Costa Rica Highlights
from $2930
Duration: 8 Days
Few places offer the ability to immerse yourself in nature like Costa Rica. One of the most biodiverse countries in the world, a quarter of its land is covered in protected rainforest teeming with rare and exotic wildlife. Spot sloths, toucans and elusive quetzals as you explore the misty canopy of Monteverde’s famous cloud forest. Hike the lush Manuel Antonio National Park and you just might come face-to-face with a capuchin monkey; then take to the water for a scenic sunset sail as whales and dolphins make themselves known. With ample opportunity to relax and simply take in the gorgeous scenery, this journey is all about pura vida (pure life), the Costa Rican way of life.
  • Costa Rica’s stunning national parks are endowed with some of the greatest flora and fauna in the world, including a number of rare and elusive species like the quetzal
  • Explore Manuel Antonio National Park in the company of one who knows it best – a local guide
  • Caffeine-lovers will enjoy learning about the coffee-making process – from crop to cup – at a family-owned farm in Monteverde. Even better, you get to sample a cup!
  • Discover untouched forests at Monteverde, widely regarded as one of the world’s most outstanding tropical cloud forests and wildlife sanctuaries
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Orosi Valley - Walk through historic township
  • Irazu Volcano - Walk to lookout point (Entrance fee)
  • Orosi Valley - Religious Art Museum (Entrance fee)
  • Manuel Antonio - Sunset sail
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Manuel Antonio - National Park (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Monteverde - Night walk through Cloud Forest
  • Monteverde - Visit to Quaker farmhouse
  • Monteverde - Sky Walk
  • Monteverde - Traditional trapiche tour (Sugar cane & Cocoa plantation)
  • San Jose - Leader-led walking tour
  • Day 1 Location: San Jose
    Hola! Welcome to San Jose. Take an included transfer from the airport to your hotel. Your tour begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you’ll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. Continue the introductions with an optional group dinner after the meeting. Costa Rica’s compact capital has plenty to offer if you arrive earlier in the day. Perhaps spend a few hours visiting the city’s impressive museums and galleries, such as the Museo de Arte y Diseno Contemporaneo (Museum of Contemporary Art and Design), considered one of the most important cultural centres in Latin America. You may opt to stroll past sculptures commemorating important moments in Costa Rica’s history at the Parque Nacional, or perhaps go shopping for souvenirs and authentic local cuisine at the Mercado Central.
    Day 2 Location: Irazu Volcano / San Jose
    Today you’ll travel about an hour outside San Jose for a full day tour of Irazu Volcano and the Orosi Valley. Rising 2432 metres (11,260 feet) above sea level, Irazu is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. The summit is gouged with several impressive craters. Mostly barren, aside from a fringe of battered bushes and trees, it has an otherworldly feel. Hope for good weather, as on a clear day you can see both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts from the top. Descend the mountain and head to the Orosi Valley for a completely different view where you’ll find lush verdant hills etched with coffee plantations, beautiful gardens, Spanish colonial buildings and the oldest functioning church in Costa Rica (Islesia Colonial de Orosi, built in 1743). En route, stop for lunch at the fabulous 1910 Restaurant where you can enjoy classic Costa Rican dishes, such as cheese tortillas and chorreadas (corn pancakes). Make sure to check out the restaurant’s collection of photographs documenting the 1910 earthquake that nearly demolished the town of Cartago, then continue to the Orosi Valley. Walk through the historic township and you may opt to spend time strolling the impressive collection of orchids at Lankester Botanical Gardens, before returning to San Jose for a free evening.
    Day 3 Location: Manuel Antonio
    Depart early for the long white beaches and evergreen forests of Manuel Antonio. It’s a three to four hour bus drive from San Jose; spend this time brushing up on your Spanish via an informal lesson from your tour leader, taking in the passing scenery or simply catching some shut-eye. There’s an optional lunch you can partake in upon arrival. Otherwise, the afternoon is yours to enjoy. Perhaps relax on one of the many fine stretches of sand, or rent a surfboard and ride the waves. In the late afternoon, set off on a memorable sunset sail. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, whales and giant sea turtles!
    Day 4 Location: Manuel Antonio
    Spend the day exploring Manuel Antonio National Park. Made up of 12 small islands and countless lagoons and mangrove swamps, the park is brimming with exotic wildlife. Embark on a hike with a local guide in search of cheeky monkeys, indolent sloths, endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys and hundreds of species of birds. Afterwards, you have free time to explore the park as you please. Perhaps take advantage of its beautiful turquoise seas, perfect for swimming, kayaking, sailing and fishing. Or you may opt to continue your explorations on land, in search of the 109 mammal species that call the park home.
    Day 5 Location: Monteverde
    After breakfast, depart for the cloud forest town of Monteverde. Arrive in time for an optional lunch, then enjoy a free afternoon. This nature and wildlife lover’s paradise is ripe with possible activities. In the evening, embark on a hike through the rainforest in search of some of its nocturnal inhabitants. Some of the wildlife you might see include porcupines, toucans, owls, stick insects and even tarantulas.
    Day 6 Location: Monteverde
    Today explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. This extraordinarily diverse ecosystem is home to the largest variety of orchids in the world, big jungle cats and thousands of species of insects and birds. Embark of a guided hike on the forest floor, before coming face-to-face with the misty upper canopy while walking a series of suspension bridges hidden among the treetops. Keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal, one of the world’s most elusive birds, during your walk. In the afternoon, learn about one of Costa Rica’s most famous exports with a visit to a family-owned coffee business. Gain insight into the coffee-making process and sample a freshly brewed cup. Also learn how sugar cane and cocoa beans are processed. The tour culminates with a chance to make your own candy.
    Day 7 Location: San Jose
    Travel back to San Jose for your final day. If you were unable to explore the city before the trip began, you may want to take part in a leader-led walking tour of the main attractions in the afternoon. There’s time for some last-minute souvenir shopping at the city’s vibrant markets. In the evening, head out for a final group dinner and sampling of the city’s nightlife.
    Day 8 Location: San Jose
    Your trip has come to an end. There are no planned activities today.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    25DEC2022
    Return Date:
    01JAN2023
    2930NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    23 Aug 2021

