Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - December 31st, 2014 Last Updated:
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Introduction

If you’re looking for a taste of Costa Rica’s world-class highlights but want to keep things spicy with a sampling of hidden treasures, this action-packed adventure tops the menu. In spite of its small size, Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world—explore its volcanoes, wildlife, rainforests and beaches. This adventure offers a great balance of guided excursions and free time. Optional activities abound—choose to get your adrenaline pumping or take it easy with a stroll through a butterfly garden.

  • Spot wildlife while cruising through the canals of Tortuguero
  • Search for the elusive quetzal bird
  • Hike through the cloud forest
  • Enjoy the gorgeous beaches of the Pacific and Caribbean coasts
  • Savour a local lunch at a Planeterra- and MIF-supported coffee plantation
Duration: 16 days
Start/Finish City: San José to San José
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Costa Rica Adventure (CRA)

Day 1 Arrive San José

Arrive in San José at any time. Check into our hotel and enjoy the city. Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members.

*Please note: if you have pre-booked the Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle your CEO will inform you when you will do each activity throughout your tour, days are subject to change: Canyoneering (Day 9, half day - Arenal), ONE of the following: Stand up paddle, half day hike, venado cave or kayak (Day 9, half day - Arenal) and ziplining (Day 12 - Monteverde) . For more information on the Bundle see the Optional Activities section.

Located in the central highlands, San José enjoys a moderate climate. The heat and humidity of the coast and lowland areas may affect you, with a general sense of lethargy and/or loss of appetite. This is no cause for alarm, it is simply your body’s reaction to the heat. Be sure to drink plenty of water (bottled water is available everywhere) and do not attempt too much in any given day. We prefer fan-cooled rather than air conditioned rooms to avoid having to acclimatize to the heat and humidity every time you go outside. This is also a more eco-friendly approach.

Like most cities, San José has its good and bad sides. It is the centre of government, theatre, and art, as well as of air pollution and congestion. It has beautiful parks and museums, and a few beggars on the streets. It is big and often noisy, but even from its crowded downtown streets, you’ll often enjoy a view of the surrounding lush mountains.

Start your exploration of the city in the main plaza, a great place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere. A source of pride for the ticos (as Costa Ricans are known) is the National Theatre. Inaugurated in 1897, the building was paid for by coffee growers through a voluntary tax on every bag of coffee exported. The National Museum, housed in the Bellavista Fortress, offers exhibits on pre-Columbian art, colonial art and furniture and religious art within a 19th century building that was converted from a military fortress after the army was abolished.

The Museum of Costa Rican Art, located in La Sabana Park, was once the international airport; the museum is now housed in the old terminal building. The Jade Museum is on the 11th floor of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros building. In addition to the marvellous collection of jade objects, there are pre-Columbian ceramic and stone works as well as displays with archaeological and ethnographic information. The Gold Museum is located underneath the Plaza de la Cultura. Its spectacular collection of indigenous gold art belongs to the Central Bank of Costa Rica.

The best and least expensive places to buy souvenirs in San José are the markets. The two main ones are the ones in Plaza de la Democracia, which is an outdoor open market, and the Central Market, where handicrafts are sold along with boots, fish, flour, herbal remedies, shirts and everything else you can imagine. Always watch your belongings and be ready for crowds. If you plan on spending a few days in or around San José after your tour, there are a number of activities within the city and outside city limits that you can participate in, many of them outdoors.

Probably the hardest thing you will do in San José, other than get safely across busy streets, is keep the street numbering systems straight. Street and avenue numbers are posted on buildings at the corners of some intersections. Keep looking as you walk, and you will eventually find one.

Days 2-3 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Begin with an incredible bus ride over the mountains to the Caribbean coast. The picturesque village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca’s fourteen kilometres of incomparable white and black sand beaches are surrounded by exotic tropical vegetation. There are several optional activities available. Rent a bike, or hike to Monkey Point through the Gandoca - Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. Try snorkelling or take it easy and explore La Isla Botanical Gardens.

