Costa Rica!  Clear immigration and your guide will be waiting right outside the terminal with a sign showing your name.  San Jose is home to almost two thirds of the country’s population and has a great amount of culture, art and history for visitors to discover.  Welcome dinner included.

Meals included: Welcome dinner
Hotel: Hotel Bougainvillea (or similar)


Day 2 - Cartago and San Gerado de Dota
On our way up to the highlands, we stop at Cartago to visit the sanctuary of Virgen de Los Angeles, Costa Rica’s Patron Saint.  The sanctuary is one of Central America’s most important pilgrimage sites.  We may also pop in to see the Farmers' Market before proceeding up the Talamanca Mountains. In time, we reach the small village of San Gerardo de Dota, set among the mist of the cloud forest and nearby to Los Quetzales National Park.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Hotel: Trogon Lodge (or similar)


Day 3 - San Gerado de Dota to Dominical

Early morning guided exploration of the cloud forest accompanied by a cacophony of bird-sound. Keep eyes peeled for a resplendent quetzal, with its vivid green and red plumage that has earned it a reputation as one of the world's most beautiful birds.  Later, drive down the mountains to the Pacific coast.  En route, visit stunning Nauyaca Waterfalls, and take a dip in the refreshing waterfall pools. Proceed to Dominical on the coast in time to enjoy the sunset.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Hotel: Villas Rio Mar (or similar)


Day 4 - Dominical

Dominical is a quaint beachside village best known for its excellent surfing. It is surrounded by the lush jungle-clad foothills of the Talamanca Mountains and features black-sand beaches, estuaries, mangroves, marshes, sheer cliffs, and, off-shore, is the Marino Ballena National Park.  We arranged a fun kayak excursion near Uvita. Keep an eye out for dolphins playing in the surf.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch
Hotel: Villas Rio Mar (or similar)


Day 5 - Drake Bay (3 nights)

After breakfast, drive to the riverside village of Sierpe. After a luggage swap and goodbyes to our first guide, we board a boat and cruise through Terra Sierpe Wetlands to Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula on the coast of southwestern Costa Rica. Free afternoon to rest and relax. Drake Bay and the Osa Peninsula are famous for their lush, untamed tropical rainforests, impressive wildlife, and National Parks. The isolated, unspoiled woodlands are covered with thick canopies where screeching macaws and swinging howler monkeys have their homes. Nearby, golden sandy beaches are lapped by turquoise seas.  

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Hotel: Rancho Corcovado(or similar)


Day 6 - Corcovado National Park

Full day visit to Corcovado National Park, dubbed “the most biologically intense place on earth!” by National Geographic. Corcovado is the only place in Costa Rica where you can see all four species of Costa Rica’s monkeys: the howler, white-faced capuchin, squirrel, and spider monkey. Other animals to look out for include two-toed and three-toed sloths, endangered Bird’s Tapirs, peccaries, lizards, and anteaters. Bird lovers can spot toucans, scarlet macaws and some of the other 375 bird species that call Corcovado home.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Hotel: Rancho Corcovado(or similar)


Day 7 - Isla Del Cano

Today, take the boat out to the pristine Isla del Caño. This Marine Reserve is home to a spectacular variety of stunning marine flora and fauna as well as some gorgeous coral reefs.  Snorkel along the coral reefs spotting huge, multicolored schools of tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, dolphins, small sharks and even humpback or pilot whales.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Hotel: Rancho Corcovado(or similar)


Day 8 - Retun to San Jose

After breakfast, transfer to the Drake Bay Airport, and take a flight (included) to SJO airport and connect with your international flight (2 pm or later). If needed, we will be happy to arrange an additional night close to SJO airport, so that you can depart on the following day.

Meals included: Breakfast

Note on Itinerary:

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Additional Information: 

Please be sure to scroll through website tabs for information on:

  • Pricing,
  • What’s Included,
  • General Information,
  • FAQ’s
  • How to Reserve.

Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.

$2,395 land price.

International airfare is NOT included. (Rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double hotel).

Single Supplement: $250

Single Supplement is for those specifically requesting their own room throughout, based on availability. Meaningful Trips will pair same-gender participants as roommates. If a roommate can not be found, you will be requested to pay 50% of the Single Supplement Fee.

SAVE Big!

Gather your friends, when 3 or more persons join our set tours together, each person saves $100.  Family Groups or ‘Bubble Groups’ of 4-10 can pick a private departure of this tour, based on availability and each person saves $100.

 

Payment Schedule and Cancellation Policy:

Payment

Deposit of $500 due at time of reservation. Final balance due 90 days prior to trip departure.

