We invite you to let us organize your vacation and make you an ambassador of Costa Rica and Coast & Mountains.

Bandera

Escudo

Lema:
¡Vivan siempre el trabajo y la paz!

Himno nacional:
Himno Nacional de Costa Rica

Capital:
San José

• Población:
1.345.750

• Coordenadas:
9°56′ N 84°5′ O

Idioma oficial:
Español

Forma de gobierno
Democracia Presidencialista

Presidente:
Óscar Arias Sánchez

Vicepresidente:
Sede vacante

Independencia:
De España

• Fecha
15 de septiembre de 1821

Superficie:
Puesto 129º
• Total
51.100 km2

• % agua
0,7%

Fronteras
516 km

Población
Puesto 122º
• Total
4.016.173 (2005 est.)
• Densidad
78,6 hab/km2

PIB (nominal)
Puesto 82º
• Total
(2006) US$ 21.384 millones
• PIB per cápita
US$ 4.858 (2006)

PIB (PPA)
Puesto 79º
• Total (2006)
US$ 51.089 millones
• PIB per cápita
US$ 11.606 (2006)

IDH (2007)
0,846 (48º) – Alto

Moneda
Colón Costarricense (₡, CRC)

Gentilicio
Costarricense; tico

Huso horario
UTC-6

Dominio Internet
.cr

Prefijo telefónico
+506

Prefijo radiofónico
TIA-TIZ, TEA-TEZ

Código ISO
188 / CRI / CR

Miembro de:
ONU, OEA, ODECA, G-77, CIN, OEI,Grupo de Río, AEC.

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Coasts and  Mountains

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT COSTA RICA

Geographically located in the center of the new world, Costa Rica is an oasis of peace, majestic views and friendly people who live every day in an atmosphere of tranquility, peace, and friendship that is reflected in the faces of the inhabitants who always offer a smile to the tourist.

  1. History and Politics
  2. Education and health
  3. Services and Communication
  4. Climate
  5. Others
  6. National Parks of tourist interest

1. History and Politics:

The Republic of Costa Rica obtained independence from Spain on September 15th, 1821. Costa Rica emerged as a society consisting mainly of campesinos (farmers) who had the task of building the country that, contrary to what happened in many other countries in Latin America, has a composition mostly middle class (70%) without the class division which favored the formation of it´s one hundred year old democracy (from 1889). The democracy is one of the oldest in America, that was strengthened more in 1948 with the abolition of the army. The government is elected the first Sunday of Febuary every 4 years by it´s citizens older than 18. It´s political system is formed by the executive branch (president of the republic and his ministers), the legislative branch (57 representatives in the legislative assembly) and the judicial branch (supreme court and the judicial justice and organization of investigation). There are 2 major political parties, the Social Christion Unity Party (liberal) and the National Liberation Party (conservative social democrats). However, in the last election in the year 2002, a third political party surfaced. This was the citizen action party, which won 26% of the votes and forced a second electoral round for the first time in history because no party won 40% of the required votes established by law. This parties ideas are more flexible than the conservatives and liberals.

Important Accomplishments

Costa Rica is one of the founding countries of the United Nations. It has been a member since 1945.

Abolition of the army:

Was declared in 1949, once the country reached stability after the third and longest civil war that only lasted 1 month and 6 days.

Nobel Peace Prize:

Due to it´s tradition of peace and neutrality, and it´s efforts for peace in Central America, the at that time president Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez won the award in 1987.

2. Education and health:

This atmosphere of social peace and politics strengthened through history for a country that decided to exchange arms for education. Costa Rica has had a free and obligatory primary school education since 1869. This explains why the country has the highest literacy rate in America (95%). This is an element that has converted into an attraction for investors to the country that has positioned Costa Rica as fertile ground for the establishment of service centers and the localization of companies in different fields.

Since 1948, the construction of a benefit state whose orientation has permitted the consolidation of the base of a country that today proudly shows that it´s levels of health are found to be among the standards of developed countries thanks to the universalization of health services that has permitted the life expectancy of the Costa Rican population to be 77.49 for males and 79.52 for females. This is comparable or superior to 6 of the 8 world powers. Only Japan and Canada have dedicated more to preventative medicine in addition to curative medicine along with the establishment of social security since 1940.

