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Untamed Costa Rica

Raft your way to your secluded rainforest lodge and sail the Pacific on a private catamaran

Untamed Costa Rica

9 Days | From £3025

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Important Notes

About your trip

If Flash Pack had the chance to create its dream adventure destination from scratch, it would probably look a lot like Costa Rica…

The highest density of biodiversity than anywhere else on the planet. Pure sands lapped by Pacific and Caribbean waters. Vast swathes of rainforest, live volcanoes, exotic wildlife and fast-flowing rivers. Costa Rica is made for adventurers; and this trip will certainly get your adrenaline pumping, whilst showcasing a more unique side to this beautiful wilderness, too.

Across nine epic days, you’ll tackle class II, III and IV rapids as you make your way, by raft, into the heart of the rainforest to reach your otherwise inaccessible lodge. You’ll sail on your own private catamaran across azure Pacific waters to secret beaches and coves. And you’ll learn the art of making chocolate. Returning home, you’ll be able to tell people that you flew, quite literally, through the canopy on a ‘superman-style’ zipline, and that you did it all with a group of people that were just like you.

What's Included

  • Max 14 travellers per group
  • Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
  • All activities mentioned on the itinerary
  • 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Stay in hand-picked 3-4 star hotels
  • Minibus & catamaran
  • We offset your carbon emissions
  • Tips for your Pack Leader & driver
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Accommodation in twin rooms
  • Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip

Flashpackers are required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination 30 days before departure OR proof of a negative test within 72 hours of their adventure starting. Flashpackers must also provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.

Itinerary

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Your Itinerary

  • Day 01 A taste of San José

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    Pura vida – you’re in Costa Rica. A private transfer at San José Airport will take you directly to your boutique hotel, where you’ll have the chance to freshen up before meeting your guide and group. Initial introductions over, you’ll be taken to your welcome dinner. In an atmospheric set-up, you’ll enjoy traditional Costa Rican dishes and drinks (think rich black bean soup, fresh ceviche and plantain). An early-ish night will be preferable this evening, as you’ll be up early for the first of many rainforest thrills.

  • Day 02 River rafting to a rainforest lodge

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    Today’s adventure is as unique and off-grid as it sounds: rafting down class III and IV rapids to your otherwise unreachable rainforest lodge. You’ll stop off at a cacao farm to learn all about Costa Rica’s food of the gods: chocolate. Then it’s time to take to the river, on a journey that will be equal parts thrilling and beautiful – when you’re not soaring over crashing waters there’ll be plenty of chances to sit back and appreciate the dense, untouched rainforest and the exotic wildlife all around you. Eventually you’ll pull up alongside your jungle lodge, where lunch will be waiting for you. This evening, you’ll take a nocturnal walk to spot rainforest frogs (and hopefully other nocturnal wildlife), learning all about the weird and wonderful creatures.

  • Day 03 Rainforest living

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    Waking up to the sounds of the rainforest, your immersion in secluded jungle living continues. Prepare for total disconnection from the real world here. No signal, no WiFi, fairly basic lodgings – the whole experience will be a digital detox that will take you back to the beauty of simplicity. You’ll have the day free to enjoy the lodge’s lush surroundings and take advantage of the many activities on offer. Your rafting guide can show you the way to some local waterfalls where you can bathe in a natural pool surrounded by untouched wilderness.

  • Day 04 Back to civilisation

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    This morning you’ll make your way back to civilisation the only way available to you: by paddling the river you came in on. At the rafting exit point, you’ll be picked up for a road trip towards the Arenal Volcano National Park and your luxe hotel a few miles outside of La Fortuna town. The volcano may be dormant but the area around its base is a hub for adventure activities. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you choose. Explore the town, enjoy some local walks or simply spend the afternoon basking in creature comforts after your time in the middle of the rainforest.

  • Day 05 Aerial adventures

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    It’s back to adrenaline-seeking today as you head up the mountain via aerial tram to its highest point. From here, with views out to the lake and the nearby volcano, you’ll tackle an adventure course of truly epic proportions. Your journey back down will involve conquering ziplines, high ropes, waterfall abseiling, canyoning, a tarzan swing…the list goes on. Of everything, be sure to give the superman zipline a go. Bundled into a secure suit that’s connected horizontally to a zipwire, you’ll have the chance to feel what it would be like to fly like superman through lush rainforest canopies. Still buzzing, tonight you’ll enjoy a traditional family-style meal cooked at a local restaurant.

