Costa Rica: Nature & Nurture
Search out Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity, learn how the coffee barons shaped the country’s history and culture, and nurture your soul by spending time with activists, artisans, artists, and musicians.
Nature & Nurture
February 23 – March 5, 2023
Inquire about custom dates and itineraries to suit your group of family and friends.
We’ll stop at Volcan Irazu and Cartago’s famous Basicilica on our way to ghts in San Gerardo de Dota in the midst of the Los Quetzales National Park where one of our goals will be to see the resplendent quetzal. There will be ample opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, waterfall gazing, or just sitting on the porch of Miriam’s Restaurant with an adult beverage. From the mountains, we’ll move to the beach town of Uvita. We’ll be staying for three nights in a small, family-owned hotel (with air conditioning and a pool) that’s a short walk from the beaches of Marino Ballena National Park. From our beach base we’ll visit Finca 6 and discover what is known and theorized about the stone spheres of Costa Rica and learn about the indigenous Boruca people and their efforts to preserve their culture.
The tour will end with four nights in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. While here we’ll take a walking tour of the historic city center (and street food) and the Teatro Nacional. You’ll also have options to attend an organic farmers’ market and some of the events of Amón Cultural. The tour curator can also help you decide what other cultural treasures to experience in this vibrant city.
Arrival in Costa Rica
Arrive at San Jose’s international airport and transfer to Alajuela City hotel by cab. You may arrive early enough to visit the church on the central square and the Juan Santamaria Historical Museum just steps from our hotel. Or, perhaps you just want to relax after a day of airplanes and airports. Meals included: none.
Transfer to the Talamanca Mountains
After an early breakfast, we’ll head to Irazú Volcano and check the amazing views. Then we’ll go to Cartago to see the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles and have lunch. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.
We’ll use today to acclimate to the altitude (about 7,000 feet) and look for the rare resplendent quetzal. Those who feel up to it can do some bird watching and hike some of the local trails with our guide.Meals included: breakfast.
Today our guide will lead us on a hike into Los Quetzales National Park. The park is a wealth of ecological resources. It sits along the Talamanca Mountain range and has an elevation of 5-7,000 feet. It is one of Costa Rica’s famous cloud forests. Researchers have identified three different types of rain forests and 14 distinct ecological zones each with their unique qualities.Meals included: breakfast.
Transfer to Uvita
After a leisurely breakfast at Miriam’s we’ll transfer to our hotel in Uvita on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. But on the way, we’ll stop in San Isidro for lunch and ice cream. In the afternoon you can relax by the pool or head into Marino Ballena National Park and check out the whale’s tail sandbar. Meals included: breakfast.
We’ll start today with a visit to the Finca 6 Archeological Site, where we will learn about the mysterious pre-Columbian spheres created by the Diquís civilization between 300 BC and 1500 AD. Then we’ll head to the village of the indigenous Boruca people and see how they are working to preserve their identity and culture. From their mask-making, the Dance of the Devils, and the unusual story of a group of women organizing to turn the economy around, daily life for the Boruca has changed to focus on cultural preservation. We’ll return to the hotel with time to watch the sunset at the beach or lounge by the pool. Meals included: breakfast & lunch.
There are no activities scheduled today. Those who wish can arrange some additional exploration with Fabian, a whale/dolphin watching tour, or a a horseback ride. Or you can meander along the beach or simply relax at the hotel. Meals included: breakfast.
Transfer to San Jose
This morning we’ll transfer to San Jose by way of the coastal highway, with a stop at the Crocodile Bridge to check out the crocodiles. In the evening, depending on their schedule, we may have an opportunity to hear the Costa Rica National Symphony play. Meals included: breakfast.
We’ll take a walking tour winding through the streets and parks of downtown San Jose focusing on the city’s history, vibrant food scene, and the Teatro Nacional. The afternoon is free for you to check out some of the museums in the city center. Meals included: breakfast.
On our final full day in San Jose, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the offerings of Amón Cultural, a one-day festival of cultural activities in the historic center. Meals included: breakfast.
Activities are generally not very strenuous; however, we expect guests to enjoy two hours or more of walking, be sure-footed on cobbled surfaces, and walk up and down stairs without assistance. In rural and small-town settings, unpaved roads and pathways will be common with some short sections of rough trail, which we expect that guests can traverse with no more than a companion’s hand to steady them. Historic city centers are frequently more accessible by foot than a vehicle, and sometimes your motorcoach can’t drop you off at the hotel and site entrances. Due to the structure of some buildings, facilities for the disabled may be limited.
Costa RicaNature & Nurture
- Price per person/double occupancy. Single supplement of $325
- Airport transfers for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times
- Transfers within Costa Rica
- Meals: 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- Other meals will be on your own individually or as a group
- Tours (including entry fees) as listed
- Minimum travelers: 5
- Maximum travelers: 9
Traveling During CoVID
We are working to make our itineraries as safe as possible: we are only traveling to countries with high vaccination rates and aggressive public health protocols, our lodging partners are augmenting their cleaning and disinfecting protocols; many of our meals will be in open-air settings, a significant portion of our touring time is spent in the outdoors, and the indoor spaces that we will go into are generally large and uncrowded.