Gardens and Natural Wonders of Costa Rica Winter Escape with Ciscoe Morris

November 30-December 12, 2023

Itinerary | Pricing | Reserve

Join us for a break from winter as we travel to the tropics of Costa Rica. We’ll see exotic gardens, hummingbirds, butterflies, and a host of native mammals and reptiles. We’ll stay in the cloud forest, at the base of a volcano, and perched above the Pacific Ocean. You’ll even have a chance to Zipline through the jungle canopy if you choose.

Our tour will enjoy the services of a naturalist guide throughout.

Here’s what’s included in this tour program:

  • Twelve nights in deluxe hotel properties in Costa Rica
    • 3 Nights Santo Domingo
    • 2 Nights Sarapiqui
    • 3 Nights Arenal Springs
    • 2 Nights Monteverde
    • 2 Nights Pacific Coast
  • Most meals including breakfast each morning and 10 dinners
  • Air-conditioned motor coach transportation
  • Services of a naturalist guide
  • Admission to sites and guided tours as indicated
  • Limited to just 14 guests


Day One: thursday, November 30 ( A FULL WEEK AFTER tHANKSGIVING)

Arrive late afternoon in San Jose. Transfer to Hotel Bougainvillea. With over 10 acres of gardens, this property is makes for an ideal start to our tour. We’ll enjoy a welcome cocktail in the lounge later this afternoon before dining together at the hotel. Overnight Santo Domingo. (D)


Our touring keeps us close to the capital of San Jose today with a morning visit to La Garita Orchid Garden. For over thirty years, this former coffee plantation has been transformed into an amazing habitat for Costa Rica’s national flower, the orchid. We’ll break for lunch nearby then visit the private garden of Else Kientzler for a private tour of the gardens. Overnight at hotel Bougainvillea. (B,D)


Enroute from San Jose we make our first stop for a tour and tasting at the coffee plantation of Café Britt.  In the afternoon we’ll visit the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Nature reserve for butterflies, snakes, frogs and hummingbirds. Overnight at Selva Verde Lodge near Sarapiqui. (BD)


After a morning canopy walk, we’ll make a visit to an organic Cacao producer. This afternoon we’ll enjoy a wildlife tour on a covered boat on the Rio Sarapiqui. Return to the hotel with time to relax a bit before dinner this evening. Overnight Sarapiqui. (BD)


We’ll have another chance for an early walk of the canopy for wildlife spotting before breakfast. We’re on our way shortly after breakfast to Arenal Springs and our spa hotel. We’ll make a stop to see a local pineapple and pepper plantation. Just before the arrival in Arenal Springs, we’ll stop to see La Fortuna Waterfall.  Overnight Arenal Springs. (BD)


We’ll visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges just after breakfast this morning.  In the afternoon, we have a rafting safari planned on the Rio Penas Blancas. This is a calm excursion, with no white water, escorted by a guide who knows the river and where the animals are hiding out. Overnight Arenal Springs. (B)

HummingbirdDay Seven: wEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6

Free spa day or travel north to the wetlands of Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge for a day tour that will include a boat excursion to see marshland birds, reptiles, and mammals. For guests that want some down time, skipping the two-hour journey each direction, relaxation in the thermal baths or a spa treatment may be more appealing. Overnight Arenal Springs. (BD)


Traveling after breakfast to the cloud forest of Monteverde. We’ll arrive close to noon, breaking for lunch in the town of Santa Elena. For the afternoon, you have the option of taking a cable car tram through the canopy or participating in a zipline adventure. The later part of your afternoon is free to relax, hike, or explore the town. We’ll meet later this evening for dinner. Overnight Monteverde. (BD)


We’ll spend most of the morning at the Monteverde Cloud Reserve. Afterward, we’ll visit Jardin de Orquideas to experience more of Costa Rica’s national flower. Return to the hotel for a short while, then dinner in the treetops at Santa Elena’s Treehouse Restaurant. Overnight Monteverde. (BD)


We drive to the pacific coast today, leaving shortly after breakfast. Our hotel owns a private portion of beach with a regular shuttle, so free time is provided this afternoon for lounging or exploring the surfing towns of Jaco or Playa Hermosa. Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight Jaco. (B)


A visit to one of the world’s most beautiful national parks, Manuel Antonio. Sandy beaches and an abundance of wildlife make this park the most visited in Costa Rica and in National Geographic’s top-10 list. Sunset Amphitheater and dinner at Villa Caletas: Watch the sun slowly sink into the Pacific high up on the cliff. Dinner in the view restaurant afterward. Overnight Jaco. (BD)

Day Twelve: mONDAY, dECEMBER 11

We migrate east toward toward San Jose and the airport for early flights home the following day. Just before reaching San Jose, we’ll stop to tour the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center, your chance to see some of the local fauna up close and personal. A final visit to The Ark, a medicinal garden situated on the side of the Poas volcano. Arrive at the Bougainvillea Hotel late afternoon. Our farewell dinner is scheduled for later this evening. Overnight San Jose. (BD)

Day Thirteen: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12

Late morning departures for home today with transportation provided to San Jose Airport for early check in.

Our Hotel Properties

Hotel Bougainvillea                                    San Jose

Selva Verde Lodge                                      Sarapiqui

Arenal Manoa                                             Arenal

Hotel Belmar                                               Monteverde

Villa Caletas                                                 Jaco/Pacific Coast



The cost is $4,900 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement is $1,250 per person and, because we are using smaller hotel properties, there are only two single rooms available. There is a discount of $150 per person for guests opting to pay by check instead of Visa/MasterCard.  the initial deposit is $1500 per person to confirm your reservation.  The balance is due September 1st, 2023.

Passports are required for Costa Rica. No visa is needed for US or Canadian citizens.

You’ve got a number of choices for air transportation to San Jose (SJO). Alaska partners with Avianca via LAX to get you there. American via DFW, MIA or CLT is an option. United via IAH or EWR. And Delta via ATL has a good schedule. Tickets range between $450 and $850 for coach flights. There are some business and first class options as well.

We’ll meet to start the tour program at 5 PM on November 30th at the Hotel Bougainvillea. There are some redeye flights that will get you there that date. If you want to come in a day early to acclimate, the additional night at the hotel will run about $150. You may also consider stopping off for the night at the connecting city to break up the travel time. Those that wish to have assistance booking flights, should let me know.

This is an active tour which will require a significant amount of walking each day. To fully experience the sites we’ll visit, guests should be capable of walking about 2 miles each day.

Tour days will generally start between 9-9:30 with a return in the late afternoon before 5 PM. Most dinners are taken as a group. Lunches are generally on your own with recommendations from the guide. Breakfast is included each morning.

Make Your Reservation!

If you have any questions about this tour, please contact Brad Cilley at or by phone at 425 375 2676.