Costa Rica is known around the world for being the happiest country in the world and all the trendiest things to do can be found here: surfing, yoga retreats, zipling or kayaking. But there is a hidden, rural, environmental and (perhaps) more authentic Costa Rica. We will take you on a unique itinerary, close to the communities and away from mass tourism.

Read more

Costa Rica is known around the world for being the happiest country in the world and all the trendiest things to do can be found here: surfing, yoga retreats, zipling or kayaking. But there is a hidden, rural, environmental and (perhaps) more authentic Costa Rica. We will take you on a unique itinerary, close to the communities and away from mass tourism.

We will start from the capital San Josè and with a tour of the city. We will get dirty in the very small and half-known province of Palmichal de Acosta where we will spend time with the local community, see how they work and take cooking lessons from the local ladies.

We will then immerse ourselves in nature by moving to the La Tigra rainforest and the children's forest. As this is a lesser known park, we may have a better chance of seeing wild animals both day and night. It will then be time to move to the ever green area of ​​Monteverde that will fascinate us with its cloudy woods.

For those who want, we offer various sea extensions to bring social tourism closer to a well-deserved moment of relaxation.

Trip offered by Chiara - Nave Tours Spoken languages: Italian, English, German, Spanish Travel expert in Costa Rica

Trip summary

  • Travel style Tailor-made travel
  • Departure San Jose
  • End San Jose
  • Countries
    • Costa Rica
  • City
    • San Jose
    • La Fortuna
    • Monteverde
  • Theme Eco-friendly vacations
  • Accommodation Standard
  • Flight Excluded
  • Guide Not Included
  • The tour has met our standards

Detailed itinerary

  • 1
    Arrival in San Josè
    Day 1 Transfer by car

    Arrive at San Jose International airport where your driver will be waiting in order to take you downtown.
    You have the rest of the day to explore the capital city full of colors and contrasting views. Try the local cuisine and blend among the locals on their everyday life
    Your first night is included at Adventure Inn Hotel, conveniently located just minutes away from San Jose main attractions and close to a wide variety of dining and entertainment options.         

    Visited places:
    • San Jose
  • 2
    San Jose, Palmichal de Acosta
    Day 2

    Our first tour takes us to mayoreo market of the capital, where we discover seasonal tropical fruits and typical products from different regions of the country.

    Then, we take a walk starting from the famous Chola al viento statue located in the Central Avenue and we get to know some historical and cultural landmarks, such as the metropolitan cathedral and the famous national theater.

    We end our visit at Chietón Morén museum-market, a space where several indigenous communities of Costa Rica come to exhibit artisanal products that express their culture.

    On weekend (since this museum-market is closed), we visit the museum de Cultura Popular, first Costa Rica's international airport, which tells us about pre-Columbian history of the country until the construction of the building in 1940. We end the tour with a walk in the gastronomic area in Escalante neighborhood.

    Then, we move to the green area of Palmichal de Acosta where in early 90s a small group of members of local rural community organized themselves in association to defend the woods and waterways of the area from wild exploitation, trying to set an economic model in harmony with nature.

    The attempt was successful, and the local community developed multiple eco-sustainable activities, as well as environmental education programs that Costa Rican schoolchildren are approaching with increasing frequency.

    Once on the spot, the local community briefly illustrates the history of the association, then we take a walk to discover the place, and we conclude with a visit to the kitchen where we learn how to prepare the typical tortilla and artisan coffee.

    The overnight will be at the Posada Nacientes Palmichal

    Visited places:
    • San Jose
  • 3
    Palmichal de Acosta
    Day 3

    We immerse ourselves in the typical Costa Rican rural life of the 70s and 80s.

    We approach local traditions, regional cuisine, typical dances of this area, as well as the economic activities practiced by the community: organic farming, breeding, artisan cheese and organic fertilizers production.


    Visited places:
    • San Jose
  • 4
    La Tigra Rainforest
    Day 4

    Breakfast and transfer to the heart of the rainforest, where guests can enjoy a unique experience in contact with nature. The rooms of the eco-resort are built at the height of tree branches with wood obtained from reforestation.

