Trekking Costa Rica
March 11 – 19, 2011
Day 1: March 11
We are met upon arrival by our Costa Rican Adventures guide, Andy Seelye, who will be spending the week with us. We quickly depart the capital city of San Jose and head south, climbing over the highest pass in the country. We will have the opportunity catch a glimpse of the high altitude paramo forest along this drive. In the evening, we pack our bags and get ready for our backpacking trip. Tonight we will stay in a forest lodge that has been built by our Costa Rican Adventures guide and his family!
Overnight: Las Vueltas, Seeley Family Farm
Day 2: March 12
After an early morning breakfast, we travel to the trailhead in four wheel drive vehicles, where we start our four-day adventure. We pass through several different ecological life zones of the new world tropics on this trip, from cloud forest to rainforest to the tropical lowlands. Keep your eyes and ears open, as there is sure to be wildlife all around us- from toucans and parrots to monkeys, ocelots, and sloth. The lush rainforest environment of trees, vines and waterfalls become our homes away from home. Today, our downhill hike begins in a beautiful primary forest, where we discover several stunning waterfalls. Our first day will be our longest trek, possibly eight hours down the mountain to a local family farm.
Overnight: Orlando’s family farm
Day 3: March 13
Today will be a shorter trek, with only an hour hike to Piedras Blancas. We visit the incredible Cave of the Virgin, named for its flowing crystalline formations. We spend the day exploring the caves and surrounding forest, swimming in the river, and sharing in the daily customs and work of our host family with whom we will be spending the night. See what we can learn about their way of life, so far from “civilization” as we know it.
Overnight: Ormidas’ family farm
Day 4: March 14
This morning we have about a four hour hike towards the Brujo River. Notice how many different plant species you find down here than the higher forests where our hike began. We take time to cool off in the river along the way to Arbino’s lodge. This remote farm is right on the banks of the flowing river. This afternoon we will learn about some of the many medicinal plants of the area.
Overnight: Arbino’s Lodge, Rio Brujo
Day 5: March 15
We wake up only a 2-3 hour hike to the trail end, in the small town of Brujo. Congratulations! From there, we drive to the Pacific coast where we have time to relax, clean up, explore the trails, and watch the sunset over the ocean.
Overnight: Hacienda Baru, Dominical
Day 6: March 16
This morning we transfer to Drake Bay on the remote Osa Peninsula. A combination of bus and boat will get us to today’s destination, described as Costa Rica's "last frontier" and "best kept secret." Our boat ride is through one of Central America’s largest mangrove forests, which is incredibly important to many tropical coastal ecosystems. We spend the afternoon snorkeling near Caño Island. Only 45 minutes by boat, Caño Island is well known for the snorkeling and scuba diving. Along the way, keep a sharp lookout for the several species of whales and dolphins that live in this area. At Caño Island we discover the brilliantly colored wonders of the underwater world, from beautiful parrot fish and sea stars to fire corals and moray eels. After working up an appetite, enjoy dinner together at the lodge.
Overnight: Osa Peninsula
Day 7: March 17
After breakfast, spend the day hiking through Corcovado National Park, one of Costa Rica’s greatest natural wonders. Home to over 500 species of trees, the tropical wet forests here may be the most species-rich in all of Central America. A highlight of the area is certainly the large numbers of scarlet macaws seen throughout the park, one of the last places on earth where they roam freely.
Overnight: Osa Peninsula
Day 8: March 18
We enjoy our last morning on the beach of this remote paradise. A charter plane takes us back to the capital city. This afternoon we have time to explore San Jose and the open-air craft markets, where we find hammocks, handmade jewelry and other Costa Rican crafts. Tonight we enjoy a final meal with our guide and share our favorite stories of the trip in a final circle.
Overnight: San Jose
Day 9: March 19
Transfer to the San Jose International airport to board your plane home, filled with memories of your Costa Rican Adventure!