February 9-16, 2019

Join Rachel Reenstra, animal conservationist and Host of ABC’s Emmy-nominated The Wildlife Docs, as she leads you on this marvelous, fun-filled, and educational tour of the wonders of Costa Rica! Activities will include animal conservation, a catamaran cruise, white-water rafting, optional zip-lining & horseback riding, and touring some of the most delightful areas of this amazing country.

This is not your typical vacation - this is a life-changing adventure and an experience of a lifetime.  Learn about the importance of preservation and get up close and personal with nature on this interactive and hands-on fully guided experience. You’ll have the time of your life with Rachel - think summer camp + learning + FUN!

Our Itinerary

Day 1: Feb 9, 2019

Welcome! - Welcome to Costa Rica! Proceed through immigration and customs. Once you have exited the customs secured area outside, you will meet your celebrity host, Rachel Reenstra. Your private professional guide and driver will assist you with your luggage to the vehicle. Our group private transfer leaves by 3:30PM. If you are unable to make it in time, we can add a pre-night package so you can come in the day before. Please allow Karen, your TRAVELSTORE professional to assist you with your flights if you have any questions or want help booking. (See below for contact information.)

Coffee Plantations and Arenal Volcano. Our adventure begins! We transfer from San jose International Airport to Arenal, a 2.5-hour scenic drive. We will stop on the way for a break and refreshments. Perhaps we'll try a locally farmed and brewed cup of Costa Rican coffee, and enjoy the view of the plantation in the background.

After seeing the Arenal Volcano, we will check in to our hotel for the next two nights, the Arenal Springs Resort (Junior Suites), which is family owned and operated. There’s lots to see and enjoy, including mineral hot spring pools right at the hotel! This evening, we'll enjoy our welcome dinner, which will feature lots of veggies and healthy food. Rachel will help set our individual and group intentions for our experience, and our Costa Rican guide will tell us about the area and local wildlife. 

Get a great night’s sleep because tomorrow is going to be so much fun!

Arenal Volcano is approximately 3000 years old and has an elevation of 5500 feet. Though in a resting phase, the volcano's geothermal activity heats the local mineral springs. Surrounded by lush rain forest, the area offers many touring options. The area is rich in natural attractions; experience thermo-mineral hot springs, waterfall hikes, horseback riding, birdwatching, biking, and boat tours on the Cano Negro.

Day 2: Feb 10, 2019

Hanging Bridges and Chocolate Experience - After an early breakfast, we are headed to the Hanging Bridges. We will enjoy 15 bridges from 5 to 100 meters long, visitor friendly designed circuit of 3 kilometers in middle of the rain forest with interpretive trails built with paving blocks to prevent slipping. This is guided by a naturalist who, through the natural history, will open for you the doors of a fascinating and colorful tropical rain forest world. The view of the Volcano from the hanging bridges over the forest makes a perfect combination for an unforgettable experience. We will start looking for monkeys, toucans, coatis and more. After a healthy and local lunch, we will enjoy a Chocolate Experience, touring a chocolate plantation, and seeing every aspect of how you go from the cacao trees to finished chocolate, and of course you can buy local chocolate!

Nocturnal Wildlife Discovery - After a late afternoon relaxing at the resort and enjoying the hot springs, we will have dinner at a local family-owned and operated farm, including typical Costa Rican food treats and a tortilla-making lesson. After dinner, we enjoy a night walk to spot evening animals, such as foxes, frogs, and anteaters. Then Rachel will lead us in a musical adventure, accompanied by her guitar and her open heart. It’s all part of the transformational experience of this amazing trip!  

Day 3: Feb 11, 2019

Local exploration and journey from Arenal - to Villa Blanca 2 Hrs - Wake up early or sleep late, as it is your choice. Enjoy a fresh made breakfast at the hotel. You have the morning to enjoy the hot springs, join Rachel on the rain forest yoga deck, or add an optional tour like a Zip line experience. Lunch is on your own. 

After lunchtime, we meet  in the lobby area with our baggage. We will take a short drive to La Fortuna town for exploration and handicraft shopping. Then we are off to the cloud forest. We will begin our climb into the mountains, where we will explore different wildlife and habitats.

We arrive at Villa Blanca Resort and Nature Reserve (Superior rooms) where we spend the next two nights. This fully sustainable retreat offers one of the most unique and endangered types of tropical forests in a secluded cloud forest reserve. Meet Rachel this evening for an enticing meal thoughtfully prepared, with nutritional sensibility and local ingredients that compliment their exquisite flavors. 

This evening, enjoy the resort and four ocean-view on-site restaurants, or grab a taxi to the beach area for local dining.

From the San Ramon valley to the mountains of Tilaran, quiet cloud forests reside hidden from the normal tourism journeys. The area is cool, verdant, and rich in biodiversity with a multitude of micro climates. The area also boasts excellent trout fishing. Visitors can hike to the back of Poas Volcano, go horseback riding, river rafting, mountain biking, or take a zipline tour throughout the canopy.

Day 4:  Feb. 12

Exploring the cloud forest and animal research station- After breakfast, meet Rachel for a morning hike into the cloud forest. ou’ll move within this secret world of lush, colorful tropical life along well-designed, user-friendly trails, each showcasing the incredibly diverse tropical flora and fauna of this stunning, private mountain cloud forest reserve. 

