Man on black horse stands in a green field with bright green forest & Costa Rica's Arenal volcano in the background.
woman on suspension bridge on tropical volcano & cloud forest land tour in costa rica
howler monkey eating on tropical volcano & cloud forest trip in costa rica
several colorful birds eating fruit on platform on tropical volcano & cloud forest trip
green, blue and red bird on tropical volcano & cloud forest land tour in costa rica
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Central America Costa Rica Land Tour

Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest Adventure

This 6-day Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest Trip begins at the Arenal Volcano, with its picture-perfect cone. Explore this geologic wonder and the rich surrounding rainforests filled with waterfalls, wildlife and opportunities for exploration. In Monteverde, hike through the lush Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, walk the nearby platforms at Arenal Hanging Bridges for an aerial view of these incredible forests, relax in the famed Costa Rica hot springs of this volcanic region and soar through the air on a zip line canopy tour.

The Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest Extension includes a private guide and private transfers throughout, ensuring time is well spent in Arenal and Monteverde. Accommodations for this active adventure include wilderness lodges and boutique hotels. This trip also operates in reverse. The Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest cruise extension is designed to complement our small ship cruises in Costa Rica, or appeal to travelers with a limited amount of time in Costa Rica.

This Costa Rica cruise extension can be arranged before or after your Costa Rica small ship cruise. Transfers are included for small ship cruise passengers arriving at the Herradura dock or in San Jose. AdventureSmith’s Costa Rica experts will arrange your trip extension to flow seamlessly with your small ship cruise.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Costa Rica adventure tours and Costa Rica vacations.


Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest Itinerary

The 6-day Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest journey begins in San Jose, Costa Rica and ends in Herradura, Costa Rica, and is designed to complement a Costa Rica small ship cruise. This trip also operates in reverse.

Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest route map from San Jose to Herradura.
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Day 1
Arrive San Jose, Costa Rica

Upon arrival in Costa Rica at San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport, you are met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel in San Jose.


Park Inn, or similar

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Day 2
Arenal National Park

Start the tour with a scenic drive in a private air-conditioned vehicle to Arenal Volcano, arriving at the Arenal Observatory Lodge. From the lodge, which is situated safely on a high ridge only 1.6 miles south of the volcano, take in the impressive view of this giant which rumbles. The lodge is the only property located within the Arenal Volcano National Park, which encompasses thousands of acres of pristine rainforest teeming with tropical birds and wildlife.

Later explore the highlands of Costa Rica in the shadow of Arenal Volcano. Walk through Arenal Volcano National Park with the company of a professional naturalist guide. This area is home to some of the most unique birds and mammals in the world. The guide provides insight and interpretation of this geologically special area and offers expertise in spotting the often elusive wildlife and birdlife that inhabit this region.


Arenal Observatory Lodge, or similar



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Day 3
Arenal Volcano, Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs

This morning, visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a complex of six suspension bridges rising above the jungle canopy, as well as almost two miles of brick and concrete trails through the lush rainforest. The bridges provide an excellent vantage point to observe the flora and fauna from the ground level to the top of the trees. The chainlink fence on either side of each bridge is about 50 inches high, so there is little chance of anyone slipping through. Walk the trails and search for many varieties of heliconias, flowering ginger and butterflies. Learn about the complexity and beauty of the rainforest and hear howler monkeys’ distinct howls.

This evening visit Ecotermales Fortuna for a relaxing hot springs soak and dinner. Located in what used to be a cattle farm, Ecotermales is a small oasis of natural forest with hot springs in a private environment away from tourist crowds. The spa has four different pools with different temperatures; the coolest one is 91 degrees Fahrenheit and the hottest one is 105 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the pools has a cascading waterfall for a natural soothing back massage. Enjoy an authentic Tico family-style Costa Rican dinner.


Arenal Observatory Lodge, or similar


breakfast, dinner

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Day 4
Arenal Volcano to Monteverde Cloud Forest

Enjoy a morning hike to a nearby waterfall and an up-close exploration of a lava flow prior to the drive to Monteverde. Driving around Arenal Lake, make your way to Monteverde, one of the most diverse and rich tropical cloud forests in the New World. This area is best known as home to the Resplendent Quetzal but includes hundreds of other birds, mammals and plant species. Arrive in time to explore the nearby town of Santa Elena.


Hotel Senda Monteverde, or similar



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Day 5
Monteverde Cloud Forest & Zipline Canopy Tour

This morning’s guided hike winds through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. View the wet forest with its dense vegetation and majestic trees. The perpetually misty forests of the reserve encompass eight distinct ecological zones and protect more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and 1,500 species of plants. In the afternoon, enjoy an exhilarating flight through the rainforest on an included canopy zipline tour, a system of sturdy steel cables that provides a thrilling experience within the cloud forest while offering a unique vantage point high in the forest canopy.


Hotel Senda Monteverde, or similar



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Day 6
Monteverde to Herradura, Costa Rica

Spend the morning in Monteverde before a scenic drive through rainforest and coffee plantations down to the Central Pacific Coast. Arrive in Playa Herradura to board your cruise; non-cruise passengers will transfer back to San Jose or begin a custom trip to another region of Costa Rica.





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Inclusions, Terms & Notes


5 nights lodging; all land, air and water transportation within Costa Rica; all airport/hotel transfers when arriving and departing on the stated arrival and departure dates of the group; meals as specified in the itinerary; hotel taxes; entrance fees to National Parks; museums and places of interest in effect at the time of booking are included unless otherwise specified; guide services as specified in the itinerary; guides’ expenses.


Airfare to Costa Rica, airport departure tax, excess baggage charges, taxes and port fees, gratuities to transfer and naturalist guides, items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, and insurance of any kind. Small ship cruises mentioned in the itinerary. Holiday supplement may apply Christmas, New Year’s and Easter weeks; contact AdventureSmith for pricing and availability.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 50% of deposit
90 to 31 days – 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest Trip extension begins in San Jose, Costa Rica and ends in Herradura for embarkation of an adventure cruise, or reverse; it is possible to end in San Jose, as well. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica, at the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) anytime on day 1 of the outlined itinerary. If not boarding a cruise in Herradura on day 6, then plan flights to depart San Jose no earlier than 1:00pm on day 6. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.


Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the guides can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include land treks, birding, wildlife observation, canopy walks, hot spring visits, hiking and canopy zipline tours.

Room Configuration

If you would like to share accommodation with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to connect you with a suitable match. This program allows you to pay the per person adult double-occupancy rate if a match is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability

Families & Children

Child rate applies for age 11 and under and valid if sharing room with two adults, maximum two children per room with adults.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

This itinerary is designed to be a trip extension for our Costa Rica small ship cruises, but can stand alone as a custom Costa Rica trip. A private driver and guide ensure maximum flexibility and efficiency. There are many ways to customize this trip with additional activities or overnights, please call our Costa Rica experts to discuss your trip in detail.

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

Departures available daily, year-round. Contact us for current rates and availability.


Learn About the Lodges & Hotels on Your Itinerary

Park Inn

Park Inn by Radisson is a 117-room hotel located three blocks from Paseo Colón, San Jose's main avenue, and in walking distance of downtown.

Arenal Observatory Lodge

Set high on a ridge facing Costa Rica’s most active and spectacular volcano, the Arenal Observatory Lodge offers adventure travelers a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Hotel Senda Monteverde

Relax in this tucked-away yet convenient mountain retreat in Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest. Warm interiors, sustainable practices, an onsite yoga studio and nature trails, hyper-local cuisine and an attentive, all-local staff make every stay unforgettable.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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