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Costa Rica Extended Trip Details

Introduction

Welcome to Costa Rica!

This tropical paradise accounts for only 0.03 percent of the earth's surface and contains nearly 6 percent of the world's biodiversity!

A country where monkeys, jaguars, and panthers can be found throughout the rainforest. Costa Rica is a hub for sustainability and green lifestyle for both expats and locals.

Get to explore Costa Rica’s diversity as we venture deep into the rainforest around Arenal Volcano followed by adventure and relaxation at the beautiful beaches in Manuel Antonio.

There is no better place to open your mind, take a break and learn about yourself than in the beaches and rainforests of Costa Rica. Discover why Time Magazine calls it the happiest country in the world.

Duration: 9 days, 8 nights

Start: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) -- San Jose, Costa Rica
To ensure included transportation: plan to arrive before 1:00 pm on Day 1.

Finish: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) -- San Jose, Costa Rica
To ensure included transportation: plan to depart after 1:30 pm on Day 9.

Airfare booking details will be sent after registration – please wait to book your flight until you receive further instructions.

What's Included

  • 9 days / 8 nights shared accommodations in villas
  • 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 8 dinners
  • Tour of eco-lodge farm
  • Cultural activity at La Casona
  • Hike the Costa Rican Rainforest
  • Visit La Fortuna town
  • Organic meals grown on site
  • Experience stunning local waterfalls in the jungle
  • Three private round trip shuttles to La Fortuna
  • El Cocal community cooking experience
  • Visit a local waterfall
  • Access to secret beaches
  • Spend time on the best beach in Costa Rica
  • Visit a local farmers market
  • Watch the sunset on a black sand beach
  • Experience the Pura Vida lifestyle
  • Private airport pick-up upon arrival
  • Private airport drop-off upon departure
  • Under30Experiences Trip Leader
  • Personal recommendations for optional activities
  • The chance to meet some kick-ass people
  • Access to the Under30Experiences community
  • Taxes always included, never hidden fees, & NO blackout dates

Travelers are responsible for international airfare to and from Costa Rica

Highlights

  • Sunset dinner at Playa Hermosa
  • Enjoy the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica
  • Explore local waterfalls and hot springs
  • Get hooked on some of the best coffee in the world
  • Uncover the mysteries of Costa Rican rainforest while hiking
  • Get a taste of the local culture in Manuel Antonio & La Fortuna
  • Make your own adventure with optional activities like surfing, rafting and much more

Is this Trip for You?

Experience the best that Costa Rica has to offer by combining both of our best selling Costa Rica trips!

Spend half your trip soaking in the sun at the beaches of Manuel Antonio and the other half in the lush and lively rainforests.

This is the best way to see everything Costa Rica has to offer.

-Age requirement: 21+
-Group size: 18 max, average 15
-Physical rating: Moderate. Some activities might include moderate physical activity like hiking, walking, etc.

Community

Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.

Once you come on a trip, you become part of our Travel Community forever.

From U30X Alumni resources (and a secret group) after your trip, to custom Facebook groups before your trip, to meetups around the world, you will have the opportunity to meet and stay connected to other like-minded adventurers.

More than 70% of our travelers come solo but they all leave with friends.

Whether you have joined us on a trip or are looking for a group of like-minded people, we welcome you to the Under30Experiences Travel Community.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Meals

Breakfasts will be enjoyed at our eco-lodge in the rainforest and at our boutique hotel in Manuel Antonio. In the rainforest most of the food will be grown right on the permaculture farm where you'll be staying.

Eat like a local with delicious Costa Rican dishes such as gallo pinto and some of the best fruit in the world.

Sample Breakfast Menu:

  • Fresh fruit, delicious coffee, of gallo pinto, eggs.

Sample Dinner Menu:

  • Casados
    A casado is a typical Costa Rican lunch consisting of: rice, beans, plantains, veggies or salad and chicken, fish, beef or pork. Paired with salads and smoothies or local juices.

We do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. Most meals can be modified for special requests and food allergies.

Transport

You will be traveling by private and public ground transportation throughout your trip.

