Elemental Indigenous Tour of Costa Rica

featuring Earth Wind Water and Fire

Arrive in San Jose 

Overnight at: Hilton Garden Inn San Jose La Sabana.

Number of Nights: 1


Sunday, Feb 2019: City of San José - Pacuare River Valley (BLD)
You'll depart San José early in the morning, heading towards the Caribbean and crossing the
Braulio Carrillo National Park. The trip from San Jose to the river put in takes 3 hours including stop
time. You will arrive at Rios Tropicales Operations Center in El Cairo de Siquirres in time for
breakfast, enjoy the gardens and change into your river outfit. Once ready you will be taken to the private put-in at San Martin. Professional guides will load your gear into dry bags, prepare the equipment and give you complete safety and paddle
instruction.

The first day's Class III rapids welcome you to the Pacuare gorge as you raft deep in the heart of primary and secondary rainforest. Please take into consideration that you are subject to weather conditions so either a picnic style lunch will be served on the riverbank or once arrived at the lodge. At the river, you’ll be rafting for 2.5 – 3 hours, and you’ll be able to experience short hikes to riverside small waterfalls, swim in the river ponds and do sightseeing while you raft. Total time in the
river is 5 – 5.5 hours.


Important Note: you need to sort out the clothing, shoes and belongings you ́ll need for the next three days, and pack it separately in a small duffle- bag that travels with you in the raft. The rest of your luggage won’t be accessible during your stay at the lodge, and it will be turned back to you at the end of your trip. You'll arrive at Ríos Tropicales Lodge where you can spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the lodge premises. There’re walks you can do at the Lodge’s Reserve, as well as extra activities like the zip line, Cabecar experience or horseback riding offered by a fee. Nestled in the jungle on a 1,000-acre private reserve, the lodge offers you "Cabecar Indian" style bungalows facing the river. Private single and double rooms are spacious with clean linen, bathrooms and hot showers. Electricity is restricted and generated by a self-sufficient hydro-plant.
Happy Hour will put you in the mood for a tropical evening, followed by a candlelight wine dinner served by your guides.
Note: there ́s no Internet accessibility in any part of the lodge.

 

Overnight at: Rios Tropicales Lodge.

Number of Nights: 2

Monday, Feb 25 2018: Pacuare River Valley (BLD)
At Pacuare River with the following activity included:
Cabecar Indian Village Hike
The Talamanca Mountains are host to the Cabecar Indians, the largest indigenous group in Costa Rica, and one that retains many of its traditional customs and beliefs. In contrast to many other indigenous groups, the Cabecar do not live in villages, but prefer small family units scattered throughout this isolated region that includes the Pacuare zone. The Zutkia, or shaman, plays a multifaceted role in Cabecar culture as priest, magician, metaphysicianorhealer.

 

From the Lodge it is possible to visit an isolated family group to learn about their way of life, as well as enjoying the alluring tropical rainforest. The experience to walk to this family clan is a challenge due to the difficult conditions of the trails; nevertheless, the trail offers a wonderful opportunity to discover many secrets of the forest, interact with the ecosystem, and hike the same trails the Cabecar Indians have for centuries. After visiting with a nearby Cabecar family, we will begin our trek
back down to the lodge.
*As an indigenous people with little contact with the outside world, the Cabecar can sometimes be shy and reclusive; this will influence the amount of time and contact visitors will have with their family. We advise our guests to request permission from our guide before taking photographs of any Cabecar people. The Cabecar are very zealous of their customs and way of life and do not like to be photographed, and we strongly respect this wish.
Duration: approximately 4 to 5 hours and it is quite physically demanding. Difficulty: difficult. A good
physical condition is required Includes: Guide.
Starts: 09:00am from Rios Tropiclaes Lodge

Tuesday, Feb 27 2018: Pacuare River Valley – Puerto Viejo Beach Town (BL) (RG)

After breakfast and loading the rafts, you'll prepare to paddle down the Pacuare gorge past waterfalls, serene pools and pounding rapids. A snack stop by the riverside lets you explore waterfalls and natural waterslides. You’ll be rafting for 2.5 hours. This will be an adrenaline-packed afternoon running rapids like Upper and Lower Huacas, Cimarron, Dos Montañas and many more.


