Contact Us|1-888-831-7526

Pura Vida in Costa Rica!

Trip Length 9 days

From $3,695

  • Raft the Río Pacuare, considered by many to be one of the top 10 most beautiful whitewater rivers in the world
  • Zip-line your way through a private rainforest reserve and explore secluded channels by kayak in Tortuguero National Park
  • Take a forest hike near stunning Arenal Volcano and paddle the mystical waters of Lake Arenal
  • Spot a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, iguanas, sloths, toucans, and caimans
  • Enjoy a seamless, flexible, non-stop water park adventure—it's great value and perfect for families!

Looking for a larger-than-life multisport adventure in the jewel of Central America? Come to Costa Rica with MTS, the forerunners of adventure travel in the region! We’ll take in the energy and beauty of Arenal Volcano and enjoy an invigorating soak at mountain hot springs. Silently, we'll sneak up close to wildlife as we paddle the jungle waterways of Tortuguero National Park, home to howler monkeys, basilisk lizards, sea turtles, and tropical birds, and take a rollicking, fun-filled ride down the Río Pacuare—ranked among the world’s top ten rivers for rafting! With two magical nights deep in the rainforest at the Rios Tropicales eco-lodge, you'll soon understand the essence of pura vida, "the pure life." This non-stop water park adventure is great value, ideal for families, and the perfect ticket for the kid in all of us!

Day 1: Arrive in San José, Costa Rica

Arrive in San José, Costa Rica's capital city and cultural hub. Your trip leader (or a Mountain Travel Sobek representative) will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport, brief you on the immediate arrangements, and escort you to your hotel.

  • Accommodation:Hotel Bougainvillea

Day 2: Explore Arenal Lake and Eco Termales

After breakfast we'll drive north towards the town of Fortuna and home of the Arenal Volcano. Here we'll spend time paddling the calm waters of Arenal Lake, Costa Ricas’s largest and most breathtaking lake, while enjoying a spectacular view of the famous volcano. Late in the afternoon, we'll enjoy a relaxing dip in the Eco Termales mineral hot springs—ranging in temperature from 90°F to 105°F! Dinner will be served at the hot springs’ restaurant.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Mountain Paradise Hotel

Day 3: Hike Arenal Volcano

After breakfast, we’ll take a moderate 3-hour hike in the area surrounding Arenal Volcano, enjoying the stunning primary and secondary forests. Keep a look out for a wide variety of wildlife, including howler monkeys, sloths, and toucans along the way! We’ll lunch at a local restaurant and spend some free time this afternoon relaxing at the hotel.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Mountain Paradise Hotel

Day 4: Tortuguero National Park

Today we'll say "hasta luego” to the volcano and take a scenic drive through the Caribbean Lowlands to our put-in on the Río Suerte for a unique kayaking trip into Tortuguero National Park, which is accessible only by water or by air. Arrive at your waterfront lodge by mid-afternoon. A walk on the beach or on nature trails, a swim in the pool, and cocktails on the sunset deck await us! Also take a guided walk to the Caribbean Conservation Center, which was established to protect the local sea turtles.

Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast is a major spawning ground for many varieties of sea turtles during the summer months. Here we’ll explore its jungle waterways and hidden lagoons by sea kayak, an adventurous and unique way to discover rainforest denizens such as howler monkeys, basilisk lizards, morpho butterflies, and tropical birds. Our silent, easy-to-maneuver watercraft are a wonderful way to approach jungle areas inaccessible by any other means, and see wildlife other travelers would surely miss. Accommodations are at a beautiful resort right at the beach and Tortuguero Lagoon, where you can view early morning sea turtle hatchings and spend the afternoons relaxing at the pool. The lodge also supports a red-eyed tree frog rehabilitation project—a great way to learn about this icon of the Costa Rica wilderness.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Mawamba Lodge

Day 5: Paddle Tortuguero National Park

Early this morning we’ll go for an optional birding boat tour with our guide. After breakfast, we’ll take a motorboat loaded with our kayaks and head to a secondary channel in the national park. We’ll board the kayaks and paddle through a narrow waterway to look for wildlife. After lunch back at the lodge, we can paddle to some more areas only accessible by kayak, or simply relax at the pool.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Mawamba Lodge

