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Costa Rica Private Expedition
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9 days

from $6,416 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($4,395 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.

trip_detail module icon Private Expedition

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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.

Premium trip_detail hint icon

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
  • Trek into the jungle with a private guide to meet with a family of Cabécar Indians, Costa Rica’s largest and most isolated indigenous tribe.
  • Stay at Lapa Rios Lodge and Pacuare Lodge, both National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World tucked within pristine Costa Rican rain forests.
  • Explore the unsurpassed biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula with naturalist guides.
  • Join a private guide for a canopy walk in the lush forests surrounding the Arenal Volcano.
Itinerary

The flourishing jungles of Costa Rica are serene and untouched, punctuated by the iridescent blue flash of a morpho butterfly, the mist of a waterfall, or the rhythmic call of a howler monkey. Discover the incredible biodiversity hidden under the canopies of three distinct rain forests, exploring with top naturalist guides. Ride white water through lush river canyons and fly tree to tree on zip lines strung through the forests of Limón. Survey leafy treetops from the peak of a dormant volcano in the northern highlands. Then head into the coastal primary forests of the Osa Peninsula to discover a magnificent array of wild species.

Day 1: Arrive San José, Costa Rica

Arrive in San José and transfer to your downtown hotel, a historic Victorian mansion converted into a luxury inn. On this evening at leisure, consider visiting the old town for a look at the city’s colonial architecture. Or stay close to home and relax in the hot tub on the hotel’s rooftop deck.

Day 2: Pacuare River

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Venture into the Costa Rican jungle on your way to the secluded Pacuare Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge that can only be reached via the resort’s namesake river. Conquer Pacuare’s rapids with fellow guests on a rafting trip through dramatic black-rock canyons blanketed in emerald-green ferns and mosses. Or ride in a four-wheel-drive vehicle to the river’s edge, cross via hanging gondola, and hike to your palm-thatched bungalow. Unwind and unplug in a true jungle sanctuary, where dinners are lit by candle and travel is done by boat, foot, or zip line.

Day 3: Pacuare River

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Join an early morning birding walk in the rain forest to spot toucans, bright hummingbirds, and many other species in the leafy forest canopy. This afternoon, choose one of two options: go on a rain forest hike to a typical Cabécar rancho (thatched house), meet with the son of a tribe shaman, and gain rare insights into his people's ancient traditions—an experience exclusively for Nat Geo travelers. Or embark on a canopy adventure, rated easy to intermediate, that will send you soaring along a series of zip lines strung through the treetops surrounding your lodge.

Day 4: Pacuare River/Arenal National Park

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This morning, head out on one last white-water rafting adventure. Or depart for the northern highlands after breakfast, allowing for an evening at leisure in Arenal National Park. While the park’s main attraction is the mighty Arenal Volcano, its network of hiking trails, rivers, and hanging bridges create a jungle playground for nature lovers. Settle into your lodge and soak in its private hot springs, naturally heated by the very volcano that rises up before you.

Day 5: Arenal National Park

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Today, get a monkey's-eye view of the rain forest on a guided two-mile walk through the treetops. Traverse a series of hanging bridges, getting close-up views of the unique ecosystem of the jungle canopy. Then head to La Fortuna waterfall, which tumbles some 200 feet into a gem-colored natural pool. Take a refreshing dip before returning to your hotel for an evening at leisure.

Day 6: San José/Osa Peninsula

Transfer to the San José Airport and catch a flight to the Osa Peninsula. Your home for the next three nights is Lapa Rios Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge celebrated for its wildlife conservation efforts in the surrounding region. From your bungalow, perched on a ridgeline in a private nature reserve, enjoy spectacular views of the shimmering waters where the Pacific Ocean meets the Golfo Dulce.

Day 7: Osa Peninsula

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Explore the unmatched biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula’s rain forests, beaches, and waters on a variety of naturalist-led group excursions. Swim beneath rushing waterfalls, learn about the medicinal uses of local plants, discover diverse marine life in one of the world’s only tropical fjords, or follow the sounds of nocturnal wildlife through the nighttime jungle. Spot white-faced capuchin monkeys, poison dart frogs, sloths, and the occasional coati.

Day 8: Osa Peninsula

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Enjoy a full day to explore the area on a variety of excursions. Learn about the lodge’s innovative sustainability efforts with naturalists. Visit a local school built with lodge funding. Plant a seedling in an area of secondary rain forest growth, or simply relax with a book in a hammock on your terrace. As a National Geographic traveler, you’ll be invited to join a naturalist on a private hike along a forest stream to a stunning waterfall. Swim in the fall's crystal-clear natural pool and then enjoy a memorable lunch in the forest canopy, overlooking the waterfall from high above. You may also choose to take an optional day trip to nearby Corcovado National Park.