  • Private ground transportation to and from the airport (Included)
  • Private round-trip ground transportation to La Fortuna for activities (Included)
  • Public buses and taxis around Manuel Antonio & Quepos (Not Included)

Accommodation

You will be staying in shared boutique hotel rooms and hotel bungalows for the duration of the trip

Laundry is available at some hotels for an additional fee. Ask your Trip Leader for details.

Accommodations may vary but will be the same quality.
Solo travelers are paired with someone of the same gender.
Private room options are available upon request subject to hotel availability (for an extra charge).

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate on any of our trips.

When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of $200,000 USD for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt or credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads.

Trip Leader Expectations

All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced Trip Leaders.

The goal of the Trip Leader is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Packing List

Please be eco-friendly

  • Bring a reusable water bottle.
  • Use as little plastic as possible by declining straws and plastic bags at restaurants and when shopping.
  • Please avoid aerosol bug sprays as they negatively affect the environment.
  • Bring "reef safe" sunscreens that do not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate because they kill coral.

We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

Below includes our staff picks of the best items on the market that we travel with!  All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and organically inspired when possible.

Do not forget: water bottle, sunscreen, sandals, beach towel, waterproof rain jacket, sunglasses and a hat!

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you Under30Experiences will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

Passport & Visas

Guidelines for U.S. Passport Holders

Make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for 60 days after your trip. Under30Experiences recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip.  Please consult the U.S. Department of State with any more questions.

Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.

Health & Insurance

The tap water in Costa Rica is safe to drink. Please bring a reusable water bottle and join us in our efforts to be environmentally friendly and keep Costa Rica beautiful.

Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads and has a minimum of $200,000 USD coverage.

Please consult with your doctor before traveling in regards to physical activity and vaccinations.

No inoculations are required to enter Costa Rica from the United States but the Center for Disease Control suggests vaccinating for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Required vaccines should go through CDC, recommended vaccines should be through your doctor.

If you are traveling to Costa Rica from South America you will be required to present proof of Yellow Fever Vaccine.

Mosquito borne viruses exist in most of Latin America. Please cover exposed skin and use mosquito repellent.

Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. For legal reasons our Trip Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.

Money & Currency

The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colon (CRC)

Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to additional expenses such as snacks, alcoholic drinks, souvenirs, and optional activities.

We suggest bringing at least USD $500 in cash for the duration of the trip
Please be advised that US Dollar notes that are slightly torn, heavily marked, or faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than $100USD.

All businesses accept USD so you do not need to convert to Costa Rican Colones before arriving.
If you’d like a better exchange rate call your bank and order Colones before your trip.

In Costa Rica, a 23% charge is added on to almost every meal (13% tax, 10% tip).

Further tipping for wait staff is appropriate in the case of excellent service. When in doubt, ask your Trip Leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Remember to call your bank and credit card company to let them know you will be traveling overseas.

For an up-to-date exchange rate, download the app XE

Safety & Security

Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance and passport with you. A photo of these items on your phone is also a good backup.

Keep your passport and any valuables locked in the safe at the hotel.

Don’t leave valuables unattended.

Leave flashy jewelry at home.

US Citizens please consider registering with US State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” who can contact your family in case of emergency.

Uber works at the San Jose Airport and is the safest way to call a taxi.  If you miss the shuttle, use the free-wifi to call an Uber.

Although La Fortuna and Manuel Antonio are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any town at night. We recommend staying in small groups, taking taxis to and from restaurants, and during night time activities. Taxis are the safest and easiest way to avoid any issues one might encounter on the streets after dark.

Taxis can be organized from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.

Weather

The average temperature in Manuel Antonio is 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 75-80 at night.

The average temperature in La Fortuna is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65-75 at night.

Please expect showers and thunderstorms most days that pass through the forests.

Dry Season of November - May

  • Most amount of sunshine of the year
  • Peak temperatures
  • Most popular time to travel to Costa Rica

Green Season of May - November

  • Less crowds
  • Lower prices
  • Jungle is green & waterfalls are gushing

cultural information

Pura Vida is a lifestyle in Costa Rica that literally translates to "Pure Life". It's also a very common phrase that means hello, thank you, and much more.

Costa Rica is a very eco-conscious country. Please do not disturb the natural environment by feeding animals, removing shells, or littering.

Smoking is prohibited in public areas.

To say "you're welcome" we use “con gusto” instead of “de nada”.

Key Phrases
  • Hello -- Hola
  • Excuse me -- Perdon 
  • How are you? --¿Como esta?
  • Thank you -- Gracias
  • Please -- Por favor
  • A beer please -- Una cerveza por favor
  • Pure Life (Costa Rica mantra) -- Pura Vida

Optional Activities

Please bring cash with you. It will be helpful to have at least USD $300 in cash.

MANUEL ANTONIO

Surf Lessons: USD $60 per person

This is a “must do!” Learn the Art of Surfing in one of the most popular surf towns of the Central Pacific Coast. Surfing lessons take place on the Manuel Antonio main beach every day. Our surf lessons are for people looking to develop their surf skills and those who just want to have fun.

Salsa Lessons: USD $10 per person (cash only)

Learn the art of latin dancing as your private group instructor walks you step-by-step through mastering the latin rhythm while enjoying great music.

Secret Beach Hike: Free!

Hike 1.5 miles one way to Under30’s favorite secret beach. Enjoy a half day adventure swimming and sunbathing in an untouched jungle paradise.

La Feria in Quepos (Farmers' market): Free!

Throughout the year, a weekly Farmers’ Market is held in Quepos along the waterfront. You’ll find an abundance of fresh, local produce for good prices. You’ll also find free-range eggs, cheese, and freshly-baked breads and cakes.

Farmers set up every Friday mid-afternoon and sell their products until noon on Saturday.

LA FORTUNA

Sky Trek – Ultimate Zip Lines: USD $84 per person

Sky Trek is a thrilling zip line circuit that’s located in Monteverde and La Fortuna. Your tour will start riding an open-air gondola from the ground to the heights where you’ll be dropped off at an observation area for fantastic views. From this area, you will start riding themost thrilling zip line in the country stretching across canyons and in between treetops.

Horseback Riding Tour: USD $55 per person

Depart on horseback from our stables and behold unforgettable views of over 60,000 hectares of rainforest, Lake Arenal, Arenal Volcano, Cerro Chato. This is a great way to take in the Ranch and surrounding landscape!

Lake Arenal Kayak Tour: USD $55 per person

Head out to the shores of Lake Arenal where adventure and relaxation await! Kayak towards Arenal Volcano, explore the abundance of life within the many inlets you pass along the way, and feel refreshed as you jump into the lake for a swim.

Hot springs: USD $8 per person

Thanks to Arenal Volcano’s geothermal activity, there are plenty of natural hot springs throughout the area. Warm and soothing, these springs offer visitors an ideal way to relax after a day spent exploring.

Hiking in Arenal Observatory Lodge: USD $10 per person

Explore rainforest, waterfalls, streams, 11 kilometers (7 miles) of trails, and see an amazing wealth of wildlife. Arenal Observatory Lodge is a renowned destination for bird watching in Costa Rica, with more than 500 species of birds noted so far in our forest.

La Fortuna Waterfall: USD $15 per person

The Fortuna River waterfall is located in a biological reserve with an area of 210 acres of transition pre-montane tropical wet forest, part of the Arenal Volcano National Park and is located at 520 meters over the sea level, where there are sources of our mountains and the waters of the Fortuna River.

White Water Rafting (Class III - IV): USD $89 per person

Bring on the adrenaline and navigate class III - IV rapids on the Sarapiqui river! This is the perfect Costa Rica rafting trip for adventurous paddlers! Whether you are a first-timer or a rafting expert, this rafting trip will guarantee to get your adrenaline pumping!

While your Trip Leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of the Under30Experiences itinerary. We offer no guarantees on the safety or standard of the activity.

General Rules

Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes, but is not limited to fellow travelers, Trip Leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.

Do your best to keep yourself and fellow travelers out of harm’s way.

It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes, but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself, or ask.

Travel involves contact with new cultures. When confronted with a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.

Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.

Trip Leaders are working in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!

Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any of the activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.

Staying longer or arriving early?

Hostel Recommendation in San Jose

Hotel & Hostel Recommendations in Manuel Antonio

Still need to book your flight?

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