5 Day Hiking Cultural and Wildlife Tour Costa Rica

5 Days in Costa Rica, Hiking, Cultural & Wildlife

This carefully designed package tour lets you enjoy the best of the hiking and culture tours in the areas of Monteverde and Arenal Volcano. Besides lots of hiking you will visit wildlife areas and enjoy tours with cultural themes of Costa Rica.

5 Day Wildlife and Cultural Tour Costa Rica - Includes transport, hotels, guided tours, breakfast and some lunches.

Day 1

Early Morning.  Pick-up from your hotel in San Jose (or if staying near the airport we can pick up at Denny's Restaurant, opposite Holiday Inn Express) by shared shuttle.  We can also arrange private transfer from all hotels (and also from Liberia) for an extra price.

 Enjoy the scenery as you make your ascent to the beautiful green mountains of Monteverde (3 - 4 hours). There will be a stop along the way for a bathroom stop and a snack. The views of the distant Monteverde Cloud Forest are amazing as well as the Gulf of Nicoya. Now with the road improvements to Monteverde the journey is less of a challenge and more of a wonderful photo opportunity!

Afternoon..El Trapiche Tour Monteverde’s El Trapiche tour (which is the Spanish word for ‘sugar mill’) first started in 1948, closed for a while and then re-opened in 1989: From 2005 it was open for tourism. The Monteverde Trapiche tour is run by a local family who tries to teach a little more about Costa Rica culture and even though the name of the tour means sugar mill process the tour also demonstrates how coffee is produced and you will learn about other crops grown on the farm. Perhaps the tour would be better named as general agriculture tour with emphasis on sugar production!

To make it more interesting the family have made the tour partly ‘hands-on’. The bilingual guide will walk with you through their small forest, help you feed the tilapia fish, pick coffee if possible and take you an ox cart ride back to the main building – a unique Costa Rican experience! Here you can enjoy a refreshment of sugar cane juice or lemonade, eat picadillo de arracache (a typical Costa Rican food) and make candy out of sugar cane (everyone makes their own candy!).

The Monteverde Trapiche tour takes place on a farm located two kilometers outside of Santa Elena, Monteverde. The two hour tour involve walk along an easy trail and at the end of the tour there is a gift shop.

In Monteverde we use MONTEVERDE VILLA LODGE including breakfast

Day 2

EARLY am Guided Hike in the Cloud Forests of Monteverde (we use a private cloud forest reserve called the Curi Cancha Reserve which is far less crowded and you often see more birds, especially the famous Quetzal, in season). You'll be picked up at your hotel and taken to the private reserve entrance where your bilingual guide will be waiting. The guides have a wealth of knowledge about the cloud forests in Monteverde, including fauna and flora, the history, and the growth of Monteverde. There will also be a chance to visit the new maze at Curi Cancha. The hike will be about three hours around this wonderful forest.

There is an option to change this to main Monteverde Reserve for an extra cost.

Early Afternoon, Selvatura Walkways (Hanging Bridges) and Guided Butterfly Garden Tour

The walkways are a series of suspended bridges, high in the canopy of the rain forest. The tour is not just bridges but a series of trails that wind between the bridges. In total, these trails cover 3.3km. There are eight different bridges which have lengths and heights that vary between 50 to 170m long and 12 and 60m high.. Every bridge is 1.5m wide and has a capacity for 60 people. The hanging bridges are designed for people of every age and reasonable physical condition. The duration of the tour is usually about 1.5 and 2 hours.

Selvatura Butterfly Garden: one of the world's largest live butterfly exhibitions featuring an 8100 square feet dome where more than 50 different species of butterflies from all over Costa Rica can be spotted . The tour of just under an hour includes a bilingual guide.

In Monteverde we use MONTEVERDE VILLA LODGE including breakfast (NOTE WE CAN UPGRADE HOTELS)


Day 3

Today you will go to La Fortuna, the nearest village to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Arenal Volcano. You will travel by what is locally known as "taxi-boat-taxi". This is a method of getting from Monteverde to La Fortuna and takes about 3 hours and involves the following:

- 1.5-hour microbus ride from Monteverde to Arenal Lake- 30-minute boat ride on beautiful Arenal Lake on the foot of the volcano. - 25 minutes microbus transport from Arenal Dam where transport to your hotel in La Fortuna.

