Costa Rica Surf & Multisport (Premium)

With four percent of the earth’s wildlife species, vast tropical rain forests, and live volcanoes, it’s no wonder this Central American haven has become a crowd favourite.  In between adventures, you’ll find no shortage of boutique lodging, tasty meals and indulgent spa experiences to shelter and nourish body and soul.  Whether you come for the thrills or just to chill, this ROAM adventure delivers.

Rainforest hikes and brisk high-altitude trails, rushing white-water rapids and world-class surfing: Costa Rica offers a dizzying suite of outdoor adventures in every shape and size – from the squeal-inducing rush of a canopy zip line to a sun-dazed afternoon at the beach. National parks allow visitors to glimpse life in the tropical rainforest and cloud forest, simmering volcanoes offer otherworldly vistas, and reliable surf breaks are suited to beginners and experts alike.  Given the country’s diminutive size, our trips include it all!

This Surf & Multisport program offers the BEST of the BEST experiences in Costa Rica.  Our other Costa Rica Multisport may be better-suited for families or those on a budget, but this first-class adventure utilizes the two most unique and funky properties in the country.  The options for adventure and relaxation are endless and your flexible itinerary has room to adjust to your personal ebb and flow.

San Jose is our gateway into this amazingly diverse country.  The following morning you will be transported through the old capital city of Cartago and the lush green farmlands blanketing the slopes of the Irazú and Turrialba volcanoes.  From here we’ll raft through scenic canyons where crystal clear waterfalls plummet down into the rapidly coursing river below.  Tall trees and dense green vegetation come right down to the water’s edge and the thick undergrowth of this protected area provides shelter for a variety tropical animals and birds. As you round the bend, you’ll spy the indigenous-style facilities of the Pacuare Lodge where we’ll disembark and spend the next three nights.

The other half of this exhilarating adventure takes us to the Nicoya Peninsula to sample the sapphire waters that peel left and right, curling into perfect barrels up and down the coast.  Surf, SUP, hiking, yoga and riding are daily options but you may just want to hunker down on a pristine patch of sand and soak up some sun,  spy on nesting sea turtles or take a midnight dip in the luxuriant Pacific.

 

Trip Length 11 days
Dates

April 10-21, 2017

Price $5995 US pp
Deposit $1000
Meeting Place San Jose, Costa Rica
Gateway City San Jose
River Rating III-IV
Age Range 6-80
Itinerary at a Glance
  • Raft the world-famous Pacuare River
  • go on a canopy tour, hike and trek in natural rainforest
  • indulge in amazing spa treatments
  • spend  3 nights in a deluxe jungle lodge
  • spend 5 nights on the Pacific Coast
  • surf and/or SUP
  • explore the Nicoya Peninsula by foot, horse and ATV
  • yoga and pilates instruction
  • hike, beachcomb and snorkel
  • explore and swim below gorgeous waterfalls
  • salt water fishing and snorkel excursions
  • delicious meals – farm to table, hook to plate

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day One

Arrive into San Jose.  Overnight

Day Two

The first part of this trip combines the thrills of whitewater rafting on the scenic Pacuare River and other outdoor adventures with the comfort, service and natural beauty of one of the world’s top eco lodges.  You’ll be picked up early in San José for the 2½-hour drive to our Pacuare River put-in, a trip that takes you past the country’s original capital of Cartago and verdant farmland, with a stop for a traditional Costa Rican breakfast.  After basic safety training on the riverbank, you’ll embark on a 90-minute whitewater rafting adventure down a stretch of one of the most scenic rivers in the world, past lush foliage and through exciting class II & III rapids. After lunch, settle into your exquisite suite which are designed to let guests experience the surrounding tropical rainforest without sacrificing comfort.  This afternoon, you can go on a guided walk through the forest to a waterfall and swimming hole, or simply relax and enjoy the breathtaking views from your private terrace or spring-fed pool. After a delicious candlelight dinner and, perhaps, a drink at the lodge’s bar, you’ll be lulled to sleep by the soothing sound of the river.

