Detailed 13-Day Itinerary – A Paradise of Paddling – “Pura Vida”

Day 1 Arrive San Jose, Costa Rica.

Day 2  You must arrive no later than the evening prior to departure on Day 1. Your luxury Coaster bus will arrive at the designated trip hotel at 9 am. You will meet your guide Rodolfo “Fofo” Campos-Montero, and then you will be whisked away to begin our journey deep into the fabric of Costa Rica. We’ll travel through rugged mountains, lush coffee plantations and small villages on our way to the Caribbean lowlands and Rio Sarapiqui / Rio Puerto Viejo region. After a satisfying first meal together, we will inflate our SOAR canoes  for an easy paddle on the Rio Puerto Viejo (Class I).  Its slower moving water offers ideal conditions to practice your paddling skills and learn techniques to safely negotiate the rivers that we will be paddling. The Rio Puerto Viejo has exceptional wildlife viewing, revealing many species of birds including parrots, laughing falcons and great jacomars, as well as monkeys, iguana and caiman..  Our first night at a  country lodge is very close by.  (B,L,D)

trogon smDay 3 In the morning we’ll hike La Selva Biological Preserve with a biologist or researcher studying the rainforest. La Selva is part of OTS, a group of 68 universities around the world studying the rainforest. This biological preserve features dense, old-growth rainforest and is home to three species of monkeys, sloth, iguana, peccaries, coatimundi, agouti, and many species of birds including extremely colorful mot mots, honeycreepers,  enchanting calls of montezumas oropendulas. After an amazing lunch at a small local “soda” or small restaurant, we will paddle the Rio Sarpiqui (Class 2) a fun little river that is also home to a great variety of birds.  (B,L,D) 

Day 4  This morning we’ll transfer to the Arenal region, where we might experience the intermittent rumblings of Arenal volcano, and perhaps catch a glimpse of pyroclastic material escaping from Costa Rica’s most active volcano.  We will paddle the Rio Peñas Blancas (Class 1), a gorgeous river with amazing bird and wild life.  (B,L,D)

Day 5  This morning we begin a drive around the volcano, and then mount bicycles for a recreational ride to one of Costa Rica’s most sustainable farms, on the shore of Lake Arenal. We will explore the farm, and weather-dependent, hike to an amazing vista of the Arenal volcano.  After a day of adventure, we’ll go to a wonderful hot springs to soak, relax and enjoy spring-side libations. Dinner and an amazing rainforest night hike searching for all kinds of amphibians  (B,L,D)  sm amanda zip

Day 6 This morning, we transfer to the Tenorio Volcano region, a short drive to the north. Along the way, we will stop at the Maleku Indigenous Reserve where we will have a chance to hear about the Maleku people and purchase their indigenous crafts made from calabash and other native woods.  By late morning, we will arrive at a wonderful eco-lodge on the flank of the Tenorio Volcano.  Parts of the next three days will be spent enjoying the pace of life on this magical creekside-farm.   (B,L,D)

In Costa Rica, the motto is “Pura Vida”…”The Sweet Life”.  If there is a place to find Pura Vida on your trip with us, this is the place!

The lodge is run by four ticas whose open-air kitchen consists of a wood stove  and wood grill.  All food: meats, fish, cheese, breads, vegetables and coffee are grown on or near the farm and prepared fresh daily. The simple, yet deliciously tasty Costa Rican meals are amazing, and it doesn’t get any more authentic than this!  After your three night stay here, you will understand the true meaning of Pura Vida.


Day 7 After a hardy breakfast, we drive towards Canas and cross into the dry forest region where we run both the Rio Tenorio and the Rio Corobici (Class I – II). The gentle Rio Tenorio, an intimate tributary of the Corobici, offers a chance to see rare boat-billed and an abundance of other wildlife, including jesus christ lizards, iguana and caimen. After a late riverside lunch, we will head back for a relaxing evening at the eco-lodge.  (B,L,D)

Day 8  This morning we will hike and explore on our way to the Rio Celeste, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. After lunch at our friend Don Wilbur’s small restaurant, we will hike through his property to a great swimming hole on the Rio Celeste and its blue waters.    In the afternoon we return to the eco-lodge for more Pura Vida.    (B,L,D)

Day 9 Early this morning we will leave our mountain paradise and head south towards the Central Pacific coast. Along the way we will spend several hours exploring the canopy via an exciting zip line with fourteen platforms. Finished with this adventure, we will transfer to the nearby resort town of Manuel Antonio, searching for scarlet macaws along the route.   (B,L,D)

Day 10 Whitewater day!  Most of you will be ready to give it a try on the stunningly beautiful Rio Savegre (Class II – III).  The Savegre is a beautiful, boulder-filled white water river with stunning scenery that rivals any river in Costa Rica, yet features the entirely different ecosystems of the Pacific coast.  The day holds other surprises too! (B,L,D)

Day 11  Our final full day in Costa Rica will be oriented around the Pacific Ocean and the exploration of Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Costa Rica. Wildlife abounds and we often get very close views here!  There are great beaches in Manuel Antonio for those of us wanting to dip our toes in the warm, blue Pacific Waters. Tonight we will hold our farewell dinner.  (B,L,D)  sm ma sunset

Day 12 Our last day still contains excitement! We will stop at the famous Tarcoles “Crocodile” Bridge and watch these giant predators. Before returning to San Jose, we will stop in good quality souvenir shops for any last chance gifts you might want to bring home. Our bus will take you to a pre-arranged airport hotel.  (B,L)

Day 13 Depart San Jose for Home. (B)