3. Services and Communication:

Fresh water storage:

Anywhere you travel in Costa Rica (95% of the territory) you will see a blue cement sign, “A y A”. That A y A means Acueductos y Alcantarillados (Aqueducts and Drainage) and guarantees that this institution founded in 1961 stores chlorinated and filtered water. It is controled by the national government.

Energy :

The experience accumulated in services such as telephone and electricity - San Jose was the third city in the world to have electricity -, facilitates the access of these services in the majority of the national territory.

One of the weaknesses of Costa Rica in terms of services is the road infrastructure that has been affected by the elimination of the railroad system after it´s destruction in the 1991 earthquake.

Internet Service:

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) offers this service through RACSA. It can be accessed in hotels and internet cafés in the majority of the areas that you will visit in the country.

Telephone service access:

Also the responsibility of the Instituto de Electricidad (ICE). It is possible to receive direct dial service to almost every country. The quality of service is classified as one of the best in Latin America. Based on information from the year 2000 census, more than 90% of the Costa Rican territory is covered by ICE telephone service.

Cable television:

The majority of hotels have satelite or cable television service. You can watch HBO, The movie channel, CNN, ESPN, The Discovery channel in Spanish, Television Espanola, Canales SUR from South America, DW from Germany, RAI from Italy, a French channel, a Chinese channel, etc. In addition, the 6 most important Costa Rican channels.

Airlines:

There are múltiple possibilities for flying to the country now that many airlines fly to Costa Rica. They are the following:

4. Climate:

Coasts and mountains have divided the country into 6 principal macro climatic regions. ( See map):

a) North Pacific – Consists of the Guanacaste province. It is dominated by tropical dry forest. The average elevation is 0 meters (feet) above sea level. Dry season, December to April. Rainy season, May to November with high humidity. Average temperature, 32-36° C (90° to 100°F).

b) Central Pacific – Consists of from Caletas (Jaco) to Manual Antonio in the Puntarenas province. It is dominated by transition forest and tropical rain forest. The average elevation is 0 meters (feet) above sea level. Dry season, December to April. Rainy season, May to November. Average temperature, 32-36° C (90° to 100°F).

c) Southern Pacific, Consists of from Playa Dominical to Corcovado on the Osa peninsula and is dominated by tropical rain forest. Average elevation, sea level. Dry season, December to April. Rainy season, May to November. Average temperature, 30 to 35° C (86° to 90°F). It is more humid than the northern pacific.

d) Central Valley, contains the principal cities of the country. The average elevation is 1200 meters (3700 feet) above sea level. Dry season, December to April. Rainy season, May to November. Average temperature, 25° C (75°F). It has moderate humidity.

e) Mountains: There are 3 principal ranges and the main sites include Irazú, Poas, Turrialba, Monteverde, Rincón de la vieja, and Chirripo volcanoes. The average elevation is 3200 meters (11,000 feet) above sea level. Dry season, December to April. Rainy season, May to November. Average temperature, 15° to 18°C (59° to 65°F). On Chirripo and Irazú the temperature drops below 0°C in December and January.

f) Northern and Caribbean plains: Consist of the Arenal volcano, Sarapiqui plains and the caribbean coast. The average elevation is 0 to 500 meters (1500 feet) above sea level. Dry season, June, July, and August. Rainy season, December and January. September and October are hurricane season months. In the other months it can rain moderately. Average temperature, 25° to 30° C (75° to 86°F). The humidity is high.

5. Others

Our astronaut:

The Costa Rican Franklin Chan Diaz has the record for trips to space and is one of the scientists who discoverd the fourth state of matter (plasma). In fact, recent NASA studies have positioned Costa Rica´s climate as one of the most healthy in the world.

Claudia Poll:

This professional Costa Rican swimmer has two world swimming records.

Foreign residents :

296,461 foreigners live in the country according to the year 2000 census. Of them, there is a large population of 15,000 Americans (mostly retired), a quantity of Canadians, Germans and other nationalities that continues to increase.

Dr. Clodomiro Picado:

Our government has presented documents and is fighting a battle to obtain the credit for this respected Costa Rican scientist as the person who invented penicillin before Flemming.

