Costa Rica Holiday “Collection” Vacation Itinerary

A trip to Costa Rica during the holidays can be a truly amazing and unforgettable experience when done correctly. While planning a trip to Costa Rica, travelers are faced with countless choices. Making many of these small yet important decisions can be overwhelming due to a large number of options. We at Costa Rica Escapes want to make this process personal and enjoyable. We listen to your desires, share some of our secrets, and work together with you to create an unforgettable and unique Costa Rican holiday travel experience.


One of our missions is to help simplify the planning & itinerary design processes.

  • How do you know if you have picked the right type of accommodations?
  • Is your travel route through the country as efficient as it could be?
  • Is the guide/outfitter service that you have chosen the most experienced and knowledgeable?
  • Is the transportation that you have chosen the safest, and do they know where they are going?
  • Most importantly, will you and your travel partners be safe throughout your stay in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica Escapes has the answers to these questions and more. Having personally lived in these communities and formed business relationships with the people, our experiences, expertise, and advice coupled with your thoughts and desires for you will ensure an unforgettable learning experience. Our successful itinerary design process, coupled with our flexibility to customize your trip, allows us to design the best possible experience for you and your travel companion(s).

We want you to leave Costa Rica saying that this was the best trip you’ve ever taken!

Dec. 23 – Arrival Day Transfer to Monteverde & Night Hike

  • Arrive into Liberia, Guanacaste Airport or San Jose’s Juan Santamaria SJO Airport
  • A vehicle will greet you at the airport, welcome you to Costa Rica and transfer you to your hotel in Monteverde

Twilight & Night Walking Tour

An expert local guide will pick you up and take you to a Wildlife Reserve where you will explore the cloud forest at night. Kinkajou, Porcupine, Night Jar & Wholly Opossum are just a few of the species that you may be lucky enough to see.

  • Dinner at your leisure – there are many gourmet restaurants in Monteverde and nearby Santa Elena

Dec. 24 – Cloud Forest Canopy Tour & Afternoon at Leisure

  • Breakfast at your hotel is included every morning
  • After breakfast today will be your jungle adventure!

Hanging Bridges Hike & Zip-line Canopy Tour

This unique rainforest & cloud forest experience begins in the morning and includes two adventures in one. You’ll begin the day with a guided tour of a cloud-forest reserve. You’ll have special access to the hanging bridges before they are even opened to the public. You will walk through a series of bridges located high up in the canopy of the rainforest while your naturalist guide educates you on this incredible environment. Not only will he point out local flora, fauna, and the occasional waterfall, but he will help you spot rare wildlife & birds, too.

After your early morning hike you will return to the base where you will be suited up and oriented to the adventure activity of zip lining. You’ll experience the thrill of riding a circuit of zip line cables stretching across canyons and between treetops. This offers an amazing perspective and a great way to spend your first full day in Costa Rica. Both lunch and roundtrip transportation from your hotel will be included in this tour. After your tour, you can return to the hotel or take a quick hike through the butterfly garden and orchid exhibit.

  • Upon return to the hotel, take the afternoon to relax – you can get a taxi into town to dine at one of the many restaurants.

Dec. 25 – Day at Leisure in Monteverde

*Today there are no formal activities planned or included in your itinerary. If you desire to set up an activity today, we can arrange for activities based on your wishes and availability.

Dec. 26 – Adventure Transfer to Arenal & Hot Springs

  • Breakfast is included each morning at your host hotel
  • A transfer vehicle will be there to greet you and take you to Lake Arenal where you will cross in a boat
  • This is a unique transfer because it will include a boat ride across Lake Arenal along the way!
  • Check into your room at a resort & lodge close to the Arenal Volcano National Park

Night at the Hot Springs

  • This evening you will spend soaking in the therapeutic geothermal hot springs
  • Dry off and then enjoy a delicious dinner on site that is included in your itinerary

Dec. 27 – Combo Tour Options

  • Wake up and savor a morning breakfast of fresh tropical fruits and “gallo pinto” a traditional Costa Rican dish
  • Breakfast is included each morning at your hotel
  • Get ready for a day of pure adrenaline!

