Our Gay Travel Costa Rica tour is an in-depth exploration of the rainforests and volcanoes of Costa Rica. This trip will focus on the mountains, rivers and natural beauty of Costa Rica. We will have more time for wildlife viewing, hiking, whitewater rafting and other eco-activities. To read a personal account of this tour read our post on our Gay Travel Blog.
This trip is an in-depth exploration of the rainforests and volcanoes of Costa Rica. This trip will focus on the mountains, rivers and natural beauty of the Costa Rican countryside. This will allow us more time for wildlife viewing, hiking, and other eco-activities, as well as some great whitewater rafting!
Traveling to Costa Rica is an opportunity to escape the stress and tedium of the daily world and discover a country that is proud of its ecological preservation. With only .03% of the planet’s surface, Costa Rica contains over 5% of all life forms on earth. In nine days we will show you the vast richness of the country’s natural habitat:
We will see San Jose, the capital city; Tortuguero whose canals are likened to the Amazon river; Sarapiqui, a wildlife sanctuary and Arenal Volcano which erupts 3 to 4 times every hour and is surrounded by its famous hot springs.
Plan to arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica by 3:00 pm today. We will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel with time to check-in and freshen up before meeting the group at our welcome dinner.
This morning we transfer to the local airport for a charter flight to Tortuguero. We will arrive at our lodge by 10:00 am, where the lodge’s staff will be waiting for us with a refreshing cocktail.
Our local guide will explain the afternoon activities. After lunch, we will board a water taxi to the colorful town of Tortuguero, on the edge of the preserve. We will visit the Turtle Museum of the C.C.C. (Caribbean Conservation Corporation) and explore Tortuguero town, an atypical Caribbean village with no roads.
We will return to the lodge around 5:30 pm with plenty of free time to enjoy the pool, the bar and to prepare for dinner. Kayaks will be available for all those who want to explore the canals and admire the rich biodiversity of the area.
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge before we board our boat to admire the canals of Tortuguero National Park. This early morning departure allows us to see the abundant flora and fauna of Tortuguero National Park at dawn, an exciting time for wildlife activity.
We will return to the lodge for lunch with plenty of free time to enjoy an afternoon siesta. Take some time to enjoy the pool or go for a walk to the beach.
This afternoon we will have another optional tour through the canals, this is the best time of the day to hear monkeys swinging in the trees. For guests who prefer to relax, feel free to stay behind at our comfortable lodge, or to explore the private trails on the property. The lodge’s butterfly garden is a tranquil place to spend time. Dinner will be at our lodge.
After breakfast, we will check out of our lodge and board a covered boat for a high-speed water taxi through the lagoons and canals of the Tortuguero preserve. When we reach our destination of Caño Blanco we will board a small bus and drive through the Dole banana plantations, where we will stop to see how bananas are processed.
We will have lunch at a butterfly farm/garden on route to Sarapiqui. The afternoon at the lodge is at your leisure. The swimming pool areas are beautifully landscaped and nestled into the hillside with a beautiful view of the rain forest. Our hotel is one of the pioneer eco-lodges in the rain forest of Costa Rica and is located near the Sarapiqui River. The rooms are rustic, charming and very comfortable, with ceiling fans. Our hotel’s concept is an Indian village using a big palapa concept. Dinner will be at the lodge.
After a full Costa Rican breakfast, you will experience a great adventure in Costa Rica. The Adventure Combo Tour is a combination of two of the most adventurous tours in Costa Rica, a Canopy Tour and Whitewater Rafting.
The Canopy Tour has a total of 12 cables and 17 platforms, 7 of which are built on trees between 60 and 90 feet high. This unique experience will take you through a canyon where you start at the ground and zip across to several tree and ground platforms, crossing the canyon 2 or 3 times.
The whitewater rafting leaves from the Hacienda’s put-in and runs 13 km. to Chilamate, with an average gradient of 1.2%. It can be run year-round and no previous experience is required. Lunch is included at the Hacienda Pozo Azul. The dining area is surrounded with a panoramic view of the jungle and river of Sarapiqui. Dinner will be at our lodge.
This morning we will enjoy an amazing three-hour activity. We will discover the marvels of one of humankind’s favorite foods – chocolate. A plant originating in Mesoamerica with an extraordinarily rich history, cacao, or chocolate, was one of the most important products of the Maya and Aztec, as well as many other Central American cultures.
