Costa Rica Family: Pacuare River & Nicoya Peninsula

Family Tour of Costa Rica: Pacuare River & Nicoya PeninsulaFamily Tour of Costa Rica: Pacuare River & Nicoya Peninsula

Costa Rica Family

Pacuare River & Nicoya Peninsula

overview

Climb aboard an adventure through plunging rainforest rivers and exotic tropical beaches. Within moments of your family’s arrival in Costa Rica, you’re already embarking on an extraordinary wildlife experience—starting with a white-water rafting trip down the Pacuare River to the beautiful and airy ecolodge where you stay. Bet you’ve never been on an airport shuttle like this before! While you’re there, enjoy awe-inspiring walks through the howler-monkey habitats and color-splashed flocks of birds of the rainforest canopy—or, for the truly adventurous, there’s the option to take the plunge on a breathtaking zip-line ride! Marvel at a rare meeting with a Cabecar Indian shaman facilitated by a knowledgeable local translator. Next, at the spectacular Pranamar Oceanfront Villas on the Nicoya Peninsula, you can enjoy surfing lessons with a real pro, go on sea-kayaking adventures down the coast, take a relaxing dip in the hotel’s chemical-free pool, and soothe yourself with yoga sessions on the beach.

 

Activity Level
Activities vary and
are accessible to
most fitness levels;
see full itinerary
Meet
San José, Costa Rica
Depart
San José, Costa Rica
Daily Itinerary
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Family Adventure 
7 days, 6 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Accommodations for six nights (with private bath)
  • Meals: seven breakfasts, five lunches, and three dinners
  • Two white-water rafting excursions into and out of the Pacuare Lodge with expert raft guide
  • Guided rainforest canopy tour (2 hours)
  • Guided walk to visit with Cabecar Indians (4-5 hours)
  • Private transfer from San José to the river put-in for rafting excursion
  • Transfer from the river take-out (after rafting excursion) to San José
  • Tortuga Island boat tour (with optional snorkeling)
  • Surfing lesson or self-guided kayaking (2 hours)
  • Transportation from the meeting point to the departure point, including mandatory internal flights
  • Basic travel insurance coverage
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW staff

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Pacuare River
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2
Pacuare River
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3
Turrialba
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4
Santa Teresa
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5
Santa Teresa
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6
Santa Teresa
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7
Santa Teresa
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Day 1

Pacuare River

Arrival in San José; transfer to Pacuare; rafting excursion; treetop canopy adventure

Your active adventure in Costa Rica begins with your pickup in San José and approximate 2½-hour transfer by van to the Pacuare River for the next step of the journey: by river on a class III-IV white-water rafting ride. Officially declared a “Wild and Scenic River,” the Pacuare is one of Latin America’s finest white-water rivers, as it winds through the heart of crucial primordial rainforest. Located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean slope, the Pacuare River lies beneath the biologically rich Talamanca Mountains range, home to the Cabecar Indians. Once at the river, your professional guide(s) provide a safety briefing before setting out on a rafting excursion through luxuriant gorges, past rushing waterfalls, serene pools, and rapids, as the conditions alternate between stretches of thrilling rapids and calm waters. After running fun rapids like Pele el Ojo you reach the river takeout point, from where a short transfer brings you to your welcoming ecolodge. After lunch and some time to settle in to your riverview room, you may choose to embark on a two-hour canopy tour, a unique experience of rising to the treetops on a series of platforms, walkways, and cables, where you gain access to dramatic vistas above the tropical rainforest. With a thorough safety orientation and equipment fitting, you walk about 20 minutes on a trail through your lodge’s private reserve to the canopy tour starting point; here you ascend to the sensitive rainforest ecosystem, secured safely in a harness. Proceeding from platform to platform, you emerge just steps away from the lodge. You can unwind in your room before enjoying a gourmet candlelit dinner.

Pacuare Lodge

Pacuare River, Costa Rica

An award-winning eco-lodge that blends comfort and exemplary sustainable practices, located in 740 acres of protected rainforest, with spacious and well-appointed suites or bungalows, private pools, a spa, and gourmet dining.

Day 2

Pacuare River

Cabecar Indian visit; 4-5 hours, moderate to challenging hike or treetop canopy tour (see Day 1 for description)

Today you have the rare opportunity to visit a small community of Cabecar Indians, the largest indigenous community in Costa Rica, who maintain many of their traditional customs and beliefs. In their ancestral home of the Talamanca Mountains, the Cabecar live in small family units scattered throughout this remote region. You reach the family along the Cabecar’s century-old trails through the rainforest, and your main contact is the clan’s “zutkia” or shaman, who in this culture acts as priest, magician, and healer. Little accustomed to contact with the outside world, the Cabecar can be shy and prefer not to be photographed. Your local guide provides cultural instruction and acts as interpreter in Spanish with the zutkia. A portion of your tour price goes directly to the Cabecar family to be used in sustainable projects.