Adult Option: Canyoneering & White-water Rafting

No experience necessary! You’ll rappel down amazing waterfalls and river trace pristine rivers. Hiking in this canyon takes you right into the heart of the rainforest and gives you an incredibly unique perspective on this environment! Minimum age is 13 years old.

Activity #2: White Water Rafting

Challenge yourself as you paddle through fun & safe – Class II & III – rolling rapids with names like “Morning Coffee” & “Rock around the Croc” and then play around in tranquil river pools in an isolated rainforest river canyon! Minimum age is 10.

Children’s Option: Multi-Adventure Activity

Multi-Adventure Day

Today’s activity is for the kids & kids at heart! You will have a true adventure with some of the most unique activities Costa Rica offers, such as: Inflatable River Kayaking, River Tubing, Horseback Tours, Rock Climbing and Rappelling, Hiking Trails, Nature Tours, Hot Springs, and a Wildlife Preserve for rescued animals.

Before, during or after your activities you can relax in the hot spring pools just meters away from the scenic Arenal River or take a dip in the natural river pools where hot water percolates up from the sand beneath your feet. In certain areas of this pool, you can lay in the hot sand while the cool river water flows over you.

There are numerous hiking trails where you can take a quick circular loop hike and see natural hot springs welling up from the forest floor. This is all located very close to the Ring of Cats and Monkey Rescue Center so you can combine a visit to the area with a scheduled tour of the Wildlife Preserve.

  • Afternoon to relax at the hotel’s pool or hike on the resort’s trail system
  • Dinner is on your own and at your leisure – we will make dinner suggestions in case you would like to go into town

Dec. 28 – Choose Your Own Adventure

*Today you can choose from one of the activity options below.

  • Breakfast at your hotel is included every morning
  • After breakfast today will be your adventure!

Option #1: White-Water Rafting – class 2 & 3 or class 4 options

This is one of the best adventures in Costa Rica! Based on your age and desired level of adventure, you can choose a class 2 & 3 river or for those seeking more thrills, a class 4 rive. You’ll be with a professional guide who will guide you down the rivers. The minimum age for class 2 and 3 rivers is 10, with exceptions made for some 9-year-olds. The minimum age for class 4 rivers is 13 years old.

Option #2: Wildlife Safari Float Tour

For the Nature Lovers! This is a very relaxing and family-friendly guided float trip that takes you on the beautiful Rio Peñas Blancas where you’re bound to spot tropical birds, monkeys, poison dart frogs, and more! Your guide will take you down the rainforest’s river and show you some of the amazing features that this environment has to offer.

Option #3: Guided Hike of Arenal Volcano National Park

Learn about the history of the volcano and spot tropical flora and fauna along the way! During the two-hour hike, you will see rare birds, crossover lava flows and even have the chance to see some wildlife. This is an easier hike than Rio Celeste and covers various different eco-systems. You can also do this tour on horseback if you’d prefer!

*If you’d like to make a combo hike, you can combine this hike with the waterfall hike below (option #4).

Option #4: Guided Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall

Take a journey through a mysterious and enchanting area as you navigate through secondary and primary rainforest within a National Park. The La Fortuna Waterfall is a popular place to visit and can be combined with a visit to the scenic town of La Fortuna where you can view the volcano and do some shopping. A naturalist guide will accompany you and your family down to the waterfall where you can swim in the natural pool and river.

Option #5: Cerro Chato Hike

The Cerro Chato hike near the Arenal Volcano is an intense 4-5 hour hike through lush rainforest to the rim of the crater of the extinct volcano called Cerro Chato. Once you arrive at the crater, you then drop down to an emerald-green lagoon. You then hike back out and descend down to the base where you will swim by the La Fortuna Waterfall. Recommended for people in good shape willing to hike extreme conditions. A self-guided option is available for this hike

  • Dinner is on your own and at your leisure – we will make dinner suggestions in case you would like to go into town

Dec. 29 – Morning Transfer to Pacific Coast

  • Wake up early to listen for the unique bird and wildlife sounds of the rainforest.
  • Enjoy a traditional Costa Rican breakfast, and, if you like, a cup of coffee prepared in the typical “pour over” style.
  • This morning your guide will pick you up at the hotel for your transfer to the Pacific Coast.
  • Your transfer will take you west to the gorgeous Pacific coast where you will arrive just in time to catch the sunset
  • You will stay in a boutique hotel with incredible Pacific Ocean views – the property is centrally located to town, the beaches and various restaurants

Dec. 30 – Activity Option or Day at Leisure

Today there are no formal activities planned or included in your itinerary. If you desire to set up an activity today, we can arrange for activities based on your wishes.

