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Moab Mountain Bike/Hike Adventure

Costa Rica - Hiking & Wildlife

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Trip Itinerary

January 4-19, 2019

CMC Members: $3995
Non-Members: $4395

Deposit: $500


Meet Your Trip Leader:

Kris Ashton

Ellen Montague















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Trip Details

Magical Costa Rica—home to steaming volcanoes, misty cloud forests, fabulous beaches, and some of the most spectacular wildlife you’ll ever see. Come and visit the largest undisturbed rain forest in Central America, which National Geographic has called "the most biologically intense place on earth." 

Our adventure begins just outside of the capital city of San Jose. We’ll spend some time in this area hiking up a nearby volcano before enjoying a guided tour of Toucan Rescue Ranch where wild animals, including Toucans and baby sloths, are cared for so that they can be released into the wild. Participants will have an opportunity to donate medical supplies brought from home that help to support the rescue efforts. Then we travel by private van to the famous cloud forest of Monteverde, where we’ll spend a couple of days exploring the area and searching for hard-to-spot wildlife. Part of our adventure here takes us high up into the cloud forest on series of suspension bridges where we can experience life in the tree canopy. We may get lucky and see a quetzal, considered one of the most beautiful tropical birds. There’s even an option to visit a giant ficus tree, where we can climb up the inside for a bird's-eye view of the forest.

Then we head south in our private van along the beautiful Pacific Ocean coastal road, stopping at the Taracoles River to see the giant crocodiles that sun on the banks. We arrive at a lodge deep in the forest that lies next to La Amistad National park, which is the largest park in Costa Rica and home to 215 species of mammals, 600 species of birds, 250 species of reptiles and amphibians and 115 species of freshwater fish.  We spend several days exploring this area and visiting two waterfalls deep in the forest. A very early morning nature hike will be our best chance to see a wild cat.

Finally, we leave the mountainous areas and head down to the Pacific Ocean. A short boat ride takes us to the town of Drake Bay where we can participate in a variety of optional activities such as snorkeling, SCUBA diving, beach walking or just lounging by the pool of our ocean-front retreat. Our time in Drake Bay includes a morning bird-watching hike and a night hike with the famous “Bug Lady” of Drake Bay. Guess what she’ll be showing us!  From Drake Bay we head out by boat to Corcovado National Park where we’ll spend the next four days in what is the largest undisturbed rain forest in Central America and which National Geographic has called "the most biologically intense place on earth."  We’ll stay at rustic Sirena Ranger station deep in the heart of the jungle. In Corcovado we’ll go on several jungle hikes and participate in a project to pick up litter along our beach hike. We are likely to see a tapir napping, coatis, herds of wild peccaries and even possibly a wild cat. Swimming in a nearby river can be a fun way to relax.

Our trip winds down with a boat ride back to Drake Bay from where we fly back to San Jose the next day.  There will be an optional trip to a San Jose market that offers indigenous art from all over Central America. We’ll celebrate our fabulous Costa Rica adventure with a final dinner together.

Due to the limited availability of our selected accommodations, space is limited on this trip and CMC members are encouraged to sign up quickly!

Type of Activity: B- and C-level hiking on various forested or jungle trails at a moderate pace of approximately 3 miles/hour. Terrain includes: dirt and gravel paths and beach walking. Trails could be wet and/or muddy. Participants should be prepared to hike in a cloud/rain forest or jungle in the rain.

Accommodations: Western-style hotels, mountain lodge, ocean-front resort, rustic jungle ranger station. Packing light is essential! 

Pre-trip Activities: Mandatory pre-trip meeting and optional pre-trip hike(s) will be arranged by the leaders.

What’s Included: 

  • Pre-trip planning advice and activities
  • Welcome dinner w/beverages in Costa Rica
  • 12 nights’ accommodation in hotels, mountain lodges and beach resort
  • 3 nights' accommodation in a rustic jungle station
  • 15 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 11 dinners
  • A variety of hikes in cloud forest, rain forest, jungle and beach
  • Visit to Toucan Rescue Ranch w/lunch
  • Naturalist-led hikes to watch birds, night wildlife and jungle canopy
  • All admissions to Biological Reserves, National Parks and other hiking areas
  • All transportation, van, boat, and internal flight, to included activities
  • Participation in service project to pick up litter on beach hike
  • Medical evacuation and consultation service

What’s NOT Included: 

  • Roundtrip  airfare San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Airport transfers
  • 8 lunches, 4 dinners, other food/beverages not indicated
  • Personal items, souvenirs, etc.
  • Medical care, pharmacy, etc.
  • Entrance fees for optional visits
  • Optional medical or dietary supply donations for Toucan Rescue Ranch
  • Suggested travel insurance

Possible cost variations: 

  • Costs may fluctuate according to exchange rates or inflation. 
  • Hotel costs are based on double occupancy. 

Minimum Participant Requirements: 

  • Passport valid for 6 months past return date
  • Ability and willingness to hike 10 plus mile days in humid rainforest conditions during day and night
  • Willingness to travel at group pace and participate in activities including at high heights and in water
  • Willingness to sleep in rustic dormitory style jungle housing and at times travel with minimal luggage
  • Ability to function as a team member supporting, assisting, and encouraging others
  • Willingness to participate in volunteer work 

Deposit and Cancellation Policy:

  • Non-refundable Deposit: $500
  • All requests for cancelation must be submitted in writing to the trip leader.
  • Cancelations 90 or more prior to departure: All money paid in will be refunded less the non-refundable deposit.
  • Cancelation on Day 30 or more prior to departure:
    • If a qualified, wait listed, person is available to take a vacated slot and pays all money due, all payments made by the canceling party will be refunded less the nonrefundable deposit.
    • If no one is available to take a vacated slot, 50% of paid money will be refunded, less the nonrefundable deposit. 
  • Cancelation on Day 29 or fewer days prior to departure: No refund will be made.

The Colorado Mountain Club will make every effort to carry out this trip. However, if the trip is canceled by the CMC, all money collected from participants, including any “non-refundable deposit” shall be returned. Theparticipant will not be eimbursed for any purchase made for the trip or other expenses that the participant may have paid in association with this trip, which includes equipment purchase, airline cancelation penalties or medical inoculations

Final Payment: The balance due after deposit is made is payable by check and payment stub, or credit card and must be made by September 15, 2019.