Pura Vida simply translated means “pure life” in Costa Rica, it’s more than just a saying – it’s a way of life. Our Costa Rica tours offer many opportunities for you to experience this expression of optimism which is what this eco-adventure is all about as you discover this peaceful soul of South America on a land journey, small ship cruise, or on a family-inspired adventure.
Welcome to Costa Rica
Although Manuel Antonio National Park encompasses the smallest land area of any national park in Costa Rica, it is home to more than a hundred species of mammals and nearly 200 species of birds, outranking virtually every other park in Costa Rica's richly biodiverse national park system. Mammalian residents include sloths (like the brown-throated three-toed sloth and Hoffmann's two-toed sloth), monkeys (mantled howler monkey, Central American squirrel monkey, and white-headed capuchin monkey), white-nosed coati and many more. Along with the rich tropical rainforests that all this wildlife calls home, the park also comprises coral reefs and miles of white sand beaches, considered among the most beautiful in Costa Rica... a virtual paradise!
While they often tend to be elusive in the wild, you can see an exotic parade of animals and birds during your guided visit to the Toucan Rescue Ranch, dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of jungle and rainforest animals. You'll meet a variety of furred and feathered friends that reside at the ranch… including sloths, monkeys and parrots, and of course, the toucans they successfully breed here.
The canals of Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park are lined by a wildlife-rich tropical rainforest that howler and spider monkeys, three-toed sloths, toucans, great green macaws, tapir, ocelots, jaguars, river otters, grisons, frogs and bulldog bats call home. As you cruise these waterways with our local guides, you’ll also find coconut trees, orchids, heliconias and other flora that add tropical color everywhere you look. And since the park is also one of the world’s top nesting grounds for endangered green sea turtles in summer, if you’re traveling with us in July and August, you can make a special trip to the shore at night for a chance to watch these remarkable critters climbing out of the sea to lay their eggs on the black sand beach.
What grows on trees, starts as fruit, is dried, roasted, ground up and enjoyed by visitors to Costa Rica? If you answered "coffee," you’d be correct, of course... but so would "chocolate." In San José, you'll see just how right you are as you watch how cacao fruit is transformed into artisan chocolate that melts in your mouth during a delicious experience that includes a hands-on demonstration, dinner, and chocolate tasting at Sibú, a noted organic artisan chocolatier.
Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve protects one of the most ecologically diverse – and famous – cloud forests in the world. On your visit to the Reserve's Selvatura Park – whose popular Hanging Bridges invite you to walk through the treetops of the cloud forest canopy – you'll take a guided two-hour nature walk with naturalists who provide an insider’s perspective and informative overview of the cloud forest eco-system. Stroll past tall trees festooned with orchids, bromeliads, moss, and ferns... all the while keeping a sharp lookout for wildlife that might include jungle cats, monkeys, tapirs, and birds like the three-wattled bellbird.
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