Ready to treat yourself to an intimate encounter with Mother Nature? Come play with us in Costa Rica! Beloved for its national parks, biological reserves and wildlife refuges, this friendly Central American nation protects a larger proportion of its land than any country in the world. On this action-packed multisport journey, you'll experience many of Costa Rica's precious ecosystems firsthand. Marvel at a unique volcano, bask on untouched beaches, venture through lush jungles, encounter wildlife at every turn and enjoy a rich array of activity options, from rafting and hiking to surfing, horseback riding, and zip-line flying.
Days 1-2 Gaze at Arenal Volcano and walk across a barren lava field and through rain forest in Arenal National Park Kids check out snakes, frogs and butterflies at a serpentarium Cruise across Lake Arenal by boat, then explore its lush jungle surroundings by bike The afternoon is yours to enjoy a zip-line flight, hike or simply relax by the pool Soak in hot springs hidden in a rain forest oasis.
Day 3 Walk through primary rain forest criss-crossed by hanging bridges up to 300 feet long A private charter plane whisks us to the white-sand beaches of the Pacific coast Sit down to a home-cooked casado with a local family Hike through the pristine Savegre Valley and learn the secrets to survival if you're ever stranded in the jungle Kick back at our secluded hotel on your private deck or zoom down the 100-foot waterslide - look out below!
Day 4 Venture through the lush habitat of sloths, monkeys, toucans and lizards Make a splash on a thrilling white-water rafting excursion on Río Savegre On our naturalist-led walk through Manuel Antonio National Park, listen for the call of howler and white-faced monkeys.
Days 5-6 Kids paint their own Boruca masks with an indigenous artist Grownups, be as active as you like: beach walk, kayak, horseback ride, surf or relax in a hammock or at the spa Pedal on the beach, then turn inland through a landscape of banana and African palm trees Rejuvenate with a beachfront yoga class or a morning seaside stroll Shuttle back to San José, stopping along the way to look for crocodiles.
- Bike along Lake Arenal and gaze at majestic Arenal Volcano
- Soak in hot springs hidden in a rain forest oasis
- White-water raft the Río Savegre, one Central America's most pristine rivers
- Meet experts who intimately know the country's incredible flora and fauna
- Kids paint their own Boruca masks with an indigenous artist
Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa (2 nights): Take in stellar views of Arenal Volcano while soaking in your suite's private whirlpool. (pool, spa)
Rafiki Safari Lodge (1 night): African-style luxury safari tents offering the ideal setting for enjoying the sights and sounds of the jungle. (pool)
Alma del Pacífico Hotel (2 nights): Spacious private villas at this beachside resort feature large terraces and a mosaic-tiled shower that opens to your own garden. (pool, spa)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Kids||Serpentarium visit (2 hours)|
|Other||Boat cruise on Lake Arenal (1 hour)|
|Other||Optional zip-lining, kayaking or hiking|
|Rafting||On Río Savegre (2.5 hours)|
|Other||Optional horseback riding, surfing, kayaking or hiking|
|Other||Optional yoga class (1 hour)|
On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 40% dirt and 60% paved; percentage will vary on kid's routes).
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/21-26 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1010 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 12/25-30 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1010 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 12/27-1/1 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1010 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 12/29-1/3 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1010 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 3/2-7 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 3/16-21 Price: $3798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 3/23-28 Price: $3798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 3/30-4/4 Price: $3698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 4/13-18 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 7/20-25 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 7/27-8/1 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 8/3-8 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 12/20-25 Price: $3698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 12/22-27 Price: $3698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 12/24-29 Price: $3698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 12/26-31 Price: $3698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 12/28-1/2 Price: $3698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
- 12/30-1/4 Price: $3698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $840 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $310
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to raft and horseback ride: 8 years
- Minimum age restriction to surf: 7 years
- No Burleys available on this trip
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners; routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children; difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 8 - 9 guests $4,398 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $4,098 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $3,498 pp dbl. occ.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
Guest Trip Reviews
Fabulous. The leaders were outstanding and our kids had the time of their lives. Backroads is a great way to travel for a busy family - minimal preparation required, and a rich and diverse schedule of activities and experiences that we never could have planned on our own.- Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Backroads has freed me up from the time-consuming research, planning and decision making I do to ensure an exciting adventure for our family vacations. The leaders are phenomenal and traveling with other like minded families has put a new twist on our usually independent travels. This was our first trip with Backroads and it will not be our last. I am looking forward to many more.
This trip was unbelievable! We went to places we never would have found by ourselves. Each day was packed with exciting adventures and the leaders were phenomenal. We could not have asked for anything more from them.- Walden, NY
This was the best vacation we’ve ever taken. I had a blast and learned so much. I came home feeling healthy and ready to get in better shape so I can enjoy my next trip even more. Although we were in a beautiful country, it was the trip leaders who made this so special. We had a great group and have come home with so many memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you.
One of the best trips our family ever has taken. The places we visited were so breathtakingly beautiful, the activites so fun and flexible, and the trip leaders were extraordinary. The other families were also just so nice.- Chicago, IL
The trip was over and beyond our expectations with friendly and knowledgeable leaders and incredible other families that made the trip special. Our children had a wonderful time and this was just an incredible way to see a new country while also getting exercise and learning about a new place. The eco-friendly part of the trip was very educational to all of us family members and something we will continue to practice as we travel. This is a much healthier way to see Costa Rica vs. going to a Four Seasons and just chilling out by the hotel. I recommend Backroads trips to everyone.- Greenwich, CT
Another outstanding Backroads experience - flawlessly executed by your amazing leaders. You guys pack more into five or six days without ever making guests feel rushed - including cultural contacts with the locals that would be impossible to arrange on one’s own. Thanks again from all of us!
We had a wonderful time on our trip. It was a perfect balance of cultural and athletic activities.- Kentfield, CA
Everything was incredibly planned. Our son was the youngest one and everyone included him on everything from zip-lining to rafting, he smiled all day every day and we all liked all activities. The guides were wonderful, everyone had a wonderful vacation. I believe we saw the best of Costa Rica!- Mexico City, Mexico