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Central America | Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Sample Itinerary


Costa Rica, San Jose, Central Valley

Trip Duration

7 nights / 8 days

A haven for biodiversity, tranquility and rich cultures, Costa Rica offers infinite opportunities for discovery. Explore captivating cities, natural reserves and rainforests brimming with exotic flora and fauna amid picturesque volcanoes, coffee plantations and beautiful beaches, all steeped with the simple Pura Vida way of life.

Below is just a sample of the immersive itineraries our Destination Specialists can create. Click on the experiences links in the itinerary to see other curated excursion choices offered by Journese. Our Destination Specialists are happy to book our hotels and excursions highlighted in the itinerary below, or let them know if you would like something customized. And, feel free to offer our non-hyperlinked suggestions to your clients to further explore the destination.


Day 1: USA / San Jose, Costa Rica |

Less than six hours from Los Angeles, depart for your exciting Costa Rican vacation. Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica where you will board your private transfer to the trendy Real InterContinental San Jose - Costa Rica in Escazu. An urban retreat adjacent to the Multiplaza Mall, the city's largest shopping complex, unwind in a sumptuous Club InterContinental room for four nights featuring exclusive guestroom amenities, butler service, access to the private Club InterContinental Lounge with complimentary breakfast, evening drinks and appetizers, plus light refreshments all day long. Boasting the largest urban spa in Central America, immerse in Asian-style gardens, two heated pools and indulge in tantalizing dining outlets from sushi and Italian cuisine to steak and seafood, and 24-hour international fare with an exhibition kitchen.

Celebrate your first evening in Costa Rica in the cozy setting of Pimento. Sip your favorite wine as you savor exquisite Italian cuisine featuring fresh homemade pastas, risottos, seafood and wide selection of salads, soups and desserts.

Day 2 - 3: San Jose |

Following a leisurely morning, head out for an afternoon of sightseeing, culture and discovery on the Cultural Activity and Lunch with a Local Family. With a sense of democratic traditions, be amazed at this vibrant capital city with its happy people, lovely parks, cathedrals, museums and more. Admire the stately historical buildings including visit to the National Theater, completed in 1897 and National or Gold Museum, and the central market. Then, enjoy a traditional lunch with a local family learning of their customs and beliefs, followed by a scenis drive to the coffee fields to be educations on how beans are grown, roasted and brewed, including tastings of the delicious results.

Spend the next day at leisure. With just steps to the massive Multiplaza Mall, explore upscale stores, movie theaters, bars and fine restaurants. Be pampered with an outdoor massage, Finnish sauna, Vichy showers, steam baths or an array of other relaxing massage treatments at the urban Spa InterContinental. Then, for a perfect ending to your exciting day, dine at the Factory. Marvel at the chef preparing exquisite, artfully presented dishes made from imported cuts of beef, fresh lobster and local fish on the open kitchen grill before savoring every mouthwatering bite. Be sure to save room for a delectable piece of cheesecake with a cup of rich Costa Rican coffee.

Day 4: San Jose |

Greet the day with a delicious breakfast at The Market before embarking on the Private White Water Rafting Pacuare River. Adventure lovers will be thrilled with this rafting experience down the Pacuare River. With more than 18 miles of whitewater to encounter, enjoy class II to IV rapids. Plus, leisurely float past waterfalls, spotting toucans, parrots and more.

Following your inspiring day, get your evening started in the Zambra Lobby Bar with a refreshing martini, special cocktail or sangria along with delicious tapas, accompanied by live music to celebrate your last night in San Jose.

Day 5: San Jose / Manuel Antonio |

Check out of your San Jose hotel and board your private transfer bound for GAIA Hotel & Reserve in Manuel Antonio. Nestled in the magnificent coastal forests of Manuel Antonio, settle in your Loft Suite for the next three nights. Unwind in two levels of eco-friendly luxury featuring dining and living areas, stone shower, semi-private splash pools and tropical rainforest views from the upper loft. Delight in a private concierge, complimentary breakfast daily at La Luna, a complimentary 20-minute mini-spa treatment for each adult at Terra Spa, plus enjoy the three-tiered infinity pool, swim-up bar, activities in the nature reserve walk.

Discover amazing flora and fauna on the complimentary guided walk of the nature reserve. Keep your eyes open for monkeys, sloths and countless bird species as you stroll through this eco-wonderland. Learn about the Scarlett Macaw reintroduction program to preserve this beautiful bird species from a certified naturalist guide. In the afternoon, unwind with your featured mini-spa treatment and sweet tropical drink or take a dip in the infinity pool.

Later, indulge in a lively happy hour with tropical cocktails and small bite menu items including a ceviche sampler, beef pastels and other scrumptious tapas as the sunsets over the sparkling ocean waters.

Day 6: Manuel Antonio |

After your delectable breakfast this morning, embark on a full day of culture and adventure on the Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley & Lankaster Excursion. Your journey begins in Cartago, the former capital of Costa Rica, as you pass through one of the richest coffee producing areas of the country. Get your binoculars ready as you ascend the lush slopes of the Irazu volcano, capturing the verdant landscapes and spectacular views from the 11,300-foot summit. Keep your camera ready as you continue to the Orosi Valley, home to the mighty Recentazon River, Cachi Lake, ancient ruins of Ujarras and thundering 300-foot Brides Veil waterfall. Then, bask in the spectacular Lankaster Gardens, filled with more than 3,000 plant species such as orchids, succulents, cacti and bamboo for a beautiful ending to day of excitement and wonder.

Day 7: Manuel Antonio |

Following your delicious La Luna breakfast and hearty Costa Rican coffee, embark on an extraordinary experience on the Mangrove Damas Island by Kayak Excursion. Learn the wonders of the mangrove ecosystem as you kayak past white-faced monkeys, anteaters and snakes. Experience the wonder as you journey across the water under a tunnel of tree canopies, then enjoy an included lunch picnic.

This evening, celebrate your inspirational journey in Costa Rica in La Luna. Gaze at the sunset as you savor an exquisite five-course menu paired with South American wines for each course. From a honey-garlic calamari salad with a sauvignon blanc, vegetable soup with chardonnay to Caribbean blackened tuna with Pinot Noir, barbeque ribs with a rich red blend and sweet chocolate lava flow with the perfect porto varietal for dessert, raise a glass to your inspiring Costa Rican getaway.

Day 8: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica / USA |

Say adios to this wonderful experience in Costa Rica as you relax in your private transfer to the airport for your homebound flight, and begin planning your next exotic getaway to Central America.

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