Join us on this new active journey to Costa Rica where you can enjoy hiking through rain forests, white-water rafting, kayaking, and snorkeling as you learn about important issues facing our environment. 

 Rafting a river in Costa Rica. Credit: Costa Rica Tourism  Zip-line adventure in Costa Rica  Dart frog in Costa Rica  A brilliantly colored morpho butterfly  Red macaw  White-faced Capuchin monkey  Colorful orchid  Colorful Heliconia   One of many butterfly species of Costa Rica

Costa Rica Adventure

8 days from $5,375

Join us on this new active journey to Costa Rica where you can enjoy hiking through rain forests, white-water rafting, kayaking, and snorkeling as you learn about important issues facing our environment. 

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

DoubleTree by Hilton Cariari San Jose

San Jose, Costa Rica

The DoubleTree Cariari San Jose is located just a short drive from Juan Santamaria International Airport and only 15 minutes from downtown San Jose. This elegant resort-style hotel features colonial tropical architecture with all-modern facilities. Guest rooms are spacious and comfortable with full baths and complimentary WiFi. There is an open-air lobby/lounge and restaurant, lagoon-style pool and a fitness facility on site. 

Number of nights: 1

La Quinta Sarapiqui Lodge

Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

La Quinta Sarapiqui Lodge features 36 cozy bungalows surrounded by tropical gardens rich with native plants and flowering trees. All guest bungalows are simply decorated and very comfortable with a private bath and feature air-conditioning and ceiling fans. Bungalows also include a walk-in closet, hairdryer, safe and porch with hammock and rocking chair to take in the views of the lush surroundings. The property features a restaurant pavilion, yoga room and small pools for swimming. Marked trails meander around the 20-acre property, ripe for exploring the vast array of flora and fauna, the small lakes, butterfly house, library and vegetable garden.  

Number of nights: 1

El Silencio Lodge

Bajos del Toro, ​Alajuela, Costa Rica

El Silencio Lodge & Spa was created to be a sustainable yet luxurious retreat for travelers. The property is tucked away among the valleys and waterfalls of picturesque Bajos del Toro, which has been declared a World Heritage site. Guest rooms are designed to take full advantage of Costa Rica’s breathtaking landscapes. Each suite offers stunning views of the Costa Rica mountains, river or forest and while being surrounded by sophisticated décor and modern amenities. Suites feature canopied ceilings, locally sourced woods, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that slide open to a private deck with a private/heated whirlpool, Accommodations are arranged in a tiered layout to provide uninterrupted cloud forest, river and mountain views. All suites include a dedicated bedroom and sitting area, full baths, pillowtop beds, complimentary WiFi, minibars and room service delivery. The Toro Bohemio Bar offers an open-air escape for libations after a day of exploring and Las Ventanas Restaurant is framed by floor-to-ceiling windows with soothing forest views and delicious farm-to-table dining. There is also a full-service spa offering a variety of treatments at an additional price. 

Number of nights: 2

Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge

Bosque del Cabo, Costa Rica

Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge is located at the very tip of the Osa Peninsula. The property is situated within a 750-acre forest reserve and features 10 private and spacious bungalows each set among lush gardens that offer stunning gulf and ocean views. Bungalows feature screened windows, modern bathrooms with refreshing/fully private outdoor garden showers. They also feature private porches furnished with hammock and easy chairs.  There is a renovated solar-powered restaurant to gather at for locally-sourced meals and a full-service bar and outdoor lounge area. The property includes a small solar-powered/filtrated pool and there are a number of trails that lead through the forest to deserted beaches both on the Golfo Dulce and along Pacific Ocean, perfect for strolling.  

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Activity Level 3: Moderate/Active  

Expectations:  This trip is part of the Smithsonian Active Journeys collection and features a schedule of physical activities—including walkinghiking, white-water rafting, zip-lining, kayaking, snorkeling and more—in addition there will be some activities designed to offer cultural or historical context. Walks, hikes, and all other activities will take place rain or shine. If you are reasonably fit and can walk and hike from 1 up to 5 miles easily you should be comfortable on this Moderate/Active tour (Level 3).  

Hikes and walks will be taken at a leisurely to active pace over various types of terrain, from well-groomed paths to some more challenging/rocky trails to beaches and through rain forest preserves. A few longer travel days with early morning departures should be expected. Hiking boots, rain gear, and day packs for daily necessities are a must; some travelers may wish to bring hiking poles. Hikes are not long enough to require support vehicles so once a hike is begun it is necessary to finish. Sometimes it is feasible to skip a day’s activities and relax at the hotel, if desired. During the tour, leisure time is usually limited to the evenings. 

Included activities:  

White-water rafting: Features Class II and Class III rapids that include whitewater, waves and some sudden drops in water levels. Guests will be outfitted and provided a full safety tutorial prior to departing on the river. 3-4 hours with stops. 

Zip-lining: This adventure will require climbing up a steep ladder to a launch platform. You must be able to pull up on your own body weight while on the zipline. Travel across the forest canopy for up to 300 yards and at times up to 60 feet above the forest floor. Weight limit is 250 lbs. 1 hour. There is also an option for a waterfall repelling adventure for the more adventurous/active, details about this option to be provided in your Pre-Tour materials 

Kayaking and snorkeling: You will be outfitted with all equipment and provided a safety tutorial prior to departing on the adventure. Both excursions will take place in calm water. Sun protection will be essential. 3 – 4 hours total. 

Additional included activities: 

Horseback riding: Fully escortedno experience necessary. Participants should be comfortable with riding through rainforest, shallow waterways and along beaches. Some may experience soreness after ride. 2 hours. 

or  

Surfing: Lesson with instructor, includes surf board and rash guards. Activity dependent on weather and ocean conditions which can change rapidly. 2 hours.  

Full details on what to pack and expect on this trip will be included in your Pre-Tour documents. 

Transportation between hotels and lodges will be by small van or motor coach or propeller aircraft. Accommodations on this trip feature comfortable resorts and smaller boutique lodges. The highest elevation on this trip is 3,500 feet. 

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, have a strong fitness level, expect a slightly vigorous pace, are comfortable participating in from 1 to 4 hours adventures per day, and enjoy challenging themselves physically.

Reading List

Highly Recommended

The Wildlife of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Zona Tropical Publications)
By: Reid, Fiona, Leenders, Twan, Zook, Jim, Dean, Robert
Wild Costa Rica: The Wildlife and Landscapes of Costa Rica (The MIT Press)
By: Hepworth, Adrian
Fodor's Essential Costa Rica (Full-color Travel Guide)
By: Fodor's Travel Guides
A Brief History of Central America
By: Perez-Brignoli, Hector

Also Recommended

Costa Rica - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (40)
By: Koutnik, Jane, Culture Smart!
Lonely Planet Costa Rican Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Kohnstamm, Thomas
Costa Rica: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions, 1)
By: Barbara Ras, Oscar Arias
The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica
By: Mavis Hiltunen Biesanz, Richard Biesanz, Karen Zubris Biesanz
Nature of the Rainforest: Costa Rica and Beyond (Zona Tropical Publications)
By: Adrian Forsyth
Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America
By: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata
The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Zona Tropical Publications)
By: Garrigues, Richard
Costa Rica: A Journey through Nature (Zona Tropical Publications)
By: Hepworth, Adrian
The Monkey's Bridge: Mysteries of Evolution in Central America
By: Wallace, David
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.