  • Day 06 Jungle time

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    After the intense adrenaline of yesterday, you’ll be looking forward to a relaxing day of slow living in the Rincon De La Vieja National Park. Upon arrival, you’ll be checked into your hotel, then it’s up to you how to spend your afternoon. Perhaps a forest therapy session will tempt you, or a day of therapeutic hot springs, working your way from the coolest natural pool to the hottest. Or there’s horseback riding, birdwatching and waterfall hikes on offer – even a jungle waterslide. With sustainability, adventure, nature, culture and wellness all in one place… this is what you came to Costa Rica for.

  • Day 07 Wild wetlands & on to the coast

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    Palo Verde National Park is calling today. A spectacular wild world of rivers, marshlands and mangroves; you’ll have the chance to go deep into its wonders on a private boat along the Tempisque River. Look out for an abundance of bird life, crocodiles, monkeys and more as you journey further into this wildlife refuge before hopping back onto dry land for an exclusive private tour of the Hacienda el Viejo. On this tour, you’ll be taken to a working sugar mill as you trace the steps of rum making. Taste the sugar cane before moving on to real rum tasting, a completely unique experience in what feels like the middle of nowhere. Before you leave for your first night on the coast in the sparkling Gulf of Papagayo, there’ll be a little surprise in store – but that’s all we’ll say for now…

  • Day 08 Private catamaran on the Pacific

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    Your last full day, and you’ll be going out in true, paradise island style. After a morning relaxing on the sand of Panama Beach or round the pool, you’ll be picked up by your own private catamaran. Your luxurious vessel will be taking you off for an afternoon of cruising to small islands, secret coves, snorkelling spots and hard-to-reach beaches. Everywhere you look will feel like the best photo opportunity of your life – crystal waters, white sands, vibrant coral and secluded pristine beaches where you’ll anchor up for some time in a hammock and a private beach BBQ. Enjoy drinks overlooking the Pacific and, as you sail back to your hotel, watch the sun fire up the horizon before you. Back on dry land, it’ll be time for one last meal as a group beneath a blanket of stars.

  • Day 09 Hasta la vista, Costa Rica

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    After breakfast, it’ll sadly be time for goodbyes – never easy when you’ve had such a memorable adventure amongst untouched natural beauty. Our tip: it’s best to fly out of nearby Liberia Airport. Or…never leave?

Our Favourite Hotels

Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.

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ARENAL SPRINGS HOTEL

Set close to the Arenal Volcano and thus brimming with volcanic hot springs, the real draw of this resort has to be its abundance of warming pools boasting views out to the volcano. And who doesn’t like a swim-up bar?

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POC LODGE

Accessed by rafting down Costa Rica’s scenic Rio Pacuare, you’ll be surrounded by tropical gardens and awaken to the sound of bird calls and monkeys. The palm-thatched cabins are beautifully designed – and with no electricity, Wi-Fi or air-conditioning, plus an open wall out into the rainforest, it’s a true back-to-nature experience.

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EL MANGROOVE

This is four star, boutique beach beauty. Chic, sumptuous rooms, a long pool framed by sun and day beds, an enviable position on the beach and endless activities like kayaking, yoga and paddle-boarding. It’s a wonder we get anyone to check-out.

Important Notes

Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code

Fly into San Jose Airport (SJO) and fly out of Liberia Airport (LIR).

What time should my flight arrive? (to arrive in time for the welcome meeting)

At 5pm you will meet your guide and and the other Flashpackers before our welcome dinner at a top local restaurant. We recommend arriving no later than 3pm.

What time should my flight depart on the last day?

There are no activities planned for the last day, so you can leave any time you wish. We end at an amazing beach property so you might want to leave late and spend the day enjoying the facilities.

The airport is approximately 20 minutes away from the hotel, and your Pack Leader can help you book your transfers the night before if needed.

Do I need a visa?

You do not need a visa if you’re visiting as a tourist from the EU, UK, USA, Australia or Canada. Please check with your local consulate/embassy if the country you are travelling from requires a visa.

Alternatively, you can check the requirements here: https://migracion.go.cr/Paginas/Visas.aspx

We recommend that you have at least 6 months validity remaining on your passport and can show a return ticket.

What fitness levels do I need for this trip?

Overall, Costa Rica is one of our more active adventures with a few hikes and rafting. We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness.

Do I need to be able to swim?

Whilst it’s not compulsory that you’re able to swim in order to book this adventure, we can only let competent swimmers take part in the rafting activity due to health and safety requirements. If you can’t swim or simply don’t want to do the rafting, that’s no problem – we’ll be able to arrange other means of transport for you.

What sort of travel insurance do I need?

Please bear in mind that this trip includes adventurous activities, such as canyoning and rafting. Your travel/medical insurance should cover you to raft up to and including class IV rapids.

Will the itinerary change?

These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting.

Is there anything additional I need to know about COVID and Costa Rica?

