Costa Rica on a Budget

From the Caribbean Coast, via the Pacuare River towards the Arenal Volcano on to the Monteverde Cloud Forest to end your trip on the Pacific Coast…

Airport Transfers
12 Nights Lodging w/Breakfast Included
All Transfers in between locations
2 Nights in San Jose
3 Nights in Puerto Viejo (No Breakfast)
2 Nights in La Fortuna
2 Nights in Monteverde
3 Nights in Manuel Antonio
Pacuare Rafting Tour with breakfast and lunch
24/7 Natural Mystic Travel Assistance
Meals other than included
Personal expenses and tips


Additional information

Customize Your TripChange Destinations, Add Destinations, Add Tours, Modify Lodging, Upgrade Rental Car

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival your driver will wait for you at the airport. He will bring you to your hotel downtown San Jose where you will spend your first night. Your hotel offers comfortable rooms and is located nearby many great restaurants and shops.

Day 2: The Caribbean Coast

Today you will head to your first destination on the Caribbean Coast: Puerto Viejo. A shared shuttle will pick you up from your hotel in San Jose and will drop you off at your lodge in Puerto Viejo. The small village of Puerto Viejo is vibrant and there is always something happening; live music, many great restaurants and a night of dancing underneath the stars with your feet in the Caribbean sand will add to the Caribbean feeling.

Day 3: Discover Puerto Viejo and surroundings by bike

One of the most fun things to do in Puerto Viejo is to rent a bike and start cycling along the coastline. You are able to rent bikes pretty much everywhere in town for just $5 a day.
Once you start cycling towards Manzanillo, you will pass by the Jaguar Rescue Center. This center is a great place to visit as you will be able to see the animals from very close. They are open 2 times a day; 09:30 and 11:30 for a tour and has an entrance fee cost of $20 per person. By visiting the Jaguar Center, your donation will go directly to caring for our rainforest guests.

Day 4: Cahuita National Park

A full day in Puerto Viejo and around. Within a 20-minute bus drive you will find Cahuita National Park. The local bus is easy to catch and only costs a couple of dollars per person. This park is easy to walk on your own and you will see lots of monkeys, sloths, snakes, raccoons, birds and many more species! The park is also located next to the beautiful beach of Cahuita so don’t forget your swimwear to take a refreshing dip in the ocean.

Day 5: Pacuare River Rafting

Today it’s time for adventure as you will head towards the volcano by rafting the Pacuare River. The tour includes professional guides, breakfast, lunch and will drop you off at your hotel in La Fortuna. As you come closer to La Fortuna you will see the perfectly shaped active Arenal Volcano from a distance. For the next two nights your hotel will be San Bosco Inn; a beautiful small B&B with a great view of the Arenal Volcano. You can relax in the swimming pool, stroll around the lodge in search for birds, monkeys and sloths or just enjoy the wonderful view of the majestic Arenal volcano.

Day 6: Arenal Volcano

Today you’ll have the whole day to discover the area. There is a lot to do here: canyoning, hanging bridges, hot springs, the waterfall of La Fortuna…
Let us know if you would like to book a fun tour in advance or we can also add this once you are here.

Day 7: Monteverde Cloudforest

Today you will be picked up for a 3-hour drive towards Monteverde. The drive is very beautiful as you will also cross the lake of Arenal by boat. At the other side of the lake a scenic route will bring you your destination. When getting close to Monteverde you will have great views of the lake, the valley and the coffee plantations. Your hotel for two nights will be Monteverde Inn.
After your arrival you can opt for a coffee and chocolate tour, or a twilight walk to see the animals that are active after sunset! We can make reservations for your preferred tours.
Santa Elena has some very nice dining options. We love to have dinner in the excellent Treehouse; a memorable dinner in the top of a tree!

Day 8: Flying like Tarzan

Today you can opt for a canopy tour: swinging through the treetops like tarzan! For the ones that are scared of flying, no worries, the cloud forest is great to see during a guided walk along the Hanging Bridges as well. You can choose! Transportation and professional guides are included.
In the afternoon you can explore the Monteverde National Park or the Santa Elena reserve. The trails are well marked and lead through the ancient cloud forest; a beautiful piece of preserved nature!

Day 9: On to the Pacific Coast

: In the morning you will be picked up to head to the Pacific Coast: Manuel Antonio. On your way here, you will drive by Rio Tarcoles. Here you will find the biggest population of crocodiles in Central America! A lot of fun to see these pre-historic animals from above. Some of them are as big as 5 meters long! Manuel Antonio is a place where you will not get bored. The beaches are breathtaking, The National Park full of wildlife like sloths and monkeys and the sunsets are spectacular! You will be staying at the beach front El Faro Beach Hotel, located close to the national park as well.

Day 10: Manuel Antonio National Park

A full day in Manuel Antonio today. We suggest to visit the National Park and make sure you get there early as this time of year it can be very warm and the animals are most active early morning. The national park opens at 7 am and guides offer their services at the park’s entrance. You don’t need a guide as the trails are very accessible and well-marked. For sure you will see a lot of wildlife! Don’t forget to bring your swim gear as the crystal clear Pacific waters will invite you for a dip!

