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Costa Rica Family Expedition
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7 days

from $6,695 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($4,595 USD)

Prices are per person, based on twin share occupancy. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange. The expedition price will be finalised at time of booking.

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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

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Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

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Expedition Overview

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EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • See Costa Rica’s wild cats at a rescue center established to help orphaned and wounded animals, including jaguars and ocelots.
  • Go floating and zip-lining through tropical forests, surrounded by an astonishing variety of wildlife.
  • Eat lunch in the National Theatre of Costa Rica, and have dinner in a tree house.
  • Kids have the opportunity to make new friends during a visit to a local school and a game of soccer.
Itinerary

From misty cloud forests to ancient volcanic landscapes fringed by jungle, Costa Rica brims with natural wonders. Encounter wildlife and wild places close up as we float, hike, and zip-line on a fun-filled family adventure. Peer at white-faced capuchins, jaguars, howler monkeys, sloths, caimans, and toucans. Swing through the cloud forest canopy on a zip line and splash down the Corobicí River on a rafting trip. Immerse yourselves in local life on visits to a cacao plantation, a rural village, and the lively markets of San José.

Day 1: San José, Costa Rica

Bienvenidos! Your tropical adventure begins! Meet fellow travelers and our expedition leaders—both “ticos,” or native Costa Ricans—at a lively welcome dinner.

Day 2: San José/Monteverde

Explore the beauties of San José—from tropical fruit stands at the Mercado Central to the Teatro Nacional and the glittering Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold. After lunch in the central square, head north to the cloud forests of Monteverde. Go on a twilight forest walk as nocturnal creatures awaken.

Day 3: Monteverde

Hike with a local expert through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Spot some of the 500-plus species of orchids, and look for wildlife such as howler monkeys, tapirs, sloths, snakes, and frogs, and colorful birds and butterflies. Visit the hanging bridges or opt to ride a zip line through the forest canopy. Have dinner tonight in a tree house.

Day 4: Guanacaste

Head to Guanacaste Province, full of fast rivers, volcanic scenery, and deep canyons. Float on the Corobicí River through the tropical dry forest, keeping your eyes peeled for otters, crocodiles, monkeys, and large birds like storks, herons, and roseate spoonbills. See wild cats up close at the Las Pumas Rescue Center: jaguars, pumas, ocelots, or jaguarundis. Our home for the next three nights is hidden away on a “lost river” deep in a protected forest.

Day 5: Río Perdido

Spend the day on an excursion in and around the canyons of Río Blanco—a wild, arid landscape of hot springs and age-old rock formations. Go on an aerial adventure amid the forest canopy: clamber on canyon platforms, walk across hanging bridges, zip-line across the rushing river, and swing and hike through the treetops and canyons. After lunch, opt for a scenic hike with opportunities to swim in the river and soak in thermal pools.

Day 6: Colonia Libertad

Start the day at a sustainability-focused ranch, wander through an organic garden, and take a tractor-pulled cart ride among macadamia orchards, tropical flowers, and groves of cacao trees. Learn how cacao beans are transformed into finished chocolate. Spend the afternoon at Colonia Libertad, a farming community that maintains a traditional lifestyle closely connected to nature. Kids meet children from the local school, play soccer, and forge new friendships. Gather for a farewell dinner tonight.

Day 7: Liberia

Transfer to the airport in Liberia for your flight home this morning.

EXTENSIONS

Day 1: Guanacaste Region

After breakfast, transfer to Papagayo Bay on the Pacific Coast and check into our beachfront hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day to relax and explore the beach.This evening, enjoy time relaxing with your family at the hotel for dinner or head into town and try something local!

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Day 2: Coco Beach

Start the day in the water, where we’ll join instructors for a lesson in paddle-boarding. Then set off along the coast to neighboring Coco Beach, kneeling or standing on your board as you paddle through the gentle waters. Stop for a swim along the way. Wander through the tiny village of Playas del Coco before our return journey. Tonight, we’ll meet a representative of Misión Tiburón Association, a local non-profit organization working for the conservation of sharks and other marine life.

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Day 3: Papagayo Gulf

In the morning, board a boat and cruise out to the Papagayo Gulf with a marine expert from Misión Tiburón. Don your snorkel gear and jump into an amazing underwater world. With the help of a Marine Field Guide, identify all kinds of marine species and look for the rays and sharks that Misión Tiburón is trying hard to protect. Enjoy lunch during our ocean adventure and return to the hotel for an afternoon at the beach.

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Day 4: Papagayo Gulf

After breakfast, transfer to Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia for your flight home.

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Day 1: San Jose

Arrive in San Jose and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day relaxing poolside, or head downtown for your first look at Costa Rica’s capital.

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Day 2: Arenal National Park

Head to Arenal National Park and jump right into your first jungle adventure! Ride the rapids of the Balsa River and enjoy paddling amidst thick rain forest. Break for a swim in calmer waters, and taste tropical fruits and Costa Rican specialties at lunch. This afternoon, take a soak in the Eco Termales hot springs—a sanctuary of lagoon-like pools encompassed by lush forest and heated naturally by the Arenal Volcano.