Dec. 31 – Free Morning & Catamaran Sailing & Snorkel Tour

  • Breakfast is included at the hotel
  • Today you have the entire morning to rest, relax and enjoy your new surroundings

Afternoon Activity: Catamaran Snorkel, Sailing & Sunset Tour

Take a scenic sail along the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. This area of the country has some of the country’s best snorkeling and is known for the deep sea fishing. You’ll snack on fresh fruit and snorkel in a secluded bay! You can choose to relax on the boat or take a hike on one of the deserted beaches. You’ll sail back to the marina while taking in the gorgeous sunset.

  • Return to hotel to relax and soak in the gorgeous sunset
  • Dinner is on your own – we have numerous gourmet dining options in town that we can recommend and set you up with reservations
  • Night at hotel

Jan. 1 – Activity Option or Day at Leisure

*Today there are no formal activities planned or included in your itinerary. If you desire to set up an activity today, we can arrange for activities based on your wishes.

Jan. 2 – Guided Hike in National Park or Surfing Lessons

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Take today to relax or choose from one of the activities below

Activity Idea: Guided Hike through National Park

Your naturalist guide will point out the amazing flora and fauna of this area of the country. You could see three different types of monkeys, two types of sloths, and iguanas galore! Bring a picnic lunch and stay to swim and hang out on some amazing beaches within the park. The Park used on the Central Pacific is Manuel Antonio National Park.

Activity Idea: Surf Lessons

Whether you are seven years old or seventy-seven, beginner or experienced, surfing is a great activity to try and a lot of fun. You will have dedicated instructors to teach you how to surf at the very best surfing spots and, of course, they will show you when and where to catch the best waves. (2 hours in length) Remain at the beach practicing what you have learned for the afternoon.

Jan. 3 – Flight back to United States

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Transfer to SJO Airport for flight back home
  • Arrive 2 hours before flight departure time

*This itinerary can be personalized for those looking to travel for a different length of time.

Pricing & More Details

All itineraries are created exclusively for your travel group and will be adjusted according to your travel schedules, desired inclusions & availability of resources.

Casual Family-style Accommodations in multiple or upgraded rooms

Price ranges from $7,950 – $10,075 is based on the size of family and ages of children

Prices do not include airfare to and from the United States, tips for guides, alcoholic beverages or various meals. The final price will be based upon the number of participants, duration of the trip, final decisions regarding hotels, types of rooms chosen, availability of resources, tours, transportation and timing of all events throughout the itinerary.

Prices include the following:

  • The above highlighted 10-night, 11-day customized & exclusive family itinerary
  • Individualized and personal pre-planning
  • Step-by-step itinerary for actual trip to Costa Rica
  • Private transportation between main destinations
  • Hotel & resort accommodations throughout Costa Rica
  • Adventure Excursions as indicated above:
    • Guided Night Hike
    • Rainforest Canopy Tour: Zip-line Tour & Hanging bridges hike
    • Hot Springs entrance w/ dinner
    • Combo Tour option as outlined in Dec. 27
    • One activity choice per person as outlined on Dec. 28
    • Catamaran Sailing, Snorkel Tour
    • Guided Hike in National Park or Surfing Lessons
  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches & 1 dinner

Many details of this trip must still be finalized in follow-up conversations. Understand that this is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. Weather and/or other uncontrollable conditions may also force the actual itinerary to change beforehand or at the last minute. These changes, if made, will be made by guides, outfitters, and others in the position to do so and with safety as the number one priority! The photos shown in this proposal are from some of the actual hotels, outfitters, and locations you will use.

Ready to Plan this Costa Rica Holiday Itinerary?

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