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Tortuguero/Pacuare Combo

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Combine two of the Caribbean's best activities in this three day/two night trip. A 2 day/1 night visit to Tortuguero National Park and an overnight in the Lodge in the park (add an additional night there if you like), an overnight off the beaten path near Siquirres at Finca Moulinsart and a whitewater rafting trip on the world famous Pacuare River.

Tortuguero


Photo by Hans Hillewaert

Tortuguero National Park is located in the Limón Province of northeastern Costa Rica. It is the third-most visited park in Costa Rica, despite the fact that it can only be reached by airplane or boat. The park has incredible biological variety, due to the existence within the reserve of eleven different habitats, including rainforest, swamps, beaches, and lagoons. It is located in a tropical climate, is very humid, and receives up to 250 inches of rain a year.

Its beaches are key nesting ground for endangered sea turtles, such as Hawksbill, Loggerheads, Green and Leatherbacks. The rivers within the park are home to sensitive populations of manatees, as well as caimans, crocodiles, and Tropical Gar, which is considered a living fossil. The forests are home to jaguars, three species of monkeys (spider, howler, and white-faced Capuchin), and three-toed sloths. Basilisk lizards and poisonous frogs also inhabit the area, along with 375 species of birds including kingfishers, toucans, blue herons, peacocks, and parrots. There are more than 400 species of trees and approximately 2,200 species of plants.

This is the very best place in Costa Rica to spot wildlife. Monkeys, Sloths, Crocodiles, Toucans, and many colorful frogs and insects are all common sights. During the June to September turtle nesting season, this is definitely one of Costa Rica's Highlights. 

We have daily departures from San José, the Caribbean Coast and the Arenal Volcano, giving you the choice to start and end this tour at the place of your convenience. 

Whitewater Rafting on the Pacuare River

This trip gives you the ultimate blend of wilderness exposure and invigorating excitement. The Pacuare River is world famous for its pristine beauty. A true river gorge, it is flanked by steep, green walls. Waterfalls cascade into the river from both sides as colorful, tropical birds fly right over your head. Amazing views of this virgin Tropical Rainforest appear before your eyes as you descend this true exploratory land.

The white water is equally exciting; the amount of rapids covered on this outstanding descent makes it one of the most memorable river trips you will ever experience. This is Costa Rica's premier river trip.

Upon arrival to the river we will gear you up with a life jacket, helmet and paddle and then brief you with a full safety orientation. Finally, it is time to take off down the rapids!

The first 4 miles consist of fun class II-III rapids which is a perfect time to test your new river skills and gain confidence in your team. Here you can find pockets of secondary growth forest that is extremely beautiful. After about 40 minutes we will enter the famous Pacuare River Gorge, which is made up of five miles of some of the best white water Costa Rica has to offer. The rapids here are Terciopelo Snake, Double Drop, Upper and Lower Huacas, and Pinball to name a few. You will also see the Huacas watefall, a 150-ft dramatic drop into the river.

At the end of your tour (on the evening of the 3rd or 4th day depending your choice) you are dropped off at your hotel in your choice of San José, the Caribbean Coast or the Arenal Volcano area.  (So this is a great trip to do on your way to or from the Caribbean Coast or Arenal as it includes your transport!)

Accommodations

Accommodation while in Tortuguero is at La Baula Lodge.

La Baula Lodge is hotel that features 40 cosy rustic rooms which are located in different sized room blocks, each room has a private bathroom, hot water, ceiling fan, and views to the gardens, all meals included. The lodge is located in front of the Tortuguero Lagoon and at only five minutes on boat from the Tortuguero National Park. The lodge features an authentic Caribbean style, painted with bright colors that identify the culture of the area, lush and exotic gardens, restaurant, swimming pool and a large bar, Internet, WIFI, laundry service and experienced guides. On site there is a restaurant, laundry service, rental boats, canoes and 24-hour Internet Café.

There are many animals that visits La Baula Lodge, like the howler or the white-faced monkey with it's natural wake up call to your morning! The red frog lives in our lush gardens and the blue morpho butterfly flutters around the many green areas found on the property.

Accommodations in Santa Marta de Siquirres are at Finca Moulinsart. This is a small bed and breakfast farm well "off the beaten path", a place few tourists will see, with only three rooms.

Your hosts are a retired Belgium couple who sailed around the world for 10 years, and chose this magical mountain spot to settle down. The Finca has beautiful views of rainforest covered mountains, including the active Turrialba volcano. It is surrounded by lush gardens and is located a short drive (20 minutes) from the rafting exploration center and the river starting point (10 minutes)

Itinerary:

This is for the 3d/2n option, for the 4d/3n option an additional night is added in Tortuguero. This is the typical order but rafting and Tortuguero may be swapped to create an equivalent itinerary depending on space and river conditions.

Day 1Early a.m. pickup at your hotel in San Jose, Arenal or Puerto Viejo. Breakfast enroute. Transport to Tortuguero, Check in at your lodge. Tortuguero activities.
Day 2Tortuguero activities. Afternoon transport to Finca Moulinsart.
Day 3Morning pickup at Finca Moulinsart. All day rafting trip. Luggage stored securely while you are on the river. Transport to your hotel in San Jose, Arenal or Puerto Viejo.

Package information:

Luggage restriction: Please note only one 15kg (33 lb) bag per person will be allowed on the boat for the final transport to Tortuguero. Any additional luggage will be securely stored at the transfer point so you can retrieve it when you are leaving Tortuguero. Please pack accordingly.
Duration: 3 days/2 nights or add an additional night in Tortuguero to make it 4 days/3 nights.
Cost per person: 3 day/2 night package: $354.00
4 day/3 night package: $454.00
Includes: • Transportation from Puerto Viejo, San Jose or Arenal with drop-off in your choice again of San Jose, Puerto Viejo or Arenal.
• One night of lodging in Tortuguero at La Baula Lodge (or two nights if you choose that option)
• One night of lodging near Siquirres at Finca Moulisart
• Full day rafting trip on the Pacuare River
• All meals (3 breakfast, 3 lunch, 2 dinners on 3 day option)
• Activities in Tortuguero: 2 canal tours, 1 tour of Tortuguero town, 1 guided hike
• Taxes
Not included: • National park entrance fees ($17)
• Optional night turtle tour (June-September $35)
• Alcoholic beverages
• Additional charge for pickup or drop-off at Arenal hotels which are further from La Fortuna than Tabacon Resort such as Arenal Observatory or Arenal Lodge may apply
What to bring: Long pants, all your valuables like passport, plane tickets, credit cards, light clothes (2 shirts, 2 pair of shorts, 2 pair of socks), swim suit, sunscreen, hut, camera, comfortable walking shoes, insect repellent, binoculars, raincoat. For the optional/seasonal night turtle tour in Tortuguero please wear dark clothes. (for rafting just must wear footwear in the boat but they will get wet)

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