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Central America is home to over 20 percent of the world’s biodiversity. With primary rainforest and diverse habitats, there are many species of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. This is a journey by foot and raft from the Pacific to the Caribbean Coast. We travel from traditional farming communities through oak forests and coffee plantations, into thick tropical rainforest and past smoking volcanoes.
This incredible challenge ends with a journey by raft and boat to a stunning tropical beach. This is a tough challenge through difficult terrain, but the rewards are immense and the memories unforgettable!
Day 1: Fly London - San Jose
We arrive early evening, transfer to our hotel and relax!
Day 2: San Jose – Pacific Coast – Londres
We begin at the beach near Quepos on the Pacific Coast. Turning inland, we start our trek at Finca Maritima and set off on our adventure across Costa Rica! Our route takes us through palm oil plantations and agricultural land which is predominantly flat, before reaching the foothills of the more remote and forested highlands.
Day 3: Londres – San Isidro (Trek approx. 8 hours)
We trek from Londres to the small village of San Isidro and up to the edge of the rainforest. It canget quite muddy, but we are rewarded by fabulous views down to the Pacific Coast. We pass through thriving rural communities that provide us with a great insight to life in this part of Costa Rica.
Day 4: San Isidro – Betania (Trek approx. 5 – 6 hours)
Our trail takes us into dense vegetation, very different to our surroundings yesterday. Watch out for wildlife such as beautiful tree frogs and agile spider monkeys! It is often quite dark and damp in in the rainforest as sunlight cannot penetrate the canopy above.
Day 5: Betania – Naranjo – Quetzal y Tucan (Trek approx. 10 – 12 hours)
Today is our most strenuous day, taking us up high ridges along muddy paths. Keep your eyes open for the many wonderful birds and the occasional small group of howler monkeys – small but extremely loud! (Trek approx. 10 – 12 hours)
Day 6: Quetzal y Tucan – Santa María de Dota (Trek approx. 7 hours )
We leave the amazing area of rainforest with mixed feelings; sad to leave such an incredible habitat behind us, glad to rejoin less challenging paths! We descend towards Santa Maria de Dota; a picturesque town in a green valley surrounded by coffee plantations, forested hills and distant mountain peaks.
Day 7: Santa María de Dota – Volcan Irazu – Rio Pacuare (Trek approx. 7 hours)
We drive to the spectacular Volcan Irazu (3432m), the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. Explore the crater rim, with its views over a vivid green lake. On a really clear day it’s possible to see both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts! We then start our trek though farmland and jungle before a challenging descent takes to the banks of the Rio Pacuare.There may be a chance for a refreshing river swim on arrival.
Day 8: Rafting Rio Pacuare (Raft approx. 4 – 5 hours; trek approx. 1 hour)
Prepare yourself for a day of rafting! The beautiful stretch of water includes several white-water rapids, but also plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the scenery. This is considered one of the best rafting rivers in the Americas. There is also a chance to swim in the river, trek up to a waterfall and keep your eyes open for more wildlife. This is an exhilarating day that becomes a trip highlight for many.
Day 9: Rio Pacuare – Caribbean Coast (Trek approx. 3 - 4 hours)
We meet our vehicles and drive the beautiful coastline towards Cahuita National Park. The final section of our Costa Rica trek takes us, very aptly, along the the white sands of the Carribean coast – a wonderful end to our challenge! We may see wildlife such as capuchin and howler monkeys and crab-eating raccoons. We reach our hotel in the small town of Cahuita and meet later for a barbeque to celebrate our huge achievement.
Day 10: Free day
Cahuita Cahuita’s black-sand beach is within walking distance of the town, and you can swim or surf in the warm Caribbean waters. Slightly further away there are white-sand beaches and coral reefs perfect for snorkelling, and the Cahuita National Park with its diverse wildlife.
Day 11: Depart San Jose
We drive back to San Jose and to the airport for our afternoon flight back to the UK.