Turtles and Trails
This Costa Rica adventure tour is designed for active enthusiasts who also want to help in the protection of endangered sea turtles in a sustainable, environmentally responsible manner. In 9-days, we blend active thrills with two-days of community service on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. The adventure begins with two-days of whitewater adventure bouncing down the boulder-choked Pacuare River and then biking, hiking, zip-lining, sea kayaking and soaking in the steamy hot springs in the Arenal Volcano region. Then we head east to the Caribbean, where the Leatherback and Green sea turtles swim to the shores to lay their eggs. We'll assist the researchers patrolling the beaches for the turtles and gathering and relocating their eggs to protect them from poachers. Each nest is very important to the survival of the species. Approximately 1/1000 hatchlings survive to adulthood. This has large implications for the survival of the species as a whole. April and May are the peak seasons for the Leatherback turtles coming to lay their eggs on these Caribbean beaches, making these tours highly rewarding and humbling.
- Biking and Hiking near rumbling Arenal Volcano
- Volunteering with endangered leatherback sea turtles
- Two-day whitewater rafting adventure down the Pacuare River
|2||San Jose - Arenal Volcano||Biking||Hotel||B|
|3||La Fortuna||Zip-lining & Hiking||Hotel||B,D|
|4||Arenal - Pacuare River||Rafting||Jungle Camp||B,L,D|
|5||Pacuare River||Rafting||Jungle Camp||B,L,D|
|6||Pacuare River - Quelonios del Caribe||Kayaking & Volunteering||Dorm||B,L,D|
|7||Quelonios del Caribe||Volunteering||Dorm||B,L,D|
|8||Quelonios del Caribe - Cano Blanco - San Jose||Transfer||Hotel||B|
Day 1: San Jose (Arrival)
We'll greet you at the airport and transfer you to a cozy hotel. Here we will go over the trip and answer any questions about the adventure that lies ahead.
Day 2: San Jose - Arenal Volcano (Biking)
This morning we transfer north to the town of La Fortuna, the closest town to the rumbling Arenal Volcano. We’ll check into our hotel have lunch and then head out for an afternoon of fat tire adventure on mountain bikes exploring the lush and tropical region. The evening is at leisure. (B)
Day 3: Arenal Volcano (Zip-lining & Hiking)
This morning we’ll start with a hearty breakfast of homegrown Costa Rican coffee, gallo pinto (rice and beans), eggs and fruit before transferring to the rainforest. We start with a hike on terra firma and then ascend high up into the forest canopy for a zip-lining tour – a thrilling way to view the natural surroundings. Secured in harnesses 100 feet off the ground, we'll traverse on a series of cables between the trees, zipping from platform to platform. In the late afternoon, we’ll hike through pristine rainforest trails to the base of the Arenal Volcano, a gentle hike that allows us to spot a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is common to see monkeys, toucans, wild turkeys, sloths, and birds. The day concludes with a soak in the Titoku’s Hot Springs. The springs are naturally heated by the volcano and have a variety of different pools with waterfalls of varying forces. Massage and mud facials are optional and highly recommended. Overnight in a comfortable hotel. (B,D)
Day 4: Arenal - Pacuare River (Whitewater Rafting)
After a hearty and wholesome breakfast we hop in the van and drive to the "put-in" on the Pacuare River. Here we kick off for two days of whitewater adventure tackling (28 km's/15 miles) of class III-IV rapids. The first day is a short paddle, giving us plenty of time to explore this pristine river valley. We takeout midday and have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to relax or hike through the rainforest. There’s a fantastic waterfall nearby where we can sit under the thundering spray to massage any sore muscles. Tonight we overnight at a luxury riverside campsite with tents mounted on wooden platforms facing the river, beautiful manicured gardens, an open-air dining room and kitchen, a washroom with flush toilets and sinks and lots of hammocks in a gazebo to relax in. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Pacuare River (Whitewater Rafting)
After breakfast we cast off the shores paddling through gurgling swells that cut through a virgin rainforest and cascading waterfall. We maneuver through the exhilarating rapids through dense rainforest and rugged canyons. Along the way we break on the riverbank and climb through the muddy jungle to a spectacular hidden waterfall with loads of fresh water pools and cascades to play in. We get back in our boats for a little more whitewater before stopping for a picnic lunch on the shore. Our rafting ends near the town of Siquirres at a riverside camp. Dinner tonight is a home cooked gourmet Pacuare feast. Whitewater Rafting 3-5 hours, 17 km/10 miles. (B,L,D)
Days 6: Pacuare River - Quelonios del Caribe (Kayaking & Volunteering with Leatherback Sea Turtles)
For the final leg of the physical adventure we continue paddling down the Pacuare. The frothy whitewater mellows to a gentle flow and we paddle our way into the Caribbean lowlands where banana plantations gradually swallow the receding rainforest. In the late afternoon we'll reach the mouth of the Pacuare as it meets the Caribbean Sea, and it's here that we'll transfer by boat to Quelonios del Caribe Sea Turtle Conservation program, our home for the night. We'll have dinner here and have an orientation of the next leg of our adventure, volunteering with leatherback sea turtles. Tonight we will go out on patrol with the researchers to look for turtles coming up to lay their eggs on the beaches. Flat water paddling, 5-8 hours, 40 km/ 25 miles. Overnight in dormitory accommodation at a basic lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Quelonios del Caribe (Volunteering with Sea Turtles)
Today we'll be supporting the researchers with the maintenance of the project. This includes helping to build the vivarium, assisting with the butterfly farm and the organic farm. If we feel like going for a hike or a paddle down the river, we can do that during the day. At night, we’ll be working alongside with the researchers to help protect the turtles from extinction. Our night duties include patrolling the beaches looking for the nesting leatherback turtles where they’ll be protected from poachers. We’ll be able to watch them go into their trances and begin laying their eggs. Overnight at the same lodge in basic dormitory accommodation. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Quelonios del Caribe - Cano Blanco - San Jose
We’ll have a leisurely morning with time to do more maintenance at the project or go for a last paddle and then catch a boat back to Caño Blanco. Our driver and van will be awaiting us here to transfer us back to San Jose for our final night in Costa Rica. The night is at leisure to enjoy the cosmopolitan life. Overnight at a comfortable hotel. (B)
Day 9: Departure
A BikeHike Adventures representative will transfer you to the international airport for your return flight home. (B)
All accommodation (twin shared), all internal transportation, activities highlighted, all equipment (24-speed mountain bikes, rafting and camping gear, etc.), safety kayaker on rafting trip, meals indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner) and English-speaking guides.
Trip Does Not Include:
International Flights, meals not indicated, gratuities to guides, airport departure taxes and items of a personal nature.
8 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners
Hotel: 4 Nights
Jungle Camp: 2 Nights
Dormitory Lodging: 2 Nights
“I had a fantastic time! The Costa Rica trip was perfect. I loved it. My favourite part was the first riverside campsite. Great place to 'remove' yourself”
– Jason Hyde
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About Costa Rica:
Costa Rica is a lush paradise guaranteed to satiate any traveller's hunger for adventure tours. The untouched wonders that await in this tiny country are so varied and so rich you'll want to return again and again. National parks and reserves account for more than one quarter of the land in Costa Rica. BikeHike Adventures was born guiding travellers through Costa Rica's rainforests, seacoast and rivers. We're hooked, and we know you will be too. From jungle canopy to raging rapids, Costa Rica will delight and amaze you with its natural beauty.