9 Days in Costa Rica
San Jose, Sarapiqui, San Ramon, Nicoya Peninsula
From $1890 per person
Why Costa Rica?
There are only a few places on earth, where in just one week, you can experience the variety of landscapes, natural habitats and wildlife as you can in Costa Rica. Best of all, it’s just a few hours away from most U.S. cities.
Costa Rica is known worldwide for its stable, peaceful democracy, genuine hospitality and pioneering conservation efforts, which have enticed millions of travelers to explore the country’s parks and reserves.
Costa Rica is also home to an impressive variety of habitats - cloud forests, dry forests, volcanoes, lowland rain forests, tropical mangrove swamps and thriving exotic plantations of coffee, mango, pineapples, bananas, among a dozen others.
If you are looking for some sunshine, human warmth, clean air and a much-needed detox, join Perillo Tours in Costa Rica and discover why Ticos (native Costa Ricans) are always smiling and chanting - “PURA VIDA!”
Why Costa Rica with PerilloTours?
Steve Perillo and Carol Dimopoulos spent 2 years searching for the ideal get-away for Americans. Looking for more than just a beach chair/cocktail vacation, they hit-upon Costa Rica – a truly unique experience for the body, mind and soul.
They found Fabio Salas, a jovial native Costa Rican with an exuberance for his land and culture. Fabio and the Perillo team are proud to introduce a new and authentic way to discover Costa Rica.
It’s the very definition of experiential travel! Explore the classic highlights that have made Costa Rica so famous, while staying at iconic, off-the-beaten-path resort hotels, personally inspected by Steve and Carol.
Perillo Tours’ group series to Costa Rica provides an inspiring and energizing vacation that will give you renewed respect for the awesomeness of nature, and man’s important place in it.
Most of all . . . be immersed in the life philosophy that has earned Costa Rica the recognition, two years consecutively - as the #1 happiest nation on earth - according to the Happy Planet Index’s survey. (HappyPlanetIndex.org)
- Great Hotels. All First Class, unique resort hotels.
- 2 nights at First Class Doubletree Cariari Hilton, San Jose.
- 2 nights at First Class Sueno Azul Hotel, Sarapiqui Rain Forest.
- 2 nights at First Class Villa Blanca Hotel, San Ramon.
- 2 nights at First Class Tango Mar Resort, Nicoya Peninsula.
- Transfers by deluxe motorcoach or van and boat.
- Tour Manager. Included throughout, from day 1 to day 9.
- Great Local Dining. 8 Breakfasts. 5 Lunches. 8 Dinners.
- Sightseeing & activities including all entrance fees. Great for all ages!
- Language Lesson
- Banana Plantation Tour
- Boat Tour of Tortuguero Jungle Canals
- Skywalk the Arenal Rainforest
- Relax in Thermal Baths
- Lecture on the Exotic Life Forms of Costa Rica
- Cloud Forest Nature Walk
- Sail across the Gulf of Nicoya
- Traditional Tamale Cooking Class
- Farewell Dinner and Local Dancing Show
- $29 Departure Tax Included. No hassles when departing Costa Rica!
AT A GLANCE:
- Day 1 - Sunday - Fly from USA to San Jose, Costa Rica > Orientation > Dinner
- Day 2 - Monday - Spanish Class > Scenic Drive to Sarapiqui > Relaxation and Dinner
- Day 3 - Tuesday - Banana Plantation Tour > Boat Tour of Tortuguero Jungle Canals > Return to Sarapiqui
- Day 4 – Wednesday - Scenic Drive to Arenal Volcano > Sky Walk the Arenal Rainforest > Relax in Thermal Baths > Overnight in San Ramon
- Day 5 – Thursday - Lecture On The Exotic Life Forms of Costa Rica > Cloud Forest Nature Walk > Leisure Afternoon
- Day 6 – Friday - Tango Mar Beachfront Resort > Afternoon of Leisure > Seaside Dinner Tonight
- Day 7 – Saturday - Day at Leisure or Optional Activities
- Day 8 – Sunday - Sail Across the Gulf of Nicoya > Traditional Tamale Cooking Class > Farewell Dinner and Local Dancing Show
- Day 9 – Monday - Morning at Leisure > Flight Back to U.S.
