Costa Rica Hike, Bike, Raft…Relax

11 - 14 Days
TYPOLOGIES
DIFFICULTY

Medium

MIN. AGE

18 Years

£ 2995

An Amazing Experience

This is a wonderfully diverse trip where the activities are as varied as the landscape. You’ll start biking from beautifully dramatic Pacific Coast lined by lush tropical rainforest, continue by foot and pedal through mystical cloud forests. The exhilaration doesn’t let up as we raft on the spectacular white waters of Pacuare river to the palm fringed Caribbean. Phew! Time to relax.

Price £2,995 / $3,595

Excludes international flights.

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Day by Day

Upon arrival in San Jose, you will be met by your tour guide and you will be transferred to your hotel in Sa Jose.

Today our challenge starts on the Pacific Coast. We leave San José by bus (your last motorized vehicle for the next 10 days) to the fishing village of Quepos, next to Manuel Antonio National Park.

This afternoon you will be able to relax, chill out on the beach or visit the National Park, famous for its abundant wildlife.

We have set aside time before dinner to check out and set up bikes as it is an early start tomorrow morning. The official trip briefing is after dinner this evening.

THE ADVENTURE BEGINS... We awake early and enjoy a light buffet of fresh fruit and coffee before some photos on the beach and  then set off on bikes to climb the steep mountains of the sparsely populated Pacific Coast. The vista from above is your reward for hard work.  In the small town of Esquipulas we eat a hearty breakfast, rest up and prepare our day packs for the next leg of the day’s journey. Trading our wheels for hiking boots, we continue by trekking into the cool mountains of Central Costa Rica. We camp overnight in the valley of Naranjillo.

Our day begins with a trek towards the Continental Divide and challenging the infamous “Cemetery Hill” - a strenuous 13 kilometer climb. We then head for the pueblo of San Lorenzo, switching to mountain bikes to reach the quaint village of Santa Maria where we refortify with some typical Costa Rican fare and rest up in comfortable local cabins.

Orosi Valley – Up and over the Continental Divide – Biking 49km/30mi

Today we tackle the hardest, steepest climb of our adventure. The challenge before breakfast is mountain biking a 14-kilometer up-hill stretch to the Continental Divide, bringing us to an altitude of 2,330 meters - the highest peak of our journey. Following the rule that everything that goes up must come down, the remainder of the day is mountain biking at its best - mostly downhill on dirt roads and single-track trails. We finish the afternoon in the beautiful Orosi Valley where rich pastures and dark green forests of coffee carpet the land and we rest for the night in the town of Orosi.

After breakfast, we mountain bike along a river to the Tapantí National Wildlife Refuge. This is an area of vast rugged terrain covered with dense primary rainforest.

Leaving our bikes, we take to the mountains trekking amongst thousands of trees covered with ferns, bromeliads, mosses and other epiphytes... a primary cloud forest ecology. The end of the day finds us on flatter ground, camping near the small settlement of Humo.

After breakfast we continue mountain biking towards the whitewater rafting “put¬in” at La Cruz,the upper gateway to the raging Pacuare River. We eat lunch then load up into the rafts to paddle and PADDLE through pristine rainforest, canyon cliffs, spotted with deafening waterfalls. By afternoon we arrive at our comfortable riverside camp, El Nido del Tigre, nestled between the sounds of the rainforest and the hum of the river. You can wander off to explore this lush environment, looking out for toucans and boa constrictors and sloth, or simply relax in a hammock to the sounds of the river.

We spend some quality time at this unique location on the banks of the Pacuare River, hiking the hills, exploring primary forest, swimming in the Pacuare, exploring waterfalls and swimming holes with water so pure you can drink it (most of the year). This area of rainforest remains in a very natural state, with minimum disruption to accommodate our guests. El Nido del Tigre is the name of the giant ginger plants carpeting the area around the campsite. It's a very private place, with small numbers of guests, so the sense of purity and nature seep into your dreams at night.

Today the Pacuare takes us through virgin rainforest, cascading waterfalls and river carved canyons. We maneuver through the exhilarating rapids and in gentler sections you can see into the rainforest at the river’s edge. Along the way we take time out to do some hiking to spectacular waterfalls and have lunch on the shore. At last, in the late afternoon, we take-out at the beginning of the banana plantations at Finca Pacuarito, then rest for the night..

THE SWEET TASTE OF SUCCESS...This morning we jump on our bikes for a short ride through banana plantations to the town of Freeman where we begin the final leg of the traverse in kayaks down the Pacuare leaving the rapids behind as the river eases into the Caribbean lowlands where banana plantations gradually swallow the receding rainforest. The river slows to a tranquil pace as we are rafting the last mile of the river, completing the mosaic of the landscapes we have experienced. At the end of the adventure, we reach the mouth of the Pacuare as it meets the Caribbean Sea, celebrating our passage with bubbly in the surf, while enjoying a well-deserved rest. After some time on the beach we are picked up by a motorboat and transferred to Moin from where we travel by vehicle to the beach.

This morning we will have a private transfer from Cahuita to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.  Here you will be able to spend the next few days relaxing on this stunning and laid back beach town with a typical Caribbean feel.

It has stunning beaches, jungle, and some fun nightlife it gives you a great opportunity to relax.  Please note the waters around are for ‘hardcore’ surfers due to the riptides but safer waters can be found further north if you are looking for snorkelling.

Free days at leisure to explore the beach and the surround areas.

Free morning at your hotel or beach before taking a shuttle transfer to San Jose.   Your journey back to San Jose will still give you some great sights as you pass through high cloud forest, misty mountains, deep, steep, river-carved canyons and the spectacular Braulio Carrillo National Park.

Private transfer to the airport in time for your flight home.

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