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London – San José
Check in at London Gatwick for your direct flight to San José. Arriving in the afternoon, you will be met and transferred to your peaceful hotel on the outskirts of the city’s downtown. Circled by the Talamanca Mountains, Costa Rica’s capital is the unassuming gateway to the treasures of the Central Valley with its coffee plantations, volcanoes and butterfly farms.
Stay: One night in a deluxe room at Hotel Grano de Oro – bed & breakfast
Rising early this morning, you will embark on a thrilling rafting adventure along the Pacuare River to your lodge set deep in the rainforest. This will be your home for the next three nights and base for a multitude of exciting adventures. After lunch you can choose to relax in your private bungalow or, if you’re still feeling active, take a canopy tour or waterfall hike.
During your stay you will be able to choose from a variety of outdoor activities. These include rappelling through the canopy on a zip line, canyoneering, horse riding or walks through the forest with expert guides in search of unique flora and fauna.
Stay: Three nights in a river view deluxe suite at Pacuare River Lodge – full board
Bajos del Toro
Another exciting rafting excursion along the wild Pacuare River – with a picnic en route – and a road transfer brings you to Bajos del Toro. Your chic, cloudforest lodge boasts enchanting views over the pristine, forested landscape. You can unwind on your balcony and spot some of the area’s colourful birds, or set off to explore the Poas Volcano or the hot springs of Arenal.
Included in your stay is a cultural tour of the rural community of Los Bajos del Toro Amarillo, a great opportunity to learn about their rich traditions and admire the beautiful landscapes. You will stop at the school, soccer field and church, as well as the private garden of orchid enthusiast Don Martin Porras to admire his stunning collection featuring over 400 species of orchid.
Stay: Three nights in a luxury suite at El Silencio Lodge – full board
Leaving the cloudforest you now make your way towards the coast. A five-hour journey brings you to your intimate hotel overlooking the sparkling Pacific Ocean. It’s the perfect place to recharge after the adventures of the past week, with a stunning pool, sun deck and restaurant serving fine fusion cuisine. Those who want to keep busy are equally well catered for, with surfing, horseback riding, bird watching, golfing, tennis and canopy tours all available. Between mid-September and mid-November, guests also have the opportunity to observe turtle-nesting at nearby Carmoronal beach.
Stay: Four nights in a premium junior suite at Punta Islita – bed & breakfast
On day 12 you will fly back to San José. Your hotel for the night is wonderfully situated amongst coffee plantations and orange orchards with sweeping views over the San José Valley. You can simply relax by the pool, or follow trails on the grounds of the hotel that lead to beautiful waterfalls.
Stay: One night in a prima plus room at the Xandari Resort and Spa – bed & breakfast
San José – London
You will be taken to San José airport to board your direct flight back to London.
It was a complicated and very individual trip, and several changes were made by me during the planning. None of this seemed to worry Ayesha and everything went according to plan.- AM, India