Day Three

The wake-up call is a symphony of bird songs, which means its time to get ready for a short hike to an ancient indigenous culture. Since time immemorial, the Cabécar Indians – Costa Rica’s largest tribe – have lived in harmony with the rainforest in the mountains near the Pacuare River. These indigenous people live in small family groups scattered across the jungle, which has helped them to maintain their customs and language.  The son of a local shaman will give you an introduction to his people’s culture and customs while you enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast.  You’ll have the rest of the morning free to enjoy your suite and the lodge’s luxuriant grounds. During the afternoon, you can choose from two outdoor adventures: the Canopy Adventure Tour, which takes you sliding along cables between treetop platforms for a dramatic, bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy, or the Tropical Canyoning Tour, which includes an exhilarating rappel down a 30-meter (90-foot) rock wall in the lodge’s private rainforest reserve. You’ll be back in your suite with plenty of time to enjoy the colours and sounds of sunset, and get ready for another amazing dinner.

Day Four
This day is dedicated to rejuvenation, with a spa treatment followed by a 60-minute hot stone massage. As the spa professionals work their magic, the soothing sound of the nearby river will help you let go of any tension in your body.  You can savour the resulting serenity with a leisurely day in your suite, or take one of the varied optional tours available, such as a rainforest hike or a visit to a nearby farming community.  In the evening, you’ll dine like never before on a platform high in the branches of a massive Ceiba: a tree that was sacred to the ancient Mayans. The culinary adventure begins as you glide down a 130-meter cable to the platform, perched 60 feet (20 meters) above the ground, where your table awaits. You’ll enjoy a delicious meal in an unforgettable setting: candles shimmering like fireflies amidst the branches, the delicate rustle of a breeze in the surrounding foliage, the sound of the river below and the aroma of jungle blossoms.

Day Five
After another hearty breakfast, you’ll depart by raft for a fun-filled day of whitewater rafting (approximately 3½ hours over class III-IV rapids) down the Pacuare River’s most impressive section. Downriver from the lodge, the Pacuare winds its way through lush canyons and pristine rainforest, past crystalline waterfalls, emerald streams and an array of birdlife, providing plenty to admire on the quiet stretches between rapids. A tasty picnic lunch will be served on the riverbank along the way, and you’ll be able to change into dry clothes at a private facility at the river take-out, before you’re driven back to San José.  Overnight San Jose

Days Six to Ten

Waking up on the shores of Pacific will set the stage for the balance of your stay.  This pristine and decadent location allows us to pick and choose a plethora of wonderful activities each day….right at your doorstep.  Here’s a menu to whet your whistle…

Surfing: Whether it’s your first time paddling out or you’re looking to hang ten, surfing here is  not to be missed.  After all, the amazing surf breaks are what put this incredible spot on the map to begin with.  Let us help you ride the waves of the mighty Pacific. Just minutes from your door are beautiful beach breaks, Playa Hermosa and Playa Santa Teresa. Accompanied by a local surf instructor, you will learn the basics of surfing and hopefully catch a long ride. We offer beginner and intermediate boards that are free of charge for all ROAM guests.

SUP: Come learn and enjoy the fastest growing water sport in the world. Stand Up Paddle Boarding, or “SUP” is fun, relaxing, and offers an all body workout. It’s not difficult to learn, and any one of any skill level can give it a try. In a beautiful setting, you will learn all the fundamentals and techniques involved in paddle boarding. The tour begins at the soccer field in Mal Pais where you will get a twenty-minute explanation and basic instruction of the sport. Then, you will launch off the beach, and paddle south towards the famous Cabo Blanco Reserve. The view of Cabo Blanco and the tip of the peninsula are beautiful. On the return, you will paddle towards Mar Azul point. The total paddle time is approximately an hour to an hour and a half.

Horseback Riding:  Where the road ends, just ten minutes from Florblanca, this exceptional horse tour begins in the local fishing village of Manzanillo. Enjoy horseback riding with our local guides where you are an invited guest at a private nine thousand acre working cattle ranch that borders the ocean. You may see birds, monkeys, and other wildlife as you ride along the high pastures overlooking stunning tropical landscapes and dramatic ocean vistas. A sunset ride along the beach is a must.

Yoga: has been central to the culture and the daily routine of Florblanca since they opened, evidenced by their seaside open-air yoga dojo, a center-piece of the property.  Santa Teresa, exemplifies an active lifestyle, and our exceptional yoga classes will open the door to new experiences by stretching your mind, body and soul.

The instructors are internationally trained and invite you to join them for a morning oceanfront practice.  Our trip offers a variety of yoga classes for all skill levels with a mixture of Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow. We also are happy to arrange private sessions for groups, couples or individuals. We provide yoga mats, straps, and blocks for everyone.

