Leave the big city behind to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the rainforest. Ring in the big night from Monteverde, then keep the action going as you ride the rapids of the Sarapiqui River, kayak Lake Arenal and zipline at speeds over 60 mph high above the jungle canopy, all while heading well off the beaten track.
What are the top highlights?
- Celebrate New Year's Eve in Costa Rica
- Explore the biodiversity and wildlife of Costa Rica
- Zipline high up in the rainforest canopy at speeds of almost 60 MPH
- Lounge on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches at Manuel Antonio State Park
- See the crocodiles of the Tarcoles up close
- Ride the rapids of the Sarapiqui River
- Enjoy the welcoming hospitality and exotic culture of the Tico people
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private motorcoach
- Transportation between cities
- 9 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Entrances to Manuel Antonio State Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest & other select attractions
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click here for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: The Adventure Begins
Welcome to San Jose, Costa Rica, the cultural and political capital of this vibrant, thriving nation. Typically, you’ll be arriving in the afternoon or evening.
- Meet a trip representative at the airport
- Transfer to your accommodation in San Jose via private coach
- Receive the latest schedule and trip updates from your Tour Director
- Greet other travelers as they arrive
Kick back, relax and enjoy a quiet evening. Tomorrow, an incredible trip into the heartland of this country awaits.
Day 2: Journey to the Jungle
Follow the winding, mountainous roads out of San Jose en route to the Arenal region. The journey into Arenal is full of scenic vistas featuring stunning volcanic backdrops.
- Explore a coffee plantation with an expert local guide
- Sample the world’s best coffees, both hot and cold, to determine your roasting preferences
At the end of the day, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow travelers.
Day 3: Hike La Fortuna Waterfall + Kayak on Lake Arenal
- Hike 15 minutes to see the La Fortuna Waterfall, one of the most spectacular in Central America
- Watch the water cascade 200 feet into the emerald reservoir below
- Cool off with a swim in the waterfall’s plunge pool
- Kayak and swim the pristine waters of Lake Arenal and take in volcanic views
- Catch sights of the resplendent Quetzal, Costa Rica’s national bird
Day 4: Explore the Santa Elena Cloud Forest + Hanging Bridges
Today, you’ll experience a whole different jungle ecosystem: the Santa Elena Cloud Forest. High altitude and moisture (12 feet of rain per year) combine to make this a one-of-a-kind ecosystem.
- Walk through the clouds and mist of the dense, tropical vegetation
- Plant a tree to help conserve Costa Rica’s immense natural treasures
- Continue on to Monteverde
New Year's Eve in Monteverde!
Celebrate New Year's Eve in Monteverde! Party with fellow travelers and locals as you count down to the best year yet. Try an Imperial, the national beer of Costa Rica, or a Gauro Sour, the national drink made from distilled sugar cane. The festive atmosphere is laid-back, but goes until early morning.
Day 5: Zip Line
Get your adrenaline pumping; it’s zip line time! Follow the jungle trail to reach 14 different platforms, then fly high above the ground at speeds over 50 mph. Pros and first-timers alike will appreciate the epic, action-packed run back to basecamp.
- Get expert instruction from Central America’s best zip line team
- Soar high above the jungle canopy, zooming from one platform to the next
- Fly the final kilometer on one massive line
- Reach speeds of nearly 60 mph!
Monteverde Night Hike(extra cost)
Day hiking is sooo last year. These days it’s all about hitting the trails when the sun goes down. Follow your guide for a chance to see Monteverde after-dark, and listen up as they point out nocturnal rarely-seen-by-human-eyes critters like armadillos, silky anteaters, and even cute little kinkajous. It’s an entirely different jungle out there at this hour. You might even say it’s—night and day.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 6: Tarcoles River Crocodile Cruise
On to the Puntarenas region! En route, you’ll board a private boat for a cruise on the Tarcoles River.
- Enjoy the views of the river as you cruise along with a local guide
- See wild crocodiles up close and personal
- Continue via bus to your accommodation in Puntarenas
Afterward, the night is yours to unwind. Stop at a local restaurant or bar for dinner and drinks or turn in early. Tomorrow is your beach day.
Day 7: Explore Manuel Antonio Park + Beach Time
Manuel Antonio Park is one of Costa Rica’s coastal treasures, and home to a top-rated, white sand beach.
- Explore Manuel Antonio’s vast trail system
- Soak up the sun at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world
It’s the final night in the Puntarenas area; celebrate at a local bar or restaurant. Live music has either a reggae or calypso vibe, and dancing is encouraged.
Day 8: Travel to San Jose via Sarchi
On your way back to San Jose, stop at a cooperative market to see some local handicrafts.
- Shop for colorful wood products and pottery at a co-op
- Observe artisans firsthand as they manufacture their products
- Have a local lunch, on your own, at the co-op
Back in San Jose, if you want to go out, your Tour Director will have some great dining and nightlife suggestions to experience the pura vida after dark in the capital.
Day 9: Whitewater Raft the Sarapiqui River
- Learn the basics of whitewater rafting from local river guides
- Take on several different classes of rapids (1-3) over two hours of rafting
- During the lulls in the action, swim in the cool river water
- Have a riverside picnic comprised of fresh fruits like pineapple and watermelon
Back in San Jose, it’s time for your Farewell Dinner. Afterwards, take the party elsewhere—this is your last night to enjoy the rhythms of this Central American hotspot.
Day 10: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye, friends! Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.