Natural Wonders of Costa Rica
|Resort:||Natural Wonders of Costa Rica a Wildlife Haven|
|Destination:||Central America, Costa Rica, Panama|
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A tangled jungle of eco-wonderland swathed in palm-fringed beaches and enchanting cloud forests – Costa Rica is perfect for those with an appreciation for the natural world. Our tour combines unforgettable wildlife-watching opportunities, typical coffee culture in San Jose, the colonial splendour of Panama City and the astonishing engineering marvel of the Panama Canal. This magical land certainly dances to the beat of its own drum – but youll pick up the rhythm in no time.
Day 1 UK – In flight
Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to San Jose.
Day 2 San Jose
On arrival, well transfer to our hotel and settle in ahead of our two-night stay. You have the rest of the day at leisure to relax or for some initial exploration. While San Jose might not be the highlight of our Costa Rican adventure, you might be surprised by how charming this capital city is. There are historic, neoclassical mansions to discover and sprawling green parks.
Day 3 San Jose
This morning well take on this cosmopolitan city on a guided tour. Well explore both business and residential neighbourhoods, so youll get a real insight into the diverse and beautiful architecture that decorates the city. Well admire colonial mansions, many of which have now been converted into trendy museums and galleries. Well also see the bright yellow turrets of Bellavista fortress – the bullet marks a reminder of Costa Ricas past, but today it is the home of the National Museum. Right in the city centre, well visit the beautiful National Theatre. You might think it looks familiar – and if youve visited Paris, it may well be. Completed in 1897, the theatre is modelled after the Paris Opera House.
Day 4 Tortuguero
Todays journey is a scenic feast and an adventure in itself. Well drive through the cloud-enshrouded landscapes of Braulio Carrillo National Park all the way to Tortuguero. Well pass volcanic mountains, travel through untouched tropical rainforest and drive by sprawling banana plantations. Before youve had the chance to catch your breath, we take to the waters of the Tortuguero Canals and as we weave through these sinuous canals, well pass by rare and unusual flora and fauna. Finally, we arrive at our eco-lodge hotel; nestled in an area of rivers, lakes, wetlands and lush, exotic jungle. Later, well head out to explore Tortuguero village and visit the Turtle Preservation Centre. Turtle nesting season is usually July to October and they hatch from September to December, so we may catch a glimpse if were lucky.
Day 5 Tortuguero National Park
We waste no time in exploring the breathtaking paradise of the Tortuguero Canals. With its unique system of natural and man-made waterways this is a haven for a wide variety of birds, monkeys, sloths and toucans along with a dazzling array of orchids. The afternoon is yours to spend as you please; perhaps relax in the unique location of our eco-lodge, or head out on a guided walk for even more exciting discoveries.
Day 6 Arenal
This morning we leave our lodge by boat, before continuing by coach through the plains of the San Carlos region, the heart of Costa Rica, thriving with agricultural and livestock smallholdings, to Arenal and its famous volcano.
Day 7 Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
Watch on as we whizz by local communities on the way to the pueblito (small village) of Los Chiles; gateway to the Rio Frio and the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge. From here, our boat takes us on a floating safari through the tropical rainforest and pastures. The Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge is considered to be one of the richest in biological diversity in Costa Rica, so keep your eyes peeled for a variety of resident and migratory birds including roseate spoonbills, green-backed herons and wood storks, to name just a few. Plus, there are spider and howler monkeys, sloths, ocelots and more
Day 8 Monteverde – Cloud Forest
This morning we depart Arenal for Monteverde, located along the continental divide at 5,000 feet above sea level. We visit the Butterfly Gardens, to observe and learn about these beautiful winged insects. Then venture through the Cloud Forest private reserve to witness the wide array of flora and fauna. This is one of the few places you may be able to glimpse a strikingly coloured quetzal.
Day 9 Monteverde
Today is free to relax and explore this tropical haven, or take an optional excursion for an adventure into the cloud forest canopy. A Sky Walk of hanging bridges, trails and platforms above the forest floor, taking you to all the different layers of the forest for a great opportunity to see how the forest works.
Day 10 San Jose
Leaving the magnificent cloud forest behind, we travel back to San Jose via the picturesque town of Sarchi, famous for its elaborately painted oxcarts.
Day 11 San Jose – Panama City
We travel to the airport this morning for our flight (which may be indirect) to Panama and Panama City. On arrival we check in at our hotel for a three-night stay. The remainder of the day is yours to spend as you please.
Day 12 Panama City
A world away from San Jose, Panama City is a cultural hub and bustling metropolis; it is the most cosmopolitan city in all of Central America. The canal has made the city a regional hub for trade and the result is a deliciously diverse and dynamic culture. This morning we dive in on a guided tour, taking in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Panama Viejo Historical Monument Complex, the Historic District, the Palace of the President and the cathedral. Our final stop is at the Causeway, which provides wonderful views of the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal.
Day 13 Panama Canal
Started by the Spanish in 1534, the mighty Panama Canal was completed some 370 years later by the American Government in 1904. It is an engineering and economic marvel, offering travellers a unique and highly sought-after experience, cruising through the huge system of locks. We board our vessel for our cruise along a section of the canal. Massive ocean-going vessels will share the journey with us today and youll have the opportunity to view them up close as we progress through the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel lock systems. Well also pass through the Gaillard Cut, one of the most spectacular parts of the entire length of the canal. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, youll spot native wildlife as we cruise by.
Day 14 Panama City – In flight
Today we transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Day 15 UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.