Costa Rica: Wonders of the North


Experience the natural beauty surrounding Volcán Arenal and the Monteverde cloud forest as well as the indigenous cultures of the Maleku and Corobici in this breathtaking Costa Rica Tour.


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Costa Rica:  Wonders of the North

January 25 – February 4, 2023

Inquire about custom dates and itineraries to suit your group of family and friends.

On this Costa Rica tour, we’ll explore petroglyphs on a cliff face, the lava fields of Arenal Volcano’s 1968 eruption, a river of hot springs, the Maleku indigenous community, and the wonders of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Our trips to Costa Rica are filled with lush landscapes, vibrant towns and people, and that personal touch that only Ticos own.

Day 1

Arrival in Costa Rica

Arrive at Liberia’s international airport and stay overnight downtown. If you arrive early in the afternoon, you’ll have time to explore the city including the strikingly modern church, the Museo de Sabanero which focuses on northwestern Costa Rica’s cowboy culture, and the Museo de Guanacaste, located in the city’s former headquarters & barracks featuring cultural exhibits & Costa Rican art.  Meals included: none. 

If you wish to arrive in Liberia a day or two earlier, badams TRAVEL will be happy to assist you in arranging for a hotel room at your own expense.

Liberia Costa Rica Church

Photo credit: José David Leiva,


Day 2

Transfer to Arenal/La Fortuna

After breakfast, we’ll head to the Farallón of Canas.  The Corobici indigenous people recorded dozens of petroglyps on the 925 square-feet Farallón rock face.  They did this from the early years of the Christian era until about 800 AD according to anthropologist María Fernada Rojas.  After a stop for lunch, we’ll continue on to La Fortuna and check into our hotel.  Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Screenshot 2021 10 13 at 14 24 35 Arenal 1968 Volcano View Trails La Fortuna de San Carlos 2021 All You Need to Know BE...

Day 3

Arenal/La Fortuna

This morning, we’re heading to the Arenal 1968 Trail.  This is a series of trails through forested areas and lava fields from the historic 1968 Arenal eruption which buried most of the surrounding jungle.  There are two trails to choose from:  Lava Flow 1968 and Trail Forest 1968.  It takes an entire day to do both (7 kilometers).  We’ll discuss and decide beforehand which trail we want to do, or if some folks want to do both while others do one and then head back to the hotel to lounge by the pool.   Meals included: breakfast.

Arenal 1968 eruption

Arenal 1968 eruption. Photo credit: Global Volcanism Program – Smithsonian Institution.

Day 4

Arenal/La Fortuna

Today we’ll spend in the Maleku indigenous community.  We’ll visit the Tonjibe village and spend time with a local family.  The community has had to adapt to a new lifestyle to survive and keep their traditions and culture intact, but even so they are working to preserve their language, dances, diet, clothing, and the use of natural medicines.  This cultural encounter involves visiting one of their traditional houses, a walk through a graveyard to see how they buried their family members in the past and through a botanical garden where they grow their medicines, and a performance of one of their traditional tribal rituals.  Our advenutre will end with a typical Maleku lunch.  Meals included: breakfast & lunch.


Day 5

Arenal/La Fortuna

In the morning, there’s an option to hike to the La Fortuna waterfall and then in the afteroon we’ll relax in one of Arenal’s hot springs. Catarata Fortuna drops about 70−75 meters and is at the base of the dormant Chato volcano.  It is fed by the Arenal River, which travels through the rain forest in the Arenal Mountain range until it plunges over the cliff.  

The area surrounding Arenal Volcano has an abundance of hot springs. The majority of these hot springs are in expensive resorts that have tapped into the underground river to create a variety of mineral rich soaking pools. One of the areas best kept secrets is the free hot spring river, Rio Chollin.  You’ll have a chance for a relaxing soak.  Meals included: breakfast.

Screenshot 2021 10 13 at 14 19 18 Free hot springs Review of Rio Chollin La Fortuna de San Carlos Costa Rica Tripadvi...

Day 6

Transfer to Santa Elena/Monteverde

After checking out of our hotel, we’ll transfer to the small town of Santa Elena and the Monteverde cloud forest.  But before we check in to our Santa Elena hotel, we’ll take a treetop hike where you’ll get a birds-eye view of the rainforest canopy.  From the bridges of the treetop walkways — which vary from 150 ft to 500 ft in length and are suspended from heights ranging from 36 ft to 180 ft — you will easily be able to study this unique tropical ecosystem, catching glimpses of birds, monkeys, sloths and more as they scamper across leafy emerald branches.  Meals included: breakfast.

Screenshot 2021 11 08 at 12 44 38 Hotel El Bosque Monteverde Beautiful Eco lodge Costa Rica

Day 7

Santa Elena/Monteverde

We’ll start our day at the the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve located along the Cordillera de Tilarán. Named after the nearby town of Monteverde and founded in 1972, the Reserve consists of over 26,000 acres of cloud forest.  The Reserve consists of six ecological zones, 90% of which are virgin forest. A high degree of biodiversity, consisting of over 2,500 plant species (including the most orchid species in a single place), 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species, 120 reptilian and amphibian species, and thousands of insects, has drawn both scientists and tourists alike.  Meals included: breakfast.

Screenshot 2021 11 08 at 12 41 12 guia monteverde guia monteverde pdf

Day 8

Santa Elena/Monteverde

There are no activities scheduled today.  Those who wish can return to the Monteverde Reserve for more exploration.  Or you can meander through town for some shopping.  Or simply relax at the hotel. Meals included: breakfast.

Screenshot 2021 11 08 at 12 43 36 Hotel El Bosque Monteverde Beautiful Eco lodge Costa Rica

Day 9

Flights home

Minor will drive us back to the Liberia airport for flights home.Meals included: breakfast.


Activity Level


Activities are generally not very strenuous; however, we expect guests to enjoy two hours or more of walking, are 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.

Tour Leaders

badams travel guides

Driver Minor Montenegro and Naturalist Guide Fabian Monge

As you might assume from this picture, if you spend time with our driver, Minor Montenegro, and naturalist guide, Fabian Monge, you’re likely to laugh a lot!

Minor is a great driver.  Knows how to get anywhere, good places to stop, etc.  And he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.  Always ready to help with a hand, share a smile, tell stories — he’s part of the badams TRAVEL experience in Costa Rica.

And Fabian!  What to say about Fabian?  Clearly, he can be a bit whacky — and that’s why we love him.  But what really becomes clear after spending five minutes with him is how much he loves people and nature.  He has an uncanny knack for spotting wildlife the rest of us are oblivious too.  Be sure to ask him about his 20-minute “conversation” with a resplendent quetzal.  Rest assured, that even in his whacky moments, he’s looking out for what’s best for everyone in his group!

This Tour’s Local Partners

Cana Dulce
Arenal 1968
Screenshot 2021 10 25 at 15 59 47 Fabian Monge trogon tours cr • Instagram photos and videos
alajuela city hotel
El bosque
Screenshot 2021 10 25 at 15 45 24 Costa Rica Shuttle 1 1
Arenal Country Inn
Hotel Boyeros

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