Alternatively, you may choose to embark on the treetop canopy tour today, and later fully relax at your lodge, enjoying its amenities and tranquil location before concluding the day with another delicious dinner of fresh local cuisine.

Pacuare Lodge

Pacuare River, Costa Rica

An award-winning eco-lodge that blends comfort and exemplary sustainable practices, located in 740 acres of protected rainforest, with spacious and well-appointed suites or bungalows, private pools, a spa, and gourmet dining.

Day 3

Turrialba

Morning rafting adventure; transfer to Turrialba

This morning, awakening again to a chorus of birdsong and an enticing breakfast and coffee, you depart the lodge the same way you arrived—by river. The portion of river you run today is a thrilling combination of class III and IV rapids, including the Upper and Lower Huacas, Cimarron, and Dos Montanas rapids, and slices through spectacular scenery; you may be tempted to stop at a waterfall and plunge in via a natural waterslide. Finishing up the excursion with a well-deserved picnic at the water’s edge, you are able to change into dry clothes at a private facility before transferring to the highlands of central Costa Rica in the heart of the verdant Turrialba agricultural region. You may wish to explore the trails surrounding your colonial-style plantation hotel, on over 2,000 acres where coffee, sugarcane, and macadamia nuts are grown, or choose to simply relax in your spacious room or the hotel’s spa. Dinner tonight is excellent Costa Rican and international fare in the hotel’s elegant fine-dining restaurant.

Casa Turire

Turrialba, Costa Rica

In the heart of the Turrialba Valley on the grounds of a coffee and sugarcane plantation, this gracious,colonial-style hacienda hotel with spa and fine-dining restaurant is surrounded by lush gardens and grounds, a small pond and lake, and walking trails in view of the Turrialba Volcano.

Day 4

Santa Teresa

Transfer to San José; flight from San José to Tambor; transfer to Nicoya Peninsula

Today you travel west to Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast—the Nicoya Peninsula. A three-hour transfer brings you to the San José airport to catch the 30-minute flight to this destination. Your beachside resort is on spectacular Playa Santa Teresa, not far from the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. The beach is well known for its year-round surf and friendly, relaxed village. After checking in, you may wish to unwind with a swim in the chemical-free, saltwater swimming pool. Dinner of local produce and perhaps freshly caught seafood is served in the resort’s lovely open-air restaurant.

Pranamar Villas & Yoga Resort

Playa Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

An intimate oceanfront resort on the spectacular beach of Playa Santa Teresa in a setting of tropical grounds with a saltwater swimming pool and open-air restaurant; offering yoga classes and easy access to world-class surfing, expansive beaches, and snorkeling.

Day 5

Santa Teresa

Tortuga Island boat excursion, full day tour with lunch and snorkeling

Today’s Pacific exploration consists of a full-day boat and snorkeling excursion, taking you to nearby Tortuga Island. The small, 20-passenger boat anchors off the island in crystal-clear waters, where you can dive in and swim or snorkel, watching for seabirds from the surface, and breaking for lunch on board. You return in the late afternoon to your resort where you can continue enjoying the ocean or stroll the beach, or perhaps join a yoga class.

Pranamar Villas & Yoga Resort

Playa Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

An intimate oceanfront resort on the spectacular beach of Playa Santa Teresa in a setting of tropical grounds with a saltwater swimming pool and open-air restaurant; offering yoga classes and easy access to world-class surfing, expansive beaches, and snorkeling.

Day 6

Santa Teresa

Options of surfing lesson (2 hours) or self-guided sea kayaking (2 hours); independent afternoon for activities of your choice

Your final full day on the Pacific coast offers a myriad of activities. One is a two-hour surfing lesson with a professional from Del Mar Surf, or alternatively a two-hour, self-guided sea-kayaking excursion with instruction and safety briefing provided. Also, your resort is conveniently situated on a beach with tidal pools and easy access to snorkeling, or a two-minute walk to the north brings you to Playa Hermosa, a vast banana tree-lined beach, perfect for swimming, walking or jogging, or more surfing.

Your hotel staff can also assist with additional diverse activities (at your expense)—easily accessible half-day adventures include horseback riding, canopy zip lining, fishing, and hiking to nearby waterfalls or through the Cabo Blanco Absolute Reserve. Toast your Costa Rican adventure over a Pacific sunset tonight.

Pranamar Villas & Yoga Resort

Playa Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

An intimate oceanfront resort on the spectacular beach of Playa Santa Teresa in a setting of tropical grounds with a saltwater swimming pool and open-air restaurant; offering yoga classes and easy access to world-class surfing, expansive beaches, and snorkeling.

Day 7

Santa Teresa

Flight from Tambor to San José and departure

After breakfast, you bid farewell to the Nicoya Peninsula as you travel by private car to Tambor for your short flight to San José, where you make connections for onward travels.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

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