Day 6: Discover the Rio Pacuare

After breakfast we’ll take a 90-minute boat ride to Matina, then drive for about two hours to our put-in on the beautiful but endangered Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica's most remarkable river corridor (currently threatened by a proposed hydroelectric plant). Once at the river we’ll paddle downstream about 8 miles to our riverside accommodation, a rustic, thatched-roof jungle lodge. This is a good opportunity to become familiar with the steep, technical drops that are typical of the Pacuare. In fact, the Pacuare serves up one of the world’s best whitewater rides with bonus cascading waterfalls that drench you as you pass! Along its course lie several densely vegetated gorges sheltering many animals, including sloths, river otters, and anteaters, and an incredible variety of birds such as toucans, egrets, herons, kingfishers, sunbirds, and trogons. Guides will provide insight into the marvels of this rainforest masterpiece.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Rios Tropicales Lodge

Day 7: Day in Rios Tropicales Paradise

Enjoy a full day at Ríos Tropicales Lodge! Take an optional early morning guided bird-watching hike to see toucans and many other species, before returning for breakfast and gearing up for a day of adventures. Activities include a zip-line tour through the forest of our private reserve or a visit to the lodge’s conservation project “Plant for the Planet,” where guests will plant a native tree and receive a certificate to indicate their participation in the program (part of the United Nations Environmental Program “Billion Tree Campaign”). Alternatively, choose to hike to "Wake Up" Waterfalls and take the thrilling new canyoneering tour, which includes rappelling down the face of the waterfall!

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Rios Tropicales Lodge

Day 8: More Pacuare River

Today we’ll continue our whitewater rafting adventure, entering the lush, magical gorge of the Río Pacuare. The rapids become more powerful and technical in nature here, and we’ll power through “Bobo,” “Huacas Arriba,” “Huacas Abajo,” “Cimarrones,” and “Dos Montañas” rapids. Gorgeous waterfalls tumble into the river, and we might be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of some of the exotic birds and animals inhabiting the surrounding jungle. We’ll take out near the town of Siquirres and drive 2½ hours back to San Jose arriving in time to clean up and enjoy our last dinner with our fellow travelers. 

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Bougainvillea

Day 9: Depart from San José

After breakfast, transfer to the San José airport and depart on homeward-bound flights.

  • Breakfast

Dec 23 - 31, 2016 Guaranteed Departure

Dec 26, 2016 - Jan 03, 2017 Guaranteed Departure

Jan 14 - 22, 2017 Guaranteed Departure

Feb 18 - 26, 2017

Mar 18 - 26, 2017

Apr 08 - 16, 2017

Jun 10 - 18, 2017

Jul 15 - 23, 2017

Aug 19 - 27, 2017

Dec 23 - 31, 2017 Christmas Holiday - Book early!

Dec 26, 2017 - Jan 03, 2018 New Year's Holiday - Book early!

pricing

2017 Prices
$3,695 per person  (4-14 members)
$750 single supplement

Minimum age: 11 years old

Got your own great photos of this or other MTS trips?
Share them with us on our Facebook page!

Hotel Bougainvillea — Heredia, Costa Rica

Hotel Bougainvillea is an oasis located just 10 minutes outside of downtown San José. Surrounded by 10 acres of lush, tropical gardens—recognized as some of Costa Rica's finest—guests are able to wander the grounds and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Rooms are bright and clean, and offer either views of the Central Valley and surrounding mountains or the beautiful gardens. There's a lovely pool and a restaurant that serves international cuisine with a focus on regional Costa Rican dishes.

Mawamba Lodge — Tortuguero

Nestled in the lush rainforest, this is the ideal hideaway for nature lovers and the perfect place to discover the wonders of the Tortuguero National Park. The lodge features lush gardens and rustic but comfortable accommodations, along with regular visits from brightly colored exotic birds. Guests can relax in the common areas, including the swimming pool, bar, entertainment areas (foosball, pool, and beach volleyball sand court and table games), hike along the private trails or grab a bite to eat in the café.

