Untamed Costa Rica
Raft your way to your secluded rainforest lodge, meet a real indigenous tribe and sail the Pacific on a private catamaran
Untamed Costa Rica
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 9 epic days you’ll tackle class 2, 3 and 4 rapids as you make your way, by raft, into the heart of the rainforest to reach your otherwise inaccessible lodge. You’ll get the rare chance to meet a real indigenous tribe – conquering a lengthy hike into the rainforest to reach their secluded home, and you’ll sail on your own private catamaran across azure Pacific waters to secret beaches and coves. Returning home, you’ll be able to tell people that you flew, quite literally, through the canopy on a ‘superman’ style zip line, and that you did it all with a group of people that were just like you.
- 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 the guide & 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 at least 30 days before departure. 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.
The Inside Pack Jonathan Thompson@jt_travels Listen to my take on Flash Pack's Costa Rica adventure
Day 01 4* in San José
Pura vida – you’re in Costa Rica. A private transfer at San José airport will take you directly to your 4-star hotel, where you’ll have the chance to freshen up before meeting your guide and group on the hotel’s top floor, with expansive views over the city. Initial introductions over, you’ll be taken to your welcome dinner in Barrio Amon, in one of the oldest houses in the area. In this atmospheric set up, and over traditional Costa Rican dishes and drinks (think rich black bean soup, fresh ceviche and plantain) you’ll partake in a fun ice-breaker with your group. An early-ish night will be preferable this evening, as you’ll be up early for the first of many rainforest thrills.
Day 02 Raft to a remote rainforest lodge
This morning’s adventure is as unique and off-grid as it sounds: rafting down class 2, 3 and 4 river rapids in order to get to your otherwise unreachable rainforest lodge. 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. En route you’ll stop for a riverside lunch amongst vibrant flora, no other people in sight and only the sound of nearby animals to serenade you, before hopping back into your raft and eventually pulling up alongside the Rios Tropicales Lodge. Prepare for total disconnection from the real world here. No signal, no wifi, fairly basic lodgings – the whole experience will take you back to the beauty of simplicity.
Day 03 Hike to a secluded indigenous tribe
Today the immersion in secluded rainforest living continues. You’ll be embarking on a lengthy hike, deep into the wilderness, in order to reach the indigenous Cabécar group of the remote Talamanca region. Pass through dense undergrowth with a guide who’ll keep an eye out for any fascinating wildlife hiding in the trees. When you eventually come face to face with this welcoming tribe, it will be a truly humbling and magical moment. Communication will be difficult (even for Costa Ricans – they speak the ancient language of Cabécar) but your guide will be able to explain their way of life to you as you look on in wonder. Hiking back to your lodge, you’ll have the rest of the day at leisure to continue your relaxing disconnection from the modern world amongst your own untouched wilderness.
Day 04 Back to civilisation & hot springs
This morning you’ll make your way back to civilisation the only way available to you: by paddling back down the river you came in on. Back at your starting point, you’ll be picked up for a road trip towards the Arenal Volcano National Park and your beautiful hotel a few miles outside of La Fortuna town. Surrounded by lush vegetation and with its own series of volcanic hot springs, Hotel Arenal Springs is the ideal spot to bask in some creature comforts after your time in the middle of the rainforest. Take the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying the surrounding walks or simply working your way from the hottest to the coolest natural pools and making the most of the swim-up bar.
Day 05 Flying & a night nature hike
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 zip lines, high ropes, waterfall abseiling, canyoning, a tarzan swing…the list goes on. Of everything, be sure to give the superman zip line a go. Bundled into a secure suit that’s connected horizontally to a zip wire, you’ll have the chance to feel what it would be like to fly like superman through lush rainforest canopies. Later, you’ll be taken to meet a Costa Rican family on the land they’re using to regenerate indigenous wildlife and plant life. Here you’ll take a night hike to spot nocturnal wildlife and rainforest frogs, learning all about the weird and wonderful night creatures with an expert naturalist. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a traditional meal cooked by the resident local family.
Day 06 Volcanic mud bathing & jungle time
After the intense adrenaline of yesterday, you’ll be looking forward to a day of wellness and slow living in the Rincon De La Vieja National Park. Upon arrival, you’ll be checked into the vast Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin. Ideally located in the midst of natural beauty, the hotel offers easy access to virgin forests, jungle waterfalls and volcanic hot springs, so you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to gentle adventure. Perhaps a yoga session will tempt you, or another day of therapeutic hot springs. One thing you can’t miss? The Rio Negro mud baths, where you’ll find mineral-rich mud warmed by the nearby volcano that’s perfect for slathering all over your skin. When the mud has dried, hop into one of the nearby rivers to wash it off, before one more warming dip in a hot spring. Who needs a spa in Costa Rica?
Day 07 Wild wetlands & on to the coast
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
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
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
Browse a selection of our favourite hotels, for a flavour of where you may stay on this trip.
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?
HOTEL HACIENDA GUACHIPELIN
Surrounded by jungle and located on a vast working farm, this ranch-inspired eco-hotel offers cosy rooms and adventure in abundance thanks to its remote setting. Think hot springs, mud bathing and waterfall hiking, all on your doorstep.
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.
- 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 17.00 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 15.00.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
There are no activities planned for the last day, so leave any time you wish. We end at amazing beach property so it’s best to leave as late as possible.
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.
- What fitness levels do I need for this trip?
We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness.
Overall, Costa Rica is one of our more active adventures with a few hikes & rafting. We recommend joining us on this one if you are fit enough to hike for 5+ hours.
- 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.
- 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:
- AstraZeneca: Covishield, Vaxzervia, AXD1222, ChAdOx1, ChAdOx1_nCoV19 India
- Janssen: COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen, Johnson & Johnson y Ad26.COV2.S
- Moderna: Spikevax, mRNA-1273
- Pfizer-BioNTech: Comirnaty, BNT162b2 y Tozinameran
- Sinovac: COVID-19 Vaccine (vero cell), Coronavac ™
- Sinopharm: SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (vero cell), Inactivated (InCoV)
- Covaxin: BBV152, Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine
What Flashpackers say
"I did the Costa Rica trip in February 2020 and it was an absolute dream. Our group had a wonderful dynamic, I made some great friends and our leader Bryan was exceptional. Costa Rica is easy to love - the people, the wildlife, the natural environment and the Costa Ricans’ respect for their home is just wonderful to see, and the Flash Pack experience made it all the more special."
"My recent trip to Costa Rica was excellent. The activities were a really good mix of adventure and relaxation and our guide Pedro was fantastic. He looked after us so well!"
"Flash Pack have a really good grasp of understanding your needs and tailoring your holiday to you. All in all our trip was honestly tremendous!"
"Amazing experience from choosing an adventure through to returning home. They were so responsive to any questions that I had, and checked in with me often to ensure I was prepared. Thank you so much to the whole team!"
As captured on Instagram
The latest from Flashpackers in Costa Rica on #picsworthsharing
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
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
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We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone. We include guide and driver tips to make sure that our team are well looked after
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