Day 1 – Sunday Fly from USA to San Jose, Costa Rica > Orientation > Dinner
This morning you’re off to your tropical paradise! For your reference, the flight is about 5 hours from New York. Upon arrival at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), you will be met by a Perillo Tours’ representative and transferred to your hotel near San Jose City.
You will be warmly greeted by a Perillo Representative and be transferred to your hotel where you will stay on the first and last nights of your tour. This cuts down on waiting time at the airport so you can ‘begin the fun’ soon after arriving! In most cases, you will stay at the Doubletree Cariari Hotel by Hilton.
This evening there will be an orientation briefing by your tour manager. Be sure to ask for the definition of PURA VIDA! Welcome dinner and overnight in San Jose. D
Day 2 – Monday Spanish Class > Scenic Drive to Sarapiqui > Relaxation and Dinner
This morning you’ll enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a lesson on useful Spanish expressions. (But luckily, most local residents are far better at English than we are with Spanish!)
Next, you’ll visit the city of San Jose – the capital of Costa Rica. Enjoy a drive through the beautiful Sabana Park, passing by the upscale Rohrmoser residential area and Paseo Colón.
You will visit the heart of the city to admire the National Theater, designed as the opera house in 1897. Afterwards, you’ll visit a local museum and also pass by the Supreme Court of Justice, Central Park, the Cathedral and the Congress Building.
Departing San Jose, you’re off to Sarapiqui in the northern slopes, driving through Braulio Carrillo National Park which encompasses the largest Rain Forest in Costa Rica, covering an area of 120,000 acres.
This afternoon, check into Hotel Hacienda Sueño Azul (Blue Dream), a peaceful mountain resort with waterfalls, horses and endless jungle trails. Relax or take an afternoon guided nature walk through the hotel’s private Rain Forest. Dinner and overnight. B, L, D
Day 3 - Tuesday Banana Plantation Tour > Boat Tour of Tortuguero Jungle Canals > Return to Sarapiqui
After a hearty breakfast, you will head north towards the Caribbean coastal lowlands. En route, you’ll be fascinated by our tour of a working banana plantation.
Next, board a private boat and tour the jungle canals of Tortuguero National Park which protects 46,000 acres of natural wildlife wetlands including over 20 miles of coastline in which giant sea turtles lay their eggs (Mar-Sep). With your expert guide’s help, you’ll spot some of the local wildlife including crocodiles, frogs, monkeys, sloths, over 300 species of birds and the ‘Jesus Lizard’ (it walks on water).
Tortuguero receives up to 200 inches of rainfall annually, one of the wettest regions in the country.
Note: The rainfall is mostly distributed between November and January, and then between April and August. Our boat excursion is scheduled around midday when rain is less likely (ponchos are provided).
After lunch, you’ll have time to explore the quaint Caribbean Village of Tortuguero before your boat journey back to the dock. Back to Sueño Azul, your mountain retreat. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. B, L, D
Day 4 – Wednesday Scenic Drive to Arenal Volcano > Sky Walk the Arenal Rainforest > Relax in Thermal Baths > Overnight in San Ramon
After breakfast, a scenic drive west through beautiful rolling farmlands. You’re bound for La Fortuna, home of the iconic Arenal Volcano, rising one mile above sea level overlooking Lake Arenal.
You’ll ascend to the top of the Arenal Rainforest Reserve by cable car. Take in the beautiful vistas of the forest, lake and the volcano. Then do the ‘Sky Walk,’ featuring a two mile trail system through primary rainforest, including five suspension bridges, two observation points and two waterfalls.
Note: The tour is for all ages and the trail is in fine condition. But it’s a ‘hiking tour’ and visitors need to be capable of walking for about three hours and through slight elevation changes.
Hope your swimsuit is handy! This afternoon, slip into the Eco-Termales hot-water thermal pools with temperatures ranging between 98º - 107º degrees. Nature’s own hot-tub!
Later this afternoon, continue on to Los Angeles Cloud Forest in the mountain community of San Ramon, known as the “City of the Poets.” When we say ‘cloud mountain’ or ‘cloud forest’ - the clouds literally meet the mountain as they breeze through the terrain, offering a visually dramatic experience.
Your hotel, Villa Blanca, nestles atop such a mountain. With the feeling of an Adirondack lodge, the property used to be owned by the President of Costa Rica until Jim Damalas from San Francisco took it over.
Try to meet Jim. He’s a character! Who else in Costa Rica would install a professional movie theater with daily showings of classics and recent hits. He also has a beautiful wedding chapel, a jungle laboratory, green houses to grow your dinner produce, and plenty of mountain trails to explore.
Dinner and overnight at Villa Blanca. B, L, D
Note: Are you adventurous? Instead of doing the Skywalk, try Sky Trek - a secure system of Zip Lines, including eight cross-sectional cables that together have a total length of 1.7 miles with distances from 100 to 2,460 feet, and with a maximum height of 660 feet, which exceed the treetops, providing a panoramic eagle-eye view. Max weight:317 pounds. This needs to be requested in advance at the time of booking.
Day 5 – Thursday Lecture on the Exotic Life Forms of Costa Rica > Cloud Forest Nature Walk > Leisure Afternoon
This morning you’ll enjoy a lecture by the resident ecosystem biologist followed by a guided nature walk of the Los Angeles Private Cloud Forest at 3,000 feet above sea level. You’ll witness insects that perfectly resemble twigs and leaves, along with other fascinating specimens.
This afternoon, you’ll learn how Costa Rica leads the world in ‘sustainable tourism’ - preserving God’s amazing bounty of exotic life forms. In a word, it’s PARADISE! Dinner and overnight at Villa Blanca. B, D
Day 6 – Friday Tango Mar Beachfront Resort > Afternoon of Leisure > Seaside Dinner Tonight
Bidding farewell to our home in the mountains, we descend toward the warm, dry air of the Pacific coastline and head west toward the Nicoya Peninsula.
Our resort owner Hilde, is from Belgium. She fell so much in love with the Tango Mar Resort & Spa that she bought the place! Chances are you’ll see Hilde greeting guests as they arrive, and at dinner.
The rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy the swimming pool or beach. Dinner and overnight on the terrace with your new friends, swaying palm trees and the hypnotic surf. B, L, D
Day 7 – Saturday Day at Leisure or Optional Activities
Today is all yours! Enjoy the private beach at Tango Mar or book an optional activity (at extra cost) such as a yoga class, golf, zip line, horseback riding or hike through the wild jungles of Curu Wildlife Reserve or Cabo Blanco National Park.
Are you feeling any younger today? The National Institute for Aging has designated the Nicoya Peninsula as a ‘Blue Zone’-that is, one of the areas with the world’s longest life expectancy.
The researchers credit the Nicoyan lifestyle of daily physical activity, high calcium water, year-long fruit consumption and close family relationships. Sounds like a recipe for happiness and long-life everywhere! Dinner and overnight at Tango Mar. B, D
Day 8 – Sunday Sail Across the Gulf of Nicoya > Traditional Tamale Cooking Class > Farewell Dinner and Local Dancing Show
After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll cross the Gulf of Nicoya to Puntarenas, via ferry.
Driving south along the Pacific coast, you’ll stop at a private ranch to learn how to make the authentic Latin American treat - the Tamale.
Traditionally, making tamales is an all-day affair. That’s why Costa Rican families reserve them for special occasions such as Christmas.
After your hard work, enjoy a tamale feast before heading back to San Jose for the final night of fun in Costa Rica.
This evening, dine in a rustic casona (country house), offering a panoramic view of the Central Valley. Tonight’s menu includes meat specialties, along with traditional Costa Rican dishes of enyucados, picadillos, refried beans and tortillas. Now here’s a chance to show off your dancing skills and enjoy a typical dancing show!
Costa Rica is a peaceful nation, living in harmony with lavish natural beauty. And now you should know why the national slogan is – PURA VIDA! Overnight in San Jose. B, L, D
Day 9 – Monday Morning at Leisure > Flight Back to U.S.
Morning at leisure. Take a private transfer back to Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) to catch your flight home or continue on to our optional extension to Panama.
October 2013 - August 2014
9 Days / 8 Nights Departs USA Sunday - Returns Monday
Prices below are land-only and do not include airfare.
|DEPARTURE DATES & LAND RATES
October 2013 - August 2014
|Per Person Double Room||Triple Room||Single Room||Kids 5-11 y/o in DBL|
Land only rates are per person and include round trip airport transfers for ALL guests. Ask about low airfares from your hometown.
*July and August are special “family tours”. Of course, kids are welcome on ALL dates!
Want to arrive early or stay longer in Costa Rica?
We can arrange your extended stay at the Doubletree Cariari in San Jose:
- Double Room -$135 per person, per night. (Includes a one way transfer & breakfast)
- Triple Room - $115 per person, per night. (Includes a one way transfer & breakfast)
- Single Room - $180 per person, per night. (Includes a one way transfer & breakfast)
Or to enhance your experience, why not try our 3 Day Panama Tour?
Click on the "Optional Tour Add-ons" tab for more information.
Doubletree Cariari Hotel by Hilton, San Jose City
A modern full-service hotel, conveniently located only five minutes from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) and ten minutes from downtown San José.
Spacious air-conditioned guestrooms, luxurious Sweet Dreams Beds, cable TV with Spanish and English networks, and internet access. An ideal location to explore the nearby attractions or just soak up the sun by the free-form pool with rustic cabanas.
Sueño Azul Hotel, Sarapiqui Rain Forest
Located in the northern region of Costa Rica, the resort sits on 2,500 acres of private tropical forest. The scenic rivers that surround the property make it a true sanctuary for nature lovers and peace seekers.
Sueño Azul has 65 rooms beautifully decorated in an elegant rustic style, each with a panoramic view that you can enjoy from your private terrace. The hotel facilities include the Restaurante “El CORRAL,” a spa and a yoga and meditation room.
Villa Blanca Hotel, Los Angeles Cloud Forest in San Ramon
Villa Blanca Hotel is surrounded by the 2,000 acre Los Angeles Cloud Forest Private Biological Reserve. The resort is a replica of a traditional small village, typical of Costa Rica in the early 1900s. Are you hearing bells? The property features a charming wedding chapel!
34 cottages or “casitas” feature charming amenities including fireplaces, private porches and whirlpool tubs in many of the rooms. Villa Blanca Hotel also features a private movie theater with daily showings, spa, restaurant, laboratory and hiking trails into the mystic Cloud Forest.
Tango Mar Resort, Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific Ocean
Tango Mar resort lives up to most people’s idea of a secluded tropical paradise. She sits on a 150-acre private beach- front reserve along the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific coastline.
Guestrooms are furnished with fine carved-wood king-size beds, sitting areas, air conditioning, ceiling fans, mini-bar, coffee maker, safe deposit boxes, satellite TV, private Jacuzzi, and hair dryer. Tango Mar Resort features lushly landscaped tropical grounds, three swimming pools, two bars, two tennis courts, and a nine-hole golf course.
Note: While we strongly anticipate using each hotel mentioned in this itinerary, similarly rated alternative hotels may be used in rare situations. Be assured, they will be the same, or better than the fine hotels described here.
3 Days/2 Nights
Panama is a small country, yet filled with lush rain forests, wildlife and rich thriving legendary cultures. Our Panama Discovery Adventure is a classic tour which includes 3 days featuring a visit to the historic Panama Canal and the Embera Community.
Day 1 - Monday: Flight to Panama City – Embera Indigenous Village
Morning flight to Panama City where you are met and transferred to your hotel.
Upon arrival we drive to the Port of Corotu on the shores of the Madden Lake where we will board a motorized traditional dug-out canoe up the Chagres RIver to the Embera village where you will have an enriching cultural encounter with the indigenous people and their traditions. One of the magical things about Panama is its diverse mix of cultures and lifestyles. Let our professional guides take you on an unforgettable tour into the heart of the Panamanian rain-forest. We start on the Chagres river, and from there you will ride in a traditional cayuco (dug-out canoe) to the Embera Indian village. There you will be welcomed by the villagers who will give you an introduction to the culture, religion, art, language, food, and lifestyle of their people. You will be served a traditional light lunch of Tilapia fish and fried plantains. Other presentations include an explanation of medicinal plants, a trail walk through the jungle, a musical dance and performance, and the chance to swim in a crystal clear river at an unbelievable waterfall.
Overnight at Overnight at DeVille Hotel, Jr. Suite. (B, L)
Day 2 - Tuesday: Panama City Tour
Enjoy a tour of Panamá City including a visit to Old Panama ruins, Casco Antiguo and Miraflores Locks. Overnight at DeVille Hotel, Jr. Suite (L)
Day 3 - Wednesday: Departure
Transfer to Tocumen International Airport (PTY) 3 hours prior to your flight back home. [B) (PT)
- One Airport Transfer (Tocumen International Airport (PTY) to your hotel).
- Accommodation as outlined above.
- Local bilingual English-Spanish speaking guides/interpreters on shared basis during the excursions and tours, as specified on the itinerary.
- Private land transportation when expressly indicated or regular shuttle (pooled) transfers.
- Meals (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, S = Snacks/light lunch; D= Dinner) as specified on the itinerary
- Entrance fees to: Embera Village, Miraflores Dock Visitor Center.
- Sales Taxes & service charge for restaurant meals
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- Flight To Panama
- Airport departure tax of $40 pp. payable at Tocumen International Airport (PTY) upon departure
- Credit card payment fees
- Extras at hotels (telephone calls, room service laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.)
- Any additional/extra tours or park fees
- Tips & Gratuities for Guide, Driver, local guides and service providers
- Personal and/or medical expenses
- Any incidentals out of pocket or medical expenses. Please ensure you carry appropriate insurance, which covers all the activities in this itinerary, inherited risks, luggage protection and holiday cancellation.
- Excess luggage on any flight where airlines have a luggage restriction of 25-30 pounds per person. See Air Panama Luggage Restrictions section for specific details.
- Late check-out or early check-in
- Additional Airport Transfers
- Airport taxes at Bocas/Isla Colón Airport ($4.00) or any other that is required to be paid by each traveler directly
De Ville Hotel – Panama City, Panama.
Centrally located on a leafy street close to the Financial District, the DeVille is a European-style, all-suites boutique hotel that boasts personalized service for a home-away-from-home feeling not provided by most chain hotels. The decor here is conservative, executive style, with historic canal-era photos and richly colored wallpaper. Luxurious bathrooms contain marble counter-tops and walk-in showers, and orthopedic beds have Egyptian-cotton sheets. Best of all, a full breakfast is included -- and can be served to you in bed. The DeVille has an excellent on-site restaurant, the Ten Bistro. On the downside, there is no pool or gym at the hotel.
Panama Canal - Miraflores Locks Visitor Center
The Miraflores Locks were constructed in 1912. Today we will visit the Miraflores visitors center (CVM) is an expression of the permanent commitment of the Panama Canal Authority to strengthen the public’s knowledge of the Canal. Located on the east side of the Miraflores Locks, the CVM allows the visitor to observe transiting vessels from a distance of only a few meters and learn first hand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in the world markets, and the importance of its watershed.
The center features an ample, fully equipped theater, three observation terraces, two snack bars, a restaurant with panoramic view, a gift shop, and a hall for special events. The exhibitions include historic pieces, interactive modules, video presentations, models of the Panama Canal, and objects used in Canal operations. You will also visit the Miraflores locks and the adjacent interactive museum, on the northern entrance of the Canal. Here you will have the opportunity to see a ship transiting the locks so close that you feel you could almost touch the ship! There is a beautiful center (with an unbelievable museum) where you can see a ship passing thru the Miraflores Locks right in front of you.
The Panama City Tour
Your private transportation and English speaking guide will be waiting for you to discover the history of Panamá City. You will visit some of the most important sites of Panama City starting with the ruins of OLD Panama - “Panama La Vieja”, founded in 1519, the first city and first settlement on the Pacific Ocean, capital of “Castilla de Oro” and center of operations for the conquest of South America. This city was built during the 16th century and was later partially destroyed because of the attack of the pirate Sir Henry Morgan in 1671. Then continue to the Casco Viejo, a colonial area that represents the second Panama City, characterized by a very special architecture. Weather permitting; this tour will be a walking tour taking you through the “Plaza de la Independencia” with its Cathedral and the “Palacio Municipal”. Next visit the San Jose church and its Golden Altar. Followed by the “Arco Chato” and the “Convento de Santo Domingo”, home to the Religious artifact museum. Head up the “Paseo de las Bovedas” into the “Plaza de Francia” and finish at the Plaza Bolivar, home to the national theater, San Fransisco of Asis Church and some newly remodeled homes. After these visit, continue to the main attraction in Panamá the Miraflores Locks Visitors Center, where you will visit multiple exhibits of the Canal and have the opportunity to view the operations of the Panama Canal and Lunch will be served at Miraflores Restaurant where you will continue enjoying the view.
Price per person: $745
Single supplement: $320
Child Rate (5-12 years): $625
Rates for Extra Nights in Panama:
(for any additional nights in Panama after the above 3 day tour)
Double/Twin Room - $128 per person (includes taxes & breakfast)
Single Room - $190 (includes taxes & breakfast)