New Year’s in Costa Rica: Costa Rica Adventure | EF Ultimate Break
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New Year's in Costa Rica: Costa Rica Adventure

10 Days  •  4 Cities //@ts-ignore//@ts-ignore 315

Why Go?

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Costa Rica! It’s time to live la Pura Vida. The unofficial motto of Costa Rica translates to “the simple life.” But it’s less about going off the grid, and more about living a life jam-packed with rainforest hiking, whitewater rafting, ziplining above the clouds, and splashing around coral reefs under the waves. Pura vida is an always optimistic outlook fueled by delicious Mesoamerican-inspired cuisine, the freshest coffee, and the occasional guaro sour cocktail. If you’re looking for all that and a little quality face time with sloths, monkeys, and dolphins, this is the trip for you.

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
  • Walk high above the clouds in Santa Elena Cloud Forest
  • Enjoy the freshest coffee of your life at a plantation tour and sampling

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers
  • Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
  • Private motorcoach
  • Transportation between cities
  • 9 nights in hand-picked accommodations
  • Daily breakfast, Welcome Dinner & Farewell Dinner
  • Entrances to Manuel Antonio State Park, Santa Elena 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: Arrive in Costa Rica

Welcome to San José, Costa Rica, the cultural and political capital of this vibrant, thriving nation. Crack open a coconut and crank up the calypso music, you’re about to get tropical for the next 10 days.

Today's Highlights:

  • Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
  • Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
  • Explore the area as you meet up with your fellow travelers, arriving one-by-one.

Day 2: Hike La Fortuna Waterfall + Kayak Lake Arenal

The rainforest is filled with secrets and today you get to be its closest confidant as it spills the beans on all of its mysterious landforms, wildlife, and people. Keep an open ear and open eyes as you hike, swim, and kayak around the Arenal Region.

Today's Highlights:

  • Hike to the base of La Fortuna Waterfall, one of the most spectacular sights in Central America.
  • Cool off with a swim in the waterfall’s plunge pool, then heat back up in the nearby hot springs.
  • Kayak the pristine waters of Lake Arenal and take in volcanic views of the surrounding dormant magma-makers.

In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Dinner. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Then it’s on to wherever your new friends and the party takes you.

Day 3: Free Day in Arenal + Optional White Water Rafting Excursion

Wake up and smell that fresh jungle air. They don’t make it like that back home, do they? Take the day to swim, explore, and enjoy the beautiful volcano-lined skyline of inner-Costa Rica.

Free Time Suggestions

Orchid hunting: Admire the crazy-vibrant flora of the Arenal Region, including nearly 500 breeds of orchid.

Imperial: Help yourself to an Imperial or two, a tasty lager beloved by beer drinkers across Costa Rica.

White Water Rafting the Sarapiqui River(extra cost)

Give your legs a break during an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the Sarapiqui River. Grab your bathing suit and hop in a raft with a local river guide. With their help, you and your fellow travelers will work together to navigate several classes of rapids. Paddle hard, avoid the rocks, and get ready to experience the rainforest from a whole new perspective. Shoot past dense tropical vegetation, coffee plants, sugar cane, banana trees, and cocoa plantations. Hop out and take a refreshing swim when the river chills out, and, oh yes, splashing your neighbor is highly encouraged.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 4: Travel to Monteverde + Optional Night Hike

Monteverde is the jumping off point for Costa Rica’s surreal cloud forests, AKA unique rainforests that seem to exist entirely in the clouds. After a morning bus ride from Arenal, the day is yours to explore village life, but remember to stay limber for tomorrow’s ziplining.

Today's Highlights:

  • Board your bus bound for the village of Monteverde—founded as a Quaker farming settlement, now the go-to hub for Costa Rican adventure seekers.
  • Take some free time in the village to explore its quaint amenities.

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 5: Ziplining & Hiking in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest

Today, you’ll experience a whole different rainforest habitat: 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—oh, and did we mention there’s ziplining?