    Trip title

    Costa Rica Highlights

    Trip code

    PSCH

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Few places offer the ability to immerse yourself in nature like Costa Rica. One of the most biodiverse countries in the world, a quarter of its land is covered in protected rainforest teeming with rare and exotic wildlife. Spot sloths, toucans and elusive quetzals as you explore the misty canopy of Monteverde’s famous cloud forest. Hike the lush Manuel Antonio National Park and you just might come face-to-face with a capuchin monkey; then take to the water for a scenic sunset sail as whales and dolphins make themselves known. With ample opportunity to relax and simply take in the gorgeous scenery, this journey is all about pura vida (pure life), the Costa Rican way of life.

    Style

    Peregrine

    Transport

    Private vehicle

    Physical Rating

    2

    Physical preparation

    None of the activities featured in this trip require special training or skills, just a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to participate. Cobblestones and uneven roads are common and you may be required to walk in hot and humid conditions. If you are in any doubt, please share these concerns or issues with your sales consultant so that your leader is aware prior and can pre-empt your needs.

    Joining point

    Parque Del Lago Boutique Hotel

    Avenue 2nd, between streets 40-42,

    Paseo Colon

    San Jose

    624-1007

    COSTA RICA

    Phone: +506 25472000

    Joining point description

    Elegant rooms with colourful, modern artwork, offering free Wi-Fi, cable TV and coffeemakers. Buffet breakfast is included and room service is available. There's also a laid-back restaurant/bar and a swimming pool. Bike hire is available for a fee. This relaxed hotel with contemporary decor is 3 km from the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, a 2-minute walk from the nearest bus stop, and 3 minutes on foot from Parque La Sabana (a park with a lake).

    Joining point instructions

    An arrival transfer from San Jose International Airport [SJO] is included in this trip. Please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised. If you have pre booked this service; you will be met after exiting the terminal building to the outside. As you exit please look for the Peregrine sign with your name on it. There is no designated area for transfer drivers to wait inside the building so please take your time to look around after exiting to the outside through the last glass automatic door. If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please call our Peregrine Emergency number listed under ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your Essential Trip Information document. If you don’t have a device or mobile coverage, San Jose Airport has a free Wi-Fi connection so you can call that same number via an online application such as Skype. There is also an information desk inside the terminal if you require further assistance. Otherwise, you can travel from the San Jose Airport to the hotel by taxi. We recommend you use either the authorised taxi services organised from inside the terminal, or the authorised orange taxis outside the terminal building. They will charge you approximately USD$30 for a trip to downtown. The drive to where the hotel is located is approximately 35-45 minutes depending on traffic.

    Finish point

    Parque Del Lago Boutique Hotel

    Avenue 2nd, between streets 40-42,

    Paseo Colon

    San Jose

    624-1007

    COSTA RICA

    Phone: +506 25472000

    Finish point instructions

    Peregrine offers a pre-arranged departure transfer service to San Jose International Airport [SJO] at an additional fee. If you require this service, please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have pre booked this service, your transfer driver will collect you from your hotel 3.5 hours before your flight time. If your transfer has not arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel reception to call our Peregrine Emergency number, listed under ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your Essential Trip Information document. Alternatively, you can travel from the hotel to the airport by taxi. The hotel reception will be able to assist you with a taxi. The drive to the San Jose Airport will take approximately 30 minutes depending on traffic and will cost approximately USD$30.

