Costa Rica Hike and Explore
Beaches, Cloudforests, and Eco-lodges on Costa Rica's Wild Side
Pura Vida, the good life, is what you will experience in Costa Rica with Wilderness Inquiry. This is a place known for its natural wonders, and this trip will take you to them. WI has been doing trips in Costa Rica for many years and by gradually migrating to the southern, and some would say less-traveled, part of the country, we have developed a very unique and exciting itinerary you won’t find anywhere else. On this adventure, you’ll travel to Corcovado National Park on the famed Osa Peninsula—a place the National Geographic Society calls “the most biologically intense place on Earth.” Observe monkeys, iguanas, sloths, dolphins and a wide variety of birds at Hacienda Baru. Conclude your trip by hiking the amazing cloud forests of Mount Chirripo, the country’s tallest mountain. Stay in small, locally-owned hotels and cabanas.
Day 1: Arrive in San Jose and make your way to the hotel in Alajuela. Enjoy dinner with the group and a program orientation by the pool.
Day 2: Leave San Jose early in the morning, traveling by van to the pacific coast town of Quepos for lunch. After lunch, continue traveling to Baru where you'll stay on a pristine preserve a mile out of town. Hike to and spend the night in a remote rainforest jungle camp. Take an optional night hike to see nocturnal animals at the peak of their activity.
Day 3: Awaken to the sounds of the rainforest and hike back down to the beach after breakfast. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon visiting the butterfly enclosure, reading in a hammock under the trees, or swimming in the pool.
Day 4: Rise in the morning to enjoy a fresh breakfast, then depart Baru for the Osa Peninsula, our home for the next several days. Travel by bus to the village of Sierpe, then by boat through a mangrove channel continuing out onto the Pacific Ocean for an incredibly scenic ride along palm-lined beaches. Settle into your lodge before relaxing on a beautiful beach adjacent to Corcovado National Park.
Day 5: Wake up early and get ready for a full day of adventure. Spend the morning snorkeling in the coral reef off the warm waters of Cano Island. This area is one of the very best places to snorkel in clear water among abundant sea life. In the afternoon, take to the trees for a zip line tour of the dense canopy!
Day 6: After breakfast, an early morning boat ride takes you to Corcovado National Park where you will spend the morning exploring one of the earth’s remaining rare wild places. Hike through the rainforest jungle and beaches looking for spectacular birds and wildlife of all kinds: monkeys, crested guams and other creatures live here in abundance. Return to the ranger station for a picnic lunch. Travel back to your resort for a quiet evening on the beach.
Day 7: Start the day off with an early morning boat ride back to Sierpe, then travel by van through the mountains to San Isidro, a typical Costa Rican town nestled in the mountain valley. After lunch and a bit of shopping, travel on to San Gerardo, a small town on the flanks of Mt. Chirripo. Spend the remainder of the day taking short hikes and/or birdwatching.
Day 8: Wake early for a trek into the cloud forest adjacent to Mt. Chirripo in Cloudbridge Preserve. A beautiful loop trail takes you through a fantasy world of hanging moss, huge old growth forest, and amazing vistas. It is a strange and wonderful feeling to look down at the clouds! At the end of the day, share dinner with your trip mates over a celebratory evening meal.
Day 9: Start your day with a short hike around Talamanca and observe the many species of birds that call the mountains their home. Keep your eyes peeled for the gorgeous Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird, the largest hummingbird in Costa Rica. After a leisurely lunch, drive down the mountain and return to Alajuela.
Day 10: Rise early and take a tour of the Doka Coffee Estate, a pioneer of coffee production for more than 70 years. This is the perfect opportunity to stock up on Costa Rican coffee before returning home. After the coffee tour, travel back to the San Jose airport around noon. Flights should depart after 1:30 pm.
What To Expect
ACCOMMODATIONS: Throughout the trip we will be staying in small local hotels, eco-lodges, and tent cabins. Typically, there are 2 people per room. In most rooms, solo travelers have single beds and couples share beds. Our hotel accommodations will be simple yet comfortable. Your “night in the jungle” may have up to 6 people per room.
SINGLE TRAVELERS: If you are traveling alone, you will feel at home with a welcoming group. If you would like to have your own room throughout the trip, you may purchase a single supplement for an additional fee.
MEALS: You will enjoy typical Costa Rican fare including rice, beans, eggs, cheese, fresh fruits and chicken, fish or beef. All meals are prepared for you. The water in Costa Rica is almost always safe to drink right out of the tap. We'll enjoy happy hours but the purchase of alcoholic beverages is not included in the trip fees.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: You will need to provide your personal gear as outlined in the packing list.A note about the itinerary: Our trips are real adventures in the outdoors. While we'll make every effort to follow the itinerary listed here, elements may change due to weather or reasons beyond our control.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
Your 10% deposit is non-refundable. If you choose to cancel your trip:
For trips in the continental United States:
• 6 weeks prior to start date — we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 6 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 1 week— no refunds will be issued.
For trips outside the continental United States:
• 12 weeks prior to start date— we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 12 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 2 weeks — no refunds will be issued.
In the rare event that WI cancels a trip, or we are unable to serve you, all fees are immediately refunded, including the deposit. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for personal expenses such as airline tickets. To protect your investment in your travel plans we recommend purchasing travel insurance. Information on travel insurance is included in your trip confirmation packet. If after registering you wish to switch trips, you may do so subject to availability. Fees may apply.
Under certain circumstances, such as death of a family member, change in health status, loss of employment, etc., we may make exceptions to our refund policies. Please let us know immediately if your plans change!
Do I need international travel insurance if my health insurance doesn’t cover me on an international trip?
Can I pay more to have my own room on a lodge-based trip?
Yes, most times a single supplement is available on a lodge-based trip. Exact cost and availability depends on the trip.
Which immunizations do you recommend when traveling to an international destination?
Prior to departure, we recommend that you check with your doctor as early as possible to ensure you are up to date on your standard immunizations. Your doctor is in the best position to recommend specific vaccinations to specific destinations.
Does this trip have electricity for my CPAP machine, phone, camera or other electronic device?
Yes, this trip has electricity. Please indicate on your registration form that you need electricity and we will be sure to accommodate your need to the best of our abilities. If this is an international trip please check if you need an international adapter for your electronics. You can find more information on international plug ins here: https://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/
Is this trip wheelchair accessible for hiking?
We do not recommend this trip for persons who use wheelchairs. Several of the hikes and activities are not wheelchair accessible. If you use a wheelchair and are interested in going, please call to discuss the trip with us.
How will we be traveling on this trip?
Travel is primarily by mini bus, powerboat, or by foot. You will hike a variety of terrain. Hikes range from 45 minutes to 4 hours long.
What is the weather like in Costa Rica?
Temperatures between January and March can range from 60ºF at night to 95ºF during the day on the coast and from 40ºF at night to 80ºF during the day in the mountains. Rainfall will vary, but you should plan for it during portions of several days. Humidity levels are often high.
How big will our group be?
The group size ranges from 8-12 participants, plus one to two Wilderness Inquiry staff. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds and abilities, including people with disabilities.
Single Room Supplement
You can elect to guarantee a single room for the duration of the trip for $525 during the registration process.
Standard Meeting Places and Times
Start: Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto at 4:00 PM (local time)
End: San Jose International Airport at 11:30 AM (local time)
This trip officially begins at 4:00 PM at the Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto near the San Jose International Airport, where your group leader will meet you. The trip ends at 11:30 AM on the last day when your group leader takes you back to the San Jose International Airport. Participants should schedule flights that depart after 1:30 PM. Detailed meeting place instructions will be sent to you when you are confirmed for the trip.