Mountain Paradise Hotel — La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park

Mountain Paradise Hotel sits at the base of Volcan Arenal and features spectacular views of the volcano. Rooms are full of Costa Rican charm, with rustic wood bedframes, tiled floors, and private pools and/or Jacuzzis on the patio. This hotel's lush setting with two restaurants, a spa and a relaxing pool area allow guests to truly enjoy the laid-back pace of the Arenal region.

Rios Tropicales Lodge

Let the sound of the Pacuare River lull you to sleep at this sustainable eco-lodge. This evening's lodge offers a haven for relaxation and immersion in tropical sights and sounds. The lodge features open air gathering pavilions with thatched roofs and comfortable hammocks swinging in a gentle breeze. Guests enjoy the ample viewing decks, where the toucans fly overhead and the river roars below.

"The Pura Vida trip was an outstanding family vacation. With teenage children, we wanted to do something that would satisfy all of us. There was enough fun activities to keep us active and enough down time for us to relax. We were pushed outside our comfort zone, but the outstanding staff was there to encourage us and cheer us on." Bari Epstein

"Pura Vida in Costa Rica is a vacation is for those who like the water—we were white water rafting, kayaking, rappelling down a waterfall, and even soaking in hot springs. Great food and lodging, interesting birds and animals to see, and excellent guides made this our best adventure vacation yet." Glenn Larsen

"I have taken several trips with MTS and each has delivered and excellent adventure, challenging within the ratings listed and also educational." Harlan Hall

"This was a trip of a lifetime. I loved every second of it." Elizabeth Barker

"Mountain Travel Sobeck always delivers a wonderful traveling experience. This trip was exciting and there was a variety of activities—something for everyone." Sandra Dunn  

"Costa Rica was a fantastic trip with multi-sport activities. It surpassed my expectations. The trip leaders and assistant guides were excellent with great patience to make sure everyone is interested and comfortable in all activities." Dinh Chu

"Fantastic family trip: everything was organized and you could choose your level of activity." Michael Yofin

"My grandson and I shared an experience neither of us will ever forget. He never stopped smiling." Pat Matthews   

 

  • Raft the Río Pacuare, considered by many to be one of the top 10 most beautiful whitewater rivers in the world
  • Zip-line your way through a private rainforest reserve and explore secluded channels by kayak in Tortuguero National Park
  • Take a forest hike near stunning Arenal Volcano and paddle the mystical waters of Lake Arenal
  • Spot a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, iguanas, sloths, toucans, and caimans
  • Enjoy a seamless, flexible, non-stop water park adventure—it's great value and perfect for families!

Looking for a larger-than-life multisport adventure in the jewel of Central America? Come to Costa Rica with MTS, the forerunners of adventure travel in the region! We’ll take in the energy and beauty of Arenal Volcano and enjoy an invigorating soak at mountain hot springs. Silently, we'll sneak up close to wildlife as we paddle the jungle waterways of Tortuguero National Park, home to howler monkeys, basilisk lizards, sea turtles, and tropical birds, and take a rollicking, fun-filled ride down the Río Pacuare—ranked among the world’s top ten rivers for rafting! With two magical nights deep in the rainforest at the Rios Tropicales eco-lodge, you'll soon understand the essence of pura vida, "the pure life." This non-stop water park adventure is great value, ideal for families, and the perfect ticket for the kid in all of us!

review

"The Pura Vida trip was an outstanding family vacation. With teenage children, we wanted to do something that would satisfy all of us. There was enough fun activities to keep us active and enough down time for us to relax. We were pushed outside our comfort zone, but the outstanding staff was there to encourage us and cheer us on." Bari Epstein

"Pura Vida in Costa Rica is a vacation is for those who like the water—we were white water rafting, kayaking, rappelling down a waterfall, and even soaking in hot springs. Great food and lodging, interesting birds and animals to see, and excellent guides made this our best adventure vacation yet." Glenn Larsen

"I have taken several trips with MTS and each has delivered and excellent adventure, challenging within the ratings listed and also educational." Harlan Hall