Rent a boogie board if the waves are calling, dance the night away to reggae and calypso, taste flavourful Afro-Caribbean cuisine, and succumb to the natural beauty of this tropical paradise. This area of Costa Rica was quite isolated until a road was built a only a couple of decades ago, and it still hasn’t lost its charm.

Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours
Approximate Distance: 410 km

Days 4-5 Tortuguero (2B, 2L, 2D)

A morning road trip and boat ride takes us from Puerto Viejo to Tortuguero, with spectacular scenery un route. The unique village has walking paths that extend into the national park.

Tortuguero National Park was created in 1975 to protect the four species of sea turtles which nest along the beaches. The approximately half-day boat ride along rivers and canals starts just outside the town of Limón and ends in the village of Tortuguero, just outside the park perimeter. We may see herons, egrets, spoonbills, as well as amphibians and reptiles like the “Jesus Lizard” (it walks on water) and caimans. The tropical rainforest gives way to prime beaches, ideal nesting grounds for Green, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and Leatherback Turtles. The latter nests from mid-March to May, the rest from July to September. The Caribbean Conservation Center, just outside of town, is an excellent source of information about the turtles and their tropical habitat.

Estimated Travel Time: 8 hours
Approximate Distance: 140 km

Day 6-7 Sarapiquí Rainforest (2B,1L,2D)

The journey up to the jungle retreat is half the adventure as we begin by travelling along two rivers, the Tortuguero and the La Suerte. Back on land we board a van then a tractor-drawn cart excellent for navigating the jungle along rugged uphill terrain on the way to our special jungle oasis.

The bumpy trip takes approximately two hours. On our journey in we ford two rivers, by tractor when the water is low, or cross foot-bridges when water levels rise with the rains. Along the way you will see first-hand how rainforests have been cut down whenever they are near roads.

We enter into primary rainforest bordering Braulio Carrillo National Park. At 700 m (2000 ft) above sea level, the climate is usually cool and comfortable year-round. There is a lot of rain (it's rainforest!), but mosquitoes are generally not a problem. However, weather is always unpredictable and changeable, so you never know when the rain will let up enough to let the sun (and mosquitoes) in to heat things up. Once you arrive at the Sarapiquí rainforest, your naturalist guide will take you into the rainforest and teach you about the plants and wildlife and the complex relations between them. There will also be the opportunity to swim in large crystalline pools in a pristine river that goes in front of the lodge and in the rainforest, weather permitting.

Experience the richness and splendour of the most diverse environment on earth. The Sarapiquí Rainforest is a new way to save rainforest while learning about it. Over 360 species of birds have been found and there is a good chance to see monkeys and anteaters, as well as the tracks of tapirs and jungle cats. The treetops are full of vines, lianas, bromeliads, and orchids and there are more kinds of plants, birds, and butterflies here than in all of Europe.

Our accommodation is in a rustic lodge which is based on a multi-share basis, as are bathroom facilities.

The access to the Sarapiquí Rainforest is difficult and can seem extreme for those who are not mentally prepared for the experience. Thus it’s not recommended for pregnant women or people with serious back problems. Also, all Sarapiquí Rainforest trails are natural, with uneven and sometimes slippery footing, so it’s not recommended for people with difficulty walking on uneven terrain.

Today we also visit a coffee cooperative in the small village of San Miguel de Sarapiquí and take a traditional coffee tour. We will have a delicious local lunch, there's even fresh tilapia farmed onsite, and then tour the grounds of the cooperative to learn about the coffee process from bean to cup. We visit this particular coffee cooperative because we have identified it as one that needed economic support through tourism due to a major earthquake that left the village without access to economic opportunities for several years. In concert with a 3-year initiative with the Multilateral Investment Fund (an arm of IDB), G Adventures and its foundation, Planeterra, are working with the cooperative to further develop the tour, provide tourism training, and develop other local businesses to be linked to the cooperative. Your visit ensures we are providing continued income to the cooperative and its more than 130 member farmers and their families. Additionally, you have the unique opportunity to visit this type of cooperative, meet the people whose lives are changed by this opportunity and enjoy a delicious local lunch.

Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours
Approximate Distance: 80 km

Days 8-10 La Fortuna/Arenal (1B, 1L)

La Fortuna, the town near the foot of Arenal Volcano is an excellent base for adventure. Hike the area’s nature trails, swim in chilly La Fortuna waterfall or go canyoneering (rappelling) and catch a bird’s eye view of the forest greenery. Other optional activities include full-day white water rafting on the Toro or Arenal Rivers, mountain biking, caving, horseback riding, or a tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Like much of Costa Rica, the area is a birders’ paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents. Finally, after a long day of exploring, you can choose to take a relaxing soak at Baldi Hot Springs.

Set on the northern plains of Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano sits on the southeast shore of artificial Lake Arenal (77 square kilometres, or 48 square miles). Separating the mountain ranges of Guanacaste and Tilarán, the lake was created by a hydroelectric dam. Winds sweeping off the Caribbean Sea reach speeds of 48 to 72 km/hr (30 to 45 mph), across Lake Arenal you can find one of the best locations in the world to go windsurfing. The volcano, once quite active, has been in a dormant state since the beginning of 2011 but still is a dramatic backdrop to the town of La Fortuna.

Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours
Approximate Distance: 110 km

Days 11-12 Monteverde

From the central valley, we ascend into the cool, misty mountain air of the Monteverde cloud forest region. Here spend a couple of days exploring the town and a cloud forest reserve, truly a bird lover's paradise. This unique community has several co-operatives worth visiting.

Local guides are extremely knowledgeable about the area and passionate about conservation of this precious ecosystem. The unique community has several local co-operatives worth visiting including artist collectives and a cheese factory. If you're there at the right time of year, you may be lucky enough to see the Resplendent Quetzal, one of the most beautiful and elusive birds in the world. Optional activities include the Sky Walk, a series of suspension bridges through the jungle canopy, a butterfly garden and a thrilling canopy zip line.

Monteverde or Green Mountain, is exactly what you find at the end of the long, rutted dirt road through the mountains. The surrounding pastures were once covered with dense forest, but today only a few small pieces of it remain. One piece of forest has been preserved is the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, where all proceeds from the park profit the local community.. A cloud forest is much like a rainforest, but much of the moisture comes not from falling rain but from the condensation left by the nearly constant cloud cover that blankets the tops of mountains in many parts of the tropics. Monteverde Reserve covers 1600 hectares of forest and is home to a great variety of wildlife. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different species of mammals inhabit this small area.

Quakers from the United States founded the village of Monteverde in the 1950s. Looking to leave behind the constant fear of war and objecting to being forced to support continued militarism through their taxes, the Quakers chose Costa Rica because of its commitment to a non-militaristic economic path—Costa Rica’s army was dissolved in the 1940s. Since its founding, Monteverde has grown slowly as others who shared the original Quaker founders’ ideals moved to the area. Although the Quakers came here to farm the land, they recognized the need to preserve the rare cloud forest that covers the mountain slopes above their fields. The community is very different from those on the coast, and offers several souvenir shops and the Quaker cheese factory, which is definitely worth a visit. Make sure to try their ice cream!

Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours
Approximate Distance: 60 km

Days 13-14 Quepos/Manuel Antonio

This small town on the Pacific coast is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun and nearby sea. A short distance away, Manuel Antonio National Park offers beautiful white sand beaches and warm turquoise water, ideal for swimming, fishing, kayaking, boogie boarding, sailing or surfing.

Quepos sits on the outskirts of the Manuel Antonio National Park (about 20 min drive) and is a great introduction to the laid-back “Tico” lifestyle. This town is very popular with the younger set of international travellers, and the nightlife in the area is also some of the best in the country. If you have the jungle in mind, then we recommend that you head into the National Park. Although this is Costa Rica’s smallest National Park, it is also one of the most popular and it won’t take you long to see why. This park has fabulous beaches, abundant wildlife, and a great trail system for those who want to spend the day hiking. Look for monkeys, armadillos, coatimundis, sloths and some of the over 350 species of birds that are present in the park!

Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours
Approximate Distance: 220 km

Day 15 San José

Return to San José for some last minute shopping and a final night on the town.

Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours
Approximate Distance: 190 km

Day 16 San José

Depart at any time.

What's Included

Beach time in Puerto Viejo. Boat ride to Tortuguero. Nature trail walk with swim (Sarapiquí). Jungle lodge stay. Planeterra-supported coffee cooperative tour and local lunch. Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve guided tour (Monteverde). Beach time in Manuel Antonio. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Spot wildlife while cruising through the canals of Tortuguero, search for the elusive quetzal bird, hike through the cloud forest, enjoy the gorgeous beaches of the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, savour a local lunch at a Planeterra- and MIF-supported coffee plantation

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

Costa Rica will not be allowing anyone to enter the country without proof of a departure ticket (bus, airplane, boat, etc.). If you are travelling through a few countries in Central America, you will need to show proof of your itinerary and a departure ticket from your last destination. Please print the itinerary and voucher and bring it with you.

The access to Sarapiqui rainforest is difficult and can seem extreme for those who are not mentally prepared for the experience. The tractor ride to get to the rainforest is an extreme adventure. Thus it’s not recommended for pregnant women or people with serious back problems. Also, all trails are natural, with uneven and sometimes slippery footing, so it’s not recommended for people with difficulty walking on uneven terrain. The lodge is rustic with no electricity and most likely multi-share.

Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Theme Packs! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Theme Packs must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales CEO.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals Included

5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is affordable. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD430-565 for meals not included.

Transport

Public bus, tractor, private van, boat, walking.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (13 nts), Jungle lodge (2 nts, multi-share).

My Own Room Exceptions

Nights 5-6: Sarapiqui Rainforest

Joining Hotel

Hotel Autentico - Formerly Hotel Torremolinos
Calle 40 entre Ave. 5 y 7
Sabana
San Jose
Costa Rica
Tel: +506-2222-5266

For the 23rd March 2013 departure your start hotel will be the following:

Hotel Colayes
1 block west and 2 block south from the La Controlaría de la República,
Sabana Sur, Calle Morenos neighborhood
San Jose,
Costa Rica
Tel: +506 22 312 278 / +506 22 312 324

Joining Instructions

The best way to get to the arrival point hotel is via taxi from the airport. There are fixed (official) rates at the airport counter. It is a 25-30 minute drive (depending on traffic) into the city.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities are planned.

Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. The CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica
During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 2224 5560
After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). A good size daypack is also essential.

Checklist

- USD cash
- Credit and/or debit card (see spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and memory cards
- Charger for phone/camera/music device
- Reading/writing material
- Head lamp (for trails and reading in dim light at Sarapiqui Rainforest)
- Binoculars (optional)
- Hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
- Cover or plastic bags for backpacks
- 2 or 3 additional pairs of socks (mainly for Sarapiqui Rainforest)
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swim wear
- Rain poncho (mainly for Sarapiqui Rainforest)
- Sun hat
- Sports bra for ladies (for tractor ride to Sarapiqui Rainforest)
- 2 pair of shorts
- 1 pairs of long trousers
- 2 pair hiking pants/track pants
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- 2 pair of long socks, knee high (to wear under rubber boots)
- Sturdy close-toed walking shoes, with proper hiking socks
- Sport sandals (suitable for water if you are planning on rafting and/or waterfall rappelling/abseiling)
- Sunblock
- Sunglasses
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Flashlight (you may be spending 2 days without electricity)
- Water bottle
- Pocketknife
- Alarm clock
- Umbrella
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Immodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, motion sickness remedy, after-bite salve and extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

Laundry

Laundry facilities are available at almost every stop on the trip. If you would prefer to do your own laundry, we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap. Please note that it may be difficult for your clothes to dry quickly due to the high humidity of Costa Rica.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

