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Central America | Discover Arenal & Guanacaste's Natural Wonders

Sample Itinerary


Costa Rica, Arenal, Guanacaste

Trip Duration

9 Days/8 Nights

As one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Costa Rica is home to a surreal world of infinite natural wonders and scintillating wildlife. Blessed with exotic flora and fauna amid picturesque volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, and jungle-fringed beaches, experience the Pura Vida lifestyle in this eco-friendly Central American utopia.

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

Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica where you will board your private transfer to the Peace Lodge for a one-night stay in a 1,200-square-foot Monarch Villa. Set in the magical La Paz Waterfall Gardens National Park with rainforest and volcano views, settle into an enchanting wonderland with a handcrafted canopy bed, in-room Jacuzzi, stone fireplaces, waterfall shower, spacious balcony and kitchenette.

With complimentary access to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, marvel at five cascading waterfalls, then visit the animal sanctuary with more than 100 species including jungle cats, butterflies, hummingbirds, monkeys, sloths, snakes, frogs and more. Celebrate this evening with the Big Trout Bar for an afternoon cocktail and watch the sunset as you sample delicious tapas and savor authentic Costa Rican dining.

Day 2: San Jose/Arenal

Following breakfast, board your private transfer to Arenal, where you will stay for three nights in a Vista Grand Guest Room at The Springs Resort & Spa. A sensory escape perched on a lush mountain ridge overlooking a verdant river valley, revel in luxurious marbled baths with Jacuzzi tubs, private terraces and unique dining experiences. In addition, enjoy a holistic spa, unlimited access to the geothermal mineral hot springs, waterfalls, five sparkling pools, inspiring nature activities, and unparalleled views of famed Arenal Volcano.

Delight in access to the Club Rio Outdoor Center offering unique activities including river kayaking or tubing, horseback rides, rock climbing and rappelling, mountain biking and more. Explore hiking trails lines with lush flora and fauna, take part in a wildcat feeding, visit with animals up close at the Wildlife Sanctuary, or enjoy a Bird Watching Tour spotting Black-mandible Toucans, Crested Guan, Blue-Grey Tanagers and much more.

Day 3: Arenal

For an all-inclusive day of nature and adventure, experience it all on the Arenal, Hanging Bridges & Tabacon Hot Springs Excursion. Enter the rainforest keeping watch for exotic animals among the trees on a guided walk across the Arenal Hanging Bridges. Next, hike to the La Fortuna waterfall and to its natural pool below, with time to swim beneath the falls before a traditional Costa Rican lunch. Then, head to Arenal Volcano National Park for an informative hike and views of the volcano and Lake Arenal, with a chance to see wildlife and discover native flora. After a busy day of adventure and exploration, unwind and relax at the rejuvenating Tabacon Hot Springs and waterfalls before a sumptuous buffet dinner.

Day 4: Arenal

Don your hiking shoes and binoculars as you depart the hotel early this morning to Arenal Lake and the cloud forest on the Monterverde Reserve Exploration. Climb aboard a pontoon for a ride to Rio Chiquito, with sights of native and migratory birds, mammals and views of the volcano along the way. Then, drive to Monterverde, famous for its unique ecology, beautiful waterfalls and wildlife, for a hike through the cloud forest, discovering rich beds of moss, flowers, lichen and bromeliads, plus howler monkeys and sloths, all five species of cats, and a frog pond or serpentarium, for an informative, close-up experience.

Day 5: Arenal/Guanacaste

After breakfast, enjoy a private transfer to Guanacaste, and the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa, where you will stay for the next four nights in a deluxe oceanfront guestroom. Situated on a secluded beach in a prime location within Costa Rica's renowned central coast, guests will delight in casual dining, free flowing pool, full-service spa with a serenity lagoon and outdoor treatment palapas, plus access to an adjacent championship golf course, an equestrian center and turtle nest sanctuaries. Privileged guests will also delight in a complimentary guided nature walk, mixology and cooking classes, yoga instruction, astronomy observations and a bonfire on the beach, complete with music and a marshmallow experience.

Day 6: Guanacaste

Depart early this morning on the must-see Rincon de la Vieja Volcano Excursion. Home to one of the most active craters in the Guanacaste Mountain range and one of the country's most diverse ecological areas, travel to the National Park for a day of hiking and exploration of this sleeping giant. Discover everything from native wildlife, impressive flora and sparkling waterfalls to bubbling water lagoons, steamy sulphur water ponds, little mud volcanoes, fumaroles and more on this informative, up-close experience.

Day 7: Guanacaste

Embark on a voyage of discovery upon the ocean, cruising the most beautiful and secluded beaches and snorkeling sites in Costa Rica, on a relaxing Catamaran Adventure . Sip a refreshing beverage as you sail along the white coastal sands and a peaceful sea waters, keeping watch for lively whales, dolphins, sea turtles and tropical fish along the way to tranquil anchorage sites. Then, partake in a choice of watersports including guided snorkeling through a myriad of marine life, kayaking in the calm waters or simply playing in the ocean before you sail back as the sun sets on a remarkable day and memorable oceanic experience.

Day 8 - 9: Guanacaste/ USA

Keep your cameras ready for an exciting final day of adventure in nature today. Delight in the endless diversity of exotic flora and fauna as you float by raft along the Tenorio or Corobici River on the River Float & Jaguar Foundation Excursion. Marvel at lush landscapes as you spot monkeys, iguanas, motmots, herons, egrets and more along the riverbanks. After lunch, head to the Las Pumas Rescue Center, home to wildcat rescues such as jaguars, ocelots and pumas, plus other animals including monkeys, deer, river otters and several bird species in a setting that mimics their natural environment.

Celebrate your final evening with a taste of Costa Rican cuisine al fresco style as the sun sets over the horizon, bidding a fond farewell to this remarkable destination. The next morning, board your transfer to the airport for your homebound flight and begin planning your next exploration of the world's natural wonders.

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