Arrival to San Jose
Welcome to Costa Rica! For your added comfort, once you have passed immigration and customs and stepped out of the airport doors, you will have one of our representatives waiting for you outside with a sign with your name on it. He will drive you to your hotel in San José.
Private Transfer from International Airport to San Jose
Grano de Oro Hotel (1 Night)
Room Type: Standard Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast
Reception rental car at your hotel in San José and Self drive to Arenal volcano / La Fortuna
The Northern Plains of Costa Rica showcases some very scenic countryside towns. Small agriculture communities and cattle ranches cover rolling hills and deep valleys. The plains, rainforests and rivers make the north central a must-see in any Costa Rica program. The main attraction is the iconic Arenal Volcano. The Arenal Volcano area is Costa Rica’s premier region of exploration and excitement: Arenal is synonymous to adventure and Eco-discovery, where you can embark on a wide variety of activities. Enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting or canyoning, or combine adventure with ecological discovery in a canopy tour. Hike the volcano or explore the rainforest strolling through hanging bridges. Feel transformed by the beauty and variety of our wildlife and tropical jungle. Get ready for a life changing adventure!
Hotel Arenal Volcano Inn is located next to Arenal Volcano National Park and 7 minutes’ drive away from La Fortuna town center. It features a garden spa and swimming pool. Air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi offer cable TV, a private bathroom and terrace. Activities like canoeing, hiking and horseback riding can be done in the surrounding green areas and are provided by the hotel. The Hotel Arenal Volcano Inn offers a restaurant and a pizzeria.
Arenal Volcano Inn (2 Nights)
Room Type: Deluxe Room
Meals Plan: Buffet Breakfast
Free Day at Arenal volcano / La Fortuna
Without a doubt one of the main attractions of La Fortuna are its hot springs. There are several areas of hot springs in La Fortuna such as Tabacón and Baldí. However, you can also opt for something quieter like Paradise Hot Springs, a much less crowded complex that has several pools at different temperatures. Located about 6 km from La Fortuna and very close to the Arenal Volcano National Park you will find the La Fortuna river waterfalls. Like the hot springs we highly recommend visiting this waterfall. It is a waterfall about 70 meters high surrounded by bathing areas!
Self drive to Flamingo
Playa Flamingo, known for its brilliant white sands and turquoise waters is located in the North Pacific coast of Guanacaste. This sugary, postcard-worthy white-sand and shell beach is glorious. Kissed by a serene blue sea with the rugged keys of the Catalina islands floating off in the distance, it attracts a local Tico scene along with tourists. Flamingo beach is a mixture of wonderful landscape (white sand and few rocks) covered of luxurious houses on the highest mountains and their yachts just chilling on the clear water. This place stands out for being ideal to go fishing. Flamingo beach has cafeterias and restaurants. The beach allows visitors to enjoy a variety of activities such as snorkelling, boogie boarding, paddle boarding, sea kayaking, sailing and more!
Margaritaville Beach Resort, Playa Flamingo (3 Nights)
Room Type: Poolview Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast
Days 05 & 06
Diving Excursions- certified divers 2 tank dive with full diving gear.
We start the boat ride with a briefing from your guides regarding dive safety and procedures. During the ride, keep your eyes open for signs of dolphins, whales, mating turtles and the amazing jumping rays. Depending on the weather & daily conditions, we choose 2 dive sites to perform 60ft max dives exploring the Catalina Islands in the Pacific Ocean, one of the best places to dive in Costa Rica. With the possibility of seeing White Tip Reef Sharks, Spotted Eagle Rays, Giant Manta Rays, Nudibranchs, Octopus, Big schools of fish, Eels and maybe even a Seahorse, the variety of life in this ocean is outstanding and never boring as it changes so much during the year. A refresher course can be undertaken before the boat leaves for those who have not been diving in a long time or who do not have much experience.
Included: -Diving equipment
– Land transportation.
– Boat ride to Catalina Islands.
– Two floors boat, full equipped with bath room, lockers and solarium.
– Refreshment on board: Non- alcoholic drinks, water, seasonal fruits & cookies.