    Important information

    1.A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel. 2. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time. 3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 4. Please be careful when booking flights to/from San Jose; make sure you fly into/out of Juan Santamaria International Airport [SJO]. Please do NOT book flights to/from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport [SJC] as this is located in California, United States.

    Group leader

    All Peregrine Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Peregrine Adventures endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Peregrine Adventures we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Peregrine itinerary, and Peregrine Adventures makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Peregrine Adventures' operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

    http://www.peregrineadventures.com/safety-updates

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

    SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

    LOCAL LODGINGS: On this trip you will be staying in some restored houses and local lodges - these are one of the charms of this journey, but their staircases, balconies and passages etc may not always comply with western safety standards. Please do not expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved to their original state.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    Communications

    WhatsApp is a popular way to communicate in Latin America. We recommended downloading WhatsApp prior to departure to communicate with by text with your leader and group members during the tour. Once downloaded, please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive unless you have international roaming enabled. Connections for making phone calls through WhatsApp are not reliable, so please do not use this app to make calls to our emergency phone line.

    Visas

    If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the 'Money Matters' section of this document.  COSTA RICA VISA Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Some nationalities will require a visa but be aware that you cannot get it at the border. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica for the most up to date information. To enter the country visitors are required to have a return or onward travel ticket. Visitors generally get a 90-day stamp in their passport upon entering Costa Rica. COSTA RICA COVID-19 ENTRY & EXIT REQUIREMENTS For the latest update of what is required in order to enter Costa Rica, please check your government's foreign travel advice as well as see the following website: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/statement-costa-rica-tourism-board-covid-19. Requirements include a Digital Health Pass and specific health insurance. Please note that as well as the health insurance required by Costa Rica, you will also need to have a travel insurance policy that covers you for travel to and from Costa Rica as well as other expenses outside of COVID-19 related illness within the country. Most air passengers are now required to get a COVID-19 test within 3 days of boarding their return flight. This includes citizens returning to their home country after their travels. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before they board otherwise boarding will be denied. We are able to facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip when your group is in Costa Rica. Results take approximately 48 hours and the cost is approximately USD 160 per person. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as book appointments for all travelers who need to be tested. USA Visa Waiver - Applicable if arriving via the United States of America. Many countries now operate under a visa waiver program, meaning a visa isn't required, however you still need to obtain an authorisation which confirms that you have been approved to travel. This authorisation must be obtained in advance of travel. See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiver-program.html All travellers from Visa Waiver Program countries must obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to their flight from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov All ESTA registration applications or renewals require a US$14 fee to paid by card. Apply for ESTA no later than 72 hours (we recommend 1 week prior to travel) before departing for the USA. Real-time approvals will no longer be available and arriving at the airport without a previously approved ESTA will likely result in being denied boarding. If there are any discrepancies between the name on your ESTA, your passport, your tickets or even your frequent flyer membership, you may be detained at Immigration and subject to a secondary inspection which could take a few hours. If you have recently changed your name, please check that your details have been updated everywhere. If you are from a country eligible for the visa waiver program but are a dual citizen of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan, or if you have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan since 01 March 2011, you will not longer be eligible for the visa waiver program and will instead need to apply for a non-immigrant visa. Please see the Department of State website for more information: http://travel.state.gov//content/travel/en.html

    Why we love it

    Costa Rica’s stunning national parks are endowed with some of the greatest flora and fauna in the world, including a number of rare and elusive species like the quetzal

    Explore Manuel Antonio National Park in the company of one who knows it best – a local guide

    Caffeine-lovers will enjoy learning about the coffee-making process – from crop to cup – at a family-owned farm in Monteverde. Even better, you get to sample a cup!

    Discover untouched forests at Monteverde, widely regarded as one of the world’s most outstanding tropical cloud forests and wildlife sanctuaries

    Is this trip right for you

    Be mindful that Costa Rica has warm conditions all year round, with March, April and May being the hottest months of the year. Remember to pack light, breathable materials, sunscreen, and layers for cooler evenings. This trip involves a number of long nature walks and it’s important to consider whether these conditions will be right for you. It's advisable to have a good general level of fitness. Costa Rica is perhaps the most expensive country in Central America. The price of non-included meals, drinks and activities are more in line with Western countries than Central American ones.

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we have introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. You will need to show either of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/covid19 ZIKA VIRUS: There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip. DENGUE FEVER: Dengue Fever is common in Latin America and can occur throughout the year. Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, and parts of Mexico are currently suffering from a serious outbreak. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent, and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. MALARIA: There is no commercially available vaccination against malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito bites and is a risk in many less-developed tropical areas in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. Protection against mosquito bites is essential and where the risk is considered high, anti-malarial medications are recommended. Anti-malarial medications should be discussed with experts as there are different medications available and not all medications suit all people or all destinations. Where malaria is considered prevalent in mountainous regions we prefer that trekkers to altitude try to avoid the use of mefloquine (Lariam) if possible.