Cancellation
Any deposits made in 2020 for tours in 2021 can be cancelled for any reason and receive a full refund. As of Jan 01, 2021, if you cancel prior to departure (we need written notice), cancellation fees are:

91 or more days… $0
61 to 90 days… $500
31 to 60 days… 50% of Trip Cost
0 to 30 days… 100% of Trip Cost

Included:

  • Airport transfers
  • 7 nights in hotels
  • Private transportation
  • English-speaking naturalist guides
  • Park entrance fees
  • Kayak or Mangrove tour in Dominical
  • Guided hikes
  • Boat transfer to Drake Bay
  • One way flight from Drake Bay to San Jose
  • Meals as per itinerary

NOT included:

  • International Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Guide and staff gratuites

In Costa Rica, we use modern, comfortable hotels with wifi, buffet breakfast, all amenities, and friendly Tico staff.   Here are several of the hotels we use:

Hotel Bougainvillea, San Jose

Hotel Bougainvillea pool with trees  hotel with flowers and trees  Woman at hotel buffet

Hotel Bougainvillea is conveniently located in Heredia near San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport.  Comfortable guest rooms feature modern amenities including free Wi-Fi, cable TV, in-room safe, and air conditioning. Breakfast buffet included.  The hotel features 4 acres of gardens, a mineral collection aand inviting pool.

 

Trogon Lodge, San Gerado de Dota (or Similar)

bed at Trogon Lodge  lush gardens and waterfalls

Trogón Lodge is located in the area known as Savegre Valley, close to the small village of San Gerardo de Dota in Costa Rica. The lodge features 24 standard and one superior rooms. All rooms offer a view of the gardens and the natural beauty of San Gerardo de Dota.  Bathroom amenities and a hairdryer are also available in the rooms. Guests can enjoy authentic Costa Rican food at the on-site restaurant. Other amenities offered are a bar, a lounge, a gift shop, forest trails, and trout ponds.  With very limited access to internet, and no in-room TVs, this is a perfect place to relax and reconnect.

 

Villas Rio Mar, Dominical

hotel pool in lush setting

Villas Rio Mar is located 10 minutes walk away from Playa Dominical de Osa in Costa Rica. Accommodation options include superior suite, junior suite and kitchen suite. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, a ceiling fan, a telephone, internet access, a mini-fridge, a safety deposit box, a kitchenette and a patio. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Other amenities include a swimming pool with baby pool and pool bar, a kids’ play area, a miniature golf, a tennis court, a gym and a beautiful tropical garden.

 

Rancho Corcovado, Drake Bay

hotel in junglehammock overlooking jungle

Rancho Corcovado is located in Drake Bay, Osa Peninsula, near Corcovado National Park. Guest rooms are equipped with private bathrooms with hot water, ceiling fans and are serviced daily. For guests convenience, there is an on-site restaurant that serves local and international cuisine. For daily activities, guests can go diving, snorkelling, horseback riding, paddling, hiking, bird watching and fishing.

 

 

 

Visa and passport

Must have a US Passport valid for 6 months from the tour end date. Visa is not required for USA citizens.

 

Safety

Costa Rica is one of the safest Central American countries.  As with all trips, do not leave cameras or valuables lying around, be mindful at ATM’s, and don’t travel alone at night.

 

Trip Insurance

Meaningful Trips highly recommends the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, delays, medical matters, and emergency evacuation. See our Link for Travel Insurance

 

Flights to Costa Rica

Our starting and ending airport is Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) in Alajuela, 12 miles outside San Jose.  Please do not purchase any airfare until you have received word form Meaningful Trips that your trip is confirmed with the necessary minimum number of passengers.

 

Weather

The best times to visit Costa Rica are the dry season from January to April, and also in July, November, and December.  May, June, August, September and October are the wettest months.  Weather varies by region.  On the  Caribbean coast and Northern Plains, expect high humidity and temperatures ranging between the 70s and high 80’s year-round.  The Pacific coast and beaches have lower humidity and warmer temperatures, reaching into the 90’s. San Gerado de Dota is in the mountains, around 7,300′ elevation, with temperatures in the mid-50’s.

 

Lodging

This trip includes 7 nights in a comfortable hotels with all amenities.  See the ‘Hotel’ tab for hotel pictures and descriptions.

 

Activity Level:  Moderate

This is an active trip offering a mix of activities including hiking, easy kayaking, snorkeling and swimming. The duration of activities ranges from 3 – 4 hours.  All activities are suitable for  active novices. For snorkeling and swimming, participants should be able to swim and be comfortable in the water.  Minimum age is 8.

