1 USA / San José, Costa Rica
Depart the USA for San José, Costa Rica. Upon arrival you will be met by a representative of Mayflower Cruises & Tours who will assist with your transfer to the hotel. Flights should arrive by 4:00pm. Relax before the included dinner as your busy schedule eases into Costa Rica’s mystical tropical lifestyle. Meal: D
2 San José – Arenal area
En route from San José to the Arenal area, visit the Doka Coffee Estate where members of the Vargas Ruiz family have been involved with coffee production for more than 70 years. Tour the plantation, learning how this famous product of Costa Rica is produced from the harvesting of the beans to the roasting and packaging processes. And of course there is a sampling of the final product! Continuing towards Arenal, with an included lunch along the way, a sweet treat awaits. Coffee beans aren’t the only ones Costa Rica is famous for. Discover the ancient secrets of chocolate, considered a “gift of the Gods”, as cacao beans were used for ceremonial drinks and even currency.
During this hands-on experience at a cacao plantation, learn the whole process of creating sumptuous chocolate from the fruit of the cacao tree. The day ends with arrival at the hotel, providing awe-inspiring views of Arenal Volcano from every room. Meals: B, L
3 Arenal area
This morning, enjoy a gentle walk along the base of Arenal Volcano, a magnificent natural phenomenon, during a visit to Arenal National Park. Your Tour Manager takes you through the forest, over the lava flows, and to the destroyed area now in the process of regeneration. Continue on to the Misico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park where you can walk across a variety of bridges, 6 of which are hanging, for wonderful views of the flora and fauna of this highly diverse forest.
Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure to relax in the springs, wander around the lush gardens, or simply enjoy the view from your patio. This evening, meet the Mendez Family at their farm for a cultural dining experience. After a brief orientation of the farm, assist the locals with the dinner preparation, while the main course is cooking over a wood-burning stove. Dine with the locals in a rural setting, learning about their life, culture and traditions. Meals: B, D
4 Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
While in the Arenal area, enjoy a full day excursion to Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge, a remote “everglades” type wetlands, teeming with different species of flora, fauna and birdlife. Enjoy a boat ride on the Rio Frio, where you’ll have an opportunity to see a plethora of wildlife: snake-birds, heron, comorants, howler, spider and white-faced monkeys, three-toed sloth, basilik lizards, turtles and much more. This unique experience showcases the natural beauty of Costa Rica. A typical lunch is provided during the excursion. Meals: B, L
5 Arenal area – Manuel Antonio
After breakfast, travel to the Manuel Antonio area, famous for its national park. En route, relax on a boat trip along the Tarcoles River located near Carara National Rain Forest Park. This adventure combines nature with the breathtaking experience of viewing American crocodiles at near proximities. Home to one of the world’s largest crocodile populations in the wild, some of these “local residents” are up to 15-feet-long!
As your boat ride takes you inside the mangrove canals and along the Tarcoles River, you also have the opportunity to spot many different species of birds, including the rare scarlet macaw, amongst the lush foliage. Upon arrival at the hotel in Manuel Antonio, the remainder of the day is at leisure until the included dinner. Meals: B, D
6 Manuel Antonio National Park
Today’s included tour visits nearby Manuel Antonio National Park, the smallest of the parks in Costa Rica but one of the most popular. There is a magic to this park that is hard to explain. Perhaps it’s the park’s forest, mangroves, lagoons and beach vegetation that supports 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds (with migrants bringing the bird species to some 270) that make it so amazing.
Among the inhabitants that can be easily seen are sloths, iguanas, agoutis, armadillos, raccoons, coatimundis and the adorable squirrel monkey. After the excursion, return to the hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy the beautiful grounds and amenities. Meal: B
7 Manuel Antonio
This morning, depart by coach for the short journey to the Nauyaca Waterfalls. Upon arrival, board smaller vehicles for a ride through the beautiful landscape and wonders of the tropical rain forest to the lower falls. Take a dip in the refreshing water at the base of the falls, or simply relax as you take in the sights, sounds and smells of this magical area. Return to the hotel in time for lunch and a final afternoon at leisure before the farewell dinner. Meals: B, D
8 Manuel Antonio / San José / USA
After breakfast, your tropical get-away comes to an end as you return to the San José airport for your flight home. Flights should depart after 1:00pm. Fond memories of the beauty of Costa Rica and the warm hospitality of its people are sure to be treasured for a lifetime! Meal: B
Itinerary is subject to change.