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A Natural Wonder

 

Twelve Days

Costa Rica

Apr 10 to 21, 2018 


Day 1 San Jose, Costa Rica
From your local community the Hanover Holidays shuttle takes you to Pearson International Airport where you board a flight for San Jose, Cos-ta Rica. Located in the lush central valley of this beautiful country, San Jose is the largest city in all of Costa Rica. The waiting motor coach shuttles you to the Holiday Inn Escazu Hotel for your first night in para-dise!

Day 2 Central Valley
Breakfast is included before we make our way into the Central Range of Mountains past plantations that produce coffee, strawberries, ferns, and flowers. The temperature and vegetation changes as the road winds closer to the cloud forest and the main entrance to the Poas National Park, where we can look into Poas Volcano and see the impressive crater that fea-tures colourful layers, hot sulphur lagoon and fumaroles. You can choose to join us for a hike the beautiful Botos Lagoon, which is a terrific place to learn about the many ecosystems found through-out the park. Then we continue to the beautiful La Paz Waterfall Gardens where a wonderful buffet Lunch awaits. Next we explore the butterfly farm, hummingbird gal-lery, serpentarium, bird zoo and frog exhibit along with the a short hike down the stairs for many different views of the beautiful waterfalls. The bus meets us at the bottom and returns us to the Holiday Inn Escazu for a relaxing evening. (B,L,D)


Day 3 Tortuguero National Park
Breakfast will be at the hotel before we journey eastward through the impressive rainforest of Braulio Carrillo National Park and then on to the Caribbean lowlands. This will be a great opportunity to see a banana plantation! From the docks at La Pavona we board a boat for a ride up the inland waterway and into Tortuguero National Park. The sights during this excursion are amazing and you will want to keep your camera close to hand. Originally intended to protect a major nesting beach of the Atlantic Green sea turtle, Tortuguero National Park now protects 51,870 acres, one of the most biologically rich and last large areas of tropical rain forests in Central America. We arrive in the Town of Tortuguero and check in at the eco-friendly Laguna Lodge. Lunch is included before we stroll into Town for a closer look at this unique village. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax poolside before our included Dinner this evening. (B,L,D)


Day 4 Tortuguero National Park
Before breakfast experience the rainforest through a guided boat tour in the narrow channels of the Tortuguero National Park. Eleven habitats are found in the park. Among the wild-life you may encounter are three species of monkeys (spider, howl-er, and white-faced), three-toed sloths, river otters, caimans, iguanas, river turtles, basilisk lizards, poison dart frogs, as well as more than 320 species of birds including all six species of kingfishers found in the new world, three species of toucans, eight species of parrots, and other neotropical species such as the Slaty-tailed Trogon, White-collared Manakin and Purple-throated Fruitcrow. The boats are small without a canopy which provides a better view into the canopy. After breakfast your tour guide will show you the botanical garden and attractions of the property. Later you will have time for lunch and for relaxation before you start another great boat tour in the late afternoon that journeys into another sector of the National Park for nature observancy. (B,L,D)


Day 5 Arenal Volcano
After breakfast we board the boat for the return journey down the inland waterway to La Pavona. Once aboard the motor coach we enjoy the beautiful country-side, stopping in Guapiles for an included Lunch. Then we continue on to view the magnificent Arenal Volcano! Although the Volcano has entered a quiet period and is not having visible lava eruptions at the pre-sent time, the area has became a beloved destination because of the great number of nature related and adventure activities. Here our guide will explain the different types of volcanos as well discuss some of the other active volcanos located across Costa Rica. There will be some time to relax at the Arenal Springs Resort, our accommodations for the next two nights. (B,L)


Day 6 Danaus Ecocenter & Tabacon Hot Springs
Just a short drive we will arrive to the Danaus Ecocenter, which is a small Biological Reserve that develops conservation programs, training environmental education and sustainable use of the land and production. Our tour guide will escort you on a soft walk for about 1 hour through trails in the secondary forest, where you can see in its natural habitat a wide variety of plants and animals. One of the main attractions of the place is the butterfly farm, with a special site for the display of larvae, pupae and eggs. The Ecocenter protects a natural water spring which is another major component of this site. It is a special place to observe birds, especially waterfowl, caimans, iguanas and basilisks. Right now we have over 60 labeled species of medicinal plants. The garden areas are arranged by families for easy identification, among them we find orchids and heliconias. It is common to see tourists interacting with common species such as the two and three toed sloths. Arrow-poison red frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, and many birds species are easily observed. After this we will have a short walk to explore the small town La Fortuna where we will have lunch.
A wonderful experience this afternoon when we visit Tabacon Hot Springs. Here you can endulge yourself in the perfect combination of volume, temperature and mineral content that is present in Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort and is unique to Costa Rica. Tabacon was the first Hot Springs resort open to the public in the Arenal Volcano Region, and is still the top rated, most acclaimed and publicized luxury Hot Springs and Spa resort in Costa Rica. Tabacon is completely natural. Water flows by gravity throughout the property, forming in-river pools, waterfalls, and cascades and filling in the pools throughout the resort. You are free to move from pool to pool and then relax in each station for your own amount of time. An eco-friendly and carbon neutral resort, Tabacon places a big emphasis on turning the guest experience into a close encounter with nature. We will also be enjoying a delightful dinner here at the Tabacon Spa before returning to the Arenal Springs Resort for overnight. (B,D)


