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 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.
What are the top highlights?
- Explore the biodiversity and wildlife of Costa Rica
- Lounge on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches at Manuel Antonio State Park
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private motorcoach
- Transportation between cities
- 6 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Daily breakfast, 3 included dinners
- Entrances to Manuel Antonio State Park & other select attractions
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.
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.
- 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 ambassadors, arriving one-by-one.
- Travel by bus from San Jose to your next Costa Rican destination
- Kayak the pristine waters of Lake Arenal and take in volcanic views of the surrounding dormant magma-makers
- Enjoy an included Welcome Dinner in Arenal at a local spot
- 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
- Kick back and soak in the springs with an included natural hot springs experience this evening
- Let the lush scenery blow your mind as you travel via bus from Arenal to Puntarenas.
- Enjoy an included group dinner
- 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.
- Stretch and relax at an included yoga lesson
- 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 ambassador BFFs
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.
Day 2: Welcome Session, Travel to Arenal Region, & Kayak Lake Arenal
The rainforest is filled with secrets and today you get to be its closest confidant; Travel by bus to the Arenal region of Costa Rica, a quaint tropical town known for it’s not-so-quaint andesitic stratovolcano. Keep your eyes and ears open as you explore all of Arenal’s mysterious landforms, wildlife, and waters.
In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Dinner. Enjoy some local cuisine with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Then it’s on to wherever your new friends and the party takes you.
Day 3: La Fortuna Waterfall & Hot Springs
Today is full of highs and lows… geographically, of course. Spend your morning at one of Costa Rica’s most sought-after natural wonders: La Fortuna Waterfall. See La Fortuna up close and personal as you hike to the base and cool off with a plunge its famous pool. Once you’ve had your La Fortuna fill, enjoy some free time before heading to the relaxing at some natural hot springs.
Day 4: Travel to Puntarenas Region
Today you’ll trade leafy rainforest greens for sandy scenes as you head from Arenal to Puntarenas for a little beachside R&R at Playa Mantas.
Day 5: 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.
Day 6: Travel to San José via Sarchí + Farewell Dinner
Before heading back to San Jose you will enjoy some yoga outside with the group. 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.
Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 7: Fly Home
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.
Amazing trip!Gianna Bastone, traveled Aug 2021
Our tour guide and bus driver were absolutely amazing and so sweet. This trip was so much fun, I would recommend to anyone! There are so many things that you get to experience, definitely worth it. I got to meet so many wonderful people and experience a new culture. 10/10 recommend!!
Livin’ Pura VidaAsa Henson, traveled Aug 2021
This trip was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. The group was filled with such supportive and kind people that it was hard not to fall in love with the adventure. From getting to see sights that were so vibrant it’s almost unreal to laughing so hard I almost cried - I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends to travel with. For being the firs... See more
First ever (and BEST) Brand Ambassador TourIllyanna Lopez, traveled Aug 2021
Being on the first-ever Brand Ambassador trip completely exceeded my expectations. The group was super friendly, our tour guide Priscila understood our role as ambassadors, and our experiences were diverse and plentiful.
A Taste of Costa RicaDavion Whyte, traveled Aug 2021
Costa Rica is such a beautiful country and traveling with EF we got to see all the best parts, nature and wildlife includes. Our tour guide Pri was very knowledgeable about everywhere and added some amazing extras to the trip to make it that much more exciting.