Hot lunch will be served at Ríos Tropicales Operations Center, showers, changing rooms, cold and hot drinks and snacks will be available. On the return to It takes 2.5 - 3.5 hours from the take out in the river to Puerto Viejo Beach Town
IMPORTANT: The same 17 miles on the Pacuare are rafted whether you choose a one day or multiday trip. The advantage of a multiday trip is the opportunity to be immersed in the canyon and explore other nearby activities.
Southern Caribbean Area:
This region is enclosed by the high Talamanca Mountains that reach up to 13.000 feet and separate the Caribbean from the Pacific along the Continental Divide. This area is also our territorial boundary with our neighboring country: Panama. The entire area has an important cultural component formed by indigenous native groups like the Bribris or Kekoldi, and the Cabecares. The Bribri community is closer to the lowlands and beaches, while the Cabecar settles on higher lands. It takes approximately
5 to 5.5 hours to drive from San Jose on fairly good paved road most of the way. The nature wealth is also significant in this area. The bird life in the environs is extensive, as well as the mammals population, reptiles and numerous species of insects and spiders. Besides, the proximity to the Caribbean Sea offers opportunities for the reef snorkeling, marine life observation and nature hiking along the beaches.

 

Overnight at: Hotel Villas Del Caribe. 2 Villas Junior A/C
Number of Nights: 2
Wednesday, Feb 28 2018: Puerto Viejo Beach Town (BL) (LG)
At Puerto Viejo Beach Town with the following activity included:
Talamanca Indigenous Reserve & Waterfall Full Day (Shared)
Talamanca Mountain Range is situated at the south of the country, near the border with Panama. These mountains contain some of the most diverse ecosystems, from the beach to 13.000 feet in elevation over the Continental Divide. Talamanca is also home for the Bribries, an indigenous group that has inhabited this region since pre-Colombian times. We will transfer guests from hotels and lodges, and the experience starts heading towards the communities of Volio, Watsi and Santa Fe. As
part of our journey, we will meet the local Awa or Bribri medicine man. We can share some of these people traditions and ancestral knowledge. After some walking, we reach the Shaman sacre site, a replica of the original settlements, where they show us medicinal plants, crops preparation and handcrafts. We also visit a local indigenous family or “clan”, where several families actually share one same roof, as in traditional bribri style. We will have opportunity for chatting and learning about
their way of life thanks to our English-Bribri speaking guide. Cocoa grinding and further preparation will be followed by actual chocolate sampling. A traditional Bribri meal will be served at their house for you. Besides, there is a chance to visit the Volio waterfall, which is about 100 feet high, and take a refreshing dip in the cool waters. We will be returning to finally drive back to your lodge or hotel in the area.
Duration: 6 to 6.5 hours Departure: 08:00 am.
Includes: Bribri-English Guide, local meal for lunch, drinking water and transportation Thursday, Mar 01 2018: Puerto Viejo Beach Town – Bajos del Toro Valley (BLD) (SD)

 

Today, meet your Spanish speaking driver and depart by minivan for the 4.5 – 5 hour drive to Bajos del Toro Valley.
The areas located on the Caribbean Watershed of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range consist of Cloud Forest with a broad variety of epiphytic growth. The wet-cold conditions are perfect for a great number of orchids, bromeliads, lichens and moss that proliferate in the area. The forest is surrounded by National Parks in what is known as Central Volcanic Conservation Area; therefore, the different species of birds and mammals are abundant. The elevation in this area goes from 9000 to 5000 feet (2700 mts – 1300mts), forming several habitats for individuals like the Resplendent Quetzal or the Black Guans; some hard to spot species of birds. The different lodges in this area offer Cloud Forest Exploration trails, hikes and horseback riding. The almost always cold and humid conditions observed here throughout the year, are not commonly seen and enjoyed in any other part of the country. The misty conditions that prevail in this region of Costa Rica characterize the landscape, vegetation and fauna. Despite the high number of species found in the area, the spotting might be tricky. The lodges offer Nature Guides who are real experts on location and identification of the various species of birds and plants.

 

Overnight at: El Silencio Lodge & Spa. 2 Deluxe Suite

Number of Nights: 2
Friday, Mar 02 2018: Bajos del Toro Valley (BLD) (LG)
At Bajos del Toro Valley with the following activities included:
Descent of Bajos del Toro Waterfall (Shared)
For this excursion you will board the Lodge 4x4 vehicle that will take you through the small Bajos del Toro village. After 15 minutes’ drive, you will be ready to get started on your way down to the falls. In order to approach this waterfall, you need to descend approximately 400 feet and 365 steps on a winding trail. The waters of Toro Amarillo River flow through an extinct volcanic crater which is surrounded by natural vegetation and multicolor geologic formations. The red and yellow clays
combine with green moss and the cooling mist. The steps seem to multiply on the way back to the restaurant. There are several hummingbird feeders located at the restaurant that attract several local colorful species. After the challenging climb, your vehicle will be waiting at the parking area to drive you back to the lodge.
Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Includes: Bilingual guide, transportation, entrance fee.
Note: this activity involves great physical effort and it is considered a high difficulty level hike