The tour includes a guided hike across the Tirimbina suspension bridge to a cacao plantation that is used for ecological research. We will also visit a forested section of the plantation where you can observe forest species of cacao and learn how the product originally developed there. During the hike, the natural and cultural history of the cacao tree will be explained in great detail. Onsite, you will learn about the methods for processing cacao into chocolate (harvesting, fermentation, drying, and milling). During the demonstration, you will have the opportunity to taste the fruit of the cocoa tree as well as taste different types of chocolate, made from organic chocolate grown by the Association of Amazilla Women of the Caribbean (a group of rural women from Pueblo Nuevo de Guacimo dedicated to the production of organic chocolate).
We will enjoy lunch at the hotel and transfer by land to La Fortuna town where the impressive and active Arenal Volcano is located. We will check-in at our luxurious hotel with plenty of free time to enjoy the hotel’s pools, spa, sauna, and jacuzzis. Dinner is included at a local restaurant in La Fortuna.
Option 1: The Hanging Bridges. These bridges are considered one of the most beautiful attractions near the Arenal Volcano. This is for the nature lover, you can enjoy 15 bridges from 5 to 100 meters long, whose friendly design takes you along 3 km of the rainforest. The circuit of interpretive trails is built with paving blocks to prevent slipping. The bridges are built of aluminum, galvanized steel, and concrete, to ensure maximum security for our visitors. The bridges were designed by structural engineers with the most demanding safety margins in the world.
Our tour will be guided by a local naturalist, who will open the doors of a fascinating and colorful tropical rain forest world. The imposing vistas of the Volcano that you will see from the hanging bridges and the bridges themselves make for a perfect combination and an unforgettable experience. After the tour, we will return to our lodge for lunch.
Option 2: The Venado Caves. The caves were formed during the Miocene period, 15 to 20 million years ago. For most of history, the caves were under the sea, but due to tectonic movements, they surfaced evidence of the sea can be seen in fossils in the cave walls. Limestone rocks, stalactites, stalagmites and corals, form most of the caves. The whimsical stone formations are formed by the underground river. The length of the tour into the caves is 1 ½ hour, during this time we will find marine fossils, bats, spiders and cave crickets. Because we will have to walk through the river and waterfalls from the upper part of the cave, we recommend our customers to take light clothes, hiking shoes and extra clothes to be able to change when they finish the exploration of the caves. Equipment for the tour will be provided to each client.
In the afternoon, we will visit Fortuna Town with free time to spend on our own. Ice cream shops, souvenir stores, churches and other interesting attractions are available during this visit.
This evening we take a short drive to “The Springs” for an incredible experience in one of the most famous Spas in the world. Dinner will be included at the Spa.
Enjoy breakfast at our hotel before we return to San Jose. On the way, we will stop for a visit to Sarchi Town, known as the Cradle of Costa Rican Artisans because of its fine workshops.
Here you will have time to enjoy the work created by the local artisans. They are famous for their atypical brightly painted oxcarts. You will be able to shop for that special souvenir to take home. After the shopping experience, we have lunch at Las Carretas restaurant. After which we continue our trip to San Jose. Overnight in San Jose, and enjoy our Farewell Dinner.
There are no activities planned for today, so we can plan flights as needed. We will provide transfers to the international airport.
Price includes: 8 nights lodging in high-quality hotels with air conditioning or fans; All land and boat transportation within Costa Rica; All airport/ hotel transfers on scheduled arrival/ departures dates only; All Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners; Included tours; Naturalist tour guide and taxes; Services of a knowledgeable HE Travel tour host (with a minimum number of participants); HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not included: International airfare; Airport departure taxes; Alcoholic beverages, except at welcome and farewell dinner; Personal equipment; Extras in hotels (laundry, phone calls, and room service); Gratuities to guides and host; Costs associated with changes in your itinerary for reasons beyond our control.
Optional Tour Choices:
TBA Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)
“My trip to Costa Rica was one of the best holidays of my life. This is a great holiday for anyone who likes an active holiday that includes zip lining, white water rafting, kayaking, hiking and horseback riding. If you like the natural world and viewing exotic plants, birds and animals up close then this trip would be for you. Charming accommodation” – Dan F., Ontario
“I enjoyed being able to see many different areas of Costa Rica. Being on an Alyson tour I didn’t have to go looking for the “gay life” because it was right there with me!” -TJ Jemison, Colchester, VT
“Traveling thru a country a beautiful as Costa Rica was thoroughly enhanced by traveling with a convivial group of gay men.” -Russ Gamble, Palm Springs, CA
So are most of the people who travel with us. You do not need to pay extra to travel by yourself. Prices are per-person, and the single supplement applies only if you’d like a room by yourself. For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
This tour starts and ends in San Jose, Costa Rica.
No special skills are required, but you should have a moderate level of fitness to enjoy many of our adventure activities.
For answers to your additional questions, please email email@example.com or call 305-294-8174