As of November 1st, 2007, the Costa Rica government, requires those entering Costa Rica from certain countries in South America and Sub-Sahara Africa, to have an International Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever. Those affected countries are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guiana and Venezuela.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards with travellers cheques as backup is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

Please be advised that during the first week of this trip, it may be difficult to exchange travellers' cheques and visit functioning ATMs, so it is advisable to withdraw enough cash to last for the first week while you are in San Jose prior to leaving. There are ATMs along the way on Days 2 and 3, but these have been known to malfunction. As of Day 7, there are plenty of ATMs for cash withdrawal.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn US dollar notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Costa Rica airport exit tax: $29USD

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Please note that in Costa Rica, a 23% charge is added on to almost every meal (13% tax, 10% tip). Further tipping for wait staff is appropriate in the case of excellent service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO) did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

PERSONALIZE YOUR TRIP
Extras are specially designed for travellers with unique interests, they are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure.
*For specific days of each activity please see the Full Itinerary*

Extras available on this trip:
COSTA RICA ADRENALINE BUNDLE

Choose your adventure:
Arenal (La Fortuna), Half day
Choose ONE of the following popular activities in the adventure capital of Costa Rica: Venado Cave walk, Kayaking on Lake Arenal, Cerro Chato Volcano extreme hike, or Stand-up paddling on Lake Arenal (you will receive an activity briefing upon arrival in La Fortuna and you can choose your activity at that time).

CANYONEERING
Arenal, Half-day
Rappel, down-climb, river-trace and descend huge waterfalls in the rugged mountains and lush rainforests around Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano.

ZIPLINING
Monteverde, Half-day
Get a true bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy as you soar through the trees on a Tarzan swing, a giant rappel and a 450-foot-high zipline.

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OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON TOUR
All prices are per person, in USD amounts and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR ADVENTURE
Our trip designers work very hard to assemble the life-altering experiences that fill this brochure. That said, our travellers are a diverse group driven by all sorts of different tastes, motivations and interests. What’s a trip designer to do? The solution? Theme Packs! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Theme Packs must be booked prior to departure.

Theme Packs available on this trip:

COSTA RICA ADRENALINE PACK
Loaded with high-adrenaline pursuits like waterfall-rappelling, rainforest-ziplining, canyon-trekking and other so-amazing-they-need-a-hypen activities, the Adrenaline pack pushes Costa Rica to the limit and beyond.

Choose your adventure:
Arenal (La Fortuna), Half day
Choose one of the following popular activities in the adventure capital of Costa Rica: Venado Cave walk, Kayaking on Lake Arenal, Cerro Chato Volcano extreme hike, or Stand-up paddling on Lake Arenal (you will receive an activity briefing upon arrival in La Fortuna and you can choose your activity at that time).

CANYONEERING
Arenal, Half-day
Rappel, down-climb, river-trace and descend huge waterfalls in the rugged mountains and lush rainforests around Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano.

ZIPLINING
Monteverde, Half-day
Get a true bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy as you soar through the trees on a Tarzan swing, a giant rappel and a 450-foot-high zipline.

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OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON TOUR
All prices are per person, in USD amounts and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca:
Kayak (2hrs) $50
Dolphin Watch Sailing tour (L) $100
Rent a Bike $5 to $10
Manzanillo Natural Reserve hike with local guide(4hrs) $35
Surf Lesson (1hr) $40-50
Scooter rental $70 - $100
Boogie Board/Surf Board Rental $15 per hour
Waterfall Tour (3 hrs) $25
Jaguar center $15

Tortuguero:
Night turtle watch $35 (incl. Entrance + guide+ taxi boat)
Morning baby turtle watch $15 (incl. entrance + guide)
Tourist centre $2