Costa Rica currently has an approved list of vaccines. These are:

  1. AstraZeneca: Covishield, Vaxzervia, AXD1222, ChAdOx1, ChAdOx1_nCoV19 India
  2. Janssen: COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen, Johnson & Johnson y Ad26.COV2.S
  3. Moderna: Spikevax, mRNA-1273
  4. Pfizer-BioNTech: Comirnaty, BNT162b2 y Tozinameran
  5. Sinovac: COVID-19 Vaccine (vero cell), Coronavac ™
  6. Sinopharm: SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (vero cell), Inactivated (InCoV)
  7. Covaxin: BBV152, Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine
Are there any other special requirements?

As you’ll be rafting to your remote lodge on Day 2 and leaving your main luggage behind (which you’ll be reunited with on Day 4 in Arenal), we ask that you bring a separate smaller bag with you to Costa Rica. You’ll use this to pack everything you’ll need for the few days you’re in the rainforest (2 full days, one morning).

What should I pack?

Your Costa Rican adventure involves a huge variety of activities, so you’ll need to pack a range of clothes. Generally, we recommend loose-fitting and light casual wear to keep you cool in the tropical heat, but one warmer layer may be required for the evenings and rooms with strong air-conditioning. Rain can occur at any time of the year, so it’s definitely worth bringing a lightweight rain jacket.

What you pack is personal to you and our list is certainly not exhaustive. If you have any questions about what to pack for your trip to Costa Rica, please get in touch with one of our friendly Trip Experts.

Baggage

  • A large backpack or suitcase. It’s up to you whether you bring a backpack or a suitcase, but either way, a soft-sided bag is best for packing into transfer vehicles.
  • A smaller luggage bag big enough to hold two or three days’ worth of essentials and clothes. This will be used when you raft to your remote rainforest lodge on day two. You’ll be reunited with your main luggage on day four in Arenal.
  • A day bag. This will need to be big enough to fit your daily essentials in, such as water and your camera.

Clothing

  • Lightweight clothes. T-shirts and shorts are perfect in Costa Rica’s tropical climate.
  • Activewear. Breathable and lightweight materials will help you stay comfortable during the more energetic activities, such as hiking.
  • Swimwear. You’ll have plenty of chances to get in the water, so it’s worth bringing two pairs of swimwear so that one can dry.
  • Sunglasses/sunhat. The sun is likely to be very strong during the day, so protecting yourself with sunglasses and a sunhat is vital.
  • A light waterproof jacket. Rain showers can occur at any time of the year, so it’s worth packing a light waterproof jacket or a poncho.
  • Light jumper/sweater. It’s unlikely to get cold, but you may want to bring a light jumper/sweater for any rooms with strong air-conditioning and for the plane.
  • Linen trousers. Always handy for keeping the sun off of your legs.
  • An evening outfit. Whether or not you bring evening wear is up to you, but you may want one set of nicer clothes for the bars and restaurants in San José.

Shoes

  • Hiking boots/shoes. Some of the hiking you’ll be doing will be on muddy, slippery terrain. If you plan on hiking in sneakers, please make sure they are breathable and sturdy, with a good amount of tread on the soles.
  • Comfortable trainers/sneakers. You’ll need a comfortable pair of breathable shoes for day-to-day activities.
  • Sandals/flip-flops. It’s a good idea to bring a comfortable pair of shoes for relaxing in.

Accessories

  • Electricals, chargers and accessories.
  • Plug socket adaptor. Costa Rica uses the same plugs as the USA. They have 2 flat prongs and are known as type A.
  • Refillable water bottle. This will reduce your group’s plastic footprint.
  • Head torch/torch
  • Book or music. For transfers and any relaxed evenings, you may want a book or some music.
  • Eye mask and earplugs. If you’re a light sleeper, you may feel more comfortable bringing an eye mask and earplugs.
  • Beach towel. You will need a towel for the beach. A travel towel is a good alternative if you want to save space in your bag.

Toiletries/medical

  • High SPF factor sun cream.
  • Moisturiser.
  • Lip balm with SPF.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Anti-bacterial gel.
  • Painkillers.
  • Shampoo and conditioner. Most hotels will be able to provide these, but we recommend bringing your own as small plastic bottles aren’t environmentally friendly.
  • Personal toiletries including a toothbrush, deodorant, razors, hairbrush etc.

What Flashpackers say

As captured on Instagram

The latest from Flashpackers in Costa Rica on #picsworthsharing

OUR PROMISE

Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees

THE PEOPLE

Our mission to create 1 million friendships so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends. Want to know more about your group? GET IN TOUCH

THE SECURITY

We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

THE TRIPS

Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti SEE TRIPS

THE GUIDES

We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone.

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