Blanketed in pristine rainforest, lined by golden sands, and brimming with curious-looking creatures, Costa Rica is the ultimate family playground. Explore inland jungles and volcanic wonders in every way possible: soaring on a zip line, riding on horseback, and hiking misty trails. Then head for the Gold Coast on the Pacific Ocean for some sun, surf, and adventures out at sea.

Itinerary - 9 Days

Day 1 San José

Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.

Day 2 San José/Monteverde (1B, 1L)

This morning, travel up into the misty cloud forests of Monteverde, where we’ll visit a working farm and coffee cooperative for an earth-to-table lunch, followed by a property tour. Learn the secrets of Costa Rican cuisine and test your cooking skills at an afternoon class, then attend a coffee-making demonstration. Enjoy some free time to get settled in our hotel. This evening, follow a naturalist into the forest to seek out the fascinating nocturnal creatures that spring to life after the sun goes down, from red-eyed tree frogs to spiny porcupines.

Day 3 Monteverde (1B)

Visit the Monteverde Institute, a research and educational organization supported by National Geographic. Hear about reforestation projects spearheaded by the institute, then roll up your sleeves and lend a hand in the tree nursery. The rest of the day is free for poolside relaxation or optional excursions in the clouds, including zip-lining, hiking in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, or a walk through the forest canopy across hanging bridges.

Day 4 Monteverde/Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park (1B, 1D)

Today we travel into Rincón de la Vieja National Park, an otherworldly land of smoking volcanoes, bubbling mud pots, and thermal hot springs—all shrouded in thick tangles of rainforest. Channel your inner Tarzan as you swing across zip lines strung through the forest canopy; then visit thermal hot springs and mud baths, where playing in the mud isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged. This evening, visit the local butterfly garden, if you like.

Day 5 Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

Rise early for a full day of adventure in the national park. Saddle up for a horseback-riding excursion, get introduced to the park’s creatures on a naturalist-guided wildlife hike, and swim beneath the soaring canyons and tumbling waterfalls of the Río Negro. There is also the option to stay back at our hacienda and relax by the pool.

Day 6 Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park/Playa Potrero (1B)

Journey toward the Pacific Ocean to Playa Potrero on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica. The afternoon is free to play in the sand and surf; or opt to set sail across the bay and around the Catalina Islands.

Day 7 Playa Potrero (1B)

The day is free to do as much or as little as you like. Relax at the pool or on the beach in this tropical paradise. Opt to join a yoga class, take a long walk along the beach, or go horseback riding.

Day 8 Playa Potrero/San José (1B, 1L, 1D)

Leave the beach behind for our return trip to the capital. Stop en route for a jungle boat cruise through Palo Verde National Park. The river is a wildlife-lover’s paradise: crocodiles glide beneath the water’s surface, monkeys swing through the surrounding treetops, and numerous winged wonders wade and fly at the river’s edge—including ospreys, wood storks, and roseate spoonbills. Continue to San José and celebrate our adventure at a farewell dinner.

Day 9 San José (1B)

Depart at any time.

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