Self drive to Monteverde
A startling haven for all that is living and natural, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve promises a journey that will make you one with nature–at a whole new level. Located in the Cordillera de Tilarán, Monteverde is one of the top ecotourism destinations the world over, being one of the most spectacular wildlife sanctuary and nature reserve in the world. It is actually home to some of the most endangered species in the planet. Its elevation is from 600 meters to 1800 meters above sea level in some isolated areas. It currently houses about 2,000 plant & tree species, 400 bird species, 100 species of mammals and around 1,200 amphibians and reptiles as well as hundreds of unique fern and orchid species. Birds are one of the main attractions in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve as a lot of them would migrate there and a variety of species are for everyone to see alive and freely hovering. Some of the famed birds found in the cloud forest are the bare-necked umbrella birds, the endangered Bellbird, quetzals and over 30 species of hummingbirds.
Trapp Family Lodge Hotel (2 Nights)
Room Type: Superior Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast
Free Day at Monteverde
What’s there to do in Monteverde? ( Note, activities are optional if not included in our proposal ) Tours are available for all nature lovers or first-time nature explorers alike. Considering the size of the reserve, hanging bridges and trails are good for hiking and sight-seeing. There is even a special private birding tour if you’re interested in learning more about such famous flying species as the Quetzal. For the more active we offer zip lining! As the weather here is quite chilly and misty, due to the village being high up in the Tilaran Mountain Range, do bring some thick clothes and a light jacket to stay warm.
Self-drive to Uvita
Just 17km south of Dominical, this growing village consists of some a scattering of hotels in the jungle-covered hills above. Uvita has become quite a popular and buzzing travel destination thanks to its increasingly sought-after main attraction, Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. The marine reserve has become famous for its migrating pods of humpback whales and its virtually abandoned wilderness beaches, but there are also good waterfalls nearby. One of the country’s most important tourist events happens yearly in Uvita: An increasingly popular Whale and Dolphin Festival celebrating the arrival of the humpbacks. Recognizable about Marino Ballena national Park is a 1 km sand bar that reminds of the shape of a whale tail, a result of converging currents. Uvita is perfect for travelers that are looking for an off-the beaten path holiday as not many tourists are frequenting Uvita´s beaches. Don’t miss a visit to the nearby waterfalls Cascada Verde and the Catarata Pavon which are great for swimming in the crystal clear waters!
La Cusinga Lodge Hotel (1 Night)
Room Type: Ocean View Superior Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast and Taxes Included
Self drive to Sierpe, park your car. Boat Transfer from Sierpe to Drake Bay Area. Diving Costa Rica
One of Costa Rica’s most isolated destinations, Bahía Drake is a veritable Lost World, bordered by Parque Nacional Corcovado to the south. In the rainforest canopy, howler monkeys greet the rising sun with their haunting bellows, while pairs of macaws soar between the treetops. Offshore in the bay, pods of migrating dolphins glide through turquoise waters near the beautiful Isla del Caño marine reserve. One of the reasons why Bahía Drake is brimming with wildlife is that it remains largely cut off from the rest of the country. The more remote corners of Bahía Drake are home to some of Costa Rica’s best wilderness lodges. One reason Drake Bay is so special is that it is difficult to access and gives you that feeling of being away from it all! Arriving via boat is a great experience. They leave from the small riverside town of Sierpe and bring you down the beautiful Sierpe River, through mangroves, out to the ocean, and along the coastline to Drake Bay. Once you arrive in the village, nature surrounds you. Drake Bay is the kind of place where you could swing in a hammock all day and still see more amazing wildlife than almost anywhere else in the world. But to make the experience even better, there are lots of outdoor activities that will show you even more!. (Note; if not included in our proposal, these activities are optional)
Pirate Cove Hotel (3 Nights)
Room Type: Bungalow Room
Meals Plan: Meals
Scuba Diving at Caño Island
Pirate Cove is a member of PIRA (PADI International Resort Association). Caño Divers, exclusively handles the diving for Pirate Cove. At Caño Island you will encounter both pelagic (open ocean) and Pacific reef fish. Many species are the same as in the Galapagos Islands. If you like sharks you will see 2-meter long white tipped reef sharks, bull sharks and very occasionally hammerheads Depending on the time of year we see humpbacks, Orcas and pilot whales. Dolphins include Pacific spotted, bottlenose and spinners. It is not uncommon to see manta rays leaping from the water and hundreds of lesser devil rays regularly pass by. There are too many other fish to list here but many divers especially enjoy meeting the free-swimming moray eels, which are often 2-meters long. We will do the first dive in the Island then we will rest in the beach of the Island and drink water. Then we will do the second dive, after that we will have the lunch in Hotel Pirate Cove.
