Discover why Costa Rica is made for adventure seekers

Jump onto this active journey through the incredible wilderness of Costa Rica. Even though it’s surrounded by countries of amazing natural landscapes, Costa Rica is still a standout. From vibrant San Jose, head to the pristine San Gerardo de Dota Valley, home to endless cloud forests and a haven for unique birdlife. Pull on your boots and stretch your legs for an unforgettable 4-day hike to the Pacific coast, through misty forests and humid jungle. Stick on a helmet and savour a full day of rappelling down cliff faces and riding the rapids of the Rio Naranjo. Continue down the coast to Drakes Bay and explore the rainforests of Corcovado National Park and the Rio Claro, then look out for sloths in Manuel Antonio National Park. This trip will open the eyes and quicken the pulse.


Start
San Jose, Costa Rica
Finish
San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination
Costa Rica
Style
Original
Theme
Active Adventures
Code
QVXB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Get into the hidden heart of rural Costa Rica, heading out a 4-day hike through some of the most world’s most spectacular wilderness

  • Look out for toucans, quetzals, alligators, crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas, turtles, sloths and more as you explore national parks and wildlife reserves

  • Swim in hidden waterfalls and experience rural Costa Rican life and culture

  • Costa Rica offers some of the world’s best white water rafting – get your taste when you tackle the Rio Naranjo rapids

  • Don’t just look at waterfalls, jump down them – safely strapped in of course! Spend a day rappelling down jungle cascades

  • When National Geographic call a place “biologically intense”, you know it’s special. Discover the secrets and abundant wildlife of the primary rainforest of Corcovado National Park

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is an active trip packed with activities such as hiking, white-water rafting, and canyoning. To fully enjoy it, you'll need to be in a good state of health and fitness. To participate in the water-based experiences, you'll need to be a confident swimmer.

Itinerary

Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica. An assortment of galleries, theatres and lively central plazas set among San Jose’s glitzy modern shopping malls make this one of Central America’s most surprising capitals. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you do happen to arrive early, San Jose showcases the urban Costa Rica, with over a third of the country’s population living in the capital.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • San Jose - National Museum - CRC4890
  • San Jose - Gold Museum - CRC4490
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't
arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please note that this trip can be partnered with other adventures into a ‘combo’, which means that some of your fellow travellers may
have begun their journey before today. If you’d like to spend more time in Central America, have a look at a combo that includes this trip’s itinerary: Raft, Snorkel, Kayak & Hike in Costa Rica (QVXAC).
Before 9 am, transfer to your lodge near San Gerardo do Dota (approximately 2.5 hours). As the next few days are going to be quite remote, you’ll make short stop on the way to purchase lastminute supplies and some snacks for the hikes ahead. There will also be a lunch stop before reaching the accommodation for your afternoon check-in. Huddled up against the Talamanca Mountain is San Gerardo de Dota – a haven for birdwatchers, hikers, and fishing enthusiasts. Perhaps join your leader for a short afternoon stroll or enjoy some free time before regrouping for dinner (at your own expense) and a briefing about the hike. In the evening, take the time to pack a smaller, lighter bag with only the essentials you require. Your main luggage will be transported to Uvita with access to it on the evening on Day 7.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
We recommend that your backpack should only hold the essentials required for 4 days of hiking and weigh no more than 7kg. Among other essentials, we suggest you take a rain jacket, quick-dry clothing, water bottle, hiking boots &/or shoes suitable for river crossings, swimwear, sunblock, insect repellent, a dry bag, flashlight, hat, microfiber towel, extra socks, thermos &/or a warm jacket for evenings. You should also carry a copy of your passport and a small amount of money.
Leave your main luggage at reception, ready for an early departure (6–7 am). Set off on a four-day trek to the Pacific Coast. Guided mainly by the shores of the Savegre River, trek through cloud forests and lowland rainforests, looking out for Quetzals on the way your accommodation for the evening: a big wooden house deep in the Costa Rican wilderness. You will pass through cattle farms and forest with multiple descends and ascends. This is an area where few people travel, so make the most of the remote area, full of untouched vegetation, unique wildlife, and the chance to swim in nearby waterfalls. Once arrived at your cabin, enjoy a rest in the afternoon and prepare for a group dinner at 7 pm. 

Estimated hiking time time/distance: 6 hours; 14 kilometres 
Elevation Change: Morning; 2000 MASL, Evening; 1600 MASL
Accommodation
  • Multishare Cabin (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Savegre - Savegre Crossing 4-day Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
This cabin has electricity in all rooms for charging devices, however hot water is not always available, so we suggest you shower earlier rather than later.
Day two is the most challenging trek, where you will hike a mighty total of 16km. Starting at 6 am, you will ascend relatively quickly for the first couple of hours through fields and by open road until you will reach around 2200 metres above sea level. Here, you will be treated to spectacular views of the rolling hills and green valleys of Costa Rica’s countryside peeking out of the passing clouds and mist. For the second section of the hike, you will mainly descend through the forest. This part of the trail can be very challenging if there has been rain as the track can become very muddy and slippery. Once you reach the cabin, enjoy a well-deserved rest, before dinner at 7 pm – and don’t forget insect repellent! This evening you will hopefully get to try some heart of palm for dinner, a local specialty and side dish made in indigenous communities, and especially around celebrations like Easter.

