A Week in Costa Rica: Choose Your Own Adventure | Fauna Travel

A Week in Costa Rica: Choose Your Own Adventure

Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo / Courtesy of Four Seasons

7 Days

Costa Rica is a diverse natural destination that will appeal to families, honeymooners, and adventure lovers alike. Plus, it’s a short flight from the United States, so you can even go for a long weekend! Still, we recommend staying at least a week to take advantage of everything there is to see. Where you go depends on the time of year and what type of traveler you are.

Costa Rica’s rainy season runs from May through November, which should inform your choices but not deter you. Afternoon showers are great for relaxing at the hotel after a morning of beaches or outdoor adventure. We’ve put together three different week-long itineraries that show different sides of the country, which can also be done in combination as an extended trip.

✧ Your custom travel playlist includes Fidel Nadal’s “La Que Me Vigila”
Reggae in Espanol matches the pura vida vibe of Costa Rica, and Fidel Nadal is a master of the genre. Many of his songs are calls to action, but this love song has a great upbeat melody that makes us want hit the beach.

Option 1: A Wild Adventure in Southern Costa Rica

Southern Costa Rica is home to the verdant rainforests you imagine when you think of Costa Rica, and this itinerary is perfect for adventurers and outdoor lovers. You will fly into San Jose and head south into the mountains for some adventure before transferring to the wild and remote Osa Peninsula on the Pacific Coast. The south is the wetter half of the country, so this trip will be easier outside of the rainy season. However, whitewater rafting is best during the rains because the rivers are high.

Day 1-3: Rafting or Riding in the Mountains

Pacuare Lodge or Hacienda Alta Gracia

Pacuare Lodge / Courtesy of Boena Wilderness Lodges luxury Costa Rica
Pacuare Lodge / Courtesy of Boena Wilderness Lodges

Upon arrival, you will be met by a representative and driven south into Limón Province and the Pacuare River. This is the best destination for white water rafting in Costa Rica, but there are many other activities, including zip-lining and canopy tours. Pacuare Lodge is the best place to base your adventure. The rooms are designed to maximize your immersion in nature, and many have private spring-fed pools.

Alternatively, if you like your adventure with a dose of spa, we recommend Hacienda Alta Gracia. The hotel is on the western side of the mountains and is ideal for relaxation and outdoor activities such as horseback riding and hiking.

Day 4-7: Osa Peninsula

Lapa Rios Ecolodge

Drive southwest to the Osa Peninsula, home to Corcovado National Park, the most pristine rainforest in Costa Rica. Jaguars and tapirs still roam these jungles. Your hotel is Lapa Rios, a luxury eco-lodge on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a 1,000 forest preserve. Howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, and coatis make themselves at home on the property, and there are regular sightings of the iconic scarlet macaw.

Lapa Rios Ecolodge / Courtesy of Boena Wilderness Lodges Costa Rica luxury ecolodge
Lapa Rios Ecolodge / Courtesy of Boena Wilderness Lodges

Spend the next few days immersing yourself in nature. Tours of the Lapa Rios reserve are offered day–and night–by experienced guides who share their passion for the plants and animals here. On nature walks, you may see sloths, anteaters, armadillos, ocelots, and other mammals and birds. Unlike some other jungle lodges, Lapa Rios has access to several beaches in the Golf Dulce. Walk along the shore or dive in for surfing, kayaking, and seasonal humpback whale watching.

Option 2: Luxury Relaxation in Northern Costa Rica

Northwest Costa Rica is home to numerous beach resorts and the famed Arenal Volcano. The wide range of hotel options, with the allure of hot springs, makes this itinerary ideal for those seeking a luxurious or romantic getaway. Plus, this region is somewhat drier than the rest of the country, making it a good option for travelers during the rainy season. You’ll still get tropical afternoon showers, but they won’t be as heavy and consistent as further south.

Day 1-4: Guanacaste Beaches

Four Seasons Costa Rica

Fly into Liberia Airport, and meet your driver for the short 30-minute trip to the coast. There are resorts along the Pacific coast in Guanacaste, but we think the Four Seasons at Peninsula Papagayo is the most stylish luxury option.

Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo / Courtesy of Four Seasons

Spend the next few days on the coast enjoying the view from the resort, indulging in spa treatments, dining at the restaurant, or venturing out into the ocean. Watersports include stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing. They even offer a surf coaching program for novice surfers to level up on some of Costa Rica’s excellent breaks.

Day 3-7: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs

Nayara Tented Camp

After you’ve been immersed in the coastal lifestyle, we recommend rinsing off the salt in a private hot spring. Take the three-hour drive east to the Arenal Volcano and possibly our favorite resort in the country, Nayara Tented Camp.

Luxury tent hot springs pool at Nayara Tented Camp / Courtesy of Nayara Costa Rica luxury ecolodge
Luxury tent hot springs pool at Nayara Tented Camp / Courtesy of Nayara

The camp’s luxury tents are connected by a network of jungle trails populated with frogs, sloths, and toucans. Each spacious suite has an outdoor shower, hammock, and private mineral hot spring pool with stunning views of the Arenal volcano. Daily yoga classes are included your the room rate as well. It’s one of the best places in North America to slow down and unwind in nature.

Option 3: Settle in on the Beach

Arenas Del Mar or Nantipa

If you are traveling with kids or feel like settling into the rhythm of Costa Rican life, we encourage picking one spot for an extended stay along the beach. Arenas Del Mar in Manuel Antonio and Nantipa in Santa Teresa are fantastic beach hotels in charming towns that lend themselves to slow travel.

Arenas del Mar / Courtesy of Cayuga Collection

Arenas Del Mar is located along the middle Pacific Coast near Manuel Antonio National Park, around three hours from San Jose. The park is a popular destination for viewing sloths and monkeys, and a tour guide can get you up close to the animals on one of the many accessible trails. The hotel has a private beach, multiple pools, and a gentle surf break, making it an excellent choice for families.

Nantipa is located in Santa Teresa near the southern tip of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. The town is around three and a half hours from Liberia, but it’s remote location and beautiful beaches have made it popular with celebrities. The property includes modern luxury suites and over 500 feet of beachfront on Santa Teresa Beach. We like it as an extended sojourn for couples looking to escape the rush.

Contact us to start planning your journey into the wild.

You have a plethora of choices when booking an epic luxury trip, and we have the expert knowlege to make your travel dreams a reality. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options.

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