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Day 3: Arenal National Park

This morning embark on a thrilling canyoning expedition, rappelling down steep cliff faces as you navigate rushing waterfalls and dense jungle terrain. After lunch, take a walk through the rain forest canopy on Arenal’s hanging-bridges course. Fifteen bridges—eight stationary, six suspension, and one tunnel—link a nature trail teeming with exotic wildlife. Try and spot howler monkeys, sloths, and brightly colored birds as you stroll amidst the treetops.

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Day 4: Arenal National Park/San Jose

After breakfast, choose one of two excursion options. Visit the Finca Educativa Don Juan, an educational center and farm that sits at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. The farm manually cultivates over 50 different crops using organic techniques. Learn about their sustainability processes, and practice skills that can be used when you return home. Alternatively, explore the countryside surrounding the volcano via mountain bike, selecting from a variety of trails that run through rolling hills and jungle. This afternoon, return to San Jose and meet up with your fellow travelers from the main expedition for a welcome dinner.

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What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of light\/moderate; travelers should be physically fit and comfortable walking or This trip has an activity rating of light\/moderate; travelers should be physically fit and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods and navigating uneven terrain. Excursions may include jungle walks on trails that may be muddy and wet, climbing steep stairs and rocky paths, and hiking in hot and humid conditions.

Accommodations
Throughout the expedition, we stay in ideally located, family-friendly hotels with many amenities.

Expedition Team
Our dynamic Expedition Leaders enrich each experience with their insights, knowledge, and energy, and a Young Explorer Leader joins every group to facilitate fun activities that help kids get the most out of the places we go.

ACCOMMODATIONS
1 /7

Real InterContinental San José - San José, Costa Rica

In the center of the vibrant city of San José, this modern hotel features wonderful amenities for families with multiple interests. With 372 rooms and 17 suites, 2 outdoor pools, landscaped gardens, the largest urban spa in Central America, and 4 restaurants the hotel offers something exciting and comfortable for everyone. There is also air conditioning, available wireless internet, same day dry cleaning, and an extensive health and fitness center on site.

2 /7

Real InterContinental San José - San José, Costa Rica

In the center of the vibrant city of San José, this modern hotel features wonderful amenities for families with multiple interests. With 372 rooms and 17 suites, 2 outdoor pools, landscaped gardens, the largest urban spa in Central America, and 4 restaurants the hotel offers something exciting and comfortable for everyone. There is also air conditioning, available wireless internet, same day dry cleaning, and an extensive health and fitness center on site.

3 /7

El Establo - Monteverde, Costa Rica

Nestled in the misty cloud forest of Monteverde, El Establo offers the area’s best views. Amenities at this 155-room hotel include a heated indoor pool, spa, restaurants, internet access, souvenir shop, tennis court, basketball court, mini soccer court, and hiking trails. This half-Costa Rican, half-Quaker, family-owned hotel will allow you to experience the best of both cultures.

4 /7

El Establo - Monteverde, Costa Rica

Nestled in the misty cloud forest of Monteverde, El Establo offers the area’s best views. Amenities at this 155-room hotel include a heated indoor pool, spa, restaurants, internet access, souvenir shop, tennis court, basketball court, mini soccer court, and hiking trails. This half-Costa Rican, half-Quaker, family-owned hotel will allow you to experience the best of both cultures.

5 /7

El Establo - Monteverde, Costa Rica

Nestled in the misty cloud forest of Monteverde, El Establo offers the area’s best views. Amenities at this 155-room hotel include a heated indoor pool, spa, restaurants, internet access, souvenir shop, tennis court, basketball court, mini soccer court, and hiking trails. This half-Costa Rican, half-Quaker, family-owned hotel will allow you to experience the best of both cultures.

6 /7

Río Perdido Hotel - Bagaces, Costa Rica

Río Perdido, meaning “Lost River,” is truly a hidden gem, situated in a protected dwarf forest that even many Costa Ricans have never seen. The property pays respect to its amazing environment, using wells and natural springs for water and taking 100% of its electrical energy from the Miravalles Geothermal Power Plant, among many other sustainable practices. The hotel’s brand new 20 bungalows – suspended above the ground by columns and accessed by elevated pathways connecting to hiking trails – each offer a unique experience. They are all cozy and quite comfortable and feature a private terrace, television, and free WiFi.

7 /7

Río Perdido Hotel - Bagaces, Costa Rica

Río Perdido, meaning “Lost River,” is truly a hidden gem, situated in a protected dwarf forest that even many Costa Ricans have never seen. The property pays respect to its amazing environment, using wells and natural springs for water and taking 100% of its electrical energy from the Miravalles Geothermal Power Plant, among many other sustainable practices. The hotel’s brand new 20 bungalows – suspended above the ground by columns and accessed by elevated pathways connecting to hiking trails – each offer a unique experience. They are all cozy and quite comfortable and feature a private terrace, television, and free WiFi.

PRICES & DATES

  • date Dec 26, 2019 - Jan 1, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $6,695 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $8,080 AUD Per Person

EXTENSIONS

Post-trip Extension: 23 Dec 2019 - 26 Dec 2019

Double Occupancy from $6,695 AUD per person

Single Occupancy from $8,080 AUD per person

Post-trip Extension: 01 Jan 2020 - 04 Jan 2020

Double Occupancy from $6,695 AUD per person

Single Occupancy from $8,080 AUD per person

All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
  • All gratuities

What's Not Included

  • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages