9 Days in Costa Rica (Oct 2014-Dec 2015)
San Jose (2 nights) San Ramon (3) Manuel Antonio (3)
From $2099 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 winter (and summer) 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.
Expect an adventure tour in a pristine land. Our Costa Rica is an interactive blend of touring and exploring.
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)
- Meet & greet service upon arrival
- Arrival transfer from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) to hotel in San Jose
- 2 nights lodging at the First Class Cariari Doubletree Hotel or similar
- 3 nights lodging at the First Class Villa Blanca Hotel
- 3 nights lodging at the First Class Parador Resort & Spa
- Private English-Speaking guide throughout including/during all airport transfers
- Private ground transportation throughout in deluxe motorcoach
- Meals included as noted in the itinerary (8 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 8 Dinners)
- Spanish class - including materials
- Aerial tram and hanging bridges OR zipline
- Lecture on the Exotic Life Forms of Costa Rica
- Tamale cooking class in Eco Ranch, including implements
- Typical dancing show
- Damas Island Estuary boat trip
- Snacks and water aboard the bus on days: 2, 5, 8
- Entrance fees to: National Museum (or Gold Museum)
- Arenal Reserve and Manuel Antonio National Park
- Sales tax & service charge for restaurant meals included on the trip
- Tips for Bellboys, Maids and Porters
- Water and snacks during transfers on days 2, 5 and 8
- Departure transfer from San Jose to Juan Santamaria International Airport
AT A GLANCE:
Day 1 - Saturday - Fly from USA to San Jose, Costa Rica - Orientation - Dinner
Day 2 - Sunday - Spanish Class - Scenic Drive to San Ramon visiting en route the Artisan's Town of Sarchi
Day 3 - Monday - Scenic Drive to Arenal Volcano - Sky Walk the Arenal Rainforest - Relax in Thermal Baths - Overnight in San Ramon
Day 4 - Tuesday - Lecture On The Exotic Life Forms of Costa Rica - Cloud Forest Nature Walk - Leisure Afternoon
Day 5 - Wednesday - Head to Manuel Antonio and the El Parador Hotel - Traditional Tamale Cooking Class
Day 6 - Thursday - Guided visit to Manial Antonio National Park - Afternoon at Leisure or for Optional Activities
Day 7 - Friday - Boat Excursion through the Tropical Mangrove Canal - Afternoon at Leisure
Day 8 - Saturday - Journey Back to San Jose - Farewell Dinner and Local Dancing Show
Day 9 - Sunday - Morning at Leisure - Flight Back to U.S.
DAY 1 - Saturday - 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 where you will stay on the first and last nights of your tour. 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 - Sunday - Spanish Class · Scenic Drive to San Ramon, Visiting en route the Artisan's Town of Sarchi
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 Colon.
You will visit the heart of the city to admire the National Theatre, designed as the opera house in 1897. Afterwards, you'll visit the National Museum, a faithful witness to Costa Rican history, passing by the Supreme Court of Justice, Central Park, the Cathedral and the Congress Building.
En route, we'll stop at the town of Sarchi, "cradle of Costa Rican handicrafts." Here you'll enjoy a delicious typical lunch before continuing to Los Angeles Cloud Forest in the mountain community of San Ramon. Known for generations as the "City of the Poets," San Ramon features a temperate climate and rich soil that has yielded generations of family-run coffee, sugar cane, and dairy farms.
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: The National Museum is closed on Mondays. In case you're traveling on a departure which results in a Monday city tour, you will be visiting the Gold Museum which is also a fascinating experience.
DAY 3 - Monday - Scenic Drive to the Arenal Volcano · Skywalk the Arenal Rainforest · Relax in Thermal Baths · Overnight in San Ramon
After breakfast, a scenic drive northwest 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 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 about three hours and through slight elevation changes. If you feel this may be too challenging for you, you could stay at the main building area where there is a little restaurant and quaint souvenir shop. ARE YOU REALLY ADVENTUROUS? Instead of doing the Skywalk, try Sky Trek - a Zip Line in 8 sections for a total length of 1.7 miles, and up to 660 feet above the treetops!