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule, our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. DIETARY REQUIREMENTS Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts. Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc. More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you. For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets, we understand your dietary requirements are important, however, sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

    Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).  The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. MEALS NOT INCLUDED: For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out? Breakfast - If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café. Lunch - If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15. Dinner - At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main. These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries. CREDIT CARDS & ATMs: ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities across Latin America. Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to and what their fees and charges are. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. If bringing over cash, please note USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks. CURRENCY INFORMATION: COSTA RICA The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colón (CRC). You can pay with major credit and debit cards at many hotels, restaurants and stores. You can use major credit cards and some debit cards to withdraw colones from ATMs. US dollars are widely accepted except for taxi fares (so if you arrive by plane please ensure you get some local currency at the airport before taking a taxi). Costa Rica is the most expensive country in Central America, particularly compared with its neighbouring countries Nicaragua and Panama. Expect meals, souvenirs and optional activities to cost as much as they would in western countries. That said, Costa Rica has done a great job of looking after its natural wonders yet maximising their potential as tourist attractions. So, while optional activities are pricey, you can expect a high standard of service, well-maintained gear, clear paths and signage and well trained local guides that allow you to make the most of every activity. DEPARTURE TAX: In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase. Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip. COSTA RICA There is no entry fee. If you exit Costa Rica overland, there is a US$7 departure tax. If you exit Costa Rica by air, departure tax typically included in the cost of your ticket. TIPPING: On this trip, we have included gratuities for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. Where applicable, this will cover tips to drivers, specialist local guides & porters. This amount does not include a tip for your tour leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. You may also wish to put aside some money for your own tipping, such as when you are doing our own optional sightseeing or activity that involves local guides and/or drivers or when joining in optional groups meals or dining out on your own. In these instances, we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. The amounts can vary greatly according to destination. The recommended tipping amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: - Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$5. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% of your bill. - Local guides for optional activities: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide. We suggest US$3-5 per passenger per day. - Drivers for optional activities: USD$3-6 per day is generally appropriate. - Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD$5-7 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

    What to take

    Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 15-20kg for check in luggage and a maximum of 5kg for carry on. Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip: ESSENTIAL: - Warm as well as light clothing. Central America is often assumed to have hot weather, but it can get cold in the countryside, mountains and at night in the winter so we suggest you check the expected temperatures en route and bring clothing that you can layer - Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses RECOMMENDED: - Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, travel insurance etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments - Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com) - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and Band-Aids. - Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both - Swimwear - Travel beach towel - Tissues &/or toilet paper &/or wet wipes - Insect repellent - Camera with spare memory card, charger &/or batteries OPTIONAL: - Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate - Phrase book VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your safe if available. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. LAUNDRY: Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo).

    Climate and seasonal

    Please note that Hurricane season is June to October, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Peregrine Adventures' monitors these situations as they may arise, so that itineraries or activities can be amended as necessary.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/feedback

    Pre-departure checklist

    Before you travel please download our pre-departure checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for your trip: http://www.peregrineadventures.com/pre-departure-travel-checklist

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at: www.peregrineadventures.com/contact-us CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, please contact our local office: Peregrine's Local Operator (located in Costa Rica): +506 6022 4721

    Responsible travel

    Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It's about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you're travelling in. How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below: - Choose to travel with a responsible travel company like us! We've already offset the main carbon emissions of your trip, so your footprint is already lighter. - Consider offsetting your flights when you book your trip/flights with us or your travel agent. - Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste. - Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions. - Eat at local restaurants, buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy. - Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone. - Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you. - Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags. - Give back by making a donation to a local project via The Intrepid Foundation. Share your thoughts with us by completing your feedback form after your trip. This helps us to continue to improve our commitment to responsible travel. Responsible travel is important to Peregrine. Maintaining our integrity and upholding principles of sustainable development are core to our travel ethos. Our values are ingrained in the culture of our business and in the design of our trips. We respect the people, cultures and local environments that we encounter while travelling and encourage the spread of good will and cross-cultural sharing. We are committed to making a positive contribution wherever possible. Read more about responsible travel with Peregrine here: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/responsible-travel

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Peregrine Adventures, a brand of the Intrepid Group, and works with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation. Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available. Feature stay: Downtown San Jose is currently undergoing an exhilarating cultural revitalization, and Hotel Presidente is, unquestionably, the best and most convenient destination for experiencing this growth firsthand. Step onto Central Avenue Pedestrian Boulevard and visit the myriad museums, churches, parks, and points of interest around the corner.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Accommodation

    Hotel feature stay (3 nights),Comfortable Hotel (4 nights)

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