Estimated hiking time time/distance: 7-8 hours; 16 kilometres
Elevation Change: Morning; 1600 MASL, Evening; 700 MASL
Accommodation
  • Multishare Cabin (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
This cabin is powered by solar panels so there is only one power point available for use by the entire group. There is no hot water for showers today. The group will usually be split into rooms according to gender (depending on group size and make-up). 
On day three, continue on your journey down the Savegre River towards the Pacific Ocean. Initially, the trek will be relatively flat along open trails before an extended lunch stop with a chance see the Savegre River from a different angle. Now is a ideal time to go for a swim in the cleanest river in Costa Rica, and arguably one of
the cleanest rivers in the world! Afterwards, tackle a 4km climb before arriving to the night’s cabin. If you still have energy, perhaps take the trail nearby to the cabin to search to seek out an array of different frog species native to Costa Rica, returning in time for a group dinner at 7 pm.

Estimated hiking time time/distance: 6 hours; 14 kilometres
Elevation Change: Morning; 700 MASL, Evening; 840 MASL
Accommodation
  • Multishare Cabin (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note that this cabin is powered by solar panels, so there is only one power point available for use by the entire group in the kitchen. There is no hot water for showers today and candles are used in the bedrooms for light. You’ll really feel like you’re in the wilderness!
Today, continue your descending hike to the Albergue Los Campesinos ecolodge. Starting early (approximately 6.30 am) with a steep climb, expect some varied undulation today. You’ll aim to reach the cabin by lunchtime, and by then, you should reward yourself with a swim in one of the nearby waterfalls. There’s also a hanging suspension bridge to cross nearby, which gives 360-degree panoramas views of the surrounding jungle. Relax with your group over a laidback dinner at 7 pm, ready for a thrill-seeking adventure
tomorrow.

Estimated hiking time time/distance: 7 hours; 16 kilometres
Elevation Change: Morning; 840 MASL, Evening; 200 MASL
Accommodation
  • Multishare Cabin (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
This cabin has electricity in all rooms for charging devices, and hot water is hopefully available.
After breakfast, take a 45-minute drive to the river, then hop in a raft and tackle some thrillseeker’s rapids for around 2 hours. Rio Naranjo flows down from the mountains and weaves through tight gorges, creating a world-class rapid system – depending on the water level, they are either Class 3 or 4. Afterwards, stop for a local lunch with your group. In the afternoon, you'll then drive 1.5 hours to Uvita, where you’ll have the evening to relax after a wild day. Your luggage will be waiting for you at the accommodation.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Savegre - Rio Naranjo rafting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
From 9 am, travel in a private vehicle for 2 hours, before boarding a shared boat at 11.30 am headed for Drake Bay, taking around 45 minutes. For 30 years, Drake Bay was conserved by a local family before being handed over to the Costa Rican government, so this paradise is in pristine condition. Getting to the wildlife-rich reserve is all part of the adventure. But first, this is sure to get the heart pumping – it’s zip-lining time! After check-in (at around 3 pm) head near the national park and begin your adventure. You'll navigate a course that lasts about 2.5 hours, and will definitely get an adrenaline rush when flying through the canopies of the jungle.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Drake Bay - Zipline
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Corcovado National Park is all yours to explore today. There are multiple optional activities to choose from today, including an early birdwatching expedition, or a kayaking adventure through the park’s lagoons. Corcovado is one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth, with 13 different ecosystems in its boundaries – highland cloud forests, lagoons, mangrove swamps and marine habitats, just to name a few. Feel free to explore the park in your own time, with many of the hiking trails leading to pristine and largely untouched beaches. You’ve earned some time to pull up a towel and sun-bake on the shores of the Pacific.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Corcovado - Sirena Station Hike - USD90
  • Corcovado - San Pedrillo Station Hike - USD80
  • Corcovado - Lagoon Kayaking - USD75
  • Corcovado - Early Birdwatching - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take the boat at 7:30 am and hit the road towards San Jose (approximately 5 hours total), with a visit to the stunning Carara National Park on the way. The protected area is 4700 hectares including regenerating tropical rainforest-lowland and tropical dry forest. After checking in to your hotel, the afternoon and evening is yours to continue exploring the city. Perhaps a group dinner is on the cards! San Jose has a surprisingly diverse choice of restaurants available, so head to a soda (a family-style restaurant) or head to the hip neighbourhood of Barrio Escalante for an eatery along Calle 33.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Carara National Park - Entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With no activities planned for today, you are free to depart after breakfast. If you would like to continue to explore San Jose, why not book yourself an Urban Adventures tour? There’s a heap to choose from, including the Pura Vida Experience: a walking tour learning of the local legends and freshest food of central San Jose and Escazu. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/san-jose-tours. 
Optional Activities
  • San Jose - The Art of Craft Beer in San Jose - Urban Adventures - USD74
  • San Jose - San Jose Bites and Sights Tour - Urban Adventures - USD36
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, 4x4, Shared boat

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights), Cabin (multishare) (4 nights), Lodge (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Savegre - Savegre Crossing 4-day Hike
  • Savegre - Rio Naranjo rafting
  • Drake Bay - Zipline
  • Carara National Park - Entrance

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. To have a private room on this trip, a single supplement is bookable (subject to availability) with exception of Days 3-6 (Savegre River Trek) where you would be in shared accommodation.
3. Please be careful when booking flights to/from San Jose; make sure you fly into/out of Juan Santamaria International Airport [SJO]. Please do NOT book flights to/from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport [SJC] as this is located in California, United States.
4. Hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.

Essential trip information

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