Costa Rica: Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio

Costa Rica: Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio

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DAY ONE: Fly to Juan Santamaria International  Airport. (SJO) Meet driver and drive 3 hours and check in to Montana de Fuego Hotel & Spa in Arenal. Dine at Hotel Restaurant.
DAY TWO: Depart early and take “Canyoneering in Lost Canyon Tour” with Desafio Adventure Tours. Late afternoon rest.  Dine in La Fortuna.
DAY THREE: Take a morning taxi to La Fortuna Waterfalls.  $10/person to enter.  Hike in Volcan Arenal National Park in the afternoon with guide.   Dine in and pack for early departure.
DAY FOUR: Depart early for a Jeep-Boat-Jeep arranged by Costa Rican Escapes and head to Fonda Vela Lodge in Monteverde. Take a 1.5 hour night hike of the Refugio Silverstre to view the cloud forest at night in Monteverde.
DAY FIVE: Take Selvatura Canopy tour and take a self-guided hike on Selvatura’s Hanging Bridges.  Dine at Tree House Restaurant and Cafe in Santa Elena.
DAY SIX: Take a 4 hour drive to Manuel Antonio and check in to Costa Verde.  
DAY SEVEN: Guided tour through Manuel Antonio National Park by Ranchos Los Tucanes tour company.
DAY EIGHT: Take Catamaran Snorkel Tour provided by Ranchos Los Tucanes.
DAY NINE: Free day in Manuel Antonio to relax and enjoy the resort.
DAY TEN: Take Costa Rica Shuttles to drive to SJO airport.

Click Here to View Itinerary


vacation-highlights-2

  • The whole trip was planned and booked through Costa Rican Escapes.
  • Very beautiful country with all three areas of Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio  being wonderful places to visit with many things to do in just 10 days.
  • The surrounding area of Mt. Arenal with the volcano, lake, tropical fauna and rainforest as a backdrop was gorgeous.  Hiking an active volcano makes a great memory.
  • We loved all the excursions.  The only one our youngest couldn’t participate in was the Canyoneering in Lost Canyon Tour. He joined another group with a guide hiking and paddling.
  • We thoroughly loved this itinerary and liked that it spaced bigger excursions followed by ½ day excursions and rest for an easier pace.
  • Many of the guides offer education on preserving and protecting the environment which was valuable for the kids.

 

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  • Canyoneering in Lost Canyon Tour took us into the heart of the rainforest rappelling down amazing waterfalls.  Recommended minimum age is 12-13.
  • Selvatura Canopy Tour and Hanging Bridges Hike in Monteverde  (4 and up).

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Montana Del Fuego, Arenal
Montana Del Fuego, Arenal
Montana Del Fuego, Arenal
Hotel Fonda Vela, Monteverde
Montana Del Fuego, Arenal
Costa Verde

 

  • Montana Fuego Hotel in Arenal had gorgeous views and is considered as casual accommodations
  • Costa Verde  in Manuel Antonio featuring incredible Pacific Ocean views, 2 cliff-side pools, 4 fabulous restaurants ending the trip on a deluxe note.
  • Hotel Fonda Vela Lodge in Monteverde an upscale option ideally located near Monteverde Cloud Forest

 


 
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Tree House Cafe in Santa Elena
Tree House Cafe in Santa Elena
  • Many nights we dined at our hotels as they had multiple restaurants to choose from and we were beat in the evening!
  • Other eateries recommended in the Arenal/La Fortuna Area:  Nene’s Restaurant, Restaurante La Parada and La Choza de Laurel.
  • In Santa Elena there is a special restaurant where a massive tree grows through the center of the restaurant.

 
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  • Bring plenty of quick drying clothes for warm and wet weather
  • Because you’re in a rainforest, for each outing, bring a backpack and fill it with bottled water, insect repellent, sunscreen and  rain jacket.
  • Most tips are included in restaurant bills at 10% in Costa Rica but not for guides.  Plan on providing tips for guides.
  • Many roads are gravelled with switch backs, so bring a comfortable pillow for the longer car rides.
  • A deck of cards at dinnertime would be helpful for the friendly, yet slower service
  • See if hotels will pack a lunch or even an extra lunch for the all day excursions for the growing kids.

 


 
BEFORE-YOU-GO-2

  • Double check your kids passports as they require renewal every 5 years.
  • If you want to get your younger children excited about Costa Rica, consider purchasing the DVD, Travel with Kids: Costa Rica 

 

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Keen Sandal
Keen Sandal

 
 
 
 

For hiking in wet, muddy areas through water and land, we loved our Keens.

Photo Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

 

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