"This was a trip of a lifetime. I loved every second of it." Elizabeth Barker

"Mountain Travel Sobeck always delivers a wonderful traveling experience. This trip was exciting and there was a variety of activities—something for everyone." Sandra Dunn  

"Costa Rica was a fantastic trip with multi-sport activities. It surpassed my expectations. The trip leaders and assistant guides were excellent with great patience to make sure everyone is interested and comfortable in all activities." Dinh Chu

"Fantastic family trip: everything was organized and you could choose your level of activity." Michael Yofin

"My grandson and I shared an experience neither of us will ever forget. He never stopped smiling." Pat Matthews   

 

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in San José, Costa Rica

Arrive in San José, Costa Rica's capital city and cultural hub. Your trip leader (or a Mountain Travel Sobek representative) will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport, brief you on the immediate arrangements, and escort you to your hotel.

  • Accommodation:Hotel Bougainvillea

Day 2: Explore Arenal Lake and Eco Termales

After breakfast we'll drive north towards the town of Fortuna and home of the Arenal Volcano. Here we'll spend time paddling the calm waters of Arenal Lake, Costa Ricas’s largest and most breathtaking lake, while enjoying a spectacular view of the famous volcano. Late in the afternoon, we'll enjoy a relaxing dip in the Eco Termales mineral hot springs—ranging in temperature from 90°F to 105°F! Dinner will be served at the hot springs’ restaurant.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Mountain Paradise Hotel

Day 3: Hike Arenal Volcano

After breakfast, we’ll take a moderate 3-hour hike in the area surrounding Arenal Volcano, enjoying the stunning primary and secondary forests. Keep a look out for a wide variety of wildlife, including howler monkeys, sloths, and toucans along the way! We’ll lunch at a local restaurant and spend some free time this afternoon relaxing at the hotel.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Mountain Paradise Hotel

Day 4: Tortuguero National Park

Today we'll say "hasta luego” to the volcano and take a scenic drive through the Caribbean Lowlands to our put-in on the Río Suerte for a unique kayaking trip into Tortuguero National Park, which is accessible only by water or by air. Arrive at your waterfront lodge by mid-afternoon. A walk on the beach or on nature trails, a swim in the pool, and cocktails on the sunset deck await us! Also take a guided walk to the Caribbean Conservation Center, which was established to protect the local sea turtles.

Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast is a major spawning ground for many varieties of sea turtles during the summer months. Here we’ll explore its jungle waterways and hidden lagoons by sea kayak, an adventurous and unique way to discover rainforest denizens such as howler monkeys, basilisk lizards, morpho butterflies, and tropical birds. Our silent, easy-to-maneuver watercraft are a wonderful way to approach jungle areas inaccessible by any other means, and see wildlife other travelers would surely miss. Accommodations are at a beautiful resort right at the beach and Tortuguero Lagoon, where you can view early morning sea turtle hatchings and spend the afternoons relaxing at the pool. The lodge also supports a red-eyed tree frog rehabilitation project—a great way to learn about this icon of the Costa Rica wilderness.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Mawamba Lodge

Day 5: Paddle Tortuguero National Park

Early this morning we’ll go for an optional birding boat tour with our guide. After breakfast, we’ll take a motorboat loaded with our kayaks and head to a secondary channel in the national park. We’ll board the kayaks and paddle through a narrow waterway to look for wildlife. After lunch back at the lodge, we can paddle to some more areas only accessible by kayak, or simply relax at the pool.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Mawamba Lodge

Day 6: Discover the Rio Pacuare

After breakfast we’ll take a 90-minute boat ride to Matina, then drive for about two hours to our put-in on the beautiful but endangered Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica's most remarkable river corridor (currently threatened by a proposed hydroelectric plant). Once at the river we’ll paddle downstream about 8 miles to our riverside accommodation, a rustic, thatched-roof jungle lodge. This is a good opportunity to become familiar with the steep, technical drops that are typical of the Pacuare. In fact, the Pacuare serves up one of the world’s best whitewater rides with bonus cascading waterfalls that drench you as you pass! Along its course lie several densely vegetated gorges sheltering many animals, including sloths, river otters, and anteaters, and an incredible variety of birds such as toucans, egrets, herons, kingfishers, sunbirds, and trogons. Guides will provide insight into the marvels of this rainforest masterpiece.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Rios Tropicales Lodge