Today's Highlights:

  • Find out what clouds are really made of as you walk through them—yes, through them— in the densely vegetated, misty trails of the Costa Rican rainforest.
  • Soar high above the rainforest canopy, zooming from one platform to the next at speeds of up to 60 mph on a zipline.
  • Return to Monteverde as the town turns up for the night.

Day 6: Travel to Puntarenas Region + New Year's Eve Celebration

After a day of adrenaline in the heart of the jungle, you could use some time to lay on a beach and bask in the sun. Today you’ll trade leafy rainforest greens for sandy scenes as you head from Monteverde to Puntarenas for a little beachside R&R at Playa Mantas.

Today's Highlights:

  • Let the lush scenery blow your mind as you travel via bus from Monteverde to Puntarenas.
  • Take that Pura Vida attitude out to sea with some stand-up paddleboarding at the beach.
  • Count down to New Year’s in style with a group celebration. Then, keep the party going as late as you want.

Day 7: Explore Manuel Antonio National Park + Beach Time

There’s two kinds of people in the world: beach people and mountain people. Oh, and swamp people—but we won’t get into that now. The breathtaking Manuel Antonio National Park somehow has both mountains and beaches. See Costa Rica’s most beautiful, most visited national park today up close and personal.

Today's Highlights:

  • Trek through cliff-side rainforest and soak up the sun at the two main immaculate white-sand beaches of the park: Espadilla Sur Beach and Playa Manuel Antonio.
  • Keep an ear out for howler monkeys, the only land animal louder than your 8am Calculus professor.
  • Spot other amazing animals like capuchins, coati, iguanas, and dolphins.

Day 8: Free Day in Quepos + Optional Catamaran Cruise

Quepos may be small, but it makes up for it in spirit. Today is yours to explore the tiny town, consider grabbing a Gauro Sour (the national drink made from distilled sugar cane), or heading down to the docks to hear the fishermen swap sport fishing stories.

Free Time Suggestions

Soda: Chow down at a soda—you heard that correctly. Costa Rican lunch cafés are called sodas, and they’re an absolutely delicious way to eat authentically and affordably.

Costa Rican Catamaran Cruise(extra cost)

What’s better than one boat? One boat that’s actually two boats, that’s what. This funky vessel is your party HQ for the day as you cruise through the Pacific Ocean like Magellan, or the native Boruca tribe, or, like, a very chill pirate. Kick back and admire the coastline, and your own personal aquarium, as you try and spot manta rays, reef sharks, sea turtles, and even dolphins in the crystal clear waters.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 9: Travel to San José via Sarchi

On your way back to San José, stop for a guided tour of a coffee plantation. Toast your trip goodbye with your Farewell Dinner, then time for dancing, drinks, or heck, maybe even creating a detailed scrapbook to commemorate your time in paradise.

Today's Highlights:

  • Stop off for a coffee plantation tour on your way back to San José.
  • Watch as the little red berries become morning buzz brew right before your eyes, then sample the freshest coffee of your life.
  • Salivate as the final product is roasted and brewed, then sample the freshest coffee of your life, and give in to the caffeine-induced feeling of invincibility.
  • Return to San José and swap phone numbers, Instagram follows, email addresses or AIM screen-names with your Costa Rican travel BFFs.

Farewell Dinner

Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.

Day 10: Fly Home

¡Adiós, amigos!

Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, make sure to take one more group photo and grab that final drink. But this isn’t goodbye because you can always get the gang back together for another trip soon. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, we have a couple ways to keep your vacation going.


1. Double the fun

Many of our trips line up back to back. Give us a call and we’ll help you add another destination—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 a $30 fee. We’ll adjust your flights accordingly, but you’ll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside the tour.

Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

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200 people have priced this trip today.

Date: December 28, 2020
    Travel Protection
Trip Fee$2649
Total Price with Flights $2649

Stress-free Booking You have 48 hours to cancel and receive a full refund. You can also switch trips up to 99 days before you leave.

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