La Fortuna:
San José to Arenal by rafting the class 3-4 Sarapiqui River Also available: Rafting class 2-3; or Safari Float 1-2; or Serpentarium & Birdwatching $68-$87
Stand Up Paddling on Lake Arenal (Lesson & Tour) Walk on water in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano. $59
Lost Canyon Adventures Canyoneering Rappel, downclimb, & river trace along our exclusive canyon. $86
Whitewater Rafting Class 3-4
Río Sarapiquí Jungle Run Adrenaline-pumping action on a raging river $77
Whitewater Rafting Class 2-3
Río Balsa Whitewater & Wildlife Rolling rapids & plenty of flora & fauna $62
Mountain Bike Rides:
- Single-track Madness (challenging)
- Hills, Pueblos & Swimming Holes (challenging) - Volcano+Lake (Moderate) Great views of Arenal $62
Cultour Tortilla-making + Sugar Mill + Dinner $28

One Day Combo Tours in La Fortuna
Mambo Combo Rappel & Raft! Rappel the Lost Canyon & Raft the Río Balsa (Class 2-3) for a full day of pure adrenaline near the Arenal Volcano $135
Extreme Mambo Combo Rappel & Raft! Rappel the Lost Canyon & Raft the Río Sarapiquí for two days of full-on adventure $149
Combo Lost Canyon+Horseback: Rappel the Lost Canyon & then ride to the La Fortuna Waterfall $135
Combo Pedal + Paddle: Bike along the base of the Arenal Volcano, have a snack & finish the day Stand Up Paddling on the beautiful Lake Arenal $122

Monteverde:
Ziplining $45
Hanging bridges $35
Horseback riding $25 for 1 ½ hours, $30 for 2 hours, $45 for 3 hours
Butterfly garden $12
Trapiche Tour $30
Coffee tour Don Juan $30
Frog Pond $12
Serpentarium $12
ATV $60 for a single, $85 for a double
Night Walk $23
Orchid Garden $10
Cheese Factory $10
Bat Jungle $10 + taxi

Manuel Antonio:
Mangrove tour (kayak) $65 (incl. Lunch)
Mangrove tour (boat) $70 (incl. Lunch)
Rafting (Rio Naranjo) $78
Rafting (Savegre) $98
Sea Kayak tour $70 (incl. Lunch)
Dolphin watch sailing tour $75 (incl. Lunch and snorkeling)
Cycle tours $25-$55
Manuel Antonio Park $16 (entrance) plus $25 for a guide (optional)
Surf lessons $55 (3-4 hours)
Scooter rental $70
Boogie Board/Surf board rental $8 per hour
Catamaran $65-$80 depends in the catamaran you choose

San José
Tours here depends on the arrival time from Manuel Antonio, sometimes the group decides to stay longer in Manuel Antonio and arrive to San José for dinner time. This is a decision taken by the group.
San José City tour $45
Ram Luna (Show And Dinner) $70

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

As of November 1st, 2007, the Costa Rica government, requires those entering Costa Rica from certain countries in South America and Sub-Sahara Africa, to have an International Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever. Those affected countries are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guiana and Venezuela.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure.

Petty theft, bag snatching and muggings have been on the rise in San Jose. Though not common, there are certain precautions you should take when visiting the city. Although the cities visited on our tours are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions, as they are the safest and easiest way to avoid any issues one might encounter on the streets after dark. In addition, always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), credit cards and money that you won't be using in the hotel. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes in the room, or a general one at reception, this is always the safest method of storing your valuables. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc
. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organized from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Please note: Like any city where tourism is on the increase, crime also tends to increase and while San José is not a noticeably dangerous city, there are certain precautions you should take. Make sure that you are aware of your things at all times and don't go out carrying expensive gear or jewelry. Puerto Viejo has a fairly big drug trade, be very cautious at night and bring a buddy with you.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Associated Planeterra Project

Starting in 2004 travellers will have the opportunity to visit a Planeterra-supported coffee cooperative in the small village of San Miguel de Sarapiquí. Planeterra has identified this coffee co-op as one that needs economic support through tourism due to a major earthquake that left the village without access to economic opportunities for several years. In concert with a 3-year initiative with the Multilateral Investment Fund (an arm of IDB), G Adventures and its foundation, Planeterra, are working with the cooperative to further develop the tour, provide tourism training, and develop other local businesses to be linked to the cooperative.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.