Fishing: Fishing trips originate in the nearby town of Malpais. Your captain will be an experienced local fisherman and your catch could include tuna, mahi mahi, snapper, grouper, roosterfish, or other game fish. Off shore, your captain will point out Isla Cabo Blanco, which is the nesting point of frigate birds. Bring your fish back to the resort and our Chef will prepare it for your dinner.

ATV’s and Waterfall Hikes:

Mal Pais And Montezuma Waterfall Excursion With ATV

For the adventurous, a flight above the jungle canopy is a short ride away. The canopy tour is set on a sixty-acre farm that is completely untouched. You will fly above the border of Cabo Blanco with spectacular views of the Pacific. Next, ride on our all terrain vehicles with one of our guides across beautiful farmland and along the coast to Montezuma, a tranquil beach town located on the southeast corner of the peninsula. In Montezuma, you will visit a large waterfall, and if you do not have a fear of heights, you may jump off the side of the rock into the pool at the bottom of the waterfall. After hiking back down, you can lunch at a local beachfront restaurant and then stroll around town. The hike to the waterfall is intermediate. We recommend wearing shoes other than flip-flops that can get wet.

Cabo Blanco Hike With ATV

Jump on our ATV’s and ride the dirt road to the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula where you arrive to your destination, Cabo Blanco National Preserve. Cabo Blanco was the first protected area in Costa Rica. Cabo Blanco has a number of different trails for all levels of hikers. Set in a moist tropical forest, this park is full of more than one hundred and fifty types of trees. The jungle trails are teeming with lush plants and flowers, and trails such as Sendero Seuco lead to the secret beach of your daydreams. After your hike, you will visit the villages of Cabuya and Montezuma. On your journey, you will see a Giant Ficus Tree (great photo opportunity), and hopefully see a variety of birds too. This tour is a great way to experience our natural and cultural surroundings.

Hiking and snorkeling:

Tortuga Island And Curu Exploration

This local excursion is the ultimate if you are looking for a full day tour to explore the Nicoya Peninsula and all its wonder. We pick you up right in front of the hotel and take you to Curu Wildlife Refuge. Once you arrive, you will be greeted by our guide and begin a mellow hike through the refuge. On this walk, you will see all kind of birds, monkeys, and other mammals. Next, the guide will take you by boat to the spectacular Tortuga Island for snorkelling, swimming, and relaxing on the white sand beach. A traditional Costa Rican lunch is served at the island.

Day Eleven

After a lovely breakfast and a swim, we’ll depart for San Jose – relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to fly home.

Accommodations

The Pacuare Lodge is nestled in a rainforest overlooking the Pacuare River, which National Geographic has listed as one of the worlds top ten scenic rivers.  The lodge’s simple yet elegant decor combines tasteful details such as hardwood floors and teak furniture with ample open areas for admiring the scenery.

The luxuriant rainforest that surrounds the lodge is a private reserve that forms part of the largest network of protected areas in Central America, covering more than 1.2 million acres of tropical wilderness.

On the other half of the trip, we will be nestled in a luxury Costa Rica resort on the shores of the Pacific coast.  Florblanca is an award-winning destination for every adventurous traveler and has 10 luxurious villas and a surf house making it very exclusive. Located on the pristine beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, the lodge sprawls through unspoiled tropical jungle and overlooks the world famous surf of Playa Santa Teresa.

The lodge also allows you an opportunity to connect more deeply with the world around you with professionally guided sessions of yoga or pilates.  And when you are ready to thoroughly indulge, try any of their relaxing and rejuvenating body treatments at their stunning spa.

Meals are a huge part of any ROAM Adventure, so rest assured that you will always enjoy fresh, healthy, and locally grown food prepared by outstanding chefs.

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About the Region

The Pure Life

And then there are the people. Costa Ricans, or Ticos as they prefer to call themselves, are proud of their little slice of paradise, welcoming guests to sink into the easygoing rhythms of the pura vida (pure life). The greeting, farewell, catchy motto and enduring mantra gets to the heart of Costa Rica’s appeal – its simple yet profound ability to let people relax and enjoy their time. With the highest quality of life in Central America, all the perfect waves, perfect sunsets and perfect beaches seem like the pura vida indeed.

The Peaceful Soul of Central America

As the eco- and adventure-tourism capital of Central America, Costa Rica has a worthy place in the cubicle daydreams of travellers around the world. With world-class infrastructure, visionary sustainability initiatives and no standing army since 1948 (when the country redirected its defense funds toward education, healthcare and the environment), Costa Rica is a peaceful green jewel of the region. Taking into account that more than a fourth of the land enjoys some form of environmental protection and there’s greater biodiversity here than in the USA and Europe combined, it’s a place that earns the superlatives.

