EF Tours for Graduating Seniors: Costa Rica Adventure
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 and the freshest coffee. If you’re looking for all that and a little quality face time with sloths, monkeys, and dolphins, this is the trip for you.
What are the top highlights?
- Explore the biodiversity and wildlife of Costa Rica
- Zipline high up in the rainforest canopy at speeds of almost 60 MPH
- Lounge on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches at Manuel Antonio State Park
- Walk high above the clouds in Santa Elena Cloud Forest
- Enjoy the freshest coffee of your life at a plantation tour and sampling
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private motorcoach
- Transportation between cities
- 8 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Daily breakfast & dinner included
- Entrances to select attractions
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for our travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
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 9 days.
- 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.
- 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.
Day 3: White Water Rafting in the Arenal Region
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.
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.
- 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?
- 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.
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.
Day 7: Explore Manuel Antonio National Park
There’s two kinds of people in the world: beach people and mountain people. 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.
- 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.
- Spot other amazing animals like capuchins, coati, iguanas, and dolphins.
Day 8: Travel to San José via Sarchi
On your way back to San José, stop for a guided tour of a coffee plantation.
- 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 swap phone numbers, Instagram follows, or email addresses with your Costa Rican travel BFFs.
Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this farewell dinner with the group.
Day 9: Fly Home
Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, make sure to take one more group photo. But this isn’t goodbye because you can always get the gang back together for another trip soon.
Still searching for your perfect trip?
Talk to a Trip Expert to find the right one for you. Call 1-800-766-2645