Have your swimsuit handy! This afternoon, slip into the Termales hot-water thermal pools with temperatures ranging between 98º - 107º degrees. Nature's own hot-tub! After your time at the hot springs, you will return to your hotel tucked in the cloud forest. Tonight dinner is at our hotel Villa Blanca. B, L, D
DAY 4 - Tuesday - 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 the amazing bounty of exotic life forms. In a word, it's PARADISE!
Breakfast, dinner and overnight at Villa Blanca. B, D
DAY 5 - Wednesday - Head to Manuel Antonio and the El Parador Hotel · Traditional Tamale Cooking Class
Bidding farewell to our home in the mountains, we descend toward the warm, drier air of the Pacific coastline and head southeast toward the Manuel Antonio National Park area. 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 continuing to your hotel where you will stay the next three nights - El Parador Resort & Spa. The rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy the pools and magnificent Pacific Coast sunset.
El Parador Resort & Spa, whose name stands for "Look-Out Point," is perched high above the sweeping Pacific coastline on Punta Quepos boasting panoramic ocean views on 12 acres of wildlife-rich tropical rainforest. Dinner at El Parador Resort & Spa. B, L, D
Note: EL Parador Resort offers a free regular shuttle service to and from Manuel Antonio National Park.
DAY 6 - Thursday - Guided Visit to Manuel Antonio National Park · Afternoon at Leisure or for Optional Activities
After an early breakfast, we'll visit Manuel Antonio National Park which was established in 1972 when the people of Costa Rica decided to preserve, for future generations, one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse areas of the country.
Although it's the country's smallest national park, the stunning beauty and diversity of wildlife in its 1700 acres is unequaled, featuring a charming combination of rain forest, beaches and coral reefs. The coastal forest is home for sloths, iguanas, the rare and adorable squirrel monkeys and colorful little crabs. Afternoon at leisure. This evening we'll go out for a great local dinner.
Overnight at El Parador Resort & Spa. B, D
Note: The Manuel Antonio tour is optional and 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.
DAY 7 - Friday - Boat Excursion Through the Tropical Mangrove Canal · Afternoon at Leisure
This morning it's a boat trip through the Damas Island Estuary which allows you to navigate through the wonders of the tropical mangrove ecosystem. The first part of the journey is through brackish waters, glimpsing islands from afar and later exploring the calm currents under a verdant forest canopy as you pass beneath tunnels made naturally from trees.
Keep your eyes open so you can spot some of the local wildlife including kingfishers, engrids, frigot birds and other migratory birds, as well as reptiles and white faced monkeys. The covered boats used in the Manuel Antonio tour are eco-friendly, comfortable and safe. Due to the structure of the boat, it is likely you will be able to interact with the monkeys as they occasionally like to climb aboard. Later return to our hotel for a leisurely afternoon!
Breakfast, dinner and overnight at El Parador Resort & Spa. B, D
DAY 8 - Saturday - Journey Back to San Jose · Farewell Dinner and Local Dancing Show
After a leisurely breakfast, head back to the Central Valley.
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 - Sunday - 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. B
October 2014 - December 2015
9 Days / 8 Nights Departs USA Saturday - Returns Sunday
Prices below are land-only and do not include airfare.
|DEPARTURE DATES & LAND RATES
|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.
*Feb 25 departs on Wednesday and returns on Thursday.
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 Josei.
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.
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.
Parador Resort & Spa Hotel, Manuel Antonio
Luxurious yet Eco-conscious, El Parador features well appointed rooms, various restaurants featuring an international array of cuisines, multiple bars and lounges, a world-class spa, tennis court, three ocean-view pools and generous meeting facilities. El Parador has earned several awards by the World Travel Awards including Mexico & Central Americas Leading Hotel 2011, Costa Rica's Leading Hotel 2011 and Costa Rica'' Leading Resort 2011 and also the 5-Leaf surrounded by expansive jungle.
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.