The Wild Life

Such wildlife abounds in Costa Rica as to seem almost cartoonish: keel-billed toucans ogle you from treetops and scarlet macaws raucously announce their flight paths. A keen eye will discern a sloth on a branch or the eyes and snout of a caiman breaking the surface of a mangrove swamp, while alert ears will catch rustling leaves signaling a troop of white-faced capuchins or the haunting call of a howler monkey. Blue morpho butterflies flit amid orchid-festooned trees, while colourful tropical fish, sharks, rays, dolphins and whales thrive offshore – all as if in a conservationist’s dream.

When we heard the news about Costa Rica outranking other nations in the Happy Planet Index, we were not surprised. The Nicoya Peninsula, on the west coast of Costa Rica, is one of a handful of known Blue Zones around the world, places where people live measurably longer lives.  In Santa Teresa, day-to-day existence is marked by our connection to nature and to community.  Work is purposeful, food is local and healthy, and the pace is unhurried.


The Happy Planet Index measures characteristics like these and more, including ecological footprint and inequality.  It is a measure of “that which makes life worthwhile.”

“… the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy, 1968

Happiness, well-being, love, and health are among the most important goals of people all around the globe. These are the goals that drive this index.  Sustainability and the health of our planet are key factors, as well. The Happy Planet Index promotes a vision of a bright future full of happy people.

For the purposes of this study, Costa Rica scores highly on the both the personal wellbeing and the environmental scales. Here are some of the reasons the Happy Planet Index attributes to these high scores:

  • Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949, and has since reallocated army funds to be spent on education, health and pensions
  • We have a culture that emphasizes social networks of friends, families and neighbourhoods
  • We are a world leader in environmental protection, using taxes collected on the sale of fossil fuels to pay for forest protection
  • Costa Rica was able to produce 99% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2015

The Happy Planet Index recommends 5 positive actions we can do everyday to live happier, longer, and more fulfilled lives.

  1. Connect – your social relationships are the most important cornerstones of your life
  2. Be Active – being active works wonders for creating a positive mood
  3. Take Notice – be aware of what’s going on around you and around the world
  4. Keep Learning – stay curious, continue to learn new and simple things throughout your life
  5. Give – our generosity and compassion are hard wired to the reward mechanism in our brain. Giving makes you happy.

Thank you to the Happy Planet Index for bringing awareness to how our overall wellbeing can have a positive impact on the future of our planet, and for encouraging all of us to find happiness everyday.  Change starts now.

My first visit to Costa Rica was in the late eighties.  Nearly everyone I met was an American on a budget, there to catch the waves, study the turtles, and scope out the country’s 10,000 species of plants and more than 230 kinds of mammals before the rest of the world discovered this Eden for themselves.

When I returned to Costa Rica a couple of years later, the country had a newfound respect for its precious resources.  In the mid nineties, the government instituted the most progressive reforestation program in the Americas and began an international campaign to market the nation, wedged between Nicaragua and Panama, as an “ecologically friendly” destination.  Educated visitors flocked to see one of the most biologically varied places on the planet—the Switzerland-sized country is home to 4 percent of the earth’s species of wildlife—and an ecotourism movement was born. Hotels built according to self-imposed conservationist standards couldn’t be put up fast enough. Meanwhile, acres of clear-cut land began to grow back into secondary forests. Much of the guilt associated with being a tourist—contributing to erosion and over construction—was alleviated. Gradually, this secret natural world opened up.

Trip Planner

Costa Rica isn’t one of those places that you master on your first visit, or one that allows you to slip into a well-trodden circuit. The most developed country in Central America, Costa Rica has roads that are so poorly maintained, they would have been better left unpaved; pristine forests that are accessible only by small plane, followed by taxi, then boat and, sometimes, foot; and a rainy season that can make moving from one place to the next unimaginable.

Split down the middle by two mountain ranges, its 20,000 square miles include more than 750 miles of coastline along the Caribbean and the Pacific, with 12 tropical life zones in between. From west to east, Costa Rica is only 100 miles at its widest—but by car, that can mean a death-defying 12-hour journey. To make your trip easier, think of the country as five essential regions and pick two to visit (we’ve done it for you). Unless you’ve got a month, don’t even attempt to hit all five.