    Cooking school in the early afternoon: the local staff teach us delicious Costa Rican recipes prepared with fresh food produced on site. After sunset, we take a night walk to discover the secrets of nature that are not perceived during the day and to look for the population of frogs, including the bullfrog, the largest in Central America, and the red-eyed frog, the country symbol.

    Overnight at La Tigra Rainforest Lodge.

    Visited places:
    • San Jose
    • La Fortuna
  • 5
    Bosque Eterno de los Niños
    Day 5

    We get to know the Children's Eternal Rainfores, a big area in northern Costa Rica. It was founded by donations from (also) children in 44 countries, and is run by a nonprofit conservation organization, the Monteverde Conservation League, whose mission is "to conserve, preserve, and rehabilitate tropical ecosystems and their biodiversity." Throughout over 30 years of its history, the MCL has promoted conservation through land purchase, environmental education, reforestation and restoration of degraded land, sustainable development, ecotourism, and scientific research.

    The organization was born as a response to the intensive agricultural development that threatened the local ecosystem and the conservation of water sources in northern Costa Rica. An international campaign was developed to stop this phenomenon, and, in this context, the pupils of a Swedish school donated a small sum of money to save some hectares of land from deforestation. Starting with this first gesture, the campaign expanded and involved governments, non-governmental organizations, school groups and citizens worldwide.

    Children's Eternal Rainforest is currently the largest private reserve in Costa Rica. Although it covers a mere 0.0048% of the world’s land surface, it is home to a wildly disproportionate amount of the world’s flora and fauna (2% of the world’s orchids, 3% of the world’s ferns, 3% of the world’s butterflies, and nearly 5% of the world’s bird species, to give just a few examples).

    Being this reserve totally apart from the mass tourism, it is relatively easy (if we're a bit lucky) to see wild animals that live in this tropical forest. Our expert guide teaches

    us the secrets of nature. Walking difficulty: moderate-2,5/3 hours

    Visited places:
    • La Fortuna
  • 6
    Day 6

    We resume the journey and move in the direction of the mountainous area of Monteverde, one of the naturalistic wonders of Costa Rica, which houses the cloudy forest, a large zone between 600 and 1,800 meters above sea level, characterized from a bursting flora and a variegated and populous fauna (which includes, among others, the colorful quetzal, the toucan, the bell bird, the orange-bellied trogon, the golden frog, the red-eyed frog, the puma , the jaguar, the monkey ...).

    Accommodation in the hotel, in the middle of the local ecosystem.

    Visit to the Environmental Studies and Protection Center of the municipality of Santa Elena, where we carry out the tour of the orchids, a flower that Costa Rica has been protecting and cultivating for decades. The local expert accompanies us on the journey

    to discover the over 450 species present, including some endemic ones (such as the smallest in the world).

    Overnight at the Cloud Forest Lodge

    Visited places:
    • La Fortuna
    • Monteverde
  • 7
    Cancha Reserve
    Day 7

    The Curi-Cancha reserve - destination for many bird watching enthusiasts - allows us to get to know the heart of the Monteverde ecosystem and observe this amazing flora and fauna.

    This reserve, covered by virgin, mountainous, and pre-mountainous forest, is crossed by paths that offer guests an extraordinary natural environment.

    Transfer to San Jose in the afternoon.

    Visited places:
    • Monteverde
    • San Jose
  • 8
    Home sweet home
    Day 8 Transfer by car

    Today your driver will take you back to San Jose Intl. Airport from where you start your return home.

    Visited places:
    • San Jose
  • Prices and conditions

    Price includes
    • Private transport service (exclusive for our guests) on days 2,4; shared transport service on days 1,6,8
    • Private activities / visits on days 2,3 and shared activities / visits on days 4,5,6,7 (small groups) with English/Spanish guide service
    • Overnight stay in mentioned hotels (doble standard room)
    • All breakfasts; lunch/box lunch on days 3,5; dinner on days 2,3
    • Telephone service for the entire holiday, 24 h
    • Local hotel tax
    Price does not include
    • Intercontinental flight and exit fee
    • All personal purchase / tips
    • Anything not specified in “The tour includes”