Costa Rica Adventure | EF Ultimate Break
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Costa Rica Adventure

10 Days  •  4 Cities //@ts-ignore//@ts-ignore363
Travel Styles:

Why Go?

Pura Vida. The unofficial motto of Costa Rica translates to “the simple life.” But it’s less about going off the grid, and more about living a life jam-packed with rainforest hiking, whitewater rafting, ziplining above the clouds, and splashing around coral reefs under the waves. Pura vida is an always optimistic outlook fueled by delicious Mesoamerican-inspired cuisine, the freshest coffee, and the occasional guaro sour cocktail. If you’re looking for all that and a little quality face time with sloths, monkeys, and dolphins, this is the trip for you.

Top Highlights

Explore the biodiversity and wildlife of Costa Rica

What's Included

Our safe travel promise

Accommodations

You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.

Click here for examples of where you'll stay.

Flights

Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:

  • Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
  • Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
  • Flights are booked with major airlines
  • 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
  • One checked bag included on most flights
  • Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure

Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to San José

Welcome to San José, Costa Rica, the cultural and political capital of this vibrant, thriving nation. Crack open a coconut and crank up the calypso music, you’re about to get tropical for the next 10 days.

Today's Highlights:

  • Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
  • Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
  • Explore the area as you meet up with your fellow travelers, arriving one-by-one.

Day 2: Explore the Arenal Region

The rainforest is filled with secrets and today you get to be its closest confidant as it spills the beans on all of its mysterious landforms, wildlife, and people. Keep an open ear and open eyes as you hike, swim, and kayak around the Arenal Region.

Today's Highlights:

  • Hike to the base of La Fortuna Waterfall, one of the most spectacular sights in Central America.
  • Cool off with a swim in the waterfall’s plunge pool, then heat back up in the nearby hot springs.
  • Kayak the pristine waters of Lake Arenal and take in volcanic views of the surrounding dormant magma-makers.

In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Dinner. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Then it’s on to wherever your new friends and the party takes you.

Day 3: Free Day in the Arenal Region + Optional White Water Rafting

Wake up and smell that fresh jungle air. They don’t make it like that back home, do they? Take the day to swim, explore, and enjoy the beautiful volcano-lined skyline of inner-Costa Rica.

Free Time Suggestions

Orchid hunting: Admire the crazy-vibrant flora of the Arenal Region, including nearly 500 breeds of orchid.

Imperial: Help yourself to an Imperial or two, a tasty lager beloved by beer drinkers across Costa Rica.

White Water Rafting the Sarapiqui River(extra cost)

Give your legs a break during an adrenaline-pumping Sarapiqui River adventure. Hop in a raft with a local river guide, and work together to navigate the rapids. Experience the rainforest from a whole new perspective.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 4: Travel to Monteverde + Optional Night Hike

Monteverde is the jumping off point for Costa Rica’s surreal cloud forests, AKA unique rainforests that seem to exist entirely in the clouds. After a morning bus ride from Arenal, the day is yours to explore village life, but remember to stay limber for tomorrow’s ziplining.

Today's Highlights:

  • Board your bus bound for the village of Monteverde—founded as a Quaker farming settlement, now the go-to hub for Costa Rican adventure seekers.
  • Take some free time in the village to explore its quaint amenities.

Monteverde Night Hike(extra cost)

Hit the trails when the sun goes down. Follow your guide to see Monteverde after-dark, and listen up as they point out nocturnal critters like armadillos, silky anteaters, and even cute little kinkajous.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 5: Explore the Santa Elena Cloud Forest

Today, you’ll experience a whole different rainforest habitat: the Santa Elena Cloud Forest. High altitude and moisture (12 feet of rain per year) combine to make this a one-of-a-kind ecosystem—oh, and did we mention there’s ziplining?

Today's Highlights:

  • Find out what clouds are really made of as you walk through them—yes, through them— in the densely vegetated, misty trails of the Costa Rican rainforest.
  • Soar high above the rainforest canopy, zooming from one platform to the next at speeds of up to 60 mph on a zipline.
  • Return to Monteverde as the town turns up for the night.

Day 6: Beach Day in Puntarenas

After a day of adrenaline in the heart of the jungle, you could use some time to lay on a beach and bask in the sun. Today you’ll trade leafy rainforest greens for sandy scenes as you head from Monteverde to Puntarenas for a little beachside R&R at Playa Mantas.