6. National Parks of tourist interest:

REGIONS:

Caribbean side:

Is known for it´s own cultural identity forged by a mix of diverse cultural elements such as Afrocaribbean, Chinese, and Italian who integrated into the country as a result of constructing the Atlantic railroad. The Limon province is the cradle of this Afrocaribbean culture, conserving customs and traditions of the islands in it´s foods, architecture, and music.

From a naturalistic point of view, the caribbean side has it´s own particular type of rain forest with high biological diversity.

The banana plantations were developed in the zone begining at the end of the XIX century with the construction of the railroad.

Tortuguero National Park: Is a system of natural canals where the only access routes of entry are by air or water and protects the nesting of 4 of the 7 species of marine turtles in the world. The main nesting season of the green turtle is from July to October, while the Baula turtle, which reaches a length of 2 meters nests between March and May.

The tour includes a 2 hour trip by boat into the park, a picturesque village tour, a visit to the Caribbean Conservation Corporation museum, boat tour of the national park´s canals, a hike in the Tortuguero rain forest, and lodging for 2 nights with all meals included. On request, plane transportation to and from San Jose will be provided.

Tortuguero is one of the best locations to most easily see monkeys, sloths, birds, frogs, and much more.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, wildlife observation boat tours, kayak tours, turtle nesting observation and culture.

Cahuita National Park and Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge:

Located in the extreme south of the Costa Rican Caribbean side are Cahuita, Puerto Viejo de Limon, and Gandoca Manzanillo that encompass a mix of nature and Afrocaribbean culture and are very close to the region where the indigenous Bribri live.

In Gandoca Manzanillo , we offer a stay of 2 nights at beaches safe for snorkeling. Also at this location we offer the spectacular observation of Baula turtle nesting between March and July at a beach where 3 other turtle species are protected. There is also a mountain of more than 300 hectares (750 acres) with trails that allow you to hike through lush rain forest and discover the biodiversity that exists in this region such as monkeys, sloths, birds with majestic colores, tapers, frogs, snakes, etc.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, wildlife observation, riding, mountain biking, dolphin observation boat tours, snorkeling, diving, beaches, Bribri indigenous reserve.

Puerto Viejo Located 19km south of Cahuita is another location of interest with an Afrocaribbean and also Rastafarian lifestyles.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, wildlife observation, riding, mountain biking, snorkeling, diving, beaches, dolphin tours.

Cahuita Offers beautiful white sand beaches formed by coral reef erosion. There are trails that allow relatively easy observation of monkeys, sloths, birds, snakes, etc. In addition, this park has become famous for protecting a beautiful aquatic garden of coral reefs that has more than 123 species of wildlife including fish, shrimp, crabs, and more.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, wildlife observation, riding, mountain biking, snorkeling, diving, and beaches.

Northern Plains Region

Sarapiquí Plains

This zone presents a great variety of natural attractions in a rain forest with an abundance of diverse forms of wildlife such as frogs, snakes, monkeys, etc. The agrotourism presents a vast richness of the region´s palmito plantations, banana, pineapple, and more.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, wildlife observation boat tour, riding, mountain biking, insect museum, snake zoo, class III and IV rapids in certain seasons depending on river level, among other things.

Arenal volcano

This majestic volcano is one of the 10 most active in the world. This colosus in a conal form has been active since the devastating eruption of 1968, occasionally emitting piroclastic flows. Around the volcano are sugar, pinapple, papaya, yuca, malanga, and name plantations.

In this zone, depending on physical condition, there are visits to the national park towards former lava flows, hanging bridges over the forest, the impressive La Fortuna waterfall, a tram, canopy through the forest, the lake, thermal waters, the extinct volcano lake Chato, and the Venado caves.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, wildlife observation, riding, mountain biking, sky trek, sky tram, canopy, La Fortuna waterfall, lake tour, etc.

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

Located 2 hours from Arenal volcano, this is a paradise for bird watching and observing wildlife in general. It consists of a lake system navegable by motor boats along the Frio river that encompasses a natural habitat for birds, monkeys, sloths, Jesus lizards, iguanas, etc. Along the way, it is possible to see orange and sugar plantations.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, wildlife observation boat tours.