Riverside Hike: Gardens & Waterfalls (Shared)
El Silencio Lodge is located on volcanic slopes covered by dense cloud forest. This type of forest is a natural “water tower” which feeds numerous creeks and rivers in the area. El Silencio Lodge offers different hikes that show this evergreen vegetation. The waterfalls hike starts at the lodge and quickly penetrates the forest thanks to well-maintained trails. The stone-surface pathway will take you along characteristic cloud forest vegetation such as epiphytic growth including bromeliads, Cyclanthaceae
and wild orchids, as well as “dwarf trees” like Escalonias and Copey. There are good opportunities to spot several species of birds like Common Bush-tanagers, Redstarts and hummingbirds like the Green-crowned Brilliant or the Purple-throated Mountain Gem. As part of your hike, you will cross a one rustic hanging bridge a few feet over ground. The trail leads to the waterfalls located within the property. El Silencio did set up some tables at the last waterfalls to rest and enjoy the view.
Afterwards, you will head back to the lodge.
Duration: 2 – 2.5 hours
Includes: bilingual guide and fruits snack served at the waterfall tables
Note: Make sure to carry rain protection gear/ the lodge shop offers light ponchos for sale Saturday, Mar 03 2018: Bajos del Toro Valley – City of San Jose – Departure (B) (SD)

 

Today, meet your Spanish speaking driver and depart by minivan for the 2 – 2.5 hour drive back
to the Juan Santamaria International Airport in the city of San Jose. Please keep in mind that you must be at the airport at least three hours prior to your departure flight time.

HOTEL & ROOM DESCRIPTIONS

Hilton Garden Inn San Jose La Sabana
Discover a variety of modern amenities in a stylish guest room at the Hilton Garden Inn San Jose La Sabana hotel. This hotel provides everything you need to relax and stay productive, including complimentary WiFi, a flat-screen HDTV, and a large desk with ergonomic chair and convenient power points.
Make the most of your leisure time at this Garden Inn hotel in San Jose. Exercise with the latest Precor cardio, resistance and weights equipment in the modern fitness center, and soak up the sunshine as you refresh in the outdoor swimming pool. Start your day right with a delicious breakfast in the onsite restaurant, which also serves local and international cuisine for lunch and dinner. At the end of a long day, relax with a cold beer or a glass of wine in the cozy bar. Enjoy dinner in your guest
room with evening room service, and buy your favorite snacks and drinks in the 24-hour Pavilion Pantry®. Phone (506) 2520 6000

Standard Room with two Full Beds
The Standard Room includes a 40-inch TV, work desk, ergonomic chair, mini-fridge and complimentary WiFi. The Standard Room is approximate 28 square meters (308 sq. f) and features two Full size Beds with Suite Dreams® mattress by Serta. This room also features a mini-fridge, adjustable air-conditioning, coffee/tea maker and an iron/ironing board to make you feel at home. You can stay connected to the office with the 24-hour business center, which provides complimentary printing, fax and copy machines
• 250 Thread Count Sheets, duvet covers, feather pillows Non Allergenic
• Black-Out curtains, clock radio w/ MP3 connection

• HD Channels &TV-Premium HBO,CNN,ESPN
• Work desk with adjustable lamp
• Hairdryer, Neutrogena(R) bath amenities
• Telephone - auto wakeup Ríos Tropicales
Located on a 1500 acre private reserve at the mouth of the Pacuare Gorge, inside the Pacuare Protected Zone. The private reserve borders the indigenous Cabecar Indian Reserve and contains more than 40 miles of hiking trails and numerous waterfalls, streams, and pools. There are two ways to access the lodge, by rafting in on the Pacuare River, or hiking in along a trail. The various accommodations are set on the mountainside at varying slope heights, offering views of the river
and the rainforest surroundings.

 

This rainforest Lodge offers elegantly simple and well-appointed rooms set in small clusters overlooking the Pacuare River. Each has a private bathroom with stone-lined showers, hot water, and electrical outlets. Additional lodging options include expanded family rooms with bunkbeds, twin beds, and double beds and private baths. There is a series of bunkhouses set back up the hillside, perfect for school and youth groups, with group bathroom facilities. All lodging options have hot showers, electricity, and decks for viewing the jungle and/or river. Large tables for board or card games, reading areas with rocking chairs, and lazy colorful hammocks are intentionally placed in the open air dining and gathering areas. Prime views of the river, the rainforest, and even the overhead ziplines dominate these locations.

Deluxe Rooms
This rainforest Lodge offers airy, simple and well-appointed rooms set in small clusters overlooking the Pacuare River. With either a queen size beds or a full bed and a single, each has a private bathroom with stone-lined showers, hot water, and electrical outlets.

