Walk over the treetops in The Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, feel the adrenaline as you raft down the Sarapiqui River, hike through the rainforest and rappel down giant waterfalls in the lost canyon.
Also, did we mention you get to have coffee and cake at the hummingbird gallery surrounded by hundreds of these teeny-tiny beauties, so cute…
San Jose, SJO (Juan Santamaría International Airport)
Misty volcano peaks. Rainforest hikes. Fast flowing rapids. Sun-soaked afternoons. Biodiversity at it’s best (think teeny tiny but mighty little red froggies this one). Adrenaline fuelled zip lining. Delish tropical fruit smoothies.
Costa Rica has got it going on!
One of the worlds most bio-diverse countries, one-quarter of its lands are protected—you’ll be dazzled and delighted from your first passion fruit smoothie and keen to get a taste of the famous Costa Rican “Pura Vida.”
You’ll be met at San Jose International airport this afternoon (or you’ll be picked up from your hotel in San Jose if you arrived the day before) by your Vegan Adventure Holidays trip leader and other members of your group before heading north towards La Fortuna together.
Both a recreational paradise and living classroom, you’re going to love your new home for the next few nights—this locally run organic farm and eco-lodge sits on the edge of the rainforest and has miles of hiking trails through rainforest, farmland and herbal gardens.
There will be an early evening ‘meet and greet’ with your Vegan Adventure Holidays trip leader and other members of the group before having dinner at the onsite farm-to-table restaurant.
If you get up early and take yourself off on one of the trails before breakfast, you’ll notice that things in the rainforest change minute by minute, a rare flower comes into blossom, three-toed sloth and howler monkeys disappear and reappear (the sloth just do it slower pace which is why we love’ em), a powerful mixture of peace, calm and adventure rolled into one—enjoy.
And then the action begins, bring on the adrenaline with the class 3 rafting trip on the Sarapiqui River!
As soon as you’re fitted with safety gear and instructions, you’ll hit the Sarapiqui river and fly down rolling rapids while your guide directs the raft and calls out directions… “Paddle Hard!” “Right Paddle!” “Back Paddle!” “Get Down!”
You’ll duck, dodge, paddle, and laugh your way down the river stopping half way for a watermelon pit stop and later in the day, a plant-based traditional Costa Rican meal.
Ever wondered how much adventure you can pack into one day? You’re about to find out!
Today you’ll rappel down huge waterfalls, jump into pools, zip down guided rappels, climb down canyon walls and river boulders, and hike up through the rainforest, keep an eye out for red-eyed tree frogs and toucans.
After breakfast at the lodge, you’ll enjoy the 25-minute ride in the Jungle Limo before being kitted out with high-quality canyoneering gear followed by a safety talk and canyoning demonstration before we start hiking through lush rainforest.
You’ll start off the rappelling-leg of your canyoning journey with the first waterfall referred to as the “Baby,” a small-sized 10-ft waterfall that will allow you to ease your way into learning the ropes—literally!
Later you’ll reach what we fondly call the “Big Boy,” the second largest waterfall. About half-way through your rappel, you’ll hear the call to “LET GO!” – a few moments later you’ll experience your first guided, adrenaline-pumping canyon free fall! Heart racing and eyes sparkling, you’ll continue your journey through the canyon as you build up to the largest Lost Canyon challenge: an exciting 200ft waterfall rappel.
Vegan Warrior Buffet time! When you’ve dried off, settle in for one of your best meals in Costa Rica yet full of delicious, home-cooked plant-based food.
You’ll say adios to the amazing eco-farm this morning and set off towards Santa Elena, a small community just a couple of kilometers north of the geographically impressive Monteverde Cloud Forest which was founded in the 1950’s by Quakers who traveled down from the United States and loved the area so much they decided to settle there.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve covers a staggering 10,500 hectares (26,000 acres) there are thousands of species of plant life, hundreds of different types of birds, monkeys and some of the most curious looking insects you’ve ever seen in your life!
You’ll quickly settle into the cozy, family-run hotel overlooking the town and later in the evening get to try some Caribbean Costa Rican food and meet the locals.
Pre-hike breakfast of sweet plantain, black beans, and fresh Costa Rican coffee sound good to you?
Everything in the cloud forest drips, it’s mossy and mysterious. You’ll be exploring the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve on foot and hiking the trails with a local guide who’ll spot that golden toad pottering around on the forest floor quicker than you can say “I really fancy hummus for lunch.”
You’ll come face to face with the upper level of the forest canopy as you navigate one of the many suspension bridges cleverly dotted throughout the reserve and then to top it off there’s the a garden full of hummingbirds next to a cute coffee shop which just happens to have vegan cookies (life goals right, cookies, coffee and hummingbirds).
After one last breakfast in Santa Elena, you’ll be head back to San Jose today where you’ll have the time in the afternoon to visit the city before heading out in the evening for a farewell dinner.
Relax with your new friends over breakfast before you catch your flight home, this adventure comes to an end today but we know you’ll be back soon.