 

Food in Costa Rica

The food on this trip is fresh and amazing!  Hotels offer bountiful buffet breakfasts.  Some ubiquitous dishes are: Gallo Pinto (rice and beans), Sopa Negra (black bean soup), Ceviche, Plantains, and tons of fresh fruit. A typical lunch or dinner dish is Casado, which is a dish of rice, beans, salad, and plantains served with a protein such as beef, chicken or fish. Vegetarians will enjoy all of Costa Rica’s variety. 

 

Additional Trip Information

Prior to reserving your tour, please carefully review our ‘Pricing’, ‘How to Reserve’ and ‘FAQ’ sections for helpful information on topics such as cancellation penalties, inclusions, food, water, and more.

 

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the Meaningful Trips Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully. Additional pre-departure information including a Packing List, Medical Form, and Liability Release Form is emailed upon sign-up.

 

Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.

Some answers to common questions. Upon Sign-up, travelers receive a Packing List, Pre-Departure Info and Important Forms

Do I Need a Passport for Costa Rica?

Yes, a passport is needed and must be valid for 6 months after your trip date.

Do I Need a Visa for Costa Rica?

No. As a tourist with a US Passport. No visa required.

Are any vaccinations required for Costa Rica?

No.

We highly recommend that all persons who travel internationally should be current on these three routine immunizations: Annual Influenza (flu) shot; Tetanus Booster (Tdap) (good for 10 years); and Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR). Additionally, Hepatitis A is highly recommended for all international travelers. Meaningful Trips are not medical experts. Always consult your own doctor and always refer to the CDC website for updated vaccination and country-specific information.

Is Costa Rica Safe?

Costa Rica is one of the safest Central American countries.  As with all trips, it is always prudent to check with US Dept of State for country-specific safety information. And, follow these basic safety precautions: make copies of important documents, be wary of public Wi-Fi, use caution when using ATM, use hotel safes when available, do not walk alone at night, and be aware of your surroundings.

Do I need Travel Insurance?

Meaningful Trips always highly recommends the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, delays, medical matters, and emergency evacuation.

When is the best time to go to Costa Rica?

The best times to visit Costa Rica are the dry season from January to April, and also in July, November, and December.  May, June, August, September and October are the wettest months.  Weather varies by region.  On the  Caribbean coast and Northern Plains, expect high humidity and temperatures ranging between the 70s and high 80’s year-round.  The Pacific coast and beaches have lower humidity and warmer temperatures, reaching into the 90’s.  San Gerado de Dota is in the mountains, around 7,300′ elevation, with temperatures in the mid-50’s.

How active is this Costa Rica Adventure Tour?

This trip is rated Moderate. This is an active trip, all persons with a spirit of adventure are welcome. Being comfortable in the water is helpful.  Each day may feature a different activity, typically 3 – 4 hours. Hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, hanging bridges.   There will be 2 days that will include 3 hours of driving.

What are hotels like in Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, we use modern, comfortable hotels with wifi, buffet breakfast, all amenities, and friendly Tico staff.

What is the food like in Costa Rica?

The food on this trip is fresh and amazing!  Hotels offer bountiful buffet breakfasts.  Some ubiquitous dishes are: Gallo Pinto (rice and beans), Sopa Negra (black bean soup), Ceviche, Plantains, and tons of fresh fruit. A typical lunch or dinner dish is Casado, which is a dish of rice, beans, salad, and plantains served with a protein such as beef, chicken or fish. Vegetarians will enjoy all of Costa Rica’s variety. 

Is the water safe to drink in Costa Rica?

Except for remote regions on the Caribbean coast, hotel water, tap water, and juices are safe for drinking.

What is a Tico?

Ticos are native Costa Ricans, and they are renown for being friendly and welcoming.

STEP 1 – Click ‘Book Now’ and Complete Reservation Form to Hold Your Space(s)

STEP 2 – Mail $500 Deposit via Check.

Reservation is guaranteed upon receipt of a $500 deposit per person. Deposits are held in Trust Account. Deposits are fully refundable for any reason if you cancel before Dec 31, 2020.  After Jan 01, 2021, regular cancellation policy applies.  Final Payment is due 90-days prior to departure and payable by Check, Zelle, Stripe, ApplePay, Visa, Mastercard.

Mail Check Deposit to:

Meaningful Trips
1416 NW 46th St
Suite 105-343
Seattle, WA 98107

 

Upon reserving a trip and submitting a deposit, each traveler will receive:

  • A Confirmation email
  • Invoice
  • Pre-departure Information
  • Trip Application with Liability Release and Assumption of Risk
  • Travel Insurance Information
  • Packing List
  • Medical Form

Terms & Conditions and Liability Release
At the time of Deposit, participants must read and agree to Meaningful Trips Terms and Conditions and Liability Release Form. Please read this information carefully.

Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.