 

Ríos Tropicales
Located on a 1500 acre private reserve at the mouth of the Pacuare Gorge, inside the Pacuare Protected Zone. The private reserve borders the indigenous Cabecar Indian Reserve and contains more than 40 miles of hiking trails and numerous waterfalls, streams, and pools. There are two ways to access the lodge, by rafting in on the Pacuare River, or hiking in along a trail. The various accommodations are set on the mountainside at varying slope heights, offering views of the river

and the rainforest surroundings.


This rainforest Lodge offers elegantly simple and well-appointed rooms set in small clusters overlooking the Pacuare River. Each has a private bathroom with stone-lined showers, hot water, and electrical outlets. Additional lodging options include expanded family rooms with bunkbeds, twin beds, and double beds and private baths. There is a series of bunkhouses set back up the hillside, perfect for school and youth groups, with group bathroom facilities. All lodging options have hot showers, electricity, and decks for viewing the jungle and/or river. Large tables for board or card games, reading areas with rocking chairs, and lazy colorful hammocks are intentionally placed in the open air dining and gathering areas. Prime views of the river, the rainforest, and even the overhead ziplines dominate these locations.

Hotel Villas Del Caribe


Located near Cocles Beach, south of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Villas del Caribe offers 26 units that are bright, fresh and clean and have been designed in modern Caribbean style. You may have a drink in the lobby terrace or at the TV Bar with free
Wi-Fi. You may also enjoy the swimming pool and en the elevated thatched Jacuzzi. The Caribbean and international Sea Side restaurant, an authentic and traditional Caribbean style beach house, offers fresh made meals to guests. Located a few meters away from the beach allowing guests to enjoy the ocean view as well as the sounds of the surf. Hot climate. Hotel telephone: 011 (506) 2750-0202

Junior Villas
With kitchenettes, kings size bed and a single sofa/bed, A/C, Cable TV, Mini-bar, private bathroom, plus ample terrace with loungers and ocean view.

 

El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Located in Bajos Del Toro, it offers 15 deluxe suites with river or cloud forest views. Each suite features a private viewing deck and whirlpool, gas fireplace, complimentary mini-bar, and amenities, including premium personal care products. The hotel restaurant offers a varied menu emphasizing in local flavors and fresh and organic ingredients. Personal eco-concierge,
complimentary daily wellness snacks and one Mystic-Hiking guided tour is included during your stay. There is no pool, this is a quiet, relaxation-based place. The hotel also offers a river-trimmed 3000 sq ft Spa with 5 pampering ambiances. Cool Climate. Hotel telephone: 011 (506) 2761-0301

 

Deluxe Suite
El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s suites offer mountain or river views. All suites feature premium amenities, including a private viewing deck with handcrafted rocking chairs, gas fireplace, a heated outdoor jet pool and electric heaters. The suites also offer eco-friendly personal care products. The king-sized bed is outfitted with a cloud-top mattress. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors guarantee vistas of the cloud forest. Twin day beds with end tables set a perfect lounging and reading area, doubling as
sleeping arrangements for two more guests’ occupancy.
• King bed plus 2 twin day beds
• Double sink master bathroom
• Local, organic personal care products

Vacation Price
Price per person: $2599.00 (which includes airfare)

 

All rates are in US$. Taxes are included.
INCLUDED:
• Accommodations: As featured in the itinerary.
• Meals: As indicated in the itinerary. (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• Transfers: Transfers are included as indicated. Unless tours are specifically indicated as private all transportation to tours are shared with other passengers and with a Spanish speaking driver.

 

All tours will be with a bilingual guide.
• Porterage: When the tour includes international airport transfers, the handling of two bags per person is included.
• Taxes & Entrance Fees: Hotel taxes, meal taxes (when meals are included), entrance fees to National Parks, museums and places of interest are included unless otherwise specified.
• Sightseeing: As specified in the itinerary.
• Air fare is included in this price.


NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR PRICES:
Costs of obtaining passports, visas or tourist cards; excess baggage fees; personal expenses such as room service, beverages and laundry; personal communications charges; international airfare; sightseeing or meals not specified in the itinerary; personal insurance coverage (strongly recommended), gratuities.


IMPORTANT NOTE: WHEN FLYING OR TRAVELING BY BOAT WITHIN COSTA RICA: A

MAXIMUM OF 30 POUNDS OF LUGGAGE IS ALLOWED PER PERSON. (on Domestic airline Sansa an additional 10 lb carry-on luggage is permitted). The weight limit for flights or boat trips within Costa Rica does not mean that you need to limit yourself to 30 lbs of baggage for your entire trip to Costa Rica. While it always makes sense to travel light, you can bring more
than 30 lbs of luggage. We will store your excess luggage while you are on portions of the trip that involve flights or boat trips, and catch it up to you as soon as feasible after you have finished those sections. Arrangements can be made to permit more luggage per person at considerable extra cost.

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