Day 11: Trimaran Sailing & Snorkeling Trip

To finish your vacation with a big bang, you can opt for a sailing & snorkeling trip. You will board a trimaran to spot the dolphins and sometimes even whales, go snorkeling, and food and drinks are included! A great way to spend your afternoon! Surfing, deep sea fishing or diving are other options for water lovers, but if you like to keep it dry you can just relax at the beach.

Day 12: Back to San Jose

Waking up in Manuel Antonio with the sounds of the howler monkeys. After your breakfast you will have the morning at leasure as in the afternoon you will be picked up to drive back to San Jose where you will stay one more night, before your flight back home.

Day 13: Flight back home

At time for your flight, our driver will pick you up to bring you back to the airport.

EXTENSION TIP: If you would like to extend your travels, add Tortuguero or Corcovado National Park to your itinerary. Contact us for more details!

This trip is designed for those that would like to see the highlights of Costa Rica but don’t want to spend a fortune.

You will start off at the Caribbean Coast to relax at the beach and discover wildlife at Cahuita National Park and the Jaguar Rescue Center. A great place to go around on bicycle and discover all the beaches and the surrounding jungle full of wildlife!

From here you will head over to La Fortuna, the small village on the slopes of the Arenal Volcano by rafting the famous Pacuare River; a lot of fun and adrenaline guaranteed.

In La Fortuna, you will stay at the foot of the Arenal Volcano and you can add your preferred tours.

A beautiful transfer by boat will then bring you to the Monteverde cloud forest  where you are able to fly like Tarzan between the treetops and for sure walk the famous hanging bridges.

To end your trip, we choose the beautiful beach and National Park of Manuel Antonio, where you will stay for 3 more nights. If you prefer we can add a day tour to the beautiful Corcovado National Park, or you can just soak up the sun, enjoy the pristine beaches and relax after this wonderful Natural Mystic Costa Rica Trip.

Your Selected Lodging for this trip


Your home away from home, a small rustic-colonial typical San Jose hotel in a quiet part of town, yet close to all sights.

The Hotel Aranjuez offers budget and superior rooms and is famous for their wonderful breakfast buffet! A nice terrace and patio and friendly staff in this familiar like hotel.

A good place to stay for the first and/or last night in San Jose after of before your flight back home.

Click here for more information about Hotel Aranjuez


Cabinas Guarana is located in the small, peaceful village of Puerto Viejo, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, between Cahuita and Manzanillo. Due its geographical location, Puerto Viejo is not only a Caribbean paradise, but also a strategic spot for visitors. In proximity to Puerto Viejo you will find some of the most beautiful
beaches of all Costa Rica.

It is situated in one of the most quiet and central streets in Puerto Viejo, 200 m. from the beach. The hotel is safe and private and a lush, tropical garden refreshes the environment and view with all of its fantastic flowers and tones of green.

The reception is decorated by hand with stencils and mosaics for a cheerful effect and an alchemy of colors that turn luminous, here, in Guarana, on even the most rainy days.

As guest you have the possibility to cook your own food in the completely equipped communal kitchen and to eat it in the comfortable dining area.

From the tree house you will be able to admire the spectacular sunset and observe a typical Caribbean village kissed by the ocean waves and caressed by the exuberant surrounding jungle.

Click here for more information about Cabinas Guarana


Set on a landscaped property fronted by palm trees, this cool, unassuming hotel is a 4-minute walk from Parque de La Fortuna, 7 km from La Fortuna Waterfall and 18 km from Arenal National Park.

Basic, bright rooms have traditional wood furnishings, and come with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Parking and breakfast are free. Other amenities include an outdoor pool and an open-air restaurant, as well as activities such as horseback riding and adventure tours.

Click here for more information about Hotel San Bosco Inn


Monteverde Inn is located in the Valle Escondido Reserve, offering hotel guest free access to the reserve to explore the abundant nature, waterfalls and wildlife in the Monteverde primary cloud forest.  The Inn is a small familiar place where you will feel right at home!

Still close to all Santa Elena and Monteverde has to offer, it is a nice quiet secluded place. They offer guided walks after sunset; highly recommended!

Click here for more information about Monteverde Inn


El Faro is the first and only container hotel in all of Costa Rica, seamlessly blending the uniqueness of authentic shipping containers with all the modern amenities you’d expect in a luxury hotel.

This beach hotel is located at the entrance of the Manuel Antonio national park and close to the beautiful beaches. Perched atop terraced landscapes, near a 40 foot waterfall feature, El Faro Hotel offers the most amazing ocean views in all of Manuel Antonio.

Each room has a fresh, clean, modern feel while juxtaposed by the original dark hard-wood floors of its’ previous life.  Enjoy private balconies, two infinity pools, a swim up bar, two mouth-watering restaurants, a chauffeured golf cart on premises and incredible service throughout your stay.

Click here for more information about El Faro Beach Hotel

Note: All selected lodges subject to availability, let us know if you would like to see different lodging options or upgrade your stay!

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