Day 9: Osa Peninsula/San Jose/Depart

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Rise with the sun to catch a vivid display of bird activity in the budding light of dawn. The endemic black-cheeked ant tanager and the endangered scarlet macaw are but two of the rare birds among the area’s 300-plus avian species. Later, drive to Puerto Jiménez and fly to San José, where you will catch your international flight home.

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of light\/moderate and suits a range of interests and abilities. Travelers should be physically fit and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods and navigating uneven or slippery terrain, sometimes in wet or humid conditions. Excursions include a variety of nature walks, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, white-water rafting, zip-lining, and kayaking. While tourism is growing steadily, Costa Rica's infrastructure is still developing. Road conditions can be rugged and dusty, and internal flight schedules can be unpredictable.

Accommodations
Throughout the expedition, you’ll stay in accommodations selected for their exceptional quality, location, and character, including two National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World: Lapa Rios Lodge and Pacuare Lodge.

Expedition Team
Top private guides will accompany you throughout the trip, and local experts will meet with you along the way as described in the itinerary.

Other Important Details
This trip is available to children age 7 and older. The level of physical activity can be decreased or increased based on your preference. Please contact our reservations specialists for details or to customize this trip if your children are under 7 years.

ACCOMMODATIONS
1 /8

Pacuare Lodge - Limón Province, Costa Rica

Pacuare Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, is tucked deep within 25,000 acres of pristine, protected Costa Rican rain forest on the banks of the Pacuare River—and best accessed by white-water raft.

2 /8

Pacuare Lodge - Limón Province, Costa Rica

Pacuare Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, is tucked deep within 25,000 acres of pristine, protected Costa Rican rain forest on the banks of the Pacuare River—and best accessed by white-water raft.

3 /8

Pacuare Lodge - Limón Province, Costa Rica

Pacuare Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, is tucked deep within 25,000 acres of pristine, protected Costa Rican rain forest on the banks of the Pacuare River—and best accessed by white-water raft.

4 /8

Pacuare Lodge - Limón Province, Costa Rica

Pacuare Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, is tucked deep within 25,000 acres of pristine, protected Costa Rican rain forest on the banks of the Pacuare River—and best accessed by white-water raft.

5 /8

Lapa Rios Lodge - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Set within the tropical rain forests of its own private nature reserve and edged by sandy shores, Lapa Rios Eco Lodge—a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World—is an intimate jungle retreat.

6 /8

Lapa Rios Lodge - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Set within the tropical rain forests of its own private nature reserve and edged by sandy shores, Lapa Rios Eco Lodge—a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World—is an intimate jungle retreat.

7 /8

Lapa Rios Lodge - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Set within the tropical rain forests of its own private nature reserve and edged by sandy shores, Lapa Rios Eco Lodge—a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World—is an intimate jungle retreat.

8 /8

Lapa Rios Lodge - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Set within the tropical rain forests of its own private nature reserve and edged by sandy shores, Lapa Rios Eco Lodge—a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World—is an intimate jungle retreat.

PRICES & DATES

  • date Nov 1-Dec 31, 2019
  • 2 People $8,313 AUD ($5,695 USD)
  • 4 People $7,875 AUD ($5,395 USD)

  • date Jan 1-Apr 30, 2020
  • 2 People $8,313 AUD ($5,695 USD)
  • 4 People $7,875 AUD ($5,395 USD)

  • date May 1-Jun 30, 2020
  • 2 People $7,291 AUD ($4,995 USD)
  • 4 People $6,853 AUD ($4,695 USD)

  • date Jul 1-Aug 15, 2020
  • 2 People $7,729 AUD ($5,295 USD)
  • 4 People $7,291 AUD ($4,995 USD)

  • date Aug 16-Oct 31, 2020
  • 2 People $7,291 AUD ($4,995 USD)
  • 4 People $6,853 AUD ($4,695 USD)

  • date Nov 1-Dec 19, 2020
  • 2 People $8,313 AUD ($5,695 USD)
  • 4 People $7,875 AUD ($5,395 USD)

Prices are per person based on double occupancy and do not include international airfare to/from your destination or internal flights during the expedition. Single traveler prices are available upon request. Internal flights are $360 per person. Surcharges may apply to certain travel dates based upon international or local holidays, as well as local events and festivals. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange and subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information.

  • 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

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
  • Gratuities