Monteverde Cloud Forest

This particular zone contains one of the last habitats for unique species such as the quetzal. The forest is a combination of flora, fauna, and clouds in the summits of the continental divide..

In this zone, tourism and conservation have grown and we offer activities that include zip line canopy cables (tirolinas), cloud forests in the Santa Elena Monteverde biological reserve, guided night tours, hanging bridges over the forest, educational butterfly gardens, insect museums, frog and snake zoo, Spanish classes, and community work

Mountain biking can be done in the region or as a way to travel towards Arenal or the Central Pacific. The terrain of Monteverde is irregular and the elevtion is 1400 meters (4500 feet) above sea level. Never the less, the routes leaving Monteverde are mostly downhill.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, wildlife observation, 4 wheeler tours, riding, mountain biking, insect museum, butterfly farm, skytrek, canopy, snake zoo, Spanish classes and community work, among other things.

Central Pacific Region

Manuel Antonio National Park

This is one of the most visited parks in Costa Rica. The concentration of wildlife, mainly monkeys and sloths, and also ctenosauros (iguanas), makes it a very attractive destination. In addition, the beauty of it´s beaches surrounded by forest with ocean water prevailing at 25° Celsius on average ( 80° Fahrenheit ) are the reasons for visiting this place. Afternoon tours with the probability of observing dolphins and occasionally whales are offered as an optional activity. The trails are adapted to different physical fitness levels, beginer, intermediate, and expert.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, wildlife observation, kayak tours, 4 wheelers, diving, sailing, riding, surfing, jet skis, sport fishing, mountain biking, and rafting in the rainy season.

Carara National Park

This park consists of rain forest at it´s northern limit and tropical dry forest at it´s southern limit. For that reason, there is a convergance of species from both habitats. The site we visit for bird watching has one of the populations of red parrots that exist in the country and also contains one of the largest populations of crocodiles per kilometer of river in Costa Rica converting it into something similar to Jurasic park. The trails are apt for all levels of physical fitness.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, and wildlife observation.

Tárcoles River

In this natural limit of the Carara national park we offer boat tours along the river to observe the high variety of bird species, some mammals and the impressive crocodiles of up to 5 meters (15 feet) in length. There are different points of access to the river.

Synthesis of activities: Boat tours for wildlife observation.

Jacó, Herradura and Playa Hermosa

These two beaches are a famous surfing destination. They have a large number of businesses and services such as tourism facilities (hotels, restaurants, etc). In this zone we offer hotel service and car rentals to move through out the area.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, kayak tours, 4 wheelers, diving, sailing, riding, hikes, hanging bridges, surfing, jet skis, sports fishing and mountain biking.

Turtle island

We visit this pearl of the pacific located in the Nicoya gulf as an excellent opportunity to relax and enjoy the breauties of the turquoise water and white sand. In route, enjoy natural coctails, tropical music, and at the beach enjoy a delicious lunch and facilities to spend a day at the beach. You can get to the island from the central pacific or from San Jose. It is a one day tour and you can not stay on the island.

Synthesis of activities: Catamaran tour, excellent scenery, kayaks and snorkeling.

Guanacaste Region (North Pacific)

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano

Crossing a landscape similar to semi desert, in the national park we offer a wide variety of trails at levels from moderate to difficult with possibilities to explore the crater (advanced physical level), the crab waterfall (intermediate) and Las Pailas (easy to moderate). The forest is habitat to many species of animals including the always evasive cats such as the jaguar, ocelotes, etc. Easier to see are the monkeys, pizotes, guatusas and an interesting variety of birds. The volcanic demonstrations are varied such as mud flows, thermal water and gysers.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, photography, bird watching, observing wildlife, riding, rapeling and mountain biking.

Miravalles Volcano

This volcano has a volcanic history similar to the Rincon de la viejo volcano. The groups we bring to this site are generally students and people interested in the rational use of natural resources. It now has an advanced geothermal plant. We include in a visit to this plant a visit to thermal waters and mud flows. The route connecting Miravalles with Rincon de la vieja is scenic and good for exjploration, where changes in microclimates predominate within short geopraphical distances. Mountain biking is the main activity in this zone

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, photography, bird watching, wildlife observation, thermal waters, study tourism, and mountain biking.

Tenorio Volcano via Cañas

In the community of Bijagua de Upala can be found el Albergue Ecoturistico las Heliconias. (Heliconia plantation). Here we offer visits to the rain forest, hanging bridges, trails to waterfalls and crater lakes. Also to the majestic Celeste river where volcanic activity tints the crystal water in a light blue color. The abundance of birds makes this a good destination for bird watchers and nature lovers in general.. It is a good location for student groups.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, photography, bird watching, wildlife observation, riding, hanging bridges, mountain biking and student groups.

Santa Rosa National Park

This former hacienda, one of the last remnants of the tropical dry forest on the pacific side of America, whose casona is today a historic museum forged in the most brilliant pages in the history of Costa Rica as the place where the national defense began. In this place we visit in addition to the casona, trails of varying degrees of difficulty, including easy hikes for people of all ages and also a 13 km hike to the majestic playa Naranjo, where the famous witches rock is located, an impressive destination for surfers and scenery lovers. Also in this area is the playa Nancite park which is an important site for Lora turtle nesting on the pacific side.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, history and culture (museum), nature observation, mountain biking, and student tourism.

Gulf of Papagayo

This zone of the north pacific allows you to make connections to other regions through local and international flights which have beautiful beaches along an irregular coast which have safe places for sports, adventure, and relaxation.

Papagayo allows for a visit of various days, always with the possibility of day tours. We use hotels with all included systems for the comfort of our clients.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent views, kayak tours, 4 wheelers, diving, sailing, riding, surfing, jet skis, sports fishing, zip lines, and mountain biking.

Tamarindo Bay and Flamingo

This is another destination for sun and beach lovers. Also for surfers. Spanish classes are also available that we combine with various tours of the area to other beaches such as Langosta, playa Grande (both sites for Baula Turtle nesting), and other more remote beaches such as playa Real, Avellanas, Flamingo, Brasilito, and Conchal among others.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, kayak tours, 4 wheelers, diving, sailing, riding, surfing, jet skis, sport fishing, biking, and Spanish classes.

Palo Verde and Tempisque river

The Palo Verde national park is a natural habitat for the nesting of hundreds of species of resident and migratory birds. When we travel around this park on trails ranging from easy to moderate we will visit lakes and Guayacan look out with a magnificent view of the meandering Tempisque river. There is also a boat tour of the Tempisque exploring dirfferent types of wildlife including monkeys, birds, crocodiles, iguanas, etc.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, photography, bird watching, wildlife observation, boat tours, and mountain biking.

Barra Honda Caves National Park

In this park, where former coral reefs expose fossils in its caves we have a tour showing the geological evolution of Costa Rica. This tour is only offered to people in medium to good physical condition due to the characteristics of the terrain. It is a unique experience showing all of the cave formations full of stalagtites and stalagmites.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, caving. In Nicoya, near this park, we perform volunteer activities and community service.

South Pacific Region

Corcovado

The Osa Peninsula contains the Corcovado National Park, a true national treasure. According to National Geographic, “Corcovado is the site of the greatest concentration of biological intensity on the planet earth”. There is no region in the world comparable with this area in the abundance of species of flora and fauna per hectacre of forest. This is the only national park in Costa Rica that has 4 species of primates that inhabit the country. Also, the diversity of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and plants makes the site a magic place.

The area of Drake Bay is a strategic point for diving and snorkeling lovers due to the diversity of species present off the isla del Cano located only 20 km. off the coast.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, wildlife observation boat tours, kayak tours, diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, riding.

Central Valley Region

We offer Spanish classes combined with day or half day activities to the following sites.

Braulio Carrillo

This is one of the largest national parks in Costa Rica. Its 47,000 hectacres (113,000 acres) of protected area include cloud forest and rain forest with a biodiversity of more than 400 species of birds, in addition to more than 150 species of mammals, There are also large numbers of reptiles and amphibians. In some places in the national park there are spectacular views towards the mountains, the Sucio (Dirty) river named for its tinted color due to mineral deposits from the folds of the Iraza volcano, and the Hondura river, as well as numerous waterfalls along the way. There is the hiking area Quebrada Gonzalez, where there trails for all levels.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes and photography.

Rain forest tram

Built with private conservation efforts with a protection buffer in the form of the Braulio Carrillo park and next to the community of Guapiles, this tram encompasses several hundred hectacres of rain forest and includes a gondola ride through the forest canopy and a hike throught the forest floor offering different perspectives of the two levels of the forest.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, and photography.

Irazú volcano

Along the route towards the summit of Irazu you can see majestic views that will take anybodies breath away. Agricultural and dairy farms, as well as views of the Central Valley and the Talamanca range oblige you to stop and take photos. This colosus that dominates the central volcanic range is the highest volcano in Costa Rica reaching an elevation of 3443 meters (11,400 feet) above sea level and from its summit on clear days you can see both the Pacific ocean and the Caribberan sea. Its last violent eruption was in 1963, on the first day of John F. Kennedys visit to the country., Its main crater is known as the Diego de la Haya crater and the lunar views are unique, accessable, and permit you to go on hikes of low difficulty. However, do not forget about the altitude and low temperatures when preparing for a visit to this location.

There is an excellent trail for experienced mountain bikers that links Irazu volcano with the city of Turrialba passing next to the volcano of the same name that consists of the second phase of the world famous mountain bike competition called the route of the conquistadors. The terrain planted with farm crops and dairies surround the rock and ash roads that you ride on..

Synthesis of activities: Short hikes, excellent scenery, photography, and mountain biking.

Orosí Valley

Some compare this scenery in Cartago with the mountains of Switzerland. During the trip around Cachi lake, there are lookouts from where you can appreciate the beauties of this land of coffee plantations and colonial churches. The ruins of Ujarras and the Orosi church are a step back in the history of Costa Rica in the XVII and XVIII centuries. This trip is done together with a visit to the Irazu volcano and is apt for groups of all ages.

This valley is also accessable by an intermediate mountain bike tour that starts in the south of the city of Cartago and goes to the Orosi valley where there is the option to go around the lake by the paved road or continue surrounded by coffee plantations to the entrance of the Tapanti National Park. This is an impressive rain forest with exuberant natural beauty and abundant wildlife.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, photography, and road and mountain biking.

Poás volcano

Even if you have visited other volcano craters, Poas has its own beauty, which is why your visit here will always be a pleasure. The altitude is a little more than 2800 meters (8800 feet) and the termperatures are low to moderate. The main crater is accessable by a short 15 minute hike and it has a beautiful turquoise lake and gysers that are evidence of the constant volcanic activity. There is another trail of moderated difficulty that leads to the ancient Botos crater where there is a lake surrounded by rain forest.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, bird watching, plants, and hikes.

Waterfall Gardens

This private property is a place without equal, where you can appreciate 4 impressive waterfalls in addition to one of the biggest butterfly farms in Central America. The humming bird gardens have at least 16 different species of these beautiful creatures. The trail has a large number of steps, but 85% are descending.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, nature observation, and trails.

San José de la Montaña Canopy

The canopy (zip line) closest to the Central Valley can be found in San Jose de la Montana in the highlands of Heredia. The valley views are beautiful and the tour runs through the tree canopy of the cloud forest. The safety systems are excellent and the guides have specialized training for the responsibility of the visiting groups It is also possible to include with the zip line canopy a mountain bike tour of the cypres forest and cloud forest.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, hikes, and mountain biking.

Coffee Tour

This is a visit to a coffee plantation where you will learn the details of this bean enjoyed in all the world. Step by step you will be educated about the origens of the post independence Costa Rican society in an enriching way.

Pacuare River

This river offers white water rapids of class III and IV at a site classified as one of the 5 best in the world for this sport. In addition to the quality of the rapids, you will enjoy impressive rain forest views through waterfall bathed canyons. The tour can be 1 or 2 days in such case you will sleep in a mountain lodge.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, white water rafting, combination of white water rafting and mountain biking at varying degrees of difficulty according to the clients ability.

Reventazón River

The Camel World Cup took place on this river at the end of the 90s. The section of the river used for tourism is class III and like the Pacuare, it ends in the folds of the Caribbean from the Central Volcanic Range.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, white water rapids, combination of white water rafting and mountain biking at varying degrees of difficulty according to the clients ability.