Today's Highlights:

  • Let the lush scenery blow your mind as you travel via bus from Monteverde to Puntarenas.
  • Take that Pura Vida attitude out to sea with some stand-up paddleboarding at the beach.

Day 7: Explore Manuel Antonio National Park + Beach Time

There’s two kinds of people in the world: beach people and mountain people. Oh, and swamp people—but we won’t get into that now. The breathtaking Manuel Antonio National Park somehow has both mountains and beaches. See Costa Rica’s most beautiful, most visited national park today up close and personal.

Today's Highlights:

  • Trek through cliff-side rainforest and soak up the sun at the two main immaculate white-sand beaches of the park: Espadilla Sur Beach and Playa Manuel Antonio.
  • Keep an ear out for howler monkeys, the only land animal louder than your 8am Calculus professor.
  • Spot other amazing animals like capuchins, coati, iguanas, and dolphins.

Day 8: Free Day in Quepos + Optional Catamaran Cruise

Quepos may be small, but it makes up for it in spirit. Today is yours to explore the tiny town, consider grabbing a Guaro Sour (the national drink made from distilled sugar cane), or heading down to the docks to hear the fishermen swap sport fishing stories.

Free Time Suggestions

Soda: Chow down at a soda—you heard that correctly. Costa Rican lunch cafés are called sodas, and they’re an absolutely delicious way to eat authentically and affordably.

Costa Rican Catamaran Cruise(extra cost)

Cruise on a catamaran through the Pacific Ocean, kick back and admire the coastline, and try and spot manta rays, reef sharks, sea turtles, and even dolphins in the crystal clear waters.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 9: Travel to San José via Sarchí + Farewell Dinner

On your way back to San José, stop for a guided tour of a coffee plantation. Toast your trip goodbye with your Farewell Dinner, then time for dancing, drinks, or heck, maybe even creating a detailed scrapbook to commemorate your time in paradise.

Today's Highlights:

  • Stop off for a coffee plantation tour on your way back to San José.
  • Watch as the little red berries become morning buzz brew right before your eyes, then sample the freshest coffee of your life.
  • Return to San José and enjoy an included farewell dinner with your new travel BFFs

Farewell Dinner

Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.

Day 10: Fly Home

¡Adiós, amigos!

Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, make sure to take one more group photo and grab that final drink. But this isn’t goodbye because you can always get the gang back together for another trip soon. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, we have a couple ways to keep your vacation going.

EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS

1. Double the fun

Many of our trips line up back to back. Give us a call and we’ll help you add another destination—and save big while you’re at it.

2. Go ahead or stay behind

Extending your trip is easy. During checkout, you’ll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for a $30 fee. We’ll adjust your flights accordingly, but you’ll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside the tour.

Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

363 Reviews
Avg. rating: //@ts-ignore//@ts-ignore (4.9)
  • Costa Rica Adventure

    //@ts-ignore//@ts-ignore   Amanda

    Traveled Apr 2019

    The Costa Rica adventure was my first EF tour. I was originally supposed to go with my long time boyfriend but things happened and I ended up going solo, my first solo trip EVER and out of the country at that. I was extremely nervous doing something like this but it turned out being the best thing I could probably ever do for myself! The customer service ... See more

  • Pura Vida!

    //@ts-ignore//@ts-ignore   Samantha

    Traveled Feb 2019

    This trip was absolutely amazing and better than I could have ever imagined. I have never been one to do anything adventurous until recently and this trip was perfect! The excursions were so interesting. There was always something exciting planned between zip lining, white water rafting, or simply seeing crocodiles up close and personal. Our tour guide ... See more

  • Four Days in Paradise!

    //@ts-ignore//@ts-ignore   Sonia

    Traveled Mar 2020

    Gustavo was the most amazing tour director! Although our trip was cut short due to the virus everything was handled with care. Our four days were filled with beautiful locations, jam packed adventure, and so much culture! Thank you so much! :)

  • Pura Vida in Costa Rica!

    //@ts-ignore//@ts-ignore   Anonymous

    Traveled Mar 2020

    WOW! That’s all I can say about this EF trip. It’s way more special than how they describe it in the itinerary. Literally the best 8-10 days I have spent with a group of strangers; who eventually turned into life-long friends. Victor is the BEST at what he does and gives you all the cultural insights as well as telling you all the hot spots to go to at each ... See more

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