In Arenal, we use Hotel Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge (NOTE ALL HOTELS CAN BE UPGRADED)


Late Afternoon. Paradise Hot Springs for a relaxing soak and dinner

A visit to Costa Rica is not complete without experiencing one of Arenal's famous hot springs with views of Arenal Volcano! Paradise Hot Springs is surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens containing exotic flowers and plants, with a view of the famous Volcano. There are 7 thermal pools 9(35ºC/95ºF to 41ºC/104ºF) which are heated by Arenal Volcano, including a swim-up bar plus a cold pool

To provide a peaceful atmosphere, numbers of visitors are restricted. There are changing rooms, toilets, showers, body treatment services (extra cost), reclinable beds, and relaxing music. Towels and locker keys are provided with a returnable deposit.

Includes: transportation, entrance to Paradise Hot Springs, and dinner

*A guided volcano hike can be added for an additional cost


Night in Arenal (Arenal Oasis Ecolodge)

Day 4

Cano Negro Natural Wildlife Refuge, often nicknamed the everglades of Costa Rica, is one of the best spots for seeing certain wildlife in the entire country. Situated on a stretch of wetlands along the Nicaraguan border, the 9,969-hectare (24620 acre, or 38 square miles) Cano Negro reserve follows the Rio Frio and eventually emptying out into a grassy marshland. The refuge and the area leading to the reserve boasts one of the highest diversities of wildlife in the Americas and is of special interest to birders. Cano Negro Tour takes place on the Rio Frio on the Outskirts of the Refuge which is the best part for wildlife viewing.

The Cano Negro is a full-day tour and includes lunch. Transport will pick you up at your hotel to drive to the area of Los Chiles at the entrance of the reserve. There is a lot to see on the journey to Los Chiles as you will pass through one of the most productive agricultural areas of Costa Rica with immense plantations of Pineapple, Papaya, Beans, Rica and Sugar Cane.

Upon arrival in Los Chiles, the group departs the bus for a motorized covered boat to travel up and down the Rio Frio. This part of the river is full of fish; including large fish called snook, silver-gold tarpon and garfish. The fish in the river attract a huge number of birds including anhinga, roseate spoonbills, storks, ducks, kingfishers, herons and cormorants. You can also see many species of mammals along the banks including white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, two and three toed sloths, pumas, jaguars and bats. There are even reptiles to see; caimans, lizards and turtles are all around.

Night in Arenal (Arenal Oasis Ecolodge)

Day 5

Morning or early afternoon.  Onward shared shuttle to San Jose or to one of the beaches if available. 

We can also upgrade your shuttle transport to private for an extra cost and you can choose which time your leave.

Tour Details

PRICES FROM $659 per person (Minimum 2 people in double occupancy). Please inquire about prices for your specific dates and any modifications you would like.


Dates of trip: We can schedule dates by request.


In Monteverde we use MONTEVERDE VILLA LODGE whenever possible. Small, charming bed and breakfast It is ideally located in residential area a few minutes walk from Santa Elena village in Monteverde, where hotels, stores and banks are located.

In Arenal we use Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge. Located a 10 minute ride from the town La Fortuna, Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge is a small lodge set in a forest with its own trails.  Rooms are very comfortable with fans, private bathrooms and cable television. 

Included on Trip: All accommodation,all transport, all tours in the itinerary, all breakfasts, some lunches and guides

Not Included: Flights to Costa Rica, hotels in San Jose*, evening meals and lunches, optional tours or transportation to other places not included in the schedule

What to Bring: T-shirts, shorts, sweater or light jacket, sandals, light hiking boots, rain jacket, sun screen, insect repellant, any personal medication, swimming wear, towel,  full passport and credit cards (VISA or MC, sometimes other cards are harder to use).

Beach Extensions! Ask for details about adding some days at the beach - we can arrange all transport, hotels and tours. Manuel Antonio beach and Samara beach are popular choices. 

We can also arrange hotels and transport in San Jose and other parts of Costa Rica. Please let us know if you need our help.

NOTE: Adventure tours such as whitewater rafting, horse riding, kayaking, canyoneering and hiking require physical effort. Clients should be in good condition. For client safety and enjoyment, Desafio Adventure Company reserves the right to offer a substitution, postpone, change or cancel any tour due to unfavorable conditions. Full refund is given if (on rare occasion) a tour is cancelled. Desafio Adventure Company and its affiliates are not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

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