Duration: 6 hours, Includes: Rent of equipment, 2 dives, PADI instructor, transport from Drake Bay, entrances fees, lunch.
Corcovado National Park Tour, San Pedrillo Station
Corcovado National Park was established on 24 October 1975, National Geographic has called it “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity”. You can see all four Costa Rican species of monkeys here. Bring your bird book because there are over 400 species in the area. However, it’s not easy spotting them among the dense primary rainforest. Watch your step so you don’t get in the way of the army ants. Your guide will show you strange and wonderful trees such as the “Leche de Vaca” (which the Indians used to cure ulcers) and the “Walking Tree” (which actually moves several inches each year). He will explain more or less how this special ecosystem functions, although the greatest experts admit they may know less than half of the total species that live here.
- Departure time: 6:00am. Trip Duration: 30 min by boat
- Walk distance: 3 Km. Includes visit to San Pedrillo Waterfall
Boat Transfer to Sierpe. Self-drive to San José. Drop off car at your hotel.
San José is the capital city of Costa Rica and is by far the largest city in the country. Due to its strategic location in the geographical heart of the country, San José is the ideal place to use as a base for taking daily excursions to a variety of sites and diverse regions. San José’s main attractions include the National Theatre, the Gold and Jade Museums, shopping malls, fabulous restaurants, art exhibits, dance performances and opera.
Hilton Garden Inn San José La Sabana (1 Night)
Room Type: Standard Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast
|· All services indicated in the itinerary above.
· Personalized information, complete voucher list.
· Local Travel Program Support, 24-hour emergency service.
· Airport transfers upon arrival and departure.
· 13 nights of accommodation in hotels specified in the proposal.
· Breakfast at all hotels and taxes included.
· 12 days car rental. Suzuki Vitara 4×4 Auto.
1st additional driver free of charges.
Coverages included: CDW-TP-TPL: collision damage waiver-theft protection-third party liability
· Excursions included (shared):
· Two days of Certified Divers – 2 tank dive with full diving gear at Las Catalinas.
· Drake Bay package includes:
· Boat transfer: Sierpe – Drake Bay – Sierpe.
· All meals during your stay: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners.
· Scuba Diving at Caño Island
· Corcovado National Park Tour, San Pedrillo Station
- NOT INCLUDED
- Other meals than indicated as included.
- National Park Entrance fees.
- Other excursions tours and activities indicated as optional or not included.
- Airport taxes (US$ 29.00 per person not included).
- International flights.
The most important things to bring are your travel documents: a valid passport, flight and hotel information, health insurance card and driver’s license, as well as a valid credit card. Bring your divers license! We advise you to make three copies of these documents. Put one copy in your carry-on bag, one copy in your suitcase and leave one copy at home.
Basic Tropical forests, colorful wildlife and spectacular beaches are part of daily life in Costa Rica. The climate varies depending on where you are, so pack accordingly.
- Prepare for hot, humid summers. Shorts, T-shirts, sundresses, skirts and tank tops in lightweight fabrics should keep you cool. Take a sweater for evenings at a higher elevation.
- Bring plenty of sunblock. Also include insect repellent, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and a swimsuit.
- Take rubber-soled sandals or hiking boots for journeys into the rain forests. Flip-flops and sandals are great for resorts and hanging out by the beach.
- Pack separate clothes for evenings. Simple dresses are great for women, while men will do well in long shorts and a button-down shirt.
- Prepare for cool winters, particularly in the northern regions and at higher elevations. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are a must, while a fleece jacket or a sweater is advisable.
- Take an umbrella if you plan to travel between May and November – Costa Rica’s wettest period.
- A rain slicker will come in handy while hiking.
Extra information for divers
What to pack on your diving trips
Spare parts and accessories to carry in your suitcase for diving equipment. An extra mask strip or a replacement mask. So you do not have to abort for this inconvenience that can be solved as easily as carrying an extra one.
Fin strips. Think that each fin is a world and has its own strips, some will not serve you for others. Take at least one refill.
A spare snorkel clip. A replacement for the clip that holds the snorkel to the mask in case it breaks or you lose it.
American tape. It is very resistant and a good invention if at any given moment you need to make an improvised fix because something is breaking.
