Despite its small size, Costa Rica has astounding biodiversity, reflected in its 12 distinct ecological zones. You can easily spend one day plowing through mangrove swamps and the next exploring a lush cloud forest around an active volcano. The wildlife is as varied as the terrain. Animal residents include sloths, howler monkeys, and more than two times the number of bird species living in the United States. During this nine-day, eight-night Costa Rica Quest from G Adventures, the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) leads travelers on an up-close tour of the country's diverse regions. There's also plenty of free time for personal explorations via optional activities at every stop. Click here for the full itinerary.Day 1: In San Jose, Costa Rica's capital city, you'll meet up with your tour leader and fellow travelers at Casa Las Orquideas—a boutique hotel located just five minutes from downtown. You're free to explore the city on your own the rest of the day. Among the points of interest are a lively plaza filled with marimba bands and a large collection of pre-Columbian artwork at the National Museum.Days 2–3: The tour sets off for La Fortuna, a small town in the northern plains that serves as the main gateway to Arenal Volcano. Hiking trails cut into the surrounding rainforests, passing old lava flows and an open savannah. Optional adventures range from whitewater rafting to spelunking in caverns filled with limestone towers. A soak in one of the area's thermal baths is also part of the tour.Days 4–5: From La Fortuna, a jeep brings you to the shores of Lake Arenal, which you'll cross by boat to reach Monteverde Cloud Forest. Here, the guide leads a tour through a sugar-cane and coffee plantation, where you can learn about the production of Costa Rican java from crop to cup.As a protected reserve, Monteverde offers abundant opportunities for viewing more than 100 resident mammals, including six cat species: jaguar, margay, ocelot, oncilla, puma, and Garfield. You'll also pay a visit to the adjacent Santa Elena Reserve, home to elusive and colorful resplendent quetzal birds.Days 6–7: The next leg of the journey brings you to Quepos—a small village known for sportfishing. The town lies just 20 minutes from Manuel Antonio National Park, which is one of Costa Rica's smallest parks and also one of its most popular, thanks to white-sand beaches and prime conditions for kayaking and boogie boarding. Days 8–9: Local buses bring the group back to San Jose, where you can explore the city's nightlife before departing for return flights on the ninth and final day.Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
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