Costa Rica Wildlife

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Explore Monteverde Cloud Forest, hike the trails of Arenal Volcano National Park, and discover Tortuguero National Park. Stay in eco-lodges. 9-day wildlife trip.


Duration: 9 Days
Starts in: San Jose, Costa Rica
Ends in: San Jose, Costa Rica
Group Size: 4-15

Operated by:

Wilderness Travel

Wilderness Travel is an award-winning leader in adventure travel, renowned for superb itinerary design, high-value, and the best Trip Leaders in the business. Group departu...

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Costa Rica is a glorious tropical paradise, with huge swaths of cloud forest and pristine beaches protected in world-famous parks and reserves. With our expert naturalist Trip Leader, this wonderfully active adventure brings us on nature walks in famous Monteverde Cloud Forest, whose diversity of terrain supports six ecological zones. Near towering Arenal Volcano, follow hanging bridges suspended high in the forest, hike to the cascading La Fortuna waterfall, and soar through the cloud forest on a zip line. In Tortuguero National Park, we'll glide through tropical waterways that shelter fascinating wildlife, from manatees to three-toed sloths. Charming lodges give us a warm welcome in this natural wonderland.


Days 1-3 
San José / Monteverde Cloud Forest 
Set at a cool 4,700 feet, Monteverde is a pioneering private nature reserve established almost four decades ago and now encompassing more than 35,000 acres. Its dense cloud forest is home to about 100 species of mammals, 1,200 species of amphibians, and 400 species of birds, most famously the resplendent quetzal, sacred bird of the Maya and Aztecs. In the reserve's Jardin de las Mariposas, we discover more than 40 species of butterflies, and we'll hike nature trails in the private Curi-Cancha Reserve, with its hummingbird garden and views across the Continental Divide. Keep your camera handy for sightings of white-faced capuchin, howler, and spider monkeys. We also have the option to ride the canopy zip line.

Days 4-5
Arenal Volcano 
A perfect cone rising 5,300 feet from gentle green hills, Arenal is one of the most iconic volcanoes in the Americas. First active in 1968, when it erupted in spectacular fashion, Arenal is now a national park. We cross hanging bridges into the high rainforest canopy below the volcano, hike to the base of La Fortuna, an impressive waterfall, and enjoy Arenal views from our boutique resort hotel.

Days 6-9
Tortuguero National Park 
Tortuguero protects more than 50,000 acres of lowland forest, mangroves, and tropical beaches on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. In this emerald world, we head out by boat to explore a maze of tranquil blackwater canals overhung with rainforest. They provide a rich habitat for caimans, manatees, monkeys, three-toed sloths, river otters, and dazzling birdlife including all six species of kingfishers found in the New World. Tortuguero is also one of the best places in the world for encounters with turtles. Green sea turtles nest here (July-October) as well as leatherbacks (March-May), and we'll visit the Green Turtle Research Station. Our riverside lodge offers us fantastic access to this wildlife haven. Depart on Day 9 via San José or join one of our extensions.


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