Multi-tool for diving. A multipurpose tool, a spanner or Allen keys, will be necessary if you need to change or adjust any part of your regulator, plate or arms of the camera.
Equipment for underwater photography and video equipment.
Anti humidity bags. If your case has anti-humidity bags to avoid fogging, do not forget to bring them. Bring enough to be able to do several dives in one day. You already know that if the case gets foggy while diving, it’s over to take pictures.
Extra batteries. Both for your dive computer and for the camera, flashes, etc. The ideal is to have rechargeable batteries. Thus, between dives you can leave some batteries charging while you use the others and always have the batteries ready. Keep in mind that if on a diving trip you do 3 or 4 dives a day, the most likely thing is that you will run out of battery.
Extra SD cards. When we are going to spend days diving and taking photos, believe us if we tell you that with a card you are going to fall short. The best thing is that you have several SD cards if you do not have a computer or hard drive where you can store them at the end of the day of diving.
Microfiber towel. To maintain your optimal equipment it is necessary to remove the salt and / or sand from the equipment once the photographic day is over. You will need to submerge all the equipment in a bucket with plenty of fresh water or use a hose to desalt it. Then you will have to dry the equipment with a dry and soft cloth, especially the front of the case, the viewfinders and the lenses, to avoid limescale.
Electricity and adapters
Universal electrical adapter, prevention is always better than cure. If you find that the electrical outlets at that dive site do not fit the plugs on your equipment, you will not be able to charge anything. Therefore, we recommend a universal adapter that is valid for any type of plug and for any part of the world. In which you can connect several things at the same time.
Strip with several sockets. Continuing with the electrical issue, if you need to charge several batteries, those of the flashes, the camera, the computer, the mobile … You may find that in the boat or center you only have a couple of shots available for you. Well, everyone wants to load their equipment. This would mean having to wait for each battery to charge one by one. And you may not have time to load everything you need before the next dive. That is why it is super useful to carry a power strip where you can load everything at once, without waiting.
Keeping the images you take during the trip safe is simple.
First of all, to avoid unforeseen events, take extra memory cards in case one fails or fills up. This way you will always be able to continue taking pictures during the trip. It may also be advisable to bring a hard drive to back up your photos. Especially if you shoot in RAW, because the files will take up much more and you may need extra space.
Waterproof plasters or bandages to heal the chafing or blisters that may come out during a week of diving. Cotton socks are also a very good option. Wear a sock to prevent chafing that occurs on your feet when doing repetitive dives.
Pills for seasickness, if you are one of those who get seasick. Especially if you are going to embark on a life on board and you are caught in bad weather.
Sunscreen, essential when we are going to be outdoors all day. Please use biodegradable sunscreen. If not, we recommend putting it on for at least an hour before going to the water so that the skin has absorbed it and has less impact.
Solution to prevent external otitis. Prolonged exposure to water can cause external ear infections and prevent you from diving. When diving several times a day for several days, such as on dive trips, this ailment can occur. To do this, we recommend that you visit your doctor or pharmacist and they give you a solution to use after diving or at night to prevent the growth of bacteria that cause external otitis.
Other medication you need, such as for headaches, repellent against mosquitoes (especially in tropical areas), etc.
Documentation for diving trips – what to bring in your suitcase diving trip documentation
Copies of documentation. This includes certifications for diving, nitrox, diving and travel insurance, flights and reservations. You can take them on paper and / or on your mobile. Although if at the moment you need them you are without battery or all your luggage is stolen, that would be bad luck … We recommend that you send yourself a copy by email or store it in the cloud, so you can always access them from your email!
It is always good to carry a copy of the documentation in case you lose your diving card or cannot find it. Or in case, let’s touch wood, you need to use your insurance policy. Thus, make sure you have the insurance telephone number for medical emergencies and all the reservation documentation, tickets and hours mentioned.
It is most recommended that you carry all the documentation in a waterproof bag.
When purchasing dive and travel insurance, it is important to read the fine print. Not all companies cover air delays that prevent you from carrying out the contracted diving packages, for example. We trust Dive Assure with the Dive & Travel Plus plans, make sure you are covered in case of loss of diving luggage. They also offer unlimited medical coverage. So if you need prolonged medical attention, you will not find that they stop covering you and you have to start paying for it yourself. Or in the worst case that you have to interrupt the treatment because you cannot bear the cost. Remember that prevention is better than cure!