- Hike along the lava fields of Arenal Volcano National Park.
- Soak your bones in the hot springs of Tabacón Grand Spa.
- Fly down the most thrilling zip lines in the country.
- Enjoy beach life on the relaxing coast of Guanacaste.
- Seek out incredible wildlife, like spider and howler monkeys, sloths, and tapirs.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL, TRANSFER TO ARENAL / FORTUNA
NAYARA HOTEL SPA & GARDENS
For approximately 40 years, Arenal erupted near-daily, making it Costa Rica’s most active volcano. It has been dormant since 2010, but the area around it and the nearby town of La Fortuna still buzzes with activity. Adventurous travelers set out for this region of northern Costa Rica to hike stunning rainforests with hanging bridges, sky-blue waterfalls, and fascinating caves. They raft river rapids, horseback ride, zip-line through the jungle, and relax in natural hot springs. The town of La Fortuna itself is a great spot for delicious meals and vibrant nightlife where you can salsa the night away.
Located in the middle of a tropical rainforest, on beautifully manicured grounds, Nayara Gardens offers 50 spacious accommodations perfectly situated to take in the draw-dropping views of nearby Arenal volcano and the surrounding jungle. There are casitas, suites, and villas, and all are supremely comfortable. Picture plantation furniture, plush, four-poster beds, hardwood floors, secluded gardens with outdoor showers, and oversize terraces boasting hot tubs or mineral spring-fed plunge pools. The on-premise spa, perched on a cliff overlooking a wild landscape, offers a comprehensive menu of massages, wraps, and more. Guests have an eclectic mix of food from which to choose, from sushi to tapas to local eats; a nice selection of wine is on offer, as well. The hotel is well-suited for visitors looking to hike, mountain bike, zip-line, and enjoy local thermal springs or Lake Arenal.
DAY 2: ARENAL HIKE AND HOT SPRINGS
NAYARA HOTEL SPA & GARDENS
Embark on a half-day tour of the famous Arenal Volcano National Park, a 12,000 hectare (30,000 acre) stretch of land that comprises rainforest, savannah, and two volcanoes. (A large chunk of this area was devastated during Arenal’s massive eruption in 1968.) You’ll explore the park on a 45-minute hike along a sandy trail and over a lava field (formed in 1992) as your guide explains on volcanism, Costa Rican geography, and the history of Arenal, which was once the most active volcano in the country. The hike culminates at a spot with excellent views for photograph shooting.
Afterwards, you’ll be transferred to Tabacón Grand Spa where you will be able to enjoy a relaxing immersion in the resort’s hot springs. A buffet dinner is included in Tabacón hot springs.
DAY 3: SKY TRAM
NAYARA HOTEL SPA & GARDENS
The Sky Tram gondolas rise smoothly through the rain forest, offering up endless views during their mountainous ascent. This tour is perfect for people who want to take a different approach on admiring nature, without much physical effort but still be on spot where natures exhibits all its magic. On tour you will be attended by a bilingual guide who will point out different characteristics of the flora and fauna and other interesting facts. The Sky Tram travel up the mountains, culminating with a wide observation platform on the highest point of the reserve.
The Sky Trek is a thrilling zip line circuit and starts at the observation area where you’ll be dropped off. From this area, you will start riding down on a zip line track stretching across canyons and in between treetops, the exhilarating adventure of zip lining down the mountainside begins; ultimately returning you to the starting point at the main building. This is the most thrilling zip line in the country.
The third canopy level adventure of the day is Sky Walk, which uses trails and a series of suspension bridges for a more relaxing introduction of the flora and fauna of the forest canopy. It allows a vision of the forest from a different perspective which starts with a hike on the ground and then takes you to explore the treetops with a naturalist guide. Sky Walk’s bridges span across canyons and bring visitors face to face with the upper level of the forest canopy.
DAY 4-8: TRANSFER TO GUANACASTE, FREE DAYS
HOTEL EL MANGROOVE
After breakfast, transfer to Guanacaste. The province of Guanacaste sits in northwestern Costa Rica and stretches from Nicaragua to the Nicoya Peninsula, along the Pacific coast. It’s one of Costa Rica’s most exciting destinations and attracts travelers of all kinds, from honeymooners and families to golfers, scuba divers, and surfers. Beaches are rugged, remote, and often deserted; some of the better-known ones include Sámara, Nosara, and Punta Islita. National parks like Rincón de la Vieja boast active volcanoes, cloud forests, and incredible wildlife (think spider monkeys, pumas, sloths, and tapirs). Other parks are home to mangroves, wetlands, and savanna; some protect important sea turtle nesting sites.
Guanacaste is also sabanero (cowboy) territory, and extensive cattle ranches pepper the landscape. Guanacastecos take pride in the rich local culture which visitors can learn about via typical music, dances, dishes, and drinks (meals often incorporate maiz, a principal regional crop). In small villages like Guaitil, potters use ancient traditional methods to produce pre-Columbian Chorotega-style pottery.
Your home base for this time is El Mangroove, a luxurious beach resort entirely surrounded by a sumptuous tropical forest and with prosperous biodiversity. Its modern architectural design, stylish wood furnishings, and regional artwork décor gives the hotel a true Costa Rican character; while the resort’s location lets you enjoy vivid scenes of the extensive ocean horizon and forest canopy. The 85 suites (Standard and Junior) are bohemian-chic, yet relaxing, exquisitely warmed by sunlight that streams through your window. All with modern entertainment options, plush beds with quality linen, beachfront views over the private terrace, fancy bathrooms, and small details that will make your stay unforgettable. The hotel’s spa features outdoor terraces and massage decks where you can have a therapeutic massage, skin-care treatments, or a soothing aromatherapy session.
El Mangroove resort has two restaurants that offer world-class cuisine serving farm-to-table and ocean-to-table gourmet menus. The flavors in each plate and the ambiances of both restaurants are finely created to combine the fanciness of modern cooking techniques and the relaxed tone of simple beach life. El Mangroove has a fabulous outdoor pool where you can end your day enjoying marvelous sight of the sun setting over the ocean. The resort is just minutes away from some of the most spectacular diving, surfing & boating destinations in Costa Rica.
Interested in booking this itinerary or customizing a trip to Costa Rica? Get in touch with a private travel designer!