Day 7 Monteverde
Today begins with a drive around Arenal Lake, offering tremendous views of the Volcano, making our way to Chiquito River. From here we ride to the higher elevations of Monteverde! The Monteverde Cloudforest Preserve traverses the Tilarán Mountain Range, which is part of the Continental Divide. In the late afternoon you will begin your Wildlife Observation hike (weather depending). This is one of the best tours in Monteverde to see wildlife. The idea is to be in the forest at sunset when some of the wildlife is very active before going to sleep and some of the night wildlife is starting their activities for the evening. The tour offers you the opportunity to see and hear nocturnal animals that are more difficult to encounter than diurnal animals. The most common animals you might see are sloths, coatimundis, agoutis, porcupines, gray fox, tarantulas, frogs, some species of insects and some species of nocturnal birds. Tonight our accommodations are at El Establo Hotel. (B,D)


Day 8 Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
A very unique experience today as we visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Here we meet a local guide who takes us on a slow paced hike to explore the natural history – the birds, insects and mammals that you may spot at any time during the hike. The Reserve is a 5,000 hectare wildlife sanctuary featuring unique geographic and topographic terrain and along with various climatic conditions has lead to a high level of biodiversity. In the afternoon we board the Sky Tram gondolas that rise smoothly through the rain forest and offer endless views as you ascend to a wide observation platform where our guide can point out unique features of the flora and fauna that can be seen. There will time back at the hotel to freshen up before the included Dinner! (B,D)


Day 9 Manuel Antonio
There will be wide ranging gorgeous views during our drive today, as we head towards the central Pacific Coastal region. Often during this drive we will encounter large crocodiles lying in along the river banks of the Tarcoles River. We visit Carara National Park and go exploring for tourcans, monkeys, iguanans and coatimudis. Carara Park has a very unique biodiversity as the forest transitions between a dry tropical and wet tropical forest! The special environment of Carara Park makes it ideal for bird watching such as Parakeets, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, jacamars and sometimes if we are lucky the Scarlet Macaw! After the included lunch we continue to the San Bada Hotel, in Manuel Antonio for overnight! (B,L)


Day 10 Manuel Antonio
A visit to Manuel Antonio National Park is always a huge highlight of this tour as the exuberant tropical vegetation protects of the most impressive white sand beaches of the Central Pacific Coast. A nature walk through this protected area will highlight the unique vegetation and animal life found through-out the park. Sloths, iguanas, monkeys, coatimudis and a variety of birds will capture your attention! Afterwards you will have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the wonderful beaches before we return to the San Bada Hotel. Lunch is included today! (B,L)


Day 11 San Jose
After breakfast a short drive brings us to the dock at Quepos were we board a modern Catamaran boat for a cruise into the Pacific Ocean where we often see dolphins, migrating humpback whales, sea turtles and manta rays. As we make our way down the coastline of Manuel Antonio National Park mysterious islands, jagged cliffs and unique rock formations present themselves for our viewing pleasure! These areas offer wonderful nesting grounds for numerous species of marine birds including Pelicans, Boobies, and Ibises. There will even be time to Snorkel or swim from the Catamaran before we return to the dock and board the waiting bus to take us back to the city of San Jose. Our final night of this tour will feature a wonderful group Dinner as the Holiday Inn Escazu Hotel! (B,L,D)


Day 12 Home
All too soon our wonderful nature holiday comes to an end as we return to Juan Santamaria International Airport and board our return flight to Canada. Hanover Holidays’ shuttles will be waiting to whisk you home! (B)

Cost Includes
 
  • Round trip airfare between Toronto to San Jose
  • Private transportation and english speaking tour guide for all services
  • 3 nights in standard room at the Holiday Inn Escazú hotel with breakfast
  • 2 nights in standard room at Laguna Lodge Lodge with shared boat transportation & tours and meals
  • Entrance fee to the Turtle Museum
  • Entrance fee to the Tortuguero National Park
  • 2 nights in Junior Suite at Arenal Springs Resort with breakfast
  • Entrance fee to Danaus Ecocenter
  • Entrance fee to the Tabacon Hot Springs with dinner
  • 2 nights in Deluxe room at El Establo with breakfast
  • Night Wildlife Tour in Monteverde
  • Entrance fee to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Monteverde Sky Tram gondola ride
  • 2 nights in Standard Room at the San Bada hotel with breakfast
  • Entrance fee to the Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Planet Dolphin Catamaran Tour with lunch
  • Entrance fee to the Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Meals like described in the itinerary
  • Services of a Hanover Holidays’ Tour Director for the entire tour

Cost Includes Cdn Dollars
Twin ................................................ $4,969.00
Single .............................................. $5,919.00
All taxes and HST are built into this price. Please read all terms and conditions of travel carefully, especially the pre-departure Cancellation charges.

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