You’ll see first hand the layers of dense, diverse plant life clinging to every tree trunk and branch as they reach to the heights of the canopy. Explore the JMA Wildlife Research Station. Cloud Forest wildlife include opossums, howler monkeys, bats, kinkajous, ocelots, bats, peccaries, hawks, hummingbirds, parrots and more! Boxed Lunch provided. Lunch will be included today; enjoy a leisurely dinner on your own. 

Day 5: Feb. 13

Prehistoric crocodiles, hands on sloth rescue and transfer from Villa Blanca - to Manuel Antonio (3 Hrs) - After an early breakfast, we will transfer to the Central Pacific area in our air-conditioned coach. Relax and snooze for the ride, until we stop at the Tarcoles River. Here you’re going to want to wake up to see the giant crocodiles! We lunch by the Tarcoles River at Nosavar, where we will listen to a short educational talk on crocodiles and the local ecosystem.

After lunch (included) we will drive to Kids Saving the Rain Forest, a special conservation project started by two kids! This place is really near and dear to Rachel’s heart, so we are getting to see and share something truly special! We will visit and volunteer for three hours this afternoon, doing whatever is needed on site.

Late that afternoon, we arrive in Manuel Antonio and check into the  Hotel Parador, our home for the next three nights. Located near the Manuel Antonio National Park and Beach, this delightful oceanfront property will have you gasping at the gorgeous views.

One of Costa Rica’s most prestigious eco-hotels, Parador is the epitome of “responsible luxury.” The resort is located on the Punta Quepos promontory in Costa Rica, surrounded by 12 acres of wildlife-rich tropical rainforest with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Manuel Antonio.

This evening, enjoy the resort and four ocean-view on-site restaurants, or grab a taxi to the beach area for local dining.

Manuel Antonio is a small ocean side village with plenty of great places to stay - from extravagant luxury condos to cozy hideaway hotels tucked into nature. Famous for its national park, this tiny yet bustling town is located off Costa Rica's central Pacific coast just a stone's throw away from Quepos which is famous for sport fishing. The region is a treasure for biodiversity, attracting nature buffs, eco-travelers and adventure-seekers alike. Better yet, if you visit, you can soak up beautiful beaches and perfect waters. Without a doubt, Manuel Antonio lies within one of the country's most celebrated spots.

Day 6: Feb. 14 

Wildlife estuary and mangroves at Damas Island - Enjoy your breakfast at leisure (included). At noon, we will transfer to Damas Island area by coach, and then get out to the island on a Jungle Cruiser boat. We will lunch (included) on Damas Island, enjoying the black, red, white mangroves, and the local wildlife - anteaters, three types of monkeys, bats and snakes. This is a place where sea and fresh water mix, so our kayak ride there and back will be smooth and easy, and as the locals say, “tranquilo!”

Late this afternoon, enjoy an optional thrilling Canopy Safari Zip Line ride!  ($86/guest)  Or, if you prefer, you might enjoy horseback riding on the beach.

Evening together on Valentine's Day- Back at the hotel, we will gather together with Rachel for music and a closing circle. Our shared wildlife experiences, conservation efforts, education and new connections together inspire all of us for the road home tomorrow.

Day 7: Feb. 15 

Butterfly Sanctuary and the Titi monkeys at Manuel Antonio National Park - After a very early breakfast, this morning, we will travel to the Butterfly pavilion sanctuary for a visit. A Blue Morpho may gently land on your fingertip.

A quick 4 minute ride to the entrance of Manuel Antonio National Park is our next destination. Rachel has teamed up with Titi monkey conservation group. Observe the titi monkey and learn about the latest preservation actions taken by the local community. Surrounded by emerald waters and jungle, our naturalist guide points out sloths, birds, and other animals that reside in this diverse national refuge. Head back to the resort or enjoy the local beaches by the park. Lunch on your own in town or back at the resort.
 

Dolphin and marine animal sunset catamaran cruise - Late this afternoon, we will enjoy a Sunset Catamaran Cruise and our Farewell relaxed meal aboard. Local “typico” food will feature fish, ceviche, chicken, and lots of fresh veggies. Cruise this spectacular coastline from Quepos to the Manuel Antonio National Park in search of dolphins sea turtles and unique bird life including boobies and frigate birds which nest on islands believed to be ancient Indian burial sites. The tour guide will explain the history of the Quepoa indigenous community and the geology of the area highlighting dramatic features such as blowholes beneath towering cliff and formation of the National Park. The tour includes a visit to the secluded beach at Biezanz Bay for swimming and snorkeling.   
 

Our dinner this evening will celebrate our time together. 
 

Day 8: Feb. 16 

Journey home transfer from Manuel Antonio - to San Jose 3 Hrs - After an early breakfast, we will leave for our journey to SJO Airport. We take home wonderful memories and plans, knowing that our time in Costa Rica has changed our perspective on nature and our place in the world.


Rachel Reenstra

Rachel is a passionate animal conservationist, personal empowerment coach, comedian and 3-time Emmy nominated national TV host.

Rachel was featured on the news show, 20/20, for making her dreams come true; and now part of that dream includes taking people on adventures - empowering them both to become educated about and get close to wildlife, and to come back from their trip with the tools to create anything you want in your personal life.
 


Limited space is available!
For more information and reservations, contact:


Karen Good Satzman
Master Travel Planner at TRAVELSTORE
310-689-5424
karen.gs@travelstore.com  

 

Trip Pricing, Terms & Conditions>> [to come]