Talamanca Range

Cerro de la muerte (Peak of Death)

At 3400 meters (11,000 feet) above sea level emerges the impressive Bella Vista peak, known as the summit of death. Contrary to the insinuation of the name, this site is unique in Costa Rica for its beauty and ecosystems such as cloud forests and sub moors. The elevation and climate have similar characteristics of some places in the Andes, with typical vegetation of this type of geographic zone

Activities: Bird watching is an interesting activity. In fact, this zone possibly is the easiest place to see the majestic Quetzal Resplandeciente, which is a resident species. Extreme hikes, riding, and canopy tour.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, photography, hikes, riding, canopy tour, and mountain biking.

Chirripó Peak

In Central America there exist only 2 sites of glacial origin, one of them in Guatemala and Chirripo Peak that emerges 3819 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level with impressive glacial lakes and vegetation adapted to the extreme climatic conditions at its summit. The views of this site are simply a trip to another dimension. To visit this national park it is required to make reservations in advance, since the only place to stay is the park lodge. To ascend to the lodge it is required to be in good physical condition. The hike on the first day is approximately 7 hours. Once at the lodge, there are multiple trails of 2 to 4 hours in duration to visit Big Chirripo Peak, Ventisqueros, Crestones, Valley of the lions and others.

Synthesis of activities: Excellent scenery, photography, and hikes.

Bocas del Toro, Panamá

This beautiful corner of northeast Panama was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus during his fourth trip to America. Bocas is only 2 hours south of de Puerto Viejo de Limón.

Day 1

Travel to Bocas from Costa Rica. Upon arrival to Isla Colon you find the town of Bocas del Toro.

Day 2

Visit Marino Bastimentos National Park. The tour starts in a boat with visits to different islands in the national park. En Bahía Los delfines (Dolphin Bay) it is common to see these enchanting aquatic mammals. Later, we will visit Cape Coral, whose name is derived from the coral reef marine gardens that exist there. Due to the crystaline waters, from elevated wood steps it is possible to see a varitety of fish species.

After, we will visit Popa island, where an idigenous population can be found. The interaction with this population is interesting and there are hikes on trails with medicinal plants, and local crafts too. It is also possible to fish. Lunch at Cape Coral and later a visit to Zapatillas island where it is possibe to snorkel or rest and sun on the white sands of the island.

Day 3

Return to Costa Rica

An additional day is optional where you can hike on Red Frog Beach, Isla Bastimentos, or visit Hospital point where you can learn about the history of the operation of the United Fruit Company or visit Bird Island to observe the numerous species of aquatic birds that can be found there.

Granada, Masaya Volcano and Lake Nicaragua.

Day 1

Travel from Costa Rica to Nicaragua. Customs procedures at the border. Lunch along the way (restaurant el Mariscazo)

In the afternoon, a boat tour of the small islands in Lake Nicaragua.

Stay in the Hotel Alambra.

Day 2

09:00 am Leave for the Masaya volcano, a volcano composed of 5 craters that have had diverse eruptive periods. We will visit the craters Santiago, San Fernando and San Juan, and in addition Lake Masaya.

Later, we will go to the Masaya market, a beautiful center for the purchase typical crafts such as ceramics, hammocks, etc

Next, we will visit lake Apoyo or Catarina, an impressive volcanic range from where you can appreciate the view of the majestic Lake Nicaragua, Lake Apoyo, the city of Granada and the Mombacho volcano. After a delicious Nicaraguan lunch, we will return for a tour of Granada. This former capital was founded in 1524 and is next to Lake Nicaragua. This is a beautiful and very well conserved city with a architectual mix of colonial and neoclassical style due to the reconstruction done after the filibuster William Walter burned the city in 1856. We will visit beautiful buildings such as the Fuerte de la pólvora, las iglesias de Guadalupe, María auxiliadora, La Merced and San Francisco, in addition to the house of Sor María Romero, el Palacio Municipal, la plaza de la independencia and other arquitectural gems. We will stay in the Hotel Alambra.

Day 3

Leave to return to Costa Rica

 

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