Day 7: Day in Rios Tropicales Paradise

Enjoy a full day at Ríos Tropicales Lodge! Take an optional early morning guided bird-watching hike to see toucans and many other species, before returning for breakfast and gearing up for a day of adventures. Activities include a zip-line tour through the forest of our private reserve or a visit to the lodge’s conservation project “Plant for the Planet,” where guests will plant a native tree and receive a certificate to indicate their participation in the program (part of the United Nations Environmental Program “Billion Tree Campaign”). Alternatively, choose to hike to "Wake Up" Waterfalls and take the thrilling new canyoneering tour, which includes rappelling down the face of the waterfall!

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Rios Tropicales Lodge

Day 8: More Pacuare River

Today we’ll continue our whitewater rafting adventure, entering the lush, magical gorge of the Río Pacuare. The rapids become more powerful and technical in nature here, and we’ll power through “Bobo,” “Huacas Arriba,” “Huacas Abajo,” “Cimarrones,” and “Dos Montañas” rapids. Gorgeous waterfalls tumble into the river, and we might be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of some of the exotic birds and animals inhabiting the surrounding jungle. We’ll take out near the town of Siquirres and drive 2½ hours back to San Jose arriving in time to clean up and enjoy our last dinner with our fellow travelers. 

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Bougainvillea

Day 9: Depart from San José

After breakfast, transfer to the San José airport and depart on homeward-bound flights.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Hotel Bougainvillea — Heredia, Costa Rica

Hotel Bougainvillea is an oasis located just 10 minutes outside of downtown San José. Surrounded by 10 acres of lush, tropical gardens—recognized as some of Costa Rica's finest—guests are able to wander the grounds and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Rooms are bright and clean, and offer either views of the Central Valley and surrounding mountains or the beautiful gardens. There's a lovely pool and a restaurant that serves international cuisine with a focus on regional Costa Rican dishes.

Mawamba Lodge — Tortuguero

Nestled in the lush rainforest, this is the ideal hideaway for nature lovers and the perfect place to discover the wonders of the Tortuguero National Park. The lodge features lush gardens and rustic but comfortable accommodations, along with regular visits from brightly colored exotic birds. Guests can relax in the common areas, including the swimming pool, bar, entertainment areas (foosball, pool, and beach volleyball sand court and table games), hike along the private trails or grab a bite to eat in the café.

Mountain Paradise Hotel — La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park

Mountain Paradise Hotel sits at the base of Volcan Arenal and features spectacular views of the volcano. Rooms are full of Costa Rican charm, with rustic wood bedframes, tiled floors, and private pools and/or Jacuzzis on the patio. This hotel's lush setting with two restaurants, a spa and a relaxing pool area allow guests to truly enjoy the laid-back pace of the Arenal region.

Rios Tropicales Lodge

Let the sound of the Pacuare River lull you to sleep at this sustainable eco-lodge. This evening's lodge offers a haven for relaxation and immersion in tropical sights and sounds. The lodge features open air gathering pavilions with thatched roofs and comfortable hammocks swinging in a gentle breeze. Guests enjoy the ample viewing decks, where the toucans fly overhead and the river roars below.

Dates and Pricing

Dec 23 - 31, 2016 Guaranteed Departure

Dec 26, 2016 - Jan 03, 2017 Guaranteed Departure

Jan 14 - 22, 2017 Guaranteed Departure

Feb 18 - 26, 2017

Mar 18 - 26, 2017

Apr 08 - 16, 2017

Jun 10 - 18, 2017

Jul 15 - 23, 2017

Aug 19 - 27, 2017

Dec 23 - 31, 2017 Christmas Holiday - Book early!

Dec 26, 2017 - Jan 03, 2018 New Year's Holiday - Book early!

pricing

2017 Prices
$3,695 per person  (4-14 members)
$750 single supplement

Minimum age: 11 years old

Interested in this adventure? Take the next step and book it!

Got questions?

Call us at 1-888-831-7526
or click here!

Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure

Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure